Editorial Reviews. Review. The book is well researched and the author has argued his case in Jinnah - Kindle edition by Jaswant Singh. Download it once and. Book Review. Jaswant and Jinnah: A Critical Review. Jaswant Singh: Jinnah: India – Partition –. Independence. Rupa & Co. New Delhi, Pages: , Price. Book Review. REVIEW. Jaswant Singh. Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence. Oxford and New. York: Oxford University Press, pp. MOSS ROBERTS .
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Jinnah India Partition Independence Jaswant Singh - Ebook download as Word Doc .doc), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. Jaswant Singh's Book titled “Jinnah, India, Independence and Partition”, released on August 17, sixty years after the partition of Indo-Pak. The research for this book involved consulting an intimidating wealth of books, Jaswant Singh ebooks. ipk Introduction A COMPLEX OPENING Hie.
It took 24 one of the history's most tenacious enigmatic figures. It took 24 years of endless arguments, debates, conferences, dialogues and destruction of his marriage and loss of woman he loved to convince him that his endeavors were in vain. While reading this book i realized exactly how much humiliation he faced. How many doors were slammed on his face and how many time he was discarded, along with his opinions. Even after all that he kept his head high, he knew how to keep his composure and never to lose an argument, even though those arguments fell on deaf ears and he lost most of his early fights.
Than comes the second phase of his life, in which he appears as proud, vain, whimsical man. Most Britishers thought of him as self indulgent man, who wanted glory. He was unreasonable, never had a valid argument and was most uncooperative. By this time Quaid had figured out that wasting his strained breath on people who would never actually listen to him even when they claimed differently was useless.
He had already spent too much of his life arguing with them and had been utterly fruitless. He in s isolated himself, hiding his deteriorating health. Also he had lost complete trust in Congress and had grown a bit paranoid even of his own party leadership.
He was a man who had been betrayed one too many times and was not about to lose this time around. And he did not. He lost his health, and his only daughter but did not lose this final fight. Many thought that Pakistan was his obsession one last attempt to show his rivals who and humiliated him, his true worth. But people have known to talk and they will always, had always, would always, one thing is for sure a country can not be built on a man's vanity and whim.
It takes determination, will and loyalty to a true cause. All of which he had. Quaid was nothing if he was not, strategic, persistent and intent.
Mountbatten, the reason of the bloodiest partition of Punjab. Termed Jinnah as psychopathic man, who wanted nothing more than to be Governor General himself, Odd thing for him to say as he had shown strong desire to be GG of not one but two subcontinental domains at the same time!! Never the less Jinnah made his point with Battens multiple times. In being photographed at Battens Jinnah insisted that Lady Mountbatten should stand between him and the lord but the Lord and Lady insisted that Jinnah must stand between them.
Which Quaid termed as a rose between two thorns what i would not give to see the expression on the faces of those insolent people, when Quaid made that pun. There are few things i had problem on in this book. The three broad categorisations cannot in any fashion be delineated with geometric precision for it was not as if one followed the other in an orderly manner, movement of the first evolving into the next. Accompanying these invasions, came a new experience for India, conversion of the unbelievers to Islam, until a time arrived when, finally, Islam itself got transformed by India, intermeshing with it and ultimately being absorbed by it as an integer.
All this, upon which we have now spent but a few sentences, in reality, took almost a millennium and a half to evolve. India's involvement with these diverse strands of Islam covered the entire range of human experience, encapsulating within the geographical spread of the subcontinent a journey that travelled from arriving as a conquering faith, adopting the country as home and then finally dividing this very homeland with the faithful abandoning it.
In consequence, Islam became the faith of a conquering invader, acquiring the identity of a foreign, Islamic outsider. How did Islam with ease first become Indian, then struggled to become a geographical supernumerary to it, to this great spread of what was their own 'home'. From being the faith of kings, emperors and the rulers of India, for a period of time, it then became the faith of the 'separator', of those that divided the land, expelling itself notionally from India and moving voluntarily to the eastern and western peripheries of it; relegating such of the faith that remained within India to a life of perpetual self-questioning and doubt about their true identity.
