Pakistan: The ‘birth’ of a problem

The creation of Pakistan was one of the bloodiest incidents of modern history. As a country struggling to free itself from the clutches of imperialist Britain, India was not ready for such bloodshed and division, especially in the name of religion. But, because of Jinnah’s Muslim League and to an extent even Congress, Indians had to face the worst nightmare.

Sixty-three years on, the wound is still fresh and the chasms clear. In the hype and hoopla about the roles of Jinnah and Nehru in partition; we have missed the worst sufferers of the incident, the Indian Muslims.

The plight of Muslims who were opposed to partition could be summed up in the last words of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan that he conveyed to Mahatma Gandhi, “You have thrown us to the wolves.”

But the inevitable happened and thus began the plight of Indian Muslims- those who migrated and those who stayed on in India.


The Muslims of India migrated to Pakistan in the hope of a better future. They thought of living with their ‘own’ people in their ‘own’ land. But it was nothing more than a mere utopia. The bubble burst and the problem of being a ‘Muhajir’ cropped up soon enough.

The sacred word ‘Muhajir’ that was once used for none other than Prophet Muhammad himself, turned derogatory for the migrated Indian Muslims. Far from welcoming them, the natives of Pakistan treated them as second class citizens; as burdens on their society.

This led to the rise of Muhajir Quami Movement (MQM) against the oppressive Pakistan governments. After more than three decades of struggle, though the situation is now better for migrants, still the flares refuse to die down.

Poor economic condition of Indian Muslims

It is no hidden fact that the economic condition of Muslims in India is far from ideal. There are a number of theories that give various reasons for this, like government apathy, lack of education and ignorance, but there is one reason that most miss out, the migration of upper class and rich Muslims to Pakistan.

Though it may sound like a far fetched theory, but one cannot deny that most of the people who migrated to Pakistan were rich landlords. As they say, the cream of Muslims moved away from the country, leaving behind poor Muslims. This disturbed the balance of the society.

The situation further compounded by the government apathy towards Muslims and lack of dedicated plans towards the most downtrodden strata of society.

Since, the number of rich people within the society shrunk, there was not much hope for Indian Muslims apart from depending on government programs for development.

This theory can be justified by sighting the example of the Sikh community. They are among the most progressive in India and the main reason for it is their entrepreneurship and the community help they received, especially as refugees at the time of migration.


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