Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jinnah was a great Indian - Jaswant Singh thinks so

The controversial BJP leader Jaswant Singh is set to get entangled into more controversy after the release of his book "Jinnah - India, Partition, Independence." He has reportedly praised Jinnah as being a great Indian and has blamed Congress party particularly Pandit Nehru for demonizing him and portraying him as the biggest Hindu hater and solely responsible for partition, which is set to raise many eyebrows not only from Congress party but from BJP hardliners as well as Sangh leaders. In a recent interview on "Devil's Advocate" being interviewed by Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN, Jaswant Singh has made some startling facts about Jinnah, otherwise being considered by almost all Indians as the person solely responsible for partition, about him being a great Indian. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

If he subscribes to the popular demonization of Mohammed Ali Jinnah?

“Of course I don’t. To that I don’t subscribe. I was attracted by the personality which has resulted in a book. If I was not drawn to the personality I wouldn’t have written the book. It’s an intricate, complex personality, of great character, determination.”

If he views Jinnah as a great man?

"Oh yes, because he created something out of nothing and single handedly he stood against the might of the Congress Party and against the British who didn’t really like him ... Gandhi himself called Jinnah a great Indian. Why don’t we recognize that? Why don’t we see (and try to understand) why he called him that?”

If, in his view, Jinnah was a nationalist?

“Oh yes. He fought the British for an independent India but also fought resolutely and relentlessly for the interest of the muslims of India … the acme of his nationalistic achievement was the 1916 Lucknow Pact of hindu-muslim unity.”

Asked if the view held by many in India that Jinnah hated hindus was mistaken?

“Wrong. Totally wrong. That certainly he was not … his principal disagreement was with the Congress Party .. .he had no problems whatsoever with hindus.”

About Pandit Nehru, Jaswant Singh questioned about his policy.

"Nehru believed in a high centralized policy. That’s what he wanted India to be. Jinnah wanted a federal polity. That even Gandhi accepted. Nehru didn’t. Consistently he stood in the way of a federal India until 1947 when it became a partitioned India.”

These are a few excerpts from this highly controversial interview that will spark off many a debates in themselves, so just wait for some high-voltage political drama in the next few days.

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