Jaswant calls Jinnah 'great Indian', blames Nehru for partition

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Daredevil, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Its high time Mr. Jaswant Singh get his head checked. He is peddling blatant lies and doing our nation a great disservice.:(:)2guns:

    Jaswant calls Jinnah 'great Indian', blames Nehru for partition

    Walking in the footsteps of party senior LK Advani, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh has called Pakistan's founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah "a great Indian", saying he was "demonised".

    In an interview to CNN-IBN channel, the former external affairs minister blamed India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the partition.

    "Nehru believed in a highly centralised polity. That's what he wanted India to be. Jinnah wanted a federal polity. That even Gandhi accepted. Nehru didn't. Consistently, he stood in the way of a federal India until 1947 when it became a partitioned India," Jaswant Singh told Karan Thapar in Devil's Advocate, which will be aired on CNN-IBN on Sunday and Monday.

    Jaswant Singh strongly contested the popular Indian view that Jinnah was the villain of the 1947 partition or the man principally responsible for it. Asked if he thought this view was wrong, Jaswant Singh said: "It is. It is not borne out of the facts... we need to correct it."

    "I think we have misunderstood him because we needed to create a demon... We needed a demon because in the 20th century the most telling event in the subcontinent was the partition of the country," Singh said.

    His praise for Jinnah comes ahead of the BJP's three-day 'Chintan Baithak' (brainstorming session) to begin in Shimla on Aug 19.

    The BJP has also been maintaining that it has not changed its resolution on Jinnah that was adopted in 2005 against the backdrop of Advani's visit to Pakistan and his comments appreciating Jinnah.

    Jaswant Singh, whose biography on Jinnah would be released on Monday, said he did not subscribe to the popular demonization of Jinnah and said he was attracted by the personality of the Pakistani leader.

    "Of course I don't (subscribe to the popular demonization of Jinnah). To that I don't subscribe. I was attracted by the personality which has resulted in a book. If I was not drawn to the personality I wouldn't have written the book. It's an intricate, complex personality, of great character, determination," Singh said.

    Jaswant Singh also questioned the wisdom of Indians who hesitated to call Jinnah a great Indian.

    Asked if he views Jinnah as a great man, he said: "Oh yes, because he created something out of nothing and single handedly stood against the might of the Congress Party and against the British who didn't really like him ... Gandhi himself called Jinnah a great Indian. Why don't we recognize that? Why don't we see (and try to understand) why he called him that?"

    He said Jinnah was a nationalist leader. "He fought the British for an independent India but also fought resolutely and relentlessly for the interest of Muslims of India... the acme of his nationalistic achievement was the 1916 Lucknow Pact of Hindu-Muslim unity," he said.

    "I admire certain aspects of his personality. His determination and the will to rise. He was a self-made man. Mahatma Gandhi was the son of a Diwan. All these (people) - Nehru and others - were born to wealth and position. Jinnah created for himself a position. He carved in Bombay, a metropolitan city, a position for himself. He was so poor he had to walk to work... he told one of his biographers there was always room at the top but there's no lift. And he never sought a lift," Singh said.
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Get the message loud and clear. He wants to sell his BOOK!!!
     
  4. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, Jinnah definitely certainly didn't fight the British for an Independent India. What a blatant lie.
     
  5. Indianrabbit

    Indianrabbit Regular Member

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    I agree to some of his findings. The people of south east asia are generally blind followers ( followers of Mayawati and Sahabuddine etc keep voting for them even when it is know they are corrupt good for nothing politicians). I feel Jinnah was a great leader too and we should respect his contribution as well. As per as whatever I have read he was quit knowledgeable and hard working. I also feel that between Hindus and Muslims a lot of myth and miscommunication is there which leads to tension. We should work to clear the myths.
     
  6. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Please tell me about his great leadership skills and what he contributed for Indian Independence movement. AFAIK, he has not even served one day of Jail while many of our leaders have resisted british rule and served jail in the process.
     
  7. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    How many of you have read Jaswant Singh's book and how many are commenting on Media reports? Today I watched Jaswant Singh interview with Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate. What he was telling is only Jinnah can’t be blamed for partition. He was not blaming anybody. These are his personal views, you can agree or disagree with him.
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    People don't get your blood pressure high. Like I said before, he is just creating controversy to sell his book. It's a common practice to do so. Cricket coaches criticize top players to sell their books, dictators write memoirs while in office and say things that contradict or indict them just to sell their books.
     
