|Muhammad Ali Jinnah|
Pakistan's "Father of the Nation" & "The Great Leader"
|Place of birth:||Karachi, Sind, British India|
|Place of death:||Karachi, Sind, Pakistan|
|Major organizations:||Indian National Congress, Muslim League|
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Urdu: محمد على جناح ▶) (December 25, 1876 – September 11, 1948) was a Muslim politician and leader of the All India Muslim League who founded Pakistan and served as its first Governor-General, officially known in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam (Urdu: قائد اعظم — "Great Leader") and Baba-e-Qaum ("Father of the Nation"). Pakistan celebrates his birthday as a national holiday.
Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress expounding ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity and helping shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact with the Muslim League; he also became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League. After perceiving that Indian National Congress worked to give Hindus control of the country, Jinnah quit the Congress and took charge of the Muslim League. He proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India. His proposals failed amid the League's disunity, driving a disillusioned Jinnah to live in London for many years.
Several Muslim leaders persuaded Jinnah to return to India in 1934 and re-organize the League. Jinnah embraced the goal of creating a separate state for Muslims as outlined in the Lahore Resolution. The League won most Muslim seats in the elections of 1946, and Jinnah launched the Direct Action campaign of strikes and protests to achieve "Pakistan," which degenerated into communal violence across India. The failure of the Congress-League coalition to govern the country prompted both parties and the British to agree to partition. As Governor-General of Pakistan, Jinnah led efforts to rehabilitate millions of refugees, and to frame national policies on foreign affairs, security, and economic development.
Jinnah, born Muhammmad Ali Jinnahbhai, grew up in Wazir Mansion, Karachi, Sindh—then a province of the Bombay Presidency of British India. Although his earliest school records stated that he had been born on October 20, 1875, later in life he gave December 25, 1876 as his official date of birth. His father, Jinnahbhai Poonja (1857–1901), achieved prosperity as a Gujarati merchant after moving to Sindh from Kathiawar, Gujarat shortly before Jinnah's birth. His grandfather, Poonja Meghji, had been a Bhatia from Paneli village in Gondal state in Kathiawar. The family had moved there from Sahiwal near Multan. Some sources suggest that Jinnah's ancestors came from the line of Hindu Rajputs from Rajasthan, India.
Jinnah's parents, Jinnahbhai and Mithibai Poonja, went on to have six more children—sons Ahmad Ali, Bunde Ali, and Rahmat Ali, and daughters Maryam, Fatima, and Shireen. Jinnah's family belonged to the Ismaili Khoja branch of Shi'a Islam, though Jinnah later converted to Twelver Shi'a Islam. They spoke Gujarati as their mother tongue; in time they also came to speak Kutchi, Sindhi, and English. The young Jinnah, a restless student, studied at several schools: At the Sindh Madrasatul-Islam in Karachi; briefly at the Gokal Das Tej Primary School in Bombay; and finally at the Christian Missionary Society High School in Karachi, where, at age sixteen, he passed the matriculation examination of the University of Bombay.
The same year, 1892, Jinnah received an offer of apprenticeship from the London office of Graham's Shipping and Trading Company, a business that had extensive dealings with Jinnahbhai Poonja's firm in Karachi. Before he left for England, he married, at his mother's urging, a distant cousin, Emibai, two years his junior. The marriage lasted a short time; a few months later, Emibai died. Later, during his sojourn in England, his mother passed away. In London, Jinnah soon left the apprenticeship to study law, joining Lincoln's Inn. In three years, at age 19, he became the youngest Indian called to the bar in England. Around that time, Jinnah also became interested in politics. An admirer of the Indian political leaders Dadabhai Naoroji and Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, he worked, with other Indian students, on the former's successful campaign for a seat in the British Parliament. Although by now Jinnah had developed largely constitutionalist views on Indian self-government, he nevertheless condemned both the arrogance of British officials in India and the discrimination practiced by them against Indians.
During the final period of his stay in England, Jinnah came under considerable pressure when his father's business failed. Settling in Bombay, he became a successful lawyer—gaining fame especially for his skilled handling of the "Caucus Case." Jinnah built a house in Malabar Hill, later known as Jinnah House. His reputation as a skilled lawyer prompted Indian leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak to hire him as defense counsel for his sedition trial in 1905. Jinnah argued Tilak's innocence, maintaining that an Indian had the right to demand freedom and self-government in his own country, but Tilak received a severe term of imprisonment.
