Debating Jinnah

Published: September 18, 2012

The writer holds a master’s degree from the University of Warwick

Yaqoob Khan Bangash in his article “The ghosts of Partition”(August 14), cited the work of Professor Gurharpal Singh while suggesting that violence is intrinsic to Pakistan’s polity since it was created through violence. One wonders what country in history gained independence without an armed uprising. If a violent protest can supposedly radicalise Pakistan then the wars fought by American, Belgian, Dutch, Irish, Spanish, Chilean and Greek nations for their independence should have caused their self-destruction owing to the violent streak embedded in their structure.

Bangash also mentioned Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s legacy of intolerance vis-à-vis the two-nation theory. Was Jinnah not the biggest proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity initially? Did he not reject Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s two-nation theory and join the Congress instead of the Muslim League? Did he not broker the Lucknow Pact of 1916 where he was able to secure a separate electorate for Muslims and was termed the ‘architect of Hindu-Muslim unity’? So what changed his mind?

Jinnah left the Congress in 1920, while opposing its civil disobedience movement. He believed that independence could only be achieved through constitutional means. What also alienated him was Gandhi’s pseudo-religious approach to politics, after which he started fearing political marginalisation of Muslims. This also convinced him that the Congress would renounce its support for separate electorates for Muslims, which indeed it did in 1928. It was then that Jinnah contended that Hindus and Muslims would eventually have to part ways politically, if Muslims were to obtain political representation.

More importantly, the Lahore Resolution incorrectly referred to as the Pakistan Resolution, never made any demand for Pakistan. The resolution only called for ‘separate states’ for Muslims within the Indian federation and didn’t explicitly call for partition. Until 1946, Jinnah only used Pakistan as a tool to bargain for autonomous provinces. Proof: when the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946 proposed a united India with religion-based provinces, Jinnah readily agreed but the Congress rejected it because it was simply not willing to share power with a party which incidentally had won 90 per cent of Muslim seats in the elections. Nehru himself admitted in 1960 that having autonomous Muslim-majority provinces as part of India was not worth the loss of  having a powerful centre.

It was exactly this arrogance which resulted in partition being the last resort and so the call for the Direct Action Day was made. However, attributing Pakistan’s creation to this protest, while ignoring Jinnah’s brilliant politicking preceding it, is very amusing. That protest was just a means to an end and the end justified the means, for people always fight for rights denied to them. It was but a consequence of that denial.

There was a time when Pakistan was one progressive society — a booming economy, a popular tourist destination, foreigners galore and a hub of entertainment and cultural activities. If violence was so entrenched in our fabric, why was the Pakistan of that time such a peaceful place?

The answer is in the overbearing role that the religious right assumed in Pakistan’s polity where General Ziaul Haq regularly used the “Islam in danger” slogan for political gains, resulting in a paranoia-stricken, radicalised nation in self-destruction mode. Jinnah understood this six decades ago and thus strongly opposed the role of mullahs in politics. That was the brilliance of Jinnah.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Falcon
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:01AM

    Agree…this is called convenient amnesia…where everybody remembers the Jinnah who asked for a separate country but not the Jinnah who passionately strived for Hindu-Muslim unity for more than a decade.

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  • John B
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:03AM

    Ignorance is a bliss.

    Had enough of Jinnah debate. PAK should be interested in the present and the future.

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  • kumail
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:06AM

    Why did Jinnah choose to be the Governor-General even though it was just a ceremonial post?
    Why did he dissolve the NWFP assembly on the assumption it might accede to Afghanistan?
    Had he not foreseen that Partition would lead to bloodshed and thousands of lives will be lost?
    Had he not foreseen that Muslims left behind will loose their identity and religion?
    Did he not realise that Muslims in subcontinent would now be divided into two (later three) parts?
    Did he not realise that Punjab would dominate in the newly-founded state?

    Why did Muslim League stress that Sindh be separated from Bombay? Since Balochistan was annexed, without Sindh there would have been no Pakistan?
    Why did they reject the Cripps Mission just because Abul Kalam Azad was representing the panel?

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  • Zain
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:07AM

    But in the independence of America, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and Chile, locals did not kill millions of their neighbours in the name of religion & Independence, nor did tens of millions have to abandon their homelands. Most of those countries fought colonials, but in India only a hadnful of freedom fighters fought the colonials after 1857. A gift from the British negotiated with Anglicized Indian elite – different from the elite fighting colonials in American Independence.

    Pakistan’s partition is unique because here neighbour killed neighbour and tens of millions changed homelands. It then has been marred in armed conflict with neighbours and within itself of more than two-thirds of the time as an independent nation. A violent strike is at the hear of partition and Pakistani existence.

