(Last Updated on : 16/06/2010)
Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a renowned politician and leader of Muslim league. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan. In Pakistan, Jinnah was popularly known as 'Quaid-e-Azam', which literally means 'Great Leader'. He was also known as 'Baba-e-Qaum' in Pakistan, which meant 'Father of the Nation'. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was serving as the leader of 'All-India Muslim League' since 1913 until the independence of Pakistan on 14th of August, 1947. He also served as the first Governor-General of Pakistan from 15th of August, 1947 till 11th of September, 1948. Mohammad Ali Jinnah also drafted a 14 point constitutional modification plan for safeguarding the rights of the Muslims.
Early life of Mohammad Ali Jinnah
Born in Karachi in the year 1876, Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the eldest son of a prosperous Muslim businessman. At a tender age of 16, Jinnah moved to London to study business management. During his next three years in the bustling capital of Victoria's booming Empire, his eager mind focused on law and politics rather than commerce. Jinnah was inspired by Dadabhai Naoroji
, who at that time was just elected at Britain's House of Commons, after hearing his maiden speech.
Political Career of Mohammad Ali Jinnah
At the age of 34 years, Mohammad Ali Jinnah was elected to serve as the Bombay Presidency's Muslim representative on the Viceroy's Central Legislative Council, whose members then included ex-Congress president Gopal Krishna Gokhale
, hailed by Mahatma Gandhi
as 'my political guru'. Gokhale's high regard for Jinnah's integrity, intellect and moderation is reflected in the sobriquet he coined for his junior colleague, 'best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity'. Mohammad Ali Jinnah joined Indian National Congress in the year 1896. He was the draftsman of Lucknow Pact
. Ultimately, in the year 1913, Jinnah joined All India Muslim League and in the year 1919 became the President of the league. Mohammad Ali Jinnah succeeded in bringing the conservative and loyalist Muslim League and India's National Congress together in Lucknow in December of 1916 in order to demand the similar set of post-war representative changes, which he drafted in the Lucknow Pact.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah considered the influences of the British rule as beneficial for the country in spheres like education, culture, industries and law. He was one of the most prominent leaders of British India. Moreover, his fearless opposition to Mumbai's archconservative governor, Lord Willingdon, won him high regard. The aftermath of World War I brought only the repressive sword of the Rowlett 'Black' Acts, extending wartime martial 'laws' during peacetime. Jinnah was the first member of the Viceroy's Council to resign, protesting against uprooting of 'fundamental principles of justice' by government's 'over fretful and incompetent bureaucracy'.
Jinnah disapproved Gandhi's revolutionary resolutions. Thus, in the year 1920 he broke with the Congress soon afterwards leaving India to settle in London. Jinnah firstly tried to win the support of British to win a seat in 'House of Commons', but failed to succeed. He finally accepted fervent appeals from Muslim friends to return home and help them to revitalise the demoralised leaderless Muslim League. Jinnah was re-elected to expanded National Assembly.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah was appointed as the Muslim Member in the Central Legislative Assembly in the year 1923. In March 1927, Jinnah convened a Muslim leader meeting that was helpful to the national point of view. Jinnah had opposed the system of desperate electorates. He persuaded the 40 prominent Muslim leaders who had assembled to give their separatist demand. They agreed to it with demands that stated Sind be separated from Bombay and constituted into a separate province, Baluchistan and N.W.F.T. be upgraded into full-fledged governors provinces, in Punjab and Bengal representation be allowed to Muslims, so that they are majority character was insured and in Central Legislature the Mohammedans will not be less than one third of the total strength.
The Muslim League demanded separate electorates opposing the Nehru Report that supported joint electorates. Further, he personally demanded separate electorates. As Jinnah was estranged from the Congress leadership, he swung to the other end of pendulum and put forth his famous 14 demands. Jinnah drafted compromises and presented demands. It came to be known as Jinnah and his 14 points
. These demands of Jinnah were however rejected by Congress. Most Congress leaders and Pan-Islamic Muslims remained in prison cells, while Jinnah reorganised his Muslim League as its permanent president, and won the respect of most British liberals and future Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald.
Under the Government of India Act of 1935 in 1937, elections were held throughout the country and Congress had a victory in most of the regions. On the other hand, the League failed to claim even a single province. Thus, after the victory of Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru
insisted that only 'two forces' left in India, these two are Congress and the British inviting all others to 'line-up'. Mohammad Ali Jinnah however refused to accept Nehru's summons. He made it clear that the third party in the country is of the Muslims. The Muslim League met again in December 1937.
Further, Jinnah persisted that unless Congress and Gandhi recognized the Muslim League as the single political party representative of British India's Muslim population, it is not possible to have any solution to the south Asia's Hindu-Muslim clash. On 23rd March, 1940, the League voted for its famed 'Pakistan Resolution', claiming that no prospective constitutional plan of the British would be acceptable to the Muslims unless it granted for the separation of Muslim majority units of the north- western zone of the country to form independent and autonomous states.
After World War II ended Attlee's Labour government sent a Cabinet Mission to India, which hammered out a three-tiered confederation plan, whose autonomous groupings of provinces in the north-west and north-east would have granted 'Pakistan' in everything but name, without the awful blood-letting of the following year's Partition. Lord Mountbatten
decided to opt for division, as advised by Krishna Menon and Nehru. Jinnah opted to serve as his own governor-general. It was an appropriate honour for Pakistan's founding father, but one he could only enjoy for the last single pain-filled year of his life. Mohammad Ali Jinnah died on 11th of September, 1948.