Dr. Tahseen Mahmood Aslam recollects the personality of the founder of Pakistan on his death anniversary
The two pre-eminent politicians, MA Jinnah and MK Gandhi, who emerged by the first decades of the previous century in the subcontinent had familial connections with Gujarat. The people of this region were and still known for their commercial prowess and enterprising trade.
It is also widely acknowledged that people from this area have a propensity for social welfare and their names are associated with plenty of philanthropic projects. They are known as extremely resourceful and dedicated to whatever task they choose to pursue.
Both Jinnah and Gandhi opted to work in public life and diligently pursued their aims and met with success that is unparalleled. In this context, MA Jinnah was radically different than rest of the leadership of his times in many respects that made him the tallest politician of his era.
The differences were extensive in nature and they ranged from his outlook, method of operation, tactical brilliance to acute legal acumen, appreciation of public aspirations and sincerity of his mission. Though Gandhi was equally successful like MA Jinnah but the crucial difference between them was that while Gandhi was out an out communal in outlook and practice whereas MA Jinnah had not a communal bone in him.
MA Jinnah was completely independent in his life and lived it according to his means that were considerable. Gandhi, on the other hand, never worked for living after he landed in India from South Africa, and in the words of Sarojni Naidu required lots of money to keep him poor.
Different Mr. Jinnah And Gandhi
This fundamental difference was instrumental in transforming Jinnah as the most potent stakeholder in the freedom movement in the dying days of the British Raj whereas Gandhi was quietly and discreetly sidelined by the Congress Party particularly by Nehru and Patel and had become gradually irrelevant after the end of the Round Table Conferences.
MA Jinnah hardly changed stances taken and his acceptance and later withdrawal from the Cabinet Mission Plan is usually cited as probably one of the rare incidents in this respect. It is more than evident that this reaction was triggered by the glaring deviation from the Plan undertaken by Nehru and could not be considered as specifically Jinnah’s change of tactics.
Gandhi, on the other hand, regularly changed his position and this proclivity was evident from the days of Khilafat Movement and continued right up to the partition. Gandhi’s wavering positions not only baffled the British but it also exacerbated the communal harmony in the subcontinent. The discomfiture caused by his meanderings created within his party as became evident by the bitter rivalry between Nehru and Patel.
It goes to the credit of MA Jinnah that he consistently maintained unity in his party and it was primarily due to his steadfast attitude. It is indeed laudable that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, noted for his natural reserve and aloofness, quickly adjusted the rough and tumble of electoral politics and became the first Muslim leader in the subcontinent to criss-cross the vast land mass and his rallies were devotedly attended by the large number of Muslims.
Different Mr. Jinnah And Gandhi
Though there had been Muslim leaders such as Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar who garnered huge support for the causes they espoused such as Khilafat Movement but Jinnah’s mass appeal was altogether different and largely superior to any such effort taken before him.
His persona was extremely charismatic and his presence was electric as is evident from the fact that he was largely unable to address his gatherings in Urdu and had to depend upon speaking in English but despite this handicap he was raptly listened to.
MA Jinnah was not only intelligent but also very resourceful as is evident by his successful attempts to convert his hitherto moribund party into a mass that proved one of its kind in the annals of the history of Muslims in India. His attention to detail was phenomenal and he never ignored even the minutest of details and this ability to read and comprehend the fine print stood him in good stead.
This quality indicated his indefatigable intentions ensuring that all ends were properly tied and no opportunity was ever missed. His opponents understood this point but were unable to do anything about it because his commitment level was absolute and he acted accordingly becoming a colossus in the very competitive political arena.
The most vital difference that MA Jinnah depicted during his long political life was the deep indifference he exhibited regarding advantages of high office. He proved again and again that he was never tempted by the lure of political power and considered it to be below the dignity of a committed political leader. He was very sincere in his disinterested attitude towards political advantages and treated them as something alien to his nature. It is extremely rare to find such a man. The Weekender