Opinion | Who made secular Jinnah a Muslim leader?

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Pranab Kumar Gogoi

Md. Ali Jinnah is known as an eternal foe of the Indian nationalism. He was the creator of Pakistan and founder father of the Islamic nationalism in the Indian peninsular. It is believed and widely taught in the pages of Indian history. Today, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has categorized the Muslim believers of Assam as the other face of Jinnah in the state, indicating a section of Muslim people as anti-nationals.

Flipping the pages of the history of past, if we look back to the origin of political philosophy of Jinnah, then – was he a communal or anti national? If not, then who made him anti-national?  The orthodox BJP supremo, LK Advani who migrated to India during partition from Pakistan, in his book My Country, My Life claimed that Jinnah was a secular man, which ignited the right wings camps for aggressive protests and it became much embarrassing for the senior RSS and BJP leaders to handle the situation. However, because of the criticism of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Advani tendered his resignation from the post of party chief.

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Senior BJP leader Jaswant Sinha, while speaking during the launch of his book Jinnah: India Partition- Independence, blamed the Congress and Jawaharlal Nehru for the birth of Pakistan. In the book, Jinnah was described as a secular as he started maiden political journey as an ‘ambassador of Hindu –Muslim Unity’. Jinnah was just a speaker to communicate the feelings of Muslims to the Congress leaders leading the freedom movement, Sinha mentioned in his book.

Lord Mountbatten, then Viceroy of India, exploited the political unrest, and capitalized the rift between Nehru and Jinnah. Finally, Vallabhbhai Patel came to the scene and lastly Jinnah propagated two nation theory, subsequently direct action. This is the genesis for the birth of Pakistan.

It is very unfortunate that Assam BJP is branding a section of Muslims of the state as ‘Jinnah’. Misinterpretation of history is dangerous. Mere outburst of a politician can’t change the facts of the history. Many a times in the past it was proved repeatedly. None should be too reactionary in elaborating the facts of history.

The views expressed by the author are personal and may not in any way represent those of TIME8.