Published On: Sat, Feb 8th, 2020

Mohammed Ali Jinnah, (Quaid-i-Azam) – Pakistan’s Messiah

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Over sixty two years after the founding of Pakistan, among the endless bickering and turmoil the nation seems united only in affection to its Quaid-i-Azam (Great Leader).

Jinnah before Pakistan

Jinnah trained as a barrister at London’s Lincoln Inn, from where he returned to India in 1896 to practice in Bombay. An accomplished individual, he enjoyed the works of Shakespeare and was fond of portraying the elegant English gentleman, demonstrated by his choice of attire; neat cut suits of which he owned over two hundred.

Jinnah entered politics upon his return by joining the Indian National Congress. In 1913 he switched allegiances and joined the All India Muslim League where he would take up the mantle for India’s Muslims.

Outside of Pakistan Jinnah is sometimes known as the protagonist of Hindu-Muslim separation which eventually led to the creation of the Muslim nation of Pakistan. This betrays Jinnah’s initial involvement in Indian politics where he espoused the idea of Hindu-Muslim unity culminating in the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the National Congress and Muslim League.

1929 was a turning point in the political landscape of India as Jinnah proclaimed his fourteen points which sought to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a future independent India. The publication of Jinnah’s memorandum came on the heels of the 1928 Nehru report which had outlined a proposed a new dominion constitution for India.

The memorandum caused deadlock between the Congress and Muslim League with the Congress’ failure to accommodate the fourteen points seen as the prelude to the eventual separation of India.

Historians such as Ayesha Jalal have asserted that Jinnah did not want the partition of India and it was the failure of the Indian Congress to share power with the Muslim League that led to the eventual outcome. Jalal asserts that the demand for Pakistan was used only as a bargaining chip by Jinnah to mobilise support and gain political currency for the Muslim League.

The confusion that accompanied partition is perhaps evidence for this point as historical and cultural ties were severed by the hastily drawn Radcliffe boundary, which to this day remains a source of conflict.

Pakistan Born

Mohammed Ali Jinnah, (Quaid-i-Azam) - Pakistan’s Messiah

Alas Pakistan was born on August 14th 1947 with Jinnah assuming the role of Governor-General. Just over a year later on September 11th 1948 a frail Jinnah died of tuberculosis and lung cancer.

In the one year in between, Jinnah was still very active in attempting to establish and unite a nation. He was not always successful in such endeavours as seen on a visit to East Pakistan where he established Urdu as the lingua franca of the whole nation despite the Bengali grievances against the move.

Pakistan after Jinnah

Pakistani commentator Tariq Ali has said that Jinnah gave Pakistani’s a state but his untimely death did not allow for the establishment of a nation. The lack of unity was most strikingly demonstrated in 1971 with the independence of East Pakistan.

Another of Jinnah’s concerns was Kashmir which he saw as a legitimate part of the newly established nation. The issue still remains in limbo; relegated to the backbenches in light of recent events.

Internally Pakistan has been plagued by a lack of political stability with the Punjab seen as the dominant force seeking to impose its will on the rest of the country. The military rule for over half of Pakistan’s existence has often been seen as the major impediment to its progress.

This was certainly not envisaged by Jinnah who when hearing a complaint by the later Major Akhbar Khan regarding the higher posts in the Pakistan army being the domain of the British officers said;

“Never forget that you are the servants of the state. You do not make policy. It is we, the people’s representatives, who decide how the country is to be run. Your job is only to obey the decisions of your civilian masters.”

If such advice had been adhered to, Pakistan may well have taken a different course.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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