QUAID-I-AZAM MUHAMMAD ALI JINNAH
QUAID-I-AZAM MUHAMMAD ALI JINNAHS LEGACY TO PAKISTAN
A LECTURE BY
Professor Stanley Wolpert
Distinguished Prof. of South Asian History,
University of California at Los Angeles
Delivered at a Seminar organized by
the Institute of Regional Studies on March 22, 1998
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was South Asias most brilliant Barrister, and an honest man, who also emerged as British Indias most remarkable political leader proving mire than a match for all of his Congress opponents. including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehro. by virtue of his total integrity. legal acuity and unwavering commitment to the Muslim Leagues suit which he pressed through the last arduous decade of his devoted life, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah sired the independent Nation-state of Pakistan.
Never tempted by bribery or the lures of Imperial honours (he was, as Liaquat Ali Khan put it unpurchaseable). Mr. Jinnah was hailed after 1937 by Muslim League followers as Quaid-i-Azam and he has rightly remained Pakistans Greatest leader since death 50 years ago. I shall always be guided by the principles of justice and fairplay without any prejudice on ill-will, he assured your first Constituent assembly on August 11, 1947. My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality.
Lincolns Inn Barrister M.A.Jinnah entered politics as a member of Indias National Congress (before joining the League), and soon emerged as its best Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity, drafting the Lucknow Pact of 1916, adopted both by the Indian National congress and Muslim League as their united platform demand to the British Raj. Four years later, however, when Mahatma Gandhi revolutionized the congress at Nagpur, after the end of World War one in the Wake of Jallianwala Bagh, Mr.Jinnah tried to caution him against embarking upon a program designed, as your Quaid rightly predicted, to trigger violence and cause chaos throughout British Raj. Gandhi and his followers ignored Jinnahs warnings and ridiculed his rational voice, impelling him to leave Congresss pandal, never to return. He remained a member of the Muslim league but for some time Barrister Jinnah opted to live and work in London, until after 1935, when he was lured back to accept the permanent Presidency of Muslim league by Liaquat Ali and Begum shah Nawaz, among others.
In 1937, following elections held under the new government of India Act in which Congress won a commanding majority of Provincial Seats and after Nehru arrogantly insisted that there were only two parties left in India, the congress and the British, and all others must "line up, line up! Jinnah replied There is a third party - the Muslims . And that October he transformed his appearance on the eve of the Muslim League meeting in Mahmudabads Garden in Lucknow, donning his black sherwani and Persian lamb cap, that has come to be known the Jinnah cap, abandoning his Barrister grab to emerge as Quaid-i-Azam of Muslim Indias inchoate Nation. The Leadership of the Congress, especially during the last 10 years, has been responsible for alienating the Musalmans of India pursuing a policy which is exclusively Hindu, Jinnah thundered They have by their words, deeds and programmes shown, more and more, that the Muslmans cannot expect nay justice or fair play at their hands. Wherever they were in a majority wherever it suited them, they refused to co-operate with the Muslim League To Musalmans every province I say . Organize yourselves; establish your solidarity and complete unity. Equip yourselves, as trained as disciplined soldiers Work loyally, honestly as far to cause of your people and your country. No individual or people can achieve anything without industry, suffering and sacrifice. There are forces which may bully you, tyrannize over you and intimidate you But it is by going through this crucible of the fire up persecution which may be leveled against you the threats are intimidation that may unnerve you by resisting, by overcoming, by facing these . Hardships and maintaining your true convictions and loyalty, that a nation will emerge, worthy of its past glory and history, and work live to make its future history greater and more glorious Eighty millions of Musalaman in India have nothing to fear, they have their destiny in their hands, and as a well-knit solid organized, united force can face any danger, and withstand any opposition Take your vital decisions they may be grave and momentous and far-reaching in their consequences. Think a hundred time before you take any decision, but once a decision is taken, stand by it as one man.
For the next years, Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah worked vigorously to consolidate his incubating
We must stand on our own inherent strength build up our own power, he reiterated in Karachi. It is in use blaming others. If the Musalmans are going to be defeated in their national goal and aspirations it will only be by the betrayal of the Musalmans among us as it has happened in the past.
