Blame Nehru for partition, not Jinnah, says Jaswant Singh

Posted: August 16, 2009 in literature, politics
Tags: , , , ,

Indian former defence, foreign and finance minister of India and also a former soldier Jaswant Singh released his book Jinnah: India – Partition – Independence on Mohammed Ali Jinnah. I think the conventional notion India holds about Jinnah as a communal leader who caused the bloody partition of the subcontinent will receive a deadly blow.

The book will defenitely attract considerable attention and may be even a fair amount of controversy.  Though Jaswant Singh seems like going one step further than L.K. Advani who made similar remarks three years ago in Pakistan, it is a fact that unlike others, Jinnah created success for himself. Jaswant Singh may have drawn another battleline within the saffron party after releasing his book.

It took five years of research before the book could come out. “If I were not drawn to the personality I wouldn’t have written the book. It’s an intricate, complex personality, of great character, determination,” Jaswant Singh told in an interview to a TV channel ahead of the release of his book.

It was historically not tenable to see Mr Jinnah as the villain of 1947, Mr Singh said. “It is not borne out of the facts… we need to correct it… Muslims saw that unless they had a voice in their own economic, political and social destiny they will be obliterated.”

Mr Singh said the 1946 election was a good example to show the fear held by Muslims. That year, he said: “Jinnah’s Muslim League wins all the Muslim seats and yet they don’t have sufficient numbers to be in office because the Congress Party has, without even a single Muslim, enough to form a government and they are outside of the government.

Jinnah and Nehru

Jinnah and Nehru

“So it was realised that simply contesting elections was not enough… All of this was a search for some kind of autonomy of decision making in their own social and economy destiny.” Mr Jinnah was a great man because he created something out of nothing, Mr Singh said of his newfound hero.

“He single-handedly stood against the might of the Congress Party and against the British who didn’t really like him … Gandhi himself called Jinnah a great Indian. Why don’t we recognise that? Why don’t we see (and try to understand) why he called him that?” Mr Jinnah was as much a nationalist as any leader in India.

“He fought the British for an independent India but also fought resolutely and relentlessly for the interest of the Muslims of India … the acme of his nationalistic achievement was the 1916 Lucknow Pact of Hindu-Muslim unity.”

Among the aspects of Mr Jinnah’s personality Mr Singh said he admired his determination and will to rise. “He was a self-made man. Mahatma Gandhi was the son of a Diwan. All these (people) — Nehru and others — were born to wealth and position. Jinnah created for himself a position. He carved in Bombay, a metropolitan city, a position for himself.

“He was so poor he had to walk to work … he told one of his biographers there was always room at the top but there’s no lift. And he never sought a lift.”

Jinnah & Gandhi

Jinnah & Gandhi

Demolishing the belief that Mr Jinnah hated or disliked Hindus, Mr Singh said the claim was totally wrong. “His principal disagreement was with the Congress Party.”

Going by his interview shown on CNN-IBN on Sunday, Mr Singh holds Mr Jawaharlal Nehru as more culpable than anyone else for the division of the country.

It is not just Jinnah’s anti-Congressism that Jaswant pays a tribute to in his new book. He also writes admiringly about Jinnah’s elegant dressing and suave lifestyle.

The book reassess Nehru’s role in Partition, and sheds fresh light on the relationship between the Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. ABC says:

    When will India come out of the Nehru family clutches?

  2. I just added this website to my rss reader, great stuff. Can’t get enough!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s