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Akbar Zaidi and the critical re-evaluation of Jinnah

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

This morning writing in The News, Akbar Zaidi, a respected economist, called for a critical re-evaluation of Jinnah’s role in Pakistan’s history. Just to re-cap this was business as usual – Jinnah’s democratic credentials are questionable because of his streaks of authoritarianism, his claim to secularism is limited to one speech about mandirs, mosques etc, Jinnah’s Pakistan is at best a half truth and there is no critical re-evaluation of Jinnah in Pakistan which needs to be rectified and so on and so forth.  

This has now become a routine matter: If you are an intellectual and scholar you must critically re-evaluate Jinnah’s role. Of course this critical re-evaluation precludes any conclusion which may – after such critically re-evaluate- affirm any positives – few and far between- about the founding father. So say hypothetically if after critical re-evaluation you come to the conclusion that the dismissal of the Khan Ministry (which had lost majority) on Governor General’s advice on 22 August 1947 was constitutional, then it ceases to be critical re-evaluation. If one argues that political blunder as it was, there was nothing undemocratic (imagine if Punjabis want Punjabi to be the national language of Pakistan today by virtue of it being the majority’s language) or illiberal about Jinnah’s pronouncement about Urdu as the state language (he had in the same speech said that Bengali could be the provincial language) per se (especially given that the Urdu-Hindi conflict had a central place in the Hindu-Muslim differences proving yet again that religion was not the primary reason for divergence between the two communities) would be less than critical.  For critical re-evaluation the conclusion must precede the exercise and the exercise must re-affirm the conclusion already drawn – that Jinnah was authoritarian, that his claim to secularism was limited to one speech and all subsequent ills that Pakistan has faced are rooted in Jinnah’s acts and omissions. Any deviation from this conclusion makes your re-evaluation of Jinnah less than critical.

Unfortunately Akbar Zaidi and others like him miss the point. The officially sanctioned narrative is not that Jinnah was a secular liberal democrat. Instead the official narrative- national myth if you will- is Jinnah created Pakistan in the name of Islam and wanted an Islamic state based on Islamic ideology.  This is both a question of fact and interpretation- a question that cannot be answered merely by reading speeches out of context or one speech in August, though that one speech was absolutely crystal clear and there is no room for doubt.  The fact of the matter is that first and foremost a critical re-evaluation is required on the issue of what led to Jinnah demanding a division of India. No one, not even his political rivals, can deny Jinnah’s political career between 1904 to 1939 was aimed at arriving at Hindu-Muslim Unity which he saw as a vehicle for self rule for India. What happened then that led him to demand a separate state? There are of course several answers to this question, including that by Dr Ayesha Jalal, which have sought to crystallize the politics of that period.  Even within the Congress, there were men like C Rajah Gopalachari, who saw reason and sense in what Jinnah was asking for. I don’t want to go into the details of what has been discussed to death.

No matter how you look at it, Islam or an Islamic state was not the rationale or raison d’ etre for Pakistan.  It is also clear that as a parliamentarian with over four decades in the legislature, Jinnah had established his record as a politician who upheld the principle of responsible government (democracy) and equal rights for all citizens, including the right of freedom of speech, expression and movement. On numerous occasions he argued that where religion and common sense / reason were in conflict, common sense and reason must supersede. This was secularism.  He also made it very clear that the communal issue was not a religious issue but a political one which should be resolved for political advance for all of India.  But are they enough to constitute a binding ideology for Pakistanis in the 21st century. Probably not.  However Jinnah’s record is a powerful counter-argument to officially imposed narrative of the nazaria-e-Pakistan. So before we critically re-evaluate Jinnah’s shortcomings – of which I am sure one would be able to list many- let us re-evaluate the reasons as to why an earth shattering partition shook this subcontinent.  There – all critical re-evaluations notwithstanding- it becomes clear that Jinnah’s motivations had nothing to do with Islam.

