KPK History / Pakistan

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Was Always Clear, Consistent And Candid

By Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada

Quaid-i-Azam  Muhammad  Ali  Jinnah  was  a  dynamic  leader and had the charisma of Churchill, dignity of De Gaule, greatness of Gandhiji and rationality of Roosevelt.

The landmarks in the political life of Quaid-i-Azamare: from Lucknow Pact to  Lahore Resolution and from  Fourteen Points to fourteenth August 1947.

Two  great  leaders,  Gokhle  and  Tilak  highly  appreciated  the role  of  Mr.  Jinnah.  Gokhle  described  him  as  “Ambassador  of Hindu-Muslim  Unity”.  Tilak extended  his  full  support  to  Mr. Jinnah at Lucknow.

It is well known that a farewell meeting was organized by  a section of reactionary group for Lord Willingdon, the Governor of Bombay.  When  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jinnah,  along with  their  followers entered  the  hall  and  occupied  front  seats  to  lodge  strong  protest. The  police,  in  a  high  handed  manner,  escorted  them  out  of  hall. The  citizens  of  Bombay  condemned  the  police  action  and  hailed Mr.  Jinnah  as  the  un-crowned  king  of  Bombay.  About  65,  000 admirers of Mr. Jinnah donated one rupee each which culminated in  the  construction  of  Peoples  Jinnah  Hall  to  commemorate  the great event. Mrs. Annie Basant inaugurated the historic Hall.

On  13  April  1919,  Brig.  Dyer  ordered  shooting  of  peaceful people  who  had  gathered  in  Jallianwal  Bagh  in  Amritsar, Hundreds were killed and thousands were wounded. In British India, meetings for protest were banned. Mr. Jinnah rushed to Hyderabad to conduct a case and organized a meeting. However, the Political Agent  to  the  Viceroy  asked  the  State  Authorities  to ban  Mr. Jinnah’s entry in Hyderabad. Mr. Jinnah alongwith Mr. C.R. Das and  other  leading  lawyers  wanted  to  go  to  Lahore  to defend  the political leaders but the Governor of the Punjab banned their entry in  the  province.  It  may  be  added  that  ban  on  Mr.  Jinnah’s  entry into Hyderabad continued in force for ten years.

When  the  ban  on  the  meetings  in  British  India  was  lifted,  a huge meeting was organized in ombay on 13 April 1920, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Jinnah. The great poet Dr.  Rabindar Nath Tigore  sent  a  moving  message.  Mahatma  Gandhi  moved  the Resolution of condemnation. Mr. Jinnah said that the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh would move even the stones and described Dyer as a butcher.

In  the  meantime,  the  new  Governor  of  Bombay  George Lloyed approached the Viceroy for externment of Mr.Jinnah and Mr.  Gandhi  to  Burma  but  the  Secretary  of  State,  Mr. Montagu intervened.  The  correspondence  between  the  Governor and  the Viceroy speaks volumes about their anti Jinnah attitude.

It  is  unnecessary  to  refer  to  session  of  the  Congress  in December 1920 when Mr. Jinnah opposed Gandhiji’s proposal for non-cooperation.  Gandhiji  later  acknowledged  that  it  was  a Himalayan  miscalculation  on  his  part.  Mr.  Jinnah  attended  the Congress  session  at  Ahmedabad  in  1921,  when  Maulana Hassrat Mohani moved the Resolution about Independence of India which was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi. It may be mentioned that at the Muslim  League  Session  Mr.  Abbas  Tayyabji,  Chairman  of  the Reception  Committee,  irresponsibly  suggested  dissolution  of  the Muslim League. Fortunately, nobody agreed. Mr. Jinnah organized the  Muslim  League  session  in  Lahore  in  May  1924  and then  in Bombay  in  December  1924.  This  impressed  his  critics.  Maulana Muhammad  Ali  was  convinced  so  much  that  he  “garlanded Mr.Jinnah at the conclusion of proceedings, embraced him and kissed him  on  both  cheeks  amidst  loud  outbursts  of  applauses  from  the audience”.

