Father of the Nation: Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah -a Great Leader

One dark night of Karanchi (now called Karachi) when the whole city was asleep, it was quite late at night but one young boy was busy studying hard under a lamp’s light. It was nearly 2 AM that his sister came to him and asked him to go to sleep its too late and he replied “If I go to sleep then how would I become a great man”? And his words proved him right he really became a great man later on.

He really became a great leader who stood at the forefront to lead Muslims owning a separate homeland. Muslims were blessed to have such a leader who stood by their side in their struggle to own a separate and a free homeland. This boy named Muhammad Ali Jinnah later called Quaid E Azam was born on December 25, 1876 to a well-known business family in Karachi. He was educated at the Sindh Madrassat-ul-Islam and the Christian Mission School. Jinnah joined the Lincoln’s Inn in 1893 to become the youngest Indian to be called to the Bar. He selected Lincoln’s Inn to study at because there he saw a list of top ten personalities of the world and Prophet Muhammad (PBUM)’s was on top of the list. Before going to England for higher studies he got married to Emibaai in 1893 on his mother’s will as a family tradition.

In 1895, at the age of 19, he was called to the bar. During his stay in London Jinnah suffered two severe incidents that were; deaths of his wife aimibaai and his mother. Nevertheless, he completed his formal studies and also made a study of the British political system, frequently visiting the House of Commons. When Jinnah came back to Karachi in 1896, he found that his father’s business had suffered losses and that he now had to depend on himself. He decided to start his legal practice in Bombay, but it took him years of work to establish himself as a lawyer. But no doubt he was the best barrister in Bombay who used to charge highest fee.

Entrance into politics

Almost 10 years later, he switched towards active politics. His interests became divided between law and politics. Nor was he a religious fanatic: he was a Muslim in an extensive sense and had nothing to do with sects. Jinnah first entered politics by participating in the 1906 Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress, the party that called for power status and later for independence for India. Four years later he was elected to the Imperial Legislative Council; this was the starting of a long and distinguished parliamentary career. In Bombay he came to know, among other prominent Congress personalities, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, the eminent Maratha leader. Greatly prejudiced by these nationalist politicians, Jinnah aimed during the early part of his political life to become “a Muslim Gokhale.”

It was greatly through his efforts that the Congress and the Muslim League began to hold their annual sessions jointly, to ease joint discussion and contribution. In 1915 the two organizations held their meetings in Bombay and in 1916 in Lucknow, where the Lucknow Pact was concluded. Opposite to Gandhi’s Non-co-operation Movement and his primarily Hindu loom to politics, Jinnah left both the Muslim League and the Congress in 1920. For a few years he kept himself detached from the main political movements. He continued to be a firm believer in Hindu-Muslim unity and legitimate methods for the accomplishment of political ends. After his withdrawal from the Congress, he used the Muslim League platform for the spread of his views. But during the 1920s the Muslim League, and with it Jinnah, had been outshined by the Congress and the religiously oriented Muslim Khilafat committee.

When the failure of the Non-co-operation Movement and the emergence of Hindu reinforcement movements directed to rivalry and uprising between the Hindus and Muslims, the league steadily began to come into its own. Jinnah’s problem during the following years was to convert the league into an enlightened political body prepared to co-operate with other organizations working for the good of India. In addition, he had to convince the Congress, as a prerequisite for political progress, of the necessity of settling the Hindu-Muslim conflict.

Getting married to Rattanbai Petit:

In 1918, Jinnah married his second wife Rattanbai Petit (“Rattie”), 24 years his junior. She was the fashionable young daughter of his friend Sir Dinshaw Petit, of an elite Parsi family of Bombay. There was great opposition to the marriage from Rattanbai’s family and the Parsi community, as well as from some Muslim religious leaders. Rattanbai challenged her family and nominally converted to Islam, adopting the name Maryam Jinnah, resulting in a permanent rift from her family and Parsi society. The couple resided in Bombay, and repeatedly travelled across India and Europe. The couple’s only child, daughter Dina Jinna, was born on 15 August 1919. The couple separated prior to Ruttie’s death in 1929, and consequently Jinnah’s sister Fatima Jinnahlooked after him and his daughter.

