UNITY FAITH & DISCIPLINE - Revisited
25 December, 2014
By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
It was October 19th, 1941 that the Quaid in his Eid message gave the motto Unity Faith & Discipline to the nation yet to be born. Its Urdu rendition was Ittehad, Yaqeen, Nazm.Immediately after the creation of Pakistan this Unity Faith & Discipline adorned the most prominent places like govt. buildings, offices, official stationery, postage stamps, hill side slopes – set in white painted pebbles and stones - bridges, bill boards and banners et al – you name it. Pakistanis looked all set not only to accept it whole heartedly but also act upon it devotedly. It helped us rise to many an occasion against the adversities normally beset upon a newly born nation in its infancy. However, unfortunate for Pakistan, the giver of the motto left for his heavenly abode sooner than have lived to see the young motto blossom into a strong tree. More than seven decades later it is still around but only to be remembered ceremonially on certain occasions and that too not in its original form or format. Let’s examine the changes it has undergone:
Firstly, the Urdu translation of Faith has been changed from its original rendition ofYaqeen (also Yaqeen e Muhkam) into Eeman. While talking to a student delegation in 1946 the Quaid had explained ‘faith’ to them by saying, “Have faith in yourself. Have faith in your destiny – Pakistan and have faith in Allah”. This explanation was a crystal clear manifestation of faith being confidence, trust, conviction, assurance and assuredness and not necessarily of a religious belief only. The motto was and is for the entire nation which comprises of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Kailash Kafirs of Chitral Kafiristan and believe it or not even a few Jews also. By changing faith into Eeman which has distinct Islamic overtones instead of Yaqeen which all human beings irrespective of their religion can hold, aren’t we depriving such Pakistani minorities of the motto given to them by the Father of the Nation? Or, should they not follow it in true letter and spirit? Are they not the equal citizens of Pakistan constitutionally ensured to enjoy their equal rights without any discrimination? If they are then they have to have Yaqeen in the motto than Eeman which only the Muslims can profess. Next, the format of the motto. I think in order to Islamise Pakistan, it has been rearranged to put Faith before Unity and now the official version of the Quaid’s motto as seen on our National Emblem is Eeman - Ittehad – Nazm (at places Tanzeem – which is not an accurate translation of Discipline) that is: Faith Unity & Discipline. Why has it been done so? I think, because the very name of the country given to it by its founding fathers in 1947 has been changed from pure and simple Pakistan to “The Islamic Republic of Pakistan” in 1956 . The question arises, if the founding fathers wanted it to be an Islamic State in that sense why did they not name the country on its inception “The Islamic Dominion of Pakistan” instead of officially naming it as Pakistan only. Why was a low cast Hindu Mr. Jogindar Nath Mandal was made the Law Minister of the newly born state whose Constitution and Law had yet to be formulated? There was no Federal Shariat Court then to interpret the Islamic jurisprudence and Fiqah related issues. It was the purview of the Law ministry to do so and that ministry was headed by a schedule cast Hindu !! Why was Sir Zafarullah Khan - an Ahmadi - appointed to be the first ever foreign minister of Pakistan? Can someone in his wildest dream imagine that had a person of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s caliber, intellect and wisdom not visualized as to what it would be like dealing with the Arabs and other Muslim countries on matters of foreign policy of the largest Muslin state in the world? Why was Mr. C E Gibbon – a Christian – made the Deputy Speaker of the Constituent Assembly entrusted with the task of making the Constitution of Pakistan? Did they not know that the Deputy Speaker of the assembly presides over its proceedings for an average of 34 per cent of the session time, during which time he has to give rulings on disputed issues which become law and are quoted as precedence? What, assembly proceedings, Foreign affairs and Law of the land being governed by the non Muslims and the founding fathers were oblivious to it all ?! No Sir, they were much more knowledgeable, highly patriotic Pakistanis and Muslims of deep convictions than you and me and they had after having taken cognizance of all such eventualities appointed them to these positions. They knew that they had not created Pakistan for the sake of Islam but for the sake of the Musalmans of the sub continent. To ameliorate their social and economic lot who would have been further subjugated in a united free India dominated by the Hindus in all spheres of life.
So much so for the form and the format. Let’s now examine a little as to what the motto was about and how have we made use of it. Addressing the students of Islamia College, Peshawar on 12th April 1948, the Quaid-e-Azam said, "The success of our achievements will depend upon our Unity, Faith and Discipline". In this simple sentence, Quaid-e-Azam had enunciated the fundamentals of success of Pakistan. Alas, we have not only not made use of these golden fundamentals but have also wittingly or unwittingly tried to destroy them.
Let’s take them one by one:
Unity: Scores and scores of sayings, maxims, adages and proverbs are there to define Unity. Unity is Strength. United we stand divided we fall. Unity is in diversity. We mustall hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
Unity is to share our similarities and celebrate our differences. Unity makes you swim together in the ocean of your problems. etc. etc.
Quaid emphasized upon it in his August 11, 1947 address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and let me quote his exact words.
QUOTE. “Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well being of the people ---- I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community – because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalees, Madrasis, and so on – will vanish. ---- Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State. UNQUOTE
But what have we done in this regard? We have not only given rise to ethnicity, parochialism, linguistic divide but also to the most dangerous sectarianism in our efforts to become more and more Muslim to the extent of calling each other Kafir. The universal Muslim brotherhood gave us two white unstitched sheets to cover ourselves – Ahram – to preclude the difference between the rich and the poor – the white and the black or the brown and preached equality in the entire Muslim Ummah. But here in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan we apart from many other divisive practices have also invented different coloured turbans – black, green, white etc. with their individual typical style of tying them each to align the wearer to a particular group, sect or school of thought. Does doing so promote the unity or does it bring the disunity and the divisiveness amongst the Muslims? Even the mosques are named differently showing them to be associated with some sect or sub sect of Islam! If everyone can pray together behind one Imam in the Masjid ul Haram, which other mosque on this planet earth can take precedence over it to introduce and invent its own practice and rituals for offering a prayer? Ek hon Muslim Haram ki Pasbani kay liey – Neel kay sahil say ley kr ta ba khak e Kashghar. And
Fard Qaim Rabt-E-Millat Say Hai, Tanha Kuch Nahin
Moj Hai Darya Main, Aur Berun-E-Darya Kuch Nahin
That will be the Unity.
