First Governor-General of Pakistan
Born: 25 December 1876
Profession: Lawyer,Governor-General of Pakistan
Affiliation(s): All India Muslim League (1913–1947)
Father: Jinnah Poonja. One of eight children. Married Emibai in 1892 (she died 1893). Married Ratanbai ‘Ruttie’ Petit, daughter of Sir Dinshaw Petit, a wealthy Bombay Parsee, in 1918. Ruttie died in 1929. Daughter: Dina Wadia (married to Neville Wadia, a Christian).
- Sindh Madrasstul Islam, Karachi
- Gokal Das Tej Pal School, Bombay
- Christian Missionary Society High School, Karachi, 1891
- Bar-at-Law, Lincoln’s Inn, London, 1895
- POSITIONS HELD
- Legal practice, Bombay, 1897
- Imperial Legislative Council, 1910-1919
- Elected member of All-India Muslim League, 1915
- Participates in Round Table Conference(s), 1930
- (Settles in London, 1931-34)
- President, League’s Lucknow Session, 1937
- President, League’s Lahore Session; ‘Lahore Resolution’ adopted, 1940
- Pakistan’s first Governor-General, 1947
Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born on 25th December 1876 at Vazeer Mansion Karachi, was the first of seven children of Jinnah bhai, a prosperous merchant. After being taught at home, Jinnah was sent to the Sindh Madrasah High School in 1887. Later he attended the Mission High School, where, at the age of 16, he passed the matriculation examination of the University of Bombay. On the advice of an English friend, his father decided to send him to England to acquire business experience. Jinnah, however, had made up his mind to become a barrister. In keeping with the custom of the time, his parents arranged for an early marriage for him before he left for England.
In London he joined Lincoln’s Inn, one of the legal societies that prepared students for the bar. In 1895, at the age of 19, he was called to the bar. While in London Jinnah suffered two severe bereavements–the deaths of his wife and his mother. Nevertheless, he completed his formal studies and also made a study of the British political system, frequently visiting the House of Commons. He was greatly influenced by the liberalism of William E. Gladstone, who had become prime minister for the fourth time in 1892, the year of Jinnah’s arrival in London. Jinnah also took a keen interest in the affairs of India and in Indian students. When the Parsi leader Dada bhai Naoroji, a leading Indian nationalist, ran for the English Parliament, Jinnah and other Indian students worked day and night for him. Their efforts were crowned with success, and Naoroji became the first Indian to sit in the House of Commons.
When Jinnah returned to Karachi in 1896, he found that his father’s business had suffered losses and that he now had to depend on himself. He decided to start his legal practice in Bombay, but it took him years of work to establish himself as a lawyer.
It was nearly 10 years later that he turned toward active politics. A man without hobbies, his interest became divided between law and politics. Nor was he a religious zealot: he was a Muslim in a broad sense and had little to do with sects. His interest in women was also limited to Ruttenbai, the daughter of Sir Dinshaw Petit, a Bombay Parsi millionaire–whom he married over tremendous opposition from her parents and others. The marriage proved an unhappy one. It was his sister Fatima who gave him solace and company.
Entry into politics
Jinnah first entered politics by participating in the 1906 Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress, the party that called for dominion status and later for independence for India. Four years later he was elected to the Imperial Legislative Council–the beginning of a long and distinguished parliamentary career. In Bombay he came to know, among other important Congress personalities, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, the eminent Maratha leader. Greatly influenced by these nationalist politicians, Jinnah aspired during the early part of his political life to become “a Muslim Gokhale.” Admiration for British political institutions and an eagerness to raise the status of India in the international community and to develop a sense of Indian nationhood among the peoples of India were the chief elements of his politics. At that time, he still looked upon Muslim interests in the context of Indian nationalism.
But, by the beginning of the 20th century, the conviction had been growing among the Muslims that their interests demanded the preservation of their separate identity rather than amalgamation in the Indian nation that would for all practical purposes be Hindu. Largely to safeguard Muslim interests, the All-India Muslim League was founded in 1906. But Jinnah remained aloof from it. Only in 1913, when authoritatively assured that the league was as devoted as the Congress to the political emancipation of India, did Jinnah join the league. When the Indian Home Rule League was formed, he became its chief organizer in Bombay and was elected president of the Bombay branch.
“Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity.” Jinnah’s endeavors to bring about the political union of Hindus and Muslims earned him the title of “the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity,” an epithet coined by Gokhale.