Now why might this be important? Why must Jinnah still be relevant even after so many years? Perhaps Mr. Zaidi ought to read the newspaper that he writes for. Not long ago, this rag had the audacity to publish a bigoted piece about how Ahmadis were responsible for their own plight in Pakistan and that they should accept that they are non-Muslims. Compare this to Jinnah’s refusal to cave into demands by good Muslims about getting Ahmadis expelled from the Muslim League.  Critical re-evaluation of Jinnah should not come at the expense of a much more needed critical re-evaluation of us as a people. In any event, Jinnah himself did not want to impose his views on generations to come but his assumption was that those who would follow would build on his work and improve it. This assumption turned out to be wrong.  Ideally we should have moved forward every day from 11 August 1947 to realizing a state where “Muslims will cease to be Muslims, but not in a religious sense for that is personal faith of an individual, but in a political sense as citizens of one state”.  Instead some Muslims have become more Muslim and others have become less Muslim.

Coming back to critical re-evaluation of Jinnah and what not!  A critical evaluation of Jinnah requires an unbiased historian. Jinnah has been critically evaluated by several leading unbiased historians, Perry Anderson being the latest one. Historians studying the history of partition from a distance seem to have critically re-evaluated the whole popular narrative on Jinnah, a narrative that our would be critical re-evaluators want to uphold.  In my humble opinion a critical re-evaluation cannot be carried out by Akbar Zaidi or others like him who have already made up their minds about the conclusion they wish to draw (that much is clear from the special pleading that Akbar Zaidi’s article resorts to).

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89 Responses to "Akbar Zaidi and the critical re-evaluation of Jinnah"

  1. Qadiani Ki Aulad United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Pakistan doesn’t need scholars and intellectuals. Pakistan needs Jinnah we can use. Quadian ki kasam, we shall have him, by hook or by crook. Mostly crook.

  2. AKB Pakistan Opera Windows says:

    stop this rant,YLH. Jinnah is past and closed and at the most on the paper bill.

    Jinnah se aagay jehan aur bhi hein
    abhi YLH teray imtehan aur bhi hein!!

    Wake up and occupy yerself in some better and constructive pursuit.

  3. Ajit Canada Safari Unknow Os says:

    Dear YLH

    Yaar I have read your work on other newspapers and there you write ona variety of topics. But on PTH you just produce Jinnah articles. Come on give us something else also

  4. Vish United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    A very informative comment appearing in Dawn on November 11, 2012,

