Iqbal’s vision of Pakistan
His concept was far bigger than it's perceived to be
Iqbal was a poet-philosopher of 20th century. The political creed of Iqbal was determined by the spirit of Islam. He was born at a time when Muslims of Sub-continent had been overpowered by the stormy forces of the world. The Muslim political power was declining and the conflict between the Western and Eastern civilizations had created unforeseen and serious problems for the Muslim world. Iqbal was very sympathetic towards the Muslim community of the sub-continent that is evident from his presidential address which he delivered at the Allahabad session (Dec. 1930) of the All-India Muslim league. He discussed the political problems of Muslims in India and suggests their solution. Some of the poet’s statements are, in a sense, historic. IqbaI was not despaired of Islam as a living force for freeing the outlook of man from its geographical limitations. He believed that religion is a power of abiding importance in the life of individuals as well as states; Allama Iqbal played the most significant role in shaping the destiny of Muslims in South Asia. In the perspective of the general Muslim decline in the subcontinent for over two centuries, for nearly a century the achievements and ideals of Iqbal represent a climax in the growth of Pakistan as national consciousness.
The concept of Pakistan was, therefore, not merely a dream for Iqbal, but the application of his principles to the social realities of South Asia. It is in the context of this universal framework that Iqbal's role in directing the course of history in South Asia should be evaluated. His clarion call to the Muslims of this subcontinent to awaken to the injustices done to them and to struggle for an independent homeland of their own formed a part of his total vision. I could therefore say that Iqbal is of great relevance to Pakistan in their struggle to consolidate their State on the basis of principles enunciated by him. He is of equal relevance to the world as a whole because it continues to be plagued by the destructive forces he has so clearly identified in his works.
Allama Iqbal explained also that the idea of a separate Muslim state need not alarm the Hindu community. He felt that the life of Islam as a cultural force in this country very largely depended on its centralization in specified territory, and he held out the assurance that thus possessing full opportunity of development within the body-politics of India. The claims of the Indian Congress to stand for the people of India as a whole have always been repudiated by Muslims. Some of the Congress leaders of the left wing believe in the total suppression of the cultural entities of the country through the interaction of which India can evolve as a rich and enduring culture. The political atmosphere of India has been tense with suspicion all these years, and Iqbal was far-sighted enough to look through the political mist. He reminded Muslims in India that the unity of religion and politics was one of the vital dictates of Islam. He did not only desire the revival of Islamic society, but had also in mind the creation of a true Islamic state with its typical politico-economic system which was the greatest need of the time, as the Islamic states were drifting towards Western political ideology for the mere lack of economic support. The fulfillment of such a dream primarily depends on the unity of Islamic nations which is of the utmost importance in the circumstances.
Iqbal was thus inspired by a vision of a world-wide Islamic state of unified Muslim millat, no longer divided by racial or territorial considerations. He thinks that racial or territorial considerations are the root cause of disruption in humanity, dissensions between nations and nations, and hostilities between one state and another. Iqbal thus believed that Islam remains central to the concept of Pakistani nationalism. Through its ideological orientation Pakistan has presented a new concept to the world: ideological nationalism. And the measure of Pakistan’s progress will be a measure of the soundness of this concept.
(Ajaz Lone is the Research Scholar in Iqbal Institute of Culture and Philosophy, University of Kashmir. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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