It was largely through his efforts that the Congress and the Muslim League began to hold their annual sessions jointly, to facilitate mutual consultation and participation. In 1915 the two organizations held their meetings in Bombay and in 1916 in Lucknow, where the Lucknow Pact was concluded. Under the terms of the pact, the two organizations put their seal to a scheme of constitutional reform that became their joint demand vis-à-vis the British government. There was a good deal of give and take, but the Muslims obtained one important concession in the shape of separate electorates, already conceded to them by the government in 1909 but hitherto resisted by the Congress Meanwhile, a new force in Indian politics had appeared in the person of Mohan Das K. Gandhi. Both he Home Rule League and the Indian National Congress had come under his sway. Opposed to Gandhi’s Non-co-operation Movement and his essentially Hindu approach to politics, Jinnah left both the League and the Congress in 1920. For a few years he kept himself aloof from the main political movements. He continued to be a firm believer in Hindu-Muslim unity and constitutional methods for the achievement of political ends. After his withdrawal from the Congress, he used the Muslim League platform for the propagation of his views. But during the 1920s the Muslim League, and with it Jinnah, had been overshadowed by the Congress and the religiously oriented Muslim Khilafat committee.
When the failure of the Non-co-operation Movement and the emergence of Hindu revivalist movements led to antagonism and riots between the Hindus and Muslims, the league gradually began to come into its own. Jinnah’s problem during the following years was to convert the league into an enlightened political body prepared to co-operate with other organizations working for the good of India. In addition, he had to convince the Congress, as a prerequisite for political progress, of the necessity of settling the Hindu-Muslim conflict.
To bring about such a rapprochement was Jinnah’s chief purpose during the late 1920s and early 1930s. He worked toward this end within the legislative assembly, at the Round Table Conferences in London (1930-32), and through his 14 points, which included proposals for a federal form of government, greater rights for minorities, one-third representation for Muslims in the central legislature, separation of the predominantly Muslim Sindh region from the rest of the Bombay province, and the introduction of reforms in the north-west Frontier Province. But he failed. His failure to bring about even minor amendments in the Nehru Committee proposals (1928) over the question of separate electorates and reservation of seats for Muslims in the legislatures frustrated him. He found himself in a peculiar position at this time; many Muslims thought that he was too nationalistic in his policy and that Muslim interests were not safe in his hands, while the Indian National Congress would not even meet the moderate Muslim demands halfway. Indeed, the Muslim League was a house divided against itself. The Punjab Muslim League repudiated Jinnah’s leadership and organized itself separately. In disgust, Jinnah decided to settle in England. From 1930 to 1935 he remained in London, devoting himself to practice before the Privy Council. But when constitutional changes were in the offing, he was persuaded to return home to head a reconstituted Muslim League.
Soon preparations started for the elections under the Government of India Act of 1935. Jinnah was still thinking in terms of co-operation between the Muslim League and the Hindu Congress and with coalition governments in the provinces. But the elections of 1937 proved to be a turning point in the relations between the two organizations The Congress obtained an absolute majority in six provinces, and the league did not do particularly well. The Congress decided not to include the league in the formation of provincial governments, and exclusive all-Congress governments were.
Jinnah had originally been dubious about the practicability of Pakistan, an idea that Sir Muhammad Iqbal had propounded to the Muslim League conference of 1930; but before long he became convinced that a Muslim homeland on the Indian subcontinent was the only way of safeguarding Muslim interests and the Muslim way of life. It was not religious persecution that he feared so much as the future exclusion of Muslims from all prospects of advancement within India as soon as power became vested in the close-knit structure of Hindu social organization. To guard against this danger he carried on a nation-wide campaign to warn his coreligionists of the perils of their position, and he converted the Muslim League into a powerful instrument for unifying the Muslims into a nation.
The Creator of Pakistan
At this point, Jinnah emerged as the leader of a renascent Muslim nation. Events began to move fast. On March 22-23, 1940, in Lahore, the league adopted a resolution to form a separate Muslim state, Pakistan. The Pakistan idea was first ridiculed and then tenaciously opposed by the Congress. But it captured the imagination of the Muslims. Pitted against Jinnah were men of the stature of Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. And the British government seemed to be intent on maintaining the political unity of the Indian subcontinent. But Jinnah led his movement with such skill and tenacity that ultimately both the Congress and the British government had no option but to agree to the partitioning of India. Pakistan thus emerged as an independent state in 14th August, 1947.
Jinnah became the first head of the new state i.e. Pakistan. He took oath as the first governor general on August 15, 1947. Faced with the serious problems of a young nation, he tackled Pakistan’s problems with authority.
He was not regarded as merely the governor-general; he was revered as the father of the nation. He worked hard until overpowered by age and disease in Karachi. He died on 11th September 1948 at Karachi.
FIRST LEADER OF A NEWLY BORN STATE
In recognition of his singular contribution, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was nominated by the Muslim League as the Governor-General of Pakistan, while the Congress appointed Mountbatten as India’s first Governor-General. Pakistan, it has been truly said, was born in virtual chaos. Indeed, few nations in the world have started on their career with less resourcesand in more treacherous circumstances. The new nation did not inherit a central government, a capital, an administrative core,or an organized defense force. Its social and administrative resources were poor;there was little equipment and still less statistics. The Punjab holocaust had left vast areas in a shambles with communications disrupted. This, alongwith the en masse migration of the Hindu and Sikh business and managerial classes, left the economy almost shattered.