  9. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    british gave them a separate nation as a gift for their gratitude towards british and many leaders fought hard to gain independence but jinnah just grabed one separate nation after achieving independence
     
  10. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    If you are really intrested to know about partition of India and the double standard of Jawaharlal Nehru kindly go through the following link.
    LINK

    I am neither defending Jaswant Singh nor I have a great idea about the real circumstance of our partition. I will provide you a lots of other links if you want.
    regards
    NSG.
     
  11. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I'm not saying JLN is not responsible for partition but saying Jinnah not responsible for partition is blatant lie.
     
  12. Bhagat Singh

    Bhagat Singh Regular Member

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    I hold Jinnah and Nehru both responsible for dividing India. How can few people be allowed to decide fate of millions, destroying their lives and their property. India has never recovered from it and it never will. I cannot forgive Pakistan Muslims who took advantage when end was in sight.

    Jinnah was not a great leader. He never gave up any property, lived a life of luxury and was opportunistic. He used other weaknesses to gain advantage. Why did he not die few months earlier...we should have been spared all this.

    Nehru lived in Gandhi's shadow during the independence struggle. He should not been allowed to lead the country in its early years. I though somebody like Sardar Patel would have been right choice.
     
  13. Fighter

    Fighter Regular Member

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    Jaswant Singh sure have some good points.
     
  14. Fighter

    Fighter Regular Member

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    Get over it .
    Its history.
     
  15. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    You dont have to be a political figure to have good points...! Common people can have too. Interested to listen to them?
     
  16. Fighter

    Fighter Regular Member

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    Yeah like me. :D .
    I am listening.
     
  17. MMuthu

    MMuthu Regular Member

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    Ya, Listen well to the Indian Politicians, they will build Castle in the Sun for you.
     
  18. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Nothing left for me to write; He was the one who took bag full of dollars to give ransom to kandahar hijackers personally, O yea hell ! he can do any thing to get some media exposures, specially now when BJP is badly crushed in last elections.
    If you can ever heard any nonsensical media comment it is always from BJP and its sister concerns. i have heard his statements during when he was FA minister; full of irrelevancies.
    over and out.
     
  19. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Monday sees the publication of a biography of Mohammed Ali Jinnah which challenges the way we in India have seen the founder of Pakistan. It reassess Nehru's role in Partition, it sheds fresh light on the relationship between the Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah.


    Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh’s book is likely to attract considerable attention and may be even a fair amount of controversy. Karan Thapar, in a special two-part interview with the author, discusses the book with Singh, a former defence, foreign and finance minister of India and also a former soldier.


    Karan Thapar: Mr Jaswant Singh, let's start by establishing how you as the author view Mohammed Ali Jinnah? After reading your book, I get the feeling that you don't subscribe to the popular demonisation of the man.


    Jaswant Singh: Of course, I don't. To that I don’t subscribe. I was attracted by the personality which has resulted in a book. If I wasn't drawn to the personality, I wouldn't have written the book. It's an intricate, complex personality of great character, determination.


    Karan Thapar: And it's a personality that you found quite attractive?


    Part II Gandhi, Jinnah both failed: Jaswant


    Jaswant Singh: Naturally, otherwise, I wouldn't have ventured down the book. I found the personality sufficiently attractive to go and research it for five years. And I was drawn to it, yes.


    Karan Thapar: As a politician, Jinnah joined the Congress party long before he joined the Muslim League and in fact when he joined the Muslim League, he issued a statement to say that this in no way implies “even the shadow of disloyalty to the national cause”.


    Would you say that in the 20s and 30s and may be even the early years of the 40s, Jinnah was a nationalist?


    Jaswant Singh: Actually speaking the acme of his nationalistic achievement was the 1916 Lucknow Pact of Hindu-Muslim unity and that's why Gopal Krishna Gokhale called him the Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity.


    Karan Thapar: In your assessment as his biographer, for most if not the predominant part of his life, Jinnah was a nationalist.


