On Jinnah and Nehru: One man’s hero is another man’s villain

Published: March 24, 2014

For Pakistanis, Nehru and Gandhi are the villains. For Indians, Jinnah is the villain. This is how history is written and interpreted everywhere.

My article is in response to the perplexing as well as thought-provoking piece by Taha Shaheen on the Express Tribune titled Of biased history: Wait, wasn’t Nehru the bad guy?

The mentioned piece is besieged with the ever-present dilemma in our liberal section of society; a section which is trapped in the intense struggle of bringing together and reconciliation between India and Pakistan.

It really baffled me how this way of thinking considers historical personalities, facts and narrations, as well as the building of political history based thought process.

This, however, is not an exceptional example of a confused mindset. There a few others as well who always take the individuals and events that led to the partition of South Asian subcontinent as suspicious subjects; let alone world history.

Historical personalities

History is the anecdote we reveal to ourselves regarding how the yesteryears elucidate our present-day, and the approach in which we reveal it are produced by contemporary requirements. Consequently, events or individuals are heroic or villainous and for this reason it has been said,

“One man’s hero is another man’s villain.”

What makes a hero?

What represents villainy?

Let me add some examples from world history:

Salahuddin Ayyubi

Sultan Salahuddin, also called Saladin, is known for his bravery and tactics against the crusaders. For Muslims, Salahuddin is a saviour, a hero who captured Jerusalem from the clutches of crusaders, and eventually pushed back the joint army of Europe.

For the West, Salahuddin is a villainous personality. After World War I, French General Gouraud showed his hatred for Salahuddin openly; he kicked his tomb and shouted;

‘… awake Saladin, we have returned.’

Emir Timor

Timor, or Tamerlane – a great general who won almost all of his expeditions, conquered Aleppo, Damascus and Anatolia, influenced major parts of present day Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. He is known for his love of arts, literature and architecture. People remember him as a great achiever, ruler and soldier.

Interestingly, antagonists call him a vicious conqueror – a blood thirsty vampire who was a threat to western culture and religion.

Napoleon Bonaparte

He is the man who not only stabilised the shaky structure of newly revolutionised France but also erased external threats on the borders. For many, Napoleon is the father of the French revolution and nationalism, while others considered him a usurper, a dictator and a big danger for peace in Europe.

Karl Marx

Known for his revolutionary ideas and theories that paved the way for the socialism and communism in the whole world, Karl Marx is a prophet for Marxists but an evil source for opponents.

Joseph Stalin

He replaced the Czar dynasty by changing the face of Russian politics through the Bolshevik revolution. Stalin was the hero, voice of peasants and down-trodden people; he changed the fate of Russia by converting it into USSR – a super-power.

In most of history, Stalin is referred to as a murderous dictator, responsible for the sufferings and death of millions of people.

Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer

Dyer is the sole name behind the dreadful Jallianwala Bagh massacre which resulted in more than a 1000 deaths. General Dyer is the most hated personality of the British Raj in South Asia; on the other hand, many people in Britain regard him as a hero.

Segregating good and evil

These are just a few examples of notable heroic and villainous figures in world history. Now, anyone can easily understand why it has been said:

“One man’s development/civilisation is another man’s barbarism.”

Similarly, India and Pakistan’s history is of no exception. Both fought for their independence; Hindu struggled for united India independent of British Raj, ruled by Hindu majority, whereas Muslims fought on two fronts – independence from British Raj and from Hindu dominant majority. This struggle and fight separates the foundation of heroes and villains for both nations.

No doubt, Mahatma Gandhi was a great politician and leader; but he can’t be my national hero, because he vehemently opposed the two nation theory, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s 14 points and Muslim representation in government jobs or education in united India. On the whole, he was a man who strongly opposed the creation of Pakistan.

On June 4, 1947, Gandhi said,

“We would not give even an inch of land as Pakistan under coercion.”

On the contrary, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah stood against these discriminations and crushed the powerful Congress in Gandhi’s life. He surpassed all the hindrances and won Pakistan in dire pressure, conspiracies, antipathy and evil manoeuvrings of the opponents.

The foundation of Pakistan is based on the firm stance of Quaid-e-Azam against the Congress leadership’s strategy. If I deny this historical fact and start praising the main devious characters such as all the Gandhis, Nehrus and Mountbattens, then where will my national identity stand?

History, according to our textbooks

As far as textbooks are concerned, history chapters only give you the official version of any state related event/persona; especially when it comes to your founding father, the material is always added with extra care. History textbooks always have narratives and perspectives that are significant at national level, surrounded by some precise world view that intent to influence how people believe and contemplate.

