Choudary Rahmat Ali
Chaudhry Rehmat Ali creator of name
The man who gave Pakistan its name was born in a village of Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. He matriculated from Jalandhar and graduated in 1919 from Islamia College, Lahore. In 1930 he left for England for higher studies in Law. He subsequently lived in England and died there.
Chaudhry Rahmat Ali came to Pakistan on a short visit and then went back to England. He died at Cambridge in February 1951.
He gave Pakistan its name in a booklet "Now or Never" which he wrote and published on January 28, 1933. 'P' of Punjab, "A" of Afghani border(i.e. N.W.F.P.), 'K' of Kashmir, 'S' of Sindh, and 'tan' of Baluchistan were put together to name the still-to-be-created homeland of the Indian Muslims. this name soon caught the imagination of the multitudes and even the foreign newspapers began to call the proposed country by this name.
In the years preceding the end of direct colonial rule in South Asia, CHOUDHARY RAHMAT ALI was virtually alone in proposing a future for the region and its people, based on historical facts and Islamic principles as opposed to imperial and nationalistic views.
Ch. Rahamat Ali argued that since South Asia came under colonial rule many distortion, lies and myths have been perpetrated about what is called `India'. The main falsehoods are:
1. India has existed from the beginning of time as a UNITARY state. NOT TRUE - it only became a unitary state under the British Empire. Prior to British rule, no-one ever had full control of the Continent - not even Alexander of Macedonia, nor the Muslims including the Afghans and Mughals, etc. This is confirmed by the Eleventh Edition of Encyclopedia Britannica (Volume 14) (HUS to ITA) (page 375) which states "the natives of (British) India can scarcely be said to have a word of their own by which to express their `common' country." Thus, 'India' became the arbitrary name of the British Empire in South Asia. In any case readers should consult maps showing Borders of all empires between the Arabian Peninsula and `India' from 1500BC onwards. Words can be written to mislead but rarely maps.
2. India is a country or a subcontinent. NOT TRUE - both geographically and historically, India (Dinia to be more accurate) is a CONTINENT having seas and mountains that are more stupendous than those of other continents and consisting of nations, tribes, civilisations, languages more diverse than even the continent of Europe.
3. Pakistan was a territory carved OUT of India. NOT TRUE - most of present day Pakistan did not even form part of 'India' until Britain seized the territory and made it an administrative region of their British Indian Empire. In doing so, they 'Indianised' the Muslim population, making them a MINORITY of the British Indian Raj. Moreover, much of Northern and Central Dinia were dependencies of the Islamic Pak Nation - that is the Muslim territory that was once the UNDIVIDED EASTERN FLANK to the heartland of Islam which included Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
4. The events of 1947 are described as 'Partition'. NOT TRUE - the original aim was INDEPENDENCE from Imperialism, Indianism, Indian Federation and Hindoo Nationalism and reversion to the original Fatherland and Federation with ancestral homelands from where Islam first came into India, that is, from the Arabian peninsula, through to: Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
5. Muslims were a minority in India. NOT TRUE - for over a thousand years, Muslims from the Pak Empire [that includes Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and present day Pakistan] had ruled parts of the Continent of India. Those areas in 'India' that came under Muslim control were considered as Dependencies of the Pak Empire. A comparable example is the Ottoman Empire - where the Turk Nation is Turkey and its dependencies were Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece, etc. Similarly, the British Empire no longer exists but the British Nation still does. EMPIRES are short-lived but not NATIONS!
It should now be apparent that the history of South Asia has been told from an INDIAN bias by the former colonial power, and not from the Pak or Islamic perspective (see how Islam progressed from the Arabian Peninsula eastwards and the Islamic homelands that were built on the eastern flank of the heartland of Islam).
Ch. Rahmat Ali saw the dangers of these falsehoods to the Muslims of South Asia and surrounding territory and to address these dangers, he developed the name and concept of P.A.K.I.S.T.A.N. (not to be confused with the present day entity which he called Pastan).
