How relevant are Gandhi and Jinnah today?

Published: April 5, 2011
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The writer is an economics professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and is affiliated with the university’s newly-formed India Centre.

The writer is an economics professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and is affiliated with the university’s newly-formed India Centre.

If you could be transported back in time, whom would you rather have dinner with: Gandhi or Jinnah? The question struck me while I was reflecting on the recent controversy that’s erupted in India on the latestbook on Gandhi and on similar controversies that have dogged books on Jinnah on both sides of the border in recent years. Was Gandhi gay? Should we care? Was Jinnah secular? Was Gandhi secular, for that matter? Did each do more harm than good to the countries they helped give birth to? These questions, once heretical, still politically dangerous, could be questions one could put to these great men over dinner, if the time travel gods of science fiction cooperated.

Ironically, the founding fathers of India and Pakistan both hailed from regions peripheral to their national polities today. And, in both countries — dominated numerically by a great swathe of people who speak Hindu/Urdu and Punjabi, languages which animate our popular cultures — Gandhi and Jinnah both shared Gujarati as a mother tongue. Beyond that, though, these two men, each endlessly fascinating in his own way, were a study in contrasts. With strikingly similar backgrounds as British-trained barristers, their paths, and public personae, diverged in lockstep with the disintegration of a unified Hindu-Muslim movement to oust the British from India, a development for which each blamed the other. Gandhi embraced an (at least outwardly) austere and puritanical life, forswore alcohol, tobacco, and meat, and dressed in homespun khadhi. Jinnah donned bespoke Savile Row suits, sported an Uncle Galahad-style monocle and survived on a steady diet of whiskey and cigarettes.

As such, antipodes that they were, they represent, even today, archetypes of two different strands of the tradition we’ve inherited in the subcontinent. And both seem to be increasingly irrelevant to their respective countries, if they ever were for more than a microsecond after the Partition. When someone’s picture is plastered up in all government offices, adorns currency notes and generally shows up anywhere else official you can think of, you can be sure that they’ve been reduced to a caricature, an icon to be paid lip service to. Just ask the Chinese about Chairman Mao. In this part of the world, that’s what’s happened to Gandhi in India and Jinnah in Pakistan. Gandhi’s ideas of grassroots development, centred around the village economy, have been ditched in the headlong embrace of free markets and globalisation. And Jinnah’s idea of a secular, modern Pakistan, a Muslim-majority state that remained welcoming and tolerant of other groups as well, seems to have been all but effaced in the upsurge of Islamic fundamentalism bubbling up today from the lower orders of society.

Do Gandhi and Jinnah still represent, at the very least, the aspirations of Indians and Pakistanis? Or would it be better to bury their ghosts in our past as we confront the realities of our countries today? And would moving beyond the legacy of these two founders help the two countries find common ground, or, at least, help our two peoples communicate better?

As the polities of India and Pakistan diverge, there is an enduring kinship amongst the anglicised elite in both countries, the descendants, in their different ways, of Gandhi and Jinnah. This was fully on view, recently, during the mutual lovefest on social media during the India-Pakistan cricket match at Mohali, when fans across the border were tweeting good wishes back and forth to each other and, during the final match in Mumbai, when there was much support for the Indian team from our friends in Pakistan. Now, you might say that a tiny per cent of each country’s population is on the internet, and even a smaller per cent on Facebook or Twitter, but that doesn’t gainsay the genuineness of the affection and warmth that flowed across the border.

And the symbolism of Pakistan’s prime minister coming across the border, from western into eastern Punjab, and watching the semi-final cricket match at the invitation of his Indian counterpart, resonated widely in both countries, and not just with their social and political elites. It was as if, for a brief moment, the gates at the Wagah border crossing had been thrust open.

Of course, we shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking that goodwill inspired by cricket, or by Bollywood or bhangra, will be enough to resolve long-standing disputes between our two countries, which are political in nature. Nor, however, should we succumb to a cynicism so corroding and a nihilism so paralysing that it prevents us from pausing and taking pride in such a moment. Unfortunately, hawks on both sides of the border seem to have an unlimited fund of such ill feeling. As was said of the Bourbon kings of France, they have not forgotten anything, nor have they learned anything.

