Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jinnah's secular past?

From bharat-rakshak forum,  sadhana writes:

Re change in Jinnah after 1920

One cause of change in Jinnah was probably British government's allocation of Central Legislative Assembly seats in the 1919 Montford reforms for India.

In 1909 Muslims were allotted 5 of 27 elected seats, according to Ambedkar's book. (Wolpert says 8 of 28 nonofficial seats).

In 1919 Muslims were alloted 52 of 104 elected seats, ie 50%.

So Muslim politicians went from being a minority of the elected Indians in the Central Assembly to equal in number to the other Indians elected.

From Ambedkar's Pakistan or the Partition of India:

Central Assembly seats

Nominated + ex officio = 41
Elected General = 22
Elected Muslims = 5 (Wolpert quotes this number as being 8 of 28 non-official)
Total = 68

Elected General = 52
Elected Muslims = 52
Nominated members = 41
Total 145

Percentage of Muslims to total population was approx 24%
The proportion of seats to total granted to elected Muslims in 1919 was 36% with elected non-Muslims also at 36%.

In short, between 1909 to 1919, Muslims moved to centre-stage as bulwarks of the official/nominated bloc in the Central  Assembly. A Muslim politician would get the signal that would be more worthwhile to advocate to the British than to other nationalists.

Incidentally, in the 1935 Government of India Act, the proportions granted in the Central Assembly were not very different:

General+SC 105 (SC=19, General=86)
Muslim 82
Others 63 (Sikhs 6, Christians 8, AngloIndian 4, Europeans 8, Landlords 7,labour 10, industry 11,women 9)
Total 250 ... /411a.html ... /411b.html ... 15app.html

Those provincial assemblies elected in 1937 which had elected Hindu majorities, Jinnah and Muslim League rejected within 3 months.

IOW, unless I am mistaken, Jinnah the great nationalist never in his lifetime had to accept the legitimacy of an elected Hindu majority government(ie government responsible to an elected Hindu majority legislature) whether in the provinces or at the centre. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, the well-educated Jinnah was originally and basically, a secularist but his thinking changed later. L K Advani, during his visit to Pakistan, meant the ideas of Jinnah in the earlier part his mindset, when he (Advani) said that Jinnah was secular. Had Advani said something about the later thinking of Jinnah, he would perhaps not have been in trouble in India about his remarks. Perhaps it would not have been politically correct to say anything adverse about Jinnah, when Advani was in Pakistan