102 Facts About Ali Jinnah


Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a barrister, politician and the founder of Pakistan.

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Ali Jinnah is revered in Pakistan as the Quaid-e-Azam and Baba-e-Qaum.

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Ali Jinnah's birthday is observed as a national holiday in Pakistan.

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Ali Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century.

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Ali Jinnah became a key leader in the All-India Home Rule League, and proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent.

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In 1920 Ali Jinnah resigned from the Congress when it agreed to follow a campaign of satyagraha, which he regarded as political anarchy.

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In that year, the Muslim League, led by Ali Jinnah, passed the Lahore Resolution, demanding a separate nation for Indian Muslims.

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Ali Jinnah died at age 71 in September 1948, just over a year after Pakistan gained independence from the United Kingdom.

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Ali Jinnah was of a Gujarati Khoja Nizari Isma'ili Shi'a Muslim background, though Jinnah later followed the Twelver Shi'a teachings and was considered an ethnic Muhajir because of his Indian background.

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Ali Jinnah's father was a merchant and was born to a family of textile weavers in the village of Paneli in the princely state of Gondal ; his mother was of that village.

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Ali Jinnah was the second child; he had three brothers and three sisters, including his younger sister Fatima Ali Jinnah.

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Ali Jinnah was not fluent in Gujarati, his mother-tongue, nor in Urdu; he was more fluent in English.

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Ali Jinnah gained his matriculation from Bombay University at the high school.

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Ali Jinnah accepted the position despite the opposition of his mother, who before he left, had him enter an arranged marriage with his cousin, two years his junior from the ancestral village of Paneli, Emibai Jinnah.

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Ali Jinnah became an admirer of the Parsi British Indian political leaders Dadabhai Naoroji and Sir Pherozeshah Mehta.

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Ali Jinnah listened to Naoroji's maiden speech in the House of Commons from the visitor's gallery.

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Ali Jinnah abandoned local garb for Western-style clothing, and throughout his life he was always impeccably dressed in public.

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Ali Jinnah came to own over 200 suits, which he wore with heavily starched shirts with detachable collars, and as a barrister took pride in never wearing the same silk tie twice.

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Dissatisfied with the law, Ali Jinnah briefly embarked on a stage career with a Shakespearean company, but resigned after receiving a stern letter from his father.

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At the age of 20, Ali Jinnah began his practice in Bombay, the only Muslim barrister in the city.

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Ali Jinnah politely declined the offer, stating that he planned to earn 1,500 rupees a day—a huge sum at that time—which he eventually did.

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Ali Jinnah gained great esteem from leading the case for Sir Pherozeshah, himself a noted barrister.

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Ali Jinnah did not succeed, but obtained an acquittal for Tilak when he was charged with sedition again in 1916.

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Ali Jinnah was a supporter of working class causes and an active trade unionist.

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Ali Jinnah was elected President of All India Postal Staff Union in 1925 whose membership was 70,000.

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Ali Jinnah played an important role in enactment of Trade Union act of 1926 which gave trade union movement legal cover to organise themselves.

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Ali Jinnah devoted much of his time to his law practice in the early 1900s, but remained politically involved.

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Ali Jinnah began political life by attending the Congress's twentieth annual meeting, in Bombay in December 1904.

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Ali Jinnah was a member of the moderate group in the Congress, favouring Hindu–Muslim unity in achieving self-government, and following such leaders as Mehta, Naoroji, and Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

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Dissatisfied with this, Ali Jinnah wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper Gujarati, asking what right the members of the delegation had to speak for Indian Muslims, as they were unelected and self-appointed.

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Ali Jinnah said that our principle of separate electorates was dividing the nation against itself.

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Ali Jinnah was a compromise candidate when two older, better-known Muslims who were seeking the post deadlocked.

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Ali Jinnah was appointed to a committee which helped to establish the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun.

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In December 1912, Ali Jinnah addressed the annual meeting of the Muslim League although he was not yet a member.

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Ali Jinnah joined the following year, although he remained a member of the Congress as well and stressed that League membership took second priority to the "greater national cause" of an independent India.

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Gokhale, a Hindu, later stated that Ali Jinnah "has true stuff in him, and that freedom from all sectarian prejudice which will make him the best ambassador of Hindu–Muslim Unity".

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Ali Jinnah led another delegation of the Congress to London in 1914, but due to the start of the First World War in August 1914, found officials little interested in Indian reforms.

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Ali Jinnah attended a reception for Gandhi where the two men met and talked with each other for the first time.