    “Jinnah’s misfortune was that he thought he will be able to create a secular country whose very foundation defied every logic of secularism (two nation theory).
    One statement (Aug 11, 1947) in a house of landlords and opportunist can not make a movement secular. I will like to ask you why entire leadership of Muslim League was unaware about the modern secular vision of Jinnah, why Objective Resolution was passed with overwhelming majority in the house immediately after death of Jinnah. I will hold Jinnah responsible for running a confused Pakistan movement wherein his followers had no clue about his own vision about polity of Pakistan.
    This is a myth that had Jinnah lived longer Pakistan would have been different. Lets take a look at the brief tenure of Jinnah as “Governor General of Pakistan”
    Jinnah lived for only one year after the birth of the nation, but in that time he set the standard of a top-down administration, adopting
    the style of Moghul emperors, not democratic leaders. To begin with, Jinnah decided not to become the country’s first prime minister, instead choosing to be the Queen’s representative to the new country as her first governor general. By any parliamentary standards or tradition, the post of governor general is largely ceremonial. It has the all the pomp and ceremony, but little true executive power. However, in the words of British Lord Louis Mountbatten, who oversaw the independence of India and Pakistan, Jinnah was incapable of resisting “pomp, the gaudy ceremonials of the top office of the state for which he had worked so hard.”
    When Mountbatten tried to explain to Jinnah that, under Pakistan’s interim constitution, the governor general was a ceremonial head of state and real power lay with the prime minister, Jinnah told him curtly, “In Pakistan, I will be the Governor-General and the Prime
    Minister will do what I tell him.” And that is how history would record his one year in office. Jinnah revoked the authority of the
    Muslim League parliamentary group and chose the country’s new prime minister. He also named his prime minister’s first cabinet for him, and if that was not enough, as governor general also sat in cabinet. There is no question that Jinnah was an extremely popular leader, and his very word was the law. However, as is the case with all popular benevolent dictators, instead of leaving behind institutions of democracy, he left a trail of authoritarian precedents that are invoked and implemented to the nation’s detriment even today.
    In the summer of 1947, one week after swearing in his new prime minister and cabinet, and as Pakistanis were celebrating their first
    Eid-ul-Fitr holiday after Ramadan, Jinnah broke another sacred principle of democracy. He dismissed the duly elected provincial
    government in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), which borders Afghanistan. Dr. Khan Sahib, the chief minister of the province, had a comfortable majority. Jinnah installed his own party as the government, but when it failed to get a vote of confidence, he arranged to have all the dismissed members arrested, creating an artificial majority.
    Nine months after dismissing the NWFP government, Jinnah demonstrated his arbitrary power again. This time he dismissed the government in the province of Sind, which belonged to his own party, the Muslim League. And as if this were not enough, the ailing leader of Pakistan then tried to stage a palace coup inside the provincial government of Punjab. In less than a year of the nation’s existence, the man who had created Pakistan as a democratic state for the Muslims of India had gone against the grain of democracy, invoked Islam to bring discipline among those who protested, and mere weeks before he passed away,
    declared to the country’s majority Bengali population that their language was not worthy of being the nation’s national language as it
    was not a “Muslim” language. Before he died, he had sown the seeds of the country’s breakup. The so-called language riots that broke out after Jinnah’s “Urdu Only” speech were the first step towards the ultimate secession of East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.
    After Jinnah’s death in 1948, the top-down authoritarian model grew in strength. If the Father of the Nation had set the precedent of
    arbitrary rule, who would dare stand in the way? The first test of democracy came in May 1949, during a by-election in the constituency of Tangail in then East Pakistan. To the shock of the ruling Muslim League, the party lost the election to the nascent opposition. Stung by the loss and taking it as a personal insult, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan declared the result null and void and the newly elected member of the constituent assembly was jailed along with numerous other opposition activists. One of those arrested, prominent communist leader Moni Singh, was to spend a total of twenty-two years either in jail or underground. He walked in freedom again only after Pakistan broke up in 1971.
    After Jinnah’s death, the Islamists swooped in for the kill. Those who had opposed the creation of the country now became its guardians. With Islamists flexing their muscles on one side and a constitutional crisis looming, the new governor general, Ghulam Mohammad, upped the ante and outdid Jinnah. In 1952 he fired the prime minister, dismissed the cabinet, and started ruling by decree. By 1954, the country was lurching from one crisis to another, with the ruling party suffering massive defeats across the country in provincial elections. As the country was celebrating the founder’s birthday on Christmas Day, 1954, the governor general dissolved the Constituent Assembly. If Governor General Jinnah could dissolve provincial legislatures, surely, his successor argued, he could dissolve the federal legislature.”

  5. Pakistani Canada Google Chrome Windows says:

    This is not to criticize this piece; if anything I agree with his conclusion. My comments are specific to some oft-mentioned issues.

    1. Dismissal of the Khan ministry in NWFP. Khudaee Khidmatgars had fought the election jointly with Congress and formed the government with its support. They had categorically declared their support for a united India and were vehemently opposed to the partition. It was on their and Congress’ insistence that a referendum was held to decide if NWFP should form a part of Pakistan or not. When it became increasingly clear that they were going to lose, they blamed it on the partiality of the Governor Sir Olaf Caroe who was then removed by Mountbatten. Nehru toured the province to drum up support for India. He was booed and jeered by the Pathans wherever he went. Ninety per cent of them voted for Pakistan in the referendum. Any government in any democracy would have taken it as a resounding declaration that it had lost the people’s mandate to govern and resigned. It was only when they refused to follow the democratic norm that the government of Pakistan took the decision to dismiss it. The decision was perfectly legal and appropriate under the constitution that was in vogue at the time. To call it undemocratic is a personal opinion. A democratic country is run through its constitution and not based on individual notions of what is democratic and what is not. Jinnah and the government acted constitutionally which is exactly what a democratic government is supposed to do. What was blatantly and shamefully undemocratic was for Dr. Khan Sahib to try and hang to power when the people had rejected him so overwhelmingly in a referendum that he and Congress had demanded in this first place.

    2. What Jinnah had said about Urdu being the national language of Pakistan was his personal preference. He did not and could not have made it into law. The question was ultimately going to be decided in the constitution agreed upon by the Constituent Assembly. This is how things are done in a democracy and Jinnah said it repeatedly that he constitution of Pakistan will be what the people of Pakistan decide. If he expressed his personal preference for Urdu as the national language he, like any other citizen, was perfectly entitled to it. To try and make a big issue of it is to miss the point completely.

