Tag Archives: Wolpert

The Idea of Pakistan-Myth and Reality

By Agha H Amin

Pakistan today stands in the eye of the storm and every act of Islamic extremism can be traced to Pakistan or persons of Pakistani origin. Resultantly a battle of ideas has started in Pakistan about ascertaining the true role of Mr Jinnah and his political ideas.

The political use of religion was started after 1857 by Muslim aristocracy of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and Punjab once they saw that Muslims were under threat of being reduced to zero because of introduction of competitive examinations and European style political representation.Thus the origins of Muslim politics in India in the period 1858-1947 was safeguarding the class interests of Muslim aristocracy and middle class in Punjab and UP.

The All India Muslim League founded in 1906 was a Bengali Muslim heavy effort but immediately hijacked by UP Muslims and its headquarters shifted to UP.The All India Muslim League remained UP Muslim dominated to such an extent that in Lucknow Pact in absence of many Punjabis or Bengalis the All India Muslim League agreed to surrender Muslim majority in Punjab to partity and Muslim majority in Bengal to minority.A direct result of Lucknow Pact was the Unionist Party in Punjab ,formed because Muslims of Punjab needed to be in partnership with Hindus and Sikhs without which they could not form a government.Similarly the Bengali Muslims suffered all along till 1946 because of Lucknow Pact and were forced to be manipulated by Hindu blackmail in Bengal politics.Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman did call Lucknow Pact a faux pas.

Mr Jinnah the founder of Pakistan was not known to be a religious man till 1937 at least when his All India Muslim League was literally routed in Muslim majority provinces of India getting just (7,319,445) the League got only 321,772 Muslim votes out of a total Muslim votes of 7,319,445 a mere 4.4 percent. In Punjab the League won just 2 seats out of 84 , in Bengal 39 out of 117,in NWFP none .Even in Muslim minority provinces the Muslim League was not Muslims first choice except Bombay where it won 20 out of 29 seats.

The Second World War brought the Congress in conflict with British and the Congress resigned from its ministries.The Lahore Resolution of 1940 was a strategic response of Mr Jinnah to counter the congress.It dove tailed with British war effort which Mr Jinnah supported and it countered the Congress which again suited the British.

The higher class and the middle class Muslims in UP , Punjab , Bengal and Sindh saw it as an opportunity to eliminate the Hindus and Sikhs from political , economic and employment competition.It is well known that some 25 % of Hindu money lenders were in Punjab and the vast majority of Muslim landlords in Punjab and Sindh were in debt to these money lenders.This factor prompted many Punjabi Muslim members of the Unionist Party to change loyalties to the Muslim League in 1940-46.

The Muslim feudal and educated classes of Punjab and UP saw Pakistan as a place where they would dominate the politics ,the business, the jobs and thus be the successors of British,The Bengali and Sindhi position was very low in the Muslim League hierarchy dominated till 1936 by UP Muslims and by Punjabi Muslims in partnership with UP Muslims after 1938.

It is a well known fact that Islam was used as a central mobilizing slogan in the elections of 1946 in Punjab,Sindh and Bengal.Mr Jinnah may have been a totally secular man but the campaign of 1946 did create a religious picture of Pakistan.

And now the class aspect of Pakistan. Who voted in 1946 Elections for Muslim League or Congress. Most of the people, particularly, women and lower class people, had no voting rights. These elections were based on the extremely restricted franchise of the 1919 Act, and the total number of votes cast was only 586,647, representing almost exclusively the propertied classes.Stanley Wolpert notes that just 5 % of Indias population voted in 1946 Elections.

Those who could understand and feel were bitter about the Punjab massacres and Hafeez Jullundhuri thus expressed his disgust :–

Qaafloay lut gayay barbad ho gayay to kia hua

Mutmain hain Qaflas salaar apnay kam say

The aftermath of Pakistan and its chequered political history proves many contradictions .

Continue reading The Idea of Pakistan-Myth and Reality

Let’s look into Barrister Jinnah’s degree too!

by Mohammad Nafees

Quaid was grade five student in 1892. In 1893, he joined Lincoln Inn to start his law study. Within one year’s period, his big jump from fifth grade to the post graduate level studies seems impossible achievement. What makes it further mysterious is that he became a Barrister in 1896 at the age of 19.

A mystery surrounds the educational record of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah that makes one wonder as to how this subject remained un-noticeable or unimportant so far to a large number of writers and researchers who, despite their analytical approach and in-depth study on Quaid’s life, never tried to search this area and bring this puzzle together. Stanley Wolpert is considered as a very authentic biographer of Quaid-e-Azam and his book, Jinnah of Pakistan, has a reputation of a very reliable source on the life of this great leader of the sub-continent. Talking on Quaid’s early education, he quotes a sentence from Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah; “Mamad (Mohammad Ali Jinnah) enrolled in the Sindh Madressa on December 23, 1887.” The website of Sindh Madressah carries this note: “Finally, after about four and a half year of his association with the institution, while studying in Standard V [fifth grade], he left Sindh Madressah on 30th January 1892.”

This statement confirms the authenticity of the enrolment date at Sindh Madressa that Stanley Wolpert used in his book. The mystery begins from this point onward. In January 1893 Quaid-e-Azam left for London and joined Lincoln Inn on June 25, 1893 to start his law study. Within one year’s period, his big jump from fifth grade to the post graduate level studies seems like a very surprising and humanly impossible achievement. What makes it further mysterious is that he successfully completed the examination and became a qualified Barrister on 29 April 1896 at the age of 19 years only. …

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