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Ali Jinnah played an important role in the founding of the All India Home Rule League in 1916.

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In 1918, Ali Jinnah married his second wife Rattanbai Petit, 24 years his junior.

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Ali Jinnah was the fashionable young daughter of his friend Sir Dinshaw Petit, and was part of an elite Parsi family of Bombay.

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Rattanbai defied her family and nominally converted to Islam, adopting the name Maryam Ali Jinnah, resulting in a permanent estrangement from her family and Parsi society.

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Ali Jinnah criticised Gandhi's Khilafat advocacy, which he saw as an endorsement of religious zealotry.

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Ali Jinnah regarded Gandhi's proposed satyagraha campaign as political anarchy, and believed that self-government should be secured through constitutional means.

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Ali Jinnah opposed Gandhi, but the tide of Indian opinion was against him.

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At the 1920 session of the Congress in Nagpur, Ali Jinnah was shouted down by the delegates, who passed Gandhi's proposal, pledging satyagraha until India was independent.

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Ali Jinnah did not attend the subsequent League meeting, held in the same city, which passed a similar resolution.

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Ali Jinnah sought alternative political ideas, and contemplated organising a new political party as a rival to the Congress.

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In September 1923, Ali Jinnah was elected as Muslim member for Bombay in the new Central Legislative Assembly.

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Ali Jinnah showed much skill as a parliamentarian, organising many Indian members to work with the Swaraj Party, and continued to press demands for full responsible government.

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Ali Jinnah put forth proposals that he hoped might satisfy a broad range of Muslims and reunite the League, calling for mandatory representation for Muslims in legislatures and cabinets.

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Ali Jinnah was a delegate to the first two conferences, but was not invited to the last.

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Ali Jinnah remained in Britain for most of the period 1930 through 1934, practising as a barrister before the Privy Council, where he dealt with a number of India-related cases.

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Ali Jinnah's biographers disagree over why he remained so long in Britain—Wolpert asserts that had Jinnah been made a Law Lord, he would have stayed for life, and that Jinnah alternatively sought a parliamentary seat.

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Early biographer Hector Bolitho denied that Ali Jinnah sought to enter the British Parliament, while Jaswant Singh deems Ali Jinnah's time in Britain as a break or sabbatical from the Indian struggle.

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Ali Jinnah lived and travelled with him, and became a close advisor.

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Ali Jinnah later became estranged from Dina after she decided to marry a Parsi, Neville Wadia from a prominent Parsi business family.

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Ali Jinnah continued to correspond cordially with his daughter, but their personal relationship was strained, and she did not come to Pakistan in his lifetime, but only for his funeral.

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Ali Jinnah remained titular president of the League, but declined to travel to India to preside over its 1933 session in April, writing that he could not possibly return there until the end of the year.

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In early 1934, Ali Jinnah relocated to the subcontinent, though he shuttled between London and India on business for the next few years, selling his house in Hampstead and closing his legal practice in Britain.

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Ali Jinnah secured the right to speak for the Muslim-led Bengali and Punjabi provincial governments in the central government in New Delhi.

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Ali Jinnah restructured the League along the lines of the Congress, putting most power in a Working Committee, which he appointed.

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Choudhary Rahmat Ali Jinnah published a pamphlet in 1933 advocating a state "Pakistan" in the Indus Valley, with other names given to Muslim-majority areas elsewhere in India.

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Balraj Puri in his journal article about Ali Jinnah suggests that the Muslim League president, after the 1937 vote, turned to the idea of partition in "sheer desperation".

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Historian Akbar S Ahmed suggests that Jinnah abandoned hope of reconciliation with the Congress as he "rediscover[ed] his own Islamic roots, his own sense of identity, of culture and history, which would come increasingly to the fore in the final years of his life".

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Ahmed comments that in his annotations to Iqbal's letters, Ali Jinnah expressed solidarity with Iqbal's view: that Indian Muslims required a separate homeland.

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Ali Jinnah continued to borrow ideas "directly from Iqbal—including his thoughts on Muslim unity, on Islamic ideals of liberty, justice and equality, on economics, and even on practices such as prayers".

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On 6 February, Ali Jinnah informed the Viceroy that the Muslim League would be demanding partition instead of the federation contemplated in the 1935 Act.

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Ali Jinnah was reluctant to make specific proposals as to the boundaries of Pakistan, or its relationships with Britain and with the rest of the subcontinent, fearing that any precise plan would divide the League.

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The Muslim League was far from certain of winning the legislative votes that would be required for mixed provinces such as Bengal and Punjab to secede, and Ali Jinnah rejected the proposals as not sufficiently recognising Pakistan's right to exist.