I would prefer to recall fondly that in the last few days, Indians and Pakistanis have come together in friendship and goodwill to relish our shared zest for a sport bequeathed to us, in a delicious irony, by our erstwhile coloniser, and leave the politics for another day. Bitterness and acrimony can wait. I daresay, were we able to join them at the dinner table, both the Mahatma and the Quaid-i-Azam would raise a glass, spirituous or otherwise, to that sentiment.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (57)

  • John
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:44PM

    They both are as much relevant as they were 60 years ago. You are still writing about them, are you not?

    India never dropped Gandhian economy. From the beginning the vision of Nehru and Gandhi on economic policy was different but on the same goal. Gandhian economy is adopted in many forms in India, and India’s self sufficiency in agriculture is the vision of Gandhian economy. Home spun cotton is still sold in India, just for the heck of it. Among socialistic economic pattern, free market economy always thrived in India, in parallel form. FME was never suppressed. Besides, FME took it’s credibility only in 1980s. Yet, no country in the world including USA operates and can not operate in total capitalistic FME. FME with socialistic program are the inevitable balance, as in US, China, India, EU, Canada, etc.,

    Would they both toast? I doubt it. Gandhi and Jinnah both would be crying over Pakistan.

    Both the men lived under the spot light of recorded history.

    In an objective view, Gandhi won: in 1960s in USA with M.L King, and 1990s S. Africa with N. Mandella, and others. Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:52PM

    Their only relevance in today’s India & Pakistan is their images on the respective country’s bank notes !!!!
    The people of both nations have abandoned, their vision and belief long time back!!! What exist is the symbolism.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Apr 6, 2011 - 12:32AM

    Very interesting piece with relevance in this time..Recommend

  • Apr 6, 2011 - 1:17AM

    As long as history is written as a propaganda tool, its not a question whether Jinnah or Gandhi are relevant today. The questions is, “which” Jinnah and Gandhi is relevant. The real ones, the human being, who were not perfect? Or the mythical leader, a creation of organized propagandist. Recommend

  • Chandler
    Apr 6, 2011 - 1:43AM

    I don’t understand why a bunch of North Indians somehow imagine that they have the mandate to talk on behalf of the whole of India. These guys make zero effort to understand the cultures of the different parts of India, can’t speak any Indian language beyond Hindi/Urdu/Punjabi and yet imagine that the whole of India thinks like they do and want to be friends with their cousins to the West.

    This maybe news to you bud: nobody in India shares the same enthusiasm for “peace” with Pakistan like you do. You want to be friends with your relatives across the border, be my guest and vacate the land that originally belonged to the Dravidians.Recommend

  • Salim Ansari
    Apr 6, 2011 - 1:56AM

    To be honest, as with everything else in Pakistan, nobody really cares about M.A. Jinnah. It is just convenient to have his photograph on the wall.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:13AM

    @TightDhoti:
    The interesting thing about Gandhi is he never hid anything from public scrutiny, be it his visit to brothel when he was an adolescent, his experiments with sex, his son’s alcoholism or his convictions and search for god.

    He became big in others view when seen as a whole package. History rarely brings such people and he’s just happened to be one in our modern history.

    In PAK history, Gandhi is not a favorite because he opposed the idea of PAK, but in world history he was a significant man.

    Copious volumes were and are still being written about this man. Recommend

  • Ani
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:34AM

    This yet another author that smokes the peace pipe.
    At the surface and below, india and Pakistan have a lot in common – language, food, history. But at the most basic level, india is secular and aspires to be an equal society. Pakistan is a declared religious state that preaches and practices Islamic superiority. It rejects its own history and in the process everything that India stands for. Our values are different. Our outlook is different. Our destinies are different. India is india and Pakistan is “not India”.

    Gandhi and Jinnah. Gandhi is alive and inspiring the world over including India. Jinnah – even in Pakistan, the man has no consensus. And world over he inspires nothing. There is a reason why. Recommend

  • Don DeVoretz
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:50AM

    Vivek, Brillant piece. You ask who I would like to have dinner with, Jinna sounds like he has my taste for Whisky but one would really want to break bread with both of these minds. Of course Ghandhi won the legacy race hands down. Martin Lurther King never quoted Jinnah but MLK learned all the lessons he needed to know from the salt march of Ghandhi. I think it is important to note that Ghandhi had a long experience outside of India (South Africa) which gave him a wider world view than the presumed worldly Jinnah. Finally, I believe in Sports and of course Bollywood. The mix of Cricket and Ballywood presents a mass audience in India which could influence public opinion in Inda to be more Pacific with Pakistan as Ping Pong Diplomacy for China and USA circa 1970. The problem today is that Pakistan is a failed state run by the military and India is a developing state with no military options. Recommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 6, 2011 - 6:37AM

