Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Indian writer calls for re-examining Jinnah's role

India should reclaim Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Pakistan should accept his mistakes , said senior Indian advocate and historian A.G. Noorani on Tuesday.
In his brief talk on Jinnah and Tilak: Comrades in the Freedom Struggle , organized by Mohatta Palace Museum and Oxford University Press (OUP), he explained that Quaid-e-Azam s greatness would not be diminished by merely mentioning his misjudgments.
Talking about different aspects of Quaid s personality like a legislator who used to regularly attend the legislature s proceedings, Noorani said Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a liberal and social reformer and it was Gandhi who inducted religion in politics. However, he said that Jinnah supported reasonable criticism on the religion and he (Jinnah) was of the view that such criticism should be protected by law.
He opined that had Quaid not mobilized Pakistan Muslim League, it would have been in troubles. He also criticized the role of Jawaharlal Nehru who once said that there was no place for Jinnah in India. He also shattered certain myths about the Quaid s personality.
Talking about relationship between Jinnah and Tilak, Noorani pointed out that the Quaid defended Tilak in 1916 in his trial under sedition charges and ultimately won his acquittal. He believed that Jinnah was also instrumental in the reentry of Tilak into Indian National Congress.
During question session, when certain people from audience asked A.G. Noorani to become more specific when he talked about Quaid s mistakes, Noorani responded by saying please read my book .
When a similar question was put by some other people from audience to explain as to whether he meant the creation of Pakistan was a mistake , Noorani again responded by saying that he would not respond in yes or no and added he would rather appreciate criticism of this nature about his book. He said it would be wrong to say that Jinnah had no choice but to accept Pakistan.
As this question was repeatedly asked, it prompted Hameed Haroon of the Mohatta Palace Museum to ask the audience to restrict their questions about the personality of Quaid-e-Azam and other personalities like Nehru and others of his era, as it would be a great tribute to Jinnah to reexamine his role and personality.
To a question about Jinnah s relevance for today, Noorani said he would not have wasted his time in writing the book had Jinnah not been relevant for today.

Full report here The International News

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