Jinnah: Making a myth



Quaid-I-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had all peculiarities and characteristics
in his personality to make a myth of himself. He was reticent, reserved,
kept his personal matter in secrecy, behaved coolly and arrogantly and not
friendly with anybody. Perhaps he wanted to create a halo of awe and fear
around him. Sri Prakash, the first Indian High Commissioner, in his book \'
Pakistan: Birth and early years\' narrates about a reception which was given
by the Governor General of Pakistan, just after the independence to the
diplomats .It was also attended by the party leaders and bureaucrats.
According to his version, Mr.Jinnah was sitting at a distance alone on a
sofa and called one by one to those whom he wanted to talk. He exchanged
notes with each one of them just for 5 minutes. To the High Commissioner,
he appeared a lonely man, averse to people. His serious and somber
expression made all those who interacted him uneasy in his company.

This attitude gave the impression that he was the end all and all in every
matter. The Muslim League and its leaders were just rubber stamps. His
image of being a sole spokesman of his party and people created a number of
myths. For example, one myth about his serious illness which is narrated by
Larry Collins and Dominique Lappierre in their book" Freedom at Midnight"
fascinates everybody and they are compelled to take it seriously. The
version of their story is:
"if Louis Mountbatten, Jawahrlal Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi had been aware in
April 1947 of one extraordinary secret, the division threatening India
might have been avoided. The secret was sealed onto the gray surface piece
of a film, a film that could have upset the Indian political equation and
would almost certainly have changed the course of Asian history. Yet, so
precious was the secret that that film harbored that even the British
C.I.D., one of the most effective investigative agencies in the world, was
ignorant of its existence."

These were the X rays of Jinnah diagnosed as a T.B. patient. The authors,
after creating a suspense, further write that: "The damage was so extensive
that the man whose lungs were on the film had barely two or three years to
live. Sealed in an unmarked envelope, those X rays were locked in the
office safe of Dr.J.A.L.Patel, a Bombay physician."
On the basis of the story, Jinnah emerged as the one on whom depended the
whole movement of Pakistan. The story further becomes interesting when a
Hindu doctor kept the secret at the cost of Indian unity. His political
inclinations were more important than his professional integrity.

In 1997, on the occasion of the 5oth celebration of India-Pakistan
independence, Patrick French published a book"Liberty or Death\'. He, after
his own investigation, refutes the whole story narrated by Collins and
lappierre .According to him: "The idea that Jinnah\'s poor state of health
was a closely guarded secret is absurd: it was referred to in the press at
that time, and it is obvious from photographs taken in the mid 1940s that
Jinnah was unwell. Moreover, the reduction of the Muslim league\'s wide
popular backing to the whim of one man\'s \'rigid and inflexible\' attitude is
indicative of the way that Pakistan history has been traduced. A second
problem with Collins and Lappierre\'s story is that it is not correct.
Jinnah did not go to Bombay in May or June 1946, since he was busy in
negotiating with Cripps in Simla and New Delhi. Nor did he have a doctor by
the name J.A.I.PatelSAlthough it is possible that Jinnah had tuberculosis
in 1946, there is no evidence among his archive papers to support the theory."

However, Jinnah himself on many occasions expressed that he was the sole
creator of Pakistan. In one of his famous sayings he said that he and his
typewriter made Pakistan. The statement disregarded the efforts of his
colleagues and the leader of Muslim League in matter of politics. It is
also a denial of people\'s participation in the struggle for the separate
homeland. There are evidence that he did not like the leaders of Muslim
League.To him all of them were mediocre and incapable to lead the nation.
Perhaps, that was the reason that Jinnah, knowing his fatal illness,
accepted \'the moth eaten and truncated Pakistan\'. The later history of
Pakistan confirms Jinnah\'s assessment about the Muslim League\'s leaders who
miserably failed to solve the problems of a nascent nation. The failure of
these leaders has transformed Jinnah\'s image as a superman. He overshadowed
every body. The nation also paid respect to its