“I would like to see the Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British empire, or without the British empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India”.

This statement was the essence of the historical Allahabad address that laid the foundation of the present-day Pakistan. Though the idea of separate Muslim nationalism was “originated the day the first Indian national entered the field of Islam”, as explicated by Muhammad Ali Jinnah; Allama Iqbal was the first who gave it a territorial shape. The idea of separatism based upon nationalism, which culminated in the formation of Pakistan in 1947, was first coined by Allama Iqbal in 1930.

Prior to Iqbal’s address of 1930, the idea of Muslim nationalism was only confined to separate electorate within the Indian whole. The system of communal representation gained its roots from the proposals put forward by a delegation of 35 eminent Muslim leaders who met the Indian viceroy at Shimla in 1905. Based upon the recommendations of Shimla deputation, the Muslim demand of separate electorate was given constitutional status in Minto-Morely reforms of 1909. In the subsequent years, AIML shared the joint struggle for independence and didn’t go beyond the popular demand of self-government in India. It was only in 1930s, when the idea of separatism was conceptualised by Iqbal and nurtured firmly by the resistive forces beefed up by Congress ministries (1937-39). The ultimate manifestation of Iqbal’s idea of separatism was the famous Lahore Resolution where, according to Dr. I.H Qureshi, All India Muslim League made partition as its final goal.

At present, when the conspirators are deeply aimed at the erosion of our ideological values, we need to be argus-eyed. Recently, certain media outlets fanned the notion that Allama Iqbal was a mere interpreter rather than a real poet and philosopher. They sought those references from his poetry which resemble the verses of other poets, especially of Khushal Khan Khattak’s poetry. The language, which is used by these outlets, clearly depicts their prejudice. In an attempt to help dispelled the imputations levelled against Iqbal, here are certain things that need to be clarified.

Mimesis is a Greek word that means imitation. Aristotle regarded mimesis as one of the instincts of human nature which is embedded in man from childhood. According to his view; poetry, comedy, dancing, painting, music of the lyre and of the flute, are all in their general conception different modes of mimesis. He further says that, like the other artists, a poet must imitate one of the three objects—things as they are or were, things as they are said or thought to be, or things as they ought to be. He says that a poet starts by imitation, but develops pleasure and interest by creating excellent characters and plot lines.

Based upon this discussion, it can be stated that a single man cannot be an entire art in his own. It is necessary for every artist to seek assistance from the work that is done previously in his field. Einstein, a name used idiomatically even for today’s geniuses, postulated his famous “Theory of Special Relativity” based upon the results of Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887. Michelson, while working on his interferometer, suffered a nervous breakdown in 1885; such was his struggle for his purpose. Einstein took Michelson’s work a step further and led to a revolution in the field of physics. Similarly, Einstein’s second famous “Theory of General Relativity” took its roots from the Law of Gravitation which was put forward by Issac Newton.

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In similar fashion, Allama Iqbal brought revolutionary ideas to Urdu. It is true that some of his verses (very few) match those of other poets, especially of Pashto. This parallelism is just natural and is necessary for the development of any language.

The real agenda behind this propaganda is the defamation of the spiritual founder of Pakistan. It should be kept in mind that Iqbal’s struggle for Pakistan is more important to us than his poetry for the entire Muslim world. The conspirators, nowadays, leave no stone unturned to attack our ideological values – from spreading hostile propagandas against our freedom figures to renaming of historical places. Recently, the Indian government has renamed Allahabad to Prayagraj on the pretext that it has just restored the old name of the city. “Today, the government has remediated the mistake made by Akbar,” a BJP spokesperson said.

If the case is really so; then when will the Indian government rename all those cities and towns named after the Muslim rulers of India. It has been reported by Indian Express that about 700 cities and towns in India are named after the Great Mughals (first six Mughal rulers), with 251 namesakes of Akbar. Among the mentioned cities and towns, 392 are located in Uttar Pradesh alone. The unilateral renaming of Allahabad shows the Indian prejudice towards our ideology.

In the present scenario, when different hostile groups are solely aimed at our ideology and national interests, we must ignore these propagandas and stand united as our ideology teaches us.


The writer is a freelance columnist.