Two-Nation Theory” refers to the thesis that Hindus and Muslims in India were two distinct communities that could not coexist within a single state without dominating and discriminating against each other or without constant conflict; it resulted in the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan.

I, personally, agree that Jinnah's theory was not perfect. I read some books. Many anti-Jinnah writers and politicians present their criticism of the Two Nation Theory.

For example, in the autobiography of Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad (India Wins Freedom, 1959), he writes:

Let us consider dispassionately the consequences which will follow if we give effect to the Pakistan scheme. India will be divided into two States, one with a majority of Muslims and the other of Hindus. In the Hindustan State, there will remain three and a half crores of Muslims scattered in small minorities all over the land. With 17 per cent in U.P, 12 per cent in Bihar and 9 per cent in Madras, they will be weaker than they are today in the Hindu majority provinces. They have had their homelands in these regions for almost a thousand years and built up well-known centres of Muslim culture and civilisation there. They will awaken overnight and discover that they have become aliens and foreigners. Backward industrially, educationally, and economically, they will be left to the mercies of what would become an unadulterated Hindu raj.

Some writers wrote books on the horrors of the partition while trying to give an impression that the partition was totally a wrong idea, with an implicit indication that Jinna's theory was totally wrong.

The Composite Nationalism theory was proposed in 1906. However, ironically enough, its progenitor, Bipin Chandra Paul, opposed the partition of Bengal, which was in favor of Muslim interests. Also, this theory proved to be invalid because of the aftermath of the 1937 elections.

Hundreds of people opposed the partition and the two-nation theory. However, none of them seemed to address the practical problems faced by Muslims after the 1937 elections.

Pages 28-31 of the book Emergence of Pakistan, written by Chowdhury Muhammad Ali in 1967 (later reproduced by Sani h. Panhwar in 2019), listed nine points to show how bad the prevailing situation for Indian Muslims was just after the 1937 provincial election.

(1) Congress's somersaulting in forming a consensus cabinet: Before the promulgation of the "Government of India Act" in 1935, the Round Table Discussions of 1930–1932 saw Muslims demanding a formal law to include Muslim representatives in various provincial ministries. Hindu leaders and British representatives generally accepted it, and Muslims were also reassured by it. The Muslims hoped that the provincial governments would have a consensual cabinet made up of trusted members of the Muslim community.

After winning the election, the Congress did a complete reverse. In the provinces with a single majority, they decided not to join the Muslim League. For example, in the largest state, the United Provinces, the Congress leaders stipulated the inclusion of Muslim League members in the Cabinet on the condition that the Muslim League group could not exist as a separate group in the coalition, and that the existing members of the Muslim League in the Assembly in the United Provinces must join the Congress party. " They decided to remain in the opposition as the Muslim League would cease to exist if the proposal was accepted, thereby foiling all hopes of cooperation between the Congress and the Muslim League.

(2) Sabotage of the Muslim League by Congress: In the provinces where the Congress did not get a majority, they started sabotaging them – dividing the Muslim League members who won the elections and trying to form a Hindu-dominated government. For example, in Assam and Sindh, this demonization of Congress succeeded. Sir Syed Sadullah's cabinet collapsed in Assam, and a Congress-led Hindu-Muslim coalition government was formed in Sindh.

(3) Hindu control over Congress: It is true that there were several Muslims in the Congress, notably Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (who was leading the Ulama) and Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the leader of the North-West Frontier Province. However, this did not change the Hindu character of the Congress. For example, in 1936, out of 143 members of the All India Congress Committee, only six were Muslims—three from the North-West Frontier Province, one from the United Provinces, and one from Bihar—the sixth was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

(4) Dominance of one party: From the beginning, the Congress claimed that it represented all Indians, regardless of whether they were Hindus or Muslims. After winning the elections with a landslide victory, the Congress leaders started promoting the Congress as the only national party and denying the existence of all other political parties. In fact, it was just a cynical attempt to establish themselves as the sole inheritors of the power left by the British.

(5) Official imposition of Hinduism on Muslims: Muslims are denied equal opportunity and a fair place in administration. Various symbols of the Hindu Raj and Hindu culture were adopted as symbols of government institutions. The Vidya Mandir system was introduced to spread Hindu-style education. Urdu schools are closed or merged with Hindi schools. Classes began with saluting the Congress flag, singing a notorious anti-Muslim song called "Vande Mataram," and worshiping Gandhi's portrait—which are religiously abhorrent acts for Muslims. Taking proactive measures to protect cows has resulted in a severe economic blow to poor Muslims. Muslims were forced to submit to a situation that was previously unknown to Muslims.

(6) Somersault in the question of the national language: Early on, Gandhi, an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity, often openly stated that Urdu and Hindi were actually the same language—Hindustani—which could equally well be written in both Persian and Devanagari scripts. At that time, he himself learned the Urdu script and advised everyone to learn both scripts as well.

Now he has changed his statement. He began by saying that Urdu is the religious language of Muslims and Hindi, or Hindustani, is the national language of Indians as it is written in the script of the Koran. As a result, official patronage of Hindi began and a concerted effort was undertaken to replace Urdu with Hindi. Eventually, it came to the point that the word Hindustani was also dropped, and Hindi was given the status of the national language.

(to be continued...)

How did the critics of Jinnah's two-nation theory and the critics of the partition of India want to address the problems of the Muslims which they were facing after 1937 as listed in the book written by Chowdhury Muhammad Ali?

Did they propose any alternative theory to addess the issues faced by Muslims? Did they propose any special provisions in the constitution to address the issues faced by Muslims? Did they ignore the problems of Muslims mentioned in the book, considering them not real problems?

  • 2
    Have you read over en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_the_partition_of_India, and if so, why does that not answer the question? In particular, Composite Nationalisim, mentioned in the second sentence of that Wikipedia page, seems like its exactly what you're asking for.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 3, 2022 at 23:45
  • 1
    I'm confused. One of the questions here was "Did they propose any alternative theory?" Neither link answers that? Why not?
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 3, 2022 at 23:50
  • 1
    If you don't consider anything that doesn't do that to count, you should edit the question to say so.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 3, 2022 at 23:55
  • 3
    @user366312 I feel there is a disconnect between the question title and what the question is actually asking. The question seems to be asking specifically about "nine points" of grievance without specifying what they are, and it would be helpful to remedy that. Also, please clarify whether these nine points were raised prior to debate about a future Indian constitution and the subsequent partition of India (so presumably in the decade between 1937 elections and 1947 partition) and by whom.
    – njuffa
    Sep 4, 2022 at 1:41
  • @Fizz, can you answer this?
    – user56109
    Sep 23, 2022 at 2:44


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.