Works on Jinnah

Quaid-i-Azam, through his dedication and vision, shaped himself into the epitome of resilience and nationalism – making him the reputable figure in the history of the subcontinent. His heroic presence in the history of Pakistan stimulated the release of an array of works on his personal and professional beliefs. Here are some of the most reputable works on Jinnah:

Jinnah, Creator of Pakistan by Hector BolithoHector Bolitho was invited by the Government of Pakistan to embark upon the journey of curating a reliable and authentic biography of Jinnah and was hence coined as the official biographer of the Great Leader. He commences from the youth of Jinnah, drawing a sketch of Kathiawar, the native land of the Parents of M.A Jinnah. Bolitho also sheds light upon his family background and their migration to Karachi. Bolitho’s efforts of painstakingly researching Jinnah’s personal and political timelines are commendable, considering he was not granted access to Jinnah’s own papers. These were in custody of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah who was against Bolitho being appointed as the biographer of Quaid-i-Azam. Working his way around this, Hector Bolitho conducted several oral interviews to gain insight into Jinnah’s life.Jinnah of Pakistan by Stanley WolpertStanley Wolpert dives deep into Jinnah’s private affairs: with regards to Jinnah’s education and early life. Quaid-i-Azam was born to Poonja Jinnah and Mithibai, a prosperous merchant, on December 25, 1876. He went to London for acquiring education and was exposed to a visual and real representation of an independent and Free State. He successfully qualified as a lawyer from London’s most prestigious legal society, Lincoln’s Inn. Here, things take a personal turn: Jinnah got married to Rutti Jinnah (Maryam Jinnah), whose demise was extremely burdensome on Jinnah. The book also shares Quaid’s relationship with his only daughter Dina Wadia who broke away from cultural and religious norms, marrying a Parsi man – she broke all ties with her father. It also states the political life of Muhammad Ali Jinnah starting from his career as a lawyer and then his life in politics. In his family, it was only her sister who stood by Jinnah till his last breath. Lastly, the book walks you through Jinnah’s leadership qualities which enabled him to give courage and hope to Indian Muslims to never give up on the ideology of Pakistan.The Sole Spokesman by Ayesha JalalAyesha Jalal weaves a convincing revisionist narrative of the nation’s birth. Her focus falls on the political strategies employed by the Muslim League and its leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in the run-up to the partition. Her work demonstrates great conceptual clarity, driven by an insightful inquiry: “How did a Pakistan come about which fitted the interests of most Muslims so poorly?” She thoroughly exposes the province-level pressures navigated by Jinnah, his lieutenant Liaquat Ali Khan, and other Muslim Leaguers as they made their claim to represent all of India’s Muslims. One of the primary arguments that Jalal puts forward in the book is the idea that, contrary to common belief, politics founded on “communal consciousness” was uncharacteristic of Jinnah before the 1937 elections. Jinnah was strongly opposed to the 1909 Minto-Morley reforms, due to the fact that they granted separate electorates to Muslims. He believed that the reforms would widen the rift between Hindus and Muslims. Thus, she explores how this popular notion of Jinnah’s quest for Independence was actually contradictory with his initial stance towards the Indian Subcontinent. Jalal also charts the notion of Pakistan as it gains strategic viability and as Jinnah advances himself as the “one man to deal with” in Indian Muslim affairs.Jinnah, Pakistan, and Islamic Identity by Akbar S. Ahmed RoutledgeUsing the methodologies of cultural anthropology, semiotics, and media studies, Ahrned explores old ground with new insights and interpretations. This piece of work is structured with Jinnah as its pivotal theme and the subthemes of the nature of nationhood, Islam, ethnic and religious identity, the problems of minorities, and the pervasive and ubiquitous influence of media, race, empire, and other factors. Akbar Ahmed’s major study tells a different story of heroism and tragedy and of backstage manoeuvering among the governing elite of the Raj, and argues for Jinnah’s continuing relevance as contemporary Islam debates its future direction. He talks about how Jinnah gave Indian Muslims a sense of identity, destiny and territory. His work highlights Jinnah’s confidence and charisma by recalling encounters where Jinnah often antagonized his British superiors. Yet he was clever enough consciously to remain within the boundaries, pushing as far as he could but not allowing his opponents to penalize him on a point of law. In short, Ahmed highlights how he learned to use British law skillfully against the British. Lastly, a unique factor he discusses is how Pakistanis have essentially blotted out Ruttie and Dina from their cultural and historical consciousness, viewing them as disloyal for not sticking by Jinnah.My Brother by Fatima Jinnah“My Brother” is probably the last extraordinary favour that affectionate and supportive sister could have given to her beloved brother after his demise. The first chapter -The nation is orphaned – starts with the account of 1948, one year after the creation of Pakistan. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was then a sick old man, few days away from his death, but still insisting on continuing to work. To recuperate he was advised to spend some time in the cool mountain breeze of Ziarat, Balochistan – known for its tranquility and natural beauty. However, this deteriorated his health further and he was ultimately flown back to Karachi. The way Fatima Jinnah describes the time preceding her brother’s demise is full of sorrow. Her narration style throughout this section is extremely heart-touching, melancholic and personal. Moving on, Fatima Jinnah discusses his childhood, as do most of the works mentioned above. He was the eldest of siblings and his mother always believed that he was a child prodigy. He was sent to London as apprentice of Grahams & Co at the age of 16 so that he could later assist his father in business. But the fate turned him to be a lawyer, the same year he found an opportunity to appear at the Bar examination and join one of the Inns of Court. He left apprenticeship and prepared for the entrance exam, qualified, paid fees and joined Lincoln’s Inn which led him to become the youngest Indian to be called to the bar in England.Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah: The Story of A Nation by G. AllanaGhulam Ali Allana known as G. Allana was a dear friend and biographer of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The Author also assisted Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah on writing her book “My Brother”. Acknowledging Jinnah’s efforts for Pakistan he wrote in this book that Jinnah and Pakistan are indistinguishably inter-linked that it is impossible to think of the one without remembering the other. Hence, the story of the Quaid is in fact the story of Pakistan.Himself inspired by the Quaid’s personality and his struggle for Pakistan, the author writes in the preface of the book, “In presenting this biography of the Quaid-i-Azam, I am aware of the shortcomings of my own scholarship. But having been associated with him, as a humble worker and follower, in our fight for freedom and for Pakistan, I had some opportunities of coming close to the Quaid. To me, in my youthful days, he appeared to be a giant. The passage of time has, however, not dimmed that image in any way.”This book contains valuable details about the early life of the Quaid and his family, which appeared in print for the first time in this book. From the birth of Jinnah to the demise of this great leader, the author gave rich details about every aspect of Quaid ‘s life.Alongside these literary appreciations of Jinnah also come a vast list of books written on Jinnah from a more analytical and critical approach. However, they all agree on the commendable characteristics of our Great Leader as without his will, determination, sacrifices, and his critical thinking, Pakistan would not exist.


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