For this reason, you will find limited knowledge about Gandhi, Nehru and Congress leaders in Pakistan’s textbooks. In the same way, Indian history textbooks paint a dubious character of our Quaid-e-Azam and other Muslim League leadership.

While talking about two independent countries, one should realise that the historical dimensions for sovereignty differ in every aspect, including facts and figures as well as heroes and villains of said countries. This is the core base of historical interpretation and cannot be written by mutual consent of the two parties/opponents.

A good friendship with your neighbouring country is beneficial for all, but it cannot be built on the basis of your own country’s tarnished history. You can neither deny your own national heroes nor accept other’s national heroes as your own. Contradiction will always be there – your hero will always be their villain and vice versa.

Tanveer Khadim

Tanveer Khadim

An avid reader, freelance writer and a blogger, Tanveer is pursuing fashion designing. She has a passion for cooking, attended cookery courses and tweets as @TheFusionDiary (twitter.com/TheFusionDiary)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Talal

    I studied Pakistan Studies under FBISE. Not once did I read anything in the book portraying Gandhi as the villain.Recommend

  • Bikas

    Please take all the muslims from the India and we will never ever regret partition of India.Recommend

  • Junaid Abbasi

    Good point . I agree, history is manipulated like this in every country. even on internet i cant find any good resource for proper history about indo pak.. i think it is manipulated that much that no one can identify what is true and what is not.Recommend

  • mimi sur

    If Nehru ,Gandhi and Jinnah were heroes and villains for subcontinent people , let us ask neutral mediators to choose . Let us ask other heroes and undisputed personalities of world like Nelson Mandela , King to choose between them. Even Al-Qaida and Osama has supporters (You know better than us being a Pakistani) , that doesn’t mean that he is a hero . Mao and Hitler has billions of supporters in Germany, china and North Korea also, but many would reject his idea of nationalism . A villain can defeat a hero , but can’t defeat his ideas and thoughts. Jinnah’s 2 nation theory had died in 1971 when Bengalis thrashed ‘cultured’ and ‘handsome’ people of Pakistan and dumped the lingua franca to adopt their mother-tongue . I wish Jinnah had lived till 71 to validate his 2-nation theory !!!! Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wiseRecommend

  • N.Kaji

    It is not about who is hero or not.
    It is about what they leave behind.
    Victory of the day is different from what comes out from it after 40+ years.
    Why are Hindus (non-muslims) dwindling in Pakistan? Why is the muslim Population component in India growing?
    These numbers prove that M A Jinnah (for all his brilliance and toughness) turns out to be the villain and M K Gandhi (inspite of all his faults) the good humanist.
    This is not a subjective judgement since it involves quantified acts and Facts.Recommend

  • Rajiv

    A mature, well written and well argued article.
    Please accept my congratulationsRecommend

  • deep

    There is nothing inevitable about heroes and villains. For instance, understanding the sense of insecurity that Muslims faced as Independence loomed allows us to see why Jinnah’s demand for partition was so popular – we also begin to understand how Hindus played their role in worsening that sense of insecurity. Jinnah and Muslim League are better understood when you read history contextually with the help of primary sources – not as an extension of national and religious ideologies. Similarly the author will begin to understand why Nehru and gandhi opposed the 2 nation theory. Ultimately history is not about patriotism and treachery – it is the study of events from as many objective sources as possible – when you read history from that point of view – even Bakhtiar kHalji who destroyed the Nalanda university is not your enemy anymore or for that instance the Hindu Mahasabha for you.Recommend

  • Gulsha Rauf

    A very well-written article! I appreciate your effort. This rebuttal has indeed given us all a wider horizon to think on and also people having any ambiguities in their minds regarded Jinnah will now have a better, clearer and positive approach toward him. Kudo!Recommend

  • Broken heart

    Your national identity stands at Hating India…!Recommend

  • Santiago

    It was Mukti Bahini who created the eift between East and West Pakistan. Of course there were issues don’t Indian have issues in Gorkhaland, Tamilnadu, North eastern sister 7 states with the central government, Every country does have problems but that does not mean The Indian nationalist back then got independence from British was a wrong decision. Though it did not go as planned by even to Indian standard here in Pakistan that too did not went as it was planned the basic thing is ideas were right but not the execution, because in 84 Sikh Genocide proved that and later in 2002 in Gujarat massacre of Muslims with the help of state machinery and how tolerant Indian Brahmins towards their own Shudras class speaks a lot and in fact proved Quid-e-azam was very right and visionary on his opinion and action back then. We are proud on our greatest leader.Recommend