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  • Sep 19, 2012 - 12:09AM

    Cant wait for the responses to flow in. So going by this article – the congress was responsible for partition – and jinnah had no choice but to accept. I wonder why the world deifies Gandhi whereas Jinnah is virtually unknown when the former indulged in pseudo religious methods to fight imperialism. I wonder why a devout muslim like maulana azad and khan abdul ghaffer khan chose to follow gandhi when the congress was so anti-muslim as the author seems to imply.

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  • Khalid
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:18AM

    heard all of it before. was there a point to this?

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  • Sinclair
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:33AM

    Q. “One wonders what country in history gained independence without an armed uprising”
    A. INDIA.

    Duh!

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  • Farhan Ahmed Shah
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Due to space constraints Tribune had to cut short a paragraph from the original article. As i believe that paragraph was very important to the message of the article i’ll reproduce it here. Please read the following paragraph after the third and before fourth para of the above article.

    “As far as two-nation theory is concerned, let it be known that the theory was introduced by Hindu leaders long before Jinnah adopted it for Muslims. What served as the last straw for Jinnah was the presidential address of V.D. Savarkar at the 19th session of the famous Hindu nationalist party Hindu Mahasabha in 1937 where he advocated his theory of ethnic exclusivism. In his ideological thesis Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?, he promoted a radical vision of Hindu social and political consciousness. He described Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism as the same while declaring Muslims a separate nation. He called ‘Hindu’ a patriotic inhabitant of Bharatavarsha, regarded being ‘Hindu’ a religious as well as a political identity and envisaged a ‘Hindu nation’ as ‘Akhand Bharat’.
    So when Jinnah propounded his two nation theory as a reaction at Lahore resolution, he was not opposing Hinduism or Hindus, he was opposing the idea of Hindu nation being a political entity. Similarly, he always ruled out the possibility that Pakistan would be an Islamic theocracy and made a Hindu his first law minister”.

    I hope Tribune will publish this comment as it is very important.

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  • varuag
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:59AM

    I have an issue with the nationalistic perversions of history that are central to the official narrative of any nation. Sure indoctrinate the young kids. But please, in adulthood expose them to the human frailties of all the great leaders. I can take issue on most issues but let me elaborate the Cabinet Mission Plan (CMP) only. The fact is CMP talked about an extremely weak federation. According to the historian Ramchandra Guha, the CMP would have led to a Balkanization of the sub-continent. And in fact, the provincial governments were freely dismissed in Pakistan including the government of Badshah Khan just days after independence. So much so for a weak federation. The truth is that both India and Pakistan had and extremely powerful center to counter the omnipresent threat of centrifugal fault-lines. But then again, most analysis is subjective so you are free to disagree………..

    I also find the passionate rebuttal of mild criticisms of our icons, a bit parochial. It does not in any way reduce their stature but only enhances their human side, bringing them closer to the masses. Let me recount a tale. In the autumn of his life, BG Tilak was keen to start the Home Rule Movement as soon as possible but MK Gandhi having just returned from South Africa wanted time to get to know the sub-continent. As a result Gandhi kept aloof of Home Rule Movement. Distraught, Tilak ensured that Gandhi had a tough time getting acceptance in Servants Society of India, which was the organization of Gandhi’s political guru GK Gokhale. All was forgotten and in 1920 Gandhi started Non Co-operation Movement on the day Tilak passed away. Such are the travails of human endeavors.

    Jinnah is and will always remain a historical colossus for the sub-continent, random accidents of birth not-withstanding. But to justify every action as divine intervention and wax eloquent about the same will take him away from the masses. And call me a partisan dolt, but I shall always place a lot more emphasis on the writings of Yaqoob Khan Bangash, simply because true historians are devoid of emotions while most of us including the author here are simply too full of it.

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  • Bala
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:59AM

    Separate electorates for Muslims (or any community) would have been just suicide for India, Nehru did the right thing. No country can have parallel electorates in any democracy. As far as India is concerned it is good riddance!

    Jinnah only achievement is breaking the Indian subcontinent muslims into 3 equal parts! While Indians were fighting the british, Jinnah stabbed India in the back, Jinnah was hand in glove with the British during the 1930s, Jinnah never went to Jail. Jinnah famously said Muslims do not marry Hindus but he himself married a Parsi, his whole family & descendants are now living in India as Indians.

    Jinnah only saw Hindus, Had he taken the trouble of going to rural places of India and discovered India, he would have seen there is more to India and Indians than Hindu religion …Jinnah showed that its easy to destroy than to create, Jinnah never believed in the Indian idea that all people can live together … well we are today living that dream however imperfect it is!

    As an Indian, my opnion is partition is a mistake, now that its done and dusted, I request Pakistan to move on in life and let India live.

