Stories about Jinnah

What Dr Hoodhboy got wrong

An opinion piece in The Express Tribune “Run for your life” by Dr Pervez Hoodhboy on March 5, 2012 read: This essay deliberately excludes Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. The reason: these communities were never enthused about India’s partition (even though some individual members pretended to be)… First of all, bravo Dr Hoodbhoy for such a brave article on the injustices faced by the non-Muslim Pakistanis in the name of religion. While Dr Hoodbhoy painted a factual picture on the general state of affairs, he conveniently made some very disturbing assumptions on behalf of people, that to date, are fighting for their right of “Pakistaniyat” just ...

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‘Just call me Muslim’

This year there have been a number of reports that what were clearly acts of sectarian violence, hatred and discrimination. In January, three lawyers – a father, his son and nephew–  were gunned down. They were Muslims who belonged to the Shia sect. On the same day, three other professionals from the Shia community were killed in Quetta. This all follows the year of 2011 where hundreds of Shias were murdered – and it seems as if nothing has, or will change. The Shia community is not the only minority sect that is being targeted. For a couple of weeks, attempts were made to ...

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Will I ever be a Pakistani?

During the cricket World Cup in 2011, many who knew that I am a Hindu, including some of my colleagues, asked me who I would support; India or Pakistan. The question was very irritating and annoyed me to the point that I would lose my temper. I didn’t understand why on earth they would ask me such a stupid question – just because I’m Hindu? Why isn’t the same question asked of a Christian when Pakistan plays against Australia, England or New Zealand? Despite the fact that this state was created with a pledge by the father of the nation for ...

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Ruttie’s love letter to Jinnah

This blog post is dedicated to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of our beloved country Pakistan. In light of Jinnah’s recent birthday, the media has been showing stories about his life, and newspapers are flooded with anecdotes regarding the Quaid. Having listened to the news and read up much about him, there is one story in particular that has touched my heart. Our enigmatic, charismatic leader has been very secretive about his private life, yet this story shows the depth of passion his wife had for him. I happened to stumble across the last love letter written to Jinnah by ...

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Demystifying Jinnah’s Pakistan

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, rightly known as the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, spent most of his life advocating for a united India in which rights of all factions would be respected and Muslims given an equal representation in all state affairs. It was not until he realised this was not possible in the prevailing political atmosphere that he took up a different path to protect the rights of the Muslim minority – fighting for a separate homeland. For as long as Pakistan has existed, liberals and conservatives have debated the true nature of the state that Jinnah envisioned and helped ...

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What our text books do not say

While having class discussions with my sociology students sometime back, I noticed that some of my students, although very bright and intellectually capable, seemed to be uneasy with various debates within the stream of sociology about topics that are considered taboo in our society. However, what struck me most was their constant reliance on pinning down problems in the societal realm of Europe to the continent being not impacted by Islam. Their reference point always seemed to be the ‘glorious age of Islam’-the years of Madinah republic. My students seemed to be still living in a romanticised past where Islamic empires ...

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Many Mumtaz Qadris: We are children of hate

Many decades ago Rafiq Sabir entered a Gujarati businessman’s palace-like home in Bombay. Almost 60 minutes after this intrusion, he was led out, handcuffed, by policemen. The charge against him was that he had attacked ‘a leader of a religious party for political reasons’. This leader survived the attack and went on to create a country where sixty-eight years later ‘another Rafiq Sabir’ attacked ‘a leader of a political party for religious reasons’. The snake was taught another language, the venom was given another colour but their effectiveness was undiminished. Today, an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis hold in respect a ...

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Jinnah’s Pakistan, hijacked by clerics

With the partition of the Indian subcontinent, Pakistan came into existence on August 14, 1947. The valiant and astute Muhammad Ali Jinnah led the minority Muslim community of united India to a separate homeland to fulfill the demand for freedom of religion, profession, and speech. Jinnah was an outstanding lawyer who had studied law in London. He had a modern outlook on the world and was strongly secular. Part of the oath under which he took office reads: “No subject … in Pakistan shall, on grounds only of religion, place of birth, descent, color or any of them be ineligible for office.” He was ...

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Jinnah, minorities and cake

After four years of celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day on foreign soil, I finally had the opportunity to celebrate the 14th of August in Pakistan. As with most celebrations in Pakistan, this celebration too inadvertently revolved around food. On this momentous occasion, one of my cousins baked a cake that looked like the Pakistani flag. As I was staring at the appetizing green and white cake, I was reminded of a fact that my teacher once told me of how the green in the flag represented the Muslims in Pakistan, and the white the non-Muslims. I smirked to myself and thought ...

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On being Pakistani

With 14th of August around the corner, festive fever is on the rise. Civic organizations, student groups, and social, electronic and print media are joining the swelling ranks of celebratory brigades. And that’s where some of the problems with ill-informed, obsessive nationalism begin. Have you been confused by invitations to ‘no ethnic identities welcome’ events? If yes, read on.   This past week, I received a few invitations for Independence Day walks and seminars. The proposition, ‘No Sindhi, No Punjabi, No Pathan, and No Balochi – Only Pakistani Welcome’ made them distasteful. Honestly, who’s left then? With the exception of a few citizens ...

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