    Have dinner with Gandhi or Jinnah? Ask that question in a World Wide poll and most people would respond – who is Jinnah? Recommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Apr 6, 2011 - 8:08AM

    I am not sure about Gandhi, but Jinnah has no relevence to Pakistan; as it exists today!Recommend

  • ani
    Apr 6, 2011 - 8:31AM

    There is a reason people across the world hold the likes of Gandhi, King Jr. and Mandela in high regard. Equally there is a reason why the likes of Jinnah and Buthelezi are not. Non – violence, personal sacrifice, freedom for all, equality for all and tolerance towards all are universally admired and time tested principles. Seeking division, asking for ‘special’ rights and inciting violence are not. Gandhi as a result will always be relevant to India and all human kind.

    Jinnah and his religion – Islam, based secularism never gained traction in Pakistan. He is irrelevant. The inheritors of Pakistan made sure of that. They have outdone him in their zeal to make Pakistan an unequal and intolerant state. That is the uncomfortable truth. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Apr 6, 2011 - 9:32AM

    Gandhi and Jinnah are incomparable.

    Gandhi inspired many, including Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, and is spoken off as if he were a saint. Einstein called him the greatest Human to walk the Earth in the 20th Century.

    Jinnah, with this insistence on the propagation of a divisive theory, like the 2 nation theory, hardly is worthy for Inspiration.

    No country can match up to the moral standards he set for himself and asked his followers to adopt. India was in no position to become a complete ‘Gandhian’ state. But, it has tried its best. India has got a Gandhian Constitution, which will drive the Country towards a ‘Gandhian’ State.

    To be frank, Jinnah was a far lesser mortal than Gandhi and even Nehru.Recommend

  • G.K
    Apr 6, 2011 - 9:35AM

    Now a days Gandhian principle is followed through out the world and his followers include persons like King and Mandella. His pricnciples of economy like “swadeshi” products,still touted by many industrialists ,which is now called as “protectionsim”.Recommend

  • Apr 6, 2011 - 9:44AM

    Well-crafted article! You are spot on when you mention that both the countries need these icons today..I grew up in the liberalisation era where it was felt that gandhi was not relevant to today’s times! However, as I discover deeper into our roots, I realize his ecological vision for a self-sufficient India is so prescient and ahead of his times! Recommend

  • M. Tauseef Barlas
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:23AM

    Mr. Jinnah place in our hearts. Recommend

  • Apr 6, 2011 - 10:27AM

    true to the core, a very rational analysis!Recommend

  • Rana Asghar
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:39AM

    They only exist on currency notes now that is their relevance after 60 years!Recommend

  • Chup Shah
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:40AM

    “survived on a steady diet of whiskey and cigarettes.” I think this line was not necessary. What they did in their pubic life is more important than what they did in their personal life.Recommend

  • iffo
    Apr 6, 2011 - 11:29AM

    the article does’nt gave any benificial idea.waste ov time.Recommend

  • Asim Khan
    Apr 6, 2011 - 1:31PM

    All Indians when posting on such articles is pick on pakistan, pakistanis and their historical figures.
    They think we are dying to be friends with them, friends with people who drink cow’s pee, worship almost every plant\animal on this plant.
    Well I’m sorry, on behalf of all the Muslim Pakistanis, I would like to tell all the Indians to get a life and stop picking on us.
    Go see all the women getting raped in your country, all the babies being killed, all the corrupt politicians whod be ready to sell your country for a couple of billion dollars as seen in history.
    Leave us alone!Recommend

  • hassan
    Apr 6, 2011 - 1:39PM

    Jinnah was able to achieve what he wanted. He is relevant today. His two-nation theory makes enormous sense.

    But, Gandhi was a disaster. He did not solve a single problem of India. He was an anachronism then, and in this modern world, he would have been a caricature, loved in YouTube videos. He fought in SA protesting against carrying identity cards. Whatever he protested against, they are all part of our lives now. In US, you need a Social Security Card. In India, without a ration card, you are not a citizen at all.

    One of the worst legacies of Gandhi, is to bestow the Gandhi surname to Indira Gandhi clan. She was married to a Parsi called ‘Ghandy’ and this old man told her to change the surname to Gandhi to encash his appeal. Now Sonia Gandhi is encashing, and Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and her children continue to milk the nation.