For those that 'remained' were then questioned, humiliatingly: 'Where do you actually belong? The League had claimed that it was the true upholder of Islam's ideological authenticity; also of representing a substantive Muslim consensus, therefore, it demanded, rather presupposed, just a single Muslim medium - and asserting its identity as a different conceptual 'nation', claimed a separate land for itself which is why this agonising question continues to grate against our sensibilities: 'Separate' from what?
And, what of those that do not so separate 'geographically'? How do you divide a geographic also geopolitical unity? Simply by drawing lines on maps? Through a 'surgical operation', Mountbatten had said, and tragically Nehru and Patel and the Congress party had assented, Jinnah, in any event having demanded adopting to just such a recourse. The Muslim League in that sense triumphed under Jinnah's leadership, for he achieved what he had set out to.
Many commentators have reflected upon this, as have C. They have expressed a view that this path of the League's triumph is well enough known even though it might now have gone somewhat hazy. It is this path that we travel over again. For this, in essence, was also Mohammed Ali Jinnah's political journey.
How could, or rather why did, a person of such central importance to the front rank of India's political leadership for almost the first forty-seven years of the twentieth century relegate himself to a fringe of it?
It is then also a journey of this transcendental idea of 'Hindu-Muslim unity'; what quest, which urge thereafter made Jinnah travel the road to its very antipodal extreme: from being the symbol, 'ambassador', as Gopal Krishna Gokhale first said and subsequently Sarojini Naidu eloquently expressed - 'of HinduMuslim unity', to becoming the principal proponent and voice of separation between the two; the architect of Pakistan; and in Ayesha Jalal's unique phrase Or was he at all any of this?
Was it collective human folly that created Pakistan? Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph1 in a thought provoking lecture have posed this question with elegant lucidity: 'Jinnah continued to be perceived as "liberal, eclectic and secular to the core"; committed to India's unity, he was thought of by Viceroy Lord Linlithgow as "more Congress than the Congress".
How could so cataclysmic an event as Partition occur when it hadn't even been imagined as late as the s? How and why did this 'ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity', the liberal constitutionalist, an Indian nationalist - Mohammed Ali Jinnah, become, in Viceroy Lord Wavell's phrase, a 'Frankenstein monster',3 working to dismember that very world which had so generously created him?
There are some other, to my mind, equally important aspects of this great tragedy of India's Partition deserving of our reflection.
Jinnah asserted in his later years that 'India is not one nation'. If it is not 'one nation', then what are we, even as a residue? Are we but a conglomerate of communities? Or a collection of 'many nations', as Jinnah had rather casually put it while describing India as a residue of communities. But certainly all this India is not and not because I say so, but because history affirms so, and we assert that as a nation we give equal rights, adding with justifiable pride to all citizens, also a common citizenship.
Then how, rather why did we then, also why do we now, confer selectively identified separative, religious, caste and community identities, thus effectively and functionally fragmenting that very unity of India about which we so proudly declaim everywhere?
For this support of affirmative action is for the needy, a helping hand of 'reservations', to assist in overcoming historical, social inequalities but we err gravely in perpetuating such politically misconceived social engineering.
After all, this was precisely Jinnah's central, and consistent, demand as the 'sole spokesman of Muslims'; for he, too, wanted the insurance of a specified ratio of representation for the Muslims in elective bodies and government jobs.
To this Gandhi had demurred, as had others at least to start with, but bewilderingly later, scrambled to competitively climb that very, ever lengthening ladder of slippery and divisive reservations. But this thought outstrips the chronology of our narrative of Jinnah's 'journey'. Let us reverse the gaze. It is ironical that amongst the great constitutionalists of those times, and there were several, Jinnah and Nehru became the principal promoters of 'special status for Muslims'; Jinnah, directly, Nehru, indirectly.
As all Indian citizens constitutionally were and are equal, then Jinnah by directly demanding a 'special' status for Muslims and Nehru through contesting Jinnah's right as their 'sole spokesman', became advocates of establishing different categories amongst Indian citizens. This approach arose, principally, because they were, both in effect, so deeply imbued by European thought, percepts and societal subscriptions that they, tragically, became far removed from the core of Indian cultural consciousness.
Then who, we wonder, remained to speak for a united India? Sadly, only Mahatma Gandhi. The cruel truth is that this partitioning of India has actually resulted in achieving the very reverse of the originally intended purpose; partition, instead of settling contention between communities has left us a legacy of markedly enhanced Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or other such denominational identities, hence differences.
