Jaswant Singh raised many eyebrows when he wrote his book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah. But his statement that he intends to go to Pakistan to promote his book and the comparison of the BJP with the “Ku Klux Klan” of the U.S. have caused jaws to drop. He seems to have realised that his political career has come to an end. Obviously, he wants to cash in on his book. While many consider the Jaswant development a setback to the BJP, it may not be so. The party can make a turnaround if it acts calmly and with pragmatism.
S. Rajagopalan, Chennai
Mr. Singh has every right to tell people why he believes that he should not have been expelled from the BJP. In fact, there are many who feel he is not at fault for making his views on Jinnah known. But when the expelled leader continues to fault the party for all that happened earlier, he is making a case against himself. His statements reflect badly on his integrity as he was also part of the BJP till recently.
P.R.V. Raja, Pandalam
One thing we can be sure of nowadays is the news of squabbling among the leaders of the principal Opposition party of the largest democracy. First, one of their leaders writes a biography of Jinnah glorifying him and denigrating leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel. And even though Patel remained a Congressman all his life and never subscribed to the kind of ideology preached by extremist Hindu outfits, they continue to claim his legacy. So without reading the book, the BJP expels Mr. Singh. The Gujarat government goes a step further and bans the book. And after associating with the BJP for 30 years, Mr. Singh suddenly realises that the party is undemocratic.
Baikadi Suryanarayana Rao, Bangalore
It is painful that our leaders are wracking their brains to analyse who among the dead leaders — Gandhiji, Jinnah, Nehru, Sardar Patel — were responsible for what. These stalwarts did their duty. Let us leave them in peace. The nation’s interest would be better served if our politicians concentrated their energies on present-day problems like the rising cost of pulses, corruption, etc., affecting the common man directly.
S.N. Agrawal, Bangalore
Since Mr. Singh was a prominent member of the BJP when he published his book praising Jinnah, he was removed from the party without any notice. But the action ended up harming the BJP more than Mr. Singh because he exposed the working of the party. Both Jinnah and Gandhiji are dead. What is the need to generate a controversy using their names? Our focus must be on the country’s progress, and elimination of corruption and poverty. I wish better sense will prevail on our politicians.
B.S. Ganesh, Bangalore
Jaswant Singh’s book on Jinnah has stirred a hornets’ nest for all wrong reasons. There is no denying that Jinnah was principally responsible for Pakistan’s creation. But it is equally true that he was secular in his outlook, which was evident in his August 11, 1947 speech.
Without holding any brief for L.K. Advani who praised Jinnah during his visit to Pakistan, may I be allowed to say it has been interpreted wrongly? Does it require much imagination to understand that it was meant to point out how far Pakistan had moved away from Jinnah’s stated position?
M.S. Uthappa, Kodagu
The ongoing feud within the biggest Opposition party which started with Mr. Singh’s book on Jinnah seems unlikely to come to an end in the near future. If the BJP does not set its house in order soon, how can it act as a check on the ruling party?
Ruchika Chauhan, New Delhi
I don’t agree with Jaswant Singh’s theory of Partition. Partition was inevitable. India was never an integrated society. There were differences of caste and language, and the greatest divide was religion, between Hindus and Muslims.
The British fostered the divisions when the time came for them to leave. Jinnah’s contribution to Partition was that he exploited the two-nation theory to the hilt. Once the divisions came to the fore, no one including Gandhiji, Nehru, Patel and Jinnah himself could stop the creation of Pakistan.
Motupalli S. Prasad, Chennai