March 23rd: Pakistan, People and Founder

March 23rd: Pakistan, People and Founder

March 23rd, 1940 marks a singular milestone in the history of Muslims of South Asia. It was truly a momentous occasion. At Lahore’s Manto Park, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah rejected a permanent communal minority status for Indian Muslims. Instead, he demanded full-fledged nationhood and a separate country. It proved a defining moment. Accounts of the meeting are graphic. The Quaid’s voice resonates in the sprawling Park to the accompaniment of hushed silence of the overflowing assemblage. “The Musalmans are not a minority. The Musalmans are a nation by any definition,” he unequivocally claims. The Quaid speaks in his clipped British accent. His King’s English is beyond the comprehension of the teeming multitude. But they are all-attention. He is trusted as a champion of Muslim cause. The Times of India readily conceded that “such was the dominance of his personality that, despite the improbability of more than a fraction of his audience understanding English, he held his hearers and played with palpable effects on their emotions.” Yet, the speech marked a paradox in his political career. In 1916, the Quaid was hailed as the Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, a supporter of Indian nationalism. A quintessential Victorian gentleman, the Lincoln Inn barrister was steeped in European thought. He studied law in London, admired Prime Minister William Gladstone and Abraham Lincoln, and regarded as the Muslim world’s answer to Thomas Jefferson. Mixing religion with politics was not his forte. http://www.albiladdailyeng.com/march-23rd-pakistan-people-founder/