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  • F
    Sep 19, 2012 - 1:01AM

    What hog wash! Truth must be protected by a body of lies.
    Jinnah and the supporters of Pakistan could not tolerate a one man one vote system of parliamentary democracy. Being the descendants of rulers, democracy was seen as a way to live “under” the rule of the majority Hindus. If he was such a brilliant politician and in favor of united India he would have seen that the majority had enough divisions in it along regional, caste, class lines that it could not “rule” over any one. Jinnah wanted separate and guaranteed electorates along religious lines – Muslims could only vote for their own while they shared neighborhoods with everyone else. This was his solution for keeping India united! How could different systems operate in one country with so much diversity?! He wanted Pakistan and got it. Glad he did. Religious Extremism was used then as it is being used now. Let us not blame Zia for the dire state of affairs. He just accelerated what was already there. Having said all this let me say that Jinnah was correct. Which Jinnah does Pakistan want? The one who used violence or the one that gave that one oft cited speech calling for everyone to practice their own religion? What is holding you back from achieving a tolerant state – if that is what you want. IF.

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  • Khurram
    Sep 19, 2012 - 1:32AM

    We must not forget also that Jinnah was an excellent lawyer and an avid reader of history and different political systems, that existed at his time and before him. His critical analysis of those readings, led him to believe that the societal structure, based on Islamic principles (justice, impartiality, humanity, charity, etc etc) were universal, and unmatched. So on various occasions he said that he wished to have a social model based on such principles, however, he also reiterated that the state would not be theocratic – meaning, mullah not having any say in the political affairs or running the the matter of state.

    As the author correctly said, he was very intelligent and had foresight to see how and where things would turn to, under given circumstances. What a lot of readers and commentators forget to understand about Jinnah is the fact that he was first and foremost a lawyer and political personality, and thus in these roles he always sought to develop/produce such models that provided for the people – so his extraction from Islamic model, was exclusively for such reasons.

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  • Mirza
    Sep 19, 2012 - 2:51AM

    “One wonders what country in history gained independence without an armed uprising.”
    The first name that comes to mind is South Africa where little blood was shed when they won their freedom. The second example is Nunavut country in the north of Canada of the size greater than Europe that gained independence not too long ago.

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  • Midhat
    Sep 19, 2012 - 3:23AM

    Great Read!
    Jinnah was the greatest leader the sub-continent ever saw. We acknowledge the greatness of Ghandi and Nehru, but Jinnah was a leader who formed a nation state against the best Combined efforts of Ghandi, Nehru, all the Great Indian Congressmen and The Great Britain itself . A Political Genious!

    My Grandparents who left their homeland like million others agreed with Jinnah then and they still do! No Regrets!

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  • varuag
    Sep 19, 2012 - 3:26AM

    @Farhan Ahmed Shah:
    Hindu Mahasabha was always on the ideological fringes. The subcontinental polity was pretty rich at that time with the backward castes, liberals, leftists, princes along-with Muslim League and Congress jostling for space. Who propounded the theory first will be debatable but ultimately fruitless as separation of sub-continent is a reality. We need to move past the hypothetical debates and oral sabre-rattling that engulf two-nation theory. Every spouse has a narrative of the divorce and our nation’s divorce is not amicable as the children (us) can’t seem to get over it. Its like Che Guevara’s image. Most people can’t relate or understand Che’s worldview but will still buy things emblazoned with his image. I was relieved when I saw a t-shirt with the tag ” Che is dead, get over it ! “. Why are we still stuck at 1947 ?

    About the Hindu Law minister. The intriguing fact is not that Jogender Nath Mandal was a Hindu but that he was a lower caste Hindu. Similarly India also had a lower caste Hindu as the first Law minister viz. BR Ambedkar. The part that you missed out was that Mandal resigned in frustration, fled to India and died in oblivion in India. The rise of sectarian fault-lines had started. Both nations still struggle with sectarian strife. We can’t have a comparative analysis of such fault-lines among ourselves. We need to set the bar higher and compare ourselves to other diverse societies that have been more successful in creating a secure stable multi-cultural environment.

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  • sabi
    Sep 19, 2012 - 3:35AM

    Author
    Excellent article short, but compact and realities not digestable to some of our friends across. the border
    Kudos and regards

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  • Dipak
    Sep 19, 2012 - 3:35AM

    Had Jinnah known what his Pakistan would look like in 65 years, he would have stayed behind in Bombay and died peacefully. In the end, Punjabi Millitary took over the country, got the help of brain washing, venom spewing Mullahs and elite fuedals stealing from hard working honest people. Millitary builds nuclear bomb for their super rich life style while the country stays in stone ages. This is definitely not Jinnah’s Pakistan. With tremendous natural resources, Pakistan can build plenty of electric power and can even sell to the neighbors. With power comes progress and prosperity and peaceful and happy lifestyle for all. To me that would be Jinnah’s Pakistan.

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  • gp65
    Sep 19, 2012 - 4:05AM

    @Falcon: “but not the Jinnah who passionately strived for Hindu-Muslim unity for more than a decade.”