  • raj

    What to talk of Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah, even prophets are treated like devils by each other. We humans have to go a long way before we mature.Recommend

  • Amina,Kerala

    Dear Tanveer,
    I think its important to point out that Indian history books do not paint dubious character of your Quaid-e-Azam and other Muslim League leadership. Our history books are pragmatic and only teaches facts based on how they happened.They do not tell us if these facts are good or bad.
    Example: India got freedom from the British (Not: The brave Hindus got freedom from the evil church going British)

    As a child I never hated Pakistan because I was never taught to hate it.Recommend

  • Santiago

    How is that possible are you trying to dis-respect your own democratic principles of Nehru and GandhiRecommend

  • Critical

    What a senseless rant

    Saladin was one who has been respected even by the Crusaders inspite of driving them out of Jerusalem….
    Stalin – Noone liked Stalin even during his regime but noone said it aloud in the fear of getting killed…
    General Dyer – Noone considered him as a hero ,in fact many Britishers were shocked by his bloodthirstiness against peaceful citizens

    Pakistan was created out of Blackmail that Jinnah would unleash bloodshed if not given a country….Its no surprise that the country which was created out of violence is following the same path….

    Gandhi is a hero to Nelson Mandela,Martin Luther King,Obama and many others….I dont know if any Islamic country outside Pakistan has lessons about Jinnah in their textbooks or their leaders use his quotes during speechesRecommend

  • Ali

    Is anyone saying to the contrary? Why did I torture myself reading this article. BTW: can you give us readers links to text books in India, Pakistan to prove your claim?Recommend

  • Farhan

    M A Jinnah was a man of principles who defeated both hindu and british at the same time.Recommend

  • Farhan

    Who told you that Jinnah presented two nation theory?
    Who told you that Nelson Mandela is an undisputed personality?Recommend

  • vinsin

    Well that was the idea but Nehru opposed it and sign agreement with liaquant on 1950. That was how jan sangh got created which is now as bjp.Recommend

  • Sidster

    Bangladesh separated from Pakistan but did not join India either. Your logic regards to defeat of two nation theory does not stand because now we have three nation in Sub-Continent and no one wants to get back together with India.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Well the two nation theory proved to be partialu wrong not completely Bangladesh didnt become part of india. Kashmiri muslims don’t want to be part of india and prefer an independent country. Indian muslims want india to be an Islamic state. Recommend

  • Sidster

    Bikas, your comment give fuel to anti India in Pakistan to advance their opinion regard to condition of India Muslims.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Jinnah was a practical and most truthful person. I seriously admire his vision. Whereas gandhi and Nehru were people who lived in a world completely away from reality. They were the only politician who opposed the two nation theory and that was the reason for gandhi to forced Nehru as first pm on india. Two nation theory is valid now more than ever.Recommend

  • Aleena

    Brilliant sum-up at the end.
    I wish we can have a world full of peace and heroes.Recommend

  • Ali Rana

    A nicely argued article with great ending, Well done Tanveer Khadim.Recommend

  • Sid

    @Tanveer Khadim: Fact is and remains until proven wrong, that no Indian text books have demonized Pakistan or it’s founder. And never demonized or belittled muslims. But in Pakistani text books, they have demonized Hindus and demonized every Indian freedom fighter. Just saying that sentence of “One’s Hero is other person’s villain” doesn’t wash away the grave crime done to general masses by an selfish individual. I have so far not seen any argument or proof of oppression of muslims by hands of Hindus pre partition. All wrong thats happening to muslims in India and hindus in Pakistan is the by product of partition.
    Nations get it’s identity from the people who are part of it and not the other way around. Your national identity doesn’t lie in blind patriotism which will just push your next generations in perpetual chaos. By challenging common beliefs and propaganda you will only help your own quest for national identity and pobably help million others.
    Genesis of Pakistan was based on “Direct Action” called by Jinnah, the first violent riot between Hindus and Muslims. This makes Jinnah a trend setter of modern day riots between this two religion.
    Indian’s hatred towards Pakistan is not from text books we read as you guys do. It is from the chain of events we witnessed in our own lifetime which makes us want to believe that Pakistan is indeed the most mis-guided nation in world only next to North Korea. Recommend

  • Sid


  • Sid

    This is exactly what you guys would like to believe since the falsified history text books in Pakistan were exposed. Somehow Pakistanis start thinking that whole world is a thief so what if we were caught in a theft. Good luck with the success of your future generations.Recommend

  • Salman

    And modi planning to exile all Muslims? Muslims in Indian might be lover of their nation but they have no Islamic freedom and are accustomed to practices which aren’t allowed in Islam. M A Jinnah is our hero and would always be, where as I see Gandhi as a total failure because though he opposed two nation theory, he eventually lost when Pakistan was created.Recommend

  • H.M.T.