The treasury was empty, India having denied Pakistan the major share of its cash balances.On top of all this, the still unorganized nation was called upon to feed some eight million refugees who had fled the insecurities and barbarities of the north Indian plains that long, hot summer. If all this was symptomatic of Pakistan’s administrative and economic weakness, the Indian annexation, through military action in November 1947, of Junagadh (which had originally acceded to Pakistan) and the Kashmir war over the State’s accession (October 1947-December 1948) exposed her military weakness. In the circumstances, therefore, it was nothing short of a miracle that Pakistan survived at all. That it survived and forged ahead was mainly due to one man-Mohammed Ali Jinnah. The nation desperately needed in the person of a charismatic leader at that critical juncture in the nation’s history, and he fulfilled that need profoundly. After all, he was more than a mere Governor-General: he was the Quaid-e-Azam who had brought the State into being.
In the ultimate analysis, his very presence at the helm of affairs was responsible for enabling the newly born nation to overcome the terrible crisis on the morrow of its cataclysmic birth. He mustered up the immense prestige and the unquestioning loyalty he commanded among the people to energize them, to raise their morale, land directed the profound feelings of patriotism that the freedom had generated, along constructive channels. Though tired and in poor health, Jinnah yet carried the heaviest part of the burden in that first crucial year. He laid down the policies of the new state, called attention to the immediate problems confronting the nation and told the members of the Constituent Assembly, the civil servants and the Armed Forces what to do and what the nation expected of them. He saw to it that law and order was maintained at all costs, despite the provocation that the large-scale riots in north India had provided. He moved from Karachi to Lahore for a while and supervised the immediate refugee problem in the Punjab. In a time of fierce excitement, he remained sober, cool and steady. He advised his excited audience in Lahore to concentrate on helping the refugees,to avoid retaliation, exercise restraint and protect the minorities. He assured the minorities of a fair deal, assuaged their inured sentiments, and gave them hope and comfort. He toured the various provinces, attended to their particular problems and instilled in the people a sense of belonging. He reversed the British policy in the North-West Frontier and ordered the withdrawal of the troops from the tribal territory of Waziristan, thereby making the Pathans feel themselves an integral part of Pakistan’s body-politics. He created a new Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, and assumed responsibility for ushering in a new era in Balochistan. He settled the controversial question of the states of Karachi, secured the accession of States, especially of Kalat which seemed problematical and carried on negotiations with Lord Mountbatten for the settlement of the Kashmir Issue.
MESSAGE OF JINNAH
It was, therefore, with a sense of supreme satisfaction at the fulfillment of his mission that Jinnah told the nation in his last message on 14 August, 1948: “The foundations of your State have been laid and it is now for you to build and build as quickly and as well as you can”. In accomplishing the task he had taken upon himself on the morrow of Pakistan’s birth, Jinnah had worked himself to death, but he had, to quote Richard Simons, “contributed more than any other man to Pakistan’s survival”. He died on 11 September, 1948. How true was Lord Pethick Lawrence, the former Secretary of State for India, when he said, “Gandhi died by the hands of an assassin; Jinnah died by his devotion to Pakistan”.
The Agha Khan considered him “the greatest man he ever met”, Beverley Nichols, the author of `Verdict on India’, called him “the most important man in Asia”, and Dr. Kailashnath Katju, the West Bengal Governor in 1948, thought of him as “an outstanding figure of this century not only in India, but in the whole world”. While Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, called him “one of the greatest leaders in the Muslim world”, the Grand Mufti of Palestine considered his death as a “great loss” to the entire world of Islam. It was, however, given to Surat Chandra Bose, leader of the Forward Bloc wing of the Indian National Congress, to sum up succinctly his personal and political achievements. “Mr. Jinnah”,he said on his death in 1948, “was great as a lawyer, once great as a Congressman, great as a leader of Muslims, great as a world politician and diplomat, and greatest of all as a man of action, By Mr. Jinnah’s passing away, the world has lost one of the greatest statesmen and Pakistan its life-giver, philosopher and guide”. Such was Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the man and his mission, such the range of his accomplishments and achievements.
The Great 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. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three! For any Pakistani these words are carved in pride.
Ehed- The Promise by JINNAH
The Ehed we made to Allah The Greatest Sustainer when Pakistan was miraculously carved out for the Ummah; now is the time to fulfil that pledge. Do not despair and hold on to your Ideology (Islam) and Identity (Pakistan). Show the world that Pakistan is beacon of hope for the whole of humanity. Prove your worth by being the best in all fields of life. Get the highest education in Religion, Science and Technology and use your skills to benefit mankind… Khair is coming our way InshAllah. Pakistan Paendabad!
Pakistan should be based on pure Islamic Socialism!!! by Quaid-e-Azam (r.a) in Original Voice
Here is a direct response by Quaid-e-Azam (r.a) to SAFMA and other pro-Secularism entities in the Pakistani Media. Let us now decisively destroy the secularist movement in Pakistan as our founding father Baba Jinnah r.a wanted us to do. Jinnah’s Pakistan cannot be secular as he describes it beautifully here in his own words.