Recently, I have been trying to show that the resolution adopted unanimously by the elected legislators of the All-India Muslim League on April 9, 1946, in Delhi, was the foundational document for Pakistan (and perhaps also the true basis of the political reality of South Asia as it exists today).
There are two questions I get asked most frequently whenever I share this idea. Firstly, can the Delhi Resolution still hold influence when it has been forgotten by the society? Secondly, what should be done? I would like to submit my answers to these two questions, presuming that the readers of this blog are interested in them.
I believe that the founding parents of Pakistan have left some very clear answers to the first question. I find these answers especially in the writings and statements of Iqbal, Quaid-i-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan. However, I would leave that discussion for some other time and instead point to a simpler, moral issue. Should I turn my back on truth just because some people do not recognize it? Or should I follow my conviction?
I hope that the answer is self-evident and also leads to a possible solution for the second issue. Social change starts with the internal transformation of individuals, one person at a time. Eiether the Delhi Resolution of 1946 represents the truth of Pakistan or it does not. If we believe that it does, we should allow ourselves to be guided by its wisdom at least in our thoughts, feelings and aspirations, if not also our daily lives. We can leave others to make their own choices.
In order to receive guidance from the wisdom of this resolution, we have to start with discrimination and justice. In our heart we must accept that this resolution represented the voice of 90 per cent of the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent, who had supported those legislators who adopted it unanimously. Of course, the claim of representing 90 per cent of the nation is based on what the Quaid said on that occasion, and his claim was in turn based on how electoral results were interpreted at that time. Detractors can disagree but that is a different matter.
It is only fair that 90 per cent of our intellectual space should be allocated to the ideology enshrined in the resolution. The religious minorities, of course, are included in this because one of the fundamental ideas contained in the resolution was to protect the religions and cultures of the minorities ‘in consultation with them’ (and hence, according to their desires and not ours, as much as possible).
So, the ideology of the resolution must occupy 90 per cent of our intellectual space, and the religions and cultures of the minorities are freely admitted in this.
The adherents of other ideas and ideologies represented those 90 per cent of the Indian Muslims who did not support the League, nor this resolution. They included a very large variety of schools, including the communists led by Faiz Ahmad Faiz; the Congressites led by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and the mainstream Deoband; various other factions of Muslims led by the Ahrars, Maududi, Inayatullah Mashriqi, Tableeghi Jamaat and others; the supporters of Western supremacy; and so on.
These alternative ideologies can have breathing space but it is only fair that it should not be more than 10 per cent to be divided by them among themselves.
At present, 100 per cent of our intellectual space has been occupied by these alternative ideologies. They dominate our educational institutions, academies, universities, mosques, mohallas, media and what not. The ideology of Pakistan as enhrined in the Delhi Resolution of 1946 does not have any space in our minds and our halls of learning at all.
The intellectual space allocated to the ideology of the Delhi Resolution in Pakistan is not even zero per cent. It can only be measured in negative integers – in ‘minus’ – because the adherents of this ideology have long been misrepresented, ridiculed and banished from the civilization that exists in the country.