By Sisir K. Majumdar
After the abortive London Round Table Conference (1930-1932), Jinnah declared his aims in more definite terms:
?We are a nation with our distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportions, legal laws and moral codes, custom and calendar, history and tradition, aptitude and ambition; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life. By all canons of international law, we are a nation.?
Jinnah spoke extempore at the inaugural session of Pakistan Constituent Assembly in Karachi on August 11, 1947:
“…you are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any place of worship in this State of Pakistan…you may belong to any religion or caste or creed?that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”
Very sweet to the ears! Empty rhetoric! Deeds and words were poles apart?his Pakistan showed its real self later. Seeds of secularism were never sown by its creator on the soil of his dreamland?Pakistan.
The above statements bear testimony to the dearth of transparency in his political thinking?two different tunes from the same lips almost singing in unison.
Nationalist poetess and Congress leader, Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949) was another vocal admirer of Jinnah'ssecularism. Both Gokhale and Naidu were superficial and short-sighted in their assessment. History proved them wrong. Jinnah was Islamic in instinct.
Jinnah never believed in a united India. He always asserted that history would vindicate Partition of India on the basis of his now defunct two-nation theory. His last laugh: “Any idea of a United India could never have worked and in my judgement it would have led to a terrific disaster.”
Though at one time in his early political career Jinnah did earn the title of ?the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity??an epithet coined by the eminent Maharastrain leader, Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866-1915). It was largely through Jinnah'sefforts that the Congress and the Muslim League began to hold their annual session jointly, to facilitate mutual consultation and participation (Joint session in Bombay, 1915; Lucknow Pact in Lucknow, 1916).
Nationalist poetess and Congress leader, Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949) was another vocal admirer of Jinnah'ssecularism. Both Gokhale and Naidu were superficial and short-sighted in their assessment. History proved them wrong. Jinnah was Islamic in instinct. Islam is totally incompatible with secularism. He resigned from the Congress in 1920; he never supported the disobedience movements in 1930 and 1932; he opposed Congress Satyagraha in 1940 and he was against the Quit India Movement in 1942. He was never a leading luminary of the freedom movement. Jinnah is even reported to have initiated the process of closer association with Islamic countries of medieval Middle East and is also reported to have secretly sent Feroze Khan Noon his personal emissary in order to assure them that Pakistan was an Islamic State. Later, of course, Pakistan turned into a Western puppet and even verbally supported Britain and France along with Iran and Turkey against Muslim Egypt when the Anglo-Franco-Israeli forces attacked the Sinai peninsula and the Suez Canal on October 29,1956. Pakistan was, and still is an American puppet.
Jinnah is painted in some ill-informed circles as a liberal democrat gazing fondly at the mother of all Parliaments at Westminster, London. Let us examine it critically. The Muslim League, of which Jinnah was the life-long President, was established in Dacca (now Dhaka, capital of Islamic Bangladesh) in 1906 by Muslim feudals and aristocrats who were the running dogs of British colonialism. Jinnah was never elected; he was always selected by a motley collection of privileged feudal Musalmans. The Muslim League of Jinnah was not a mass organisation like the Indian National Congress, originally established in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1885; it became so only in Pakistan after 1946. Within a short period it disintegrated; the rest of the history is well-known. Jinnah was Pakistan'sfirst dictator in civil dress. He was Governor-General of Pakistan (August 14, 1947- September 11, 1948). He also made himself President of the Constituent Assembly and a Cabinet Minister. However, lawyer, constitutionalist Jinnah failed to give Pakistan any Constitution at all. Of course, it needs to be mentioned that he did not live long enough; he died on September 11, 1948; he was ruler of Pakistan for about one year and 27 days. There was not enough time. He used to preside over cabinet meetings, though there was a Prime Minister?another Mohajir (migrant from India), Liaquat Ali Khan (1925-1951). ?At a Cabinet meeting presided over by him on December 30, 1947, a notification was passed that ?no question of policy or principle would be decided except at a Cabinet meeting presided over by the Quaid-e-Azam and that in the event of any difference of opinion between him and the Cabinet the decision of the Quaid would be final…?(H.N. Bali: Partition of India?Was It Unavoidable or A Handiwork of Self-seekers? Organiser Independence Day Special, dt. August,18, 2002, p.24). What a blatant rape of cabinet form of government and Westminster type of parliamentary democracy? He was out and out an autocrat.
