Jinnah as sole spokesman of the Muslims of South Asia

In his memories Aga Khan has summed up Quaid’s leadership in following words;
“Of all statesmen I’ve known in my life- Clenceau, Llyod George, Churchil, Curzon, Mussolini, Mahatma Gandhi: Jinnah is the most remarkable. None of these men has outshone strength of character, and in that almost uncanny combination of prescience and resolution which is statecraft.”

In fact, Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the man of courage and remarkably appreciable qualities. He was a sole spokesman. In words of Iqbal Chagla “He stood alone, and seemed like a man who had done a Columbus with Pakistan.” Jinnah was not purchasable with goodies or compromises. When Mountbatten suggested that he could become the officiating governor-general of Pakistan, the offer was rejected. “Do you realise what this will cost you?” he asked Jinnah, who replied, “It may cost me several crores of rupees in assets.” Mountbatten continued the onslaught. “It may well cost you the whole of your assets and the future of Pakistan.” But Jinnah strongly stayed unmoved.

Doubtlessly, Jinnah was the man of strength with god gifted vision of social and political understanding. Jinnah was the man who brought ashore the drowning ship of Muslims of South East Asia. Making of Pakistan was a team effort and the lead of the team was in Jinnah’s hands. There was a great number of Muslim Scholars in the subcontinent, who felt the pitiable state of the Muslims of the subcontinent, but Quaid was the man who brought the idea into action, He stood alone, gathered a team, leaded it and won. There were several factors which led Quaid to appear as a ‘sole spokesman’ of the Muslims of South East Asia. These factors can be classified as internal and external factors.

Internal factors which made Quaid a ‘sole spokesman’ were Quaid’s inner qualities. He was blessed with a far-vision of political and social understanding. Area of his studies was quite wide and similarly his knowledge. And the most important factor was Quaid’s own interest in the political conditions of the subcontinent. When he came back from London, he joined congress. But it was his far-vision which felt the conspiracy of Hindu’s very early. He understood that rights of Muslims of Indian subcontinent are not safe in the hands of Congress. He bravely opposed their policies and demanded a fair one. But he didn’t find any progress in this regard and compromise was not his nature so he left congress and joined hands with All India Muslim League. It was Quaid’s far-visioning and political understanding which made him know the exact line of actions of Congress, and it was his strength of character which made him inquire for the same.

Many other Muslims were the members of congress and they also felt the insecure future of Muslims but none of them could protest against it, instead they silently left the congress and joined Muslim league. But Quaid’s case was different. Actually , in the beginning Quaid was also in favour of United India, but when he came to know the motive of the Hindu leaders that, after getting independence from Britain all the major ministries (from Prime minister to foreign minister) would be under Hindu control and none of the Muslims will have access over them. Jinnah was so annoyed, that he fearlessly inquired the matter, but Nehru and others couldn’t satisfy him with any authentic answer.

Another thing that Jinnah felt was the Gandhi’s duel attitude towards muslims. For instance Gandhi’s attitude with Muslim leaders was at its supreme, personally, but publicly it was totally opposite. This made Quaid confused for the secure future of Muslims in the subcontinent. Climax came when Gandhi started opposing Quaid’s personal life and in response Quaid stood up with his all strengths. Actually Gandhi felt the leadership qualities in Quaid and he was in fact a little afraid also and many times he attempted to hit Quaid on some irrational grounds also. Once in congress meeting at Gujrat (where the audience was purely Gujrati and no one could understand English) Gandhi announced, “Mr. Jinnah can’t speak in your native language as he doesn’t know any language other than English”. At that time Quaid addressed the audience in pure Gujrati in an exact accent, which shocked Mr. Gandhi and pleased the audience.

Whenever any of the opponent tried to exhibit any weakness of Quaid, in response he not only overcame the weakness but left no leak. These were only those factors which distinguish Quaid from other leaders. The actual internal factor of being ‘sole spokesman’ was that, all the above mentioned qualities of Quaid made him so popular that Muslims of India started perceiving him a “Messiah”. Initially he was unknown of his popularity so his strengths were not in a particular direction, his strengths were divergent. He had a ‘handicapped combat’ with congress (he was the only opposing their policies). His fourteen points are the sound example in this regard. But when he realized that people have kept all their hopes with him, his all strengths became convergent and he found the direction. It was ‘peoples’ expectation’ which he realised internally and became the “SOLE SPOKESMAN OF THE MUSLIMS OF SOUTH EAST ASIA”.

