Course: Genesis of Pakistan Movement (538) Semester: Autumn, 2022
ASSIGNMENT No. 2
Q.1 Critically examine the Boundary Commission report. How did it harm the Muslims interest?
The 1947 partition of South Asia has had lasting repercussions not only for the region, but also for the larger international community. Border tensions between India and Pakistan have taken on a new magnitude since both countries carried out nuclear tests in May 1998. Surprisingly, historians have paid little attention to the creation of the Indo-Pakistani boundary, a key element of the 1947 division.1 This article analyzes the problematic procedure and format of the body responsible for delineating that boundary through the province of Punjab, the Radcliffe Boundary Commission.2 It is part of a larger project that will examine links between the boundary-making process and the repercussions of partition, particularly mass violence. The commission takes its name from its chairman, Sir Cyril Radcliffe. In the end, his boundary-making effort was a failure in terms of boundary-making, but a striking success in terms of providing political cover to all sides. The British seized the opportunity to withdraw from their onerous Indian responsibilities as quickly as possible; the Indian National Congress, the avowedly secular but primarily Hindu party headed by Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel, took control of India, as it had desired for so long. The Muslim League, which claimed to represent South Asia’s Muslims and was led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, won Pakistan, the sovereign Muslim state for which it had campaigned.
Q.2 Give detailed account of the cabinet mission proposals. How would you justify Muslim Leagues decision to accept those proposals?
A Cabinet Mission came to India in 1946 in order to discuss the transfer of power from the British government to the Indian political leadership, with the aim of preserving India’s unity and granting its independence. Formed at the initiative of Clement Attlee (the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), the mission contained as its members, Lord Pethick-Lawrence (Secretary of State for India), Sir Stafford Cripps (President of the Board of Trade), and A.V. Alexander (First Lord of the Admiralty). The Viceroy of India Lord Wavell participated in some of the discussions.
The Cabinet Mission Plan, formulated by the group, proposed a three-tier administrative structure for British India, with the Federal Union at the top tier, individual provinces at the bottom tier, and Groups of provinces as a middle tier. Three Groups were proposed, called Groups A, B and C, respectively, for Northwest India, eastern India, and the remaining central portions of India.
The Plan lost steam due to the distrust between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League, and the British Government replaced Lord Wavell with a new viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, to find new solutions.
Q.3 Critically analyze the impacts of Congress rule of 1937-39 on the politics of the Muslims generally and the Quaid-e-Azam particularly.
The Government of India Act of 1935 was practically implemented in 1937. The provincial elections were held in the winter of 1936-37. There were two major political parties in the Sub-continent at that time, the Congress and the Muslim League. Both parties did their best to persuade the masses before these elections and put before them their manifesto. The political manifestos of both parties were almost identical, although there were two major differences. Congress stood for joint electorate and the League for separate electorates; Congress wanted Hindi as official language with Deva Nagri script of writing while the League wanted Urdu with Persian script.
According to the results of the elections, Congress, as the oldest, richest and best-organized political party, emerged as the single largest representative in the Legislative Assembles. Yet it failed to secure even 40 percent of the total number of seats. Out of the 1,771 total seats in the 11 provinces, Congress was only able to win slightly more then 750.
Q.4 Discuss and analyze the fundamental principles of Lahore Resolution.
The Lahore Resolution also called Pakistan resolution, was written and prepared by Muhammad Zafarullah Khan and was presented by A. K. Fazlul Huq, the Prime Minister of Bengal, was a formal political statement adopted by the All-India Muslim League on the occasion of its three-day general session in Lahore on 22–24 March 1940. It was unanimously passed on 23rd March 1940. The resolution called for independent states as seen by the statement:
That geographically contiguous units are demarcated regions which should be constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North Western and Eastern Zones of (British) India should be grouped to constitute ‘independent states’ in which the constituent units should be autonomous and sovereign.
Although the name “Pakistan” had been proposed by Choudhary Rahmat Ali in his Pakistan Declaration, it was not until after the resolution that it began to be widely used.
Q.5 Critically analyse Allama Iqbal Allahabad address of 1930 in the light of the political demands of the Indian Muslims.
The Allahabad Address (Urdu: خطبہ الہ آباد) was a speech by scholar, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, one of the best-known in Pakistani history. It was delivered by Iqbal during the 21st annual session of the All-India Muslim League, on the afternoon of Monday, 29 December 1930, at Allahabad, British India. In this address Iqbal outlined a vision of an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in northwestern India, thus becoming the first politician to articulate what would become known as the Two-nation theory—that Muslims are a distinct nation and thus deserve political independence from other regions and communities of India.
Allama Iqbal defined the Muslims of India as a nation and suggested that there could be no possibility of peace in the country unless and until they were recognized as a nation and under a federal system, the Muslim majority units were given the same privileges which were to be given to the Hindu majority units. It was the only way in which both the Muslims and the Hindus could prosper in accordance with their respective cultural values. In his speech, he emphasized that unlike Christianity, Islam came with “legal concepts” with “civic significance,” with its “religious ideals” considered as inseparable from social order: “therefore, the construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim.”