Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah
Jinnah as a role model
By Sharif al Mujahid
JINNAH is the founding father of Pakistan. But to Pakistanis, he was something more: he is their role model. A role model if only because of the principles he had owned up and practised during his long political career, and, moreover, because of the congruence of his behaviour pattern and politics with his professed principles throughout his public life.
While Jinnah’s own public life and political behaviour provide a role model for the rulers, administrators and politicians, he showed a remarkable perspicacity in identifying the problems that would be encountered in building up Pakistan as he envisaged it — as a welfare state.
The most critical problems confronting Pakistan today are, above all, those of law and order, corruption, nepotism and jobbery, and of greed, ineptitude, hypocrisy, and the insensitivities of those in power, whether in the government at various levels or in the opposition. On these problems Jinnah dwelt repeatedly during his tenure as governor-general, beginning with his August 11, 1947, address to the Constituent Assembly. Now, consider how relevant are the following guidelines he had set out in that memorable address.
i) “The first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the state.”
ii) “... everyone... no matter to what community he belongs, ... no matter what his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations... we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state.” (This dictum in the present context should logically be extended to include various sects and ethnic groups).
iii) “... always be guided by the principles of justice and fair play, without any... prejudice or ill-will,... partiality or favouritism.”
iv) “... the evil of nepotism and jobbery ... must be crushed relentlessly ... Never tolerate any kind of jobbery, nepotism or any influence directly or indirectly...
v) “One of the biggest curses... is bribery and corruption. We must put that down with an iron hand...” This includes political bribery and corruption and saleable loyalty as well, which have corroded our entire political system and institutional structures, and have spawned the present political crisis.)
In these precepts the one relating to united nationhood, being “equal citizens of one state”, with equal rights, privileges and obligations is the most important. Therein, he laid down the doctrine of a united, indivisible Pakistani nationhood, without any distinction of language, culture or ethnicity.
During the struggle for Pakistan period, it is true, he had pronounced Hindus and Muslims as two major nations in the subcontinent and, on that basis, demanded a separate homeland for Muslims. But with both the nations having attained statehood, there was a paradigm shift, and the two nations in the post-partition context were and are India and Pakistan. Jinnah was the first statesman to recognize this basic shift. Hence he declared Pakistan, which was and is multi-racial, multi-linguistic and multi-religious, to be a pluralist state, with equal rights, privileges and obligations for all its citizens, whatever their race, religion or creed.
He had invoked the Madinite model of statehood in his reply to Lord Mountbatten on August 14, 1947, and that model was based on the Misaq-i-Madina, which Dr. Hamidullah describes as the first written constitution in the world. The Misaq-i-Madina, promulgated by the Prophet (PBUH), had envisaged a pluralist state (articles 1, 2, 25-35, and 46), bearing in mind the multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-religious character of Madina, and its defence was made the collective responsibility of all its citizens (articles, 24, 44, 45a, and 45b). Hence Jinnah’s pluralist doctrine for Pakistan is, by no means, in conflict with his declaration of Pakistan being an “Islamic democracy”. And his pluralist doctrine continues to be extremely relevant in the context of the divisive forces and voices that have for long plagued Pakistan.
As for those who, while swearing by democracy, opt for an authoritative style of governance, a phenomenon much too familiar in Pakistan, he warned,
“representative governments and representative institutions are no doubt good and desirable, but when people want to reduce them merely to channels of personal aggrandizement, they not only lose their value, but earn a bad name... and it is possible (to avoid that) ... if we subject our actions to perpetual scrutiny and test them with the touchstone not of personal interest but of the good of the state.”
In the task of state-building, the bureaucracy plays a very vital role. It helps build institutions, mans the administrative structure, provides continuity to the system, helps identify, diagnose, and find solutions to problems, addressing itself to the larger task of nation-building. Hence, Jinnah tried to define its role, duties and responsibilities, its do’s and don’ts. His exhortations to the civil servants are still very relevant.
In brief, he told them that their duty is to serve the government “as servants, not as politicians”; and to “act as true servants of the people even at the risk of (annoying) any minister ... trying to interfere with you in the discharge of your duties as civil servants”; that they “should not be influenced by any political pressure, by any political party or individual politician”, but do their duty “as servants to the people and the state”; and that they should “make the people feel” that they are “their servants and friends, (and) maintain the highest standard of honour, integrity, justice and fair play”.
Simultaneously, Jinnah assured the civil servants security of service; he also
admonished the politicians (and ministers) to “realize... how it demoralizes the services” when they try to “influence this department or that department, this officer or that officer”. And in doing so, such leaders and politicians “are doing nothing but disservice to Pakistan”.
These pronouncements are in the nature of guidelines, delineating the first steps towards establishing a welfare state. This we have ignored rather callously, to arrive at the sorry state in which Pakistan is today.
Likewise, our political leaders have miserably failed to follow the principles Jinnah had scrupulously followed in his public life. The core principle he had stood for is that of clean, honest and unstained politics. Even when he had established himself at the bar, he refused to enter politics until he had saved “enough”, so that he did not have to live off politics. To him, politics was not meant to secure power and pelf, but to serve the community and the country. He spent his own personal funds to finance his political activities (including travel, boarding and lodging).
Even as governor-general, he set an example in austerity. Ispahani tells us that he cancelled the orders for a Lincoln (car) and for an aircraft because Pakistan could not afford to pay for them. For the same reason, he would not go in for installing a lift in the Governor-General House despite his old age. Also, he would see that the lights were put off before he had himself retired to his bedroom.
Finally, if we would own up and actualize these guidelines, Pakistan, in good
time, could become a model welfare state, as envisioned by its founding father.
The writer was the founding director, Quaid-i-Azam Academy.
Jinnah's crucial role
Jinnah's crucial role
By Prof Sharif al Mujahid
The measure of criticality of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's role in the making of Pakistan depends on the answer to other interrelated questions: Did Jinnah create the forces that ultimately brought Pakistan into existence? Or, did he merely channel those forces which were already in momentum, towards a definite goal? While historians generally proffer the latter view, contemporary observers take the former one.
Historians, whether because of their wide-ranging scholarship and long insight into history, or because of a general tendency among them to interpret events in terms of a deterministic approach, are prone to explain contemporary events within the framework of the outworking of historical forces and ideological factors - factors long embedded in a country's or a nation's body-politic.
More specifically, some historians tend to believe that Pakistan was somehow in the "womb" of history and that its emergence was inevitable, whether or not there was a Jinnah to lead the movement to a successful culmination.
