‘Friends and enemies’ - The Hindu
There are scores of books on Mahatma Gandhi that could fill several shelves, but Mohammad Ali Jinnah had apparently few admirers. Mr and Mrs Jinnah by Sheela Reddy is a sumptuous read, starting with Indian politics had had no greater shock than the arrival of Gandhi. Gandhi and Jinnah - a study in contrasts An extract from the book that riled India's Bharatiya Janata Party and led to the expulsion of its author Jaswant Singh.
He put forth proposals that he hoped might satisfy a broad range of Muslims and reunite the League, calling for mandatory representation for Muslims in legislatures and cabinets. These became known as his Fourteen Points. He could not secure adoption of the Fourteen Points, as the League meeting in Delhi at which he hoped to gain a vote instead dissolved into chaotic argument. MacDonald desired a conference of Indian and British leaders in London to discuss India's future, a course of action supported by Jinnah.
Three Round Table Conferences followed over as many years, none of which resulted in a settlement. Jinnah was a delegate to the first two conferences, but was not invited to the last. His biographers disagree over why he remained so long in Britain—Wolpert asserts that had Jinnah been made a Law Lordhe would have stayed for life, and that Jinnah alternatively sought a parliamentary seat.
From then on, Muhammad Jinnah would receive personal care and support from her as he aged and began to suffer from the lung ailments which would kill him. She lived and travelled with him, and became a close advisor. Muhammad Jinnah's daughter, Dina, was educated in England and India.
‘Friends and enemies’
Jinnah later became estranged from Dina after she decided to marry a Christian, Neville Wadia from a prominent Parsi business family. Jinnah continued to correspond cordially with his daughter, but their personal relationship was strained, and she did not come to Pakistan in his lifetime, but only for his funeral.
InIndian Muslims, especially from the United Provincesbegan to urge Jinnah to return and take up again his leadership of the Muslim League, an organisation which had fallen into inactivity. At Jinnah's request, Liaquat discussed the return with a large number of Muslim politicians and confirmed his recommendation to Jinnah. Full power remained in the hands of the Viceroy, however, who could dissolve legislatures and rule by decree.
The League reluctantly accepted the scheme, though expressing reservations about the weak parliament. The Congress was much better prepared for the provincial elections inand the League failed to win a majority even of the Muslim seats in any of the provinces where members of that faith held a majority. It did win a majority of the Muslim seats in Delhibut could not form a government anywhere, though it was part of the ruling coalition in Bengal.
It was brought home to them, like a bolt of lightning, that even if the Congress did not win a single Muslim seat He secured the right to speak for the Muslim-led Bengali and Punjabi provincial governments in the central government in New Delhi "the centre". He restructured the League along the lines of the Congress, putting most power in a Working Committee, which he appointed.
Choudhary Rahmat Ali published a pamphlet in advocating a state "Pakistan" in the Indus Valleywith other names given to Muslim-majority areas elsewhere in India. The failure of the Congress leadership to disavow Hindu communalists worried Congress-supporting Muslims.
Nevertheless, the Congress enjoyed considerable Muslim support up to about The Muslim League's claims that it alone could safeguard Muslim interests thus received a major boost. Significantly it was only after this period of Congress rule that it [the League] took up the demand for a Pakistan state Ahmed suggests that Jinnah abandoned hope of reconciliation with the Congress as he "rediscover[ed] his own Islamic roots, his own sense of identity, of culture and history, which would come increasingly to the fore in the final years of his life".
Muslims should strengthen Jinnah's hands. They should join the Muslim League. Indian question, as is now being solved, can be countered by our united front against both the Hindus and the English. Without it, our demands are not going to be accepted. People say our demands smack of communalism.
This is sheer propaganda. These demands relate to the defense of our national existence The united front can be formed under the leadership of the Muslim League. And the Muslim League can succeed only on account of Jinnah. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims. Muhammad Iqbal The well documented influence of Iqbal on Jinnah, with regard to taking the lead in creating Pakistan, has been described as "significant", "powerful" and even "unquestionable" by scholars.
According to Akbar S. Ahmedthis began to change during Iqbal's final years prior to his death in Iqbal gradually succeeded in converting Jinnah over to his view, who eventually accepted Iqbal as his "mentor".
