LAHORE: I recently attended the launch of the book The Charismatic Leader: Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and the Creation of Pakistan. An essential discussion about the book’s content, Jinnah’s personality and the socio-political identity of Pakistan was facilitated. The timing has been apt as it coincides with the 143rd birth anniversary of our Quaid.
Having read the book I must share one more important contribution that this book has made and will continue to make for our nation. A question that this book subtly forces us to ask is why Jinnah’s charismatic qualities of integrity, honesty, loyalty and community spirit, have died with him? Is it possible for individuals in Pakistan, in both private and professional spheres, to emulate and hold each other accountable to Jinnah’s values, in hope of realising the dream he had for Pakistan?
Dr Sikandar Hayat, the author of this book, takes us back to the familiar terrain of partition and the role of Jinnah. However the emphasis in his book is on the charismatic qualities of Jinnah; which have never been accurately brought to light before. Dr Hayat convinces the reader that it was no coincidence or fate that led to the unbelievable victory of the creation of Pakistan, but for the tireless and strategic efforts of Jinnah’s leadership.
The endeavour and pain Dr Hayat has taken in compiling factual and meticulous evidence for his narrative is evident in the span of time taken to write this book (over two decades) and the number of relevant footprints on almost every page (in support of theoretical background, historical verification and critical argument). This is truly one of the best examples of academic scholarship and is not exclusive to a social message propagating the universal principles that Jinnah symbolised, including freedom and equality for all.
We must be grateful to have authors like Dr Hayat amongst us. He did not have to write this book or write it in the way he did, without stirring a political debate. Instead his purpose has been to write this book as a gift for the people of his nation and generations to come, in order to help us reconnect with the father of our nation. Jinnah’s sacrifices and charisma compelled a fragmented and oppressed population to come forward as a tremendous and successful force. This book is reminding us that we still need to be inspired by Jinnah to remain united and principled for the growth of Pakistan.
I hope and pray that everyone can take the time to read the book and learn from it for years to come.
Sara Rizvi Jafree
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2019.