    Yeah, let’s just ignore the fact that India is running the largest occupied state in world, Kashmir. If it is a natural part of India then why do have a massive occupying force there? We don’t have military crackdowns on our side.Recommend

  • Please, could someone not have proofed and edited this? Is there any editorial oversight of ANY kind in the blogs section? How can this kind of language just pass through filters? I don’t mean to disrespect the author, but surely some kind of quality control is important?Recommend

  • Dr. Nawaz

    Napoleon once said ‘What is history but a fable agreed upon?’Recommend

  • hassan

    If jinnah had lived till 1971, pakistan would have been great, democractic, united country.Recommend

  • Namrah Rajpoot

    Enjoyed reading every bit of it. Congratulations to Tanveer Khadim for an unbiased and truthful column.Recommend

  • hoshiar singh gill

    I have wIdely read indian history books including text books but never come across any that reffered to Jinnah Sahib as a “villain”. Writers like khushwant Singh and Jaswant Singh Kanwal have written highly of M.A.J. This is despite the fact that Sikhs
    were totally wiped out from the birth place of their religion in this trajic saga.Muslim kings,saints, and Sufi writers and legends like Heer Ranjha and Mirza Sahiban
    are inseperable parts of Indian history.Pakistanis only see Muslims as heroes.People like Shaheede Azam Bhagat Singh and Shaheed Udham Singh (the man who avenged the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre by shooting the Governer General Michael
    O’dwyer in London) and took oath on a copy of Heer Waris Shah during his trial are
    totally ignored in Pakistan. If we look at the history rationally we should be able to
    see qualities and short comings of all historical figures after all they were only human.
    People do not have to be seen as black and white as there are a lots of shades of grey.
    Progressive writers on both sides of the border have tried to adressed this balance but their voice is drowned under the negative propoganda in the mass media of both countries.Recommend

  • Talal

    I agree with the point that author has raised in her column.
    Never ever dismiss history as worthless, we need to discover the good and the bad because history is all about who we are, and who we should be.Recommend

  • Talal

    History is best to comprehend human conduct and it is good
    for states when it comes to diplomacy and international relations.Recommend

  • James Malish

    Unlike ghandi, Jeenah was the grestest gift to the mankind. the entire world, except the greatest of historian stanley woopspert, has conspired against jeenah and pakistan to have him completely ignored by the history written by the evil west and hin-jews. But pakstanis know better, the entire world can’t fool them, no matter how much evidence the world has.Recommend

  • James Malish

    I don’t agree with your statement. Most of the muslims in india (specially west and south india) are good humans.Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    The area that constitutes pakistan today would be better off if jinnah had listened to gandhi & not partitioned india. India has its very many flaws, but at least the idea of india is not hazy & neither is it a failed state. Jinnah stayed gr8 coz he died early, and none of the flaws of today’s pakistan can be directly attributed to him. However, even he wud not have been able to escape the poison of fundamentalism while framing tje constitution after having created a state in the name pf islam., evident in the fact that he had declared in dhaka that urdu alone shall b the state language of pakistan, sounding the early death knell of the two nation theory!Recommend

  • sakali

    The thrust of the article is correct. Heroes and villaines are pereceived
    differently by the people. Unfortunately, Jinnah, Gandhi and Nehru are
    now reviled in both India and Pakistan. Right wing Hindu organization, now
    ideological guide to BJP, hated Gandhi and assassinated him. Nehru is
    disliked because he instituted socialist policies in independent India and that,
    according to many people, slowed India’s economic progress. Indians
    consider Jinnah a villain because he partitioned the country. Even many
    Pakistanis revile him for creating Pakistan because the country has myriad
    problems mostly due to poor governance by his successors.
    Personally, I think they were the giants like of whom we won’t see again.
    Muslims haven’t had a leader like Jinnah- goal oriented, determined, incorruptible.
    Gandhi innovated the use of non-violence to gain independence. Most of the
    other countries had to shed blood to gain theirs. Nehru was a visionary.
    He knew what India should be- democratic , industrialized and progressive
    in science and technology. He laid the foundation for modern India. Again
    his successors like Jinnah’s didn’t do good job of furthering his legacy.
    An Urdu couplet sums up these personalities very well:
    “Hazaon saal nargis apni virani pe roti hai, bari mushkal se hota hai chamn me deedavar paida”
    These three tried to nurture their chaman. Their successors let them down.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Nehru and his guru – The Mahatma are National and International icons. They are icons of non-violence struggle and you compare them with Napolean, Stalin and other such lesser mortals?

