February 2, 2009

Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Muhammad Ali Jinnah is the founder father of Pakistan. Jinnah was born on December 25, 1876 in Karachi, British India. Jinnah was the eldest of seven children born to Mithibai and Jinnahbhai Poonja. His father was a Gujarati merchant and moved to Sindh before Jinnah's birth. During his childhood days jinnah was a restless student and studied at many schools. When jinnah was 16 he was offered an apprenticeship at the London office of Graham's Shipping and Trading Company, a business that had extensive dealings with Jinnahbhai Poonja's firm in Karachi. before he left for England,at his mother's will her married his distant cousin: Emibai Jinnah who was two years junior.The marriage was not to last long: a few months later, Emibai died [This affected Jinnah deeply and he did no get married again until the age of 42]. Later, during his studies in England, his mother also passed away. In London, Jinnah soon left the apprenticeship to instead study law, by joining Lincoln's Inn. The welcome board of the Lincoln's Inn had the names of the world's all time top ten magistrates. This list was led by the name of Muhammad, which was the sole reason of Jinnah's joining of Lincoln's Inn. He In three years, at age 19, he became the youngest Indian to be called to the bar in England. Around this time, Jinnah also became interested in politics. During the final period of his stay in England, Jinnah came under considerable pressure when his father's business was ruined. Settling in Mumbai, he became a successful lawyer-gaining particular fame for his skilled handling of the "Caucus Case".

In 1896, Jinnah joined the Indian National Congress, which was the largest Indian political organisation. Like most of the Congress at the time, Jinnah did not favor outright independence, considering British influences on education, law, culture and industry as beneficial to India. Jinnah had initially avoided joining the All India Muslim League, founded in 1906, regarding it as too Muslim oriented. Eventually, he joined the league in 1913 and became the president at the 1916 session in Lucknow. Jinnah was the architect of the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the League, bringing them together on most issues regarding self-government and presenting a united front to the British. In 1918, Jinnah married his second wife Rattanbai Petit ("Ruttie"), 24 years his junior. She was the fashionable young daughter of his personal friend Sir Dinshaw Petit, of an elite Parsi family of Mumbai. Unexpectedly there was great opposition to the marriage from Rattanbai's family and Parsi society, as well as orthodox Muslim leaders. Rattanbai defied her family and nominally converted to Islam, adopting (though never using) the name Maryam Jinnah -resulting in a permanent estrangement from her family and Parsi society. The couple resided in Mumbai, and frequently travelled across India and Europe. In 1919 she bore Jinnah his only child, daughter Dina Jinnah. Jinnah's problems with the Congress began with the rising popularity of Mohandas Gandhi in 1918, who publisized non-violent civil disobedience and Hindu values as the best means to obtain independence for all South Asians. Jinnah differed, saying that only constitutional struggle could lead to independence. By 1920, Jinnah resigned from the Congress, with prophetic warning that Gandhi's method of mass struggle would lead to divisions between Hindus and Muslims and within the two communities. In 1927, Jinnah entered negotiations with Muslim and Hindu leaders on the issue of a future constitution, during the struggle against the all-British Simon Commission. The League wanted separate electorates while the Nehru Report favored joint electorates. Jinnah personally opposed separate electorates, but then drafted compromises and put forth demands that he thought would satisfy both. These became known as the 14 points of Mr. Jinnah. However, they were rejected by the Congress and other political parties. Jinnah's personal life and especially his marriage suffered during this period due to his political work. Although he and his wife worked to save their marriage by traveling together to Europe when he was appointed to the Sandhurst committee, the couple separated in 1927. Jinnah was deeply saddened when Rattanbai died 2 years later by a serious illness. At the Round Table Conferences in London, Jinnah was disillusioned by the breakdown of talks. Frustrated with the disunity of the Muslim League, he decided to quit politics and practice law in England. Jinnah would receive personal care and support through his later life from his sister Fatima Jinnah, who lived and traveled with him and also became a close advisor. She helped raise his daughter, who was educated in England and India. Jinnah later became estranged from his daughter, Dina Jinnah, after she decided to marry Parsi-born Christian businessman, Neville Wadia stating that she should marry a muslim [when she said her mother was parsi as well, Jinnah stated that her mother became muslim before their marraige]. Jinnah continued to correspond cordially with his daughter, but their personal relationship was strained. Dina continued to live in India with her family.

