The Quaid’s Economic, Social and Educational Vision of Pakistan
Iqtidar Karamat Cheema
National leaders who have a historical mission to fulfill, seem to know as if instinctively what intricate paths to follow in order to reach the goal that destiny has assigned to them. This is the way they are able to reverse the misfortunes of their people. There is a great work of the art of leading the people out of despair and into salvation. The Quaid-i-Azam was one such leader who was well aware of all-or almost all-the structural functional, as well as institutional-ideological changes that were necessary; changes that had to be effected and the full implications that had to be faced before the national goals could be reached. He had a bold programme of action and a scheme of revolutionary reforms, ranging form the sphere of public education to that of political economy, from the creation of a highly stratified military hierarchy to the establishment of a modern and independent state complete with all its service departments and other contemporary institutions. His vision of Pakistan was an ideal Islamic State with its socio-economic set up based on the teachings of the faith. ‘His ideal state’ in the words of one of his distinguished associates, would be one where Islamic values and mandates would be accepted and observed; where the Islamic concept of equality, fraternity, liberty and justice would find play’.
The Quaid-i-Azam desired rapid economic progress of Pakistan. He was fully aware of the economic backwardness and poor economic conditions of the Muslim nation. Even during the days of struggle, when he was so pre-occupied with the political problems, on numerous occasions he advised the Muslims to learn commerce, industry and technical education if they wished to prosper. It may well be remembered, that it was Quaid-i-Azam’s persuasion which brought many Muslim entrepreneurs from foreign lands to establish industries in Pakistan. Today they are settled and are reaping the benefits which have accrued to them in our own free land, and they are also making notable contribution to the building up of our economy.
When we discuss the economic views of the Quaid-i-Azam , certain, questions come to lips after their appearance in our mental horizon. What were his views regarding the western economic theory and practice or did he advocate the adoption of socialization based on the Islamic concepts of equality and social justice?
Quaid-i-Azam was the first to proclaim that Pakistan would be based on the foundations of social justice and Islamic socialism which emphasized quality and brotherhood of man. Therefore, he had aspired to do away with the obvious manifestations of gross social inequality through making Pakistan a Welfare State. He did not want Pakistan to become a paradise of capitalists and landlords. He was indeed aware that Islam regarded private ownership as a scared trust. However, he was also conscious that according to Islam the social rank of an individual was not determined by the amount of wealth be owned, but by the kind of life he lived. Islam recognized the worth of the individual, but at the same time, it disciplined him to give away his all to the service of God and man. It was precisely for this reason that he had rejected the Western economic theory and practice.
Quaid-i-Azam fully realized that there was no room for capitalism in Islamic society. Accordingly, he was opposed to the adoption of Western capitalist economic system in Pakistan. In his speech at the opening ceremony of the state Bank of Pakistan on 1st July, 1948, he proclaimed; “The western World, in spite of its advantage of mechanization and industrial efficiency is today in a worse mess than ever before in history. The adoption of Western economic theory a happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby by fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind.
Similarly, Quaid-i-AZam could not accept the communist ideology, economic theory and practice. While addressing the Punjab Muslim Students Federation at Lahore on 19th March, 1944, he proclaimed: “I warn the communists to keep their hands off Muslims……Islam is their guide and complete code for their life. They do not want any isms”.
On capitalism, socialism and communism he had definite views. The Quaid-i-Azam envisaged the development of a socialist state in keeping with the tempo of the times as that mode of economy was nearest to the Muslim way of life. He wanted to base the economy of Pakistan on lqtisad, the Islamic economic system. He stressed the need for evolving a juster economic system by remarking: “We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on the Islamic concepts of equality of man and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving the humanity the massage of peace which alone can save it and would secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind”.
It was, undoubtedly, Quaid-i-Azam’s conviction that the Muslims had a complete and effective ideology of their own and could steer clear of the pitfalls of all extremist system…. Capitalism on the one hand and communism on the other. He believed that if the Muslims of Pakistan correctly interpreted and exemplified, by deeds rather than words, the teachings of Islam they could show to the world the much-needed path to peace, Justice and happiness. In fact, he considered this to be the main mission of Pakistan. Thus, he left us, as a testament the sacred task of evolving in Pakistan a polity and an economy, which besides bringing us peace and happiness, would serve as a model to the world.
