By Kamal Saeed.
Mr. Jinnah who has been in our frame of memory for a person who was always sober, serious and humourless but it is not well and true for there are numerous pictures of Jinnah in the archives in which Jinnah standing with Gandhi laughing there. It is indeed a matter of great shame for us to have seen Jinnah in our textbooks’ binding page or in currency notes. Most of the times things are not what they are rather it is what we are about them so is the issue of Jinnah.
Jinnah has an amused expression on his face, which, it seems, would break into a grin were it not for the cigarette between his lips. He looks about 60 and dashingly handsome with fine features, a full head of hair with generous splashes of gray carefully combed back. Yet most of the Pakistanis are not up to it since we do not desire to have our leader in such persona. All the inns-and-outs have got to be made public so that we have a good understanding of our hero.
We have seen him as person who had a fairly long Sheerwani, Kurkul cap- which later named Qauid cap- with unsmiling and somber man. True, he had a knack of using such stuff but Jinnah was a modern man, a westernised man. Whatever his personal beliefs, he never wore religion on his sleeves. No photographer has ever been able to capture him clad in an ahram performing umrah or Hajj, or at an iftar party, or visiting and praying at shrines.
Mrs. Vijay Lakshmi Pundit, a prominent figure and Nehru’s sister, stated, “If the Muslim League had 100 Gandhis and 200 Azads and Congress had only one Jinnah, then India would not have been divided!”
We even insist on misspelling his name. Jinnah would spell his first name as Mohamed, as evident in his passport, issued in November 1946. The picture in the passport shows Jinnah wearing a western jacket, a tie and a Jinnah cap. One could suspect this is the same picture that appears on our currency notes, but with the tie and jacket replaced with a sherwani collar. Obviously, we have been trying to clad Jinnah in an identity we wish to assume for ourselves — an overt religious identity.
We Pakistan today mourn over Fall of Dhaka but most of our Pakistan have not alpha and omega of who has sown the seeds of early or premature fall of Dhaka. Mr. Jinnah with the declaration of Urdu as a national language to have been ignoring the 54% Bengalis population and to have been considering the 7% Urdu speaking population could be ground breaking for national unity. This declaration was a massive blunder to his discredit. To add insult to the injury Jinnah while in his visit to Bengal he termed all those who agitated in the wake of Urdu to be national language as traitor and Jinnah also opined Benagli was spoken by Hindus the reason why Muslims should have Urdu as the national language.
Jinnah hardly spoke or wrote Urdu. Most of the addresses he made to the public are in English and thanks largely to low effeciancy of English understanding most of the population did not know what Jinnah exactly visualized. He visualized a secular state which never turned as his vision was never grasped properly.
Despite everything Jinnah was a man which meant business and serious business. It was he who changed the complexion of the world as his adversaries have their sayings. Mrs. Vijay Lakshmi Pundit, a prominent figure and Nehru’s sister, stated, “If the Muslim League had 100 Gandhis and 200 Azads and Congress had only one Jinnah, then India would not have been divided!”
However, to sum up in the words of Stanley Wolpert, “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three”.
Kamal Saeed is a poet, a writer, from Karak mastered in English literature, have a yearning to join civil services. And yes he has authored his own book ‘The Inspiring Way”.