Words of wisdom and foresight spoken by Quaid in 1948 that were not heeded by us. He spoke of his love for the East Pakistan brethren and then warned of the evil designs being prepared by enemies within and outside the republic. Sadly, we fell prey to those despicable and nefarious efforts; but his words have a message, an insight, a passion that still holds true for us, both as we look back in history and forward towards the future. Recognize our failings, recognize our true enemies and hold true to the universal message of Islam that binds us in one fraternity.
India was busy in its machinations from before the partition and is still busy in trying to strip muslims of their freedom. Sadly, it is our own divisions be they regional, linguistic, sectarian … that are exploited by our enemies. Learn from Islam, Learn from History and we will emerge triumphant and all evil designs — to destroy our homes which we liberated after countless sacrifices (which continue even to this day) — will be foiled.
Excerpts from Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s public speech in Dhaka on March 21, 1948.
See full text here NATIONAL CONSOLIDATION
I am grateful to the people of this province and, through you Mr. Chairman of the Reception Committee, to the people of Dhaka, for the great welcome that they have accorded to me. I need hardly say that it gives me the greatest pleasure to visit East Bengal. East Bengal is the most important component of Pakistan, inhabited as it is by the largest single bloc of Muslims in the world.
Our enemies had hoped to kill Pakistan at its inception. Pakistan has, on the contrary, arisen triumphant and stronger than ever. It has come to stay, and play its great role for which it is destined.
Let me at once assure you that my government attaches the greatest importance to these matters and is anxiously and constantly engaged in ensuring that Eastern Pakistan attains it full stature with the maximum of speed. Of the martial powers of the people of this province, history provides ample evidence and as you are aware, Government has already taken energetic steps to provide facilities for the training of the youth of this province both in the regular Armed Forces and as volunteers in the Pakistan National Guards. You may rest assured that the fullest provision shall be made for enabling the youth of this province to play its part in the defense of this State.
In this latter respect, much credit is due also to the people of this province, in particular to the members of the majority community, who showed exemplary calm and determination to maintain peace despite the great provocation afforded by the massacre and oppression of the Muslims in the Indian Dominion in the months immediately after partition. Despite those horrible happenings, some forty thousand processions were taken out by the Hindu community during the last Puja in this province without a single instance of the breach of peace, and without any molestation from the Muslims of this province.
Any impartial observer will agree with me that throughout these troubles the minorities were looked after and protected in Pakistan better than anywhere else in India. You will agree that Pakistan was able to keep peace and maintain law and order; and let me tell you that the minorities not only here in Dhaka but throughout Pakistan are more secure, more safe than anywhere else. We have made it clear that the Pakistan Government will not allow peace to be disturbed; Pakistan will maintain law and order at any cost; and it will not allow any kind of mob rule. It is necessary to draw attention to these facts, namely, the building up of an orderly administration, the averting of an imminent famine and the maintenance of the supply of food to some forty million people in this province at a time of overall food shortage and serious administrative difficulties, and the maintenance of peace, because there is a tendency to ignore these achievements of the Government and to take these things for granted.
now it is in your hands to put the Government in power or remove the Government from power; but you must not do it by mob methods. You have the power; you must learn the art to use it; you must try and understand the machinery. Constitutionally, it is in your hands to upset one Government and put another Government in power if you are dissatisfied to such an extent.
Therefore, the whole thing is in your hands, but I advise you strongly to have patience and to support the men who are at the help of your Government, sympathize with them, try and understand their troubles and their difficulties just as they should try and understand your grievances and complaints and sufferings. It is by that co-operation and that good spirit and goodwill that you will be able not only to preserve Pakistan, which we have achieved but also, make it a great State in the world. Are you now, after having achieved Pakistan, going to destroy it by your own folly? Do you want to build it up? Well then for that purpose there is one essential condition, and it is this complete unity and solidarity amongst ourselves.
But I want to tell you that in our midst there are people financed by foreign agencies who are intent on creating disruption. Their object is to disrupt and sabotage Pakistan. I want you to be on your guard; I want you to be vigilant and not to be taken in by attractive slogans and catchwords. They say that Pakistan Government and the East Bengal Government are out to destroy your language. A bigger falsehood was never uttered by a man. Quite frankly and openly I must tell you that you have got amongst you a few communists and other agents financed by foreign help and if you are not careful, you will be disrupted. The idea that East Bengal should be brought back into the Indian Union is not given up, and it is their aim yet, and I am confident –I am not afraid, but it is better to be vigilant –that those people who still dream of getting back East Bengal into the Indian Union are living in a dream-land.
Let me take this opportunity of repeating what I have already said: we shall treat the minorities in Pakistan fairly and justly. Their lives and property in Pakistan are far more secure and protected than in India and we shall maintain peace, law and order and protect and safeguard fully every citizen of Pakistan without distinction of caste, creed or community.