    What does Jinnah stand for, really? Every few weeks a liberal writes a column of how this is not “Jinnah’s Pakistan”, quotes a part of Aug 11 speech.

    I simply point out JInnah also said Pakistan’s Constitution should be based on Sharia, I point out how Direct Action day(Direct action, but against whom? The British?) called by his Muslim League lead to the deaths of people in Muslim majority Bengal.

    I also try to quote passages from Direct Action day manifesto approved none other than Jinnah himself, but I delete it knowing it’ll never be approved. So, I just paste a link.


    The Mahatma and his heir did great service to India and to the world. They showed the world a fight can be fought without compromising on your principles.

    They single-handedly resurrected the India, which was down and out, after 1000 years of foreign rule. They showed India is still the land of Buddha and Asoka. Mahaveera and Rama.

    Even Malala had to take the Mahatma’s name in her UN Address.

    Today we all see what is India associated with and what is Pakistan associated with. A large part has to do with the legacy of their founders.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    You get valid history online, but you are programmed to reject any narrative which projects Jinnah badly.

    You want all the principle players to be the good guys.

    Face it : There were 2 sets of people : One for Pakistan, which comprised of the Feudals, Communalists, etc., the other side comprised of the Mahatma and Nehru.

    Till today Land Reforms have not been implemented in Pakistan, which India did in 1951. Yet, Muslim League, which called Direct Action day(Against whom? The occupying British? Or, the faceless Hindus?), are the good guys.


    History is brutal, face it.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    One great mistake of Nehru. He closed the window of migration based on some romantic notion of secularism and justice.

    Nehru didn’t view Religion the way Muslim League did. So did Gandhi.

    If the window was open much longer, the Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh would have been much safer.Recommend

  • abhi345

    they didnt live enough see mumbai attacks, parliament attacks, expulsion of hindus from kashmir etc. Most dont take inspiration from the dead. We just remember them.Recommend

  • Anwaar

    *appluase* …..Recommend

  • H.M.T.

    Oh look an other ET thread hijacked by Indians……. surprise, surprise. Don’t they have their own websites?Recommend

  • Anwaar

    *applause again*Recommend

  • H.M.T.

    Or the fact that Kashmir also wants to be independent. There is no point arguing with these people. They only see things the way they want to.Recommend

  • Anwaar

    I dont remember my textbooks portraying Gandhi as an enemy .. rather he was portrayed as the rival of Jinnah who had different opinions …Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Gandhi and Nehru spent 11 and 9 years of their lives in jail fighting British. Jinnah didn’t spend a day in in the hot sun, protesting the British, forget being jailed.

    Please do not compare things which are not equal. Its an insult to people who got beaten black and blue by the British, to people who were killed by the British.

    A child who died in the mass murder at Jalianwallah Bagh did more to rout the British than M.A.Jinnah.

    If you have any example of Jinnah protesting or sitting on a hunger strike or spending time in jail or getting beaten up in jail, please let us know.

    You cannot compare a Politician with a Soldier. Gandhi, Nehru, Bhagat Singh were Soldiers.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    They fought the behemoth which was the British tooth and nail, but gave in to Muslim League’s demand(can easily be called Blackmail) for Pakistan.

    While they preached and practiced secularism, they were realists too. Some people cannot be changed, some mindsets cannot be worn.

    Like Pakistan will eventually give up a large chunk of its Territory to Taliban, Congress knew if Pakistan was not born, India would plunge into civil war.

    In a realist take on the scenario, more Muslims mean only one thing.Recommend

  • Ram Lubhaya

    Jinnah got Pakistan through threat of violence. I am no fan of Nehru and blame him for a lot of problems India is facing but he laid foundations of a modern India by setting up world class education institutions and factories. His commitment to democracy and secularism shaped our laws and institutions and made them fit for modern life. This is paying dividends now. It would have happened earlier if his daughter had not foisted fake socialism on the nation. Even before independence writings of Nehru show how he wanted to India to shape up after the British left. Most of the protest programmes of Congress were driven largely by economic hardship people were facing. I doubt if Muslim League had any blueprint for how nation would be shaped after they get it. They did not lead any opposition to the British. When independence was certain they gate crashed the party and look away their share. Good for them. Lets see what more do we see in coming years.Recommend