Quaid-i-Azam was confident of Pakistan’s Progress because the country had abundant resources. In his last message to the nation, he observed, “Nature has given you everything, you have got unlimited resources. The foundations of your state have been laid, and it is now for you to build as quickly and as well as you can. So go ahead and I wish you God speed.
The Quaid-i-Azam’s conception of a state was that, “The state exists not for life but for good life”. The Quaid-i-Azam repeatedly said that Pakistan had been created for providing equal opportunities and decent living for the poor people, who comprised a large majority of our population. “The idea was that we should have a state in which we could live and breathe as free men and in which we could develop according to our lights and culture and where principle of Islamic social justice could find free play”. His emphasis throughout was on “social justice” based on Islamic principles as the main object of Pakistan to his mind was the urge to translate the principles of Islamic social justice into concrete terms of social and economic reconstruction. There was no narrowness about his concept of “Islamic social justice”. He delineated it as “Islamic” because it imparted to the concept a preciseness and a definiteness which it would otherwise have lacked. Another reason why he used this term was that he realized that in the ultimate analysis people’s conduct is motivated and governed by moral consciousness and spiritual convictions, and, unless such a basis is provided for a people’s effort to build up society and economy, life is reduced to “sound and fury, signifying nothing”, very appropriately, therefore, he spoke of “Islamic social justice” as the main objective of a state which Muslim people had curved out in response to their urge and free existence.
What the Quaid-i-Azam meant by “Social Justice” in more precise terms is evident form many of his speeches. These provide the clue to his conception of the economic order which he visualized for Pakistan. He spoke his mind on the subject at some length during his tour of Eat Pakistan in March 1948. In the course of his historic speech at Chittagong on March 26, 1948, he expressed in magnificent style his view of the social and economic content of freedom in Pakistan”. You are only voicing my sentiments and the sentiments of millions of Mussalmans when you say that Pakistan should be based on sure foundations of social justice and economic socialism which emphasis equality and brotherhood of man. Similarly you are voicing my thought in asking and in aspiring for equal opportunities for all. These targets of progress are not controversial in Pakistan, for we demanded Pakistan, we struggled for it we achieved it so that physically as well as spiritually we are free to conduct our affairs according to our traditions and genius. Brotherhood, equality and fraternity of man…….these are all the basic points of our religion, culture and civilization”. The Quaid-i-Azam thus left no doubt as to the basic spirit and principles according to which the economic and social structure of Pakistan was to function. i.e. in the Islamic spirit of equality, brotherhood and social justice.
The Quaid-i-Azam with his breadth of vision saw further than this follow men. He viewed the establishment of Pakistan as something more than the mere formation of a government. He wanted his people to broaden their vision when he said in the same speech,” It is natural for some to think in terms of Government but the sooner we adjust ourselves to new forces, the sooner our mind’s eye is capable of piercing through the horizons to see the limitless possibilities of our state and of our Nation, the better for Pakistan. Then and then alone it would be possible for each one of us to realize the great ideals of human progress, of social justice, of equality and of fraternity which, on the one had, constitute the basic causes of the birth of Pakistan and also the limitless possibilities of evolving an ideal social structure in our State. I reiterate most emphatically that Pakistan was made possible because of the danger of complete annihilation of human soul in a society based on caste. Now that the soul is free to exist and to aspire it must assert itself galvanizing not only the stare but also the nation”.
In general terms therefore, the social and economic order of Pakistan, according to the Quaid-i-Azam was to be based on social justice and Islamic socialism. Its marked features are brotherhood, equality of mankind and equality of opportunities for all. It is clear that he visualized a socialistic economy for Pakistan buttressed by the leaven of Islamic moral principles and spiritual values. Quaid-i-Azam is to realize the ideals of equal distribution of wealth and of a classless society through the politico-moral principles of equality, brotherhood, justice an evolution (i.e., with the consent of the people secured through democratic means ) and not through class hatred, violence’s destruction and revolution.
