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By Venkat Dhulipala

This booklet examines how the assumption of Pakistan used to be articulated and debated within the public sphere and the way renowned enthusiasm was once generated for its winning fulfillment, specially within the an important province of UP (now Uttar Pradesh) within the final decade of British colonial rule in India. It argues that Pakistan was once no longer a easily a imprecise concept that serendipitously emerged as a countryside, yet used to be popularly imagined as a sovereign Islamic country, a brand new Medina, as a few referred to as it. during this regard, it used to be envisaged because the harbinger of Islam's renewal and upward thrust within the 20th century, the recent chief and protector of the worldwide group of Muslims, and a important successor to the defunct Turkish Caliphate. The publication additionally in particular foregrounds the severe function performed by means of Deobandi ulama in articulating this imagined nationwide neighborhood with an expertise of Pakistan's international old importance.

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Between Jinnah and Toba Tek Singh: Rethinking the Struggle for Pakistan in Late-Colonial North India The assumption that Pakistan remained an extraordinarily vague idea begs the question as to whether Muslims across India simply rallied behind 42 43 44 David Gilmartin, ‘Partition, Pakistan and South Asian History: In Search of a Narrative’, Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 4 (November 1998), 1068–95. , 1071; also see David Gilmartin, Empire and Islam: Punjab and the Making of Pakistan (Berkeley, 1988).

Fazl-i-Husain signalled his aversion to the creation of an all India Muslim communal party that would centrally nominate candidates for these provincial elections. This constituted interference by ‘busybodies’ from the outside that he felt would disturb delicate local political alliances and power sharing agreements he had forged with Hindu and Sikh groups in Punjab. Thus, while opening his party office in Lahore on the eve of the elections, he declared that the Unionist Party was a ‘non-communal party that stood for self-respect and patriotism but eschewed racial animus or malice of any kind’.

It is in this scenario that he formed his Unionist Party, a loose cross-communal combination led by Muslims, with Hindu Jat and Sikh landed elites as allies. Riding on the support of a predominantly rural electorate that was sharply limited by income and property 10 11 Ayesha Jalal and Anil Seal, ‘Alternative to Partition: Muslim Politics between the Wars’, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 15, No. 3 (1981), 415–54. Fazl-i-Husain quit the Congress in the early 1920s in protest against Gandhi’s policy of extra-constitutional agitation outside the legislatures as part of his efforts to overthrow colonial rule.

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