    Jaswant Singh: Oh, yes. He fought the British for an independent India but he also fought resolutely and relentlessly for the interest of the Muslims of India.


    Karan Thapar: Was Jinnah secular or was he communal?


    Jaswant Singh: It depends on the way you view the word 'secular' because I don't know whether secular is really fully applicable to a country like India. It's a word borne of the socio-historical and religious history of Western Europe.


    Karan Thapar: Let me put it like this. Many people believe that Jinnah hated Hindus and that he was a Hindu basher.


    Jaswant Singh: Wrong, totally wrong. That certainly he was not. His principal disagreement was with the Congress party. Repeatedly he says and he says this even in his last statements to the press and to the constituent Assembly of Pakistan.


    Karan Thapar: So his problem was with Congress and with some Congress leaders but he had no problem with Hindus.


    Jaswant Singh: No, he had no problems whatsoever with the Hindus. Because he was not in that sense, until in the later part of his years, he became exactly what he charged Mahatma Gandhi with. He had charged Mahatma Gandhi of being a demagogue.


    Karan Thapar: He became one as well?


    Jaswant Singh: That was the most flattering way of emulating Gandhi. I refer of course to the Calcutta killings.


    Karan Thapar: As you look back on Jinnah's life, would you say that he was a great man?


    Jaswant Singh: Oh yes, because he created something out of nothing and single-handedly he stood up against the might of the Congress party and against the British who didn't really like him.


    Karan Thapar: So you are saying to me he was a great man?


    Jaswant Singh: But I am saying so.


    Karan Thapar:Let me put it like this. Do you admire Jinnah?


    Jaswant Singh: I admire certain aspects of his personality: his determination and the will to rise. He was a self-made man--Mahatma Gandhi was a son of a Dewan.


    Karan Thapar: Nehru was born to great wealth.


    Jaswant Singh: All of them were born to wealth and position, Jinnah created for himself a position. He carved out in Bombay a position in that cosmopolitan city being what he was, poor. He was so poor he had to walk to work. He lived in a hotel called Watsons in Bombay and he told one of the biographers that there's always room at the top but there is no lift and he never sought a lift.


    Karan Thapar: Do you admire the way he created success for himself, born to poverty but he ended up successful, rich?


    Jaswant Singh: I would admire that in any man, self-made man, who resolutely worked towards achieving what he had set out to.




    Karan Thapar: How seriously has India misunderstood Jinnah?


    Jaswant Singh: I think we misunderstood because we needed to create a demon.


    Karan Thapar: We needed a demon and he was the convenient scapegoat?


    Jaswant Singh: I don't know if he was convenient. We needed a demon because in the 20th century the most telling event in the entire subcontinent was the partition of the country.


    Karan Thapar: I’ll come to that in a moment but first the critical question that your book raises is that how is it that the man, considered as the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity in 1916 had transformed 30 years later by 1947 into the 'Qaid-e-Azam' of Pakistan?


    And your book suggests that underlying this was Congress' repeated inability to accept that Muslims feared domination by Hindus and that they wanted “space” in “a reassuring system”.


    Jaswant Singh: Here is the central contest between minoritism and majoritarianism. With the loss of the Mughal empire, the Muslims of India had lost power but majoritarianism didn't begin to influence them until 1947. Then they saw that unless they had a voice in their own political, economical and social destiny, they would be obliterated. That is the beginning. That is still the purpose.


    Karan Thapar: Let me ask you this. Was Jinnah's fear or anxiety about Congress majoritarianism justified or understandable? Your book in its account of how Congress refused to form a government with the League in UP in 1937 after fighting the elections in alliance with that party, suggests that Jinnah's fears were substantial and real.


    Jaswant Singh: Yes. You have to go not just to 1937, which you just cited. See other examples. In the 1946 elections, Jinnah's Muslim League wins all the Muslim seats and yet they do not have sufficient number to be in office because the Congress party has, even without a single Muslim, enough to form a government and they are outside of the government. So it was realised that simply contesting election was not enough.


    Karan Thapar: They needed certain assurances within the system to give them that space?


    Jaswant Singh : That’s right. And those assurances amounted to reservation, which I dispute frankly. Reservations went from 25 per cent to 33 per cent. And then from reservation that became parity, of being on equal terms. Parity to Partition.