 To bring about an understanding among Hindus and Muslims Jinnah’s chief purpose during the late 1920s and early 1930s, he worked towards this end within the legislative assembly, at the Round Table Conferences in London (1930-32), and through his 14 points, but he failed. His failure to bring about even minor amendments in the Nehru Committee proposals (1928) over the question of separate voters and reservation of seats for Muslims in the governing body disappointed him. He found himself in a bizarre position at this time; many Muslims thought that he was too nationalistic in his policy and that Muslim interests were not safe in his hands. In disgust, Jinnah decided to settle in England. From 1930 to 1935 he remained in London, devoting himself to practice before the Privy Council. But when constitutional changes were in the offing, he was convinced to return home to head a reconstituted Muslim League.

Jinnah had originally been doubtful about the viability of Pakistan, an idea that Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal had put forward to the Muslim League conference of 1930; but before long he became convinced that a Muslim homeland on the Indian subcontinent was the only way of protection of Muslim interests and the Muslim way of life. It was not religious harassment that he feared. To guard against this danger he carried on a nation-wide campaign to warn his coreligionists of the perils of their position, and he converted the Muslim League into a powerful instrument for unifying the Muslims into a nation.

The Founder of Pakistan      

At this point, Jinnah emerged as the leader of a renascent Muslim nation. Events began to move fast. On March 22-23, 1940, in Lahore, the league adopted a resolution to form a separate Muslim state, Pakistan. This resolution was based upon the very thought of Allama Muhammad Iqbal during Speech at ALLAh abad where he give the idea of a separate homeland for Muslims. Jinnah led his movement with such skill and persistence that ultimately both the Congress and the British government had no option but to agree to the partitioning of India. Pakistan thus emerged as an independent state in 14th August, 1947.

Jinnah became the first head of the new state i.e. Pakistan. He took oath as the first governor general on August 15, 1947. Faced with the serious problems of a young nation, he tackled Pakistan’s problems with authority. He was not regarded as merely the governor-general; he was valued as the “father of the nation”. He worked hard until overpowered by age and lung disease in Karachi. He died on 11th September 1948 at Karachi.

First Governor General of Pakistan:

In gratitude of his extraordinary contribution, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was nominated by the Muslim League as the Governor-General of Pakistan, while the Congress appointed Mountbatten as India’s first Governor-General. Pakistan, it has been truly said, was born in virtual anarchy. Indeed, few nations in the world have started on their career with fewer resources and in more underhanded circumstances. The new nation did not inherit a central government, a capital, an administrative core, or an organized defense force. Its social and administrative resources were poor; there was little equipment and still less statistics. The Punjab holocaust had left vast areas in a shambles with communications disrupted. This, along with the en masse migration of the Hindu and Sikh business and managerial classes, left the economy almost shattered.

It was, therefore, with a sense of supreme satisfaction at the fulfillment of his mission that Jinnah told the nation in his last message on 14 August, 1948: “The foundations of your State have been laid and it is now for you to build and build as quickly and as well as you can”. In accomplishing the task he had taken upon himself on the morrow of Pakistan’s birth, Jinnah had worked himself to death, but he had, to quote Richard Simons, “contributed more than any other man to Pakistan’s survival”. He died on 11 September, 1948. Very rightly Lord Pethick Lawrence, the former Secretary of State for India said, “Gandhi died by the hands of an assassin; Jinnah died by his devotion to Pakistan”.

Last Days of Quaid E Azam:

Quaid E Azam was so much busy that he always neglected his health and after so much hard work and struggle he became so ill day by day. He was affected by lungs disease. Doctors advised him to go to hilly area to have rest and the environment would help him to cure at a fast pace so he went to his favorite place Ziyarat. But even there he was so much concerned about the country’s affairs and important matters that he requested doctors to allow him to go back to Karachi. His sis Fatima Jinnah was always there by his side. After coming back his health started declining even rapidly and he left this world. The news of Quaid’s death spread fast and wide. There was sorrow in every heart and home throughout Pakistan. His death was felt as a personal loss for every Pakistani. It was an irreparable loss to the nascent state of Pakistan, and of the entire Muslim world. The newborn state was orphaned. The piloting light was gone when it was most needed.

May Allah rest his soul in peace. Heroes never die and that stands absolutely right for him. Wishing Pakistan soon to become Quaid E Azam’s Pakistan and stand among the list of the leading nation’s of the world.

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