Sunday, July 8, 2012

Jinnah's religion-2

#30 of the Jinnah Papers, Volume XI, edited by Z.R. Zaidi, has a letter from a Habib R. Parpia to Jinnah, dated August 10, 1944.   There is no reply from Jinnah in the Jinnah Papers.

 Parpia's letter is an appeal to preserve the unity of India.  Parpia introduces himself as having known Jinnah at the Bombay Bar.   He starts by pointing out some inconsistencies in Jinnah's actions.  His second major point is as follows, and may have some relevance to understanding Jinnah's religious beliefs.  I will reproduce the entire letter some day.

"Another inconsistency of yours, I wish respectfully to draw your attention to, is that when the British in Palestine wish to divide that country between the Arabs and the Jews, you and your League object vehemently.   But you have no scruples to demand the division of India.   Whether Jewish emigration is subsidised or not, the fact remains that there are two nations in Palestine.   On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of the Muslims of India are converts from Hindus and still retain many Hindu customs and ideas.   You and I, with our respective surnames staring us in the face, cannot claim to be very much distinct from the Hindus."
 "I do not know if you remember the occasion about the year 1927 or 1928, when on behalf of a Khoja Jama'at, I, as their solicitor, approached you to introduce a bill in the Central Legislature providing for the application of Muslim law of intestate succession to the Khojas, when you had rightly said you would not do so, as in your opinion, the custom that governed the Khojas was best for them.  Apparently we were not, in your opinion, a separate nation then, and if we were not then a separate nation, we could not become one after a lapse of barely 17 years."

The letter concludes as follows:

"In my humble opinion, yourself and Mr. Gandhi can form an excellent team to guide and lead all India in the immediate future.  You with your "real-politik" and he with his ideology, you two complement each other.   I do not know if you have come face to face with the poverty, the misery, the utter degradation, desolation and decay to which the British have reduced India, both Muslim and Hindu.  I have only known you as a spick-and-span barrister-at-law with briefs heavily marked and visibly conscious of your handsome exterior and of your wit and repartee and wonderful placing of point of fact or a legal argument.  I have never known you suo moto to bring about a consent decree between two litigants in the High Court.  I, therefore, tremble to think whether you are at all capable of bringing about a consent decree in this memorable fight between the Hindus and the Muslims.   This is your supreme opportunity to deserve the blessings and gratitude of posterity.
 With kind regards,
Your sincerely,
Habib R. Parpia

1 comment:

  1. Good find! It is reassuring that some people had a common sense riposte to Jinnah's two nation theory demagoguery back then.

    Disturbing that in the present day similar common sense responses are even more completely and totally ineffective against present day two nation theory demagoguery.