    Karan Thapar : All of this was search for space?


    Jaswant Singh: All of this was a search for some kind of autonomy of decision making in their own social and economic destiny.


    Karan Thapar: Your book reveals how people like Gandhi, Rajagopalachari and Azad could understand the Jinnah or the Muslim fear of Congress majoritarianism but Nehru simply couldn't understand. Was Nehru insensitive to this?


    Jaswant Singh: No, he wasn't. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a deeply sensitive man.


    Karan Thapar: But why couldn't he understand?


    Jaswant Singh: He was deeply influenced by Western and European socialist thought of those days. For example dominion status would have given virtual independence to India in the 20s (but Nehru shot it down).


    Karan Thapar: In other words, Nehru's political thinking and his commitment to Western socialist thought meant that he couldn't understand Jinnah's concerns about majoritarianism? Nehru was a centralist, Jinnah was a decentraliser?


    Jaswant Singh: That's right. That is exactly (the point). Nehru believed in a highly centralised polity. That's what he wanted India to be. Jinnah wanted a federal polity.


    Karan Thapar: Because that would give Muslims the space?


    Jaswant Singh: That even Gandhi also accepted.


    Karan Thapar: But Nehru couldn't.


    Jaswant Singh: Nehru didn't.


    Karan Thapar: He refused to?


    Jaswant Singh: Well, consistently, he stood in the way of a federal India until 1947 when it became a partitioned India.


    Karan Thapar: In fact, the conclusion of your book is that if Congress could have accepted a decentralised federal India, then a united India, as you put it, “was clearly ours to attain”. You add that the problem was that this was in “an anathema to Nehru's centralising approach and policies”.


    Do you see Nehru at least as responsible for Partition as Jinnah?


    Jaswant Singh: I think he says it himself. He recognised it and his correspondence, for example with late Nawab Sahab of Bhopal, his official biographer and others. His letters to the late Nawab Sahab of Bhopal are very moving letters.


    Karan Thapar: You are saying Nehru recognised that he was as much of an obstacle.


    Jaswant Singh: No, he recognised his mistakes afterwards.


    Karan Thapar: Afterwards?


    Jaswant Singh: Afterwards.


    Karan Thapar: Today, Nehru's heirs and party will find it very surprising that you think that Nehru was as responsible for Partition as Jinnah.


    Jaswant Singh: I am not blaming anybody. I’m not assigning blame. I am simply recording what I have found as the development of issues and events of that period.




    Karan Thapar: When Indians turn around and say that Jinnah was, to use a colloquialism, the villain of Partition, your answer is that there were many people responsible and to single out Jinnah, as the only person or as the principal person, is both factually wrong and unfair?


    Jaswant Singh: It is. It is not borne out of events. Go to the last All India Congress Committee meeting in Delhi in the June of 1947 to discuss and accept the June 3, 1947 resolution. Nehru-Patel’s resolution was defeated by the Congress, supported by Gandhi in the defeat.


    Ram Manohar Lohia had moved the amendment. It was a very moving intervention by Ram Manohar Lohia and then Gandhi finally said we must accept this Partition. Partition is a very painful event. It is very easy to assign blame but very difficult thereafter. Because all events that we are judging are ex post facto.


    Karan Thapar: Absolutely, and what your book does is to shed light in terms of a new assessment of Partition and the responsibility of the different players. And in that re-assessment, you have balanced differently between Jinnah and Nehru?


    Jaswant Singh: All vision which is ex post facto is 20/20. It is when you actually live the event.


    Karan Thapar: Quite right. Those who have lived it would have seen it differently but today, with the benefit of hindsight, you can say that Jinnah wasn't the only or the principal villain and the Indian impression that he was is mistaken and wrong?


    Jaswant Singh: And we need to correct it.


    Karan Thapar: Let's turn to Jinnah and Pakistan. Your book shows that right through the 20s and the 30s, or may be even the early years of the 40s, Pakistan for Jinnah was more of a political strategy, less of a target and a goal. Did he consciously, from the very start, seek to dismember and divide India?