    Gandhi was a disaster then, and he would have been a comic figure now !Recommend

  • Ashish
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:51PM

    Nice article Vivek – The bitterness between the two neighbours may have been dusted under the carpet for a little bit – but is out again in full force barely days after the match. Some people love to hate and their lives are run through a prism of bitterness – The fact is that the Idea of India provides many Pakistanis with a much required common, all-evil enemy and the reverse is true for many Indians as well.

    I doubt that anyone cares to remember what real Gandhi and Jinnah were actually like – Both had massive personality flaws but they were successful despite these flaws because their central ideas resonated with the masses at that time. Perhaps I am being overly cynical – and I dont know about Jinnah – but if Gandhi was to reappear in India – he would perhaps struggle to win a seat to the parliament. As many comments mention – not too people want to smoke the peace pipe – after all who wants to let go of their favourite enemy :) Recommend

  • Suresh
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:04PM

    Gandhi is becoming more and more relevant to the world than ever before. Obama carries his message wherever he goes. His message of peace is seen as the only hope for the world fought with violence. I find people from diverse fields such as economics, governance etc quoiting him. Even businessmen find his message appropriate and place sticker in their front office with quotes such as

    “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”Recommend

  • Ron(Indian)
    Apr 6, 2011 - 4:09PM

    Gandiji is known to entire world but jinnah is confine to just pakistan,, or not even pakistan but only to few pakistani.Recommend

  • Sajjad Ashraf
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:01PM

    Well written. Coveys the sentiments of lots of innocent citizens across the divide.. No point harping on differences alone. Within a family, siblings are different.

    We should rise to maturity and learn the best of each other. Recommend

  • Fact Check
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:47PM

    Simple answer is; it depends. If you want have a feast go with Jinnah if you want a simple meal and want to talk about “ahimsa” go with Mahtma.

    Kidding aside; there was an honor among men, “don’t speak ill of the dead”. Now atuhors will sell their mothers to create controversies to make a buck. Pathetic.Recommend

  • harkol
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:48PM

    If you want to see the relevance of Gandhian ways, just check what is happening in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, where the Mighty Indian govt. is quaking before a Gandhian hunger strike of a frail 72year old Anna Hazare.

    Gandhi’s idea of secularism was to treat all religions with equal respect – Ishwar, Allah tere naam sabko sanmati de bagwaan. And that’s totally relevant to India where secularism is not detachment from religion in making laws, but respecting all religions in making laws.

    So, Gandhi is very much relevant in India and his methods still work to bring some balance to otherwise corrupt system.

    Gandhi is also relevant worldwide – Tahrir square in Egypt showed how Gandhian protest can be the best way to fight injustice. Libya followed a violent path and is descending to civil war!

    Jinnah – His idea of religion as the basis of a Nation failed in 1972, his idea of Islamic ‘secularism’ (that is islamic law that tolerates other religions somewhat) never worked in Pakistan, and Hindus were cleansed out. So, I don’t think he is that relevant to even Pakistan today (leave alone the world)Recommend

  • harkol
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:49PM

    @hassan

    His two nation theory worked well in 1972… Pakistan indeed became ‘two nations’!!!Recommend

  • ksmat
    Apr 6, 2011 - 6:21PM

    As a a born and bred Punjabi Indian, I would rather have dinner with Mr Jinnah that with Gandhi – I do not think I could stand the constant sermonizing that would be come from him. The food also might be more to my meat eating taste!

    Having said that, the world is more in awe of Gandhi due to his revolutionary idea of peaceful disobedience that led to the Independence of India and Pakistan.Recommend

  • Bambaayya
    Apr 6, 2011 - 6:46PM

    Has anybody compared Jinha .. with Martin Luthar King …Nelson Mandela and the likes of them around the world ???
    Jinha is known only to Pakistanis and Indians … and Gandhi ??? Will that not answer the question everybody is going gaga about …. especially all the commentwalla’s … and my dear pakistani friends accross the border …Recommend