Quaid-i-Azam laid down a golden rule for the future economic policies of Pakistan by remarking that “there would be ample revenues form equitable taxation levied in a manner consistent with social justice to finance good governance and allow us to have a state as good as any in the world and better than many sovereign countries on the map of the world toady”. Stating his personal view as to the industrial policy of Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam said, “personally I believe that in these modern days essential key industries ought to be controlled and managed by the State. This applies also to certain pubic utilities. But what is a key industry and what is a utility service are matters for law-makers to say, not for me”.
It is thus clear that the Quaid-i-Azam stood for two fundamental principles regarding the economic organization of the state…..equitable taxation in conformity with principles of social justice and nationalization of key industries and public utility services. That the rich should not be allowed to become richer and the poor to become poorer is an off repeated clinche, but it is a proposition which does not lose its force even by repetition. Obviously the Quaid-i-Azam idea of taxation supports this preposition. He believed in the leveling down of the menacing economic disparities which account for widespread distress and misery and more reasonable distribution of the economic burdens which have to be borne y all citizens for the common objective of maintenance of the State. This eminently sound principle together with the idea of nationalization of key industries and utility services would undoubtedly lend to the evolution of a socialistic economy which would ensure a balance evolution of a socialistic economy which would ensure a balance between the individual ‘s urge for enterprise and acquisition and the good of society as a whole. Such a consummation is perfecting in accord with the Islamic view of life. The Quaid-i-Azam believed in subordinating economic activity to moral ends, for therein lies the ultimate good of mankind and that is the quintessence of Islamic teachings.
However, the principle laid down by Quaid-i-Azam was that Pakistan must achieve a balance between private enterprise and state control of industries and public utilities.
In evolving a complete picture of partition the analysis of the social class interests could also be very useless. There was not just one privileged class among the Muslims, rather there was a plurality of such classes. It should not be surprising as the British colonial policies themselves were not geared to introduce one particular mod of production in India. Instead, these policies interfered with the Indian economy in a manner that these paved the way for the introduction of feudal as well as capitalist modes of production and created the propertied classes in both agriculture and industrial sectors. Moreover, for the administration of the colonial state, the British needed a class of functionaries. The Muslim segment of the salariat, later played an important role in Muslim nationalist movement as from this class was drawn the intelligentsia which was so vocal in the freedom movement. When the constitutional efforts on the part of the Muslim League were finally frustrated, it was compelled to raise the demand for a separated homeland for the Muslims. In the fast changing scenario of Indian politics, following the British decision to leave India after the war, the Muslim privileged classed rallied around the Pakistan option. In doing so they were motivated by their pragmatic and material interests rather than ideological motivations, though ideology was certainly employed to sanctify and legitimize the political demands.
With at least three privileged classes present on the scene, all having stakes in the political destiny of India, it was natural for all the them to support the demand for Pakistan, certainly for reasons specific to them.
Moreover, this has also been shown that given the differences in socio-economic formations in various parts of India, the power and effectiveness of different privileged classes was not uniform in all regions. The Muslim salariat was more active as a political force in the minority provinces and in two or three urban centres in the Muslim majority provinces. The Muslim industrial and financial elite was concentrated more in the industrial and financial capitals of India like Bombay, Calcutta, Gujrat, etc, The regions which became part of Pakistan were mostly dominated by the feudal class and the tribal chiefs. East Bengal was an exception where, apart form a landed aristocracy, a fairly good size of middle class was also present which also sided with the Pakistan demand. In short, the Pakistan movement, in the context of its social bases, was more of a coalition of divergent social classes which had joined hands with the hope to accrue benefits from the new country. That these interests could also bring them into conflict with each other once the country was created.
The Quaid-i-Azam did not wish Pakistan to become a paradise for capitalists and landlords who, in his own words, had flourished by “a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to argue with them. The exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They have forgotten the lessons of Islam. Greed and selfishness have made these people subordinate to the interest of others in order to fatten themselves….Do you visualize that millions have been exploited and cannot get one meal a day? If that is the idea of Pakistan, I would not have it”.