Now come external factors or those external forces which led Quaid to appear as a sole spokesman. Quaid during his studentship (in Britain), worked as a political secretary of a very well known member of British Parliament Mr. Dadabhoy Noorjai. It won’t be wrong to say that, “Dadabhoy Noorjai was the first political training institution for Mr Jinnah”. He had spent a long time with Mr. Noorjai and hence he had a thorough knowledge of BRITISH POLITICAL THINKING. When he came back to India, he applied his working experience here. His BRITISH WAY OF POLITICAL THINKING made him prominent among all other leaders. It doesn’t mean that other Muslim leaders were not great leaders. They were also great but none of them have better understanding of British rulers and the political demands as Quaid had. Actually all other leaders got political training in India so their style and approach was different then British. And Jinnah had a start with British political system so he was fully aware of the ‘games’ played by them. Or in other words before Quaid’s entrance in Indian Politics, British and some Hindus were on the screen of Indian politics, but when Jinnah stepped into, they found a man of their competition, and from here the actual spokesman ship of Muslims got a start.

Dadabhoy Noorjai’s fellowship and British political training were the prominent elements of Quaid’s ‘sole spokesman ship’ but he couldn’t have ever won the hearts of Muslims of South East Asia without following Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani’s teachings. Quaid met Allama Usmani when Gandhi criticized him that “what kind of Muslim he is who doesn’t know Kalma”. Allama didn’t only teach him Kalma but also provided him with detailed and unbiased concepts of Islam. Jinnah was so fond of Allama’s that he wished his ‘Namaz-e-Jinaza Prayer” to be offered by Allama Usmani. Undoubtedly Allama’s teachings supported Quaid’s personality as a ‘sole spokesman’.

Inspiration of Allama’s teachings revealed during the struggle for Pakistan, when there were two groups of Muslims of India, i.e. Sunni and Shia. Initially it was not clear that either Pakistan will be a shia state or a sunni state. And no one felt the need of such declaration. But when the time of Partition came , Rajasab Memmood Abad and Rajasab Ahmed Abbas asked Quaid about the national religion of Pakistan and Quaid firmly declared it will be Islam, irrespective of any group differentiation. There arouse the conflict between Shia and Sunni community but Quaid remained unmoved. He refused to have his say on any individual group, instead he maintained MUSLIM UNITY. This was the reason that both Rajasabs didn’t migrate to Pakistan instead they went to Britain. Here Quaid’s role as ‘sole spokesman’ was at its supreme level. There were some Sunni spokesmen and some Shia spokesmen, but Quaid was one who worked for united Muslims’ interests.

Precisely Quaid was the man of character with god gifted vision and strength. Quaid’s own interest, vision, abilities, courage, thinking power and fighting spirit combined with the fellowship of Dadabhoy Noorjai and practice on Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani’s teachings brought him on the screen of Indian Politics as a ‘sole spokesman’ of Muslims of South East Asia.

4 Responses

  1. Shabbir Ahmad Usmani had little or no influence on Jinnah… I have no primary source evidence for Jinnah’s “request” that Shabir Ahmad Usmani do his funeral prayers.

  2. PS: Jinnah was a secularist … whose political ideology was a clear separation of church and state… saving Muslims from Hindu tyranny did not mean theocracy.

  3. @YLH

    i’ve read it in Nonehaal (when i was very young) that Jinnah requested Mr. Usmani to offer his funeral prayer.

    Secondly i totally agree with you that Jinnah was a secularist. I’d like to add a little in this context that Jinnah was a secularist.

    For instance “Quaid’s speech” on 11th August 1947 whereby Quaid said,

    “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

    But in my opinion, the ideology of Pakistan is based on Islam, and Quaid’s concept of Secularism completely adheres to Islam, as Qurann says (XLII, 15-25)Allah is our lord and your lord, unto us our works and unto you your works: No argument between us and you.


  4. […] Jinnah as sole spokesman of the Muslims of South Asia « Qurratulain 29 Aug 2006 … Jinnah was the man who brought ashore the drowning ship of Muslims of South East Asia. Making of Pakistan was a team effort and the lead of … qurratulain.wordpress.com/2006/08/29/jinnah-as-sole-spokesman-of-the-muslims-of-south-asia/ – 49k – Cached – Similar pages – […]

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