  • Sukhdev Singh
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:18PM

    As a Sikh living in Pakistan I identify more with Jinnah than Gandhi because of what he stood for. Jinnah was a secular to the core who believed in the unity of the subcontinent only to be betrayed by a power hungry stooge who fooled the Indian poor. Gandhi was the main culprit along with Nehru when it comes to partition. As bad as things are in Pakistan the general public here are not hoodwinked into thinking that all is well. Whereas, across the border you have the highest infiltration in Kashmir and a genocide of the Sikhs in the 80s. The only way there will be peace in the subcontinent is when Khalistan and Kashmir become Independent states because Khalsa spirit are in our heartsRecommend

  • ani
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:45PM

    Indian origin authors such as this and politicians like Jaswant Singh use Jinnah to patronize thinking Pakistanis and Indians alike by conferring upon him their own definition of greatness or irrelevance. Either way the idea is to mollify the Pakistanis by and large, create a sense of acceptance in their mind- a parity if you will, so that we can all move on.

    Jaswant Singh’s definition of greatness is: Jinnah got Pakistan out of nothing – hence he is great. We should all ignore his use of bigotry, religion and incitment to violence to seek his goal. Well if that is the threshold of greatness, then Hitler said no to all reason – he grabbed all that he could and killed as many as he could.

    But, alas, only if the rest of the world held such a low standard of greatness. You can’t fool the real world all the time. The world is a very discerning judge of chararcter. On that standard, Gandhi remains as relevant tody as he was then. Just look at what Harkol has to say in his post. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Apr 6, 2011 - 8:25PM

    Mr/s Indian are so badly mistaken that Quaid is not known,or he was just for Pakistan….did Quaid ever go in Jail?
    Who was responsible of the CHORA CHORI accident.?
    Why Indian have ignored Gandhi’s metaphor/s?
    How many Hindu remained peaceful during partition?

    Quaid was candid not hypocrite,he was a man of the principles.Look Gandhi…always backed out from his words. How funny he was.Recommend

  • Faraz K
    Apr 6, 2011 - 8:50PM

    @Asim Khan:

    don’t speak for us since your an idiot. I agree Indians come here to write that they are better off. Well someone who is better off does not need to go around screaming about it. However your comments on Hindus are insulting and should not have been allowed to be posted. Go die.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 6, 2011 - 9:05PM

    @Pakistani: ” …. How many Hindu remained peaceful during partition? … ”

    And of course Muslims in Pakistan helped departing Hindus onto trains and buses and lovingly, but sadly saw them off.Recommend

  • Neeraj, India
    Apr 6, 2011 - 11:53PM

    Asim Khan,
    You are a classic example for us all to prove that Jinnah was a miserable failure. He created Pakistan on the basis of religion and Pakistanis like you are the result of his folly.
    @Author,
    Yours attempt to create goodwill between India and Pakistan is a futile exercise, simply because in today’s Pakistan, Asim Khans constitute a vast majority and their number is increasing by every passing day.
    It is sad but true.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Apr 7, 2011 - 7:19AM

    To see the significance of Gandhi, please turn to Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, where a fellow follower of Gandhi, Anna Hazare, is shaking this mighty government to the grounds.

    This is the legacy of Gandhi. Gandhism can shake up people and their emotions in a constructive way!

    If Anna Hazare followed Jinnah’s path, he’d have asked for one more partition of India, he would have run away than staying in United India and help solve the problem.Recommend

  • Avanti
    Apr 7, 2011 - 8:00AM

    If you look from world’s point of view, Gandhi will for sure beat Jinnah. But, looking from inside, both men achieved their goals. Jinnah’s pakistan might very well be a copy of Gandhi’s India, but There was no Nehru for pakistan, unfortunately.

    Nehru is the one who gave India its foundation whether it be democracy, education (IIT), industry (Hindustan Steel), and so on. He is the one who made India stand on its own (non-aligned). You can criticize him as much as you want (Kashmir, China, Socialism), but in the end, without him, India could have been much worse than today’s Pakistan as it had to deal with so many languages, religions, and castes whereas Pakistan was based on one principle – that of Islam. Recommend

  • Raj
    Apr 7, 2011 - 8:02AM

    Jinnah’s daughter and his grand son opted for Gandhi’s country. But they both ( J&G) do not pay my mortgage..80% people in their respective countries have no idea of mortgage payments.Recommend

  • Yash
    Apr 7, 2011 - 10:04AM

    Unfortunately majority of us do not their real face. We know only mask, truth will prevail soon. Only need to explore the truth & evevaluate. History is written by winner. Let wisdom prevail.Recommend