And at the Leagues session in Patana, the Quaid told his cheering audience: The Congress has now .Killed every hope of Hindu-Muslim settlement in the right royal fashion of Fascism I want to make it plain to all concerned that we Muslims want no gifts no concessions. We Muslims of India have made up our mind to secure full rights, but we shall have them as rights the Congress in nothing but a Hindu body Today the Hindu mentality, the Hindu outlook, is being carefully nurtured, and Muslims are being forced to accept these new conditions and to submit. The Quaid cautioned that from them on they could look for help only to their own Muslim nation and to God.
In 1939, shortly after viceroy Linlithgow proclaimed British India at War with Germany, Nehru called upon the viceroy to issue an immediate promise of absolute freedom to India after the war and the right of India to draft her own constitution, as the price if Congresss support. We also called for general elections. No British officer had either the time or inclination to bargain with Congress over Indias future, while Britains own future was in jeopardy. Jinnah alone among Indias political leaders understood great Britains position, and said nothing negative, called upon all Muslims to help the Raj by honourable co-operation at this critical and difficult juncture. He met with the Viceroy to plead for more protection for Muslims, and full recognition of the League as the only organization that can speak on behalf of Muslims of India.
While Congress thus alienated the British in those administrative support and Viceregal backing. Nehru and Ghandi grossly underestimated British and Allied power in 1939, deluded into believing that without India congress support the Raj would collapse. Jinnah knew better. His assessment of British power was unclouded by sentiment or wishful thinking, Nehru tried to goad Jinnah in make an anti-British public statement in October of 1939. The Indian people are asking for a constitution to be drafted and adopted by our selves, Jinnah never responded to so gross a challenge, waiting quite for congress to resign the provincial power it had enjoyed since 1937. Nehru impetuously obliged by doing just that in early November, and then Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah announced that Friday, December22, 1939 was to be celebrated as a day of Deliverance and thanks giving that the Congress regime has at last ceased to function. He urged Muslims everywhere to hold public meetings and offer prayers of thanks for the demise of that Hindu Raj under which Muslims had for two and a half years been crushed by yokes of tyranny, oppression and injustice. Those prayers proved a portent of the Muslim Leagues decision to opt for separate statehood.
In January of 1940 Jinnah wrote a piece of Londons Time and Tide, in which he quoted the 1935 Report of the joint Committee on Indian constitutional reforms, stating that India was inhabited by many races often as distinct from one another in origin, tradition and manner of life as are nations of Europe. Two-thirds profess Hinduism over seventy-seven millions are followers of Islam; and the difference between the two is not only of religion but also of law and culture. They may be said indeed to represent two distinct separate civilizations, though irreversibly afflicted by this time with tuberculosis, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah arrived on the morning of March 22, 1940 in Lahore, where he was to preside over his Muslim Leagues most important session, entering the crowded pandal erected on the maiden of Minto (now Iqbal) Part at 2:25 p.m.
Why does not Mr. Gandhi honestly now acknowledge that the Congress is a Hindu Congress, that he does not represent any body except the solid body of a Hindu people? President Jinnah asked in the capital of Punjab, which would remain the cultural capital of Pakistan despite political pride of place given to Karachi and Islamabad. I think even a blind man must have been convinced by now, that the Muslim League has the solid backing of the Musalmans of India. Whey then all this camouflage? asked the Quaid of Mr. Gandhi, addressing him over the heads of more tan 60,000 Muslims gathered within earshot of his amplified voice in Lahore. Why not come as a Hindu Leaders proudly representing your people and let me meet your proudly representing the Musalmans?
