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Mohmmad Ali Jinnah

If Louis Mountbatten, Jawaharlal Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi had been aware in April 1947 of one extraordinary secret, the division threatening India might have been avoided. That secret was sealed onto the gray surface of a piece of a film, a film that could have upset the Indian political equation and would almost certainly have changed the course of Asian History. Yet so precious was the secret that that film harbored that even the British C.I.D., one of the most effective investigative agencies in the world was ignorant of its existence.

The heart of the film was two dark circles no bigger than a pair of Ping Pong balls. Each was surrounded by an irregular white border like the corona of the sun eclipsed by moon. Above them, a galaxy of little white spots stretched up the film’s gray surface towards the top of the thoracic cage. That film was an X-RAY, the X-ray of a pair of human lungs: tuberculosis was devouring the lungs pictured in the X-ray. The lungs depicted on them belonged to the rigid and inflexible man who had frustrated Louis Mountbatten’s effort to preserve India’s unity. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the one unmovable obstacle between the Viceroy and Indian unity, was living under a sentence of death. [1]

When his friend Dr. Patel revealed this sad news to Jinnah, he received an impassive face of an old man, who was not a normal patient. It hurted when lungs were being eroded with every breath of a cold Indian salty air in Bombay, but something deep in his heart was more painful than this fatal reality that he has been blessed with death ticket by incurable cancer of TB. “Nothing” Jinnah observed his verdict as recorded by Dr Patel in May 1946 at Bombay’s Grand Railroad station, except grave is going to turn me from the task I have been given by Moslems of India at this critical juncture of history.”

So as promised by his friend Dr Patel, no one got any hint about his criticality and pain. He never shared pain; he never showed any ridicule event due to his shaking lungs in public, since his will was unshakeable that commands his posture in great fury of debates with two enemies at same time. “Speed,” Jinnah had told Mountbatten in their maiden discussion of India’s future, was, the essence of the contract.” [1]

It is quite easy to understand the importance of an old man in this constitutional war, who was a man of unassailable personal honesty and financial integrity, his canons were sound law and sound procedures. He never used classic politician’s techniques to win publicity, unlike Ghandhi and Nehru he never visited any jail for any breach of law of land whatever that was. Stanley Wolpert could not find better words to inscribe a historical preface about his quarter century research on one of the greatest men of history than

Few individuals significantly alter the course of 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. ……Quid-I-Azam was one of recent history’s most charismatic leaders….” [2]

Evenly charming personality among women of high prestige in India he never tumbled throughout his life. “Tall and stately,” wrote poetess Sarojini Naidu as she met him first in 1906 on the occasion of his joining Indian National Congress in annual session of Calcutta, “but thin to the point of emaciation, languid and luxurious of habit, Mohammad Ali Jinnah’ s attenuated form is a deceptive sheath of a spirit of exceptional vitality and endurance. Some what formal and fastidious, and little aloof and imperious of manner, the calm hauteur of his accustomed reserve but masks, for those who know him, a naïve and eager humanity, an intuition quick and tender as a woman’s, a humor gay and winning as a child’s –preeminently rational and practical, discreet and dispassionate in his estimate and acceptance of life, the obvious sanity and serenity of his worldly wisdom effectually disguise a shy and splendid idealism which is of the very essence of the man” [3]

Jinnah, due to his personal skills and energy in his words, he was permitted to speak in the council’s meeting in 1912 though he was not the formal member of Muslim League. On pressing demands from Syed Wazir Hussain (1874-1947), permanent secretary of league, he agreed to join Muslim League conditionally. [4] At that time, he was just more than a lawyer, an elected member of the council from Bombay Muslim seat, and there could be no question any hidden agenda that Jinnah could had manipulated.
One cannot negate this fact that in his early political career, he was the preacher of unity among Muslims and Hindus. And he tried for their reconciliation and well he was the only man who succeeded in his efforts to bring two banks of river together, and it is history that this was the first and last attempted effort termed as Lucknow Pact.

An insight reveals that at that time Muslim League was emerging as new political force in India, and it was quite logical for Jinnah to blend these two forces against an alien ruler. And compromise actually made both parties at ease. If for a moment, both nations could had tried a joint venture for independence, things would had been shaped in a different way. But this was the case for Pakistan, since both parties actually failed for any reconciliation and both opted for their own destination. As a matter of fact, Congress shared a big portion in this context without any prejudice of reality as events especially partition of Bengal, Hindi Urdu controversy etc. And as a shrewd lawyer he always believed in a constitutional way to win the game. He warned Ghandi in Khalifaat movement episode about the blood stained consequences for Indians, as he smelled and openly declared that Indian Nation is too naïve for such a movement, whatever the silver linings are observed by the historian, miseries of Muslims simply out numbered them on any rational ground as predicted by Jinnah. It is not the question of being on the side of Muslims or Hidus, it is a simple question of your farsightedness, and Jinnah did what he thought right and what he stood aloof and did not jump into the bandwagon of publicity like Ghandhi. History recorded that Jinnah never made a mistake, a meticulous, analytical and a rational lawyer was getting tough on British day by day.


1. “Freedom at Midnight” by L.Collins and D.Lapierre
2. “Jinnah of Pakistan” by Stanley Wolpert
3. Sarojini Naidu’s title for him in Naidu, “Ambassodor”
4. Sarojini Naidu’s ed M.A.Jinnah: His speeches and wrtitings, 1912-17, p 1


Last edited by Last Island; Monday, October 19, 2009 at 09:48 PM.
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