    Jaswant Singh: I don't think it was dismemberment. He wanted space for the Muslims. And he could just not define Pakistan ever. Geographically, it was a vague idea. That's why ultimately it became a moth-eaten Pakistan. He had ideas about certain provinces which must be Islamic and one-third of the seats in the Central legislature must be Muslims.


    Karan Thapar: So Pakistan was in fact a way of finding, as you call it, 'space' for Muslims?


    Jaswant Singh: He wanted space in the Central legislature and in the provinces and protection of the minorities so that the Muslims could have a say in their own political, economic and social destiny.


    Karan Thapar: And that was his primary concern, not dividing India or breaking up the country?


    Jaswant Singh: No. He in fact went to the extent of saying that let there be a Pakistan within India.


    Karan Thapar: A Pakistan within India was acceptable to him?


    Jaswant Singh: Yes.


    Karan Thapar: So in other words, Pakistan was often 'code' for space for Muslims?


    Jaswant Singh:That's right. From what I have written, I find that it was a negotiating tactic because he wanted certain provinces to be with the Muslim League. He wanted a certain percentage (of seats) in the Central legislature. If he had that, there would not have been a partition.


    Karan Thapar: Would you therefore say that when people turn around and say that Jinnah was communal, he was a Hindu hater, a Hindu basher that they are mistaken and wrong?


    Jaswant Singh: He was not a Hindu hater but he had great animosity with the Congress party and Congress leadership. He said so repeatedly: I have no enmity against the Hindu.


    Karan Thapar: Do you as an author believe him when he said so?


    Jaswant Singh: I don't live in the same time as him. I go by what his contemporaries have said, I go by what he himself says and I reproduce it.


    Karan Thapar: Let's come again to this business of using Pakistan to create space for Muslims. Your book shows how repeatedly people like Rajagopalachari, Gandhi and Azad were understanding of the Jinnah need or the Muslim need for space. Nehru wasn't. Nehru had a European-inherited centralised vision of how India should be run. In a sense was Nehru's vision of a centralised India, a problem that eventually led to partition?


    Jaswant Singh: Jawaharlal Nehru was not always that. He became that after his European tour of the 20s. Then he came back imbued with, as Madhu Limaye puts it, 'spirit of socialism' and he was all for highly centralised India.


    Karan Thapar: And a highly centralized India denied the space Jinnah wanted.


    Jaswant Singh: A highly centralised India meant that the dominant party was the Congress party. He (Nehru) in fact said there are only two powers in India -- the Congress party and the British.




    Karan Thapar: That attitude in a sense left no room for Jinnah and the Muslim League in India?


    Jaswant Singh: That is what made Jinnah repeatedly say but there is a third force -- we. The Congress could have dealt with the Moplas but there were other Muslims.


    Karan Thapar: So it was this majoritarianism of Nehru that actually left no room for Jinnah?


    Jaswant Singh: It became a contest between excessive majoritarianism, exaggerated minoritism and giving the referee's whistle to the British.


    Karan Thapar: Was the exaggerated minoritism a response to the excessive majoritarianism of Congress?


    Jaswant Singh: In part. Also in response to the historical circumstances that had come up.


    Karan Thapar: If the final decision had been taken by people like Gandhi, Rajagopalachari or Azad, could we have ended up with united India?


    Jaswant Singh: Yes, I believe so. It could have. Gandhi said let the British go home, we will settle this amongst ourselves, we will find a Pakistan. In fact, he said so in the last AICC meetings.


    Karan Thapar: It was therefore Nehru's centralising vision that made that extra search for united India difficult at the critical moment?


    Jaswant Singh: He continued to say so but subsequently, after Partition, he began to realise what a great mistake he had made.


    Karan Thapar: Nehru realised his mistakes but it was too late, by then it had happened.


    Jaswant Singh: It was too late. It was too late.


    Karan Thapar: Let's end this first interview there. In the next part I want to talk to you about the relationship between the early Gandhi and Jinnah, the questions you raise about Partition and the predicament of Indian Muslims.
     
  20. Fighter

    Fighter Regular Member

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    I wish we in pakistan have listened more to Jinnah.
    A lot of problems would not have existed.
    And we would have had a secular pakistan.

    There is still time to listen.
     
  21. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    No , its more about showing his views against Congress , first it was Mr Advani and now its Mr Singh .
     

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