    Jinnah’s contribution during 1920-1930 is not forgotten. Yaqoob Khan Bangash referred to the violent beginning of Pakistan -which is what this author is rebutting. During the 20s Jinnah was not seeking Pakistan so that period is not releveant to the analysis here.

    As for the question – what country obtains feedom without violent struggle?
    1. India did. South Africa did.
    2. Even for USA which fought a war of independence they fought soldier to soldier. George Washington never asked for British women and children to be attacked.
    3. The call for violence by Jinnah was not against the colonials who were ruling but against the neighbours who happened to be of a different faith.
    4. After claiming that Hindus and Muslims were 2 different nations who could not be yoked together, he pretended that transfer of population was not envisaged. How then could the 2 nations come into existence? HE also wanted eastern parts of Punjab and Western parts of Bengal in Pakistan even though they were Hindu dominated, so once a decision to make Pakistan was taken, he suddenly did not have problems in yoking Hindus with Muslims if it would give him a larger territory to govern.

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  • sadhana
    Sep 19, 2012 - 5:35AM

    When Jinnah was Ambassador of Muslim-Hindu unity, the central legislature had equal numbers of elected Hindus and Muslims. Jinnah never ever accepted the legitimacy of an elected Hindu majority legislature even in Hindu majority provinces.

    But whatever Jinnah did was a big favor to non-Muslims Indians, who Jinnah accused of wanting to destroy Muslims/Islam by virtue of being a majority. At least now, Muslims in Pakistan will someday be forced to sort out their own problems instead of getting away with decades upon decades of blaming all others.

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  • Shahzad
    Sep 19, 2012 - 6:58AM

    @Sinclair:
    Also south Africa

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 19, 2012 - 7:01AM

    I detest these neo-historians who don’t even bother to hide their contempt for Pakistan by selectively reading the past.

    Nothing is shocking about Indians’ hate toward Jinnah or Pakistan or Muslims but when a Pakistani liberal cited an Indian “historian” to spew the same, it shocked me.

    India too was born in violence. Their national project called the massacre of 200,000 citizens of Delhi, mostly Muslims, in 1857 as the first war of independence. I kid you not. Every leader hanged by the British was celebrated by Indians as their national heroes. Even the Indian’s founding father, Gandhi, was assassinated. This followed many other assassinations of other Gandhis. I have never heard Indian historians, let alone Pakistani historians, making a link between today’s violence in India with its own national project.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 19, 2012 - 7:14AM

    @F,

    “Jinnah and the supporters of Pakistan could not tolerate a one man one vote system of parliamentary democracy. Being the descendants of rulers, democracy was seen as a way to live “under” the rule of the majority Hindus. If he was such a brilliant politician and in favor of united India he would have seen that the majority had enough divisions in it along regional, caste, class lines that it could not “rule” over any one.”

    The existence of caste-politics itself showed how “undemocratic” Indians are. They vote en masse in a block. What Jinnah didn’t want was Hindu majoritinism which is wrecking havoc on Kashmir and India itself. To ask Muslims to live under Hindu rule is like asking Hindus to live under Muslim rules. Are you Indians and Hindus prepared to live under Muslim rule?

    “Jinnah wanted separate and guaranteed electorates along religious lines – Muslims could only vote for their own while they shared neighborhoods with everyone else. This was his solution for keeping India united! How could different systems operate in one country with so much diversity?! He wanted Pakistan and got it. Glad he did. Religious Extremism was used then as it is being used now.”

    It is a bit tendentious to reduce Muslim uprising as “religious extremism” when Muslims refused to live under Hindu rule but it is fine to call it “Muslim conquest” when Hindus refused to live under Muslim rule.

    “Let us not blame Zia for the dire state of affairs. He just accelerated what was already there. Having said all this let me say that Jinnah was correct. Which Jinnah does Pakistan want? The one who used violence or the one that gave that one oft cited speech calling for everyone to practice their own religion? What is holding you back from achieving a tolerant state – if that is what you want. “

    The idea of “tolerant state” should not draw upon from parochial imaginations of some individuals such as you or Indians or Westerners.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 19, 2012 - 7:25AM

    @varuag,

    “Jinnah is and will always remain a historical colossus for the sub-continent, random accidents of birth not-withstanding. But to justify every action as divine intervention and wax eloquent about the same will take him away from the masses. And call me a partisan dolt, but I shall always place a lot more emphasis on the writings of Yaqoob Khan Bangash, simply because true historians are devoid of emotions while most of us including the author here are simply too full of it.”

    I thought it was more about you Indianness which sided with Bangash than him being “devoid of emotions”. History is not fact. It is being interpreted. It past through a medium and a channel before turned into words. To explore why,how and who turned voiceless past to be a readable narrative should be an important component of reading history. To assume historians are “devoid of emotions” is what we should consider as a “bit parochial” and which “[enhance] their stature” but “[reduce] their human side”.Recommend

  • Nagpuri
    Sep 19, 2012 - 9:01AM

    @Zeeshan,

    You are kidding. If u think that British left India bcos Hindus killed 200k in 1857 then you are smoking my fav ‘vegetable’. Please,pass,it along.