  • Mikail

    good try but the article showcases our approach to such matters … ‘crushing’ the other side etc
    and btw Saladin is not revered by all muslimsRecommend

  • Bahram

    @Author Tanveer Khadim
    Very Good Column! keep up the good work. Your arguments are reflection of a very intelligent disciplined thinking.Recommend

  • Bahram

    History throws up the greatest discussions and finest
    arguments. That’s why it is such a enjoyable, vivacious topic to discuss at any time.Recommend

  • Nishith

    Jinnah’s Direct action Day riot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mappila_riotsRecommend

  • Nishith
  • Bunny

    Why many Indians friends here, ignored the growth of the talent of
    historical interpretation, chiefly with respect to the historiography.Recommend

  • Bunny

    Historical interpretation is when a main historical affair is depicted from
    diverse points of views.
    For example Indians and Pakistanis cannot move an inch from
    their point of views when it comes to historical events. They cannot agree on a single note.Recommend

  • Bunny

    Salman you are right, it was Gandhi’s political failure that tossed the Indian political structure back into its previous situation of frustration and nuisance.Recommend

  • Bunny

    Amina can you tell me how Indian history books portray Mughal era?
    BTW you haven’t read the article fully or you haven’t picked the basic concept behind the writing of this article.Recommend

  • Dr Ahmed Shah

    @Tanveer well done for writing this thought provoking article, much-needed topic.

    Because of M A Jinnah’s ideals and vision we are living a free life otherwise life would have been much tougher in united India as majority of Muslims in India are living a suppressed life with no rights.

    Indian minorities don’t even have any rights including the religious rights —- Kashmir, Babri Masjid and Golden temple are just a few examples.Recommend

  • Fingolfin

    Ms Tanveer, the unfortunate reality is that Muslims did not fight for independence from the British. The Muslims league did not and all of todays Pakistan has barely a couple of names to give as individuals who fought the British. It was the Congress who did that. All that the Muslims League did is that once the Congress finished the job of liberating India, the Muslims League got up and demanded its pound of flesh. Not one Muslim League leader went to jail for even a day. These are the historical facts.Recommend

  • hoshiar singh gill

    @Tanveer despite all his qualities Emir Timor was single handedly responsible for the deaths of 17 million people.Can you imagine being at the receiving end of his butchery.It would be a shame to ignore this fact and to only glorify someone just because he his one’s co-religionist.The same rule ought to be applied to each and evey historical figure.Recommend

  • abhi

    This article clearly indicates how far the propaganda is reached.Recommend

  • abhi

    while we are at this topic lets add name of Kasab also. While he is a villain for Indians, he is a hero for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Rakib

    {You can neither deny your own national heroes nor accept other’s national heroes as your own. Contradiction will always be there – your hero will always be their villain and vice versa.} (Tanveer Khadim). Not to detract from the excellent article but IMO, certain absolute statements, simplistic to boot, presuppose that my Heroes are paragons of virtue & courage while “other’s” heroes/ my Villains that tormented me (or, so I believe) are the very embodiment of cunning & cowardice-any remission is granted so grudgingly that it would make the villain look even worse. That is school-boyish fancy. Reality is different. Heroes may have feet of clay & villains may have hearts of gold. Men are a complex mixture of good, bad & ugly with shades of gray and their stature becomes taller or they shrink in public esteem as perceptions, times & needs change. Generally, the great are merely put to use by the puny & the latter ascribe good/bad qualities to the former that they did not even possess. Important is to recall what Nehru said in 1963 to Richard Attenborough when the filmmaker approached him with proposal to make film “Gandhi”. Nehru said something to Attenborough that the director never forgot though it took long years to make the movie. Nehru said:‘Whatever you do, do not deify him, that is what we have done in India and he was too great a man to be deified.’ Applies to all stalwarts..Recommend

  • Laxman

    Excellent blog.
    Writer’s point that history is divided between good and bad characters is totally right. It is something that precisely over shadow the history of two rival nation. So no need to fume.Recommend

  • Laxman

    To my all Indian fellows
    This blog is not about the comparison between Nehru, Gandhi and Jinnah, it is just about the analysis how history is treated and what history is for the people.Recommend

  • Alec Home

    To Salman
    You are still living in 1948 AD.
    If Jinnah is an honest decent man and comes alive today, he will forbid you from calling him a hero. He has much to be ashmed of – IF he happens to be an honest decent man. A muslim in India does not and cannot love India. He can only pretend that. Islam’s long term goal is the extermination of the hindu identity. That is going on since 1200 years. Pakistan is the result of that. Jinnah had not thought over everything. He was just interested in his personal victory in 1947.Recommend

  • Amjad

    @mini sur
    MAKE YOUR HISTORY CORRECT: “Two Nation Theory” was not of Jinnah.
    If according to you ‘two nation theory had died in 1971’, what will you say Jinnah thrashed, crushed, busted the myth of ‘Akhand Bharat in 1947’.Recommend

  • Amjad


    According to me spending years or days in jail doesn’t make a politician, ‘a great leader’. It is much better and worthy that without going to jail, Jinnah achieved his goal in short span of time, fighting with his pen and valid arguments rather doing nasty things.