Affirmative action, reservations for Muslims, other castes and communities unfortunately does not dissolve those identities; it heavily underscores them, waters their roots, perpetuating differences through the nutrient of self interest being poured constantly in separateness. Reservation results finally in compartmentalising society, hence ultimately in fragmenting national identity.
That is what 'special reservation' for Muslims in India did. But then, this is only a field sketch of the ground that was then traversed. What of the historical period of which we talk? The easy answer is that this 'period' lies broadly between and The trauma of the first, , was marked by a violent usurpation of the symbols of sovereignty of India by rough, freebooting traders from a foreign land. The essence and authority of Mughal India North India, broadly had admittedly begun to decline in the eighteenth century, but was a violent seizure.
And that is the backdrop against which we travel those defining four decades of the twentieth century; from the Simla delegation of to the Independence of India Act It is these four decades that transformed the very identity of the entire Indian subcontinent and in a very significant manner influenced events and issues globally, too.
The journey was from 'special reservations', which had a built-in bias in the arithmetic of democratic representation to finally, a vivisection of the land itself. I venture on this perilous path, to search, for I must know for myself; what happened? What brought out this great cataclysm of ? For an event of such transforming onsequences, clearly all cannot hold uniform views, diey are sharply vergent. A view widely held in India, for example, is that partition was a agedy - a vivisection' - and discussions in India therefore, tend to be focused upon identifying reasons and apportioning blame for this 'failure to maintain the unity of the subcontinent', as well as mitigating the terrible consequences of division.
With admirable detachment the blame is often laid at the feet of the Congress leaders: had they done this, or refrained from doing that, partition could have been avoided.
That, in essence, is also the genesis of both this search and the book proper: the conceptual canvas on which we work; the construct, however, of the book is even simpler, it has to be if we are to trace our journey through all those many challenges, the great climbs and the abysmal pitfalls of those epochal decades.
There is need to share a difficulty here. Is the present account, doubtless one amongst many of that trauma of a partitioning of India; is this account merely a recapitulation of those happenings; a linear narrative of events simply recounted?
A method that a friend from Scotland recently wrote to me about, explaining that the 'father of history', Herodotus, adopted: 'history as a systematically tested compilation of materials'. If he trusts historical information in its plain transmitted form and has no clear knowledge of the principles resulting from custom, the fundamental facts of politics, the nature of civilisation, or the conditions governing human social organisation, and if, furthermore, he does not evaluate remote or ancient material through comparison with near or contemporary material, he often cannot avoid stumbling and slipping and deviating from the path of truth.
Historians, Quran commentators and leading transmitters have committed frequent errors in the stories and events they reported. They accepted them in the plain transmitted form, without regard for its value.
They did not check them with the principles underlying such historical situations, nor did they compare them with similar material. Also, they did not probe with the yardstick of philosophy, with the help of knowledge of the nature of things, or with the help of speculation and historical insight.
Therefore, they strayed from the truth and found themselves lost in the desert of baseless assumptions and errors'. I accept that all accounts are subjective; they cannot be otherwise, after all, any account or interpretation of that searing period which forced a vivisection upon an ancient cultural unity - India - can hardly be shoe-horned into any a-priori determinations, theories or even claims of objectivity, neither in narrative, nor certainly in analysis or interpretation.
Why was this ancient entity broken: Why? That is the question that haunts us, as each viewer narrates what is seen and made out of that tragic kaleidoscope by him or her. Could the answer to this great and tormenting question, be found through any occidental philosophical determinations? I believe not. Then, is it to be found in a straight recapitulation of events? For unless we ourselves almost live in that period, and breathe those very contentions, join in the great debates of those years as participants, as closely as we can, not merely be ex post-facto narrators of events, or commentators upon past happenings, unless we do this very minimum we will fail to capture the passions of those times.
And without living those passions any commentary on that great oscillation of history through the jaundiced prisms of our respective viewpoints will be but a very sad parody of an epic tragedy. If an assertion of that highly questionable thesis that 'Muslims are a separate nation' led to the creation of Pakistan, then why did an integral part of that very 'Muslim nation', reject the notion in its entirety and separate, yet again, in violence, indescribable human suffering and death?
