The role of Mr Jinnah in a historical perspective

Nasir Khan, September 3, 2017

For many historians of the Indian subcontinent Mr Jinnah’s role both as a leader and a statesman in pre-partition India is controversial. Personally, I have never accepted even for a second his communalist perspective that led to the demand for Pakistan. Right from the start, the “Two Nation Theory” was hollow and untenable, which in practice became a dead albatross round the necks of the people of the Indian subcontinent and is still choking them.

During the Second World War, the British used the leaders of the Muslim League to weaken the demands of the Indian National Congress for independence when Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement and a major civil disobedience movement became a threat to the British in India. At that critical juncture in the national struggle for India’s independence, the British were able to resort to lure the leaders of the Muslim League to reject the struggle for independence and side with the British, which they did under Mr Jinnah. Thus the groundwork for the partition of India was becoming a reality under the patronage of the British. That’s exactly what they did in 1947 and divided India on Hindu-Muslim lines as two different nations, thus defying both common sense and practical issues involved in such a partition plan.

The religious card had served Mr. Jinnah well and he succeeded in his ambitious plans. But at what a cost! The Muslims spread throughout the length and breadth of India were left in an extremely vulnerable position and the subsequent history of the subcontinent has shown how the Indian Muslims become marginalized and left at the mercy of Hindutva forces and militant reactionary Hindus. In fact, these people were sacrificed for a cause which proved to be a disaster for all.

Now coming to Mr. Jinnah’s role as the Governor-General of the newly-established state of Pakistan, Mr Jinnah was aware that the reality of Pakistan as a state was different from the rhetorical propaganda that was used for the creation of such a state before the partition of 1947. This new country didn’t have only Muslims, but also had large religious minorities of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, and followers of other faiths! He could no longer repeat the previous slogan of Pakistan only for the Muslims. Now, Pakistan had followers of different faiths.

To meet the needs of all religious communities, he made his famous speech in which advanced his views for a state where religion was not to affect the democratic state or to impose only one religion on the people of this country. That was a realistic assessment of the situation in the new country. But he was an ailing person; he didn’t live long enough to lay the foundations of any such policy as the guiding principles that could have led Pakistan in a direction than the one it followed after his death in 1948.

One Response to “The role of Mr Jinnah in a historical perspective”

  1. Mushtaq Khan Kayani Says:

    Mr. Nasir Khan, I appreciate your piece on Jinnah and the Partition. Unfortunately, the whole of Pakistan history is plagued with lies, distortions and fabricated stories. Like the big lie that Iqbal dreamed of Pakistan, and wanted a separate home land for Indian Muslims. In fact, Iqbal opposed Partition. But it was forced upon him that he was the originator of Pakistan.
    The second big lie was that Jinnah was introduced the ” Two Nation Theory “. In fact, it had nothing to do with Jinnah. It was the idea of a die-hard Conservative and Imperialist MP, Mr. John Bright, who in a speech in South London in June 1858, said that India was not a one nation country, but two and more. This was music to the ears the Colonial Rulers of India. They adopted it, and it became British National Colonial policy.
    The third big lie is that Jinnah was a democratically minded person. Far from it. In 1946, he autocratically dismissed the democratically elected government of Dr. Khan in the North-West Province, and appointed a Butcher as the new Chief Minister, who slaughtered 600. innocent people. Jinnah turned the other way, and ignored this mass murder. Similar examples of Mr. Jinnah`s dictatorship were manifested elsewhere in Sind and the Punjab and Baluchistan. Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan was the Prime Minister, but he was treated like dirt by the democratic Jinnah. Jinnah was an Anglophile, narcissist and megalomaniac opportunist and had nothing to do with the creation of Pakistan. He was an easy and willing tool used by his friend, Mr. Winston Churchill. Seeing Mr. Jinnah`s diminishing status in the eyes of the Indian people, HE [Churchill] decided to build the fortunes of this man, especially when Mr. Jinnah decided to support the British War against Germany, without any conditions. From that time, he became the darling of the British Indian Empire. After 1940 the British government in India became a nanny to Mr. Jinnah and the Muslim League.


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