    Jinnah, Gandhi, Nehru, Lala Lajpatrai, Liaqat Ali Khan, Moulana Zafarul Haq etc were all politicians. No one can single out Mohammad Ali Jinnah.Recommend

  • A Naimat

    At last truth revealed, what Indians think of Pakistan and Quaid e Azam. Each and every comment shows hatred and narrow mindedness towards M A Jinnah and still many simple people consider Indians as true friends due to their sugar coated propaganda.

    Kudos to writer for this juicy topic that revealed the real face of Indians. Alas we cannot change our neighbours.Recommend

  • Laiba

    @Tanveer Khadim
    The examples you have mentioned are fabulous same is the case with India and Pakistan history.Recommend

  • Laiba

    Excellent point Salman, Yes it was Jinnah’s success and Gandhi’s failure that led to the partition of the South Asia.Recommend

  • Realist

    What the hell do you pakistanis know about Gorkhaland lol.Read about it before running your mouth.I know Pakistan has a low literacy rate and even lower standard of education but this is ridiculous.I live in west bengal dude, and the gorkhaland movement is for a new state not a new country.The gorkhas want their own administration not a bengali dominated one.Next time focus on your balochistan and sindhudesh(which asked for freedom once again a couple of days ago) before running your mouth on Indian issues.As for tamil nadu…don’t even touch that issue bro cause if you meet an Indian tamil in real life you would wish you never opened that issue in the first place.Same for north easterns.The Bodos were famous for something during Kargil.Read it up.

    P.S I never comment on this site but you guys are just hilarious.Most of the hate for Pakistan comes from north India as rest of India never shared history with you guys.But now I understand why you people are hated.You guys don’t even have a clue about the world.Recommend

  • Laiba

    @nkaji:disqus Why a Indian murdered the “good humanist Gandhi” ?Recommend

  • AshfaqF

    Loved it , being a history student myself I found it absolutely true. Our heroes will remain heroes no matter what others try to portray them.Recommend

  • AshfaqF


    Indians are taking revenge of cricket ;PRecommend

  • Sadia

    Muslims in India must be thanking their luck to be born there are they are allowed to follow “practices which aren’t allowed in Islam” … Pakistani’s just love to police Islam. Indians can I get a passport please!Recommend

  • Farhat

    @ Rakib
    In the subject of history the definition of hero and villain is quite different from what you are interpreting. It has nothing to do with the heart of gold and feet of clay.
    It is someone’s own opinion (historian or narrator’s point of view) that defines or draws red line between the historical heroes and villains, it may be the said personality’s charisma or sometimes his or her acts and many a times the contemporary events and the steps taken by that personality which makes him or her Hero or Villain in the pages of history, even after decades or centuries no matter what time frame is needed.
    So don’t be so childish to comment on a historical subject without having proper clear thinking.Recommend

  • Farhat


    If only I believe your distorted version of history then couple of questions arises:
    If “Congress finished the job of liberating India” then why congress ministers needed to resign in 1939 and British had to admit that without Muslin league, the representations of Indian Muslims is nothing but a fool’s paradise.

    One more thing, the resignations came as a result of immense pressure of Muslim league.Recommend

  • Farhat

    Second question:
    1946 elections which Muslim league contested in the name of Pakistan, how Muslims voted vigorously for Muslim League and Why British came to conclusion that Muslims under their one and only representative party Muslim League will never ever accept Congress’s hegemony and they will fight till death to have their own land Pakistan.Recommend

  • Talat

    Read the article carefully, the author has not justified Timor’s acts nor does she has glorified Timor’s personality and author has not even given her opinion in any of the examples. In my opinion, author has just added examples for the sake of record.Recommend

  • Hussain

    Kasab may be a hero for India but he is not a hero for Pakistan. In fact, Kasab was a tool that has been used by Indians to defame Pakistan. Kasab is a villain for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Rehan Khan

    American Biographer, Stanley Wolpert said these beautiful words to signify the character of M A Jinnah:

    “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”

    It was Mr. Jinnah who fought British and Congress at the same time to create Pakistan.Recommend

  • Khan

    @Tanveer Khadim
    Excellent unbiased column. Well Done!

