The Hindu deserves praise for publishing an unbiased editorial on Mohammad Ali Jinnah (reproduced on Aug. 21) after his death, even though the atmosphere was charged in the years following Independence. Jinnah was a victim of vicious propaganda unleashed by the anti-Muslim lobby to cover up its role in the formation of Pakistan. Jinnah was only a pawn in the game of Partition. But the propaganda was so vigorous and vicious that even the Muslim community believes that he was solely and wholly responsible for Partition. All praise to Jaswant Singh for unveiling the truth even though he hails from the RSS family.
K. Malikul Azeez,
Jinnah was not a fundamentalist in the initial years but changed tack later and became instrumental in Pakistan’s creation. The main reason was the clash of egos between Nehru and Jinnah.
Jinnah was a nationalist at the beginning of his political career. But he was not prepared for a prolonged bitter struggle against the British. When he felt he was losing importance on the political scene, he went away to the U.K. With the cry for Pakistan gaining momentum, he seized his opportunity to become the undisputed leader of the Muslim masses raising the bogey of Hindu domination over Muslims in a free India.
As early as 1940, the Muslim League demanded a separate state for Muslims. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in his book Thoughts on Pakistan (published in 1940) discussed whether Partition would solve any problems for India. He prophesised that unless the transfer of population between India and Pakistan took place on the lines of Greece and Turkey, the situation would remain the same even after 70 years.
A lot of blood was shed on the Direct Action day called by the Muslim League. More such violence was anticipated. Only when it became clear that the League would not allow any fruitful democratic governance did leaders like Patel and Nehru see Partition as the only remedy.
This refers to L.K. Advani’s reported remark that Sardar Patel banned the RSS under pressure from Nehru (Aug. 22). The Iron Man of India has unfortunately become a victim of politics in a tussle over nothing. Patel neither endorsed the ideology of the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha nor did he back them for them to adopt his name. Patel’s nationalism was nothing like the RSS brand of nationalism.
It appears easy today to blame Nehru and Patel for Partition. But one must understand the compulsion of the Congress leaders. The Muslim League’s attitude towards the interim government was so forbidding that it was riddled with problems from day one. Yes, Nehru wanted to be the Prime Minister of independent India to show the world how a nation could rise from the ashes and become prosperous.