At the other end of the continuum stand contemporary observers and those involved one way or another in the pre-1947 developments which led to partition and the emergence of Pakistan.
They not only rate Jinnah as being the critical variable in its emergence: some like Leonard Mosley even regard Pakistan as a one-man achievement. More important, they even doubt whether, without him at the helm of Indo-Muslim affairs in that epochal decade of 1937-47, Pakistan would ever have come into being.
Sweeping as this assertion may sound, it is sought to be buttressed with an array of arguments, at once solid and convincing. A.V. Hodson, the author of perhaps the most authoritative British account of the imperial retreat from India and "the Great Divide", has brilliantly summed up the case for this viewpoint:
"Of all the personalities in the last act of the great drama of India's re-birth to independence, Mohammad Ali Jinnah is at once the most enigmatic and the most important. One can imagine any of the other principal actors... replaced by a substitute in the same role - a different representative of this or that interest or community, even a different viceroy - without thereby implying any radical change in the final denouement.
But it is barely conceivable that events would have taken the same course, that the last struggle would have been a struggle of three, not two, well-balanced adversaries, and that a new nation state of Pakistan would have been created, but for the personality and leadership of one man, Mr Jinnah.
The irresistible demand for Indian independence, and the British will to relinquish power in India soon after the end of the Second World War, were the result of influences that had been at work long before the present story of a single decade begins; the protagonists on this side or that of the imperial relationship were tools of historical forces which they did not create and could not control... whereas the irresistible demand for Pakistan, and the solidarity of the Indian Muslims behind that demand, were creations of that decade alone, and supremely the creations of one man."
The two divergent viewpoints sum up the alternatives in the age-long controversy between the social determinists and the "Great Man" theorists. In essence, the basic issue boils down to the fundamental question: Which one plays the prime role in the making of a historical event - the circumstances that give opportunity to a character or the character itself?
The creation of a new nation of Pakistan out of India's body-politic was, by any criterion, a historical event of profound significance. As F.J.C. Hearnshaw argues both character and circumstances are equally crucial in the making of such an event.
Why? Because without their interacting on each other and mutually affecting one another, the final configuration of events and the integration of interests are simply inconceivable.
Speaking of Napoleon, for instance, J. Christopher Harold remarks. "In spite of the prodigious amount that has been devoted to the man and his times, there is still little general agreement as to whether Napoleon is more important a product and a symbol... of circumstances that were not of his making, or as a man, who, pursuing his own destiny, shaped circumstances that governed the course of history.
Like all great men, Napoleon was both, of course..." The same is equally true of Jinnah.Opinion, may, of course, differ about the relative weight assigned to circumstances and the character - that is, about the measure of criticality conceded to a character, in the making of a historical event. But unless the environment is characterized by certain "determining tendencies", circumstances alone cannot create an event.
Application of this criterion invariably leads to the following conclusion: whatever be the strength, the momentum and the intensity of historical forces working towards centrifugalism in India's body politic and towards Pakistan, without the fortuitous matching of the character - in this case, that of Jinnah - with the circumstances, it could simply not have come the way, it did.
This was especially true in the case of Pakistan, since this state was not in the realm of possibility barely a decade before its emergence nor the demand formulated even nebulously before Chaudhry Rehmat Ali did in 1933, nor was it even a "geographical expression", before that date.
More so because of the fundamental fact that "few statesmen have shaped events to their policy more surely than Mr. Jinnah," as The Times (London) put it. This explains why underlying everything that has been said or written about Jinnah is the central theme of his achievement of Pakistan.
The critical role of achievement motivation in society may also be explained and buttressed by a close examination of the implication of the "womb" theory in respect of Pakistan's emergence.
This theory, succinctly summed by Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), while explaining Lenin's role in the coming and the culmination of the Russian revolution, lays down "that a man and his period had to be considered together and that both were determined by the antecedent state of culture."
In terms of the Trotskyian formulation, could it be said that Jinnah was not an accidental element in the historical development of Muslim India and that both Jinnah and his party were the product of the whole gamut of Indo-Muslim history? It could not, for it would amount to a tautology, because had Jinnah and his party not strived for Pakistan, and having strived, had failed to accomplish it, they would still have been a product of past Indo-Muslim history.
An integral product in the same way as Sayyid Ahmad Shahid (1786-1831) and the Mujahidin movement (1820s-1860s) or Muhammad Ali (1878-1931) and the Khilafat Movement (19920-22) were, although in both cases they encountered failure in the end.
Not to speak of the non-League Muslim leadership, even the past role of the League or of its leadership during 1937-47 seemed always prone to striking a compromise with the Congress, more or less on the latter's terms.
Even Jinnah's past role as a an eloquent Congress leader (1910-20), as an 'ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity' (1915-20), as one of the foremost advocates of Indian freedom, as the author of the Delhi Muslim proposals (1927), and as a Muslim leader striving to evolve a compromise formula acceptable to both Hindus and Muslim till 1937, and as late as 1938 in his correspondence with the Congress leaders - all of which could, of course, be put down as a natural product or the recent historical past of Muslim India.
But even this role fails to provide any clue to which of the alternative paths of developments presented to Muslim India he would take. Not to speak of 1937, even in the middle 1940s Pakistan's emergence could not have been predicted on the basis of available historical evidence as the only likely future development of Indo-Muslim polity.
Indeed, even as late as June 1946, whatever the political forces and conditions at work, the alternative path of united India seemed more likely choice. It was Jinnah who made the critical decision that led Muslim India directly to Pakistan within a year.
Hence, while both Jinnah and the Muslim League were, indeed, a product of the past of Muslim India, Pakistan was not so much a product of that past as the product of one of the most "event-making" figures, in modern history. Thus, Jinnah's presence was indispensable, in the emergence of Pakistan.
Given the Waliullah Mujahidin, the Aligarh and the Khilafat legacy on the Muslim side and that of the Prarthana Samaj, Arya Samaj, Tilak, Malaviya and Gandhi on the other side, the demand for Pakistan is, of course, understandable as a culminating point of the "natural evolution" of the separatist tendency among Muslims on the one hand and of the process of alienation from the Congress on the other. But certainly not its realization without the presence of "an event-making man."
The historical situation during the 1937-47 decade presented two major alternative paths of development for Muslim politics: (1) going along with the Congress credo, if not a merger of the League into it or the acceptance of a satellite status; and (ii) striking out an independent line.
