NOTE:THIS IS A CROSS POST FROM OPINION MAKER
There is an increased pressure to accept Pakistan as a federation for which it is being linked and governed by Government of India Act 1935 of British India, an Act. This Act was tailor made for the British as per their own geopolitical requirements in relation, to an empire where the sun never set, or the rule of the Union Jack. We as a nation, have to see our past divorced from the past that the British created and thrust upon us by creating new geographic entities that never existed before. This was a result of the British Imperialist Forward Policies, spanning part of the 18th and the whole of 19thcentury, when the British had started their annexations in Indus Basin (now known as Pakistan) in pursuance of, their own interest, to check the emerging threats of various pivotal powers of the 19th and early 20th century.
When the British finally left, they left behind the proverbial, Pandora’s box with its ‘Lid’ open, but this particular Pandora’s box was filled with demons created by the British and their identities established, as per the job requirements, having rewritten our records, and having given us a spin like a top, they departed! Yet we labor, learning a script alien to us, a language alien to us, and for to write to express ourselves, we resort to a form of writing, not even remotely associated with us, a result of a little over a hundred years of despotic rule on us. Our indigenous educational system was destroyed, a generation gap created in the 19th century, as well as 20th century by introduction of this English Language. With its literature, based on alien cultures and histories tailor made for certain needs, now established, as dogmas.
In a hundred years, come three generations, add another 60 years, you end up with five generations. Then try taking on to yourself to seek the truth, wrapped in a bundle of lies, the unwrapping takes its own time, but, if the intentions are honorable and the manner sincere, you can even today hit the bull’s eye, and undo the damage which our old masters have done.
Of the former, two major British colonies in North America and Australia, both later became federations, we have to see the root of their creations and the races which decided to cross the stormy Atlantic Ocean fleeing prosecution of religious nature in their original abodes, and a feudal system despotic in all aspects of life, yet portrayed on us as the most harmless one. Taking USA as a case study of the original, thirteen colonies which formed the nucleus of a state, now called USA, the history is not very old, but of a recent past ,it’s independence almost coinciding with the, influx of Sikh inroads in our central regions, of the Indus Basin.. If we dwell in the past records we see that,. it was Newfoundland ,the most ancient of Britain’s colonial possession discovered by John Cabot in 1497. By 1504 fishermen of Normandy, Britannia and Basque provinces were engaged here, by 1517, forty sail ships of Portuguese, French and Spaniards were involved in the business of cod fishery. By 1578, four hundred vessels were engaged in fish business. But the British had only fifty out of the total quoted. Sir Humphrey Gilbert with letters from Queen Elizabeth landed at St John’s in 1583 and took possession of the country in the Queen’s name. But soon after, Gilbert was drowned and the whole maneuver failed. The other nations mentioned however maintained their businesses in these lands.
In 1606, James I, of England formed two companies by a single charter. To one, the London Company he granted, the North American East Coast between 34 degree and 38 degree north, and to the other, the Plymouth Company, whose membership was in West of England, he granted the coast between 41 degree and 45 degree North latitude. The intervening coast between the latitudes 38 degree and 41 degree north or between Rappahannock and Hudson River was to be common to both. The later colonists, had asked the Crown to declare that, their successor will be free persons and shall enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunities of free denizens, as enjoyed by all Born within the realm of England. The reason for this request was as quite a lot of these settlers were convicts being sent as penal settlers.
The London Company first sent the shipload under Christopher Newport and it landed near a River on 13th May 1607, in the present State of Virginia, a town was built called, James Town named after the King. Soon other waves of colonists came persecuted by the English Church; others came to Plymouth (Massachusetts) in 1620. In 1632, came up the Colony of Maryland, the land given to Lord Baltimore. In 1663, the South of present State of Virginia was cut off and called, Carolina, later they became the States of North & South Carolina in 1729. And that of Georgia in 1732. Hence five distinct colonies became states out of the London Company’s grant ,the sixth was the Massachusetts by the Plymouth Company. Besides these, Connecticut was next(1662) and Rhode Island came after. The New Hampshire and the next to follow. The other four colonies and later states were between the London and Plymouth Companies.
Meanwhile, the Spaniards had taken over the South of North America and the French moved to it’s North. The reason being, the religious differences with the Spaniards. Besides these nations, the Dutch also came in 1609. They had sent Henry Hudson an Englishman, to explore the central region of grant of James First. The Dutch had set up a trading post at, “Manhadoes” (the present city of New York) and a government under the Dutch West India Company was organized, here in 1621, named New Nether land and the town at the mouth of Hudson River, “New Amsterdam”. The next nation was Sweden, who established a colony at Delaware Bay in 1638 but the Dutch took it over in 1655.