[Jinnah with Fatima Jinnah [left] & Dina Jinnah [right]]

Prominent Muslim leaders like the Aga Khan, Choudhary Rahmat Ali and Sir Muhammad Iqbal made efforts to convince Jinnah to return to India and take charge of a now-reunited Muslim League. In 1934 Jinnah returned and began to re-organise the party, being closely assisted by Liaquat Ali Khan, who would act as his right-hand man. In a speech to the League in 1930, Sir Muhammad Iqbal mooted an independent state for Muslims in "northwest India." Choudhary Rahmat Ali published a pamphlet in 1933 advocating a state called "Pakistan". Following the failure to work with the Congress, Jinnah, who had embraced separate electorates and the exclusive right of the League to represent Muslims, was converted to the idea that Muslims needed a separate state to protect their rights. Jinnah came to believe that Muslims and Hindus were distinct nations, with unbridgeable differences-a view later known as the Two Nation Theory. Jinnah declared that a united India would lead to the marginalization of Muslims, and eventually a civil war between Hindus and Muslims. On June 16, 1946 the 1946 British Cabinet Mission to India released a plan that called for the separation of South Asia along religious lines, with princely states to choose between joining India or Pakistan or to stay independent. The congress rejected the plan and after many events and actions raised by muslims leage the congress decided that an independent Pakistan was the only way of avoiding political chaos and possible civil war. After a much heated and emotional debate, the Congress approved the plan. The North-West Frontier Province voted to join Pakistan in a referendum in July 1947. Jinnah asserted in a speech in Lahore on October 30, 1947 that the League had accepted independence of Pakistan because "the consequences of any other alternative would have been too disastrous to imagine. Along with Liaquat Ali Khan and Abdur Rab Nishtar, Muhammad Ali Jinnah represented the League in the Division Council to appropriately divide public assets between India and Pakistan.
Jinnah became the first Governor-General of Pakistan and president of its constituent assembly. Inaugurating the assembly on August 11, 1947, Jinnah spoke of an inclusive and pluralist democracy promising equal rights for all citizens regardless of religion, caste or creed. This address is a cause of much debate in Pakistan as, on its basis, many claim that Jinnah wanted a secular state while supporters of Islamic Pakistan assert that this speech is being taken out of context when compared to other speeches by him. The office of Governor-General was ceremonial, but Jinnah also assumed the lead of government. The first months of Pakistan's independence were absorbed in ending the intense violence that had arisen in the wake of acrimony between Hindus and Muslims. Jinnah agreed with Indian leaders to organise a swift and secure exchange of populations in the Punjab and Bengal. He visited the border regions with Indian leaders to calm people and encourage peace, and organised large-scale refugee camps. Despite these efforts, estimates on the death toll vary from around two hundred thousand, to over a million people. Jinnah was personally affected and depressed by the intense violence of the period. When informed of Kashmir's accession to India by the Hindu Raja [king] despite the muslims population's resistance, Jinnah deemed the accession illegitimate and ordered the Pakistani army to enter Kashmir. However, Gen. Auchinleck, the supreme commander of all British officers informed Jinnah that if Pakistan's army persisted in kashmir, Auchinleck would remove all British officers from both sides. As Pakistan had a greater proportion of Britons holding senior command, Jinnah cancelled his order, but protested to the United Nations to intercede. Owing to his role in the state's creation, Jinnah was the most popular and influential politician. He played a pivotal role in protecting the rights of minorities, establishing colleges, military institutions and Pakistan's financial policy. He also worked for an agreement with India settling disputes regarding the division of assets. Through the 1940s, Jinnah suffered from tuberculosis; only his sister and a few others close to him were aware of his condition. Even with failing health he did what he could for his people. In 1948, Jinnah's health began to falter, hindered further by the heavy workload that had fallen upon him following Pakistan's independence from British Rule. Attempting to recuperate, he spent many months at his official retreat in Ziarat, but died on September 11, 1948 (just over a year after independence) from a combination of tuberculosis and lung cancer.

His funeral was followed by the construction of a massive mausoleum-Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi to honour him; official and military ceremonies are hosted there on special occasions. Funeral prayers were led by Allamah Shabbir Ahmad Usmani for the general public, mostly Sunni, at Jinnah's request. Jinnah did have a private Namaz-e-Janaza at Kharadar which was attended by close relatives and people from the Shia community. Although when asked by an individual in his lifetime if he [Jinnah] was sunni or shia he stated "What sect did Prophet Muhammad [May peace be upon him] belong to?"


ca rakesh khanna said...

if u go throw above writing, i found jinnah a secular at heart. he did not wanted a separate state on gounds of religion.however situation compelled him to take such decisions. if some one really likes leader like him,then go for his inner choices-that was pure secular,never a division,no no no to partition of India.let us try for wish of grt leader, by joining hands and say bye to separation,partition-break the wall standing between two parts of great undivided India- be brother ,move ahead hands in hands ,fight not our selves but together agt ills of society,humane beings.say welcome to happiness,enthusiams,fresh air of pease and plasent atmosphere in sky. if agree must ans. me o my bothers & sisters on other part of undivided India,me Ca Rakesh Khanna from Delhi(india)--my Mail--Rakeshkhannaca@yahoo.com

Shafqat Jilani said...

Please write to me on BizShip@gmail.com so I could send you some rar photographs of Quaid to you.

Shafqat Jilani
[The painter of painting at the top :)
I am surprised you did not crop artist's name, so us is where you like it is for all of us like our Quaid.]

Captain03 said...

i sure will as soon as i get a chance
[did not understand bottom part]

Post a Comment

Your Comments And Insights Are Always Appreciated