These alternative paths were presented on seven different occasions. (1937, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1945 and 1946). But on no occasion did Jinnah waver, though each time he chose for himself and for Muslim India the path towards establishing a Muslim identity on a constitutional plane - the path since 1940 of Pakistan as a separate Muslim state. This he did whatever the toils and labours, whatever the trials and tribulations, whatever the circumstances and consequences.
It is true that Jinnah had accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan initially, but his acceptance though sincere at the time, was primarily motivated by the fact that the Plan contained the seeds of Pakistan, providing for a somewhat limited Muslim religio-political identity in a confederal India, with the prospects of opting out for a sovereign Pakistan after a decade, if the proposed arrangement did not work to Muslim satisfaction.
It may be argued that the fateful decision to continue the boycott of the Constituent Assembly after getting the Muslim League entrenched in the Interim Government in October 1946 was solely Jinnah's and this decision led directly to the British government's declarations of December 6, 1946, and of February 20, 1947, which paved the way for partition.
In several other crucial decisions during the 1937-47 decade as well, Jinnah alone mattered. He alone determined the course Muslim India and Muslim politics would take. Hence Jinnah's criticality in the making of Pakistan.
Jinnah’s commitment to principles
Jinnah’s commitment to principles
By Prof Sharif al Mujahid
DURING his long political career, spanning some forty-four years (1904-48), Jinnah donned several roles. But whatever the mantle he donned, Jinnah stood steadfast by certain well-defined principles. Since these principles are inspired by an element of universal truth, transcending both time and place, they are relevant to contemporary Pakistan as well, and may well serve as a beacon to guide us to the destiny envisaged by the founder.
What, then, are the core principles he believed in and stood for? First, he stood for clean, honest and untainted politics. In his day, politics had not become “the last refuge of a scoundrel”, nor the scourge of the masses, nor a metaphor for corruption galore. Unlike latter day politicians, Jinnah considered politics as a means of serving the community and the country, and not as a means of amassing wealth.
This reminds one of an anecdote narrated by Khasa Subba Roo, former editor of the Indian Express. About the turn of the century, when Jinnah had established himself at the bar, he was asked why he had not entered politics as was the wont with successful lawyers at the time. His reply was characteristic of the man who would later be acknowledged as the most incorruptible politician in the country. He said that he was awaiting the day when he had saved enough — and he named a figure, considered enormous at the time — to afford to involve himself in politics with a clean conscience since he did not want to live off, nor make a profession of, politics. And all through his life, he spent his own personal funds to finance his political activities (including travel, boarding and lodging).
It was again characteristic of Jinnah and his sense of self-respect that when the Muslim League was blamed for the failure of the Shimla Conference in 1945, he refused the hospitality of the Government of India, not only for himself but for the entire Muslim League Working Committee (which had met for consultations and stayed at Hotel Cecil, Shimla) and got the entire expenses paid by the members themselves. Again, as Governor-General, he cancelled the orders for a Lincoln limousine and for an aircraft because he felt that Pakistan could not afford to pay for them. (But today, even chief ministers, despite their provinces’ financial insolvency, are purchasing aircraft for their use out of public money, with impunity).
Second, he believed in democratic ideals, in a democratic approach, in a democratic dispensation. He stood for political toleration, for an honest difference of opinion, and for observing the rules of the game. At the Allahabad session (1942), for instance, he allowed the Working Committee and Council members to speak out their minds, even if it be against him. And Maulana Hasrat Mohani exercised that right to the hilt.
Third, Jinnah stood for consensual politics and for participation of the masses. Although the Lahore Resolution was passed on March 23, 1940, he did not make the goal set out in it as the supreme objective of the Muslim League until he found that it represented the will of the Indian Muslims. Again about Muslim India’s yearning and aspirations, even in the height of the struggle for Pakistan, he would say: “We want the verdict of the electorate, such as it is constituted, of Muslims, whether they want Pakistan or whether they want to live here as an abject minority under the Hindu Raj...” A week earlier he had declared, “... if the Muslim verdict is against Pakistan. I will stand down” (Quetta, October 10, 1945).
Fourth, Jinnah believed that the battle for freedom should be fought on the floor of the assembly rather than on streets. He also felt that the government should practise democratic norms, observe rules of the game, and should abstain from taking recourse to draconian measures which may push the opposition to the wall. That is why he resigned from the Imperial Council on the adoption of the Rowlatt Bill (1919).
Fifth, Jinnah believed that the legislature, the judiciary and the press, along with the executive, constitute the four pillars of the state. He believed in the autonomy of the legislature, the judiciary and of the press. He considered the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan to be a completely “sovereign body” (by the same token, the National Assembly in present-day Pakistan should be the supreme legislative body). In 1948 a provincial government wanted Jinnah’s consent for an ordinance a few days before the legislature was due to meet. He refused, saying that it would tantamount to bypassing the legislature.
Sixth, Jinnah believed in the sanctity of the vote, and always exhorted his audience to exercise their right of vote the way they liked, but with caution and on the basis of principles they believed in. During the critical elections of 1945-46, he said, “Your votes in favour of the Muslim League candidates are not for... individuals but... for Pakistan.”
But even in those elections he spurned with disdain offers of opponents to withdraw for a consideration. When, for instance, Abdur Rahman Siddiqui brought in an offer from Hasan Ispahani’s opponent in Calcutta to withdraw on payment (merely) of his deposit money of Rs250, Jinnah said. “Pay money? Indirectly bribe a candidate to withdraw? No, never. Tell him at once that his offer is rejected. Hasan will fight him.”
Likewise, during the crucial Sindh elections in December 1946, when he was approached for sanctioning a further sum of Rs50,000 for the campaign, Jinnah told G. Allana “in a firm tone”: “But remember one thing. I don’t want you to pay a single rupee to any voter as bribe to vote for us... I prefer defeat to winning election by adopting dishonest and corrupt means.” (the present day politicians who swear by him, perhaps, as a routine exercise, would do well to remember the Quaid’s obiter dicta on the purchase of legislators, candidates and voters).
All through his life Jinnah stood for the freedom of the Press. On many an occasion in the Indian central legislature he pleaded the cause of press freedom. Thus, on September 19, 1918, he called upon the government to “protect those journalists who are doing their duty and are serving both the public and the government by criticizing the government freely, independently, honestly — which is an education for any government.” During the Pakistan struggle he had often called for counsel, advice, even criticism: “If I go wrong or, for that matter, the League goes wrong in any direction or in its policy or programme, I want you to criticize it openly as its friends...” This means that he believed in freedom with responsibility.