    History is not fact but should be based on facts like all,Pakistanis are of Arab ancestors.

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  • azim
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:00AM

    @John B:
    You are right but you should’ve said this when Bangash’s article came out. I wonder if you did.

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  • DarKnight
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:25AM

    It was for good that India was divided in two, and then later 3. Otherwise, they way Muslim populations have exploded over the 65 years, for sure we would have been living under Sharia by now.

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  • Ghani
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:33AM

    Not only did Lahore resolution make no demand of Pakistan, Quaid never used the phrase ideology of Pakistan anywhere in his speeches. Great write-up. Keep on writing, the truth will finally shine out.

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  • Azad
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:38AM

    @Farhan Ahmed Shah:
    It does not matter who originated two nation theory. It was not accepted by majority of Hindus. Sarvarkar and Hindu Mahasabha were not in mainstream and represented fringe elements in pre-partition politics. if Jinnah was a brilliant politician how come he had to yield to Gandhi’s ascendency in Congress party organization and live in self imposed exile in London till he was encouraged by Muslim leaguers to assume mantle. If he really believed in constitutional politics he would not have ordered imprisonment of Khan Ghaffar Khan and his brother the chief minister of NWFP

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  • Azad
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:55AM

    @varuag:
    Another known fact was that Mr Ambedkar first Indian law minister was a a vocal critic of Hindu caste system and discriminations against Dalits.He renounced Hinduism and became Buddhist . He was also opponent of Gandhi and supported british and was a member of viceroy council equivalent to ministerial cabinet
    He wrote a seminal book Pakistan which predicted that Pakistan was inevitable because of the separatist tendencies of Muslims in Prepartition India. His analysis preceded any partition plan by Muslim League.

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  • Manishj
    Sep 19, 2012 - 11:27AM

    I do not understand why we all are spending so much time discussing something which happened 65 years ago ( whether right or wrong) and which is irreversible now. i have seen only those write ups get most of the comments who have something sensational to discuss.

    Why can we all not devote our time and intelligence in chalking out a plan by which both the countries can walk on the path of progress? i am not as intelligent or a good writer as many of you are, but i can only see all this dicussion as waste of time.

    I urge all of you good people to show us lesser mortals like me as to how we can bring india and Pakistan on the path of prosperity, peace and brotherhood.

    Please!!

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  • Gillani
    Sep 19, 2012 - 11:30AM

    @John B:
    Don’t agree with you. When the entire society draws its wisdom from events of the past and history, the record ought to be straightened or we would be repeating the same mistakes time and again. Good job author.

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  • John B
    Sep 19, 2012 - 11:39AM

    @Zeeshan:
    I have a complete record of what happened in 1857 and it is not what your are claiming; hand written diaries and notes, newspaper articles and some correspondences both British and Indians.

    200,000 deaths. Where are you getting this number. I also have court trial documents(copies) on that event and the British parliamentary discussions on that matter.

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  • John B
    Sep 19, 2012 - 12:16PM

    @Zeeshan:
    To read about India’s first war of Independence of 1857 you should go to the original sources written by both Indians and British . Here is the British version of the Mutiny written by British at that time.

    Whatever India claims as the first war of independence or Sepoy Mutiny is accurate and the number, what said in your comment is untrue. Both Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims were massacred by British troops.

    Whether it is really be called as war of independence is debatable as Indian history book itself says as “Sepoy mutiny or war of independence “. The sepoy mutiny also happened before.

    Read it for yourself the cause of mutiny told by the British here.

    “Imperial Gazetteer of India, volume 4, p.338….and following pages “

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  • Sep 19, 2012 - 12:25PM

    So many things said so beautifully, a very good read.

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  • Tanwir Ahmed
    Sep 19, 2012 - 1:14PM

    the handsome writer is as beautiful as his carefully crafted words. buck up Farhan my boy. these frothy indians will keep spewing their vitriole.Recommend

  • Arsalan Chaudhry Kanaywala
    Sep 19, 2012 - 1:56PM

    I wholeheartedly agree with the author. What is very troublesome is that our brethren across the border don’t seem to share the same views. Dont worry Farhan Shah, your writing is as beautiful as you are. I am enamoured with your literary technique and your appearance. you are truly a smart boy.

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  • Z Shah
    Sep 19, 2012 - 2:27PM

    Dude i love you man. Since the article of 14th august appeared i was riled up and hoping someone would reply to it. thank you for this. tells us so many things we didnt know and now we can argue with pakistan haters. Its sad your comments on two nation theory werent part of the article but great points, they completely change the picture. so proud of you.

