The Two Nation theory in its simplest way means the cultural, political, religious, economic and social dissimilarities between the two major communities, Hindus and Muslim of the Sub Continent. These differences of out look, in fact, were greatly instrumental in giving rise to two distinct political ideologies which were responsible for the partition of India into two independent states.
The Two Nation Theory was the basis of the struggle for creation of Pakistan which held that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations. They in spite of living together for centuries could not forget their individual culture and civilization.
There are a few factors which split the inhabitants of the Sub Continent into two nations. Let us examine each of them separately.
Islam preaches Tawheed (Oneness of Allah) and believes in equality of man before law. Muslims are the believers of God, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), the Holy book Quran and hold a cohesive approach towards life.
Hinduism, on the other hand is based on the concept of multiple Gods. Their society follows a caste system and is divided into four classes and has a very narrow approach towards life.
The Hindu nationalist leaders totally ignored the great contribution made by the Muslims in the Indian society by way of promoting education and other social activities. Their writings and ideas flared up the communal discord between Hindus and Muslims to further pollute the political condition.
Muslim followed the Islamic culture, while Hindus inherited a self build culture. The Hindus burnt their dead bodies while Muslim burred them. Hindus considered the 'Mother Cow' as a sacred animal and worshiped it while Muslims slaughtered it. They performed 'Sati' while Muslims abhorred this tradition.
The two communities of the Sub-Continent differ in their social life as well as the clothes the foods, the household utensils, the layout of homes, the words of salutation, the gestures and every thing about them was different and immediately pointed to the distinctive origin.
After 1857, the Muslim economic was crushed. The Muslims were thrown out of Government services and their estates and properties were confiscated, while the Hindus were provided with ample opportunities to progress economically.
The Hindus had advanced in the educational field because they quickly and readily took to the English education. While Muslims did not receive modern education which heavily affected their economic conditions.
The political differences between the Hindus and Muslims have played an important role in the development and evolution of the Two Nation Theory.
Hindi Urdu Controversy
In 1867, the Hindus demanded that Urdu should be written in Hindi Script instead of Persian script. This created another gap between Hindus and Muslims.
The Indian National Congress was founded in 1885. It claimed to represent all communities of India but oppressed all Muslim ideas and supported the Hindus.
Partition of Bengal
In 1905, the partition of Bengal ensured a number of political benefits for the Muslims but the Hindus launched an agitation against the partition and partition was annulled in 1911.
The Muslim and Hindus wrote and spoke two different languages. The Muslim spoke Urdu and it was written in Arabic Script. On the other hand, the Hindi language was spoken by Hindus and it was written in Sanskrit.
The entire freedom movement revolved around the two nation theory which was introduced by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. He considered all those lived in India as one nation and was a great advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. Speaking at the meeting of nation and was a great advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. Speaking at the meeting of nation and was a great advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. Speaking at the meeting of Indian Association he said:
"I look to both Hindus and Muslims with the same eyes and consider them as my own eyes. By the word 'Nation' I mean only Hindus and Muslims and nothing else. We Hindus and Muslims live together on the same soil under the same government. Our interests and problems are common, and therefore, I consider the two factions as one nation."
Allama Iqbal was the first important figure who propounded the idea of separate homeland on the basis of two nation theory. In the annual session of Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930, he said:
"India is a continent of human beings belonging to different languages and professing different religions ... I, therefore, demands the formation of consolidated Muslim state in the best interests of the Muslims of India and Islam."
He expounded the two nation's theory in such detail that most Muslims and even some Hindus came to believe in its truth. He declared:
"Muslims are not a minority; they are one nation by every definition of the word nation. By all canons of international law we are a nation."
Quaid-e-Azam reiterated that Hindus and Muslims could ever evolve a common nationality was an idle dream.
In 1973, he said:
"Hindustan is neither one country, nor its inhabitant's one nation. This is sub continent which consists of many nations of which the Hindus and Muslims are two major nations."
Two nation theories is the basis of the creation of Pakistan because without it Pakistan would not come into being on 14th August, 1947.