Muhammad Ali Jinnah

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Pakistan, one of the largest Muslim states in the world, is a living and exemplary monument of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. With his untiring efforts, indomitable will, and dauntless courage, he united the Indian Muslims under the banner of the Muslim League and carved out a homeland for them, despite stiff opposition from the Hindu Congress and the British Government. Jinnah served as leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan's independence on August 14, 1947 and Pakistan's first Governor-General from August 15, 1947 until his death on September 11, 1948. Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress initially expounding ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity and helping shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress; he also became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League. He proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India. Jinnah later advocated the Two-Nation Theory embracing the goal of creating a separate Muslim state as per the Lahore Resolution. The League won most reserved Muslim seats in the elections of 1946. After the British and Congress backed out of the Cabinet Mission Plan Jinnah called for a Direct Action Day to achieve the formation of Pakistan. The direct action by the Muslim League and its Volunteer Corps resulted in massive rioting in Calcutta between Muslims and Hindus. As the Indian National Congress and Muslim League failed to reach a power sharing formula for united India, it prompted both the parties and the British to agree to independence of Pakistan and India. As the first Governor-General of Pakistan, Jinnah led efforts to lay the foundations of the new state of Pakistan, frame national policies and rehabilitate millions of Muslim refugees who had migrated from India.

Jinnah was born Mahomedali Jinnahbhai in Wazir Mansion, Karachi District, of lower Sindh. Sindh had earlier been conquered by the British and was subsequently grouped with other conquered territories for administrative reasons to form the Bombay Presidency of British India. Although his earliest school records state that he was born on October 20, 1875, Sarojini Naidu, the author of Jinnah's first biography, gives the date as ”December 25, 1876”. Jinnah was the eldest of seven children born to Mithibai and Jinnahbhai Poonja. His father, Jinnahbhai (1857–1901), was a prosperous Gujarati merchant who had moved to Sindh from Kathiawar, Gujarat before Jinnah's birth. His grandfather, Poonja Gokuldas Meghji, was a Hindu Bhatia Rajput from Paneli village in Gondal state in Kathiawar. Jinnah's ancestors were Hindu Rajputs who had converted to Islam. Jinnah's family belonged to the Ismaili Khoja branch of Shi'a Islam, though Jinnah later converted to Twelver Khoja Shia Islam. The first-born Jinnah was soon joined by six siblings, Brothers Ahmad Ali, Bunde Ali, and Rahmat Ali, and sisters Maryam, Fatima and Shireen. Their mother language was Gujarati; in time they also came to speak Kutchi, Sindhi and English. The proper Muslim names of Mr. Jinnah and his siblings, unlike those of his father and grandfather, are the consequence of the family's immigration to the Muslim state of Sindh. As a kid, he lived a comfortable life but he lacked interest in studies and education and hence attended several schools until the age of fifteen. When he was six years old, he was admitted at the Sindh-Madrasa-tul-Islam; at the age of ten years, Jinnah was sent to Bombay and there he studied in the “Gokul Das Tej Primary school”. A year later, at the age of eleven, he went to the “Sindh Madarassah High school” in Karachi. Finally at the age of fifteen, he went to a more disciplined “Christian Missionary school” where he was highly influenced by the traditions and beliefs of Christians and was excited by Christmas and its celebrations. Soon, he wished to change his date of birth to December 25, 1876 and...
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