I will now deal with two points. I) The Islamic Ideology and the Quaid-i-Azam speech on 11 August 1947.

Islamic Ideology

It  has  been  suggested  by  certain  quarters  that  reference  to Islamic  Ideology  was  first  made  in  Yaya’s  Legal  Frame  Work Order  of  1970.  The  fact  is:  Islamic  Ideology  was  emphasized  by the Quaid-i-Azam on 12 June 1945, in his message to the Muslim Student Federation Conference in Peshawar.

I have often made it clear that if the Musalmans wish to live as honourable and  free  people,  there  is  only  one  course  open  to  them,  to  fight  for Pakistan, to live for Pakistan and, if necessary, to die for the achievement of Pakistan. There is no royal road for any nation but there is one and only course open to us, to organize our nation and it is only  your own dint of arduous  and  sustained  determined  efforts  that  we  can  create  the  strength and  the  support  of  our  people  to  not  only  achieve  our  freedom  and independence but be able to maintain it and live according to Islamic ideals and  principles.  Pakistan  not  only  means  freedom  and independence  but Islamic  ideology  which  has  to  be  preserved,  which  has  come  to  us  as  a precious gift and a treasure, which, we hope, others will share with us.

Speech of 11 August 1947

Reference  may  also  be  made  to  the  speech  of  Quaid-i-Azam on 11 August 1947 wherein he said:

You are free; you are free to go to your temples, 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 or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

The  power  was  transferred  by  the  British  Government to  its Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 14 August 1947.The Viceroy Lord  Mountbatten  in  his  statement  referred  to  the  liberal  policy followed  by  Emperor  Akbar.  Quaid-i-Azam’s  response  was spontaneous:

The  tolerance  and  goodwill  that  great  Emperor  Akbar showed  to  all  the non-Muslims  is  not  of  recent  origin.  It  dates  back  thirteen  centuries  ago when  our  Prophet  (Peace  be  upon  him)  not  only  by  words  but  by  deeds treated  the  Jews  and  Christians,  after  he  had  conquered  them,  with  the utmost  tolerance  and  regard  and  respect  for  their  faith  and  belief.  The whole  history  of  Muslims,  wherever  they  ruled,  is  replete  with  those humane and great principles which should be followed and practised.

According to Professor Akbar S. Ahmed the two speeches of the Quaid must be read together.

Justice Munir’s Comments

Mr.  Justice  Muhammad  Munir,  former  Chief  Justice  of Pakistan  in  his  book  “From  Jinnah  to  Zia” has  observed  that Quaid-i-Azam’s  speech  of  11  August  1947  indicated  that  he visualized  Pakistan  to  be  a  secular  State.  However, in  the  well prepared  address  in  the  seminar  held  under  the  auspicious  of  the Punjab University, Lahore on 23 March 1976, Justice Munir said:-

But  to  some,  the  most  puzzling  enigma  that  has  presented  itself  and  left them guessing is his speech as President of the Constituent Assembly on 11 August, 1947, just three days before Pakistan came into being. This was a  considered  speech  and  undoubtedly  was  in  the  nature  of  an announcement  to  his  countrymen  and  the  world  what  the  future constitution of Pakistan would be. Two or three facts have to be mentioned so  as  to  enable  you  to  comprehend  its  full  implications.  The  boundary award  had  not  yet  been  announced,  not  even  signed.  The  indiscriminate killings, except those of Rawalpindi and Calcutta,  had not yet commenced nor the vast cross- migration of 6 to 8 million people. He expected that a substantial number of minorities will remain citizens of Pakistan.