So though Fazul Haq and Shrawardy were predisposed to a separate Bangladesh, the Quaid insisted that Pakistan must be a single Nation, for he understood the official British mind much better than any of his colleagues, or any Congress leader. Nehru was closed to British liberal and Labour intellectuals, of course, but most official British minds resonated to Mr. Jinnahs thinking. He knew it would be much easier to get the British to agree to a single partition of India, rather than to its further Balkanization, opening a Pandoras box of separates demands by Sikhs, Untouchables, Dravids all clamouring for nation as of their own not to remain the princes! The Quaid knew how difficult it would be to begin Pakistan how complex the task of seeking to identify and divide the assets and liabilities of an Empire the size of British India was to become. He also appreciated more than any other leader of the era that time was his enemy, and any change would require monumental labour.
I have placed before you the task that lies ahead of us, Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah told
his followers in Lahore 58 years ago. Do you realise how big and stupendous it is?
Do you realize that you cannot get freedom or independence by mere arguments? He
realized that he might not live to witness the birth of Pakistan and hoped to inspire
enough healthier young followers with his brilliant vision.
We wish to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours as a free and independent people, President Jinnah told them. 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 idea and according to the genius of our people. Honesty demand and vital interest of millions of our people impose a sacred duty upon us to find and honourable and peaceful solution which would be just and fair to all we cannot be moved or diverted.
A year later, (April 1941) in Madras, Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah elaborated the sort of programme he envisaged, explaining how his followers must dedicate their lives and labour to help transform the Lahore Resolution calling for creation of a sovereign Land of the Pure for South Asias Muslims, into political reality.
Our goal is Pakistan Now what next? No people can ever succeed in anything .unless they work for it and work hard what is required now is that you should think we must now think and devise the programme o a five-years plan, and part of its would be how best the departments of the national life of Muslim India may be built up. What are those departments? They are the four main pillars (1) Let us devise a definite well-considered educational plan. It is knowledge, information and enlightenment that make a people great. (2) Next, you know the Muslim are left behind both economically and in the social life of the people of this great land there is this great province of Madras. May I know what stature the Muslims have in the economic life of this province ? (3) The next important thing is political training We must have political soldiers.. (to help us) live on lines of security, justice and fair play We believe in action, we believe in statesmanship, and believe in practical politics The next thing .. (4) I want to tell you is what the ideology of the League is the ideology of this League is based on the fundamental principle that Muslim of India are an independent nationality, and any attempt to get them to merge their national and political identity and unity will not only be resisted, but it will be futile The next thing is our policy internal, external and international. Our policy of the All-India Muslim League is to endeavour to promote goodwill and harmony with the other peoples on the base of equality, fair play and reciprocity with the objective of collective security and orderly development among free states as members of a community pledged to respect each others rights.
That was (the outline of your Quaids enlightened policy upon which he elaborated
on the very eve of Pakistans birth, six years later, to the Constituent Assembly in
I sincerely hope that we shall make this Constituent Assembly an example to the world The first and foremost thing that I would .emphasize is this remember that you are now a sovereign legislative body and you have to all the powers. It therefore places on you the greatest responsibility as to how you take your decision You will no doubt agree with me that 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.
The second thing that occurs to me is this One of to biggest curses from which India is suffering.. is bribery and corruption. That really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand and Black-marketing is another curse Now you have to tackle this monster which is a colossal crime against society, in our distressed conditions, when we constantly face shortage of food
Now what shall we do? Now, if we want to make this great state of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely consent on the well being of the people, especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation forgetting the past, burying the hatchet you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste creed, is first, second and last citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.
I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minorities communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community will vanish. Indeed, if you ask me this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free peoples long long ago You are free, you are free to go to your tamples, You are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan You may belong to any religion or caste on creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another We are all citizens and equal citizens of one state all members of the Nation and you will find than in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslim would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and co-operation, I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest Nations of the world.
Such was the great dream and legacy of your Nations Father. No wonder you continue to revere him as your Quaid-e-Azam, and to enshrine him in your hearts as well as in noble monuments of marble. But the greatest tribute to any man of such genius and inspired leadership, remember, is the do what he asked of you not simple to pay lip-service to his memory, but to activate his legacy by transforming yourselves, and daily labours and nation wide support and co-operation to help turn his Pakistan and yours into one of the greater Nation of the world!
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