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Two Nation Theory

Two Nation Theory

Meaning of Two Nation Theory

The Two Nation theory in its simplest way, means the cultural, political, religious, economic and social dissimilarities between the two major communities, Hindus and Muslims of the Sub Continent. These differences of out look, in fact, were greatly instrumental in giving rise to two distinct political ideologies which were responsible for the partition of India into two independent states.

The Basis of the Creation of Pakistan

The Two nation Theory was the basis of the struggle for creation of Pakistan which held that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations. They in spite of living together for centuries could not forget their individual culture s and civilization. Al - Beruni recorded his ideas in 1001 A.D in his famous book “Kitab-ul-Hind” as:

“The Hindu society maintained this peculiar character over the centuries. The two societies, Hindus and Muslims, like two streams have sometimes touched but never merged, each following its separate course.”

There are a few factors which split the inhabitants of the Sub Continent into two nations. Let us examine each of them separately.

1.    Religious Differences

The Hindus and Muslims belong to different religions. Islam preaches Tawheed (oneness of Allah) and believes in equality of man before law. Muslims are the believers of God, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), the Holy book Quran and hold a cohesive approach towards life.

Hinduism, on the other hand is based on the concept of multiple Gods. Their society follows a caste system and is divided into four classes and have a very narrow approach towards life.

2.    Hindu Nationalism

A number of Hindu nationalist movements, which emerged from time to time in the Indian history, added fuel to the fire by playing up the tension and antagonism which already existed between the two communities.

The Hindu nationalist leaders totally ignored the great contribution made by the Muslims in the Indian society by way of promoting education and other social activities. Their writings and ideas flared up the communal discord between Hindus and Muslims to further pollute the political condition.

3.    Cultural Differences

Muslim followed the Islamic culture while Hindus inherited a self build culture. The Hindus burnt their dead bodies while Muslims burred them. Hindus considered the ‘Mother cow’ as a sacred animal and worshipped it while Muslims slaughtered it. They performed ‘Sati’ while Muslims abhorred this tradition. The Hindus and Muslims do not intermarry nor they inter-dine.

4.    Social differences

The  two communities of the Sub Continent differ in their social life as well. The clothes, the foods, the household utensils, the layout of homes, the words of salutation, the gestures and every thing about them was different and immediately pointed to their distinctive origin.

5.    Economic Differences

After 1857, the Muslim economic was crushed and all trade policies were framed in such a way so as to detriment the Muslim condition. They were thrown out of Government services and the their estates and properties were confiscated, while the Hindus were provided with ample opportunities to progress economically.

6.    Educational Differences

The Hindus had advanced in the educational field because they quickly and readily took to the English education. While Muslims did not receive modern education which heavily affected their economic conditions.

7.    Political Differences

The political differences between the Hindus and Muslims have played an important role in the development and evolution of Two Nation Theory.

(i) Hindi Urdu Controversy

In 1867, Hindus demanded that Urdu should be written in Hindi Script instead of Persian Script. This created another gap between Hindus and Muslims.

(ii) Congress Attitude

The Indian national Congress was founded in 1885. It claimed to represent all communities of India but oppressed all Muslim ideas and supported the Hindus.

(iii) Partition of Bengal

In 1905, the partition of Bengal ensured a number of political benefits for the Muslims, but the Hindus launched an agitation against the partition and partition was annulled in 1911.

8.    Language

The Muslim and Hindus wrote  and spoke two different languages. The language of the former was Urdu and it was written in Arabic Script. On the other hand, the Hindi language was spoken by Hindus and it was written in Sanskrit. Urdu and Hindi language had the difference in writing, thoughts of poetry, arts, painting and words of music. Even this small difference lead to a stirring conflict between the two nations.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan – The Pioneer of Two Nation Theory

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the pioneer of two nation theory, used the word ‘two nation’ for Hindus and Muslims after being convinced of the Hindus and Congress hatred, hostility and prejudice for the Muslims.

The entire freedom movement revolved around the two nation theory which was introduced by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. He considered all those lived in India as one nation and was a great advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. Speaking at the meeting of Indian Association he said:

“I look to both Hindus and Muslims with the same eyes and consider them as my own eyes. By the word ‘Nation’ I mean only Hindus and Muslims and nothing else. We, Hindus and Muslims live together on the same soil under the  same government. Our interests and problems are common, and therefore, I consider the two factions as one nation.”

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan did his best to make the Muslims realize their differences with the Hindus with regard to religions, social and language, rational and international identity and for this purpose he diverted attention of the Indian Muslims towards a new idea of “Two Nation” or “Two entities.”

After Hindi-Urdu controversy Sir Syed felt that it was not possible for Hindus and Muslims to progress as a single nation. He said:

“I am convinced now that Hindus and Muslims could never become one nation as their religion and way of life was quite  distinct from each other.”

Two Nation Theory in the View of Allama Iqbal

Allama Iqbal was the first important figure who propounded the idea of separate homeland on the  basis of two nation theory. He firmly believed in the  separate identity of the Muslims as a nation and suggested that there would be no possibility of peace in the country unless and until they were recognized as a nation. In the annual session of Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930, he said:

“India is a continent of human beings belonging to different languages and professing different religions… I, therefore, demand the formation of a consolidated Muslim state in th e best int e rests of the Muslims of India and Islam.”

Quaid-e-Azam’s Statement on Two Nation Theory

The most clear and emphatic exposition is found in Jinnah’s statement and speeches. He expounded the two nation theory in such detail that most Muslims and even some Hindus came to believe in its truth. He declared:

“Muslims are not a minority, they are one nation by every definition of the  word nation. By all canons of international law we are a nation.”

Quaid-e-Azam reiterated that Hindus and Muslims could ever evolve a common nationality was an idle dream. They are a totally different nation. They have an unbridgeable gulf between them and they stand miles apart in regards to their ideals, culture and religion.

In 1973, he said:

“Hindustan is neither one country, nor its inhabitants one nation. This is Sub Continent which consist of many nations of which the Hindus and Muslims are two major nations.”


The Muslims apprehended that they would lose their identity if they remained a part of Hindu society. They also came to realize the above mentioned differences between them and the Hindus and hence demanded separate electorate on the ground that they were different nation from Hindus.

Hence it is right to say that this theory i.e two nation theory is the  basis of the  creation of Pakistan because without this as a base, Pakistan would not come into being on 14th August, 1947, and we would not be breathing freely in this open air of Pakistan.


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