Why did Bangladesh opt out? This, we need to reflect upon, in some detail, but before that Islam's journey in India; how, also why, did that which grew in India opt for the 'smallness' of a separation from it? It makes a fascinating tapestry; this experience of Islam in India from invasion to accommodation, resulting in a kind of integrated assimilation, where, after fretting against that very oneness to then reject India, seek a separate Islamic nation, and finally, through a 'surgical' operation hurriedly settle for a 'moth-eaten Pakistan'?
How is it that the Indian subcontinent of an undivided India, home to more Muslims than, for example, the entire Middle East, did not become the global standard bearer of this noble faith choosing instead to be cut up?
Or, is it that during the course of almost a millennia and a half, 'Islam, Islamic traditions, and Muslims' became entirely indigenous; of and from this very soil; an undeniable part of this 'multi-layered, cultural sediment of the Indian subcontinent'?
And if that be correct then why and how did Mohammed Ali Jinnah assert, and more significantly why did we, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, that entire generation of Congress leaders accept this fallacious notion that 'Muslims and why in India alone? It is, of course self-evident that Islam is not, just as Christianity or Zoroastrianism are not indigenous to India, for born elsewhere Islam came to India wielding the evangelising sword of the invader, in consequence it arrived as an outsider and, at least initially, remained just that an alien faith.
But India is a cultural ocean, rivers of many faiths empty here; in that same vein Islam, too, is a part of those cultural layers, absorbed by what exists, mixing then with the rest to become an inseperable part of the marvel that is India. The problem lay, still does, in attempting to separate, to keep distinctly apart this one particular strata from India's foundational layer.
That foundation is Vedic, though some historians like to dispute this; whereafter comes the Indie, the indigenous. It is much later that the more recent layers of the Indo-Islamic or the Indo-Anglian come into reckoning. The late Girilal Jain has reasoned convincingly that 'Islam is a totality'. He has written to say: 'The modern mind just cannot comprehend Islam precisely because it is a totality. Islamic society is rooted in the religion of Islam; it is not the other way about.
The point needs to be heavily underscored that Islamic society is theocentric not theocratic'. The advent of Islam Muslims into India was in three broad waves, spread over almost eight centuries. Just about forty kilometres south of Karachi lies the now abandoned settlement of Banbhore, often asserted as the first port of Muhammad-bin-Qasim, though this is questioned.
It is believ the very first mosque in India was also built here in Banbhore. Th lies in ruins. On the other hand, Malabar Coast claims the disti of the first mosque, too, but the geneology of mosques in India central to our enquiry.
The forays of the Afghans and the Persian the next wave between the tenth and eleventh centuries AD, fo then by the Turkic-Mongol invasions between the twelfth and six centuries. From that very first invasion by Muhammad-bin-Qasim, any Arab stayed back in Hind, just as very few from amongst th Persian invaders like Nadir Shah did.
Of the Afghans and the Mi the Turkic-Mongols a similar conclusion cannot be drawn. Again, our principal concern is not a recounting of waves of invasions by Islamic forces, only a brief analysis of some c historiographical oddities of the period detains us here. The advent of Persianised Turks into India is routinely charactt by historians as 'Muslim conquest'.
This, to my mind, is an oddir to term this entire period from the thirteenth to the eighteenth cei as the 'Muslim era' is wrong, also, simplistic.
Principally, because is a significant conceptual and terminological error here, which the centuries has got embedded. Why do we not, for example, speak of a 'Christian conqi of America?
All that great pillage of pristine lands is never called 'Christian depredation'; why again? And here I cannot resist mentioning the obvious: How is it that British conquest granted, in stages of India is just 'British' and not 'Christian'?
It is this kind of standard historiographic practice or shorthand that has given birth to our fixations with such misleading phraseology, which is why this nagging question remains: Why make an exception in the case of Islam alone? And from where therefore, has this notion of an Islamic conquest of India found such a secure hold amongst the historians of India?
It has many damaging consequences, one of them eventually became Jinnah's assertion of being the champion of a separate 'nation' within India, hence wanting a different geographical space. This could be carved only from what existed in India, and that is what the invaders the British finally did in But we move, too fast, again.
