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~Scandal~ Jinnah India-Partition-Independe nce
Sep 16, 2009 11:52 AM 2816 Views
(Updated Sep 16, 2009 06:28 PM)



"Scandal is what one half of the world takes pleasure in inventing and the other half in believing"

~Paul Chatfield

You should learn from history. But at the same time, discussing too much of history at the expense of focusing on other burning issues will be a colossal waste of time and energy. The spirit of Jinnah is still lingering into our mind as a microbe escaped from the Pandora Box. I doubt, whether he is a subject matter of discussion with verve in Pakistan.

Teen Murti Bhavan is considered to be a memorial for Nehru. Whether Jaswant Singh was calculative enough to choose this as the venue of releasing his book? The function gained media attraction as none of his colleagues from Party attended the function where as Chief of Dawn (News Paper found by Jinnah) was present along with some scholars, journalists. What happened afterwards is known to us.

Your creation is your baby and if you are not going to defend the same, why the hell you wrote / engaged someone to write it for you? Jaswant Singh's tear after getting suspended from the Party is one of the most rampant or pathetic scene I have seen in recent days. If he is emotionally attached to his book, he could have denounced any other precious possessions. This act merely shows that what is important for him. That is all about this over rated scholarly documentary fiction - Jinna: India - Partition - Independence.

Apart from what is being mentioned in the title, the book is all about author's contribution towards India's Foreign Policywhich has been expounded as the genesis of the policy and its pros and cons. No wonder, Jaswant' Singh’s contribution is elated. Also the infamous Kandahar Episodewhere in Jaswant Singhwas chosen as the scapegoat to execute the orders from the top. We could see him deliberately creating an aura over his heroic act - something like Indiana Jones or Mackenna.

Of course, the book need to be sold to the mass. How our good neighbours turnout to be deceptive during Kargil, Agra Peace Summit etc --- Taliyaan!

Also, a vain attempt to analyse the defence system of the country, failure of peace treaties and repackaging the same in new form --- As it comes from the horse's mouth, readers have no choice to believe. Behind all this cover up exercise, Jaswant Singh is trying to arrive at his core topic -

Who is responsible for Partition?

Honestly, I did not understand the reason why multiple and non related topics were presented to dwell more into the history. It tastes like garish and stale food that may lead to botulism.

While the inquisitive researcher in Jaswant Singh is trying to answer questions like "How come the demand for a separate Muslim Nation became prominent? Who is the architect behind the same? Is this the root cause of all the burning problems faced by our nation"etc. , interestingly he is having absolute answers.

Lord Mountbatten's dilemma while managing the hard nut Jinnah was referred in the book and for this Jaswant Singh need not do much research. It is very much available in "Freedom at midnight"by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins.But it is, imperative to come up with a novel thesis and there was have the theory of Nehru's penchant for "Centralised Polity" and Jinnah's preference over "Federal System". Gandhiji also nodded for Federal system but Nehru and team was not in favour of the same. This might have provoked Jinnahto advocate for a separate nation based on religion that leads to partition.While mentioning Nehru, you have to mention Sardar Pateland other major political figures who were involved in the process. Finally, this sparked the controversy that lead to Jaswant Singh's expulsion from the party and banning of the book in Gujrat. Once when he is recovered from the shock, he came up with a catchy one liner “The day we start banning the books, we are banning thinking

Last word about Jinnah's secularism - He was not at all religious and never used to visit mosque. Also, he was not a teetotaler. He was having an indifferent attitude towards religion and I am not sure whether this can be considered as the apt definition of "Secularism". Also, it is well known to larger world that he was away from India for long four years and was spending time in London on health ground. He was on the verge of death being a TB patient and wanted to establish his kingdom before bidding adieu. This was not known to Lord Mount Batten and hence he nodded for partition. A person who was having a neutral or indifferent attitude towards religion, carefully utilised religion as a weapon to arrive at his end. Jaswant Singhfeigns to be blind towards this.

In short - this book belong to those genre which gained publicity out of controversy. Some of the critics opined that it is a serious academic exercise and political party need to give space for the same without which it would end up in totalitarian regime. I am not sure, whether this is a well - researched book and even I don't have the qualification to arrive at any judgment. But, in the light of reading "Freedom at midnight" ,I can very well state that this one is a minor dissertation that might not appeal to larger public. Scandal is something which is essential to drive the sales of books of this sort.

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Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence - Jaswant Singh