Jinnah believed in the supremacy of the law and condemned the abridgement of constitutional and civic rights. In raising his voice against such abridgement, he made no difference between friend and foe, between one community and another. For instance, he protested against the interment of Annie Basant (1917), the Ali Brothers (1914), the detention without trial of Sarat Chandra Bose (1935) and Vithablbhai Patel (1931), and the promulgation of Rowlatt Bill (1919). He believed that “no man should lose his liberty or be deprived of his liberty without a judicial trial in accordance with the accepted rules of evidence and procedure”; he stood for extending powers to the judiciary instead of to the administration, and for a separation between these two pillars of the state.
Though he was the founder and head of the state, Jinnah refused to forestall the shape of the Pakistan constitution. He was, however, confident that “it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam.”
As the discussion above clearly indicates, Jinnah’s principles and pronouncements are extremely relevant to today’s Pakistan. In present-day conditions, the mere fact that the masses have, by and large, stood by them over the decades seems to matter little. What does really matter, however, is what those at the apex of the social and political pyramid do. After all, if charity should begin at home, reform must necessarily begin at the top.
Thinking of the Quaid
Thinking of the Quaid
By Anwar Syed
“YOU are free, you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan.” This is the assurance the founder of our country, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, our Quaid-i-Azam, gave all of us —Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Zoroastrians, and others — in his address to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947.
Can there be doubt that he would have been deeply embarrassed, anguished, even incensed had he been present to see what some of his people did in Sangla Hill on November 12, 2005? A Muslim lost money to a Christian in a game of cards, went to the local prayer leader, and accused his “playmate” of blasphemy. The following morning a mob of professedly outraged Muslims attacked and broke up three churches, a convent for nuns, a missionary school, a hostel, and homes belonging to local Christians. They burned down or otherwise destroyed books, pictures, relics, and furniture.
Christian leaders have called upon General Pervez Musharraf to order a judicial inquiry and award “exemplary” punishment to the perpetrators. What could the punishments be for vandalism committed by a frenzied mob incited by the so-called “defenders” of the faith? Looking for the culprits would be like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack. Yet the fact remains that the emotional hurt and physical damage done to a small and helpless minority is enormous and a way to right this despicable wrong must be found. Someone has to make restitution. It won’t be the culprits.
Who then? I submit that Muslims as a community must accept responsibility and comfort and compensate our grieving Christian fellow-citizens. I do not mean that the government of Pakistan, or the Punjab government, should make good the loss. Muslims, as individuals and as a community, must do it, for only then will their minds and souls be cleansed; only then will they realize that the wrong done in Sangla Hill must never be allowed again.
I should like to report that two leading women among Muslims of Pakistani origin in northern Virginia (US) have launched a vigorous, and apparently successful, campaign to raise funds for rebuilding or repairing the Christian places of worship in Sangla Hill. Their effort is commendable, but it cannot move the hearts and minds of Muslims living in Pakistan. The latter must also do something of the same order, and on a much larger scale. Let the call go out from Qazi Husain Ahmad, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, other MMA leaders, Mr Altaf Hussain, Mr Nawaz Sharif, and Ms Benazir Bhutto that Pakistani Muslims are honour bound to give funds and personal service in aid of the Christians in Sangla Hill. They owe decent respect and affection, and equal rights, to all minority groups. This is what the Quaid-i-Azam would have expected of them.
I should now like to turn, on this 129th anniversary of the Quaid-i-Azam’s birth, first to an overview of his personality, and then to certain aspects of his political ethic. Based upon several dozen recollections and analyses of his person and politics, presented at an international congress of scholars in December 1976, I am able to offer the following summation.
He was: handsome, elegant, eloquent, wealthy, shrewd, prudent, and frugal; proud, assertive, wilful; grave, disciplined, orderly, and persevering; competent organizer, skilful negotiator, able tactician, master of detail; unselfish, honest, incorruptible; rational, logical; given to the rule of law; covenant keeper; dedicated to his people’s welfare.
Most of these characterizations are self-explanatory, and not all of them are equally relevant to the making of a great leader. The people of Pakistan hold him in the highest esteem not because he was, among other things, eloquent, handsome, or elegant. He remains their ideal because of his unwavering commitment to probity in personal and public transactions, a balancing of the mutual obligations of the individual and the community, and primacy of the common good, the public interest, over the personal interests of policy-makers and influencers.
Let us begin with his view of the ends of public power. The function of the state, he believed, is not merely to maintain order that enables individuals freely to make and pursue their choices. It is also to build a good society, which is held together not only by relationships of interdependence based on contracts, but also by bonds of mutual affection and brotherhood.
All members of the Pakistani national community are brothers unto one another regardless of the religion to which they belong. This community is a historic, corporate entity that connects the present generations with those who are now gone and those who are still to come. It is an organic community whose parts are linked together in their health and well-being, and whose togetherness is enlivened by the warmth of solidarity.
As the Quaid-i-Azam saw it, brotherhood requires implementing the values of equality and social justice. In addition to equality before law and that of opportunity, it includes society’s obligation to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, and to ensure that none would go without access to the basic necessities of life. Since brotherhood necessarily implies caring, the rich cannot say that they owe the poor nothing. Brotherhood must mean then that as one member of the community advances to a higher level of competence or prosperity, he takes others along with him on the same road. They may not all advance to the same extent, but sharing of a lifting experience has taken place, bringing all participants closer together.
In his post-independence speeches he urged his listeners in Quetta, Sibi, Peshawar, and elsewhere to subordinate their sectional interests to the larger national interest. Local attachments need not be abandoned, but what is the value of a part, he asked, except within the whole? This was a call for harmonizing local and national identities, but it did not imply that the locality would do all the giving. The national community owed obligations to regions and sections. The parts might not have value except within the whole, but the whole could not flourish if the parts languished. They must have their due and feel that justice reigned if they were to honour the whole.
The Quaid-i-Azam undertook to implement these requisites of national integrity. He told the people in Balochistan (for whose welfare he, as governor general, carried a special responsibility) that he wanted their area to have the status of a province as quickly as possible, and that in the meantime he would associate their representatives or notables with plans for their social and economic development. In the same vein he assured an audience in Peshawar that his government would want the “sons of the soil” to occupy higher-ranking posts in the provincial and central governments for which they were qualified. The people of all provinces of Pakistan must have their share of the advantages generated by public policy.
A good society must strive to be just, which meant living according to law and doing away with exploitation. Graft and “jobbery” were wicked because they involved taking something to which one was not entitled and, by the same token, depriving someone of that to which he had a right. He admonished that public officials in Pakistan were to serve the people towards whom they should be warm, kind, and befriending, not arrogant.