He pretended to be a constitutionalist always obedient to the rule of law. Let us go back to his Kashmir invasion (October 27, 1947) again. Under the Instruments of Accession the rulers of 565 princely native states of British India were bound by law to accede either to India or to Pakistan after they attained Independence (August14/15, 1947). The ruler was authorised to take the decision on accession, and its subjects had no role to play in this matter. The ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) acceded to India according to the Instruments of Accession passed by the British Parliament at Westminster, London. Jinnah?the product of English legal education system, a pseudo-constitutionalist showed no respect or regard to the constitutional mechanism devised by the British Parliament. He was guided by his own whims and self-interest. It is even on record that ? The State of Jammu and Kashmir was invaded by the Pakistani army and Pathan tribesmen on October 20,1947? (Dipak Basu: The Kashmir Story-I Distortions Prevailing in the West. The Statesman, Kolkata, July, 2002). It happened six days before the Ruler of J&K actually signed the Instrument of Accession. It was a naked aggression by Jinnah'sPakistan.
Napoleon Bonaparte?Napoleon I (1769-1821) used to say that lessons of history are that the lesson is never learnt. Jinnah could have followed the footsteps of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk (1880-1938), Father of modern Turkey.
He did not do it intentionally. He wanted to see himself as the reincarnation of a Mughal Bhadshah (King/Emperor) of his ?Kingdom?, Pakistan. He even boasted that it was he who created Pakistan and nobody else. He even regretted it on his deathbed when he saw his dream fading away in the mist of hard reality. It was too late. During convalescence at Ziarat near Quetta, capital of Baluchistan, Jinnah is reported to have told Liaquat Ali Khan, his Prime Minister, that the creation of Pakistan was the greatest blunder of his life.
He is reported to have said, ?…You think you have made Pakistan. I have made it. But I am now convinced I have committed the biggest blunder of my life.? (Quoted by M. Hasim Kidwai, MP in The Statesman, Kolkata/New Delhi, July 30, 1988, p. 10). This is a fitting epitaph to his dreamland?Islalmic Pakistan . It was his own obituary written by himself. Though written recently in a different context, what the President of India?Abdul Kalam wrote in his book seems to be very relevant to what Jinnah was really:
?For great men religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool.? (A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Ignited Minds, Viking Penguin India, 2002.)
Jinnah, needless to say, belonged to the group of ?small people?. It may be noted that the old religious Muslims with traditional values were not for Pakistan which was demanded by the well-shaven new Muslim elite led by ?secular? Jinnah miles away from Islam. (A.K. Roy: Roots of communalism-I?Blaming BJP is not enough. The Statesman, Kolkata/New Delhi September 21, 2002).
Jinnah, the Governor-General of Pakistan, encouraged infiltration by Afridi-Pathan tribal hooligans and terrorists of the State of J&K on October 20,1947. It was the beginning of Islamic terrorism?initially against India and now against the civilized world.
Though expressed in a different context, V.S. Naipaul, gave a real insight into Islamic fundamentalism in an interview published in The Times, London (Quoted by The Free Press Journal, August 8, 2002):
He even boasted that it was he who created Pakistan and nobody else. He even regretted it on his deathbed when he saw his dream fading away in the mist of hard reality. It was too late. During convalescence at Ziarat near Quetta, capital of Baluchistan, Jinnah is reported to have told Liaquat Ali Khan, his Prime Minister, that the creation of Pakistan was the greatest blunder of his life.
?I have been aware of madness in the Islamic world. I have written about it. The madness of people who have fallen behind technically, and who do not have the will to make the intellectual effort to catch up.?
?I was aware of the religious hatred. I was aware of the indifference to life. I was aware of the anti-civilization aspect of the new fundamentalism. But I had no idea it had gone so far?the madness. The idea of their strength is an illusion. Nothing is coming from within.?
Jinnah'spolitical gamble with religion sowed the seeds of this ?madness? in his Islamic Pakistan and later in its deformed offspring?Islamic Bangladesh. East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) seceded from Pakistan in 1971. It was the burial of Jinnah'stwo-nation theory as well.
Everybody in politics will have to face trial in the court of history and posterity. Jinnah probably did not realize that. The present was important to him. The future meant nothing to him. Nothing in this world is a paragon of perfection, nor a den of fallibilities. Jinnah had qualities. He had talents. He misused them all in his political adventure.
?The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is of interred with their bones?:
So said Mark Antony in Julius Caesar Act. III, Scene 2. The so-called ?Quaid-e-Azam? (?The Great Leader?) turned out to be the great destroyer of the basic interests of the Musalmans of British Colonial India. His legacy of Islamic fundamentalism pushed his moth-eaten Pakistan and its break-away part Bangladesh into the den of misery and madness. It gave Pakistan a false sense of nationalism without a nation and plunged Bangladesh?a product of this failed two-nation theory?into a perpetual crisis of identity.
(The writer is founder-director of Majumdar Institute of History, Sociology and Philosophy of Science and Health Sciences, and can be contacted at [email protected])