|Manchester Business School Global MBA January 2010 | |Leaders We Deserve | |Father of Pakistani Nation – Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) | | | [pic]
Born on December 25, 1876, in a prominent mercantile family in Karachi Pakistan and educated at the Sindh Madrassat-ul-Islam and the Christian Mission School, the Father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s achievement as the founder of Pakistan dominates everything else he did in his long and crowded public life spanning about 42 years. Yet, by any standard, his achievements in other fields were many, if not equally great.
Indeed, several were the roles he had played with distinction: at one time or another, he was one of the greatest legal luminaries India had produced during the first half of the century, an `ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, a great constitutionalist, a distinguished parliamentarian, a top-notch politician, an indefatigable freedom-fighter, a dynamic Muslim leader, a political strategist and, above all one of the great nation-builders of the time.
What makes him so remarkable is the fact that while similar other leaders assumed the leadership of traditionally well-defined nations and espoused their cause, or led them to freedom; he created a nation out of an inchoate and down-trodden minority and established a cultural and national home for it. For over three decades before the successful culmination in 1947, of the Muslim struggle for freedom in the South-Asian subcontinent, Jinnah had provided political leadership to the Indian Muslims: initially as one of the leaders, but later, since 1947, as the only prominent leader of Pakistan – the Quaid-i-Azam means the greatest leader.
For over thirty years, he had handled their affairs with due diligence; he had given expression, coherence and direction to their legitimate aspirations and cherished dreams, formulated these into concrete demands and above all, he had striven all the while to get them conceded by both the ruling British and the numerous Hindus (the dominant segment of India’s population).
For over thirty years he had fought, relentlessly and inexorably, for the inherent rights of the Muslims for an honourable existence in the subcontinent. Indeed, his life story constitutes, as it was the story of the rebirth of the Muslims of the subcontinent and their spectacular rise to nationhood. For about three decades since his entry into politics in 1906, Jinnah passionately believed in and assiduously worked for Hindu-Muslim unity. Gokhale, the foremost Hindu leader before Gandhi, had once said of him, He has the true stuff in him and that freedom from all sectarian prejudice which will make him the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity: And, to be sure, he did become the architect of Hindu-Muslim Unity: he was responsible for the Congress-League Pact of 1916, known popularly as Lucknow Pact- the only pact ever signed between the two political organisations, the Congress and the All-India Muslim League, representing, as they did, the two major communities in the subcontinent. “
By 1917, Jinnah came to be recognised among both Hindus and Muslims as one of India’s most outstanding political leaders. Not only was he prominent in the Congress and the Imperial Legislative Council, he was also the President of the All-India Muslim and that of the Bombay Branch of the Home Rule League. More important, because of his key-role in the Congress-League entente at Lucknow, he was hailed as the ambassador, as well as the embodiment, of Hindu-Muslim unity. In subsequent years, however, he felt dismayed at the injection of violence into politics.
Since Jinnah stood for “ordered progress”, moderation, gradualism and constitutionalism, he felt that political terrorism was not the pathway to national liberation but, the dark alley to disaster and destruction Earlier, in October 1920, when Gandhi (most renowned leader for Hindus), having been elected President of the Home Rule League, sought to change its constitution as well as its nomenclature, Jinnah had resigned from the Home Rule League, saying: “Your extreme programme has for the moment struck the imagination mostly of the inexperienced youth and the ignorant and the illiterate.
All this means disorganisation and chaos”. Jinnah felt that there was no short-cut to independence and that Gandhi’s extra-constitutional methods could only lead to political terrorism, lawlessness and chaos, without bringing India nearer to the threshold of freedom. As a result of the deep distrust between the two communities as evidenced by the country-wide communal riots and because the Hindus failed to meet the genuine demands of the Muslims, his efforts came to naught.
Undismayed by this bleak situation, Jinnah devoted himself with singleness of purpose to organizing the Muslims on one platform. He joined Muslim League and embarked upon country-wide tours. He pleaded with provincial Muslim leaders to sink their differences and make common cause with the League. He exhorted the Muslim masses to organize themselves and join the League. He gave coherence and direction to Muslim sentiments on the Government of India Act, 1935.
