Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence-The most controversial book of its time.


Mr. Jaswant Singh in his book “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence” has opened up the wounds of partition that was haunting people of India for so long. He mentions his eagerness to write this book as to fill in a gap, i.e. there did not exist a biography of Jinnah written by an Indian political figure. In present day India, where the general perception about the events of 1947 is tragic, may or may not only with regards to loss in land and Muhammad Ali Jinnah is hated for causing this bifurcation, Jaswant Singh presented a totally different view of the leader, in which he has glorified Jinnah.
 This book discusses the transition of Mohammed Ali Jinnah from being an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity to becoming a sole spokesman for Muslim independence. The uniqueness of the book was that it sought to correct certain misconception of history of partition, perhaps not palatable to many. Jaswant Singh posed a challenging question to Indian political leadership to have a re-look on the personality of Jinnah. He said one should examine the real reasons for transformation of Jinnah from ‘Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity’ (As titled by Dadabai Gokhale) to Pakistan’s ‘Qaid-e-Azam’. Gandhi called him the greatest leader, Arnold Toyanbee, a doyen among the historians, called Jinnah, the greatest politician of the century world had produced. Jaswant Singh said, "we need to correct it' meaning the views that Jinnah was not the principal villain of the partition of the country. 
His views on Islam’s role in India are particularly interesting. He describes that Islam in India has evolved and resulted in diverse human experience. In sub continent it has been a journey from first accepting it as homeland and finally abandoning it. He describes how the demand for the separate homeland for Muslims was made on grounds of Islam. Very subjectively he illustrates this entire journey highlighting that how initially Islam became Indian and then later became a struggle of separation of India.
According to Jaswant Singh in his book, Gandhi’s acceptance of hindu muslim unity slogan has varied significantly and has mainly been driven by Politics. Gandhi openly supported the Khilafat Movement by the Ali Brothers in their attempt to save the abolishment of caliphate in Turkey after the first world war. Jinnah, though being a muslim, not only remained aloof from this, but also warned Gandhi to not encourage Muslim fanaticism in the eyes of the British Raj. Jinnah believed that this would only harm the muslims on their mere political front. Jaswant Singh however, is of the view that Gandhi only supported the Khilafat Movement in order to earn popularity among the masses in his early years in Indian politics. 


Post a Comment