Honoring the Memory of Mohammad Ali Jinnah
Remembering Mohammad Ali Jinnah – the founder of Pakistan, .
A lot of discourse has been devoted to figuring out the ‘vision’ of Quaid-e-Azam. Everyone has tried to give it their own blanket and sparing no means of justifying it. This confusion is reflective of our own mistakes that we refuse to acknowledge.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision for the future of the country was quite clear. Unfortunately, he didn’t get enough time to set the wheel in motion and therefore, the question what if he had lived long enough will remain unanswered. However, it is never too late to take a que from his sayings, do some introspection and pick the pieces from there.
“I say, protect the innocent, protect those journalists who are doing their duty and who are serving both the public and the Government by criticizing the Government freely, independently, honestly which is an education for any Government.” – Speech on the condition of the Press in India in the Imperial Legislative Council, 19 September 1918.
“I would like to give a warning to the landlords and capitalists who have flourished at our expense by a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to reason with them. The exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They have forgotten the lessons of Islam.” – Address, All India Muslim League Session, Delhi, 24 April 1943.
“No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that are women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. I do not mean that we should imitate the evils of the Western life. But let us try to raise the status of our women according to our own Islamic ideas and standards. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable conditions in which our women have to live. You should take your women along with you as comrades in every sphere of life, avoiding the corrupt practices of Western society.” – Speech, Muslim University Union, Aligarh, 10 March 1944.
“Corruption is a curse in India and amongst Muslims, especially the so-called educated and intelligentsia. Unfortunately, it is this class that is selfish and morally and intellectually corrupt. No doubt this disease is common, but amongst this particular class of Muslims it is rampant.” – Jinnah to Ispahani, 6 May 1945.
“Minorities to whichever community they may belong, will be safeguarded. Their religion of faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom of worship. They will have their protection with regard to their religion, faith, their life, and their culture. They will be, in all respects, the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caste or creed.” – Press Conference, New Delhi, 14 July 1947.
“I sincerely hope that they [relations between India and Pakistan] will be friendly and cordial. We have a great deal to do…and think that we can be of use to each [and to] the world.” – Press Conference, New Delhi, 14 July 1947.
“Remember that the scrupulous maintenance and enforcement of law and order are the prerequisites of all progress. The tenets of Islam enjoin on every Musalman to give protection to his neighbours and to the minorities regardless of caste and creed.” – Speech at University Stadium, Lahore, 30 October 1947.
“You have to do your duty as servants; you are not concerned with this or that political party; that is not your business……..You do not belong to the ruling class; you belong to the servants.” – Address to Gazetted Officers, Chittagong, 25 March 1948.
“This is your Government. It is quite different from its predecessor. Therefore, appreciate when a good thing is done. Certainly, criticize fearlessly, when a wrong thing is done. I welcome criticism, but it must be honest and constructive.” – Address, Edwardes College, Peshawar, 18 April 1948.
“Work honestly and sincerely and be faithful and loyal to the Pakistan Government. I can assure you there is nothing greater in this world than your own conscience and, when you appear before God, you can say that you performed your duty with the highest sense of integrity, honesty and with loyalty and faithfulness.” – Address to Civil Officers of Balochistan, Sibi, 14 February 1948.
It is on us to sort out the mess that we shoulder responsibility of creating as well. Manipulating the Quaid’s ideology and vision not only dishonors and tortures his memories, it also hinders in finding the way forward in the right direction.
By Fatima Arif