QUAID-E-AZAM’S LIFE AFTER THE INDEPENDENCE GOVERNOR-GENERAL: 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. This address is a cause of much debate in Pakistan as, on its basis, many claim that Jinnah wanted a secular state while supporters of Islamic Pakistan assert that this speech is being taken out of context when compared to other speeches by him.
We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play. The office of Governor-General was ceremonial, but Jinnah also assumed the lead of government. The first months of Pakistan’s independence were absorbed in ending the intense violence that had arisen in the wake of acrimony between Hindus and Muslims. Jinnah agreed with Indian leaders to uthoriz 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 uthorize large-scale refugee camps. Despite these 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 exceeds 15 million. The then capital city of Karachi saw an explosive increase in its population owing to the large encampments of refugees, which personally affected and depressed Jinnah.
In his first visit to East Pakistan, under the advice of local party leaders, Jinnah stressed that Urdu alone should be the national language; a policy that was strongly opposed by the Bengali people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). This opposition grew after he controversially described Bengali as the language of Hindus. Jinnah uthorized 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 kilometres (250 mi) southeast of Pakistan—but this was annulled by Indian intervention. It is unclear if Jinnah planned or knew of the tribal invasion from Pakistan into the kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947, but he did send 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. However, Gen. Auchinleck, the supreme commander of all British officers informed Jinnah that while India had the right to send troops to Kashmir, which had acceded to it, Pakistan did not. If Jinnah persisted, Auchinleck would remove all British officers from both sides. As Pakistan had a greater proportion of Britons holding senior command, Jinnah cancelled his order, but protested to the United Nations to intercede. The New Awakening
As a result of Jinnah’s ceaseless efforts, the Muslims awakened from what Professor Baker calls (their) “unreflective silence” (in which they had so complacently basked for long decades), and to “the spiritual essence of nationality” that had existed among them for a pretty long time. Roused by the impact of successive Congress hammerings, the Muslims, as Ambedkar (principal author of independent India’s Constitution) says, “searched their social consciousness in a desperate attempt to find coherent and meaningful articulation to their cherished yearnings.
To their great relief, they discovered that their sentiments of nationality had flamed into nationalism”. In addition, not only had they developed” the will to live as a “nation”, had also endowed them with a territory which they could occupy and make a State as well as a cultural home for the newly discovered nation. These two pre-requisites, as laid down by Renan, provided the Muslims with the intellectual justification for claiming a distinct nationalism (apart from Indian or Hindu nationalism) for themselves.
So that when, after their long pause, the Muslims gave expression to their innermost yearnings, these turned out to be in favor of a separate Muslim nationhood and of a separate Muslim state. Demand for Pakistan – “We are a nation” “We are a nation”, they claimed in the ever eloquent words of the Quaid-i-Azam. “We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral code, customs and calendar, history and tradition, aptitudes and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life.
By all canons of international law, we are a nation”. The formulation of the Muslim demand for Pakistan in 1940 had a tremendous impact on the nature and course of Indian politics. On the one hand, it shattered for ever the Hindu dreams of a pseudo-Indian, in fact, Hindu empire on British exit from India: on the other, it heralded an era of Islamic renaissance and creativity in which the Indian Muslims were to be active participants. The Hindu reaction was quick, bitter, malicious.
Equally hostile were the British to the Muslim demand, their hostility having stemmed from their belief that the unity of India was their main achievement and their foremost contribution. The irony was that both the Hindus and the British had not anticipated the astonishingly tremendous response that the Pakistan demand had elicited from the Muslim masses. Above all, they failed to realize how a hundred million people had suddenly become supremely conscious of their distinct nationhood and their high destiny.
In channelling the course of Muslim politics towards Pakistan, no less than in directing it towards its consummation in the establishment of Pakistan in 1947, non played a more decisive role than did Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It was his powerful advocacy of the case of Pakistan and his remarkable strategy in the delicate negotiations, that followed the formulation of the Pakistan demand, particularly in the post-war period, that made Pakistan inevitable. ILLNESS AND DEATH: The Funeral of Jinnah in 1948. Tomb of M. A.
Jinnah in Karachi, Pakistan Through the 1940s, Jinnah suffered from tuberculosis; only his sister and a few others close to him were 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 independence from British Rule. Attempting to recuperate, he spent many months at his official retreat in Ziarat. According to his sister, he suffered a hemorrhage on September 1, 1948; doctors said the altitude was not good for him and that he should be taken to Karachi. Jinnah was flown back to Karachi from Quetta.
Jinnah died at 10:20 p. m. at the Governor-General’s House in Karachi on 11 September 1948, just over a year after Pakistan’s independence. It is said that when the then Viceroy of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten, learned of Jinnah’s ailment he said ‘had they known that Jinnah was about to die, they’d have postponed India’s independence by a few months as he was being inflexible on Pakistan’. Jinnah was buried in Karachi. His funeral was followed by the construction of a massive mausoleum—Dina Wadia remained in India after independence, before ultimately settling in New York City.
Jinnah’s grandson, Nusli Wadia, is a prominent industrialist residing 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 Jinnah House in Malabar Hill, Bombay, is in the possession of the Government of India but the issue of its ownership has been disputed by the Government of Pakistan.
Jinnah had personally requested Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to preserve the house and that one day he could return to Mumbai. There are proposals for the house be offered to the Government of Pakistan to establish a consulate in the city, as a goodwill gesture, but Dina Wadia has also laid claim to the property. Recently she has been involved in litigation regarding Jinnah House claiming that Hindu Law is applicable to Jinnah as he was a Khoja Shia. LEGACY: Few individuals significantly alter the course of history.
Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three. Pakistanis view Jinnah as their revered founding father, a man that was dedicated to safeguarding Muslim interests during the dying days of the British Raj. Despite any of a range of biases, it almost impossible to doubt, despite motive and manner, that there is any figure that had more influence and role in the creation of Pakistan than Jinnah. The End