bengal two nation theoryBengali Muslims political leaders played a vested interest politics in the name of two-nation theory. Jinnah was willing to accept the United Bengal where Hindus and Muslims could live together, which was also blow to the two-nation theory. Suhrawardy, a renowned politician of Pakistan, was not of the opinion that Hindu and Muslim Bengalis were not very different and could easily live together in the region provide Bengal was not acceded neither to India nor to Pakistan. He said, ‘we Bengalis have a common mother tongue, and common economic interests”.  He further argued, “Bengal has very little affinity with the Punjab”.

Since the initiation of concept of Pakistan, Bengal had never been in reality part of it which is evident from analyzing acronym of Pakistan (P=Punjab; A= Afghan; K=Kashmir, S=Sind and Tan=Blauchistan).  Jinnah was ready to sacrifice Bengal for the United Bengal. According to Mountbatten, he asked Jinnah about his views about the possibility of the United Bengal at the price of its remaining out of Pakistan as well as India. Jinnah replied, ‘I should be delighted. What is the use of Bengal without Calcutta; they had much better remain united and independent; I am sure that they would be on friendly terms with us.

These are interesting historical facts from two angles: first, from the angle of the two-nation theory and second importance of Bengal within the concept of Pakistan.  If two nations can live together in Bengal due to cultural heritage excluding religion how the concept can be invalid for other areas of the United India. This is the question that proponents of two-nation find it difficult to answer.  Moreover, inclusion of Bengal in Pakistan had never been seen important, neither by Bengali leaders, nor by Jinnah and Muslim leaders of other regions such as Punjab.  The statements of Suhraward and Jinnah show that the grounds were set for Bangladesh even before partition, which became reality in 1971.

 Nadeem yousaf

16 August 2012


Stanley Wopert (1984); Jinnah of Pakistan; Oxford University Press

Record of interview with Jinnah; April 26 1947; pp 452-453 in Record of Interviews, April 5 and 6, 1947, Mansergh, Transfer of Power, vol X pp 138-139

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