Nationalism has been more intense and complicated in most countries that have been colonies of economically advanced powers than it has ever been in Europe. There are four major types of nationalism in India, as there are in other countries, that should be distinguished because they have had different effects on social and economic policy since independence.
The first type of nationalism was the conservatism of the status quo. This had little lasting appeal because it had no ideology, offered no competition with Western civilization’s promise, was led by social forces, which had already experienced an initial failure, and presented the colonial power with nothing real challenge. This category belongs to the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
The second type of movement was bourgeois nationalism. This type of nationalist accepted Western values, as well as many of the social changes, brought about by colonialism. They wanted to expand the area of the economy in which modern capitalism could operate, and they were willing to use protective tariffs to do so, which the colonial power did not. The main modernization tool available to them after independence was the state apparatus and bureaucracy left over from colonialism. This type of nationalism was in development among Hindus in India beginning in the 1820s and was the dominant brand of organized nationalism from 1885 to 1905.
Following 1905, a new populist nationalism emerged, attempting to gain popular support through the more explicit denunciation of colonial rule. It emphasized the importance of indigenous institutions, which the colonial power was accused of destroying. The leaders of the movement, unlike the status quo nationalists, did not merely want a return to the old order. They wanted to revive old institutions in a purified form. The revivalism provided psychological strength and self-esteem, which was especially important in India because Hindus had been subjected to a double colonial yoke, namely the Moghuls and the British. Furthermore, because Hindus’ religion was unique to India, there was a stronger link between religion and nationalism than in countries where religion is a more unifying force. The emergence of Gandhi as a saint-politician and his dominance beginning in the 1920s. With its emphasis on the village as a community, the virtues of hand-loom weaving, and the holy attributes of self-sufficiency, it also explains a lot about Indian economic and social policy since independence.
Social-revolutionary nationalism was the fourth type of nationalism. The virtues of Western civilization were accepted by social revolutionaries, who saw the majority of traditional society as an obstacle to progress. As a result, they were willing to dismantle the old society and experiment with new social and economic structures. The majority of social revolutionaries in India were socialists or communists. The true weakness of India’s social revolutionary element was concealed by Nehru’s political and intellectual eminence, who was a social revolutionary in theory but only to a limited extent in practice. Nehru’s position as a leader exemplifies the traditional Indian tolerance for ambiguity and amorphous organizations. He could not have achieved leadership without making significant concessions to other forms of nationalism.
Pakistani nationalism has a simpler history than Indian nationalism. Muslims were the main losers from British rule because it drastically altered their social standing in the eyes of Hindus. Previously the ruling class, they were now merely a religious minority, sometimes considered lower in status than outcastes. Since Aurangzeb’s death, Muslims had grown increasingly resentful and despondent. Muslim rulers had suffered defeat at the hands of Hindus, Sikhs, and the British. When the Moghul court was destroyed in 1857, it dealt a crushing blow to their cultural life. This created an almost total sense of isolation, and there was a steady reversion to Islamic fundamentalism. The Hindu Persian associations that Islam had acquired during the Moghul period were abandoned, and there was a revival of the puritanical doctrines of the early Caliphate, as well as a focus on Muslims’ oecumenical links with Islam as a whole.
Acceptance of Western civilization took Muslims fifty years longer than it did Hindus. Following this, Muslims joined the general nationalist movement during its bourgeois (step-in-your-shoes) phase. The Muslim League was established as a separate political party in 1906. Initially, the Muslim League was more of an anti-nationalist movement than a nationalist one. Its leaders included the Agha Khan and the Nawab of Comilla, British allies who feared the consequences of independence for their own social class. Their movement, however, was also a reaction to the first significant manifestation of indigenous nationalism.
Jinnah, after much hesitation, embraced the idea of partitioning India and transformed the Muslim League into a mass party in 1940. The Muslim League, on the other hand, was not a religious party. The motivation was essentially bourgeois nationalism, and the religious content was anti-Hindu as well as pro-Islamic. This is a crucial aspect of Pakistani nationalism that has aided in explaining social and economic policy since independence. Jinnah established a Viceregal political system in Pakistan, with the bureaucratic-military elite serving as the primary locus of power. It is a replica of the British colonial apparatus, not Whitehall democracy (The Whitehall vision places the Crown (whose powers are exercised in practice by ministers) at the heart of the constitution, favoring strong government). It is not a theocratic state, but pure bourgeois nationalism devoid of indigenous mysticism or social revolutionary intent.
Before the British arrived, the Muslims had ruled India for 700 years. Jinnah was a sybaritic lawyer who wore Savile Row suits, not an austere holy man in a loincloth, so the khadi movement had little appeal to him. Finally, Jinnah and his supporters were men of property who did not seek to change the social order but rather to ensure that their community received a fair share of the wealth. Jinnah paid no attention to the social issue. ‘Democracy is the blood of Mussalmans,’ he once said in London. Let me give you an example. When I go to a mosque, my chauffeur usually stands next to me. Mussalmans believe in the principles of fraternity, equality, and liberty. Continue