    Apart from few, many people who are commenting here, have not reached the essence and the concept of this column. IMO you simply gave the idea behind any historical and political analysis. No matter it is between nations or leaders as you have given examples to solidify your point.

    Mostly people are engaging in absurd logics to justify their ill-historical knowledge. They don’t have either command on the concept of histro-political analysis nor do they have any proper assesment of the examples you have given and the argument you tried to establish.Recommend

  • Rehan Khan

    To my Indian friends with respect,

    Realise one thing India didn’t get independence from British but it was divided first to make Pakistan, It was Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s blessing that paved the way for the Congress to claim “India has got Independence”.

    Vijay Lakshmi Pundit, the sister of Jawaharlalz Nehru, the first prime minister of India, wrote in her book: ““If Pakistan Muslim League had 100 Gandhis and 200 Abulkalam Azads, there would have been no Pakistan. However, if the Congress had only one Jinnah, India would not have been divided.””


  • Rana Ali

    I don’t see any thing in the article that is causing so much anguish to my Indian friends. The point established is quite simple that Gandhi or Nehru can’t be a national hero for a Pakistani likewise Quaid-e-Azam can’t be a Quaid-e-Azam or national hero for Indian.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Using Religion to achieve political aims, to use the threat of blackmail and civil war are not things to be proud of.

    Many Politicians after Jinnah have used Religion to gain popularity and many groups in Pakistan have used the threat of violence to get their way.

    Please read the Direct Action Manifesto if you think Jinnah did not use Religion or threat of violence. Pasting the link here for your benefit.


  • Nabeel

    If Gandhi is an humanist and non violent, comes alive today, he would have loaded Modi with flowers and would have led the election campaign…….and Indian held Kashmir would have been his summer house for peaceful vacations.Recommend

  • Nabeel

    Amina, I have never come across any history textbook of any country that has a language you mentioned “The brave Hindus got freedom from the evil church going British” , Still textbooks segregate national personalities from the rivals.Recommend

  • Nobel Person

    Exactly, historical facts on internet are also incorrect , they only present the admin’s mind set. Reading both sides views is the only way to establish your own interpretation of a history.Recommend

  • Hussain

    Laiba you have asked a very important question. There is no particular answer or justification behind the Gandhi’s murder.Recommend

  • Hussain

    I would love to hear the reasons that fans of Gandhi will give for his murder. I hope some Gandhi fan will shed some light on the topic.Recommend

  • Mohammad Faraaz

    India’s former foreign minister Jaswant Singh blamed India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the split and partition, by praising Jinnah as a federalist.

    In Jaswant Singh’s eyes Nehru is almost a villain who played a role in partition of the united India.Recommend

  • Rakib

    {It is someone’s own opinion (historian or narrator’s point of view) that defines or draws red line between the historical heroes and villains, Etc,} All can have opinions but THAT kind of blind belief in a single point of view inflicted by a biased historian or narrator appears childish to me. To you however your words may appear to be pearls of wisdom. Indeed, there is a difference how its all viewed.. I shall certainly question the validity of every claim made by a narrator regarding her Hero or Villain; never questioning her right to an opinion.Recommend

  • Palwasha Afrooz

    Good blog and nice discussion in the comments
    Though some of the Indian perspective is nearly opposite the Pakistani perspective but this the beauty of history that it divides its readers in favour and in against.Recommend

  • Farhat

    Narrator is someone who writes or narrates historical events, the above article is not a historical narration, it is a just an article based upon the narrations.
    Thank God I can distinguish between an article and a narration.Recommend

  • Rakib

    Nehru was a Hero to millions. He has fallen from that pedestal since
    then. Today the sheen has worn off for the post ’90s
    (post-Liberalisation) generation. He is not only no longer a hero but on
    the verge of being a villain from an increasingly popular point of
    view. Sukarno, Tito, Nasser…
    all courageous leaders & fighters were Heroes of their countries
    back then & so were Lenin & Stalin, Pinochet, Marcos &
    Saddam. May not be any more. Historians & Narrators should only
    record & narrate; not provide a spin or mouth ancient, hackneyed
    cliches like one man’s hero is other’s villain & so on, in this day
    & age in this Global Village where idioms, aphorisms &
    definitions are undergoing a change and history a revision…Recommend