It would be difficult to find a more forthright and emphatic condemnation of the system of landlordism and capitalism, which more than any other factor accounts for economic backwardness. The Quaid-i-Azam felt so deeply masses of people groaning under the deadweights of landlordism and capitalism that he was prepared to go without Pakistan, if it meant exploitation and starvation of millions. He wanted the landlords and capitalists to read the sign of the time. It is, therefore, evident that the Quaid-i-Azam desired a radical change in the agrarian system and capitalistic economy, a change which would prevent the exploitation of millions of tillers of the social and labourers and enable them to lead a life of security and prosperity.
More manifest was his personal interest in industry. With a quick industrial development, he believed, Pakistan would be less dependent on the outside world, provide more employment and increase in its own resources. Speaking at the foundation-stone laying ceremony of a Karachi Textile Mills on 26th September, 1947 he said, “If Pakistan is to play its proper role in the world to which its size, manpower and resources entitle it, it must develop industrial potential side by side with its agriculture and give it economy an industrial bias. By industrializing our state, we shall decrease our dependence on the outside world for necessities of life, we will give more employment to our people and will also increase the resources state. Nature has blessed us wit ha good many raw materials of industry and its is up to us to utilize them to the best of the state and its people. His views regarding the consolidation of the state were also dominated by his considerations of industrial progress. He said, the way in which we could consolidate the State was by industrializing as fast as we could. While addressing the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, he drew particular attention to the statement on Pakistan’s industrial policy. “Just as Pakistan is agriculturally the most advanced nation in the continent of Asia……. I am confident that if it makes the fullest and the best use of its considerable agricultural wealth in the building up of her industries, it will with the traditions of craftsmanship for which her people are so well-known and with their ability to adjust themselves to new techniques, soon make its mark in the industrial field”.
In respect of Commerce and trade, the Quaid-i-Azam preached that the traders of Pakistan must maintain the Islamic standards of honesty and integrity while dealing with others. In his address to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, on 27th April, 1948, he said, “Commerce and trade are the very life blood of the nation. I can no more visualize a Pakistan without traders and with out cultivator or civil servants. I have no doubt that in Pakistan, traders and merchants will always be welcome and that they, in building up their own fortunes, will not forget their social responsibility for a fair and square deal to one and all, big and small……..commerce …..is more international than culture and it behave you to behave in such a way that the power and prestige of Pakistan gain added strength from every act of yours. I have no doubt the Commerce of Pakistan would be an effective instrument in the establishment and maintenance of high standards of business integrity and practice. If Pakistani goods are to establish for themselves a reputation and all their own, a beginning must be made now and here. I would like Pakistan to become a synonym and hallmark for standard and quality in the market places of the world. He concluded, “I wish you and your Chamber well in the any years that lie ahead of us and may you as true Pakistanis help to reconstruct and build Pakistan to reach might and glorious status amongst the comity of nations of the world”.
Quaid-i-Azam Muahmmad Ali Jinnah believed in the power of purposeful education. He was convinced that education was the only effective means to liberate the masses and weld them into a strong nation and also to bring about social, political and economic development in the country. The Quaid-i-Azam attached great importance to education. He was aware that under the political subjugation and servitude of the British, the Character of the Muslims as a nation had been completely destroyed. They had lost respect for piety, for character, for knowledge or even for wealth, and were taught to respect nothing but power. A nation with slavish mentality naturally respect power.
Quaid-i-Azam believed that education was the birth right of every child and that it was the duty of the State to provide for universal elementary education for its citizens. In an illiterate society, it must be enforced compulsorily, because elementary education cannot become universal without compulsion. To do the duty, the State must find the funds required, and tax the people if necessary. Masses can only be liberated through a planned programme of compulsory universal elementary education.
“We are convinced”, he said, “that there is no salvation for the masses unless the principle of compulsion is introduced in this country. In no country has elementary education become universal without compulsion”.