Ahmed comments that in his annotations to Iqbal's letters, Jinnah expressed solidarity with Iqbal's view: Jinnah not only began to echo Iqbal in his speeches, he started using Islamic symbolism and began directing his addresses to the underprivileged.
Mr and Mrs Jinnah: How the failed marriage forms backdrop of the national divorce we call Partition
Ahmed noted a change in Jinnah's words: Ahmed further avers that those scholars who have painted the later Jinnah as secular have misread his speeches which, he argues, must be read in the context of Islamic history and culture. Accordingly, Jinnah's imagery of the Pakistan began to become clear that it was to have an Islamic nature. He never mastered the deftness of touch that Gandhi could employ. But there was once a lighter spirit discernible in him, captured for us by Sarojini Naidu.
Her extended description of him contains most of the well-known phrases applied to his early career and it deserves to be quoted at length on the subject of his character, if only to counterbalance much of what is found elsewhere. In she contributed an introduction to a collection of his speeches, in which she describes him as: This reflects the extraordinary reverence in which his contemporaries held him and the way that he seems not to have abused the space and authority this granted him.
He was essentially the same in public and private. He never stood on ceremony, or hectored his opponents, no matter how far apart he stood from them on the issues at hand, whether he was addressing the king or a minor Raj official. His ability to reach out informally across political and social divides was extraordinary; during his trip to England inhe managed to befriend the very mill workers that his hand-spinning was intended to condemn to unemployment.
Gandhi also enjoyed a much wider and warmer kind of political support than that which Jinnah constructed so painstakingly. His political aims were easily understood and generally shared. Just as importantly, his methods were thought to be correct; Indian freedom under Gandhi was to be won in an Indian way. To oppose him coming from within either orthodox Hinduism or broad Congress philosophy would have seemed either irreverent or un-Indian.
Jinnah and Ruttie: When love is not enough
Those who did oppose him found it difficult to remain in the Congress: Jinnah inC. Das inand Bose in had to leave and create their own platforms to oppose him at an all-India level.
Criticizing the Mahatma was potentially a short cut to the political wilderness. The British empire is firmly in place and Bombay is awash with Parsi enterprise and Parsi millionaires - of whom Sir Dinshaw Petit is one.
In his luxurious home, Petit Hall, with its French furniture and Persian carpets, all is well. His children are brought up by English governesses, and his cosmopolitan lifestyle takes him and his family on vacations to Europe. At home, hospitality is never-ending. An army of servants serves lavish meals to an unending flow of visitors.
Sarojini Naidu is a close friend and frequent guest. Mohammed Ali Jinnah is a frequent visitor. A successful barrister and member of the Viceroy's Imperial Legislative Council, he is a rising star in politics whom Sir Dinshaw greatly admires. He has been a familiar figure in Ruttie Petit's home since her childhood.
- Jinnah and Ruttie: When love is not enough
- Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed Ali Jinnah tried to avoid partition, says Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah
She is still in her teens and Jinnah, aged 43, is just three years younger than her father when they marry in secret and she converts to Islam, creating a scandal that engulfs both their communities. This unlikely love story plays out against the social and political scene of the time.
There are personality problems. Unable to cope, Ruttie runs away from her marriage and later comes back, but there is no repairing the mismatched relationship. Disowned by her father and her community, cut off from her family and all contact with her convivial home and carefree past, she turns to Sarojini Naidu for understanding and companionship and to Padmaja Naidu, her closest friend, for unfailing support.
Ruttie tries to make a life for herself in a variety of ways-from unbridled shopping to theosophy and seances - but slides into a state of despair, into drug-induced illnesses and death at the age of Worse, sex with him was not thrilling, even before the initial novelty wore off.
Ruttie had associated marriage to this handsome, distinguished man with high romance - that he would prove a passionate lover who would sweep her off her feet. She was too young and inexperienced to realise that his lack of demonstrativeness during their courtship was a sign of his habitual forbidding reserve, or that in his struggle for professional success, intimate relationships had apparently played little or no part.
Intimacy was not his style. He was also rigidly bound to his routine and almost fanatically focused on his legal work and political career. He comes across as a man set and fixed in his habits - reading several newspapers from beginning to end including the advertisements first thing in the morning and disliking interruptions of any kind.