Analyze the factors that gradually influenced the emergence of the Two Nation theory in pre independence India which led to the birth of Pakistan as a sovereign state. Has this theory been vindicated in the past seventy years?

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Pakistan’s Foreign Relations
Analyze the factors that gradually influenced the emergence of the Two Nation theory in pre independence India which led to the birth of Pakistan as a sovereign state.  Has this theory been vindicated in the past seventy years?
Pakistan is a nation with a strong will to survive. Ever since its conception, it has faced political upheavals, endured military dictatorships, ethnic discord and has been scarred by religious extremism. The very heart of its creation lies in the ideological backing of Islam, seeking independence from a Hindu dominated India. The two nation theory, philosophically expounded by Iqbal simply meant that Muslims were a separate nation from Hindus based on stark religious differences despite the ethnic or linguistic commonalities. The theory became the basis of the Pakistan Movement and was transformed into a political and social reality by Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s struggle to unite Muslims in the four provinces that constitute Pakistan today, as well as the far eastern region of Bengal. Jinnah called this movement ‘the self awakening of Muslims’ in the subcontinent. However, seventy years from independence, the group nationalism which resulted in Pakistan has watered down to ethnic dissimilarities, movements for separate provincial states and political decay which has ‘damned Pakistan to a perpetual identity crisis which continued to sap its validity.’ (Hamdani, 14) As Ayesha Jalal writes in her book The Struggle for Pakistan, “Pakistan’s tumultuous history exhibits a daunting combination of contradictory factors that must affect any decisions made about its future. More than six and a half decades since its establishment, Pakistan has yet to reconcile its self-proclaimed Islamic identity with the imperatives of a modern nation-state.”(Preville & Poucher, 3) This then begs the question, is the two nation theory even valid today or does it provide the ideological backing that led to emergence of Pakistan?  This essay seeks to explore the background the factors that resulted in the formation of a sovereign Pakistan, the historical context and attempts to analyze its validity in light of past and recent events to form a conclusion.
Historical Background
Self Awakening of the Muslims with the development of irreconcilable differences with Hindus
Hindus and Muslims had co-existed in peace for centuries but with the arrival of British into the subcontinent in 1857 the discrepancy in status of Muslims and Hindus widened and gave rise to socio-economic, political, educational and nationalistic differences on top of the existing cultural, religious, linguistic disparities. Al-Beruni recorded his ideas in 1001 A.D in his famous book "Kitab-ul-Hind" as, "The Hindus 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."
Religion stood as the basic pillar of difference between Hindus and Muslims. Islam preached Tawheed (Oneness of Allah), belief in the Prophet (PBUH) and resorted to Quran to approach a cohesive way of life. On the contrary, Hinduism conformed to the practice of worshipping many gods and their society followed a caste system to form divisions among classes. This religious divide sowed the seeds of mistrust between the two communities from the beginning. Cultural differences such as performing suttee and burning the bodies amongst Hindus were very different from the Muslim practice of burying their dead, who abhorred the tradition of suttee, and scarified cow which was considered sacred and holy amongst the Hindus.  The Muslim and Hindu way of life, from their clothes, utensils, outlay of homes, salutation and gestures varied greatly making the distinction between the two markedly clear. Moreover, since 1857 the Muslims were crushed economically and all trade policies that were formed disfavored them since the British held the Muslims responsible for the Indian mutiny. They were thrown out of government services and properties confiscated, while the Hindus were given ample chances of progressing economically. William Hunter observes the position of the Muslims in the public services in these words, "All sorts of employments great and small are being gradually snatched away from Mohammadans and bestowed on men of other races particularly the Hindus." According to another survey in 1871 out of a total of 2141 persons employed by the Bengal Government there were only 92 Muslims, 711 Hindus and 1338 Europeans. (Downfall of Muslim rule, Chapter 5) As the position of the Hinuds became stronger in the subcontinent, so did their domination over Muslims and their claim to superiority. This was witnessed when Hindus demanded Urdu to be written in Hindi script instead of Persian script and in the formation of Congress in 1885 which greatly oppressed the Muslims. The political and economic differences especially aggravated the Muslims is Punjab and Bengal who later supported Jinnah in his struggle to achieve a separate nation state for Muslims.
Jinnah’s ideology on achieving Pakistan

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Jinnah, initially a staunch supporter of the Hindu-Muslim unity gradually became disillusioned with the idea of Hindus recognizing Muslims as a separate entity who were entitled to rights and position in a secular India, used this factor to rally around the cause for a nation state. Jinnah’s explained the importance of a sovereign Pakistan in All India Muslim League presidential address delivered in Lahore, on March 22, 1940, he said, “It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, ...

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