This attitude can be traced to the beginnings of the Turkish rule, an ironic oddity being that even as the Delhi Sultanates were consolidating their hold here,8 the land of the birth of Islam was itself then being subjected to devastating Mongol invasions.
That titanic Mongol energy and the ferocity of their invasions uprooted many Persianised Turks from their homelands in Iran and Central Asia, driving several of them towards Hindustan where they sought refuge, found sanctuary, often service in those still new Sultanates of Delhi.
This effectively questioned not just the principal symbol of Islamic authority but also its institutions, ecclesiastical and temporal. Many of the traumatised escapees carried with them vivid memories of the inhuman ferocity of the Turkic-Mongol destructions.
Which is why having found in this adopted homeland, Hindustan, a sanctuary the shelter itself became a focus of their remaining Islamic world. Thereafter, these elite administrators, men of arms and of letters then began to equate habitually the impress of Muslim presence in Hind with both sovereignty and with Islam itself.
For then that latent nationalism, call it Indian or Bharatiya or Hindu or whatever you will, began to assert itself. That was also, roughly the time that Al Beruni came to this land to Hind, as part student, part refugee, complaining that 'the Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs.
They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid. They are by nature niggardly in communicating that which they know, and they take the greatest possible care to withhold it from men of another caste among their own people, still much more, of course, from any foreigner'. Little wonder that thereafter this separation of the invader from the invaded, Muslim from the Hindu began to permeate our social consciousness and fabric.
There has then to be taken note of Hindustan's approach to such emigrants, invaders or refugees, and how they were ordinarily referred to; for the phraseology of such reference always conveys, as effectively now as it did then, either acceptance, rejection or a kind of tolerant indifference: to illustrate 'Paki', 'nigger', 'Hun', 'chink' or whatever.
From the eighth to the fourteenth centuries, reference to these aliens was not so much by their religion, as by their linguistic or national identity, for example, more typically, and more often as Turks Turuska , Khorasani, or Irani or Arab, etc; or then as maleccha, an outsider, an alien.
This word was not originally a pejorative term of rejection, it came to be so considered [interpreted] only much later.
Despite this and whatever medieval IndoPersian chroniclers might have recorded, their contemporary Hindus did not regard the religious faith or traditions of the new comers as sufficiently remarkable to warrant identifying them solely by their faith, or only as Muslims. Rather, they were accommodated as just another alien group that had arrived in India, some to invade others to shelter. On a somewhat autobiographical note, in my own childhood more often than not the word used for the identification of a Muslim visitor, from distant parts to our home was 'a Turk has come to visit'.
That is why this question becomes central, if the Hindus did not always categorise the occurrence of such invasions as purely Islamic conquests, or a Muslim as only that, then how and why did all these categories, all identified by faith alone, as 'Muslim', become the defining term of use for historians in the colonial and the post-colonial era?
I do not have an answer to this, nor a definitive answer to another question that surfaces: Is not Indian historiography, therefore, at least in part responsible for creating a mindset of separateness, and that, too, only from Islam, or fixedly as Hindus and Muslims?
I find that orientalist scholars, colonial administrators, religious reformers, even 'nationalist' historians, have laboured strenuously to first establish, and then perpetuate, such dichotomies by distinguishing between the foreign and indigenous only in terms of faith and that, too, almost entirely in respect of Muslims and Hindus alone, never for example Christian, and always projecting the current identity backwards in time.
Lloyd Rudolph, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, has observed that 'assuming the existence of a contemporary concept or institution such as a "nation" and reading it back in historical time, say INDIA AND ISLAM 17 whether invader, refugee or resident, a non-believer, that is a Hindu, was a 'kafir', for he was not of the faith.
He cites Benedict Anderson's phrase11 'Imagined communities', reasoning that personalities, like Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Jinnah, in reality also first 'imagined' a Muslim community and then Muslims and nation in India.
It is Benedict Anderson who 'opened up the idea that nationalism is constructed, contested and changing. He did a lot to bury the notion that there is an essential or natural, or primordial community, identity or nation', in which sense 'from music to food to dress, what is "national" or "ethnic" or Muslim In the case of Islam, for instance, scholars focused on seventh century Arabia to describe Islam's essential qualities, value systems and nature.
This is understandable, but only upto a point.