    3. There is much confusion these days in the minds of some of us that liberalism and secularism are a part and parcel of being democratic. This is patently irrational. One can be a devout Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or whatever and it does not stop him or her from being democratic. In the same vein it doesn’t stop you from being democratic if you happen to be a conservative, leftist, capitalist, Hindu communalist, racist BNP member or a Tea Party nut case. What is undemocratic is to lay down narrow self-serving criteria for being democratic.

    4. I do not know of any ‘official narrative’ as such. There is no definition of the term and it is bandied about very loosely. There is only the constitution that can be termed as the national or official narrative as such. Nowhere does it state that Pakistan was created for Islam and Islamic laws. All it states is that no law shall be enacted that is contrary to the what is laid down in the Quran. The two are by no means synonymous. If someone fails to understand it for whatever reasons and insists otherwise it does not make his or her views as the ‘official narrative’.

    5. If some misguided people have been allowed to create divisions based on religion it cannot be blamed on religion itself nor on Pakistan or Jinnah. It is our fault as the citizens of Pakistan. The problem will not go away unless and until we assume responsibility for it. We have abandoned and left our religion to obscurantist and often unscrupulous ignoramuses to interpret for the largely uneducated people. We allowed Bhutto to get away with the ludicrous declaration of Ahmedis as non-Muslims and we did nothing to stop Zia from enacting the Hudood Ordinance just as we have abandoned our children to the toxic atmosphere of the madarasas. Having allowed all this to be done in the first place and doing little to rectify it, we have lost the right to bitch and complain about the creation that is of own making. If there is to be a worthwhile future it can only come about if we the people with some knowledge and means take responsibility and do what we can and need to do.

  6. ex paki United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @AKB, I must admit that I “hated” you, but your this “POETIC” comment
    to Hamdani of Hamadan makes me to love you. Many Many Juphian.

  7. Bashy Quraishy - Copenhagen.Denmark Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Dear AKB
    Your comment: “stop this rant,YLH. Jinnah is past and closed and at the most on the paper bill”. is not only silly but shows your lack of understanding for Quaid’s importance to Pakistanis and his legacy.
    I even do not live in Pakistan but still I am eternally thankful for Quaid’s message and his insistence that Pakistan will be a secular state where all Pakistanis will have equal rights. If those who came after him did not live up to his great idealism, it is not his fault.
    So please stop yapping and start listening.
    Kind regards

  8. Muj Pakistan Safari iPad says:

    Akbar Zaidi is a pilagiarist.

  9. Sad Muslim India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Jinnah was an idiot ; egoist and a self serving megalomaniac
    who ONLY wanted to be the Prime Minister of Independent India
    That is why he opted for Partition
    But the 500 million Muslims of South Asia are suffering
    today because of Jinnah’s mistake

  10. Sad Muslim,

    Ayesha Jalal was asked this question with respect to Tariq Ali’s book. She responded with two words “Wild Fantasy”.

    Jinnah was offered premiership of India at least on three different occasions by Gandhi. He spurned the offer.

  11. Pakistani,

    One correction – Jinnah never used National Language and quite deliberately.

    The two terms he used were lingua franca and state language. Legally different things from a national language.

  12. HistoryBuff United States Safari iPad says:

    Missing the key point of Zaidi’s article: “What they said or did many decades ago may not be appropriate for the future Pakistanis now imagine. Only then will we be able to emerge from the cloaks of competing extremes that do not allow us to think for ourselves.”

  13. HistoryBuff United States Safari iPad says:

    Re: state language versus national language, do show a citation or two that explains the difference.

    Please also show that Jannah’s Bangla audience was in a position to understand this alleged difference. Jinnah was making a radio broadcast speech, not perorating in front of a judge.

    Just as you aver that Hindi-Urdu dispute was not about religion, one can equally well argue that Mandriva-4masjid issue is not about religion, it is a property dispute. Ilamdin issue is about a publication, not about religion. Etc.