By the time of reformation in religious matters in England, the northern and southern English colonies had started looking at these in between colonies as an annoyance and danger. England and Holland went to war in 1664, the English won and took over New Amsterdam and the whole of the Dutch central region. The king of England, awarded this, to his brother, the Duke of York. So New Amsterdam became the State of New York. The Duke of York sold out a part of these lands to Berkley and Cartwright and thus, New Jersey was the result. In 1681, the Great Parallelogram, west of New Jersey was granted to a , Mr. William Penn and this became Pennsylvania. Soon after, Mr Penn bought some more land from the Duke of York which became the State of Delaware. The Quakers, a sect of Christians, found refuge here. Soon after, every language of Europe could be found in the subsequent USA. The French, had moved to Mississippi by 1702, under D’iberville, New Orleans was thus founded as was the city of Mobile. The land between Mississippi and Saint Lawrence was then called New France, however by 1750, the British numbered a million and a quarter as opposed to the French who were only a hundred thousand in America then.
The struggle from England was started by these states, being rooted in, the Stamp Act of 1765 and the revenue which was to be raised for the Crown from it. Then came the Tea Tax of 1770, the Boston Port Act of 1774 and the Quebec Act of 1774, which effected the lands North of Ohio and east of Mississippi.
The nail in the coffin for the British was, the Quebec Act, the American puritans, resisted the establishment of the Church of England, a Roman Catholic System in their lands, so started the Independence Movement between 1775 -1788.
In 1776, surprisingly, the first flag of thirteen states, the stripes which represented the states had, also, however the crosses of St George and Saint Andrew on the blue ground in the corner which acknowledged the royal power. It was later in war, that in 1777, the crosses were replaced by the stars.
Here it would not be out of context to describe the Pakistan flag that comprises of two
colours only. Green is for the Muslim majority and white that comprises of seven colours represents the religious minorities. These two colours do not represent any state or province as none existed in history. This reinforces the argument that Pakistan unlike the USA is a single state and not a conglomerate of various states.
Before, the War of American Independence, had started in the true sense, and the flag underwent changes as per the requirements of the people of earlier USA, which we have seen very briefly, i.e. the entities which were part of this Federation, then called as a Confederacy, and NOT a Federation. A legal difference, between the two which will be explained later.
The composition of these thirteen colonies, (later states), was that, all were called and termed provinces by the Crown, the Governors were appointed by the Crown and had an absolute veto on legislation. Hence there were thus, three proprietary, seven royal, one semi-royal and two charter colonies total ling the figure of thirteen. However, of the two charter companies, there were simple Representative democracies, having the power to legislate without a practical appeal to the Crown, and had no royal Governor or Agent within their borders.
It was their systems, which were the high water mark to which the desires and claims of other colonies gradually approached. Massachusetts, and the proprietary colonies were very nearly on a level with them, and the royal or proprietary governor’s veto power was rather an annoyance than a fundamental difference.
In all the colonies, representative governments had forced, their way and had fairly early taken a bicameral shapes i.e. the division of a legislative body into two chambers (a Senate and a House). In the Charter colonies, and Massachusetts, the Lower House was chosen by the towns, and the Upper House from the people at large, and the two Houses made up the Assembly.
In Pennsylvania, and Delaware, there were but only one House. In the Royal Colonies and in Maryland, the Lower House alone was elected by the people. The Upper House, or Council was chosen by the Crown, through the Governor. And the ascent of all three elements was essential for legislation. In the final revolution, the Charter Colonies did not change their governments at all, they already had what they wanted. The Revolution was consummated in the other colonies by the assumption of power by the Lower or popular houses usually known as, “Assembly”. The Governor or Counsel, or both, being ousted. A marked and important distinction is in the local organizations of the northern and southern colonies, all the southern colonies(later states),had begun as proprietary governments, settlers went there as individuals connected ONLY with the colony, to the individual the Colony, was the greatest political factory, his true new identity. His other connection was, his local church, related to the sect of Christianity which he followed, and they being numerous as will be elucidated.
The religion, thus played a dominant role in these colonies in those days, which eventually shaped them in later entities called states. Ethnicity too, was another factor in the making of these early states of USA.
The Dutch meanwhile, had created, in the central regions of both charter companies i.e. London and Plymouth Companies, a system of, “Patroon ships,” to understand the concept of this Dutch System one has to travel back in the Roman Times but briefly here, it was THE old patron and client relationship. The patron was technically here in USA in these states the First of the Equals, amongst the Dutch Colonists. The client was the New Colonists. It was the duty of the patron to provide his client with the necessities of life and it was the common practice to make him a grant of a small plot of land to cultivate on his own account, further, he (patron), advised him in all his affairs he represented, in any transactions with the third parties, in which the New Colonists took part. The New Colonist, had to render to his patron, the respect and obedience due by a dependent, but, also when he was in a position to do so and the circumstances of the patron required it, to render him, monetary assistance also. As the time advanced, the New Colonists amassed wealth, so now they, contributed towards the dowries of a patron’s daughter and also paid fines imposed on the patron by a competent authority, and also towards his (patron’s) maintenance when he had become reduced to poverty. The patron and the colonist were alike hereditary relationships. The traces of this system still exist as can be seen in the actual inner workings of certain classes in USA, the Mafia being the factor discussed. Such were the laws of the patron- ship fraternity prevalent in the central states in the Dutch regions of early USA.
