I hate to break it to my Indian friends but Narendra Modi’s election is sadly not an aberration in Indian history. It is the logical extension of the politics of Indian Exceptionalism and so called ancient dignity of India that Gandhi and Nehru put into motion 100 years ago. Jinnah who had been at the forefront of secular Indian Nationalist politics before Gandhi’s advent was alarmed by the latter’s appeal to these ancient ideas. He warned Gandhi against engaging in rhetoric that appealed to the lowest common denominator and was the only one who stood his ground against Gandhi’s use of both Hindu and Muslim religious ideas in politics. Thus Jinnah warned against the Khilafat Movement and Gandhi’s imitation of a Hindu peasant and ancient Hindu life to mobilise the masses. Growth of mass politics on the basis of religious rhetoric that Congress under Gandhi was promoting worried Jinnah immensely. The question that uninformed and unthinking Pakistanis ask today is that if Jinnah wanted a secular state why did he partition India. First of all he did not partition India and secondly his anxiety was despite whatever might be written in the Constitution, India would ultimately not be able to safeguard its minorities. Hence he wanted cut and dry constitutional safeguards for minorities, including the Muslim minority. Partition happened because Congress in essence went back on the Cabinet Mission Plan primarily because Nehru was obsessed with the idea of having a strong centralised government, which in turn would be dominated by the Hindu majority. So to put it simply Jinnah never believed that India, being priest ridden and caste ridden, would ever be secular enough to protect its minorities. One could argue with justification that he was right and that he had anticipated the rise of Hindu majoritarianism ahead of its time. Nehru, the self styled left leaning socialist, had called his fears nonsense and instead had pandered to the Hindu Mahasabha during the discussions on Nehru Report. When Pakistan was created, Jinnah had unambiguously stated what kind of country he wanted and what kind of country he did not want. Jinnah’s most important constitutional pronouncement on 11 August 1947 remains the most succinct definition of a secular state. He may not have used the word secular in public – the word did not have the currency it does today- but even Nehru and Ambedkar had kept the word secular deliberately out of the Indian constitution. Indian constitution only used the word secular in 1970s through an amendment. Nehru and Ambedkar had been wary of allowing the word secular because in India too it was considered a bad word – a western conception. Indian Constituent Assembly debates make for interesting reading on this point.When defending Objectives’ Resolution in 1949, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had specifically promised that the offices of the head of state and government would never be reserved for Muslims alone. Pakistan has not honoured the promises and commitments made by Jinnah and Liaquat Ali KhanThe point is that after laying out his case by referring to Protestant Catholic conflict in Great Britain, Jinnah spoke of the state’s need to be completely impartial to faith of a citizen and that in due course it would mean that religious identities in a political sense would disappear in Pakistan. Those who point to his speech a few months later on the occasion of EidMilad un Nabi miss the point entirely. In that speech he attempted to show his listeners that an inclusive and democratic constitution was not against Islam and Sharia. He had a point. Long before John Locke, the five Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence had stoutly resisted the attempts to codify Islamic law by the Abbasid Caliphs. Whether Jinnah, Anglicized and non-observant as he was, knew this or not, since his 11 August speech he had been under attack by the more religiously oriented cultural relativists for basing his idea of Pakistan’s government on western lines. Meanwhile he continued to veto bills and attempts by some to commit Pakistan to a theocratic religious dispensation. He had hoped for an evolution along the lines of Great Britain – a system he was intimately familiar with and which he had referred to in his constituent assembly speech. Slowly but surely Pakistan moved away from Jinnah’s conception. Munir Kayani Inquiry Report in 1954 lists the point of departure. Justices Kayani and Munir point out in the 300 page report that Objectives’ Resolution was completely contrary to what Jinnah had stated so clearly. They also point out with remarkable prescience that if Pakistan chooses to go in pursuit of a religious polity it will create innumerable and insoluble problems. Jinnah himself had stated as much when he had informed Raja of Mahmudabad that if Pakistanis insisted on having an Islamic state, it might lead to the very dissolution of the state. The ongoing sectarian violence and persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan prove that view to be right. So now when Modi gets elected on the agenda of a Hindu Rashtra and a Hindu state one is reminded again of the warning that Justices Kayani and Munir gave to Pakistanis which was that if Pakistanis insist on making Pakistan an exclusivist Islamic state, Hindus in India would also want an exclusivist Hindu state. At the time all the Ulema (most of whom had opposed the creation of Pakistan) including Maulana Maududi had stated that they were perfectly happy with India becoming a Hindu Republic and Muslims in India becoming second class citizens there, so long as they get to implement their own version of Islam in Pakistan.This is what makes Pakistanis’ reaction to Modi’s election a classic case of hypocrisy. Under the Constitution of 1973, mangled as it was by General Zia, Pakistan today is a Muslim Rashtra – a badly Muslim majoritarian state that treats its Non-Muslims as second class citizens. When one points out the office of the President and Prime Minister is closed to Non-Muslims, our ultra patriots point out that such is the case with Great Britain as well. This is untrue. While the Monarch as the head of the Anglican Church has to be a Protestant Christian, the elected office of the Prime Minister in Great Britain has no religious test. Pakistan does not have a Church that needs to be headed. Pakistan’s President is not the caliph. Furthermore there is no justification for the office of Prime Minister being closed to Non-Muslims. When defending Objectives’ Resolution in 1949, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had specifically promised that the offices of the head of state and government would never be reserved for Muslims alone. Pakistan has not honoured the promises and commitments made by Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan. How then can we turn around and criticize India for electing Modi? It is not a good argument to state that India claims to be secular. If India stopped claiming to be secular, would you be alright with India mistreating its Muslims? South Asia’s progress and future lies in following Jinnah’s 11 August speech in letter and spirit and having inclusive modern and democratic countries that separate religion from state. Or else we will further descent into chaos.Yasser Latif Hamdani is an Advocate of the High Courts of Pakistan and a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in London. He was also a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program for 2017-2018 academic year.