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A person to personality

The News International Pakistan - December 25, 2005
By Nighat Leghari

Holding a sheet of a cardboard against the oil lamp to shield the light of the other members of the family from the light of the lamp, an underweight slim boy with powerful shining eyes, which can be termed as "twin lamps of the truth" is sitting against the study table in the small village of Paneli in India. He feels a different object in his mind, something bigger, something more ambitious and a world of his own vision. He wants to occupy the place, which was unique. His mind is one of the most active. He feels even when he was a boy that he has got nothing in common with common man. His every action marked him out from other boys.

When he would see the other children playing colour marbles in the dusty streets he would ask them, "Don't play marbles in the dust, it will spoil your hands and clothes, stand up, letís play cricket. All his mates looked upon him as leader and superior. When he was schooled he clearly asked his father that he had no interest in studying and he would like to join his fatherís business office, but after a few days in the office he came to know that without education it is very difficult to run an office and he persuaded his father to re-admit him in the school again. Then like a religious routine he restarted his education and in the tender age of sixteen he left for England. He spent more and more time in the British museum reading and studying the lives of great men. He passed his Bar-at-Law with distinction and he was the youngest Indian student ever to be called to the Bar. Now he had been grown up to a tall boy with heavy lips and powerful eyes. In England, while "Willing Woman Wine and Weather" were streaming to bound the youthful Indian chaps Mohammad Ali measured up to the higher standards of character.

When his father, who was a rich merchant came to a collapse of a business he asked Mohammad Ali to come back to take charge of his business, who answered that he will demand no expanses for his education but will not leave his education incomplete in England.

In came to Bombay and enrolled himself as a barrister in high court. Everyday he went round the courts in search of cash but in the evening he would return to his room without earning any money. He felt miserable. He was too worried about his family, which was going through a worst crisis and waiting for his monetary help. But neither he was disappointed nor he gave up his struggle. He had full confidence of his determination and firmness. He always chose difficult path of honour. This puny person knew his inner strength and word ìimpossibleî was alien for him. Soon this graceful, charming and well dressed barrister was noticed by the high society. Within no time he occupied a very strong position at the Bombay Bar. He was considered an authority on question about law. He earned a rapid reputation. When as a lawyer he would appear in the courts, to the utter surprise of all, he remembered his full case by heart but his every word was to be weighed before it was uttered. His legal wisdom, courage and devotion made him prosperous very soon.

There are many interesting stories with reference to his practice period. A well-known businessman who had a series of charges against him went to Mohammad Ali and asked him how much it would cost him to take up his case. Jinnah bluntly answered, "Five hundred rupees a day." The businessman said, "but I have only five thousand rupees with me, will you accept it to cover the whole of your fees." Jinnah accepted the amount in lumpsum. Jinnah won the case within three days and kept with him only rupees fifteen hundred as it was decided beforehand and gave him back the remaining amount. He considered his work in the legislature as a moral obligation and not as a stepping stone to personal glory. He was a trusted lawyer for Muslim and Hindu clients alike. Throughout his career as barrister he remained incredibly honest.