Quaid-i-Azam believed that Education was the key factor in safeguarding the national independence and moulding the character of a people. The system of education must be truly national in order to meet the needs and aspirations of the people in national education lies the only sure and permanent guarantee of national defence and national strength. No country can have an ignorant population and be free and strong at the same time. Also economic development and cultural advancement depend directly on the type of instructional programmes at different levels. The quality of the process of educating the younger generation will depend upon the quality of the teacher and his work-the way he works with the learners and brings them up as informed and skilled individuals and as a community of responsible citizen ready to enter the world of work.
Hence the Quaid-i-Azam desired that the educational policy of Pakistan should be brought on the lines suited to the genius of the nation, consonant with its history and culture, and having regard to the modern needs and requirements and vast developments that had taken place all over the world. In a message to all-Pakistan Educational Conference held at Karachi on 27th November, 1947, he wrote: “There is no doubt that the future of our state will and must greatly depend upon the type of education and the way in which we bring up our children as the future servants of Pakistan. Education does not merely mean academic education, and even that appears to lie of a very poor type. What we have to do is to mobilize our people and build up the character of our future generations. There is immediate and urgent need for training our people in the scientific and technical education in order to build up our future economic life, and we should see that our people undertake scientific commerce trade and particularly, well-planned industries. But do not forget that we have to compete with the world which is moving very fast in this direction. Also I must emphasise that greater attention should be paid to technical and vocational education. In short, we have to build up the character of our future generations which means highest sense of honor, integrity, selfless, service to the nation and sense of responsibility, and we have to see that they are fully qualified or equipped to play their part in the various branches of economic life in a manner which will do honour to Pakistan. On another occasion, he said “You are the nation-builders of tomorrow and you must fully equip yourself by discipline, education an training for the arduous task lying ahead of you. Y9u should realize the magnitude of your responsibility and be ready to bear it.
However, with the establishment of Pakistan he set afoot a movement for speeding up of education and opening up of more schools – Primary and secondary. But education in Pakistan is a provincial subject and most of the administrative units responsible for the development of education are autonomous bodies. Nevertheless his influence was felt throughout the country and educational institutions came up rapidly. Quaid-i-Azam had a special regard for students and the youth, and whenever he spoke to them he did so frankly and without reserve. At he Dacca university convocation on 24th March, 1948, he said, “In addressing you I am not here speaking to you as Head of the State, but as a friend, and as one who has always held you in affection”. He told them that “there is no shame in doing manual work and labour, for the building up of Pakistan.
Addressing the students of Islamia College, Peshawar on 12th April, 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam called for changed approach on the part of the students, to the political, social and economic problems facing Pakistan. In contrast with the methods of approach they adopted during their struggle for independence. “the duties required for you now, he said, are to develop a sound sense of discipline, character, initiative, and a solid academic back ground”.
Advising the students to be constructive in their criticism of the Government, the Quaid-i-Azam observed: “Government welcomes constructive criticism. You can make a big contribution towards bringing about harmony and unity where for personal and other selfish considerations some people may adopt courses which are likely to lead to disruption and disunity. Remember that your Government is like your own garden. Your Garden flourishes by the way you look after it and the efforts that you put towards its improvement. Similarly, your government can only flourish by your patriotic, honest and constructive efforts to improve it”.
He wanted the students, ‘not to allow your actions to be guided by ill-digested information or slogans and catchwords……Remember we are building up a state which is going to play its full part in the destinies of the whole Islamic world……we must develop a sense of Patriotism which should galvanise and weld us all into one united strong nation”.
Speaking at Dacca on 21st March, 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam gave stern warning to the students with these words: “You will be making the greatest mistake if you allow yourself to be exploited by one political party or the other ……my young friends, I look forward to you as the real makers of Pakistan , do not be exploited and do not be misled …..your main occupation should be-in fairness to yourself, in fairness to your parents, in fairness to the state-to devote your attention to your studies”. “It is only thus that you can equip yourselves for the battle of life that lies ahead of you. Only thus will you be an asset and a source of strength and of pride to your state. Only thus can you assist it in solving the great social and economic problems that confront it and enable it to reach its destined goal among the most progressive and strongest nations of the world”.