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  • David
    Sep 19, 2012 - 2:44PM

    The author of this article needs to have his head examined!! He says that Jinnah was the “architect of Hindu-Muslim” amity blah blah blah… while conveniently forgetting that it was his so-called “Direct Action Day” that resulted in the mass-slaughter of… wait for it … MUSLIMS (as well as Hindus, Sikhs etc) ..
    The fact is that Jinnah like Nehru (who he clearly despises) was no less someone who only used religion as a tool to further his own political ambitions. If he had been born of any other religion there would have been no Pakistan… perhaps there would have been no India either (certainly not in the form today), but certainly there would have been no dysfunctional state on either side of the Indus causing havoc within itself, and to the world around it and beyond. Jinnah was desperate for Pakistan because he knew his days were numbered owing to TB, and just to bequeath a blood-stained and blood-drenched legacy wreaked havoc on his hapless “co-religionists” … sowed the wind, now making Pakistanis reap the whirlwind…

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  • Prince Harry
    Sep 19, 2012 - 3:17PM

    “Few individuals significantly alter the course of the history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” Stanley Wolpert

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  • PK
    Sep 19, 2012 - 5:16PM

    @David:
    It’s not the author but it was Sarojini Naidu who gave Jinnah the title of ‘architect of Hindu-Muslim unity at the end of Lucknow Pact because of Jinnah’s efforts to keep Hindus and Muslims together. And clearly you have read the article in which it is clearly explained what made Jinnah change his mind but you have missed the entire point. Haters gonna hate Farhan, astounding job breaking some myths here.Recommend

  • Einstein
    Sep 19, 2012 - 5:20PM

    Brilliant piece and new information that is clearly hidden from us and that gives the fellows from across the border an opportunity to malign us and our great leader. Please go read India Ex-foreign minister’s book on partition and Jinnah. It didnt go down well with the Indians because he had the courage to say that Jinnah wanted Muslims and Hindus together and it was leaders like Nehru in the end which made partition inevitable. Pakistan Zinadabad

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  • Nagpuri
    Sep 19, 2012 - 5:24PM

    @ET

    Really, it was too much?

    Saying Jinnah married a nan muslim but opposed his daughters marriage to non Muslim?

    Or is that Authors convenient picking of facts by not mentioning objective resolution?

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  • Einstein
    Sep 19, 2012 - 5:27PM

    Brilliant piece and new information which is not shown in history books. It only provides fellows from across the border the opportunity to malign us and our great leader more. Go read Jaswant Singh’s book on partition where he clearly mentions how Jinnah always wanted india to be united and it was ultimately people like Nehru who made partition inevitable. Let’s not forget that most religious leaders were dead against Pakistan and Jinnah because he didn’t want Pakistan to be an Islamic theocratic state. Great job. Pakistan Zindabad

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 19, 2012 - 6:31PM

    John B,

    How would one record the number of people killed in 1857? Do we even have the proper number of Kashmiris killed by Indians in the 21st century? Whose source should we use? Mirza Ghalib’s or the “Imperial source”?The imperial also recorded their own narrative.

    The number I mentioned was a reasonable figure:

    “Events reached a climax on September 14 1857, when British forces attacked the besieged city. They proceeded to massacre not only the rebel sepoys and jihadis, but also the ordinary citizens of the Mughal capital. In one neighbourhood alone, Kucha Chelan, 1,400 unarmed citizens were cut down. Delhi, a sophisticated city of half a million souls, was left an empty ruin.”

    Your own Indian historian has other data. He argued it was 10 millions during
    and 10 years after the uprising.

    However, those massacres took place because of the uprising. It started by killing Christians. It was sparked by “religious extremism”.

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  • Falcon
    Sep 19, 2012 - 6:35PM

    @gp65:
    May I ask where are you deriving strong conclusions (such as Jinnah’s call to violence and his call to attack innocent women and children) from?

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  • Feroz
    Sep 19, 2012 - 6:42PM

    Why people want to hang onto Jinnah’s coat tail amuses me. The man is dead and gone for 60 years and public is still discussing what he said and why he said it. Let him rest in peace please.
    How long should any post mortem last – 1 hr, 1 day or 1 week ?
    People who died because someone wanted to achieve some goal cannot be brought back. Time will only tell whether Jinnah experiment was a success or failure – so far failure rate is 50% with half the country lost. The nation State is still young and final report card is awaited as experiment is still on. Unfortunately the way the experiment has been conducted in the past and its current trajectory do not give much cause for enthusiasm.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 19, 2012 - 6:46PM

    John B,

    “Whatever India claims as the first war of independence or Sepoy Mutiny is accurate and the number, what said in your comment is untrue. Both Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims were massacred by British troops.”

    To turn 1857 into the “first was of independence” was to fit that messy uprising into India’s national project (Pakistanis bought that idea too). It fit with India’s national project that “Hindu-Muslim unity” against the British. It forgot to mention that the victims include native Christians living in Delhi. It also needed to hide the role of Islam in inspiring Muslims to wage war against the British. So, 1857 is projected by carefully picking plots of gallantry which fit into India’s national image and project.

