14 June, 2021

Farrukh Dhondy

On how Akbar Ahmed asked him to script Jinnah and keep quiet about it

Farrukh Dhondy
Did your perception of Gandhi and Jinnah change after scripting Jinnah?
The film looks at things from Jinnah's point of view. But I don't think my views have changed. Gandhi was one of the greatest figures of the 20th century. But Jinnah also genuinely felt that Muslims were under threat.

Was the writing process difficult?
It was a pretty rough writing assignment because I began with being completely out of sympathy with the subject, and I did it by telling Ahmed I'll write what I find out.

Why do you think Ahmed asked you, an Indian, to script the film?
I kind of knew him at Cambridge, I'd worked with the film's director before and I don't think Ahmed would've found a Pakistan writer to do this. They're not good enough.

Did you face a conflict in scripting a film of this sort?
I stuck to what contemporary historians gave me, and they think Jinnah wasn't as bad as we in India have made him out to be. The Partition was sad, and Jinnah shows that.

Why was the fact of your having scripted the film...

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