In 1933, he published a 392-page book called `P.A.K.I.S.T.A.N., THE FATHERLAND OF PAK NATION', in which he proposed an Islamic federation of all contiguous Islamic territory that lay on the eastern flank of the heartland of Islam.
On pages 223-224, he provided a detailed explanation for the name:
P - Punjab. C.R. Ali asked for territory proportionate to the Muslim population.
A - Afghania. The real name of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is Afghania. NWFP is a gross distortion because it is the British designation for the North western region of their Indian empire that no longer exists. Also, NWFP is not a Frontier as far as the indigenous population, the Pashtoons are concerned. How an earth can one have a frontier between the same people with one-half living in Afghanistan and the other half in Afghania ?
K - Kashmir
I - Iran. When Alexander of Macdeonia attacked the Persian Empire, he invaded up to the area of what is today Pakistan, because in ancient times, Pakistan was part of Ancient Persia. He did not attack India proper because he was not at war with India - only Persia! Until 100 years ago, Farsi was the language of the educated. Many poems by poet-philosopher, Mohammad Iqbal are in Farsi.
S - Sindh
T - Tukharistan. This name is not used anymore but the area exists as Turkmenistan and parts of the other contiguous Central Asian states.
A - Afghanistan
N - BalochistaN - the other half of Balochistan is in south-east Iran! Balochistan makes up 44% of the landmass of today's Pakistan (Pastan)
More than half of present day Pakistan (Pastan), in particular Afghania, Balochistan, Rojhan in Sindh and Dera Ismail and Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab were hardly ever part of India until the British seized the territory and incorporated it as part of the British Indian Raj. Those Paks living in Afghania and Balochistan e.g. Pashtoons, Balochs, Farsi speakers, etc have never regarded themselves as 'Indian', though they may have been unwilling subjects of the Crown Colony of British India.
C.R.Ali also formulated demands for Muslim states in the Continent of Dinia (India's true name), namely Usmanistan in Hyderabad Deccan and Maplistan in South India to avoid massive population transfers (read 'ethnic cleansing' and brutal rapes and killings in the name of religion). He advocated that Bangladesh should be a separate Muslim state called Bangistan. These Muslim states would then form a Pak Commonwealth of Nations. He even called for the Sikhs to have their own separate country called Sikhia in 1942 i.e. the Continent of Dinia should be a continent of different nations and faiths, NOT a single country dominated by Hinduism and Indianism which had already dominated all the countries of South Asia and defeated the efforts of their peoples to improve their lot (see oppressive caste system - ancient aparthied, sheer scale of poverty of the masses, etc).
C.R.Ali wanted freedom for the five Muslim `Indian' homelands in North West India, namely Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and BalochistaN from British colonial rule, followed by their re-integration with the three Muslim `Asian' homelands of Afghanistan, Iran and Tukharistan.
P.A.K.I.S.T.A.N. was to form the eastern flank to the heartland of Islam, as it had been before it was broken up through infighting by the Mughals, Safavids and Afghans; and then by the colonial legacy of the McMahon, Durand and Goldsmid Borders. C.R.Ali maintained that without this Family Re-union, our `Asian' and `Indian' homelands would not survive and thrive.
C.R. Ali was controversial because of his Islamic beliefs, being described as a dreamer, a Pan-Islamist visionary and an idealist. Such propaganda is nothing new and is today widely used by the forces of Kufr and Jahiliyya against Muslims. For instance, when C.R.Ali joined the editorial staff of the `Kashmiri Gazette', he wrote an article entitled: `The Blind Imitation of the West'. The newspaper soon got into trouble and C.R.Ali was forced to quit his job.
C.R. Ali opposed those Muslim leaders who advocated a Federation with India, claiming that they were looking at events like a cow looking at a passing train. He argued that Muslims should federate with Muslims of neighbouring Muslim States. A Federation with the Hindoos would subjugate the Muslims and reduce them to the position of `hewers of wood and drawers of water' for the British and their allies, notwithstanding that the Muslim population in the region accounted for more than one-tenth of the entire Muslim world, and the homelands constituted a vast area.