He advocated that the Federal Scheme should be scrapped as it was subversive of India’s cherished goal of complete responsible Government, while the provincial scheme, which conceded provincial autonomy for the first time, should be worked for what it was worth, despite its certain objectionable features. He also formulated a viable League manifesto for the election scheduled for early 1937. He was, it seemed, struggling against time to make Muslim India a power to be reckoned with.
As a result of Jinnah’s ceaseless efforts, the Muslims awakened from what Professor Baker calls (their) “unreflective silence” (in which they had so complacently basked for long decades), and to “the spiritual essence of nationality” that had existed among them for a pretty long time. Roused by the impact of successive Congress hammerings, the Muslims, as Ambedkar (principal author of independent India’s Constitution) says, “searched their social consciousness in a desperate attempt to find coherent and meaningful articulation to their cherished yearnings.
To their great relief, they discovered that their sentiments of nationality had flamed into nationalism”. In addition, not only had they developed” the will to live as a “nation”, had also endowed them with a territory which they could occupy and make a State as well as a cultural home for the newly discovered nation. These two pre-requisites, as laid down by Renan, provided the Muslims with the intellectual justification for claiming a distinct nationalism (apart from Indian or Hindu nationalism) for themselves.
So that when, after their long pause, the Muslims gave expression to their innermost yearnings, these turned out to be in favour of a separate Muslim nationhood and of a separate Muslim state. “We are a nation”, they claimed in the ever eloquent words of the Quaid-i-Azam- “We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral code, customs and calendar, history and tradition, aptitudes and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life.
By all canons of international law, we are a nation”. The formulation of the Muslim demand for Pakistan in 1940 had a tremendous impact on the nature and course of Indian politics. On the one hand, it shattered forever the Hindu dreams of a pseudo-Indian, in fact, Hindu empire on British exit from India: on the other, it heralded an era of Islamic renaissance and creativity in which the Indian Muslims were to be active participants. The Hindu reaction was quick, bitter, and malicious. Partition Plan By the close of 1946, the communal riots had flared up to murderous heights, engulfing almost the entire subcontinent.
The two peoples, it seemed, were engaged in a fight to the finish. The time for a peaceful transfer of power was fast running out. Realizing the gravity of the situation, His Majesty’s Government sent down to India a new Viceroy- Lord Mountbatten. His protracted negotiations with the various political leaders resulted in 3 June, 1947 Plan by which the British decided to partition the subcontinent, and hand over power to two successor States on 15 August, 1947. The plan was duly accepted by the three Indian parties to the dispute – the Congress the League and the Akali Dal (representing the Sikhs).
The way Jinnah manoeuvred to turn the tide of events at a time when all seemed lost indicated, above all, his masterly grasp of the situation and his adeptness at making strategic and tactical moves was awesome. In recognition of his singular contribution, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was nominated by the Muslim League as the Governor-General of Pakistan, while the Congress appointed Mountbatten as India’s first Governor-General. Pakistan, it has been truly said, was born in virtual chaos. Indeed, few nations in the world have started on their career with fewer resources and in more treacherous circumstances.
The new nation did not inherit a central government, a capital, an administrative core, or an organized defence force. Its social and administrative resources were poor; there was little equipment and still less statistics. The treasury was empty, India having denied Pakistan the major share of its cash balances. On top of all this, the still unorganized nation was called upon to feed some eight million refugees who had fled the insecurities and barbarities of the north Indian plains that long, hot summer.
The nation desperately needed in the person of a charismatic leader at that critical juncture in the nation’s history, and he fulfilled that need profoundly. After all, he was more than a mere Governor-General: he was the Quaid-i-Azam who had brought the State into being. In the ultimate analysis, his very presence at the helm of affairs was responsible for enabling the newly born nation to overcome the terrible crisis on the morrow of its cataclysmic birth.
He mustered up the immense prestige and the unquestioning loyalty he commanded among the people to energize them, to raise their morale, land directed the profound feelings of patriotism that the freedom had generated, along constructive channels. Though tired and in poor health, Jinnah yet carried the heaviest part of the burden in that first crucial year. He laid down the policies of the new state, called attention to the immediate problems confronting the nation and told the members of the Constituent Assembly, the civil servants and the Armed Forces what to do and what the nation expected of them.