In the religious matters, the colonies and later states were divided being protestants, Mormons, Quakers, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterian, Episcopal and roman Catholics. The Baptists were further divided into northern and southern churches.
The immigration factor which created these later states were the heterogeneous flow from Europe. The educational aspect was also fairly well covered, Harvard College in Massachusetts was founded in 1636,William and Mary College, in Virginia in 1692,Yale College in Connecticut in 1700,Princeton College in New Jersey in 1746,Pennsylvania University in 1749 and King’s now Columbia College, in New York in 1754.
Amongst the causes of revolt against the English Crown, were the other restrictive laws also, imposed on the colonies, in 1699, on the complaint of English manufacturers, that the colonists were cutting them out of their foreign wool markets, the British Parliament enacted that no wool or woolen manufactures could be shipped from any of the colonies under the penalty of forfeiture of ship and cargo. The English manufacturers ruled supreme in Britain and at intervals, “The Board of Trade and Plantations” especially tailor made by the British traders having been created in 1696, saw to it. The Board, from time to time heard the complaints of English manufacturers and traders and framed remedial bills for the British Parliament, the home of democracy, the West minister type of Democracy which we so often quote, and this august assembly, saw to it, that, the bills were passed! The so often quoted man, MR Pitt, the famous Prime Minister of England saw to it, as late as 1766, as from 1718 onward in the colonies the manufacture of iron goods ,was alarming to the businessmen of British Islands. So Mr. Pitt, asserted the right and duty of Parliament to, “bind the trade and confine the manufactures” of the colonies, and to do all but tax them without representation.
Earlier too, in 1719, the British Parliament passed it’s first prohibition of iron manufactures in the colonies, and in 1750, it also forbade under penalties the maintaining of iron mills, stilling or rolling mills, plate-forges and Stella furnaces in the colonies. Where it suited the British provisos, were made .To quote an example, as it suited the traders and manufacturers of Britain, it allowed the import of American bar-iron into England as it was cheaper and better than the Swedish.
Silly acts and parliamentary laws were passed by British Parliament, to quote only one, in 1731, the Parliament had forbidden the manufacture or exportation of, “HATS”, in or from the colonies, even their transportation from one colony to the other.
The purpose of highlighting all these aspects of early American History, though as yet not fully covered is to enlighten the reader, that the British always drafted laws with ulterior motives. We have to question and check the veracity of these laws and study the past Acts of the British in their various colonies. The Act of 1935 is no exception as is being explained.
The British Imperialists, had thrust on us, by virtue of Government of India Act, the clause of Federation, and the cause of our present problems, which persists in all our Constitutions. The requisites of a Federation are quite different, and the term implies a state entity within the fold of a centre. Whereas, Pakistan never had State entities as the term goes, when the Act was passed; we had a Sindh, Punjab, NWFP and Baluchistan as per the Act. The War for Liberation brought in the AJK and Northern areas post 1947. Hence it is being explained how the USA and it’s Federation cannot be compared to Pakistan as was done in the previous articles and the concluding one.
The Confederacy which existed in USA till 1789, of thirteen states, the term “Confederacy” and meaning generally is a league or union, of states or individuals, in a nutshell, it implies a temporary league of independent states for a certain purpose. It was after 1789, that the term Federation came into use in the USA, Federation, now meant a closer union. This distinction was emphasised during the American Civil war between north and south (1861-1865), the seceding forming again a Confederation, which had earlier lasted till 1789, in opposition to the Federal Union.
The system of a federal state as in USA was based, in it’s own way, each state of USA is an independent state, as stated earlier it is a new country composed of different nations whereas, Pakistan is a new name yet we trace our past in a remote time. And have flourished as an entity, as a whole since then.
To further explain the American States composition and functions which has no bearing to our lands, as British ruled over us for barely a little over a hundred years. The point to note is, they did not settle us, like was the case of Australia too, a penal settlement initially hence it justified the Common Wealth Act of 1900 on the Australians. But the Act of 1935, with reference to Federation could not have been and, should not have been, enacted on us.