Civil servants, he said, must resist the pressure that politicians might bring to bear upon them to promote their personal and partisan ends. They owed loyalty to the state, not to any individual politician or party. Governments were made and unmade, ministers came and went away, but civil servants remained, which meant that they carried a heavy responsibility for safeguarding the public interest. Resistance to pressure might involve hazards to their careers, but they must do their duty fearlessly, and if sacrifices had to be made in the process, they should be willing to make them in order to make Pakistan the state of “our dreams.”
The people were entitled to a say in their governance. They could put a party in power and they could dismiss it. Their government must be responsive to their needs and aspirations. But once again he asked for a balancing of rights and obligations. The people had rights but so did the government. Both were entitled to be dealt with according to law. The “sovereign” people must learn that they had no right to act as a violent mob. Having put a government in place, they must let it govern. They should not try to impose their will on it, from one day to the next, by unlawful means.
No government worthy of the name could tolerate mob rule. He asked his people to introduce elements of moderation and balance in their lives and in their politics. Honest criticism of the government was appropriate when deserved, but the people must also understand the government’s limitations. And there would be nothing wrong with a word of appreciation and praise when their government and public officials did well.
The people of Pakistan celebrate the birthday of the Quaid-i-Azam to the point where a great many of them do not want to hear that, notwithstanding his many virtues, he was also capable of error. But they have, at the same time, chosen to ignore his advice in each one of the above-mentioned particulars. Are we then to say that his coming among us had all been in vain? I don’t think so. Gandhi in India, Thomas Jefferson in America, and the founding fathers of numerous modern states have likewise been ignored by many among their succeeding generations.
This is a fate that has befallen even some of the prophets. The optimists among us, especially those who speak in the hope of improving minds, must be grateful to God that they have someone like the Quaid-i-Azam to whose words and actions they can point as a torch that shows the right path to those who would seek it. And who is to say that such seekers will never increase?
"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. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three." Stanley Wolpert. Jinnah of Pakistan.
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the voice of one hundred million Muslims, fought for their religious, social and economic freedom. Throughout history no single man yielded as much power as the Quaid-i-Azam, and yet remained uncorrupted by that power. Not many men in history can boast of creating a nation single handedly and altering the map of the world but Jinnah did so and thus became a legend.
"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. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.", Stanley Wolpert
In the words of John Biggs-Davison, " Although without Ghandi, Hindustan would still have gained independence and without Lenin and Mao, Russia and China would still have endured Communist revolution, without Jinnah there would have been no Pakistan in 1947."
Lord Mountbatten had enormous confidence in his persuasive powers. But as far as Jinnah was concerned, he felt that though he tried every trick, he could not shake Jinnah’s resolve to have partition. Mountbatten said that Jinnah had a " consuming determination to realize the dream of Pakistan." And he remained focused on that till his death.
Lord Lothian had said that though Jinnah’s scheme of partition was good, it would take at least 25 years to take shape. But great wars and great men shorten history, and Jinnah was such a man who could alter the history of a nation.
The lessons he taught his countrymen were worth remembering for the life time, especially the lesson of equality. Always a worker for Hindu Muslim unity, he served a political apprenticeship in the Congress. He said: "Whatever you may be, and whatever you are, you are a Muslim , you have carved out a territory, a vast territory . It is all yours. It does not belong to a Punjabi or a Sindhi or a Pathan. There is white too in the lovely flag of Pakistan. The white signifies the non- Muslim minorities."
An upright man who always kept his word, he thought well before he spoke. If he made a promise he made sure he kept his word. In his last days when he was suffering from extreme illness, he went to the meetings and dinners he was invited to and made it to the inauguration of the State Bank of Pakistan because he had promised he would be there. He advised, " if ever you make a promise, think a hundred times, but once you make a promise, honor your promise."
Quttabuddin Aziz remarks that Muslim India was beset by socio-economic frustration. At such a time Jinnah guided a virtually rudderless Muslim League. Aziz refers to Jinnah as the greatest Muslim leader of the 20th century who was able to turn a dream state of Pakistan into a reality.
Saleem Qureshi refers to him as a messiah in the restricted sense, that he revived the spirit of nationhood among the Muslims of India and secured a homeland for them. He wanted partition to be a peaceful one because he believed in non-violence and practiced and preached it.
Director, Center of South Asian Studies, Gordon Johnson said rightly of Jinnah: "He set a great example to other statesmen to follow by his skill in negotiation, his integrity and his honesty."
In March 1940 after laborious attempts at Hindu-Muslim unity failed, Jinnah proposed the idea of an independent nation for the Muslims of India in areas where Muslims were numerically in majority. He was then given the title of Quaid-i-Azam (supreme leader) by the Muslims of India. Yet Jinnah was more than Quaid-i-Azam for the people who followed him and more than the architect of the Islamic nation he called into being. He commanded their imagination and their confidence. He was not bogged down by the daunting task of creating a home for Muslims in which they would be able to live in the glory of Islam. Few statesmen have shaped events to their policy more surely than Jinnah. He was a legend even in his lifetime.
Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan
By Sharif al Mujahid
JINNAH was not a mere political leader, but also a statesman. Indeed, his statesmanship streak influenced and determined his political leadership role increasingly as he negotiated the tortuous road to Pakistan in the 1940s.
For the most part, a politician deals with matters of the moment. Since his focus is rivetted to short-term goals, he is bound to be severely constrained by a rather limited vision. In contrast, a statesman looks at problems and developments on a long-term basis. This is not only in terms of immediate goals only, but, more importantly, how they could be fitted in, and could be integrated, with the long-term aspirations, larger perspectives and more enduring goals.
Hence a statesman constantly and continuously tends to prognosticate and keep in view the long-term consequences of day-to-day developments he is confronted with. Above all, a statesman looks at events and problems through the prism of a grand vision.
Jinnah developed the demand for Pakistan with a vision. It is not merely that a Muslim homeland in the subcontinent had to be created, but also how it should be structured, what orientation it should opt for, what ultimate goals it should pursue. All this to make its establishment meaningful and significant for the masses.
Political independence from both the British rule and Hindu domination was, of course, the immediate goal, the short-hand metaphor, as it were. But what was to make it meaningful was a process of quests that would change the face of the Muslim homeland for a better tomorrow, a brave new world.
Quests for ideological resurgence, cultural renaissance, economic betterment and social welfare. And this is precisely how Jinnah spelled out the rationale for the Pakistan demand in his epochal March 23, 1940, address in Lahore. He said, “... we wish our people to develop to the fullest our spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life in a way that we think best and in consonance with our own ideals and according to the genius of the people”.
