24 November, 2020

What Divided Jinnah

His vision-action dichotomy refracted idealism into tragedy

What Divided Jinnah

One sunny morning in Karachi eight summers ago, the marble mausoleum of Mohammed Ali Jinnah—disputably the sole spokesman of the Muslims of undivided India and undisputably the architect of Pakistan—had an unlikely visitor. L.K. Advani, then president of the BJP, was visiting his hometown only for the second time after he migrated from it at age 20 and for the first time with his family. What he inscribed in the visitors’ book was even more uncharacteristic: “There are many people who leave an inerasable stamp on history. But there are very few who actually create history. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was one such rare individual. In his early years, Sarojini Naidu, a leading luminary of India’s freedom struggle, described Mr Jinnah as an ‘Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity’. His address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947, is a classic, a forceful espousal of a Secular State in which every citizen would be free to practise his own...



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