In 1896, Jinnah joined the Indian National Congress, the largest Indian political organization. Like most of the Congress at the time, Jinnah counseled against outright independence, considering British influences on education, law, culture, and industry as beneficial to India. Moderate leader Gopal Krishna Gokhale became Jinnah's role model, with Jinnah proclaiming his ambition to become the "Muslim Gokhale." On January 25, 1910, Jinnah became a member on the sixty-member Imperial Legislative Council. The council had no real power or authority, and included a large number of un-elected pro-Raj loyalists and Europeans. Nevertheless, Jinnah proved instrumental in the passing of the Child Marriages Restraint Act, the legitimization of the Muslim wakf—religious endowments—and received an appointment to the Sandhurst committee, which helped establish the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun. During World War I, Jinnah joined other Indian moderates in supporting the British war effort, hoping that Indians would be rewarded with political freedoms.
Jinnah had initially avoided joining the All India Muslim League, founded in 1906, regarding it as too communal. Eventually, he joined the league in 1913 and became the president at the 1916 session in Lucknow. Jinnah emerged as the architect of the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the League, bringing them together on most issues regarding self-government and presenting a united front to the British. Jinnah also played an important role in the founding of the All India Home Rule League in 1916. Along with political leaders Annie Besant and Tilak, Jinnah demanded "home rule" for India—the status of a self-governing dominion in the Empire similar to Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. He headed the League's Bombay Presidency chapter. In 1918, Jinnah married his second wife Rattanbai Petit ("Ruttie"), 24 years his junior, and the fashionable young daughter of his personal friend Sir Dinshaw Petit of an elite Parsi family of Mumbai. Unexpectedly, great opposition to the marriage from Rattanbai's family and Parsi society erupted, as well as from orthodox Muslim leaders. Rattanbai defied her family and nominally converted to Islam, adopting (though never using) the name "Maryam"—resulting in a permanent estrangement from her family and Parsi society. The couple resided in Bombay, and frequently traveled across India and Europe. She bore Jinnah his only child, daughter Dina, in 1919.
Jinnah's problems with the Congress began with the ascent of Mahatma Gandhi in 1918, who espoused non-violent civil disobedience as the best means to obtain Swaraj (independence, or self-rule) for all Indians. Jinnah differed, saying that only constitutional struggle could lead to independence. Unlike most Congress leaders, Gandhi wore native Indian clothes, attempting, to the best of his ability, to use an Indian language instead of English, and practiced a profound spiritual life. Gandhi's Hindu style of leadership gained great popularity with the Indian people. Jinnah criticized Gandhi's support of the Khilafat Movement, which he saw as an endorsement of religious zealotry. By 1920, Jinnah resigned from the Congress, warning that Gandhi's method of mass struggle would lead to divisions between Hindus and Muslims and within the two communities. Becoming president of the Muslim League, Jinnah became embroiled in conflict between a pro-Congress faction and a pro-British faction. In 1927, Jinnah entered negotiations with Muslim and Hindu leaders on the issue of a future constitution, during the struggle against the all-British Simon Commission. The League wanted separate electorates while the Nehru Report favored joint electorates. Jinnah personally opposed separate electorates, but then drafted compromises and put forth demands that he thought would satisfy both. Those became known as the 14 points of Mr. Jinnah. The Congress and other political parties rejected them.
Jinnah's personal life, and especially his marriage, suffered during that period due to his political work. Although they worked to save their marriage by traveling together to Europe when he received the appointment to the Sandhurst committee, the couple separated in 1927. Jinnah felt deeply saddened when Rattanbai died in 1929, after a serious illness.
At the Round Table Conferences in London, Jinnah criticized Gandhi, but expressed disillusionment over the breakdown of talks. Frustrated with the disunity of the Muslim League, he decided to quit politics and practice law in England. Jinnah received personal care and support throughout his later years from his sister Fatima, who lived and traveled with him and also became a close adviser. She helped raise his daughter, who had been educated in England and India. Jinnah later became estranged from his daughter after she decided to marry Parsi-born Christian businessman Neville Wadia—even though he had faced the same issues when he desired to marry Rattanbai in 1918. Jinnah continued to correspond cordially with his daughter, but their personal relationship remained strained. Dina continued to live in India with her family.