Thus, his numerous pronouncements from 1940 to 1948 provide guidelines in a full measure that, when taken together, portray his vision of Pakistan.
First, in his August 11, 1947, address he called for an indivisible Pakistani nationhood — a concept by which all the inhabitants, no matter what their race, colour or religion, would be full-fledged citizens of Pakistan, with equal rights, equal privileges and equal obligations.
Second, on February 21, 1948, he stressed the need for “the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and equality of manhood”. Earlier, in his June 18, 1945, message to the Frontier Muslim Students Federation, he had talked of “the Muslim ideology which”, he said, “has to be preserved, which has come to us as precious gift and treasure and which, we hope, others will share”.
In his broadcast to the United States in February 1948, he was sure that the Pakistan constitution would be of “a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam”. At the same time, he reaffirmed unequivocally that “Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state ... to be ruled by priests with a divine mission”. Thus, he stood for a democratic face of Islam — a pluralist face of Islam.
It is significant that this version of an Islamic democracy was in accord with the view of Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, the foremost religious leader of the day.
The Maulana had strongly supported the Objectives Resolution of March 1949 which ruled out theocracy as the structural framework of Pakistan’s constitution. He argued cogently that “an Islamic state does not mean the government of the ordained priests. How could Islam”, he asked pointedly, “countenance the false idea which the Quraan so emphatically repudiated in Sura Tauba verse 37?”
The Quaid stood not only against theocracy, but also against sectarianism. “Islam”, he said, “does not recognise any kind of distinction of caste, and the Prophet [PBUH] was able to level down all castes and create national unity among Arabs. Our bedrock and sheetanchor is Islam. There is no question even of Shias and Sunnis. We are one and we must move as one nation, and then alone we shall be able to retain Pakistan.”
Unfortunately, though, sectarianism has raised its ugly head in Pakistan during the last fifteen years, creating serious problems for Pakistan. Curbing religious extremism and marginalising jihadi and terrorist groups are, indeed, among the most critical challenges confronting Pakistan today. The future face of Pakistan depends for the most part on how we go about tackling these critical problems.
Jinnah had invoked Islam because, as he had repeatedly said, “Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. Islam has taught equality, justice and fair play to everybody. What reason is there for anyone to fear democracy, equality, freedom on the highest standard of integrity and on the basis of fair play and justice for everyday?
Let us make it [the future constitution of Pakistan]. We shall make it and we will show it to the world.”
At the political level, Jinnah stood for undiluted democracy, constitutionalism, for autonomy of the three pillars of the state (executive, legislative and judiciary) and for a free press, for civil liberties and a civil society, rule of the law, accountability, and a code of public morality. It is in the formulation of such a code that Islamic ethical principles would come in handy, and that ideology would play a pivotal role in Pakistan’s body politic, but, of course, with the consent of the general populace.
He stood for moderation, gradualism, constitutionalism and consensual politics all through his public life. He believed in building up a consensus on an issue, step by step. He believed that controversies should be resolved through debate and discussion in the assembly chamber and not through violence in the streets, through sheer muscle power. He believed in democracy and not mobocracy.
He believed on the lines of Disraeli who laid down the axiomatic rule for the birth and maintenance of a stable and self-propelling democracy when he said, “We must educate our masters, the people, otherwise we would be at the mercy of a mob masquerading as democracy”. This is tragically what has been missing in Pakistan since the early 1950s. More often than not, most of our political leaders succumb to wild rhetoric, weakening the democratic temper of the masses and strengthening the trend towards mobocracy or dictatorship.
On the economic front, Jinnah stood for a welfare state. Among others, this calls for structural changes in the economy, ensuring a balanced and mixed economy with an equitable distribution of wealth. He stood for full employment opportunities for one and all, for a contented labour, for a fair deal to the farmer, and for human resource development at all levels. Finally, his call for an Islamic economic system should not be misinterpreted to equate with the riba question. It is essentially meant to ensure economic equity and social justice to one and all, without any discrimination whatsoever.
Jinnah stood for enforcing law and order, for the elimination of nepotism, bribery, corruption and blackmarketing, for wiping out distinction of race, religion, colour and language, for providing equal rights and opportunities to one and all and for the economic betterment of the masses. “Why would I turn my blood into water, run about and take so much trouble? Not for the capitalists surely, but for you, the poor people”, he told his audience at Calcutta on March 1, 1946.
He counselled the first Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. “Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor”. He also stood for the emancipation of women for conceding them their due rights, and for taking them along with men side by side in all spheres of national life.
In short, he wanted Pakistan to be progressive, forward-looking, modern and welfare-orientated but firmly anchored to the pristine principles of Islam, since these principles are firmly rooted is the enduring traits of equality, solidarity, freedom and emancipation of the marginalized sections of society.
This, then, represents Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan. And unless and until we translate his guidelines into public policy and ground reality, Pakistan would not become the sort of country that the Quaid had envisioned.
Jinnah - a staunch Muslim
Jinnah - a staunch Muslim
Z A Syed
A number of biographies and hundreds of articles have been written about the sterling qualities of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah. He was a great leader of the Muslims of the subcontinent - straightforward and above-board in his dealings.
In the historic session of the Congress held in December, 1920 at Nagpur, Gandhi moved the famous resolution of non-cooperation. In the presence of 100,000 people, only one voice was raised against the said resolution and that was Mr Jinnah. Within three years Gandhi withdrew the movement and acknowledged that it was a Himalayan mistake on his part. On 26th July, 1943 in Bombay an attempt was made on the life of Quaid-i-Azam. The assassin had attacked with a knife and Mr Jinnah received injuries.
The Quaid demonstrated his deep abhorrence of violence. He stated "Grave political issues cannot be settled by the cult of the knife, nor by the gangsterism. There are parties and differences between them could not be dissolved by attacks on the party leaders. Nor could political views be altered by threat of violence". Mr Jinnah made clear distinction between terrorism and struggle for liberation. He had a similar approach to Kashmir and Palestine.
In 1946 Pundit Nehru and British Cabinet Mission went back on their pledges. Quaid-i-Azam gave a call for direct action. Quaid said, "Today we have said good-bye to constitutions and constitutional methods. Throughout the painful negotiations the two parties with whom we bargained held a pistol at us, one with power and machine guns behind it, and the other with non-cooperation and the threat to launch mass civil disobedience. This situation must be met. We also have a pistol." He further added," we want peace, we do not war. But if you want war, we accept it unhesitatingly."