In the American State ,the powers of a state are inherent, not delegated, each retains all such rights and functions, of an independent government, each has it’s own documentary Constitution, it’s legislature of two elective houses, it’s executive consisting of a Governor and other officials, it’s judiciary whose decisions are final, except in cases involving Federal law; it’s system of local government and local taxation, it’s revenue, system of taxation and debts; it’s body of private, civil and criminal law and procedure ;it’s rules of citizenship. An American, may, through his life, never be reminded of the Federal Government, except when, he votes at Federal elections, his direct taxes are paid to officials, acting under the state laws. Lastly the Constitution of each State is formed and enacted by the State itself, save those states which were not a part of the old Federal Union. And, had joined later, even in such states, the Constitution derives it’s force ,not from the national government, but from the people of the state.
When in 1776, the thirteen colonies threw off their allegiance to the British Crown, and took the title of States, they proceeded to unite themselves in a league by the Articles of Confederation of 1781.This scheme of Union proved defective, for it’s central authority and assembly called, “Congress” was THEN, hopelessly weak. It had neither an executive, nor a judiciary, nor had it proper means of coercing a recalcitrant state. It’s weakness became so apparent, especially, after the pressure of the war, with British had been removed. That the opinion of the wisest men called for a closer and more effective union and thus the present original Constitution(minus the amendments),was drafted by a convention in 1787, was ratified, by nine states(the prescribed number).In 1788, and was set, to work under George Washington as the first President in 1789. The original Constitution was a short document with only 7 Articles, sub divided into sections.
Now to compare this with Act of 1935 is an altogether wrong approach as this Act was the outcome of long constitutional developments, based on Government of India Act 1858 by which the Crown, took over from East India Company. The Act of 1909, which had introduced elective principles, the Act of 1919 which introduced provincial diarchy and some nation building subjects such as education which had already been introduced in the schooling systems of British India in the 19th Century as per the policy of Lord Macaulay vide his address to the British Parliament on 2nd February 1835.
Unfortunately, when this educational system was introduced and enforced ,it had already been well perfected in India and also the methodology of education had been refined by the hired and trained people to implement the British policies.
By virtue of the Act of 1919,the core subjects like law, order and finance were held by officials appointed by and responsible to British Governors and ultimately to the British Parliament. The Simon Commission in 1927 was greeted by black flags and mass protests on the roads as it was composed of only the British with no Indian Representation. In a nutshell, this report proposed ,”the setting up of an All India Federation in a distant future”. The Indian Round table Conferences 1931 -1933 composition of which had men, who never decided an issue, which was in fact the objective of the British in the first place and hence the composition of such men in these round table conferences. So, the British could do as they pleased and eventually blame it on the natives, for, “lack of decision”. So as the British wanted it, it was decided; that, both the British India and the Princely States would be integrated into an eventual Federal Dominion of India. Here again, the leaders of Congress and Muslim League could not arrive at any agreement, on how, this Federation would be structured i.e. how power was to be shared and how minority Muslims were to be protected from Hindu persecution, this resulted in letting the conservative dominated British Government, free to draft a legislative proposals in line with its own views, a joint select committee, chaired by Lord Linlithgow, received a draft paper termed as a ,”White Paper” and thus the Government of India Act 1935 was framed. In order to appease the die hearts of British Conservative Government, certain safeguards were strengthened. Indirect elections were reinstated for the Federal Assembly (Lower House). Among other things the Act continued to deny the British Indians the right to draft or modify their own Constitution.
The Act of 1935, was the longest Bill ever passed by a Parliament, a good constitution should clearly set out over arching principles, “Not lawyers small print”, the most successful Constitution ever is indeed that of USA, as described in my article with reference to the Federation aspect only. The reason of this long draft was the British Parliaments lack of trust of the politicians in particular.
After Independence Act of 1947 with a few amendments in the Act of 1935 it became the functioning interim constitution of Pakistan. Earlier, the objective of British in enacting this Act was to make a tailor made Constitution, to fulfill the requirement of British needs and it was expected that the Act was to lead to a nominally dominion status India, conservative in outlook, dominated by an alliance of Hindu princes by this stance, the Muslim and the right wing Hindus would have then, naturally, sought the guidance and protection of the British Government, assure stalemate like situation.
As stated earlier, after the Independence Act of 1947, we as a nation, should have with the help of good jurists, drafted our own Constitution as per own requirements. It is true that we have a massive population growth, we have to and need to, clear our stables. The geographic entities, a legacy of British Raj should be removed, a nation which has always existed can never be classed as a Federation. No colonists or charter companies brought in settlers in our Indus Basin. Circumstances forced on us, a British Rule. We must break the chains and re-emerge as one nation as one state. From north to south, east to west keeping in view the number of our population, as many provinces as feasible.
If the Indians want to retain the federation aspect, they have truly the grounds for separate entities, a pre-requisite for a Federation.
Naveed Tajammal is a historian with no parallel. He is researching in history for over 25 years. Although his area of focus is Indus Basin and the Muslim History but he has an equally good command over world history.
(The writer has over 26 years of experience in historical investigative research).