Prominent Muslim leaders like the Aga Khan, Choudhary Rahmat Ali, and Sir Muhammad Iqbal made efforts to convince Jinnah to return to India and take charge of a now-reunited Muslim League. In 1934 Jinnah returned and began to re-organize the party, being closely assisted by Liaquat Ali Khan, who acted as his right-hand man. In the 1937 elections, the League emerged as a viable party, capturing a significant number of seats under the Muslim electorate, but lost in the Muslim-majority Punjab, Sindh, and the Northwest Frontier Province. Jinnah offered an alliance with the Congress—both bodies would face the British together—but the Congress had to share power and accept separate electorates and the League as the representative of India's Muslims. Congress rejected the latter two terms, promoting its own national Muslim leaders and membership while adhering to secularism. Even as Jinnah held talks with Congress president Rajendra Prasad, Congress leaders suspected that Jinnah would use his position as a lever for exaggerated demands and obstruct government, and demanded that the League merge with the Congress. The talks failed, and while Jinnah declared the resignation of all Congressmen from provincial and central offices in 1938 as a "Day of Deliverance" from Hindu domination, some historians assert that he remained hopeful for an agreement.
In a speech to the League in 1930, Sir Muhammad Iqbal mooted an independent state for Muslims in "northwest India." Choudhary Rahmat Ali published a pamphlet in 1933 advocating a state called "Pakistan." Following the failure to work with the Congress, Jinnah, who had embraced separate electorates and the exclusive right of the League to represent Muslims, converted to the idea that Muslims needed a separate state to protect their rights. Jinnah came to believe that Muslims and Hindus constituted distinct nations, with unbridgeable differences—a view later known as the Two Nation Theory. Jinnah declared that a united India would lead to the marginalization of Muslims, and eventually civil war between Hindus and Muslims. That change of view may have occurred through his correspondence with Iqbal, who held Jinnah's confidence. In the session in Lahore in 1940, the party adopted as the main goal the Pakistan resolution. The Congress rejected the resolution outright, drawing criticism as well from Muslim leaders like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Syed Ab'ul Ala Maududi, and the Jamaat-e-Islami. On July 26, 1943, a member of the extremist Khaksars stabbed and wounded Jinnah in an attempted assassination.
Jinnah founded Dawn in 1941—a major newspaper that helped him propagate the League's point of views. During the mission of British minister Stafford Cripps, Jinnah demanded parity between the number of Congress and League ministers, the League's exclusive right to appoint Muslims, and a right for Muslim-majority provinces to secede, leading to the breakdown of talks. Jinnah supported the British effort in World War II, and opposed the Quit India movement. During that period, the League formed provincial governments and entered the central government. The League's influence increased in the Punjab after the death of Unionist leader Sikander Hyat Khan in 1942. Gandhi held talks fourteen times with Jinnah in Mumbai in 1944, about a united front. While talks failed, Gandhi's overtures to Jinnah increased the latter's standing with Muslims.
In the 1946 elections for the Constituent Assembly of India, the Congress won most of the elected seats and Hindu electorate seats, while the League won control of a large majority of Muslim electorate seats. The 1946 British Cabinet Mission to India released a plan on May 16, calling for a united India comprised of considerably autonomous provinces, and called for "groups" of provinces formed on the basis of religion. A second plan released on June 16 called for the partition of India along religious lines, with princely states to choose between accession to the dominion of their choice or independence. The Congress, fearing India's fragmentation, criticized the May 16th proposal and rejected the June 16th plan. Jinnah gave the League's assent to both plans, knowing that power would go only to the party that had supported a plan. After much debate and against Gandhi's advice that both plans would be divisive, the Congress accepted the May 16th plan while condemning the grouping principle. Jinnah decried that acceptance as "dishonesty," accused the British negotiators of "treachery," and withdrew the League's approval of both plans. The League boycotted the assembly, leaving the Congress in charge of the government but denying it legitimacy in the eyes of many Muslims.
