Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gurjar Sabha, January 14, 1915 from Stanley Wolpert

Stanley Wolpert, "Jinnah of Pakistan" (chapter 3):

"By January of 1915, Jinnah was home.  The Gujarat Society (Gurjar Sabha), which he led, gave a garden party to welcome Gandhi back to India.  The Mahatma's ambulance corps had sailed for France without its founder after he had a slight nervous breakdown in London and decided to return home to India instead, thus prolonging his life by some three decades.  Gandhi's response to Jinnah's urbane welcome was that he was "glad to find a Mahomedan not only belonging to his own region's Sabha, but chairing it."  Had he meant to be malicious rather than his usual ingenuous self, Gandhi could not have contrived a more cleverly patronizing barb, for he was not actually insulting Jinnah, after all, just informing every one of his minority religious identity.  What an odd fact to single out for comment about this multifaceted man, whose dress, behavior, speech and manner totally belied any resemblance to his religious affiliation!  Jinnah, in fact, hoped by his Anglophile appearance and secular wit and wisdom to convince the Hindu majority of his colleagues and countrymen that he was, indeed, as qualified to lead any of their public organizations as Gokhale, or Wedderburn, or Dadabhai.  Yet here, in the first public words Gandhi uttered about him, every one had to note that Jinnah was a "Mahomedan".

No comments:

Post a Comment