Muhammad Ali Jinnah delivering his speech in Pakistan Constituent Assembly at Karachi on 14th August 1947 emphasised the basic Islamic principle of " tolerance". He said," The tolerance and good will that great Emperor Akbar showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It dates back thirteen centuries ago when Hazrat Muhammed (PBUH) showed tolerance and gave respect to Jews and Christians after he had conquered them.
A true leader is always the voice of his nation. He epitomises the best of what his society can possess and offer. He becomes an embodiment of all that is good around. He shuns all, which is otherwise. He is a man of determination. Being an embodiment of all this, Quaid-i-Azam was different from Gandhi, for whom truth was nothing but expediency. Raghavan N Iyer quotes Gandhi's sayings, "At the time of writing I never think of what I have said before. My aim is not to be consistent with my previous statements on a given question, but to be consistent with truth as it may present itself to me at a given time." This is subjective morality at will ie as interpreted in a given situation by a certain person.
Gandhi and Jinnah were both from Gujrat Kathiawar. Both were barristers and staunch nationalists. Quaid was not a Sadhu like Gandhi, consuming his community's funds. Gandhi's saintliness is well expressed by Mrs Sarojni Naido when asked by Lord Mountbatten," whether, in view of the determined poverty in which Gandhi chose to live, Congress party could really protect him?" "Ah" she laughed, "you and Gandhi may imagine that when he walks down that Calcutta station platform looking for a suitably crowded third class carriage that he is alone. Or, when he is in his hut in the 'Untouchables' colony he is unprotected. What he does not know is that there are a dozen of our people dressed as untouchables waling behind him, crowding into that carriage. When he moved into Bhangi colony, in Delhi, a score of Congress workers, clothed as Harijans lived in the hovels around him." How the Congress party played the fraud on the untouchables and Harijans and also on the nation-is obvious.
Quaid-i-Azam had no time for such hypocrisies. He lived above board, no hypocrisy, no underhand means, no mincing of words, no selfishness. He stands in sharp contrast to the leaders of his time. Shiv Lal writes in his book' The Tughlaq of India', "Was it not Nehru who on his return from England in 1920s started pressing the then Congress Working Committee for a fixed monthly salary for himself? This was for the first time in India that politics was conceived to be a profession and not a social service as was the practice in those days."
On the same page Shiv Lal had the courage to eulogies Quaid-i-Azam. He writes," It is again an interesting fact of history that while Jinnah 'India's Enemy No 1' willed all his property in India to a Bombay school and to a hospital, Jawaharlal's will determined the succession of his moveable, immovable property only to Mrs Indra Gandhi."
This month Pakistan Muslim League (Q), the new version of Convention Muslim League of Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan arranged All India Muslim League International Conference. During the session an honourable lady scholar said that Quaid-i-Azam was a secular. It was surprising that there was none from Pakistan to challenge her except a Chaudhry, the honourable guest from brother country Bangladesh. Dr Chaudhry Abdul Rahim protested against such remarks about the Father of the Nation and walked out.
There is a lobby of so-called intellectuals who are trying to prove that the Father of the Nation was a secular and he wanted Pakistan to be a secular state. Their act of presenting Jinnah as secular instead of as a true follower of Islamic principles is influencing young generation and if this continues then our Islamic ideology is going to slowly erode away.
The factual position is that, Jinnah on many occasions had clearly and unambiguously stated that Islam would be the ideology of Pakistan. Jinnah had a personality of a true believer, who believed in the strength of the Islamic principles in shaping the destiny of a nation so such a man cannot be deemed as secular.
Allah Almighty says in the Quran: "Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) breast (33; 4)". This verse of the Quran manifests that a genuinely "faithful" person cannot have more than one object of devotion. He who worships Allah cannot worship any other object in the universe. This faith in one Allah makes the believer a single-minded person. By and by, he becomes one in his ownself. Quaid's soul was stout, his will was strong and his faith in God unflinching.
Speaking at the Karachi Bar Association on 25th January 1948 the Quaid said "The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) was a great teacher. He was a great law -giver and a great statesman. The life of the Prophet (PBUH) was simple according to those times. He was successful in everything he did from being a businessman to a ruler. The Prophet (PBUH) was the greatest man that the world had ever seen. Thirteen hundred years ago he laid the foundation of democracy".
On another occasion addressing the civil and military officers at Khaliqdina Hall Karachi, Quaid-i-Azam said, "It is my belief that our salvation lies in following the golden rules of conduct set for us by our great law-giver the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam. Let us lay the foundations of our democracy on the basis of true Islamic ideals and principles". On one occasion when a Muslim who was holding the Holy Quran asked the Quaid what laws would govern Pakistan, Quaid pointed to the Holy Quran and said that the laws were given in the book in his hands. Everyone has the right to express his or her opinion but to deny, ignore or omit facts in intellectual dishonesty cannot be condoned by any reasonable man.
Quaid-i-Azam was a true representative of Muslims. His determination was inspiring. There is no ambiguity in his behaviour. Quaid-i-Azam remained true to his essential nature. His expressions never conveyed any duality. He did not suffer from any character failing. His stood like a rock in fulfilling his mission. A man of integrity, in the field of politics, can safely look up to Quaid-i-Azam for a yardstick. Through his conduct he proved that truth and sincerity of purpose bear fruit even in politics. He could not bow before any person.
Quaid-i-Azam defeated the Congress in Gandhi's lifetime. He defeated Mountbatten, who was sent to implement Cabinet Mission Scheme. Here are his words: "But there was one man who absolutely prevented this(Cabinet Mission Scheme)and that was Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the President of Muslim League, who absolutely said 'no' from the very beginning and there was nothing I could do to make him change his mind." Quaid-I-Azam had been deputed and destined to win a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent. Quaid-i-Azam was aware of his vocation. He had told Mountbatten, "What must be, must be". Pakistan was the will of Allah and it had to be fulfilled. Quaid-i-Azam's lungs had failed but he knew he could not afford time to rest. He was in the thick of battle. Jinnah did not live on his lungs he rather lived on his will power.
He had to attain his destiny. He yielded to his illness only after the achievement of his goal - Pakistan. Quaid told his physician Dr Elahi Bakhsh that he had achieved what he struggled for adding that it was then the duty of the nation to build Pakistan into a strong and prosperous state. His job had finished. Dr Elahi Bakhsh from that day on began to feel that Quaid-i-Azam would not live any longer because he had given up the will to live.