    The worse victims of 1857 were not Hindus or Sikhs. It was Muslims. They were ethnically cleansed from Delhi and even when Hindus were allowed to return, Muslims were forbidden to enter that city. Who do you think occupy Jama Masjid 6 years after 1857?

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  • Ayesha A
    Sep 19, 2012 - 6:55PM

    I think your paragraphs on the two nation theory are very insightful. After all why did someone like Jinnah who was such a strong believer of Hindu Muslim unity change his views. ‘when he propounded his two nation theory as a reaction, he was opposing the idea of a Hindu nation as a political entity and not ordinary Hindus.’ Brilliant.

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  • Awais Mehdi
    Sep 19, 2012 - 7:47PM

    Kindly mention your email id.

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  • gp65
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:34PM

    @Falcon: “@gp65:
    May I ask where are you deriving strong conclusions (such as Jinnah’s call to violence and his call to attack innocent women and children) from?”

    The call for Direct Action Day was not against the British rulers. IT was against Hindu and SIkh neighbours. Neighbours who WERE innocent (had done nothing negative to the Muslims) and included women or children. Why do you think my statement is inaccurate?

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  • gp65
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:39PM

    @Ayesha A: ” think your paragraphs on the two nation theory are very insightful. After all why did someone like Jinnah who was such a strong believer of Hindu Muslim unity change his views.”

    Because he was seeking a separate Muslim electorate instead of one person one vote (which is how a democracy functions). Once he realized he could not get that he changed his mind.

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  • John B
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:44PM

    @Zeeshan:
    Think of it this way. The East India Company in cooperation with local maharajas was slowly expanding its control on the provinces and some local rulers were either discontent or happy with EIC. The conditions of the locals were no different and several precipitating factors led to the mutiny in an organized way which was ruthlessly quelled.

    There were similar small scale mutiny before in different regiments but this event changed the course of Indian subjects. There after the mutiny India came under British crown (with all the theoretical rights and privileges of the British subjects). This is the first time in Indian history Indians became a subject of a foreign land.

    The event brought separate government and financial records and the wealth of India was accounted for in separate ledger. So, it is first war of independence in India and armed resurrection against EIC and local maharajas who supported them.

    The AIC movement was first war for Republic of India.

    You are entitled to your view.

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  • Falcon
    Sep 19, 2012 - 11:07PM

    @gp65:
    In his book The Great Divide, H V Hodson recounted, “The working committee followed up by calling on Muslims throughout India to observe 16 August as direct action day. On that Day meeting would be held all over the country to explain League’s resolution. These meetings and processions passed off – as was manifestly the Central league leaders’ intention – without more than commonplace and limited disturbance with one vast and tragic exception… what happened was more than anyone could have foreseen.”

    And similar observation seems to have been made by other authors as well. What happened can be called an unfortunate tragedy and at worst a political miscalculation (and should not have happened), but not a planned murder. Calling some other nation’s father an inciteful murderer is a very strong statement. I can only humbly request and hope that you understand the sensitivity of the issue.

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  • Indian Catholic
    Sep 19, 2012 - 11:24PM

    @Einstein: Go read Jaswant Singh’s book on partition where he clearly mentions how Jinnah always wanted india to be united and it was ultimately people like Nehru who made partition inevitable.
    .
    Jaswant Singh was 9 years old at the time of independence. How could he have known unless he is relying on some hitherto unknown source that only he knows about? I have not read the book so I cannot comment on his sources but the partition has been flogged endlessly by numerous scholars.
    .
    Also bear in mind that Jaswant Singh is from the BJP and some of them believe in a counter narrative where Gandhi and Nehru are responsible for all ills. This fits in nicely since they are opposed to the INC. (For the benefit of Indians, please note that I am neither pro-INC or anti-BJP.)

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  • sadhana
    Sep 20, 2012 - 1:01AM

    Comment: Jinnah discussing the Cabinet Mission Plan at the Secret Session of the All India Muslim League Council, New Delhi, June 6 1946 Speeches, ‘Statements and Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam’, Vol IV, Khurshid Yusufi, Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore.

    “As regards groupings, Mr. Jinnah is reported to have expressed satisfaction and said : The Groups should have power on all subjects except defence, communications and foreign affairs. But so far as defence is concerned, it would remain in the hands of the British till the new constitution was enforced. So they need not worry about it now. They would fight in the Constituent Assembly to restrict “Communications” to what was absolutely necessary for defence only. “

    Comment: In other words, the “unity” of India in the Cabinet Mission Plan was for only 3 subjects of ‘defence, communications and foreign affairs’. There would be 3 group constitutions for all other subjects including group governments, group administrative and judicial systems, currency, fundamental rights.