A man such as Jinnah, who had fought for the inherent rights of his people all through his life and who had taken up the somewhat unconventional and the largely misinterpreted cause of Pakistan, was bound to generate violent opposition and excite implacable hostility and was likely to be largely misunderstood. But what is most remarkable about Jinnah is that he was the recipient of some of the greatest tributes paid to any one in modern times, some of them even from those who held a diametrically opposed viewpoint.
It was, therefore, with a sense of supreme satisfaction at the fulfilment of his mission that Jinnah told the nation in his last message on 14 August, 1948: “The foundations of your State have been laid and it is now for you to build and build as quickly and as well as you can”. Surat Chandra Bose, leader of the Forward Bloc wing of the Indian National Congress summed up succinctly his personal and political achievements. “Mr Jinnah”, he said on his death in 1948, “was great as a lawyer, once great as a Congressman, great as a leader of Muslims, great as a world politician and diplomat, and greatest of all as a man of action, By Mr.
Jinnah’s passing away, the world has lost one of the greatest statesmen and Pakistan its life-giver, philosopher and guide”. Quaid-i-Azam had all the qualities which the concept of contemporary leadership provides to us. He had vision and strategy, motivation, passion, innovation, aspiration and a commitment for a national cause. He died on 11 September, 1948. How true was Lord Pethick Lawrence, the former Secretary of State for India, when he said, “Gandhi died by the hands of an assassin; Jinnah died by his devotion to Pakistan”. Some of Quaid-i-Azam Addresses to Nation on Various Occasions Come forward as servants of Islam, organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody. ” Presidential Address at the All India Muslim League, Lahore March 23, 1940 “I have always maintained that no nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two.
There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women. ” Speech at Islamia College for women March 25, 1940 “The prosperity and advancement of a nation depend upon its intelligentsia, and Muslim India is looking forward to her young generation and education classes to give a bold lead for our guidance and a brilliant record of historical achievements and traditions. Islam expect every Muslim to do this duty, and if we realise our responsibility time will come soon when we shall justify ourselves worthy of a glorious past. ” December 24, 1940 The vital contest in which we are engaged is not only for the material gain but also the very existence of the soul of Muslim nation, Hence I have said often that it is a matter of life and death to the Muslims and is not a counter for bargaining. ” Presidential Address delivered at the Special Pakistan Session of the Punjab Muslim Students Federation March 2, 1941 “I particularly appeal to our intelligentsia and Muslim students to come forward and rise to the occasion. You have performed wonders in the past. You are still capable of repeating the history.
You are not lacking in the great qualities and virtues in comparison with the other nations. Only you have to be fully conscious of that fact and to act with courage, faith and unity. ” Message to Pakistan Day, issued from Delhi March 23, 1943 “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live. ” Speech at a meeting of the Muslim University Union, Aligarh
March 10, 1944 “Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which, we hope other will share with us” Message to Frontier Muslim Students Federation June 18, 1945 “If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely, concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor… you are free- you are free to go to your temples mosques or any other 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… in due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to Muslims- not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual- but in a political sense as citizens of one state” Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Karachi August 11, 1947 “Our object should be peace within, and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large. ” Lahore
August 15th, 1947 “My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation. ” Eid-ul-Azha Message to the Nation October 24, 1947 “You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve. Address to the officers and men of the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th Light Ack Ack Regiments in Malir, Karachi February 21, 1948 “That freedom can never be attained by a nation without suffering and sacrifice has been amply borne out by the recent tragic happenings in this subcontinent. We are in the midst of unparalleled difficulties and untold sufferings; we have been through dark days of apprehension and anguish; but I can say with confidence that with courage and self-reliance and by the Grace of God we shall emerge triumphant. ”
Speech at a Mammoth Rally at the University Stadium, Lahore October 30, 1947 “We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play. ” Address to Civil, Naval, Military and Air Force Officers of Pakistan Government, Karachi October 11, 1947 “We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice.
We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind” Speech at the opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi July 1, 1948 ———————– you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make. Muhammad Ali Jinnah What makes him so remarkable is the fact that while similar other leaders assumed the leadership of traditionally well-defined nations and espoused their cause, or led them to freedom; he created a nation out of an inchoate and down-trodden minority and established a cultural and national home for it. Jinnah was indeed a towering figure…… and this has been admitted in all fairness by not only the Muslims but also by the Non-Muslims, British and Hindus alike.