Pakistan was created as a separate homeland for Muslims in the Indian subcontinent who wanted to establish a country where they could live in accordance with their religious beliefs and traditions.
Amongst the first proponents of the idea of a separate Muslim state in the subcontinent was Allama Iqbal, a prominent Muslim poet, philosopher, and politician. He had proposed the idea in his presidential address to the Muslim League in 1930.
The idea gained momentum over the next two decades, particularly in the wake of the British decision to grant independence to India.
The demand for a separate Muslim state was led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and the leader of the Muslim League.
Jinnah argued that Muslims in the subcontinent faced discrimination and marginalisation under the Hindu-dominated Congress Party, which was the main political force seeking independence from Britain.
He argued that a separate state was necessary to protect the rights and interests of Muslims and to ensure that they could practise their religion freely.
After years of negotiations and political manoeuvring, the British government agreed to the partition of India into two separate states, India, and Pakistan, in 1947.
The partition was accompanied by massive violence and displacement, as millions of people were forced to leave their homes and migrate to the new countries based on their religious identity.
The creation of Pakistan was a self-inflicted injury by Indian Muslims who can keep arguing that they never supported the Partition, but it had far-reaching implications for the region and the world.
The Pakistan state, as we know it, is on the brink. By many standards it is a failed state.
With food and fuel scarcity, the wheels of the economy are slowly but certainly grinding to a halt.
A corrupt and dysfunctional government whose ministers and top government officials spend most of their time on television talk shows rather than governance is not helping as is Imran Khan's open conflict with the military establishment (the real power in Pakistan).
How did a country that was a key partner of America and the West for decades, get transformed from being one of the few rising star countries in early 1950s into a basket case?
More importantly, what should be the takeaways for Indian Muslims from this debacle of Pakistan?
Pakistan is an artificial construct where numerous groups of people were lumped together simply because they were Muslims, with little else common between them.
All things artificial fail the test of time and challenges and simply crumble as is happening now in Pakistan. The leaders sought to unite the country through Islam, but which Islam?
Islam has more than 70 different sects and nearly all of them violently hostile to one another, constantly practising takfirism (the practice of declaring who is a true Muslim and who is not, depending on the interpretations of the various sects).
Indian Muslims are becoming aware of these glaring realities, more so in the last few decades due to the advent of technology and spread of social media.
Slowly but definitely many of them have started to embrace reform, rationality, progress, education. They have also started to accept that the politics of appeasement, whether in exchange of votes or support of the ruling order, is a thing of the past.
Their mindset is toying with the idea that expecting special treatment and enforcing some of the most retrogressive tendencies in one’s own culture in the name of religious piety or prestige is a bad idea.
The hostilities from both sides, Hindu or Muslim, can be overcome with hospitality. Mindless assertion, whether in dress or other practices, is unnecessary for preservation of identity.
But for this, the Indian Muslims must rid themselves of the burden of agenda-driven, 'Oppression Olympics' politicians and the dramatically sensitive mullahs.
There is a third group too, which the Indian Muslims should be wary off. Those are the elite Muslim intellectuals, who operate and boost platforms with clear antipathy to India and Hindus.
It is these agenda groups who justify the creation of Pakistan and are constantly wanting to make peace (Aman ki Asha) with the 'terrorist state'.
They often intellectualise the violence perpetrated by cross border terrorism in various states of the country, as a class struggle or resentment of State policies and even instigate Muslim mobs for violence on the streets of Indian cities, mainly, because the political spectrum has expanded over the years.
The failure of the two-nation theory, with the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and the current implosion of Pakistan ought to remind the Indian Muslims that they were misled in the 1940s.
They are being misled even today by vested interests who want to spread Islamism over the entire Indian subcontinent due to the Islamic concept of Dar-ul Harb, that refers to a "house of war" or a region or society that is considered to be in a state of war with Islam or Muslims.
This obscurantist rhetoric by Muslim politicians, Muslim intellectuals and maulanas uses the concept of Dar ul Harb in Islamic jurisprudence to describe situations in which Muslims are facing persecution or aggression from non-Muslims.
In some twisted interpretations, it is seen as a justification for defensive war, and for Muslims to take up arms to protect themselves and their communities.
The Dar ul Harb concept has always had potential to promote conflict and hostility between different religious groups.
Some scholars argue that the concept is outdated in the modern era, and that it is more important to focus on promoting peace, tolerance, and cooperation between different communities.
Those are the Muslim heritage people that mainstream media ought to highlight and bring forward.
If the majority Hindus are the backbone of India, the Indian Muslims, can act as Bharat/Hind's defenders who can unify the Indian society with national integration, territorial integration, and national interests as their topmost priority instead of the divisive identity politics.
The trajectory of Pakistan's history since its coming into being in 1947, as an Islamist State, is in front of them to learn from.
Arshia Malik is a columnist and commentator on social issues with particular emphasis on Islam in the Indian subcontinent.
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