Jinnah issued a call for all Muslims to launch "Direct Action" on August 16 to "achieve Pakistan." Strikes and protests had been planned, but violence broke out all over India, especially in Calcutta and the district of Noakhali in Bengal, and more than 7,000 people died in Bihar. Although viceroy Lord Wavell asserted "no satisfactory evidence to that effect" existed, the Congress and the League blamed politicians for orchestrating the violence. After a conference in December 1946 in London, the League entered the interim government, but Jinnah refrained from accepting office for himself. Credited as a major victory for Jinnah, the League entered government having rejected both plans, and was allowed to appoint an equal number of ministers despite being the minority party. The coalition failed, resulting in a rising feeling within the Congress that partition represented the only way of avoiding political chaos and possible civil war. The Congress agreed to the partition of Punjab and Bengal along religious lines in late 1946. The new viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, and Indian civil servant V. P. Menon proposed a plan to create a Muslim dominion in West Punjab, East Bengal, Baluchistan, and Sindh. After heated and emotional debate, the Congress approved the plan. The North-West Frontier Province voted to join Pakistan in a referendum in July 1947. Jinnah asserted in a speech in Lahore on October 30, 1947 that the League had accepted partition because "the consequences of any other alternative would have been too disastrous to imagine."
Along with Liaquat Ali Khan and Abdur Rab Nishtar, Muhammad Ali Jinnah represented the League in the Partition Council to appropriately divide public assets between India and Pakistan. The assembly members from the provinces that would comprise Pakistan formed the new state's constituent assembly, and the Military of British India divided between Muslim and non-Muslim units and officers. Indian leaders felt angered at Jinnah's courting the princes of Jodhpur, Bhopal, and Indore to accede to Pakistan; those princely states were geographically unrelated with Pakistan, and each had a Hindu-majority population.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the first Governor-General of Pakistan and president of its constituent assembly. Inaugurating the assembly on August 11, 1947, Jinnah spoke of an inclusive and pluralist democracy promising equal rights for all citizens regardless of religion, caste, or creed. He famously advised the highest body in the land:
That address caused much debate in Pakistan as, on its basis, many claim that Jinnah wanted a secular state while supporters of Islamic Pakistan assert that that speech has been taken out of context when compared to other speeches by him.
On October 11, 1947, in an address to civil, naval, military, and air force officers of the Pakistan government, Karachi, he said:
On February 21, 1948, in an address to the officers and men of the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th Light Ack Ack Regiments in Malir, Karachi, he said:
Although only ceremonial, Jinnah assumed the lead of the government from the office of Governor-General. The first months of Pakistan's existence were absorbed in ending the intense violence that had arisen. In the wake of acrimony between Hindus and Muslims, Jinnah agreed with Indian leaders on the need to organize a swift and secure exchange of populations in the Punjab and Bengal. He visited the border regions with Indian leaders to calm people and encourage peace, and organized large-scale refugee camps. Despite those efforts, estimates on the death toll vary from around two hundred thousand, to over a million people. The estimated number of refugees in both countries exceeded 15 million. The capital city of Karachi saw an explosive increase in its population owing to the large encampments of refugees. Jinnah felt depressed by the intense violence of the period.
Jinnah authorized force to achieve the annexation of the princely state of Kalat and suppress the insurgency in Baluchistan. He controversially accepted the accession of Junagadh—a Hindu-majority state with a Muslim ruler located in the Saurashtra peninsula, some 400 kilometers (250 mi) southeast of Pakistan—but Indian intervention reversed that. Doubt exists that Jinnah planned or knew of the tribal invasion from Pakistan into the kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947, but he sent his private secretary Khurshid Ahmed to observe developments in Kashmir. When informed of Kashmir's accession to India, Jinnah deemed the accession illegitimate and ordered the Pakistani army to enter Kashmir. Gen. Auchinleck, the supreme commander of all British officers, informed Jinnah that only India had the right to send troops to Kashmir, which had acceded to it. If Jinnah persisted, Auchinleck would remove all British officers from both sides. As Pakistan had a greater proportion of Britons holding senior command, Jinnah canceled his order, but protested to the United Nations to intercede.
