Jinnah fought tooth and nail for new land Pakistan, he regretted it
The year 1942: In a dingy room in a province in North India, Muhammad Ali Jinnah sat with his advisors, his favourite dish of fried pork chops in front of him, smoking furiously and plotting the creation of Pakistan. In front of him, a glass of Bowmore, an expensive scotch, with ice. In a just-concluded meeting, the Indian Muslim League (IML) had insisted that this be a country where ONLY Muslims would live and practice their faith without the Kafirs (Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Christians) on their “holy” soil!! Jinnah, though not a very devout Muslim, went along with the arguments placed. In the back of his mind, he was plotting a route to become the Governor-General of this new land; a land, like the IML, had said, where only Muslims would live and breathe. Sounded like a very good idea. He had already been sold on this idea and had started floating this idea to Congress.
The leaders within the Congress were taken aback, especially M K Gandhi, who wanted the country to be one unified country. After all, this would look bad if the country split. But Jinnah was adamant and had already broached the English about this. The seeds of partition had been planted.
The INC had sensed a victory, but as was customary with the likes of Nehru, had attributed this to the non-violence prescribed by M K Gandhi. In private conversations, however, it is claimed that the British had succumbed to the pressures of Bose.
The discussions with the IML were very animated but fruitful. This was going to be a land ONLY for Muslims. This country would comprise, they plotted, the entire Sindhu and Punjab (both what’s in present-day Pakistan and present-day India and included Haryana and Himachal Pradesh). How was this to be achieved? After all, J Nehru might be looking to get rid of me, but the others are very smart people, Jinnah thought! When this was brought up to the English, they were doubtful of this coming to fruition but promised to think about it. He had promised that he would move the entire Muslim population to this new land of his. The IML was sold on this!
Once WWII ended in 1945, the English were a depleted, demoralized people, while the Indian nation was a rejuvenated people. Though Subhash Chandra Bose had supposedly died in 1945, he had created an army of nearly 60,000 people who were willing to die for their freedom. Coming out of one war, the British could ill-afford another against an army that was willing to sacrifice themselves for their country’s freedom. And so, it came to be, that way back in 1945, the British had already planned to leave India and head back to safer terrains. The INC had sensed a victory, but as was customary with the likes of Nehru, had attributed this to the non-violence prescribed by M K Gandhi. In private conversations, however, it is claimed that the British had succumbed to the pressures of Bose.
In the Jinnah camp, there was subdued jubilation with a possibility of a new country. The IML had started planning the possible migration of Muslims to this new country. At some point, the possible counts in how the exchange of populations would happen were discussed internally. A rough estimate came by that shocked Jinnah! He would be taking approximately 40 million Muslims to the new country while there would be 5 million Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Christians moving to India. Economically, this would kill Pakistan. How would this land, which still didn’t exist, avert this kind of a potential problem? While Jinnah did still dream of Pakistan, he had made up his mind that this would be a Muslim majority country, as opposed to a Muslims the only country!
Come actual partition, the land is given for the creation of Pakistan was really not what Jinnah had hoped for. He was given half of Punjab and the Sindhu province. He told the INC and the British, that he would let those living in these areas stay on, regardless of what denomination they belonged to; he hoped that the INC would keep the majority of Muslims in India, thus giving Pakistan a chance at economic survival. The INC, without realizing Jinnah’s ulterior motives, agreed. To help this country economically, Gandhi instructed Nehru to give them 500 million Indian Rupees.
The politics behind denying Bose this honour, of which he was fully worthy, has again shown the INC’s duplicity.
Fast forward to 1948-49. Jinnah was suffering from Tuberculosis and was on his deathbed. There was pandemonium around the country with no one really knowing how to handle this new land. The party that had fought tooth and nail for this country, the IML, was still in India. Jinnah had told his secretary, Khurshid Hasan Khurshid, that he regretted having created this new country as it was doomed from its very inception. And, so it came to be, that a country that had no way to sustain its economy, was founded.
Today, when we hear of how Muslims in India chose to stay back, that’s not completely true and stated above are the reasons. They did stay back and many have contributed to India’s growth, like Dr A P J Kalam. However, for every Dr Kalam, we have also had to contend with people like Maulana Azad, a non-Indian who was made Education Minister and was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, while much more deserving people like Subhash Chandra Bose are still overlooked; not that it mattered to Bose since he would have been happier that his beloved India had gained its freedom. However, the thought that one could give the entire Nehru clan (Nehru, Indira and Rajiv) the not so prestigious Bharat Ratna without flinching, and not think about Bose, tells us more than anything else.
The politics behind denying Bose this honour, of which he was fully worthy, has again shown the INC’s duplicity. While he denied Bose any such honour, Nehru didn’t hesitate to honour himself with this title; to be honest, that one act has left one with the feeling that the title is only given to politicians with no credentials nor credibility! Once again, the names of the Nehru/ Gandhi clan and the Saudi born Indian Education Minister Azad ring hollow!
Today’s India has a lot to learn from the travails of the past; specifically those years before India regaining its independence after 1000 years of subjugation. For those who want to correct me and say not 1000, my only reply is: It is 1000. Why are we not counting the Moghuls? If the British were bad for India, so were the Moghuls.
जय श्रीराम। जय सीयाराम। उत्तिष्ठ भारत। जय माँ भारती
God Bless the USA.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.