    Unity based on ‘defence and foreign affairs’ was chimerical and could not be enforced, and hence could be broken at any time. Congress and Jinnah were polar opposites in their views on defence, foreign affairs and the continuing role of the British in India.

    The Muslim League acceptance resolution on June 6 1946 written by Jinnah said basically that Muslims would secede and create a sovereign Pakistan at any time they wanted:
    (“Speeches, ‘Statements and Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam’, Vol IV, Khurshid Yusufi, Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore.”)

    “and inasmuch as the basis and the foundation of Pakistan are inherent in the Mission’s plan by virtue of the compulsory grouping of the six Muslim provinces in Sections B and C, is willing to co-operate with the constitution-making machinery proposed in the scheme outlined by the Mission, in the hope that it would ultimately result in the establishment of complete[ly] sovereign Pakistan, and in the consummation of the goal of independence for the major nations, Muslims and Hindus, and all the other people inhabiting the vast subcontinent.

    It is for these reasons that the Muslim League is accepting the scheme, and will join the constitution-making body, and it will keep in view the opportunity and right of secession of Provinces or groups from the Union, which have been provided in the Mission’s plan by implication.”

    Comment: In other words, Indians would have gone from being colonial subjects of the British to being eternal hostages to the Muslim League and Jinnah’s threats of violence and secession. By refusing to accept Cabinet Mission Plan, Congress leaders saved Indians from this fate.

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  • HADI SAKEY
    Sep 20, 2012 - 4:42AM

    Muslim League never gave a call for Civil Disobedience against the British because it was contrary to their Manshoor. Muslims never struggled against the British Raj. No country ever received independence without uprising against foreign colonial powers. Recent examples in the history are: Indonesia against Dutch, Kenya against British under Jomo Kenyata, Vietnam against French, etc.etc During the Round Table conference in 1930 it was Gandhi jee who dropped bomb shell and demanded full independence for India. It was All India Congress which started QUIT INDIA movement in 1942. It was in 1947 that ethnic riots, arson etc. started in the Punjab, Bengal and Bihar. This can neither be termed as sacrifice nor uprising against British.

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Sep 20, 2012 - 4:45AM

    There seems to be sanitised version of Jinnah prevailing in Pakistan. He was not a saint but a politician.
    Jinnah can by no means can be called as secularist . He renounced his relationship with his daughter on the basis she went against his wishes and married a Christian Parsi

    He was not a constitutionailist His first acts was to imprison Khan brothers in NWFP.
    His politics led to stalemate in the prepartition Congress – Muslim League federal cabinet.

    Under his guidance his follower Laquat ali Khan the then finance minister played obstructionist tactics which made the Congress leaders concede that unified Indian government was not possible and workable as long as Muslim League had support of majority of Muslims. .

    It is time for Pakistanis to move on like Indians . indian have come to realize eventhough Nehru and Gandhi unselfish service of the country is exemplary, they were human and they made mistakes and errors

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  • OB
    Sep 20, 2012 - 3:00PM

    It’s funny how when Yaqoob’s article criticizing Jinnah was published, our neighbors hailed him and his article. But when a response is published contradicting the claims in the original article, the same neighbors start saying why is there a need to revisit Jinnah 65 years on and Pakistan should move on. Funny.

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  • Jedi
    Sep 20, 2012 - 6:03PM

    It’s funny how when Yaqoob’s article criticizing Jinnah was published, our neighbors hailed him and his article. But when a response is published contradicting the claims in the original article, the same neighbors start saying why is there a need to revisit Jinnah 65 years on and Pakistan should move on. Funny.

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  • gp65
    Sep 20, 2012 - 8:37PM

    @Falcon: I have read contradictory and inconsistent versions of what happened. I am guessing – so have you. You choose to believe one version, while I the other. At this time it does not really matter. What matters is regardless of what Jinnah wanted then, what does Pakistan want now.

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  • afatqiamat
    Sep 20, 2012 - 8:51PM

    Jinnah was just a lawyer , who pleaded the case of his Cleints [ AIML ] read the UP/CP Ashrafia , who were actually concerned with the loss of their privileged positions . 1936 Election busted the bubble and the claim of AIML of being the sole representative of Muslim Interests [ 2 seats out of 84 in Punjab and 19 out of 129 in Bengal ..the two Majority Muslim Provinces ] ..that forced them to change tactics , and bring in Religion and Communalism , Direct Action day was the rehearsal in the Use of FEAR , once successful , in creating fear among muslims similar strategy was used in Punjab post 47 , [march 47 onward ....] using Pirs and Brelvis Mullahs , who whipped up the religious frenzy first …and then the massacres of non muslims , which started from the vicinity of Pindi , and subsequent expected reaction from the non-muslims especially Sikhs , just as planned … ensured points of no return .

    Later , constructed national narratives , has kept the polities trapped so far.

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