Despite Quaid-i-Azam’s numerous and self-explanatory statements projecting his ideological vision of Pakistan, it is believed in certain quarters that his adherence to the concept of the Two Nation theory lasted only until August 1947. His address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August is offered as an instance and as an argument to show that he abandoned the Two Nation theory and wished Pakistan to shape into a secular State. In this speech he had said:
“We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community-because even as regards, Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalees, Madrasis, and so on-will vanish. Indeed if you ask me this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free peoples long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls in subjection; nobody could have conquered you, and even if had happened nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time but for this. Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any others place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed-that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know, history shows that in England conditions, some time ago were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days when there is no discriminations, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State”.
The following considerations may be kept in mind for a proper appraisal of this pronouncement. First, It was not the only occasion on which the Quaid spoke about the status of non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan. Long before the establishment of Pakistan he had repeatedly assured the non-Muslims that they would be accorded generous treatment in the State of Pakistan. As far back as November 1941 he said that ‘Islam stands for justice, equality, fairplay, toleration and even generosity to non-Muslim who may be under our protection’. In November 1942 he again assured the non-Muslims that their rights ‘would be fully safeguarded according to the injunctions form the highest authority, namely, Quran, that a minority must be treated justly and fairplay. In February 1943 he repeated his ‘solemn assurance’ to the Hindu leaders that ‘we will treat you minorities not only in a manner that a civilized government should treat them but better because it is an injunction in the Quran to treat the minorities so’. Secondly, speaking purely from a religious point of view, there was noting startling in his speech. The utterance is based on precedent and it is in line with the injunctions of the faith. The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) after his arrival in Madina gave a charter of freedom to the Christians of Najran. This document, says according to Syed Ameer Ali, ‘has, for the most part, furnished the guiding principle to all Moslem rulers in their mode of dealing with their non-Muslim subjects and if they have departed from any instance the cause is to be found in the character of the particular sovereign’. It had explicitly assured them that ‘there shall be no interference with [the practice of ] their faith or their observances, nor any change in their rights and privileges…..they shall continue to enjoy every thing great and small as heretofore’. The declaration of Quaid-i-Azam thus only confirms his typically Islamic approach to the problem of minorities in the Islamic State of Pakistan and in no way does it repudiate the two-nation theory.
Finally, the Quaid’s speech also needs to be read in the context of the prevailing political situation which vitally affected not only the security but even the continued existence of the nascent State of Pakistan. Since a climate of total insecurity prevailed in both sides of the border and one of the greatest mass migrations in the history of the world had already started, such an assurance to the non-Muslims of Pakistan was urgently called for. It would, the Quaid hoped, not only stop the exodus of Hindus form Pakistan but would also have a salutary effect on Indian leaders and persuade them to extend a similar treatment to the Muslim minorities in India.
Undoubtedly this first speech in the Constituent assembly was an important declaration containing guidelines for the Constitution makers. But this speech simpliciter is a cry from establishing that the Quaid was a secularist. A careful consideration of the speech and the context in which it was made shows that it was bringing in sharp relief and to draw attention to the idea of Islam namely that all the citizens in an Islamic State must be treated as equal, that herein no one is above the law and that no discrimination is allowed amongst the citizens. Furthermore this speech was not a repudiation of what the Quaid had been declaring all through the struggle for Pakistan but was merely a reminder to an important Islamic principle that Pakistan would be adhering to, namely, that herein all citizens would have equal rights and would enjoy equal rights and would enjoy equal protection. It should be remembered that the opponents of the Pakistan movement were virulently denouncing Pakistan as a purely fanatical and communal State in which minorities would be discriminated and treated unfairly as opposed to the liberal treatment which all citizens living in India would be enjoying in the secular State visualized by the Congress wherein equal rights will be given to all people in India. The Quaid, had therefore also to reassure all non-Muslim inhabitants of Pakistan, whose number when Pakistan was created numbered around 25 percent, that they would be treated justly, fairly, without discrimination, as equal citizens of the State. Therefore to make a proper assessment or the significance the speech of August 11, 1947 this background has to be kept in mind.
The Quaid-i-Azam believed in equal status for men and women. It was his wish that for national consolidation, the Muslim women should work side by side with men. This was necessary for progress. In a speech at the Jinnah Islamia College for Girls, Lahore, he said :-
"If Muslim women support their men, as they did in the days of the prophet of Islam, we should soon realize our goal”.
