This question has been roaming in my mind since the bad patch of Pakistan has started. What Quaid-e-Azam desired? An Extreme Theocratic country, a Corrupt Democratic one or a Simple Secular state. It is hard to answer and has always remained unanswerable. But I believe the solution lies with in it.
Large chunks of our population are chanting for a theocratic state just like Iran, only because their national leaders have declared it as the unified solution for Pakistan. But they aren’t unaware of the fact that in IRAN there is only one prominent sect and most of all they are one nation. Their supreme leader is backed by all unanimously. Whatever he says is the final verdict and faces no major opposition. If theocracy is implemented in Pakistan the scenario would be completely different and the aftermaths would be disastrous. Why? Because by the grace of God, we have been divided into 70 sects or more (huh)? I don’t know the exact no. of sects running these days but yeah they may be around it. And every sect would try to implement their version of Islam and declare the opposite one as “Kafir”. So the Theocratic State would soon crumble like a cookie and fall face down. I would like to highlight some quotes from my supreme leader Quaid-e-Azam, what he said regarding theocracy.
“The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in rights, dignity and self respect. Consequently we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it.” – Broadcast talk to the people of Australia recorded on 19th Feb, 1948.
On one more occasion he said again.
“The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principle of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims –Hindus, Christians, and Parsis –but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.” –
Broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan recorded February, 1948.
In the first quote Jinnah has clearly mentioned that Pakistan would not be a theocracy in any case at all. Because some how he knew its going to be a ‘wild goose chase’.
Now lets consider the second quote where Jinnah has again mentioned it strongly that theocracy would not be the destination of Pakistan, instead he emphasized that the constitution would be some sort of Democratic Type.
Now, let’s have a quick look at what Democracy is in Pakistan. Hmmm, Democracy is something from the people, by the people and for the people. But none of these 3 qualities are found in here. Our ruling elite are never from the people – they drop out from the sky or return from exile or it’s the family business. They are not by the people – pretty easy to rig the electing authorities or use big paper slips called ‘PARCHI’ to enter the ring, more the investment in the campaign better the outcomes. And they are certainly not for the people – it’s like once in a lifetime opportunity just like a lottery, using it wisely filling their bank accounts and making there property in foreign countries as you know property rates in Pakistan these days is unpredictable. And as they say ‘Democracy is the best revenge’, yes it is the best revenge but from the people of Pakistan for voting them and bringing them into limelight.
From the speaking of Quaid-e-Azam it is obvious he was in the favor of a democratic system. Here is a quote in this regard.
“You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.” –
Address to the officers and men of the 5th Heavy and 6th Light Regiments in Malir, Karachi February 21, 1948.
Democracy is a major hit in a country where the system is not corrupted but if the same system is corrupted democracy won’t prevail. It would have a vice versa affect on the country. We don’t have to look around anywhere else the best e.g. is our own beloved country. I believe Jinnah was in search of ‘Spiritual Democracy’ in which the leader is voted out from the people and he is a man of stature and character having a sound knowledge in both fields i.e. religion and national affairs. When I say religion I don’t mean to forcibly implement Islamic laws on all or make the state an extremist’s colony. Our religion gives rights to each n every religion to practice their faith prosperously. Here is one more quote from jinnah in this regard.
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed –that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” –
Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August, 1947.
Here comes the last entity, Secular-ism. A secular system is where the nationals of the country are free to do what ever they want to do. The state matters and religious matters are kept separate and no religious interference is entertained in the state’s decisions. This topic has been widely discussed and argued by numerous authors / columnists that ‘Jinnah wanted a Secular Pakistan’. Partition came into being on the base of ‘Two Nation theory’. It was obvious that Muslims and Hindus cannot co-exist in each others presence and therefore parted out. Now if a nation was formed on the basis of religious belief how can one say that it should be secular? Religion was the foundation on which our leaders stood firmly and demanded separate land. In his point of view as mentioned below it could have been a disaster.
“Any idea of a United India could never have worked and in my judgment it would have led us to terrific disaster.” –
Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August, 1947.
At least I haven’t seen any quotation or saying by Jinnah in favor of Secularism. Mostly of our authors emphasizing on secularism try to omit the religious aspect from the nation. But in Islam, the secular prospective is very clear regarding people practicing their own beliefs and no one is forcedly obstructed. Therefore why be secular? Even at one occasion Jinnah was addressing State bank of Pakistan and he favored the Islamic Economic system to be introduced.
“We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind” –
Speech at the opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi
July 1, 1948
He never wanted the secular approach, or he should have mentioned it anywhere. But the irony of the situation is that it seems that the solution towards progress for our country lies in Secularism.
Decades have passed and commentators are still arguing on the fact that either Pakistan should be a Theocratic State, a Democratic State or a Secular State. Concluding it all, I firmly believe what Quaid-e-Azam desired was a ‘Spiritual Democratic State’ or ‘Islamic Democratic State’. I would end with this quote where he adores the Islamic ideology.
“Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which, we hope other will share with us”-
Message to Frontier Muslim Students Federation June 18, 1945