Now he owned a palatial bungalow in Mount Pleasant on road on the cooler heights above Bombay, farmed between big rich trees that sheltered Jinnah from the noise of the city. After he was established he got married to the daughter of a business magnet Sir Dinshaw Petite, but she died at the age of thirty-nine. The death of his beloved wife made him isolated and quiet but he did not give up the struggle of a separate state for his Muslim brethren. The ruthless policy of the British rule under the name of law and order forced him to come out of his self imposed loneliness and he jumped into the politics to safeguard the rights of the Mohammedans. He fought for them single handedly and at the cost of his health. He would work for fourteen hours. He was usually taken as a fashionable Europeanised person who hardly knew about the religion but those who were close to him describe him as a practical religious man. On one occasion he himself said that Muhammad (PBUH) was a messenger of God and I am the messenger of Muhammad (PBUH) and want to give a separate state to the Muslims to practice Muhammadism liberally. He said. "judge not the people by their prayers and fasting but judge them by their behaviour and deeds". He worked miracles with his ailing figure. He was very strict in discipline and orderliness. Once an over zealous student broke up the queue to have a near look of Jinnah but he at once said to the student. "Queue up yourself." His severe reprimand persuaded the student. He was very friendly with people but within the limits of regards and reality. Quaid's relation with his staff was very friendly. He was, no doubt, an exacting master but the men who worked with him were devoted to him, some of them were tantalised with his quiet nature but they never disobeyed him. One of his staff members depicts that one day when the Quaid was on ailing bed I went to his room to tell something about an official chore, he short-temperedly waved me out. I left the room immediately, but after a few minutes the phone ranged and that was Jinnah on the line who was very kind and asked his apology. He said, "I am old and ail and some times I am impatient, I hope you will forgive me for bad behaviour." He was a cold and reserve person but most favourable. Hindus used all their wealth and brains against Jinnah and all British officialdom was against him, even most of his close colleagues were unsupportive of him. His disease was making him shockingly weak but no sooner he felt a bit better he would run to his working desk. He was seriously ill but he knew that his bad health will put a home to his supreme cause, he constantly concealed his disease with the result his diseases gradually crumbled all his inner system. He worked round-the-clock but no one saw him dozing or yawning on the working desk, he always seemed attentive and alert even on the ailing bed. He led a saintly life and never liked hypocrisy, if he didn't want to do one thing he never did it for any reason such as ostentation or to win over the people. His doctor always related his behaviour with medical history of his body otherwise in his heart he was extraordinarily soft and free of petty prejudices. One of his doctors says once when the enmity between Hindus and Muslims was on the high I went to his house, and while seeing his Hindu butler said rather in a light vein, "Sir are you not afraid of your Hindu Butler, he may do any harm to you.î He smiled and said "Oh no I like him and trust him". His judgment about the men and matters was unquestionable. He proved himself an iron man, and underwent a long difficult path filled with thorns with ailing feet but never tottering, never shaking and with no signs of exhaustion.

It is August 7th, 1947, a viceroy's Silver Dakota is standing on the Delhi airport, a slim, saintly, exhausted but firm figure, attired in a stainless white sherwani, walks towards the aircraft with his little court. Flight lieutenant Rabbani carries a cane basket full of documents, a servant carries a bundle of newspapers, as he moves towards the aircraft, his face is pale but glowing with emotions. He pauses for a moment, looks back towards the city in which he waged a crusade and won Pakistan. He waves his pale bony hand towards people, spell bound in his respect and regard. He said in a very low voice, "I suppose this is the last time I will be looking at Delhi." As the aircraft taxies out he whispers, "and that's the end of that, I never expected Pakistan in my life."

As I write this article I am reminded as to what the Quaid-i-Azam envisioned this country as the father of the nation. While assuming the office of Governor General he said, "That Pakistan which I envision will have democratic system based on consciousness and righteousness of its rulers. It is my belief that our salvation lies in adopting the true democratic setup, our decisions in the affairs of the state shall be guided by the discussions and consultations. The activities of the rulers must be monitored to his men, it will bring good effect to the conditions of the people." He said, "Pakistan will have no discriminatory status for any individual or group, no one will enjoy any special privileges, all citizens shall be equal rights, I will never like any exploitation of poor, bureaucrats shall take themselves as the servants of the people. In the history of Pakistan I observe that almost all the rulers of Pakistan brought a horrible shatter to the dreams of the Quaid-i-Azam instead.

DISCLAIMER: The public material presented here is taken from various sources as it becomes available. It is presented without any bias to, or interpretation of, the contents whatsoever. We would be grateful for any help anyone can provide in obtaining other such public material of national importance to Pakistan in order to aid intellectual discourse and debate.

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