The Genesis of the Pakistan Idea

The Genesis of the Pakistan Idea

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The main purpose of this study is to trace the course of Hindu-Muslim relations in India, from the Lucknow Pact of 1916 to the demand for Pakistan made by the All-India Muslim League in 1940. The basic features of the evolving Hindu-Muslim relations, beginning from a description of the differences in culture between the two communities, are sketched. These comprise the establishment of a unitary government by the British East India Company and the British government, the rise of nationalism as a result of the cultural renaissance in the nineteenth century, and the struggle for constitutional reform that ended with Partition in 1947.

From 1906, at which time the Hindus and Muslims were separately organized, until shortly before Partition, the Hindus, Muslims, and the British government hoped for a communal agreement. This led to proposals for a federation, on the basis that would best suit the type of plural society that existed in India. Negotiations between Hindus and Muslims broke down because the former demanded agreement before the discussion of a constitution whereas the latter considered the constitution as a means of bringing about agreement. The situation was such that the British government could make use of the policy of divide et impera, regardless of whether or not it did so deliberately. Accusations were made which encouraged and deepened the communal rift, in order to continue Britain's control over India. At any rate, in the end, the only solution to the problem of plural societies in India proved to be Partition.

Book Title The Genesis of the Pakistan Idea
Author Walter Bennett Evans
Type Book
The main purpose of this study is to trace the course of Hindu-Muslim relations in India, from the Lucknow Pact of 1916 to the demand for Pakistan made by the All-India Muslim League in 1940. The basic features of the evolving Hindu-Muslim relations, beginning from a description of the differences in culture between the two communities, are sketched. These comprise the establishment of a unitary government by the British East India Company and the British government, the rise of nationalism as a result of the cultural renaissance in the nineteenth century, and the struggle for constitutional reform that ended with Partition in 1947.

From 1906, at which time the Hindus and Muslims were separately organized, until shortly before Partition, the Hindus, Muslims, and the British government hoped for a communal agreement. This led to proposals for a federation, on the basis that would best suit the type of plural society that existed in India. Negotiations between Hindus and Muslims broke down because the former demanded agreement before the discussion of a constitution whereas the latter considered the constitution as a means of bringing about agreement. The situation was such that the British government could make use of the policy of divide et impera, regardless of whether or not it did so deliberately. Accusations were made which encouraged and deepened the communal rift, in order to continue Britain's control over India. At any rate, in the end, the only solution to the problem of plural societies in India proved to be Partition.

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