Analysis of Jinnah's Personality

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 969
  • Published : December 15, 2010
Open Document
Text Preview
Table of index

Chapter - 11
Chapter - 25
History of that Period5
Chapter - 37
Social Background7
Work for the Muslim Community8
Chapter - 410
Political Career10
Struggle for existence11
Chapter - 513
Personality of Jinnah13
Chapter - 615
Bibliography: -17

Chapter - 1
The partition of India, 1947, some call it as vivisection as Gandhi had, has without doubt has been the most wounding trauma of the twentieth century. It has seared the psyche of more than four generations of this subcontinent. Why did the partition take place at all? Who was/is responsible – Jinnah, the Congress Party or the British? Jaswant Singh attempts to find an answer, his answer, for there can perhaps not be a definite answer, yet the author searches. Jinnah’s political journey began as ‘an ambassador of Hindu – Muslim Unity’ (Gopal Krishna Gokhle), yet ended with his becoming the ‘sole spokesman’ of Muslims in India; the creator of Pakistan, the Quid-e-Azam: How and why this transformation takes place? Writing about the politics of Partition in the right register seems impossible. Entrenched ideological commitments, the desire for explanations, the need to apportion blame, and a preoccupation with subtexts make the history almost impossible to write. Writing on Partition also suffers from a peculiarly unimaginative take on human agency. How could anyone in the 1930s and ’40s have imagined what the Indian subcontinent would be like? How do such a complicated and brilliant cast of political characters engage in complex political negotiations? How easy is it to read intentions? What is the relationship between the negotiations of these characters and the complex movements of self and identity brewing on the ground? How do we think of possible counterfactuals: if only Nehru had done “X” or Mountbatten had done “Y”? There has always been a false confidence with which so many historians approach these difficult questions. There is also the wishing away of uncomfortable thoughts. Men acting in good faith can produce unintended consequences; and often two incompatible lines of argument seem to have their own internal integrity. It is easy to argue that Hindus and Muslims were not two nations. It is far more difficult to suggest what framework would have accommodated all possible aspirations. It is far too easy to take a position on should India have been a strong, central state or a weak federation. But it is more difficult to make a knockdown argument for one position or the other. Yet, we write and argue as if all these judgments are so easy. Certainly, none of the characters central to this drama — Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel or Mohammed Ali Jinnah — ever thought there were easy answers. Their moments of self doubt, hesitation and frustration are a tribute to their seriousness, as much as our encrusted certainties are a reminder of the laziness of our condescension. This is the backdrop against which a serious book (Jaswant Singh’s Jinnah) must be approached. It is a prodigious work of scholarship, wide-ranging in its references and well documented. It has its own historical judgments to make and sometimes they are too swift. But there is no doubt that the book opens up serious and interesting questions. It has a narrative of its own. Partition was not the result of an irrevocable religious cleavage between Hindus and Muslims. It was squarely a product of politics. The Congress was unable to handle its own success, as it were. The issue is not whether the Congress was right in its ideological commitments or not. The issue is whether it had the political capacity and sense of judgment to deal with those who might challenge it. The issue is not which theory of nationhood was right. The real political question is how you handle deep disagreement. In this crucial respect, Singh argues, the Congress spectacularly misjudged Jinnah at many levels:...
tracking img