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Why Was Jinnah’s 11 August Speech Censored In Pakistan?

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“You are free. You are free to go to your temple. You are free to go to your churches, You are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed. That has nothing to do with the business of the state.” Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech to Pakistan’s first Constituent Assembly in which he made it clear that state and religion will be kept separate in Pakistan was censored for years. It was deliberately excluded from our textbooks and the bureaucracy at the time made sure that these words by the Quaid were not telecast or shown anywhere. It says a lot about the state of affairs in a country when its founder’s words are censored and concealed in this manner.

So why did the authorities at the time decide to keep people in dark about Jinnah’s views pertaining to the relation between state and religion?  The purpose of those who practiced this censorship was clear: they wanted Pakistan to become an authoritative nation state where religion is used as a tool by governments to keep themselves in power. An insecure state which can use this religiosity as a weapon to justify its undemocratic steps.

This systematic censorship of such an important speech about the foundation of Pakistan affected how successive governments formed their policies. Religious minorities were sidelined time and again. The elements who had opposed the creation of Pakistan appeared to have hijacked the country after its formation. Unfortunately, Pakistan continued to mistreat its minority citizens and our state allowed this injustice to take place. Even today, any effort towards reclaiming Jinnah’s Pakistan is met with fatwas and allegations of peddling ‘anti-Islam’ agenda. It is deeply saddening that we have forgotten that Jinnah wanted a Pakistan where all religious minorities had the freedom to practice their beliefs. Today as Pakistan celebrates National Minorities Day, ask yourself if our religious minorities are able to practice their beliefs without the fear of being killed. We have failed our minorities. We have lost Jinnah’s Pakistan.

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5 Comments

  1. Bashy Quraishy August 11, 2020

    Quaid wanted a secular state, but with Islamic principles. The reason is that a true Islamic state is not a theocratic state.

    Quaid not only talked about his non-religious vision of Pakistan on 11th August 1947 but he repeated it on other occasions, for example: speaking to Parsi gathering in Karachi in February 1948, on 22nd March 1948, when he met with Hindu Legislators, on 23rd March 1948 in a meeting with the ‘Scheduled Caste Federation and speaking to Quetta Parsis in June 1948.

    The best speech, in my opinion is his broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan recorded February 1948, Quaid said; “Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims – Hindus, Christians, and Parsis – but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens
    and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan”.

    Reply
  2. Muhammad talha August 11, 2020

    I am quite agree with each word’s of the Author
    The truth is bitter as usual. we really lost the jinah’s pakistan even his ideology. Our minorities are not safe here i always see the fear in their eyes. Neither they practice their beliefs nor to raise the voice againts humans violation of religious goons unfortunately.

    Reply
  3. Muhammad talha August 11, 2020

    Minorities are snatched the expression of opinion and the freedom of speech as well by some extremist so called religious goons. There is fear in their hearts.

    Reply
  4. Ahmed August 12, 2020

    Dear Bushray,

    You say he wanted a secular state with Islamic principles. It cannot be like this. It’s an oxymoron. Like a loud silence, black whiteness , liberal Muslim etc

    Reply
  5. Javed Ahmad August 12, 2020

    If you read Quran Majeed with understanding, you would find Ayat 8 in Surah 60, which states about non-Muslims:
    “Allah does not forbid you to be good to them and treat them
    with equity and justice who did not fight against you on
    (the question of) Din (Religion), nor did they drive you out of
    your homes (i.e. homeland). Surely Allah likes
    those who conduct themselves with equity and justice.”

    So what Quaid Azam said was exacltly what Allah says.

    Reply

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