  14. yasserlatifhamdani Pakistan Google Chrome Windows says:

    Historybuff mian,

    First post: You missed the key point in my response. So long as the myth exists that Pakistan was created as an Islamic state and for Islamic ideology, what Jinnah said or did remains relevant. It is not an argument but a counter-argument to an argument against secularism. Here is what I wrote:

    But are they enough to constitute a binding ideology for Pakistanis in the 21st century. Probably not. However Jinnah’s record is a powerful counter-argument to officially imposed narrative of the nazaria-e-Pakistan. So before we critically re-evaluate Jinnah’s shortcomings – of which I am sure one would be

    Second post: Nation and state are two different things. Secondly this was not a radio broadcast but in public. No one is saying that Jinnah’s pronouncement was right … just that it cannot be pinned down as authoritarian. State language means lingua franca. It has to be a binding language which is understood in all areas. I would rather he had chosen English.

    Urdu-Hindi dispute: Was it really a religious question? Urdu was not just a Muslim language. It was an Indian language. It was a language that was spoken and understood and even written by Hindus and Muslims alike. The insistence on Hindi-Hindustani itself was religious prejudice. After all Urdu was the perfect composite and could have ensured Hindu-Muslim Unity.

  15. mustandan hussain tarad United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    pakistan historically gaddar indian muslims of foreign origin ko angrez unki gaddari ka award de gaye the.brhmns were mahagaddar unko bharat mila.,

  16. Mohan United Arab Emirates Safari iPad says:


  17. Mohan United Arab Emirates Safari iPad says:


    Is mustandan hussain tarad your real name ?

  18. mustandan hussain tarad United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    mohan bhai kee blog testing forensic lab zindabad.kabhi to dhokha kha jaya karo.

  19. Mohan United Arab Emirates Safari iPad says:

    Mustandan acha khasa mardana naam hai, why do keep on using different IDs?

  20. mustandan hussain tarad United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    yasser bhai,

    iskander mirza was great grand son of mir jafar.mother tongue mania was created in pakistan and india to keep our education sys tem/level inferior while sons of brhmns and generals were going to best english schools.was it not a conspiracy to keep us slave for ever.can u tell me any difference between maratha manus of baal thakre and mard momin of allama iqbal and racial superiority of hitler.thakre was not brhmn but but he was their monkey,used to dance on their tune.mujeeb played the sme card after 25 yearsw.
    this is all game.interest economy is root of all evils.we should unite for interest free economy economy for the benefit of mankind.

  21. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Mohan says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm
    Mustandan acha khasa mardana naam hai, why do keep on using different IDs

    mustandan hamara dost hai.maa ke rokne pe mumbai chala gaya.2 mahinee baad hamse dubai mein mila to bechara chakka ho chuka tha.maine poocha pahle to theek the yeh kya ho gaya,ro ke bola,


    mustandan hussain tarad punjabi naam hai main india kaa hoon.kabhi milenge to bataige.

  22. tajender United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Mohan, I forgot to add that SABSE BARA GANDU gandu are Bengali Muslims. These vermin have always played the Islam card when they wanted, killed Hindu neighbors and raped their women when they wanted, and then told Hindu Bengalis that they were they Bengali brothers. The lowest form of humans. Mujhe sharam ati haye BENGALI MUSLIM HONEY KI. KYA KAROON?

    Jinnah worshipers merely betray Jinnah’s character by deleting posts they don’t like. WOH BHI AISA HI THA. WOH governments KO DELETE KARTRA RAHA. Hamind Hamdani delete posts. In ganduness these Jinnah worshipers match us Bengali Muslims.

  23. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    the above is not my post.

  24. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I forgot to add that SABSE BARA GANDU gandu are Bengali Muslims. These vermin have always played the Islam card ………………………….because they were victims of brhmnsm.they had no middle class bhadrlok sold everything to britishers for their personal benefit.

    jinnah was great man a product of history.killing the neighbour

  25. RealTajender United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Why is this fake tajender trying to stop me from confessing the truth about us Bengali Muslims? Bengali Muslims are such backstabber gandus they don’t even spare their daughter. They have this ceremony johgoni where they sell the virginity of their eldest daughter to the highest bidder when she reaches 7 years of age. This is how Bengli Muslim are supposed to experience what Aisha experienced! Disgusting rats who lie even to their daughters.

  26. RealTajender United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bengali Muslim has been described by Muslim visitors as the most vile, most unreliable, immoral, uncouth and untruthful human being Allah ever created as a curse to humanity. A gandu of the first order, ready to stab everyone the first opportunity the Bengali Muslims finds, lies at every turn, and is unwelcome in any good society.