In his broadcast speech from Radio Pakistan, Dacca on 28th March, 1948, he said “In the great task of building the nation and maintaining its solidarity, women have a most valuable part to play, as the prime architects of the character of the youth that constitutes its backbone, not morally in their own homes but by helping their less fortunate sister outside in that great task. I know that in the long struggle for the achievement of Pakistan, Muslim women have stood solidly behind their men. In the bigger struggle for the building up of Pakistan that now lies ahead, let it not be said that the women of Pakistan had lagged behind or failed in their duty”. He told his people “I wish to impress on you that the nation can not rise to the heights of glory unless your women are side by side with you. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. I do not mean that we should imitate the evils of western life. Be let us to raise the status of our women according to our own Islamic ideas and standards. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable conditions in which our women have to live. You should take your women along with you as comrades in every sphere of life avoiding the corrupt practices of western society. You cannot expect a women who is herself ignorant to bring up your children properly. The women have the power to bring up children on right lines. Let us not throw away this asset”.
The Quaid-i-Azam stressed that although Pakistan’s intentions towards others nations were peaceful, she must be prepared to defend her shores in the event of an attack by an aggressor-nation. Addressing the Establishment of H.M.P.S. “Dilawar’ on 23rd January, 1948, the Quiad-i-Azam said, “However, strong the united nations organization mights be, the primary responsibility for the defence of our country will rest with us and Pakistan must be prepared for all eventualities and danger. The weak and defencless in this imperfect world, invite aggression from others. The best way in which can serve the cause of peace is by removing the temptation from the path of those who think that we are weak, and therefore, they are bully or attack us. The temptation can only be removed if we make ourselves so strong that no body dare entertain any aggressive designs against us. Pakistan is still in its infancy and so is its Navy and other branches of the armed forces. But this infant means to grow up and God willing will grow up much sooner than many people think”.
The Quaid-i-Azam reminded the officers and men of the Pakistan army that although the battle for Pakistan’s freedom had been won, a harder battle for the preservation of that freedom and building it on a firmer and sounder basis was still in progress and the battle had to be fought to a successful conclusion if Pakistan was to survive as a great nation. Addressing the troops on 21st February, 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam said, “We have to prove ourselves fit for our newly won freedom. You have fought many a battle on the far-flung battlefields of the globe to rid the world of the Fascist menace and make it safe for democracy. Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy. Islamic social Justice and the equality of manhood in your own/native soil. You will have to be alert, very alert for the time for relaxation is not yet there. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty there is nothing worth while that you cannot achieve”.
The Quaid-i-Azam had great faith in the young people of Pakistan; he was confident that through them universal brotherhood could be achieved. In a message to the Pakistan Boy scouts on 22nd December, 1947, he said, “We are living in a far from perfect world, despite the progress of civilization, the law of the jungle, unfortunately, still prevails. Might is right and the strong do not refrain form exploiting the weak. Self-advancement, greed and lust for power sway the conduct of individuals as well as that of nations. If we are to build a safer, cleaner and happier world let us start with the individual----catch him young and inculcate in him the scout’s motto of service before self and purity in thought, word and deed. If our young people learn to be friend all, to help other people at all times, subordinate personal interest of the welfare of others. Eschew violence of thought, word and action, I am sanguine that the attainment of universal brotherhood is possible and within our reach”.
The Quaid-i-Azam devotes his attention to the eradication of corruption, bribery, jobbery and nepotism which were inherited into the administration as a legacy from the old regime. He urged the people to fight these social evils. In his very first speech in the constituent Assembly, he declared: “one of the biggest curse from which India is suffering …….is bribery and corruption, that really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand……black-marketing is another curse…….You have to tackle this monster which today is a colossal crime against society, in our distressed conditions…… A citizen who does black-marketing commits, I think, a greater crime than the biggest and most grievous crimes. These black marketers are really knowing, intelligent and ordinarily responsible people, and when they indulge in black marketing. I think they ought to be very severely punished because they undermine the entire system of control and regulation of foodstuffs and essential commodities, and cause wholesale starvation and want and even death……the evils of nepotism and jobbery must be crushed relentlessly”.
