Jinnah is not as noble as has been made out to be by Jaswant Singh
Posted by jagoindia on August 20, 2009
Can’t agree with Jaswant on Jinnah, says Mountbatten’s last ADC
Thu, Aug 20, The Indian Express
He is a former ruler of a princely state that became part of India post-Independence. He was the last ADC to Mountbatten. But, more importantly, he is the author of a well-researched book on Partition, which went on to become a bestseller when first published in 2005. And, is a close friend of Jaswant Singh.
But, Narendra Singh Sarila says his friend’s book is incomplete and that it presents an incorrect picture of Partition to young Indians.
“He (Jaswant) has eulogised Mohd Ali Jinnah but has been less than charitable to Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel. More importantly, why has he ignored the most important element in Partition Â— British strategic interests in creating Pakistan?” he asks. Sarila told The Indian Express that he had got Jaswant to read the manuscript of his now-printed book — Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India’s Partition — for which he had gone to England and the US to access newly de-classified secret documents and records pertaining to Partition.
“Jinnah is not as noble as has been made out to be. While initially he was certainly an honest politician, after the age of 60, he changed colours. His Direct Action Plan was the beginning of terrorism as we know it today. When it suited his interests, he put up Muslims against Hindus and other communities. Don’t forget, at the behest of the British, he first raised the issue of a separate country for Muslims in 1940, seven years before Partition happened. Lord Mountbatten once told me that he (Jinnah) had delusions of grandeur,” he said.
Asked to define Jinnah, Sarila said, “He knew in 1939 that he would not live too long — he had been diagnosed with terminal TB. But he wanted power and glory and thus, became a stooge of the British. He benefited from Congress mistakes and British patronage. If Jinnah is dubbed as great for fighting the Congress, then Hitler is greater because he fought the mighty Allies.”
On Sardar Patel, Sarila said, “Patel was a most realistic person, who understood what needed to be done at the end. I feel if Patel had been given a free hand to deal with the issue of Kashmir, things would certainly have been different. Whatever mistakes the Congress made, there would have been no Independence if Gandhi had not acquired such influence over all people, a remarkable achievement in this heterogeneous country.”
Asked if he sympathised with Jaswant after he was sacked from the BJ for his book on Jinnah, Sarila said, “I am sorry for what he is suffering. He has done so much for India as foreign minister; he broke the logjam with the US, which has been advantageous to us on many fronts. Having said that, I must add that though I respect him, I can’t agree with his viewpoint on Jinnah and Partition.”