Quaid -e- Azam: The Father of the Nation

Paying Tribute to a leader with Extraordinary Brilliance

Every year on the 11th of September, Pakistan remembers with fondness - Mohammad Ali Jinnah who was the founder of Pakistan. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a charismatic leader with remarkable brilliance, integrity, political prudence and foresightedness. What makes a leader great is his vision for his people and his ability to instill confidence in his followers. Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah using his intelligence, wisdom, political skills and power left a decisive impact in history of the Indian Sub- continent by creating Pakistan. Jinnah surely possessed all the qualities of a great visionary leader of the Indian Muslims. He was truly admired by the masses as his vision of an independent state created a new hope of a better life among the Indian Muslims.

Born on 25th December, 1876, Mohammad Ali Jinnah is remembered as one of the greatest men in history. Jinnah’s father, Jinnah bhai Poonja was a young merchant and moved to Karachi with his wife MithiBai and rented one of the apartments of a three-storey house Wazir Mansion. Jinnah was the eldest of the seven children of Jinnahbhai  Poonja and Mithibai and was rather a physically weak infant. Jinnah began school at the age of six his father enrolled him at Sindh Madrasatual- Islam and later he joined the Christian Mission Society High school in Karachi. In 1938, Jinnah moved to London and started working at Graham’s office soon he was the youngest Indian to have graduated from the prestigious Lincoln’s Inn.   On his return from London he began his legal practice in Bombay and soon emerged as one of the leading lawyers of his time. Mr. Jinnah initially joined the Indian National Congress which promoted the Idea of autonomy from British rule. In 1913 Mr. Jinnah became a member of the Muslim League which was working for the interests of Indian Muslims and by 1916 he was elected as the League’s president.

Jinnah was a supporter of Hindu Muslim unity nevertheless, he wanted the Indian Muslims to get equal rights. Jinnah said “The Mohammedan community should be treated in the same way as the Hindu community.” There came a time when despite all his efforts to bring the Hindus and Muslims closer Jinnah was so disappointed with the Hindu mindset. Resultantly he decided to move to London and settle down there.  Professor Allama Mohammad Iqbal visited London to participate in the Round Table Conference in 1932 and convinced Jinnah to return to India and endorse the struggle for freedom. Iqbal pressed on Jinnah the need of setting the Muslims free from the shackles of British imperialism by uniting them on the basis of religion - Islam. It is obvious that Iqbal’s philosophy had a strong bearing on Jinnah’s political struggle as Iqbal often wrote letters to him. On his return from London he very earnestly directed his efforts towards making Muslim League a mass party. Owing to Jinnah’s unfailing energy Muslim League in a matter of few years became the true voice of the Indian Muslims. Mr. Jinnah was given the title Quaid- e- Azam by Maulana Mazharudin Shaheed in 1938.  Under the extraordinary leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah League’s membership increased from a few thousands to half a million. In 1940, the first ever official demand for a separate homeland for Muslims was made at a Muslim League session in Lahore. On 14th August, 1947 Pakistan emerged as an independent nation due to Quaid -e -Azam’s untiring negotiations with the British and his political prudence.

 Jinnah, throughout the Pakistan movement, supported the idea that freedom of religion would be the foundation in the future state of Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam in his speech said “You are free, you are free to go to your temples, and you are free to go to your mosques or any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion cast or creed- that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” Authors of the Book Freedom at Mid Night have argued that the creation of Pakistan would not have been possible if it was revealed that Jinnah was suffering from Tuberculosis. Quaid –e- Azam, setting aside every obstacle including his ill health, had fulfilled his mission.  Stanly Wolpert in his Book “Jinnah of Pakistan” made the following remarkable quote about Mohammad Ali Jinnah - “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. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”

What if Quaid was alive today? It is obvious that the Pakistan envisioned by Quaid e Azam was a democratic state with dispensation of justice offering true prosperity to its inhabitants. However, today Pakistan does not seem to be totally in compliance with Quaid’s dream. Often time’s, young individuals raise the question how Jinnah would have reacted if he had seen today’s Pakistan.

Sadly, Quaid –e-Azam on 11th September. 1948 as the first Governor General of Pakistan passed away. Pakistan could never have come into existence without the untiring leadership and political struggle of Quaid- e Azam.  He shall always be remembered for creating a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent.

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