Owing to his role in the state's creation, Jinnah became the most popular and influential politician. He played a pivotal role in protecting the rights of minorities and in establishing colleges, military institutions, and Pakistan's financial policy. In his first visit to East Pakistan, Jinnah stressed that Urdu alone should be the national language, a policy strongly opposed by the Bengali people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Opposition to Jinnah's stand grew after he controversially described Bengali as the language of Hindus. He also worked for an agreement with India settling disputes regarding the division of assets.
Throughout the 1940s, Jinnah suffered from tuberculosis; only his sister and a few others close to him had been aware of his condition. In 1948, Jinnah's health began to falter, hindered further by the heavy workload that had fallen upon him following Pakistan's creation. Attempting to recuperate, he spent many months at his official retreat in Ziarat, but died on September 11, 1948 from a combination of tuberculosis and lung cancer. The construction of a massive mausoleum—Mazar-e-Quaid—in Karachi to honor him followed his funeral; the government hosts official and military ceremonies at Mazar-e-Quaid on special occasions.
Dina Wadia, his daughter, remained in India after partition, before ultimately settling in New York City. Jinnah's grandson, Nusli Wadia, a prominent industrialist, resides in Mumbai. In the 1963–1964 elections, Jinnah's sister Fatima Jinnah, known as Madar-e-Millat ("Mother of the Nation"), became the presidential candidate of a coalition of political parties that opposed the rule of President Ayub Khan, but lost the election. The Government of India has possession of the Jinnah House in Malabar Hill; its future remains in dispute. Jinnah had personally requested Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to preserve the house in the hope that one day he could return to Mumbai. Proposals have been advanced for the house to go to the Government of Pakistan to establish a consulate in the city, as a goodwill gesture, but Dina Wadia's family have laid claim to the property.
Pakistan honored Jinnah with the official title Quaid-e-Azam, his depiction appears on all Pakistani rupee notes of denominations ten and higher, and many Pakistani public institutions have been named after him. The former Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, now called the Jinnah International Airport, in Karachi is Pakistan's busiest. One of the largest streets in the Turkish capital Ankara—Cinnah Caddesi—has been named after him. In Iran, one of the capital Tehran's most important new highways has his name, while the government released a stamp commemorating the centennial of Jinnah's birthday. The Mazar-e-Quaid, Jinnah's mausoleum, numbers among Karachi's most imposing buildings. On screen, British actors Richard Lintern (as the young Jinnah) and Christopher Lee (as the elder Jinnah) in the 1998 film "Jinnah" portrayed Jinnah. In Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi, theater-personality Alyque Padamsee portrayed Jinnah. In the 1986 televised mini-series Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy, Polish actor Vladek Sheybal played Jinnah.
Some historians like H. M. Seervai and Ayesha Jalal assert that Jinnah never wanted partition—that the split resulted from the Congress leaders' unwillingness to share power with the Muslim League. They assert that Jinnah only used the Pakistan demand as a method to mobilize support to obtain significant political rights for Muslims. Jinnah has gained the admiration of major Indian nationalist politicians like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani—the latter's comments praising Jinnah caused an uproar in his own Bharatiya Janata Party.
Some critics allege that Jinnah's courting the princes of Hindu states and his gambit with Junagadh proves his ill intentions towards India, as he advanced the theory that Hindus and Muslims could not live together, yet coveted control of Hindu-majority states. In his book Patel: A Life, Rajmohan Gandhi asserts that Jinnah sought to engage the question of Junagadh with an eye on Kashmir—he wanted India to ask for a plebiscite in Junagadh, knowing thus that the principle then would have to be applied to Kashmir, where the Muslim majority would, he believed, vote for Pakistan.
The Earl Mountbatten
(Governor-General of India)
|Governor-General of Pakistan
|Speaker of National Assembly
August 11, 1947—September 11, 1948
Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan
|NAME||Jinnah, Muhammad Ali|
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Jinnah, Mohammad Ali; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Mahomedali Jinnahbhai|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||Founder of Pakistan|
|DATE OF BIRTH||December 25, 1876|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Wazir Mansion, Karachi|
|DATE OF DEATH||September 11, 1948|
|PLACE OF DEATH||Karachi|
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