So far so good. Let me now turn to some of the less satisfactory features of the conditions in this province. There is a certain feeling, I am told, in some parts of this province, against non-Bengali Muslims. There has also lately been a certain amount of excitement over the question whether Bengali or Urdu shall be the State language of this province and of Pakistan. In this latter connection, I hear that some discreditable attempts have been made by political opportunities to make a tool of the student community in Dhaka to embarrass the administration.
My young friends, students who are present here, Let me tell you as one who has always had love and affection for you, who has served you for ten years faithfully and loyally, let me give you this word of warning: you will be making the greatest mistake if you allow yourself to be exploited by one political party or another. Remember, there has been a revolutionary change. It is our own Government. We are a free, independent and sovereign State. Let us behave and regulate our affairs as free men; we are not suppressed and oppressed under the regime of a foreign domination; we have broken those chains, we have thrown off those shackles. My young friends, I look forward to you as the real makers of Pakistan, do not be exploited and do not be misled. Create amongst yourselves complete unity and solidarity. Set an example of what youth can do. Your main occupation should be –in fairness to yourself, in fairness to your parents, in fairness to the State to devote your attention to your studies. If you fritter away your energies now, you will always regret. After you leave the portals of your universities and colleges taken you, can play your part freely and help yourself and the State. Let me warn you in the clearest term of the dangers that still face Pakistan and your province in particular as I have done already. Having failed to prevent the establishment of Pakistan, thwarted and frustrated by their failure, the enemies of Pakistan have now turned their attention to disrupt the State by creating a split amongst the Muslims of Pakistan. These attempts have taken the shape principally of encouraging provincialism.
As long as you do not throw off this poison in our body politic, you will never be able to weld yourself, mould yourself, galvanize yourself into a real true nation. What we want is not to talk about Bengali, Punjabi Sindhi, Baluchi, Pathan and so on. They are of course units. But I ask: have you forgotten the lesson that was taught to us thirteen hundred years ago? If I may point out, you are all outsiders here. Who were the original inhabitants of Bengal not those who are now living. So what is the use of saying “we are Bengalis, or Sindhis, or Pathans, or Punjabi”. No, we are Muslims.
Islam has taught us this, and I think you will agree with me that whatever else you may be and whatever you are, you are a Muslim. You belong to a Nation now; you have now carved out a territory, vast territory, it is all yours; it does not belong to a Punjabi or a Sindhi, or a Pathan, or a Bengali; it is yours. You have got your Central Government where several units are represented. Therefore, if you want to build up yourself into a Nation, for God’s sake give up this provincialism. Provincialism has been one of the curses; and so is sectionalism –Shia, Sunni, etc.
Now I ask you to get rid of this provincialism, because as long as you allow this poison to remain in the body politic of Pakistan, believe me, you will never be a strong nation, and you will never be able to achieve what I wish we could achieve. Please do not think that I do not appreciate the position. Very often it becomes a vicious circle. When you speak to a Bengali, he says: ‘Yes you are right, but the Punjabi is so arrogant’; when you speak to the Punjabi or non-Bengali, he says, ‘Yes but these people do not want us here, they want to get us out’. Now this is a vicious circle, and I do not think anybody can solve this Chinese puzzle. The question is, who is going to be more sensible, more practical, and more statesmanlike and will be rendering the greatest service to Pakistan? So make up your mind and from today put an end to this sectionalism.
Let me tell you in the clearest language that there is no truth that your normal life is going to be touched or disturbed so far as your Bengali language is concerned. But ultimately it is for you, the people of this province, to decide what shall be the language of your province. But let me make it very clear to you that the State language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language. Anyone who tries to mislead you is really the enemy of Pakistan. Without one State language, no Nation can remain tied up solidly together and function. Look at the history of other countries. Therefore, so far as the State Language is concerned, Pakistani language shall be Urdu. But, as I have said, it will come in time.
Now this is a sacred trust in your hands, i.e., the Muslim League. Is this sacred trust to be guarded by us as the real custodians of the welfare of our country and our people, or not? Are mushroom parties led by men of doubtful past to be started to destroy what we have achieved or capture what we have secured? I ask you one question. Do you believe in Pakistan? (Cries of yes, yes). Are you happy that you have achieved Pakistan? (Cries of yes ,yes), Do you want East Bengal or any part of Pakistan to go into the Indian Union? (No, no).
Finally, let me appeal to you to keep together, put up with inconveniences, sufferings and sacrifices, for the collective good of our people. No amount of troubles, no amount of hard work or sacrifice contribution for the collective good of your nation and your State. It is in that way, that you will build up Pakistan as the fifth largest State in the world, not only in population as it is but also in strength, so that it will command the respect of all the other nations of the world. With these words I wish you God speed.