Many of the contemporary journalists and left-leaning ‘intellectuals’ have, time and again, exhibited their enduring fascination for Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a profoundly bigoted man, who presided over the macabre ‘Direct Action Day’ that resulted in the killings of scores of Hindus across the country—and who was also responsible for the partition of the country along the religious lines—India and Pakistan. Most recently, their deification of Jinnah was manifested at Shaheen Bagh protests earlier this year when anti-CAA rabble-rousers not only chanted “Jinnah wali Azadi” slogans but later also defended the supporters citing their right to freedom of expression.
This veneration of a controversial figure such as Mohammed Ali Jinnah was not limited to the journalists and left-leaning ‘intellectuals’ alone. The founder of Pakistan was also revered by India’s grand old party—Congress, on more occasions than one. The party, which had once fiercely opposed the divisive agenda of Jinnah, was later found enthusiastically embracing and normalising his bloodstained legacy. Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar in 2018 lauded Mohammed Ali Jinnah and referred to him as “Qaid-e-Azam, which means a great leader, at an event held in Pakistan. Another Congress leader, Shatrughan Sinha had said that the founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah was a part of the Congress family and had praised him for his role in independence and development.
Ahead of Bihar polls, Congress’ reverence for Mohammed Ali Jinnah was in full glory when it chose to field a Jinnah supporter for the forthcoming elections. A massive political row was stirred after the Congress party granted a ticket to former Aligarh Muslim University Students Union (AMUSU) President Dr Maskoor Ahmad Usmani from Jale constituency in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections. Usmani, who has a sedition case registered against him, had protested in support of hanging of the portrait of Pakistan’s founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the AMU campus.
Prof Brij Narain, an early proponent of Pakistan, was hacked to death in Lahore by a Islamist mob
While the left-leaning ‘intellectuals’ and the Congress party continue to hold Mohammed Ali Jinnah in high regard, it is important to revisit the perils of aligning oneself with a highly controversial and communal figure as Jinnah. One of the strongest proponents of Jinnah’s ill-conceived “Two Nation Theory” was a Hindu man named Prof Brij Narain, who wrote several lengthy articles, making a case for the secession of Pakistan from undivided India, and arguing the merits of its economic viability.
However, when the riots consumed the city of Lahore, in the wake of the bloody partition, Prof Brij Narain was among the first few Hindus massacred by a rabid Islamist mob. Prof Brij Narain, a staunch Hindu admirer of Jinnah and a leading Lahore economist, was brutally hacked to death by a Muslim mob that raided his house on Nicholson Road. Narain pleaded in vain that he was a supporter of Pakistan and Jinnah but the mob turned a deaf ear to him, killing him and ransacking his house.
Some accounts narrate that Brij Narain had tried to plead with the Islamist mob, trying to make them understand that his house and property belongs to Pakistan and they should not destroy it. Still, he was called a ‘kafir’ and was killed.
In fact, Brij Narain was not even the only prominent Hindu intellectual who was killed during the post-partition violence in Pakistan. Madan Gopal Singh, the Registrar of the Punjab University in Lahore, had travelled from Shimla to Lahore. He was killed by his own assistant at the University.
The horrifying fate that befell on Prof Narain irreversibly altered the tenuous notion of Jinnah’s secular credentials held among a fraction of minorities left in Pakistan and they made a beeline to flee the country for India. They feared that when a foremost economist and supporter of Pakistan can be slaughtered in the country for professing a different faith than that of the majority, they had little chance to survive in the country and eke out a dignified living. Following the incident, few Hindus, Sikhs, remained in the city and Punjab province. While some of the ones were able to salvage their lives by crossing over into India, many of them were not so fortunate and they perished under the merciless onslaught.
Pakistani legislator Jogendra Nath Mondal returned India after realising the anti-Hindu bias
Another Pakistani proponent that deserves mentioning is another Hindu man named Jogendra Nath Mondal, who was one of the central and leading founding fathers of modern Pakistan. Mondal was the country’s first minister of law and labour, and also served as minister of commonwealth and Kashmir Affairs. As a leader of Scheduled Castes, Mondal made common cause with the ideology of Pakistan, hoping that Scheduled Castes will benefit from joining the country. However, his expectations soon wore thin, when he realised the anti-Hindu bias of the Pakistani administration. Citing this anti-Hindu bias, Mondal tendered his resignation to Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan in 1950 and returned to India.
Jinnah’s anti-Hindu hatred fuelled the demand for a separate nation of Pakistan. In many ways, Jinnah embodied the anti-Hindu sentiments prevalent amongst a vast section of the Muslim population during the time of partition which the creator of Pakistan harnessed to bring about his political objective of a Muslim-majority separate nation.
The blunders of his policies were evident since the very first year that Pakistan came into existence. Far from being an economically viable and a ‘secular’ country envisaged by the proponents such as Prof Brij Narain and Jogendra Nath Mondal, the country turned out to be a failed nation, harbouring deep hatred for the minorities, especially Hindus. While India flourished after being freed from the British rule, Pakistan, on the other hand, withered, marred by the scourge of medievalist Islamist ideologies and widespread ethnic clashes.