Today on his 136th birthday, I would like to say a few words in honour of the great man, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Who is Jinnah? For those who don’t know, he is the founder of Pakistan. Now, in this article, I won’t discuss his political views and the two nation theory. The things that usually get dragged into a Jinnah biography. What I want to talk about is Jinnah, the man. I want to discuss his views, his habits, his unique qualities etc. So, I ask again, Who is Jinnah? And what makes him different from the Quaid-e-Azam?
From the picture above, one sees a very charismatic man, considerably elegant with a sharp, intelligent face typical of a lawyer or a politician. In fact, he was both. Now, although this may be a matter of opinion, Jinnah’s countenance shows nothing of the stolid stupidity seen in Pakistani politicians today. In fact, it somewhat radiates an aura of intelligence and discretion. There is something about him, that emits waves of propriety, respectability and charisma. As if he stands on a kind of podium, that elevates him high above even the greatest of his peers.
As a lawyer, Jinnah was sharp, inquisitive and incredibly competent. Known to be one of the best lawyers in both India and Britain, in the court, he was a force to be reckoned with. However, Jinnah was very very expensive, and extremely picky in his cases. He didn’t work for the small fry. He only fought cases for the elite and the royalty of the time.
As a politician, Jinnah was regal, commanding and charismatic. His profound speeches were popular and attracted huge crowds. Listening to the speech embedded above, one can see it is filled with political and intellectual insight. In fact, it is even applicable to the political scenario today. The one thing that convinces me of the accuracy of his political views is the fact that the radicals of the time were his bitter enemies. Allegedly, some guy even attempted to assassinate him claiming he was a liberal “Munaafiq”. Now, experience has taught me that radicals always oppose the good guy, the guy who is actually trying to make the world a better place. Hence, the knowledge of this occurrence has made me very much in favour of Mr. Jinnah.
Jinnah also seems to have had an excellent taste in attire. Frankly, he looks pretty fashionable, even by modern standards. I don’t want to point out anyone or make any comparisons, but this quality was sadly lacking in some of his contemporaries. A few of whom even preferred wearing a weird tunic thing instead of tailored clothes, resulting in hundreds of Pakistani jokes today ( 😀 ). There is an excellent article on the Express Tribune’s website highlighting Jinnah’s tastes in fashion, books and furniture. A pretty good read. In the last paragraph of the article, the writer makes a pretty epic concluding statement:
To be Jinnah was to be knowledge, grace, class, commitment and above all sacrifice personified
All in all, I am pretty thankful that Pakistan was founded by a man like Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Frankly, one can’t wish for a better leader.