Faith: Faith is knowledge within the hearts, beyond the reach of proof. As it is said "Faith is the bird that sings, when the dawn is still dark”. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do even if we do not see it! We must have infinite faith in each other if we want to succeed. We should be faithful in small things because it is in them that our strength lies. Qatra qatra baham shawad darya. Doubt sees the obstacles. Faith sees the way. Doubt sees the darkest night. Faith sees the day. Doubt dreads to take a step. Faith soars on high.Yaqeen muhkam; amal paiham, mohabbat fateh-e-alam Jihad-e-zindagani main hain ye mardon ki shamshirain .. By translating Faith into Eeman, we have confined it strictly in a religious metaphor and given its custody in the hands of the clergy. Now, there is one heck of a difference in the thinking and thought process of a cleric and a Mujahid. Alfaaz o muani mein tfawat nhi lekin – Mulla ki azaan aur mujahad ki azaan aur. As already said above, Quaid had defined faith to the student delegation by saying, “Have faith in yourself. Have faith in your destiny - Pakistan. Have faith in Allah”. It is the faith in you and your country that would enable you ride over any impediment and obstacle in your efforts to achieve greater heights and glories.
“Yaqeen Afrad Ka Sarmaya-E-Tameer-E-Millat Hai
Yahi Qu'at Hai Jo Surat Gar-E- Taqdeer-E-Millat Hai
Of course Allah’s help and blessings are to be sought in every endeavour that we wish to undertake. However, at the same time we must also remember that God helps those who help themselves - illa ma saei.
Discipline: “Discipline” comes from the Latin word “disciplina” which means instruction. It means to follow certain principles or rules of behaviour. Discipline also means mental or moral training. By this principle Quaid-e-Azam means training to obedience and order. Through this principle Quaid-e-Azam turned the scattered Muslims of India into a disciplined organization. No civilized society can exist and progress without discipline. Citizens of a disciplined nation work with a spirit of cooperation and unity. Aristotle has rightly said, "Discipline is obedience to rules formed by the society for the good of all". But somehow the most Pakistanis co-relate the word discipline to the military discipline and gesticulate it by springing to attention and saluting. Very few think of it to be an orderly way of life for everyone. Not making the queue at public places, not allowing the passengers to alight first before struggling to climb into the bus, jumping the traffic light at day time and more so at night on the plea that no cross traffic was coming, driving on the wrong side, parking at No Parking places, not being punctual or not keeping the time and appointments and many other such like our daily practices are taken to be a matter of just daily routine and nothing to bother about. But surprisingly, the same Pakistanis including our cab drivers become highly civilized and disciplined when they are abroad, say even in Dubai, not far away from Pakistan! Why is it so, one wonders?! Allow me to narrate only two instances directly related to the Quaid demonstrating his perception of discipline. One. When he arrived at Karachi’s Mauripur (now Masroor) airfield to take up his mantle as the Governor General of independent Pakistan at 3:30 pm on August 7, 1947, people from all walks of life had thronged to catch a glimpse of their “Messiah of the promised land”. As the Quaid alighted from the aircraft, overwhelmed by adoration and enthusiastic crowd shouting deafeningly Pakistan Zindabad, Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad, they broke the safety cordons and rushed towards the aircraft bringing him. The Quaid stopped on the steps of the aircraft’s gangway and with a wave of his hand, beckoned the crowd, to go back behind the barriers. They retreated instantaneously as if they had been pushed by a magic wand. This was the very first lesson of discipline that the Quaid had administered to the people of Pakistan.
Two. On April 11, 1948 and I am a proud witness to it, Quaid addressed us the students of Edwardes College Peshawar. He came there accompanied by the NWFP Governor Mr. Dundas and the Chief Minister Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan. What I must say and you should know, Quaid visit was totally bereft of any pomp and show. No cavalcades, no sirens, not even pilots to escort his car. We were all dressed in our college green blazers, grey trousers and neck ties, seated in chairs while a small stage accommodating about a dozen of the college staff and a very few dignitaries was set up. Our principal Mr. Dalaya presented the welcome address and Quaid rose to reply and address the students. Quaid looked visibly pleased and relaxed. He thanked the Principal for his address and said that it was the first academic institution that he had visited which had not asked for a grant. Referring to the remarks of the principal that the Chief Minister Khan Qayyum Khan took care of the colleges needs, the Quaid looking towards the Khan and expanding his arms around his waist to impersonate Khan’s protruding fat belly said smilingly, “but I am sure it would be quite rare in his case”. The audience – students as well as the dignitaries – all broke into laughter albeit a subdued one. All those who had heard the Quaid before were surprised that the great Quaid had never cut a joke in public that way! He asked us to gird up our loins for the great task of nation building lying ahead of us. All through his speech there was a pin drop silence and an epic demonstration of discipline and demeanor from the students, that pleased him. At the close of his speech he said that Churchill had made a V with his fingers to signify victory. And then making a U with his thumb and index finger and waving this U from one end of the students to the other end, he said, “I must say U stand for Unity”. I think it was the Unity with Discipline that the students of the Edwardes College had presented that day to their Quaid.