  27. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    RealTajender says:
    November 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm
    Bengali Muslim has been described by Muslim visitors as the most vile, most unreliable, immoral, uncouth and untruthful human being Allah ever created as a curse

    yes….but their blood was sucked to maximum by those who were ruling them.half their population died of starvation in first 50 years of british rule.nawabs were doing same so the pakistanis.i hve no good experience of them.but they are hard working,can survive on very little.if u will cheat them in one way,they will cheat u another way.

  28. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    when she reaches 7 years of age. This is how Bengli Muslim are supposed to experience what Aisha experienced

    meera bai was supposed to be sati at the age of 6.women were sold in bengal from long time.this event is recorded by ibn batuta as well.brhmns and muslims are foreigner while bengalis are moolnivasis.first they converted to budhdhism to fight brhmnsm,they failed then they converted to islam for same reason.this time they succeeded in having their state.their entry is banned in neary muslim countries.
    but good and bad are everywhere.dont bring religion.radha was neighbours wife.

  29. Bong Mullah United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Tajender is a born lier. Many of us educated Bengali Muslims don’t celebrate johgoni until the eldest daughter of the family is 14. At that age a Bengali Muslim girl is ready to receive the experience that the Mother of All Muslims received from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Tajender seems to a village idiot who refuses to move with the time and still enforces johgoni on his daughters at 7.

  30. MilesToGo United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Break the cycle – give truth to your children.

  31. max Pakistan Google Chrome Windows says:

    ahmadis are muslims.

    there are countless saying of Mohammed saying that he is the last one, and no prophet is coming after him, but Jesus .. for the last battle

    dont the ahmadees say they’ve got a prophet of their own???? so how can they be muslims if they are denying the very basic ideology that Mohammed was the end of the line

    someone please remove this mis-conception for me

  32. MilesToGo United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Muhammed might be lying.

  33. Dervesh United States Opera Mini Unknow Os says:


    1. If Jinnah was secular leader why would he seek partition from secular India?

    2. If Jinnah’s vision was Two Nation Theory why would Muslim Bangla Desh seek separation from Muslim Pakistan?

    Give reasons not sweeping emotions please.
    Thank you,

    Law Student
    19 November 2012

  34. NDelhi Singapore Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Urdu was definetly an Indian language but it was unambigously linked to muslims of Hindi heartland . Everyone else learnt to read & write because of its official status like in the case of English today. Its script by no stretch of imagination can be called Indian and it evolution like many other customs happened because of the frequent visits of our central asian neighbours over the centuries.
    So when Hindi speakers choose to resurrect Hindi-Hindustani , it cannot be termed as prejudice they simply opted for their language.

  35. Old Delhi United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    New Delhi, but if Hindus were really secular why did they want to have anything of their own? Not accepting Islam (if they were really secular) was the first sign that they were not secular. Then not accepting the Arabic, Persian and Nastaliq as the three national scripts of India was the second signal to Jinnah.

    Had Urdu been adopted as the national language of all of India, there would have been no Tamil, no Malyalam, no Punjabi, no Bengali, no Sindhi. Everyone would have lived in peace under Jinnah’s enlightened secularism. Can you explain why Hindus did not accept that Jinnah’s no-brainer idea?

  36. Ppaktea United States Safari iPad says:

    Hindustani was nothing but the everyday language of people who spoke Urdu and Hindi in those days. Not the heavily Persianized/Arabized version of Urdu and not the Sanskritized Hindi that were subsequently adopted/promoted by officialdom. It had two scripts – Nastaliq and Devanagari. And it would appeal to all, without anybody having to give up anything or be disadvantaged. Even today, when Urdu and Hindi speakers get together, they very naturally use the common launguafe between them that Hindustani is.

    The reference to the promotion of Hindustani as religious prejudice is laughable to say the least. The insistence on Urdu and Urdu alone in the Nastaliq script was an early precursor to the kind of supremacist agenda that the Muslim League took on, and that even a secular person like Jinnah later succumbed to.