Thus, in 1915, when only 18 years old, he formed Bazm-e-Shibli in Islamia College, Lahore where at his inaugural address he declared: `North of India is Muslim, we will keep it Muslim and make it a Muslim State. But this we can do only if and when we and our North cease to be Indian. So sooner we shed Indianism the better for us and for Islam...We, Muslims would very much rather see the separation of the Hindoos and Muslims...Friends! If my views are unacceptable to you, we had better part...You work for your Indian Revolution but I will work for my ISLAMIC Revolution. At the end, we shall see who creates the most dynamic and creative revolution.'
In 1931, C.R.Ali went to Cambridge University to study Law where he came up with the detailed concept and ideology for P.A.K.I.S.T.A.N. However, the 'disease' that led to so many Muslim lands to fall easy prey to colonial rule also saw C.R.Ali's ideas, writings, the name P.A.K.I.S.T.A.N., etc being plagiarised and without acknowledgment, by careerist leaders. C.R.Ali described careerism as: "subordinating and sacrificing the good of Islam and the Nation, for personal gain. Careerism has been a calamity that has ruined us as a people, wrecked us as a power, and frustrated us. It was the root cause of our military defeat in 1757 [defeat of Mughal Viceroy by Britain in the Battle of Plassey]; of our Milli (national) downfall in 1857 [Great War of Independence / Indian Mutinty], of our Milli demoralisation after 1857; and finally, of our Milli disintegration in 1947 [moth-eaten creation of Pakistan / Pastan]".
C.R.Ali returned to Pakistan after its formation on April 6 1948 but was treated like a common criminal. He was persecuted, tortured and expelled back to England on October 1, 1948 on Government orders. His money was frozen and he was not allowed to transfer it to England. His writings were proscribed.
None spoke on his behalf. None came to sympathise with him. In 1951, he died a very broken and sad man having witnessed the disastrous path that Muslim leaders of South Asia were taking. He died in exile, in poverty and alone. When news of his death reached Pakistan in 1951 there were no obituary notices, no messages of condolence, no public statements of mourning, no homage to the deceased, not even a meeting to pray for his soul. Alien hands tended him during his last breathing hours. Alien hands paid his last fees and arranged his last rites. Alien hands buried him in an alien land amid men and women of alien faith and nationality. The Pakistan High Commissioner in London in 1951 refused to send a representative to his funeral or pay its costs
C.R.Ali fought and died for an Islamic State in exile. To this very day, elected governments and military rulers have prevented the return of the remains of C.R.Ali to Pakistan where he deserves to be given due Islamic burial and recognition by his country. The injustice done to him is appalling.
Even though nearly 59 years have passed since his death, his writings about the dangers facing Muslims are as relevant today as they were then (truth always stand clear from error even over the passage of time). For instance, Ch.Rahmat Ali called for an Islamic Renaissance and in one pamphlet, he wrote:
"Our greatest asset and opportunity is our Faith, which has created what we possess; it has made us what we are. That is, the emancipators of hundreds of millions of human beings. Islam has worked miracles for us in the past, and it can and will do the same for us now and always, if only we let it do so.
Such is the promise of Islam. Yet such is our perversion that we are simply not following Islam. We are ignoring it in every sphere of life - individual, national, moral and material. Not only that, we are turning to alien, `Western' cults instead. That is, to cults that have already poisoned the source of our life, undermined the basis of our beliefs, and weakened the bonds uniting our Fraternity; and that means to detach us from Islam and attach us to `Westernism' and thereby finish Islam which, owing to its values and verities, is their most serious rival for the allegiance of mankind.
It is clear that our neglect of Islam for other cults is a form of apostasy. Indeed it is an act of enmity against Islam. For remember, nothing so degrades and destroys a religion as its neglect by its own followers. It is just that neglect which has killed most of the old creeds and faiths of mankind. That is how by our failure to follow Islam we are acting as its enemies and frustrating its whole mission in the world.
It is imperative therefore, that, if we want to live as Muslims, save our heritage, reunite with our Pak brethren in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran, and see Islam flourish in the world, we must change. We must shun alien cults; we must revert to Islam. In other words, we must follow its code in thought, in word, and in action."