The Quaid-i-Azam reminded his people that although they had achieved Pakistan, they must not slacken in their efforts to build and strengthen the new young state. In a broadcast talk from Radio Pakistan, Lahore, on October 30, 1947 the Quaid-i-Azam said “Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation and our sovereign state of Pakistan which, as you know, is not only the biggest Muslim State in the world but the fifth biggest sovereign state in the world. Now is the time, chance and opportunity for every Mussalman to make his or her fullest and best contribution and make the greatest sacrifice and work ceaselessly and selflessly in the service of our nation and make Pakistan one of the greatest nations of the world.
“While the horizon is beset with dark clouds, let me appeal to you and give this message to the people of Pakistan. Create enthusiasm and spirit and go forward with your tasks with courage and hope and we shall do it. Are we down hearted? Certainly not. The history of Islamic replete is full with instances of valour, grit and determination. So march on not withstanding obstructions, confident that a united nation of 70 million people with a grim determination and with a greater civilization and history need for nothing. It is now up to you to work, work and work and we are bound to succeed”.
On another occasion he said,
“If Muslims work ceaselessly with good intentions, honesty and integrity, faith and discipline, if disunity, corruption and nepotism do not creep into their actions, then Insha-Allah they will rank among the greatest nations of the world…..From their countries borders the rays of progress will sprout forth and lead the whole of Asia towards peace and prosperity…….”
About the responsibilities of the Government, the Quaid-i-Azam in his speech at a public meeting on March 21, 1948, at Dacca said:
“The Government can have for its aim only one objective-how to serve the people, how to devise ways and means for their welfare, for their betterment. What other object can the Government have and, remember, now it is in your hands to put the Government in power or remove the Government from power; but you must not do it by mole methods. “You have the power; you must learn how to use it; you must try and understand the machinery. Constitutionally, it is in your hands to upset one Government and put another Government in power if you are dissatisfied to such an extent”.
The Quaid-i-Azam, at a public meeting held in Dacca on March 22, 1948, said that those in East Bengal who throughout in terms of joining the Indian union were living in dreamlands and were the enemies of the state. They were not going to tolerate the enemies of Pakistan, be they Muslim even, he said, and added that they were not going to tolerate fifth columnists and saboteurs and communists in Pakistan. He was confident that the Pakistan Government could take strong measures to deal with them. He said that Pakistan had come to them as result of ten years of struggle and it was for them to save is from the hands of the enemies. They should create among themselves complete unity and solidarity.
The Quaid-i-Azam warned us by telling
“That in our midst there are people financed by foreign agencies who are intent on creating disruption. Their object is to disrupt and sabotage Pakistan. I want you to be on your guard; I want you to be vigilant and not to be taken in by attractive slogans and catchwords….Quite frankly and openly I must tell you that you have got amongst you a few communist and other agents financed by foreign help and if you are not careful, you will be disrupted”.
Again he said,
“Do not fall into the trap of those who are the enemies of Pakistan. Unfortunately, you have fifth columnists…..who are financed by outsiders….. We are not going to tolerate sabotage any more; we are not going to tolerate the enemies of Pakistan; we are not going to tolerate quashing and fifth columnists in our state, and if this is not stopped I am confident that the Pakistan Government will take the strongest measures and deal with them ruthlessly, because they are a poison”.
Addressing to the Bar Association, Karachi, on January 25, 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam said,
“A nation can never make progress unless it marches in one formation. We are all Pakistanis and citizens of the State and we should serve, sacrifice and die for the State so that we make it the most glorious and sovereign state in the world”.
The best tribute which we should pay to our leader is to transform Pakistan into a state of his dreams. This we can do by working hard with missionary zeal, consolidating national unity, guarding our integrity, pursuing the path of social justice and progress and eradicating feudalism, regionalism, illiteracy, and poverty from our society.
Reference: Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah as Governor-General of Pakistan
Author: Iqtidar Karamat Cheema
Publisher: Pakistan Study Centre, University of the Punjab, Lahore. 2006