When Pakistanis talk about the discrimination against Muslims in India under BJP today, they always congratulate themselves for how right Quaid-e-Azam’s predictions and his subsequent Two Nation Theory were. What they conveniently ignore is that the same Two Nation Theory is partly, if not fully, responsible for this discrimination that Indian Muslims are facing under Hindu-right-wing BJP. And this can be explained in three different points:
- The Two Nation Theory created the new nation of Pakistan, a Pakistan that was an Islamic state by nature which would let Islam and Muslims be considered above people of any other religion in Pakistan. This was a major blow to secularism in India. Although congress always firmly stood by its vision of a secular India, right wing elements in India, seeing how the majority Muslims are imposing their religion in Pakistan, also started cries of a Hindu India. Today’s Modi/BJP led India is a direct result of that sentiment. Indian nationalistic Hindus feel that if Pakistan can create a state for its religion, why shouldn’t they have one of their own as well? And this Hindu India, which is also partly a result of the Two Nation Theory, is creating an India unsafe/discriminatory for Muslims.
- The Muslim Pakistani state, that came out of the Two Nation Theory, started three wars with India (1948, 1965, and 1998), and a long drawn proxy campaign against India in Kashmir using tribals and Jihadists. These conflicts obviously fueled hatred for Muslims in India, and are one of the reasons why Muslims in India (especially in Indian Kashmir) are treated as proxies of Pakistan, or Pakistani supporters/apologists, which in turn fuels more hatred against Muslims in India.
- The most important, and arguably the most problematic consequence of the Two Nation Theory, is that it first fueled the already existing animosity between Hindus and Muslims in India, and then simply left a vast portion of those Muslims that it supposedly wanted to save inside Indian borders. In a united India today, there would have been almost 700M Muslims against the 1B Hindu majority. But the Two Nation Theory substantially weakened the position of Muslims left in India, and now those Indian Muslims are having to face the consequences of Jinnah’s decision and ideology. A self-fulfilling prophecy.
A united confederacy of India, with every state having its own substantial autonomy, but also having open borders, trade and communication with all of united India would have been a much better outcome than what the Two Nations Theory created. The Two Nations Theory killed over 2M and displaced over 20M people at partition. It led to three wars and the tragedy on Bangladesh. It led to a decades long animosity among people of the subcontinent over the issue of Kashmir, which wouldn’t have been an issue at all without this ideology.
Apologists of this ideology argue that the creation of Bangladesh was not the defeat of the theory because Muslim Bengalis chose to live outside of Hindu India. But Muslim Bengalis also chose to live outside of their Muslim nation Pakistan. The Two Nations theory treated all Indian Muslims as ONE nation: TWO Nations Theory right, one Muslim nation and one non-Muslim nation? With all of these elaborate arguments in favor of this theory, they are not convincing anybody else. Just themselves.