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Mohammad Ali Jinnah-The Great Enigma

Mohammad Ali Jinnah-The Great Enigma

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Published by Sheshrao Chavan
Mohammad ALi Jinnah's role in partition of India.

email- sheshrao_chavan@yahoo.co.in
Mohammad ALi Jinnah's role in partition of India.

email- sheshrao_chavan@yahoo.co.in

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Published by: Sheshrao Chavan on Aug 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 The author of this book Mr. Sheshrao Chavanhad met me only once. He had come to see me withmy old friend Mr. Prakash Almeida. That was a longmeeting in which we discussed many issues includingpolitics. In the very next visit Mr. Chavan handed overa typed manuscript of his book,
“Mohammad AliJinnah: The Great Enigma”
and requested me to write a Foreword to the book.I am not a politician, nor am I a historian. Of course I have had always keen interest in politics andso I had followed the events that culminated in thepartition of India rather intimately. Perhaps throughour discussion Mr. Chavan got the impression thatbeing a vintage man of 90, which I am, and who spentthe first 20 years of his life in Sind, which I did, Imight be the just right person to write Foreword to hisbook, which I do not think I am! Nevertheless I agreedto Mr. Chavan’s request mainly because the subject isvery dear to me.
My Recllections of Jinnah:
I had the opportunity to see Mr. Jinnah twiceduring the early years of my career as ENT Surgeon, acouple of years before independence. The first time Isaw him was when I was in London for my FRCSexamination. A public meeting was held at the famousPrince Albert Hall to be addressed by Jinnah andLiaqat Ali. I attended that meeting out of curiosity.About 1500 Indians mostly Muslims, had gathered. Assoon as Mr. Jinnah referred to Pakistan in his speech,
one young man, a student like me, got up and startedshouting that there would be no division of India!Expectedly the young man was heckled by the crowd, which was already charged with jingoism. I later learntthat the young man was none other than Dr. Rafiq Zakaria, the great Islamic scholar, who passed awayrecently. In the heart of my heart, I felt proud of the young man who had displayed exemplary courage tospeak up what he believed even at the risk of attracting mob fury. The next time I saw Mr. Jinnah was when I wascalled to examine him for his minor ENT complaint at‘Bombay House,’ (Tata House) where he was a regularvisitor. Jinnah himself wanted to be examined only byan ENT Specialist, who had FRCS degree fromEngland, and I fitted his requirement aptly. Mr. Jinnah was very polite to me during the meeting where besides us, Dr. Jal Patel, Tata’s In-house doctor was also present. I was proud to have examined sucha highly distinguished person like Jinnah, who had bythen already reached the status of a cult figure. Thereafter there was no occasion for me to seeMr. Jinnah. However, I followed almost all majorevents concerning Jinnah and Pakistan. Needless tosay, mere name of the book was enough to goad me toread the entire manuscript not once, but thrice! The purpose of writing this book is to explore,once again, answer to questions that have hauntedour mind for years like: Who divided India? Was Jinnah alone responsible for Partition? Whether theCongress party and its leaders like Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru too were responsible in some
measure? Finally as the name of the book suggests, itis an attempt by the author to unravel the enigmacalled Jinnah.Mr. Sheshrao Chavan, without any emotionalattachment and without any prejudice and completelyunbiased brought out the facts after going throughseveral books relating to the subject, archival materialand authentic references. He has narrated the factsand left it to the reader to form his own opinion. Whenany such books are written, mostly a person is alreadyknown about his views and he tries to justify the factsin his favour or against them. I think, Chavan is anexceptional person. This is the best part of hischaracter and qualities. He has followed Rajtaranginiof Kalhana. This book should serve as a beacon tostudents and research scholars on how a subject asintense and intricate as Jinnah’s life should betreated, researched and presented.Having read about the political life of Jinnah byvarious authors including Dr. Rafiq Zakaria, I haveformed certain impressions about Jinnah in mymemory based on my own assessment and those of others.
Die-hard Nationalist:
 There is no doubt that Jinnah who returnedfrom England in 1896 to practice law in Bombay wasa perfect nationalist and an ardent votary of Hindu-Muslim unity and rightly thought that religion was apersonal matter of an individual. He first attended the20
Session of the Congress held in Bombay in the year 1904. The first person who captivated his mindthen was Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a Brahmin and

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