Former Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh has said that Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a secular man, and that he had initially opposed the division of Bengal and Punjab. I personally don’t believe that Mr. Jinnah was a secular man. He was a religious person who believed in Islam and wanted a place for Muslims where they can live peacefully while practicing their religion freely.
Jaswant Singh said that a prominent magazine India Today got five eminent historians to determine who was responsible for the partition of India. According to Singh, the editor of the magazine said that there was consensus among the historians that Jawaharlal Nehru, not Jinnah, was responsible for partition, and that his book was based on this consensus. Singh added that we need to re-examine history objectively and truthfully to figure out a path for the future.
Responding to a question, Singh said that Jinnah was forced to choose the option of partition, and that partition was an instrument to end all peace in the South Asian region. But, Singh added, “we can find a solution as we are all victims. We should know that no one will come back to restore peace for us unless we ourselves wake up…try and find out where we went wrong.” The veteran politician, now an independent member of the Indian parliament, concluded by stressing that “we must expand the constituency of peace in the region”.
In his new book “Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence“, which hit the stands on August 17, he recalls the events leading to Partition as well as the “epic journey of Jinnah from being the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, the liberal constitutionalist and Indian nationalist to the Quaid-e-Azam of Pakistan”. Some of the excerpts from the book “Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence” are quoted here to give an idea about the book.
“…Jinnah did not win Pakistan, as the Congress leaders – Nehru and Patel finally conceded Pakistan to Jinnah, with the British acting as an ever helpful midwife”.
“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…”.
“The searing agony of it torments still, the whys and what-fors of it, too. We relieve the partition because we persist without attempts to find answers to the great errors of those years so that we may never, ever repeat them. Also, perhaps by recounting them we attempt to assuage some of our pain”.
Mr. Jawant Singh has been expelled from the BJP and his basic membership has been canceled because of the book.
“Jaswant Singh’s views on Mohammad Ali Jinnah is against the party’s core ideology and amounts to grave indiscipline. The party’s move to expel him is justified,”
said Senior BJP leader and party incharge of Uttar Pradesh Kalraj Mishra. The book has been banned in state of Gujrat, India where the BJP has the government. This is freedom of speech in the so called largest democracy in the World.