My late father in his book ‘Quaid-i Azam Jinnah and the battle for Pakistan’, described in depth the struggle of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and how he was able to shape the dream of poet Iqbal of an independent Muslim majority state into a established reality of Pakistan. This too notably within seven years of the adoption of what was later known as the Pakistan Resolution of March 23, 1940.
This resolution was held at Minto Park in the city of Lahore under the leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam from March 22 - 24 in 1940. Through this resolution a separate homeland was demanded for the Muslims.
Pakistan resolution was very similar to the vision expressed by Allama Iqbal in his 1930 Allahbad address. Interestingly, the book also points out that Iqbal wrote to a friend Maulana Raghib Ahsan, in 1931, after he had demanded a Muslim State in the subcontinent in the Allahbad session that, some time prior to the session he had a dream and in this dream, he saw bands of horse riding angels racing through the skies towards a destination. Allama Iqbal considered it a divine indicator pointing towards the goal of a Muslim state in India.
Creation of Pakistan was far from easy to say the least. My father writes, Lord Listowel, who was the last British Secretary of State for India and Burma from April to August 1947, in his speech at Lincoln’s inn, in 1984, recalled the prevalent Two Nation theory which was the basis of the Pakistan movement and the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s insistence that Muslims must have their own country, and armed forces. Lord Listowel said that “he perused this objective with clarity and inflexible will.” Lord Listowel also mentioned that according to Lord Mountbatten he tried “every trick he could play” to deter Mr Jinnah from his resolution to create Pakistan but failed.
The Quaid-i-Azam worked passionately and dynamically to achieve the reality of Pakistan for us. My father claims that no Muslim leader in the 20th century could match this achievement. The amazing successes of both Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, and Ahmad Sukarno, for making Muslim majority Indonesia, are remarkable, but this accomplishment of the Quaid-i-Azam was unique. What he achieved, was from a vision, without any territorial entity or defined geographical frontiers at the time when it was politically conceived in Lahore in 1940. Jinnah recalled Allama Iqbal’s services and what the day would mean to the great philosopher whose vision was becoming a reality. The Quaid-i-Azam said “Iqbal is no more amongst us, but had he been alive he would have been happy to know that we did exactly what he wanted us to do”.
Jinnah was grieved when Allama Iqbal passed away in 1938 and paying homage to him, he said:
“To me he was a friend, guide and philosopher and during the darkest moments through which the Muslim League had to go, he stood like a rock and never flinched one single moment.”
The Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah was encouraged to return to India and lead the Muslim League. In the summer of 1933, Liaquat Ali Khan, persuaded the Quaid-i-Azam to take over the Muslim League and lead the Muslims. My father writes that in 1933, Sir Mohammad Yamin Khan also visited the Quaid-i-Azam at his Hempstead home and appealed to him to lead the Muslims. He was also encouraged by Begum Jahanara Shanawaz and some other important personalities to return to India and lead the Muslims.
In January 1934, Quaid-i-Azam returned to Bombay and agreed to head the All India Muslim League which at the time was weak and torn into factions. In 1934, the Council of All India Muslim League was held and it was decided to merge all factions into one All India Muslim League and elected Mr Jinnah as their president.
In 1935-36, Jinnah reorganised the Muslim League. My father writes that Jinnah selected candidates for the central and provincial assemblies through impartial parliamentary boards. Jinnah’s orders were, to field the most suitable candidates known for their honesty and integrity of character and their ability to attract the Muslim voters. Jinnah turned down applications of some candidates for Muslim League tickets who offered to donate generously to the party if nominated. His election meetings theme would be, “All Muslims believe in one God, in Prophet Mohammad PBUH, the holy Quran and they are one nation. They want Pakistan and they will God willing attain it”. This outline and the battle cry of Pakistan captivated the Muslims in India with an invincible resolve to win the elections for the Quaid-i-Azam.
With Liaquat Ali Khan as his principle lieutenant and general secretary, the Quaid intensified the reorganisation of the Muslim League and selected a devoted team of educated people and Muslim League emerged as the second most important party of the subcontinent. The struggle gained momentum and Jinnah demanded full independence for India with safeguards for Muslims. In 1938, the idea of dividing took roots. Eventually, on March 23, 1940, he was on the pathway to Pakistan. The Quaid-i-Azam encouraged the participation of women. Before Quaid-i-Azam became head of the Muslim League, no woman was part of the high command. The Quaid’s sister, Fatema Jinnah, played an important role and resolved to mobilise the Muslim women for this struggle. Both Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan and Miss Fatima Jinnah prepared women to work for the party to achieve its noble cause. History tells us about many women who played amazing roles in the struggle for Pakistan.
The Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah believed that Muslim youth should be encouraged and must be kept fully informed about the goals of the Muslim League. After the Pakistan movement was launched, the Quaid-i-Azam considered it essential to mobilise the support of the youth so when there would be a need for their active participation, they would respond to their call. The Muslim youth responded to the Quaid’s call for involvement in the election campaign with enthusiasm. During his own student days in the UK he always met with student community and when he returned to Bombay, my father writes that he took interest in the work of the Anjuman-e-Islam and the schools it ran in the city. He encouraged students to acquire knowledge and work hard in their studies and always be well informed. He wanted more schools, colleges and universities. Ms Fatima Jinnah told my father in the sixties, that even when her brother was bedridden with high fever, the moment he would hear from his secretary that a student group had come to see him he would desire to see them.
During his campaign and struggle for Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam remained steadfast and focused. He avoided clashes and remained polite and restrained in his response to the political chauvinism of the leaders who were claiming that Congress was the only political party representing the Indians. He remained motivated and engrossed in his struggle for achieving our homeland.
The book mention that in a Muslim League meeting in 1945, Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah declared: “We will not agree to any arrangement which means the freedom for the Hindus, Hindu Raj and slavery for the Muslims”. By early November 1945, Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah was confident that Muslim League will win and the electoral verdict in favour of Pakistan will strengthen his position in his negotiations with the British and the Congress for accepting the verdict of the partition of India into Pakistan and Hindustan. Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah’s charisma and the meaning of Pakistan united the Muslims. Unity, faith and discipline prevailed.
My father writes that Quaid-i-Azam’s greatest political triumph before the accomplishment of Pakistan was the Muslim League’s victory on the platform for the demand for Pakistan as a separate homeland. This electoral performance he writes was a litmus test for the popularity of his demand for the partition of India, and the establishment of a Muslim majority state. If the election result had gone against the Muslim demand for a state, it would have handed over power to the Hindu Congress leadership which would be acutely disadvantageous and disastrous for the Muslims.
In December 1945, Muslim League won all the reserved seats for Muslims. Whitehall understood the meaning of this remarkable mandate and became fully aware of the ground realities of India’s politics. The international press also became interested in Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah and his Pakistan scheme. In 1946, Muslim League achieved victory.
The elected Muslim legislators called for a single state of Pakistan. “Congress had a big edge over the Muslim League in wealth, media, power and other facilities including the support of some British but the Muslim masses vote for Muslim League dampened the Congress intrigues and Jinnah won his battle and in the following year Pakistan emerged on the map of the world”, writes my father in his book.
The above were some of the glimpses from the resolution to the task of achieving Pakistan by our great leader, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
—The author is the daughter of late Qutubuddin Aziz and currently living in Dubai, UAE
Ms Fatima Jinnah and Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan arriving at a ceremony along with Quaid-i-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan