Key excerpts from Jaswant Singh's book

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2009 20:23 IST
Excerpts from Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence by Jaswant Singh, the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader whose views on the Pakistan founder led to his expulsion from the party Wednesday:

* "The basic and structural fault in Jinnah's notion remains a rejection of his origins; of being an Indian, having been shaped by the soil of India, tempered in the heat of Indian experience. Muslims in India were no doubt subscribers to a different faith but that is all; they were not any different stock or of alien origin."

* "It is in this, a false 'minority syndrome' that the dry rot of partition first set in, and then unstoppably it afflicted the entire structure, the magnificent edifice of an united India. The answer (cure?), Jinnah asserted, lay only in parting, and Nehru and Patel and others of the Congress also finally agreed. Thus was born Pakistan".

* "His opposition was not against the Hindus or Hinduism, it was the Congress that he considered as the true political rival of the Muslim League, and the League he considered as being just an 'extension of himself'. He, of course, made much of the Hindu-Muslim riots (1946; Bengal, Bihar, etc.) to 'prove the incapacity of Congress Governments to protect Muslims; and also expressed fear of "Hindu raj" to frighten Muslims into joining the League, but during innumerable conversations with him I can rarely recall him attacking Hindus or Hinduism as such. His opposition, which later developed into almost hatred, remained focused upon the Congress leadership' (M.R.A. Baig, Jinnah's secretary)."

* "Religion in all this was entirely incidental; Pakistan alone gave him all that his personality and character demanded. If Mr. Jinnah was necessary for achieving Pakistan, Pakistan, too was necessary for the fulfilment of Mr. Jinnah."

* "However, it has to be said, and with great sadness, that despite some early indications to the contrary, the leaders of the Indian National Congress, in the period between the outbreak of war in 1939 and the country's partition in 1947, showed in general, a sad lack of realism, of foresight, of purpose and of will."

* "As (Maulana Azad) wrote in his memoirs, he had come to the conclusion that Indian federation should deal with just three subjects: defence, foreign affairs and communications; thus granting the maximum possible autonomy to the provinces. According to the Maulana, Gandhi accepted this suggestion, while Sardar Patel did not."

* "For, along with several other there is one central difficult that India, Pakistan, Bangladesh face: our 'past' has, in reality never gone into the 'past', it continues to reinvent itself, constantly becoming our 'present', thus preventing us from escaping the imprisonment of memories. To this we have to find an answer, who else can or will?"


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