by Jaswant Singh, who was the Indian Foreign Minister of BJP( Bhartiye Janta
Party) Government, but was eliminated from
the membership of BJP as a
punishment for writing book to correct the opinions of Indians about Muhammad
Ali Jinnah. The history of Indian freedom movement during the twentieth century
is explored in this book. It contains ten chapters and all chapters give rise
to the criticism on India and portray
the political sketch of Jinnah , his role in Hindu-Muslim unity and defending Muslims
for their rights as well as presenting
ideology of Pakistan. The author considers Jinnah not only the Quaid-e-Azam of Pakistan
but also of entire South Asia. Briefly this book deals with the answers of
What was the reason
behind the division of India?
Who was blamed for
Who was actually
responsible for this division?
Why only Muslims of subcontinent were fighting
The author reveals where and when Two Nations Theory
originated and how this revolution was obvious when a hindu became Muslim. The inspiration of writing on Jinnah in author’s mind was during touring Minar-e-Pakistan, when he realized that there is no biography of Jinnah written by
any Indian Political figure. So in 2004 he started work on his personality and
in 2009 he concluded his views in task of book.
The first chapter titled ‘India-Islam-Nationhood’
deals with the
Muslim’s rise and fall in India. The text briefly analyses
the consequence of Muslim politics and rise of Muslim exceptionalism on the basis of Two Nation Theory till August 14,
The second chapter,
titled ‘Jenabhai to Jinnah: the Journey’ explores Jinnah’s early days, his schooling in India, his advanced
education in England and his political career as a nationalist where he joint
Indian party with neutral thoughts.
The third chapter titled ‘The turbulent twenties’ describes
conflicts between Hindu and Muslims. The author also declares Jinnah
efforts for the merger of Hindu-Muslim unity as he says; ‘It could not be, for
almost every Muslim was with Gandhi when Jinnah left the Congress.’ But
their social, religious and political conflicts made them apart in two nations.
The fourth chapter titled ‘Sharpening focus narrowing options’ author’s main focus is on Gandhi’s entry into the Indian politics and
his political philosophy. Jinnah’s entrance into the second phase of his
political career as the defender of the Muslim rights .
The fifth chapter titled ‘A
short decade-A long end game’ is full of the political events happened in India and
discussion in details about 1937 provincial elections and their effect on Muslim
representation in Muslim League Resolutions. Although the author discusses
Jinnah’s positive point of view towards the British cooperation in the Second
World War. The author talks about the Pakistan Resolution in the end of this
chapter and calls it Jinnah’s ‘carefully planned strategy’ to gain control of
Muslim politics. But after that all author is failed to find the answer that why
Jinnah thought it better for Muslims to get separation from India.
The sixth chapter titled ‘Sunset of the empire-post-dated cheque on
a collapsing bank’ starts with the rapidly spreading germs for getting
separation, years after years. This part discusses in details the August 1940
Offer, Cripps Mission and the League and Congress attitude during the second world
War. In the end of the chapter, author seems to unwilling in accepting the
reality of the division of India.
The seventh chapter titled ‘A war of succession-Diverging paths’ Singh starts with the believe
that careful partition done over a
period of time with little loss of life and there would be peace before and
after partition. The author also gives a
stance on other topics as the Simla Conferences, the 1946 elections, Congress
and League in UP, Cabinet Mission, Congress President elect’s interview, Direct
Action Day and the Calcutta riots with summing up this chapter.
The chapter eighth titled ‘Stymied Negotiations?’ is the remaining part of the previous topic
Cabinet Mission plan. He analyses Gandhi-Jinnah formula and argues that Nehru
and the Congress leadership had rejected the formula but it was in a sense
‘Gandhi’s last attempt to save India from a partition.’
The ninth chapter titled ‘Mountbatten Viceroyalty: The end of the Raj’ deals with the
discussion of the situation which led the demand of Mountbatten induction as a
Viceroy of India to conclude the transfer of powers. The author calls here Jinnah
a great thinker of the ideology of Pakistan and no one could move him from his
planned path but being an Indian the author is not reasy to accept the reality
of the partition of India and failure of Gandhi’s plan.
The chapter tenth titled
‘Pakistan: Birth-Independence: The
Qauid-e-Azam’s last journey’ elaborates Jinnah’s desire ‘burying the past’
when he arrived Karachi after the partition and acknowledge the both leaders
Gandhi and Jinnah’s efforts.
The author concludes all his discussion in last chapter
titled ‘In Retrospect’ He sums up the great political journey of Jinnah from
the Indian nationalist and ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity to the defender of the Muslim rights and ideology of
This book can be placed amongst one of the best on Indian
freedom movement that reveals the reality about Jinnah who is considered
villain of separation in 1947 but actually a great hero who recognized the apt
full need of Muslims while living in India. This task of presenting Jinnah’s
purpose allows others to accepting the reality of partition, recognizing the
ideology of Pakistan and existence of Hindus and Muslims as separate entities
with different cultures and way of life. All the questions are remained with
silent answers and left for readers to answer them by themselves. In my views the clearance of separation and
elaboration of that condition aims to give respective and sympathetic neighborly
relations. We need to put the past in the past. But it is important to confess
that the conception of Pakistan was the only realistic solution of the many created problem
of the subcontinent.