  37. NDelhi Singapore Internet Explorer Windows says:

    New Delhi, but if Hindus were really secular why did they want to have anything of their own?( This is the most foolish question , please explain why can’t i have my own and be secular)
    2.Not accepting Islam (if they were really secular) was the first sign that they were not secular.(Not sure what you mean by accepting Islam).
    3.Then not accepting the Arabic, Persian and Nastaliq as the three national scripts of India was the second signal to Jinnah. (Why on earth would muslims in India want Hindus/Indians to accept arabic/Persian etc. You are validating Ahem/hiob here)

    4.Had Urdu been adopted as the national language of all of India, there would have been no Tamil, no Malyalam, no Punjabi, no Bengali, no Sindhi.( Sorry Sir , we are proud of all these and many other languages of this subcontinent. If by adopting Urdu meant no to all other languages than its good we Indians rejected the foolish idea of jinnah in the first instance itself.However please suggest what has language got to with secularism?)

    5.Everyone would have lived in peace under Jinnah’s enlightened secularism.( Ya we’re witnessing it daily in pakistan)
    6.Can you explain why Hindus did not accept that Jinnah’s no-brainer idea?( Now you fiqure it out yourself)

  38. Maggu India Google Chrome  GT-N7100 Build/JRO03C) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.166 Mobile Safari/535.19 says:

    Indian currency notes have 17 languages on them including urdu.
    How many do the Paki notes have?
    Why? Now go figure!

  39. Majumdar India Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Indian currency notes have 17 languages on them including urdu.How many do the Paki notes have
    Well, many Indian notes are printed in Pakiland…..

  40. Old Delhi United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Having so many languages makes unity impossible. People need one language. If we have to use one language then we should use the language with the best script. Urdu has the best script. So everyone from Tamils, Baloch, to Bengalis should have adopted nastaliq script for their languages. The only conceivable reason Hindus refused to do so, as Jinnah could easily see, was religious bigotry and absence of real secularist spirit. Even if they wanted to continue learning their less developed scripts they should have agreed to adopt Nastaliq, Arabic, and Persian as the national scripts of India, to be taught along with whatever else they wanted to learn on their own.

    This cultural callousness and fascist majoritarianism on the part of Hindus became the final straw that broke secularist Jinnah’s back. He could see no further hope for secularism in the company of such right-wing Hindus. Today Hindus wanted to keep their languages. Tomorrow, what else might they want? No, this was not secularism that might have satisfied Jinnah who was sharp enough to demand nothing less than equity and equal rights.

  41. Old Delhi United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    The question is often asked why Jinnah treated Bengalis (along with his Pushtoon, Baloch, and Sindhi political rivals) so shabbily. Jinnah could see that Bengali Muslims were not enthused with his Urdu template for a common future. He quickly knew that he had been unable to defenestrate the Hindu problem of religious bigotry and absence of secularism. In order to save the democratic habits and traditions of his people and supporters, Jinnah had to quickly beat Bengali bigotry back to the Bay of Bengal where it could be buried forever.

  42. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Old Delhi,

  43. NDelhi Singapore Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Your first para sums up your islamic upbringing.Total authoritative statements , i am right and you are wrong , mine is good yours is inferior very typical of supermascist attitude.
    I agree with you jinnah too like most muslims was afflicted with this syndrome and just could not stand up to any counter view and that too from less developed people with less developed script…
    World must bend over backwards for you and your types jinnah included ..

  44. NDelhi Singapore Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Looks like you too can read jinnah as well as our ylh does!!!
    your bengal narrative is like rasogulla hahaha

  45. Old Delhi United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Old Delhi, don’t bring religion into it. Nastaliq, Arabic, and Persian are the best scripts because Quran e Pak has been revealed in them. This is not at all related to religion. Because of your own bigoted religious views, you are seeing religion here. Jinnah could see the rise of counterfeit secularists like you. He knew Gandhi was leading the B-team to Hindu Mahasabha.

  46. NDelhi Singapore Internet Explorer Windows says:

    So quran was revealed in three scripts , i thought someone whispered it into the ears of an old man!!!

  47. Old Delhi United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    New Delhi, you are insulting my beloved father by calling him an old man. The whispering was such that it could be understood correctly in only those three scripts. So those three scripts won in a fair contest conducted by Allah himself. This has nothing to do with religion, in case like Gandhi, you too introduce religion into this secular discussion. You had better not. Keep it equal for all.

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