Two-nation theory

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Map of British India, of 1909, showing the different religions: Hundus are shown in red, Muslims are shown in green. The states of Pakistan and Bangladesh were created from parts of the areas shown in green.

The two-nation theory was the basis for the partition of India in 1947. This theory supported the proposal that Muslims and non-Muslims should be two separate nations. It is the ideology that the main identity and unifying aspect of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent is their religion, rather than their language or ethnicity.[1][2]

The term two-nation theory was first used by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan due to the Hindu-Urdu Controversy in 1867. It was a founding principle of the Pakistan Movement, and the partition of India in 1947. The ideology that religion is the main factor in defining the nationality of Indian Muslims was used by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He called it 'the awakening of Muslims for the creation of Pakistan'.[3] It is also a source of inspiration to several Hindu nationalist organizations.[4][5]

Reference of two nation theory[change | change source]

  1. Robin W. Winks, Alaine M. Low (2001). The Oxford history of the British Empire: Historiography. ISBN 978-0-19-924680-9. At the heart of the two-nation theory was the belief that the Indian Muslims' identity was defined by religion rather than language or ethnicity ...
  2. Liaquat Ali Khan (1940). Pakistan: The Heart of Asia. Thacker & Co. Ltd. ... There is much in the Musalmans which, if they wish, can roll them into a nation. But isn't there enough that is common to both Hindus and Muslims, which if developed, is capable of molding them into one people? Nobody can deny that there are many modes, manners, rites and customs which are common to both. Nobody can deny that there are rites, customs and usages based on religion which do divide Hindus and Muslmans. The question is, which of these should be emphasized ...
  3. Conor Cruise O'Brien (August 1998). "Holy War Against India". The Atlantic. Islam and Hinduism are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but in fact different and distinct social orders, and it is only a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality.... To yoke together two such nations under a single state ... must lead to a growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state
  4. Economic and political weekly, Volume 14, Part 3, Sameeksha Trust, 1979, ... the Muslims are not Indians but foreigners or temporary guests - without any loyalty to the country or its cultural heritage - and should be driven out of the country ...
  5. M. M. Sankhdher, K. K. Wadhwa (1991), National unity and religious minorities, Gitanjali Publishing House, ISBN 978-81-85060-36-1, ... In their heart of hearts, the Indian Muslims are not Indian citizens, are not Indians: they are citizens of the universal Islamic ummah, of Islamdom ...