Like the spider in the nursery rhyme ‘Little Miss Muffet’, M.A. Jinnah seems to have the unnerving habit of popping up at the side of various BJP leaders. Only unlike the little girl who fled at the sight of the arachnid, our BJP worthies seem to embrace the father of the Pakistani nation. After poor L.K. Advani was pilloried for uttering the ‘J’ word in tones of appreciation, now it is Jaswant Singh’s turn to praise Jinnah in his latest book. Sharply timed to hit the stands even as the BJP is trying to pull itself together in today’s Chintan Baithak, the book will definitely create a flutter. All the better for its sales.
But we would like to know why the BJP bigwigs are so enamoured of Jinnah and not so of their own stalwarts like Golwalkar or Savarkar or Hedgewar. Now all this Jinnah business is bound to get the RSS’s knickers in a twist.
The Pakistanis, however, must be a happy lot. Jinnah, not exactly top of the pops in the gullies of Peshawar and Lahore, has found page three celebritydom in enemy territory. We are just surprised that old Jaswant who has been rattling around for years should discover Jinnah’s finer qualities at the precise moment that the party is going down the tube. Next we’ll find him, clipped accent and all, heading for the Wagah border along with the other do-gooders. But don’t worry Jaswant, you may find detractors in your party, but let’s see what they’ll have to say up in Darjeeling when you whip around with the Nishan-e-Pakistan in your lapel.