  • Haider
    Apr 7, 2011 - 10:59AM

    I don’t think we should be comparing both of them. They had their own principals and both stood by it. In order to see whether they were great minds, you should look at their ideas / principals. Its better to ignore the implementation of these principals as it never happened for both of them. People are talking about current state of both the countries and comparining the greatness of their leaders based on that, which is un-justified. I believe if they had more time, they would have made the difference…..both countires have problem and they will not able to achieve stability till they adopt their respective founders principals…Recommend

  • Ravindra Mishra
    Apr 7, 2011 - 11:23AM

    @Sukhdev Singh: Your pipe dreams and pipe bombs have led to hundreds of thousands innocents dead across the subcontinent. Some nerve. As if two partitions in under three decades weren’t enough. Who is better of? Are Indians? Are Pakistanis? Are Bangladeshis?
    Khalistani and Kashmiri independence … utter drivel.
    Look around. No one. Not Indians and not Pakistanis want you to be independent.
    What do you suppose will happen to the world if every little enclave of elite want a piece of the earth reserved for themselves? Israels and Palestines all over again … everywhere.
    The rest of the world is coming together in extended cultural-social-economic alliances.
    The US exists. The EU has happened. A United South Asia with independent countries and greater autonomous states / provinces is an inevitable reality. It will allow for provincial, regional, national and confederate identities to co-exist without threatening each other. Within, that system your Sikh identity will not clash with your Indian and South Asian identities. Ditto for your Kashmiri identity. And it will still extend to you the benefit of access to resources from all parts of the super-state, while opening up a much larger common market. Don’t we all want to put food on the table … or are you also on the GHAIRIAT diet. Don’t fool yourself. And don’t fool us all. Best of luck. Peace.Recommend

  • Rakib
    Apr 7, 2011 - 11:36AM

    Men are less important than the use posterity puts them to. In that Indians have done a far better job to their benefit. Since certain Values are eternal, both leaders continue to be relevant to their peoples (and others too) but that does not mean they are being emulated really. Paradox is both are venerated only because they can not be emulated. Gandhi is more useful because that Brand has better recall all over the world & Indians have profited by it..

    MA Jinnah,certainly one of the finest of the Subcontinent, “died” the day Pakistan became an “Islamic Republic”. His “use” was over. He was betrayed by his own. Those that coined “Pakistan ka matlab kya….etc” and so on, did immense harm to his memory. Gandhi was treated worse because his followers made the myth greater than the man & that was a very un-Gandhian thing to do but very beneficial too. MK Gandhi has been assassinated often by his own but glorified by Indians shrewed enough to realise the international value of Brand Gandhi. He is poorly treated at home but highly rated abroad and continues to be the best Symbol of India. MAJ’s greatness was diluted by his own countrymen of hirsute variety while Indians enhanced that of MKG.

    Neither Pakistanis nor Indians have practiced anything remotely close to what these stalwarts represented but only Indians know that it pays, post-Attenborough/Kingsley, to en-cash his name globally and earn quite a few brownie points. That has ensured that their sins elsewhere are glossed over as mere aberrations.

    And so life goes on….A granite Gandhiji seated at Gate #1 of Parliament House,New Delhi appears quite tall because of comparison with the new breed of moral-pygmies around him, while well meaning men come & go on this site talking of Baburao “Anna” Hazare. MAJ still gets smart salutes though. Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Apr 7, 2011 - 4:08PM

    cant say about gandhi but jinnah is very much relevent in pakistan and will always be.
    Jinnah was an ambitious opportunistic lawyer with no sense of morality who used hatred,violence,genocide and arab-islamic suprimacism to satisfy his huge ego and hunger for power.Pakistanis prove these values of jinnah are relevant when every day they blow themselves with women and children,terrorise whatever remains of nonmuslims,go to other countries to kill kafirs and then claim allah has given them big clean hearts!Recommend

  • Ajay
    Apr 7, 2011 - 4:37PM

    @Asim Khan:
    Wherevere you go in the world, Pakistanis want to be friends with Indians, they want ti have extended talks with Indians. They visit India even those who dont have relatives- they come for pleasure/vacations or medical treatment. They socialize with Indians and mix with families and outings. You are in denial. friendship i s always a 2 way street.Recommend

  • Zahid Hussain Khalid
    Apr 7, 2011 - 4:39PM

    Both Jinnah and Gandhi had their respective styles of politics. Their appeal in today’s Pakistan, India and even across the globe can be measured through rating of the films on each of them. One appears to be an admired HERO and the other a BARRISTER par Excellence and a political NEGOTIATOR.