The speech was intended to allay the fears of minorities. That such fear did exist  will  appear  from  an  incident  I  may  mention.  A representative  of Lever  Brothers  asked  for  an  interview  with  me  and  I wondered  what business an industrialist could have with a judge.  During the interview he told me that he had come to me to ask only one question. I asked him what that  question  was  and  he  informed  me  that  his  concern  was  thinking  of investing in Pakistan a large amount of capital but only if the judiciary of Pakistan will retain its present form and powers and judicial power will not pass on to the Qazis. I told him that he knew nothing about the Qazis of Islam who were specimen of fearlessness, independence, and integrity but that if he wanted further assurance, I asked him to read this speech of the Quaid-i-Azam.

It is quite clear from this speech that the Quaid spoke with conviction and from his heart. This speech was loudly and repeatedly cheered during its delivery. There is a tendency to suppress or ignore this historic statement. But twist it how you will, suppress or ignore it as you like, future historians will  not  omit  to  notice  it  or  to  explain  its  true  purport.  The  question however  still  remains  whether  this  speech  was  a  volute  face  or  a contradiction  of  his  two-nation  theory  which  was  the  main  plank  in  the demand  for  Pakistan  or  whether  that  theory  was  just a  convenient, expedient and temporary means for the attainment of a homeland for the Muslim  majority  regions.  By  taking  that  view  we  will  be  attributing hypocrisy, insincerity and dishonesty to the father of Pakistan and I cannot possibly conceive of any such thing. He was a man of scrupulous honour and mental integrity. He was not thoroughly conversant with the intricacies of Islamic doctrines but he was fully aware of the broad principles of Islam democracy,  equality,  tolerance,  freedom  of  religion subject  to  law  and conscience, justice between man and man, particularly social justice. More than once he had said that these concepts were not borrowed from the west but had been revealed some 1400 years earlier in a  divine message to the Holy  Prophet  and  were  actually  practised  during  the first  half  century  of Islam. I, therefore, believe that the speech  of 11  August, 1947 was  not a contradiction  or  repudiation  of  two-nation  theory,  it  was  just  an enunciation  of  the  principles  by  which  a  society  in which  the  Muslims were in a majority and the Government of the territory was in their hands would be governed.

The  above  views  of  Justice  Munir  are  more  persuasive  and cogent then his subsequent opinion in the book From Jinnah to Zia.

Quaid-i-Azam’s Reaffirmation

Let  me  refer  to  Quaid-i-Azam’s  own  views.  In  an  interview with  Reuter’s  Correspondent  Mr.  Duncan  Hooper  on  October  25 1947 Quaid said:

As for the two-nation theory, it is not a theory but a fact. The division of India is based on that fact. Minorities belonging to different faiths living in Pakistan or Hindustan do not cease to be citizens of the respective States by  virtue  of their belonging  to  a  particular  faith, religion  or  race.  I  have repeatedly  made  it  clear,  especially  in  my  opening  speech  to  the Constituent Assembly that the minorities in Pakistan would  be treated as our  citizens  and  will  enjoy  all  the  rights  and  privileges  that  any  other community gets. Pakistan shall pursue that policy and do all it can to create a  sense  of  security  and  confidence  in  the  non-Muslim  minorities  in Pakistan.

It may be mentioned that in the famous Gandhi — Jinnah talks, held in September 1944. The Quaid had clarified the position about the  monitories.  Gandhiji  has  recorded  as  under:  “Jinnah  drew  a very alluring picture of the Government of Pakistan. It would be a perfect  democracy.  I  asked  him  what  would  happen  to the  other monitories in Pakistan: Sikhs, Christians, etc. He  said they would be part of Pakistan. I asked him if he meant joint electorates. He said, yes, he would like them to be part of the whole.

Let  me  conclude  that  Quaid-i-Azam  was  always  clear, consistent and candid.

(Sharif uddin Pirzada was a senior Lawyer in Pakistan and also remained Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs, Law, Justice and Human Rights)

(Pakistan Journal of History & Culture, Vol.XXIX,No.1 (2008)

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