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The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

 

After the arrival of the British in the sub-continent, their educational, technical and administrative supremacy outplayed the intellectual depth, political vision and administrative capabilities of the Muslim religious leaders. For centuries, the religious scholars had closed the paths of human possibilities by putting a lock of heavenly revelations on knowledge, governance and distribution of resources. The changes rekindled the desire of renaissance of their pomp and retinue in the past among the religious leaders. The arrival of the European colonialists destroyed the interests of the local peshwas. As a result of the scientific discoveries and inventions, the hold of the religious leaders on the people's mind loosened. The religious peshwas tried to reclaim their hold and influence by criticising the industrial civilisation with the interpretations and representations of historical facts. The military, political and administrative success of the European invaders was indebted to the modern way of thinking and scientific approach. Therefore, the religious leaders reacted against the modernity. -- Wajahat Masood