    Gandhi convincingly inspires a neutral observer as a leader who physically and practically demonstrated how a leader needs to appear and act reflecting the true lifestyle of the majority of the people he leads. I understand that a leader “appearing or pretending to be richer than the poorest of his followers” can NOT be a GENUINE LEADER. Yes he can be a HYPOCRAT technically known as demagogue!!! Gandhi PRACTICALLY DEMONSTRATED that he was GENUINELY A TRUE LEADER.

    Jinnah had a case as an outstanding lawyer and he won that case giving Pakistanis a homeland to live as they wished. That was not a mean achievement. He very tactfully neutralized both Hindu Majority and British intrigues to get the best possible deal for the pre-partitioned Muslim India.

    NOW…Indians and Pakistanis have to decide how they want to LIVE and BEHAVE. I think Indians are clear on that. It is ironic to admit that PAKISTANIS ARE CONFUSED! Recommend

  • Rohan
    Apr 7, 2011 - 6:41PM

    I’ll comment only on Gandhi. The man is a talking point between families and friends at some points. People like knowing more about the father of their nation. But more than, what he dreamt for India, his ways, policies, views, etc during that era are discussed. His personal characteristics as a person are discussed. People are unaware of a lot of things and make random conclusions but certainly he is still alive in our hearts.Recommend

  • M.
    Apr 7, 2011 - 9:46PM

    Its true. If you ask this question from people from different parts of the world, they will most likely ask ‘Who’s Jinnah?’. But that is probably because Gandhi was more of a spiritual leader. Jinnah was more practical. He spoke less, thought more. He’d think over an issue, form an opinion and then stick to it. At that point, his decision was the right one. Pakistan had to come into being. Muslim rights might be protected in India today, but would they have been protected had Pakistan not been created? Even Gandhi was more of a Hindu leader than an all-India one. I can’t speak for the entire country, but for me Jinnah will always be an ideal. A man to be remembered. Maybe not by the rest of the world, but certainly by the people of Pakistan. And it is the latter’s duty to make Pakistan the country it was supposed to be.Recommend

  • Ron(Indian)
    Apr 8, 2011 - 8:54AM

    India has now 2nd gandhi. Mr. Anna Hazare.. Does paksitan have any Jinnah? War against corruption is on and request all indians to contribute in their own way. thanks. Recommend

  • bhutjolokia
    Apr 8, 2011 - 12:48PM

    @Rakib:

    NiceRecommend

  • Ron(Indian)
    Apr 8, 2011 - 5:48PM

    Why pakistani media is not covering India’s revolution against corruption??? This is our 2nd independent struggle. Anna hazare is 2nd gandhi of india.Recommend

  • King Kong
    Apr 8, 2011 - 7:41PM

    @ Ron: Boo-hoo, who cares?Recommend

  • Rakib
    Apr 8, 2011 - 8:38PM

    @bhutjolokia:

    (Off Topic)

    If bhutjolokia smacks lips & says “Nice!” one should know that his end is near! LoL! Just kidding!

    (For the trivia lovers: Sorry to break anonymity but…. BhutJolokia is an Assamese chili pepper of India and one of the hottest that there is in the world….400 times hotter than Tabasco!)Recommend

  • SCR
    Apr 11, 2011 - 2:04PM

    Both has their own identity and we can not compare

    SCRRecommend

  • jssidhoo
    Apr 21, 2011 - 12:43PM

    @Asim Khan:We can change the history books in both countries but we cant change our neighbors nor can we make them disappear , we have not realized this fact in the last 63 yrs nor after 4 wars maybe we are slow learners .May God grant us some wisdom so that at least future generations can live in peace and come out of poverty. Recommend

  • aavo
    May 5, 2011 - 11:39PM

    Re: “(Gandhi) dressed in homespun khadhi. Jinnah donned bespoke Savile Row suits, ...”

    Of sartorial significance, Its either homespun or khadi (Wikipedia; khādī Devnagri: खादी, Nastaliq: کھادی) and NOT as spelled, khadhi = eaten or alternate mix of yogurt curry mixed up with whitewash lime, depending on whether a is read as a or aa. Perhaps, this Freudian masala slip is no more palatable then “Ghandi”. Vivekfully, ATRecommend

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