The journey of Quaid-i-Azam's struggle is different from that of many contemporary heroes. It is different because at no stage of his struggle, the Quaid stooped to underhand means. No title could attract him. No office could tempt him. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was above all such petty considerations. He had the feeling that he had been deputed by Allah to something great for the sake of the Muslims of the subcontinent. At the Government House Peshawar, while addressing the Jirgah, Jinnah said on 17th April, 1948: "Whatever I have done, I did as a servant of Islam and only tried to perform my duty and made every possible contribution within my power to help my nation."
A great personality on all counts:-
The dark, lowering clouds of our karo-kari traditions on the one hand, and the bright, uplifting rainbow of the Quaid-i-Azam’s hearty liberalism on the other! Why do we, the Pakistanis, run away from the rainbow and allow ourselves to be crushed by these layers upon layers of obscurantism?
The Quaid-i-Azam was a hearty person, and not a severe or intimidating taskmaster, and one of his remarkable distinctions was that he personified the greatest champion of female rights of his time. No leader -- Muslim or non-Muslim, and including Sir Syed, Allama Iqbal and Mahatma Gandhi -- so firmly supported the full participation of women in the national life, and unequivocally declared it to be a pre-condition for the forward march of a nation.
Looking at the galaxy of those gifted ladies who constellated around the Quaid during the freedom struggle -- prominent politician Jahan Ara Shahnawaz, poetess Mumtaz Shahnawaz, brilliant orator and founder of APWA Rana Liaquat, a many-faceted intellectual jewel Shaista Ikramullah, educationist and relief worker Fatima Begum of Punjab, Pakistan’s representative at the UN Salma Tasadduq, writer and political activist Shamsunnihar Mahmood, dedicated social worker Sughra Hidayatullah, Delhi’s well-known political and social figure Nurussabah Begum, Fatima Jinnah, and thousands of other lesser lights (inspired and educated ladies scattered all over the subcontinent), who made sacrifices, fought for national emancipation and raised the torch of enlightenment in the name of the great liberator. Any trailblazer could be proud of such a glittering array of learned, courageous and enthusiastic female volunteers, all eagerly ready to play their magnificent role in the freedom struggle and, subsequently, in the awesome task of nation-building. The Quaid-i-Azam’s vision and mission both were perfectly safe in the hands of these laudable ladies, but it ought to be pointed out with a deep sigh that to the determent of the ensuing generations, most of our male helmsmen turned out to be timid, rigid and self-serving fortune-seekers.
It can be said with full assurance that in order to test the democratic and liberal disposition of a public figure in our part of the world, all you have to do is to rub him against a single touchstone -- female equality -- and you would instantly know where he actually stands and what his verbiage truly means. It has indeed been a discouraging fact that over the years, many of our highly educated and seemingly enlightened politicians have failed this test, shocking us by the sudden exposure of their base metal. Our society continues to suffer on account of this leadership flaw. And what compounds our ill-luck in this matter is the irony that our Quaid had always been a supporter of women’s rights, and that too at a time, over a century ago, when even present-day western champions of human rights and equal opportunity, were blithely treating their females as inferior beings. When in England the protesting suffragettes -- Mrs Pankhurst, Emily Davidson and others -- were being imprisoned, beaten and even murdered by the establishment. When in the Third Republic of France, home of the great Revolution and cradle of Liberty, the chic dames were not allowed to sign a cheque. And when in the United States, the great land of opportunity, right under the nose of the newly-installed Lady of Liberty, the American ladies lacked most liberties.
Finding himself entrusted with the care of his little sister, Fatima, the young barrister gave her his love and saw to it that she received a high education and professional training as a dentist (an unbelievably practical occupation for a woman of those days), so that she could face the world on equal terms and pay her own way. This shining, yet unsung, contribution of the great man must never be forgotten by us.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah spent his young manhood in England at a time when it was bliss to be alive, and to be young was just heaven. Taking pride in its highly efficient language, the energetic English society was promoting learning in all spheres of life, and cultivating the subtle art of conversation, elocution and repartee -- a display of ingenious wit in speech and writing. Literary heavy-weights such as Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Frank Harris were preparing the ground for budding exponents of the piquant art, including Lieutenant Winston Churchill, who would blandly retort, “I should drink it” to Lady Astor, the first female member (and femme fatale) of the British parliament, in replay to her cruel remark – “If I were your wife I should certainly poison your morning coffee.”
How could Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a bright and hearty youth, eager to get all the best of the western world, remain unaffected and fail to develop a flair for the jolly remarks, the delightful banter, the apt rejoinder, the crisp one-liner and the cheerful silencer, eliciting touche from a worthy opponent.
The Quaid was a very learned and hard working man, and a strict disciplinarian. The last-named attribute, in the reckoning of most of us, is suggestive of a stern humourless and aloof character. Nothing could be farther from the truth, for the Quaid had a pleasant personality and was always ready to share a joke.
In 1937, Mohammad Ali Jinnah came to Lahore to set up his party’s parliamentary board for the impending elections. It was a tough task requiring him to meet all sorts of difficult visitors. One day while discussing party matters with Pir Tajuddin, secretary of the provincial Muslim League, he suddenly digressed into a new topic. “You know, Pir Saheb,” the Quaid said, mentioning the name of a prominent lady, “she keeps seeing me all the time.”
“What does she say?”
“She insists that Muslim League’s parliamentary board shouldn’t be set up.”
“She thinks no Muslim League’s has the slightest chance of winning in Punjab.”
“Mr Jinnah,” said Pir Tajuddin with a chuckle, “that lady is certainly receiving a great deal of attention from you. I’m afraid you are going to succumb to her charms.”
“What an idea?” the Quaid replied with a hearty guffaw, “Let a thousand charmers come and cast their spells. They will all fail, I assure you.”
In 1946, Balochistan’s Qazi Issa was in charge of the Muslim League publicity. One evening when Qazi Issa went to see the Quaid at 10 Aurangzeb Street, he inquired about the progress of the publicity work. “Not very good,” lamented Qazi Issa, “Here in our camp all we have is an old-timer, the venerable Syed Shamusl Hassan, and there, the Congress Party has purposefully enrolled a bunch of young nymphs to do the publicity work.”
“Really,” said the Quaid with a smile, “It only means that Muslim League’s publicity is becoming very effective.
“With your permission, sir,” continued Qazi Issa, “I should like to pay them a visit and see how they work.”
“Go by all means, young man,” replied the Quaid heartily, “I am sure your elegant personality would win a few hearts and give them an inferiority complex.”
source: Dawn 24 dec 2006
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