Many tomes have argued that Mohammed Ali Jinnah wanted a secular Pakistan and was really a liberal. It has been implied that if Pakistan had followed his “real” vision, it would have had a very different trajectory. Eminent Pakistani scholars suggest this, as do some figures of the Hindu right like L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh.
These arguments are quite bogus. Jinnah first set the house on fire, then expressed some regret at the death toll; he sought the first country created in the name of Islam, and after getting it said he wanted it to be secular. Pakistan (or Land of the Pure) he called his project, though there would be little room in the hearts of the new nation’s keepers to respect the Bengali Muslims of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He formulated the “two-nation” theory, then spoke of the need for Pakistan to treat its minorities well.
How on earth would the residents of his “nation of the pure” respect the minorities when the word ‘Pakistan’ itself suggests that non-Muslims are impure?
One can understand why Advani would have empathy for Jinnah. He too led one of the most divisive movements in recent Indian history; but during the climax, when Babri Masjid actually fell, he wrung his hands and said it was the “saddest day” of his life. To this day he struggles to be accepted as a secular liberal. In personal life, Advani is no fundamentalist. Jinnah was an elitist with a taste for delicately cut sandwiches and fine spirits. But that in itself is no evidence of his being liberal or secular. On the contrary, it reveals that he could practice the most cynical politics, driven by personal ambition and thwarted ego (apparently vis-a-vis Jawaharlal Nehru). The real liberal and humanist was dhoti-clad M.K. Gandhi, who had discarded all accoutrements of his class origins. From the vantage point of his upper-class nose, Jinnah is said to have looked down upon Gandhi, though historians tell us it is Nehru who really annoyed the barrister.
Obviously, a whole set of complex processes led up to the Partition. But personalities do shape histories and Jinnah shaped that of the subcontinent. Pakistan is now an Islamic republic with nuclear weapons; also home to some of the most dangerous forces in the world. This has caused many deformities. India, too, has been mutilated by the politics of Jinnah: its scars are visible in the politics of Hindu versus Muslim that is now just a habit with us.
Saba Naqvi is political editor, Outlook; E-mail your columnist: saba AT outlookindia.com
Apropos The Cynic as Daydreamer, Jinnah was, till the end, just a successful advocate. One should never forget the cause he was advocating (and the people he was doing it for). Partition was something of a way station for a minority elite that saw itself as a ruling class and settled for nothing less than a separate nation, and even that it considered a pathetic compromise. The Muslim League agenda was to rule India, as it is still for the entire establishment in Pakistan, even if it means destroying themselves in the process. And though it’s a difficult truth to stomach, the effect of Partition on India was hugely positive. It saved our soul. The Muslim League’s poisonous politics would have stunted India.
Reportedly, Jinnah was a brilliant lawyer, intent on winning by all means. At some time in his life he may have had pan-Indian and secular intentions. But then Gandhi stole his thunder and later Nehru arrived as the blue-eyed boy. So he carved out a niche for himself by playing on the Hindu-Muslim faultline. It started as a simple ploy to grab his share of the power. And once he got on the back of the Muslim tiger, he just could not get off and had to ride on it till the very end.
Ashutosh Kaul, Toronto
The Jinnah's Pakistan : Today's Newspapers in Pakistan
1. " The facts cry out for urgent resolution. In the last ten days, over 100 people have been killed in Karachi. In the last 90 days, terrorism has claimed over 1,500 lives with 100 bomb blasts and 10 suicide attacks. There is no end in sight to the killings. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has responded to the Karachi situation by proposing a special cabinet meeting to consider and formulate a clean-up operation in the city. And he has set up a Cabinet Committee on National Security that is tasked, among other things, to formulate and implement a counter-terrorism policy against the Taliban. ''Nazam Sethi in Friday Times .
2. '' PESHAWAR/BANNU: A bomb wounded 11 people, mostly children, when it exploded outside a girls' school in Bannu on Thursday, a doctor said.
The bomb went off at the end of the school day as pupils walked into a street lined with fabric shops in the northwestern town of Bannu, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Doctor Omar Zeb told news agency AFP that 11 people had been brought to the local hospital – seven primary schoolgirls and four other people who had been in the street.
Police official Azad Khan told AFP that at least four girls, two boys and a man had been wounded. Three of them are in serious condition he said.'' Dawn
3. ''Naval officer slain; 9 others shot dead
KARACHI: Despite the entire Federal Cabinet being present in the provincial capital, the ongoing violence did not end, and at least ten people including a Navy officer, LEAs personnel and political workers were killed here on Wednesday.A Captain of Pakistan Navy was gunned down, and his wife wounded in armed attack at near Stadium Road.
Captain Nadeem Ahmed along with his wife Tasmish Nadeem was on the way to Naval Engineering College to teach the students, when armed men riding on motorcycle sprayed bullets on them.
Rangers’ jawan along with three gangsters was killed during an encunter in Lyari locality. The encounter took place when Rangers raided the hideout of Lyari’s notorious gangster, Jabbar Jhengu in Old Union Community Road in Lyari’s Shah Baig Lane. After reaching the said place, gangsters opened fire, and as a result, Rangers man Sohail Akhtar sustained bullets wounds, and died on the spot. In retaliation, gangsters identified as Mullah Saleem, Aziz and Amanullah were killed, while the remaining ones managed to escape.Similarly, a police constable was shot dead in Orangi Town within vicinity of Pakistan Bazaar police station.'' Daily Times Lahore
PROs of Ishrat,Sorabudins and Hafiz Sayeed will make India another Pakistan soon .
It is actually very easy to disect someone's character long after he is gone,but kudos you are quite right.May god increase your tribe!!!
So where are majority Muslim nations/socities tolerant of non-Muslims and treat them with respect and dignity? Could a non-Muslim nation have Hindu movie stars as respected and popular as Shah Rukh Khan and be able to live if they marry a Muslim woman and raise his children as Hindus? Even in Kashmir , native Hindus were decimated just because they did not believe in mohamed or worship allah.
Excepts from Jinnah's speech on 14 August 1947
>>The tolerance and goodwill that the great emperor Akbar showed to all non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It dates back 13 centuries ago when our prophet not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians handsomely after he conquered them.
>>He showed to them outmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs. The whole history of Muslims where they ruled is replete with those humane and great principles and <b>which should be followed and practised by us. </b>
And that is exactly what the Pakistanis have done. So sayig that Pakistan would have been different if the Pakistanis had followed Jinnah's vision is a blatant lie.
>>Hard to believe this coming from Saba Naqvi.
I don't think Saba has changed her stripes. It is just that the Pakistanis, and Jinnah, considered Bengali Muslims like Saba, to be no better than Hindus. Hence, Saba's rancour. IMHO.
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