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Sunday, Oct 17, 2021
Outlook.com

Repackaging Jinnah

A revisionist biography for the West sinks on home turf

Repackaging Jinnah
Repackaging Jinnah
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
ANTHROPOLOGIST Akbar S. Ahmed seeks the middle ground between two poles of argument in Pakistan: the secularist gloss that Jinnah had wanted a secular state, and the ideological canon that he had envisioned a religious one. He has attracted the animosity of both. He seeks to prove that Jinnah was neither a fundamentalist nor a secularist, and has written a 'revisionist' book which should become interesting if his detractors shed their prejudices.

Akbar is a Pakistani British resident who wants to bridge the Christian-Muslim divide in Britain even though expatriate Islamist zealots reject him out of hand. He also wants to reintroduce Jinnah to Western audiences as an acceptable figure by undoing some of the injustice done to him by Attenborough's film Gandhi. Akbar's own film on Jinnah was destroyed by his detractors in Pakistan. Secularists and Islamists attacked his script in unison, forcing the government to switch off the funding even after he had repeatedly changed the original script to please his critics. Finally nothing was left of what he had planned. Had the...

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