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Ali Jinnah worked to increase the League's political control at the provincial level.

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Ali Jinnah helped to found the newspaper Dawn in the early 1940s in Delhi; it helped to spread the League's message and eventually became the major English-language newspaper of Pakistan.

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In September 1944, Ali Jinnah hosted Gandhi, recently released from confinement, at his home on Malabar Hill in Bombay.

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Ali Jinnah insisted on Pakistan being conceded prior to the British departure and to come into being immediately, while Gandhi proposed that plebiscites on partition occur sometime after a united India gained its independence.

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Ali Jinnah proposed a temporary government along the lines which Liaquat and Desai had agreed.

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Ali Jinnah had no comment on the change of government, but called a meeting of his Working Committee and issued a statement calling for new elections in India.

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The League held influence at the provincial level in the Muslim-majority states mostly by alliance, and Ali Jinnah believed that, given the opportunity, the League would improve its electoral standing and lend added support to his claim to be the sole spokesman for the Muslims.

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Ali Jinnah had been willing to consider some continued links to Hindustan, such as a joint military or communications.

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Mountbatten had been warned in his briefing papers that Ali Jinnah would be his "toughest customer" who had proved a chronic nuisance because "no one in this country [India] had so far gotten into Ali Jinnah's mind".

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The sessions began lightly when Ali Jinnah, photographed between Louis and Edwina Mountbatten, quipped "A rose between two thorns" which the Viceroy took, perhaps gratuitously, as evidence that the Muslim leader had pre-planned his joke but had expected the vicereine to stand in the middle.

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Mountbatten was not favourably impressed with Ali Jinnah, repeatedly expressing frustration to his staff about Ali Jinnah's insistence on Pakistan in the face of all argument.

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Ali Jinnah feared that at the end of the British presence in the subcontinent, they would turn control over to the Congress-dominated constituent assembly, putting Muslims at a disadvantage in attempting to win autonomy.

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Ali Jinnah demanded that Mountbatten divide the army prior to independence, which would take at least a year.

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Mountbatten had hoped that the post-independence arrangements would include a common defence force, but Ali Jinnah saw it as essential that a sovereign state should have its own forces.

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Ali Jinnah arranged to sell his house in Bombay and procured a new one in Karachi.

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Ali Jinnah did what he could for the eight million people who migrated to Pakistan; although by now over 70 and frail from lung ailments, he travelled across West Pakistan and personally supervised the provision of aid.

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On 22 August 1947, just after a week of becoming governor general, Ali Jinnah dissolved the elected government of Dr Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan.

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Ali Jinnah objected to this action, and ordered that Pakistani troops move into Kashmir.

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Some historians allege that Ali Jinnah's courting the rulers of Hindu-majority states and his gambit with Junagadh are evidence of ill-intent towards India, as Ali Jinnah had promoted separation by religion, yet tried to gain the accession of Hindu-majority states.

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In February 1948, in a radio talk broadcast addressed to the people of the US, Ali Jinnah expressed his views regarding Pakistan's constitution to be in the following way:.

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Ali Jinnah believed public knowledge of his lung ailments would hurt him politically.

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Many years later, Mountbatten stated that if he had known Ali Jinnah was so physically ill, he would have stalled, hoping Ali Jinnah's death would avert partition.

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On 6 July 1948, Ali Jinnah returned to Quetta, but at the advice of doctors, soon journeyed to an even higher retreat at Ziarat.

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Ali Jinnah was treated with the new "miracle drug" of streptomycin, but it did not help.

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Ali Jinnah's condition continued to deteriorate despite the Eid prayers of his people.

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Today, Ali Jinnah rests in a large marble mausoleum, Mazar-e-Quaid, in Karachi.

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Ali Jinnah had personally requested Prime Minister Nehru to preserve the house, hoping one day he could return to Bombay.

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Witness Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada stated in court that Ali Jinnah converted to Sunni Islam in 1901 when his sisters married Sunnis.

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Ali Jinnah's birthday is observed as a national holiday, Quaid-e-Azam Day, in Pakistan.

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Ali Jinnah is depicted on all Pakistani rupee currency, and is the namesake of many Pakistani public institutions.

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Seervai assert that Ali Jinnah never wanted the partition of India—it was the outcome of the Congress leaders being unwilling to share power with the Muslim League.

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Ali Jinnah had against him not only the wealth and brains of the Hindus, but nearly the whole of British officialdom, and most of the Home politicians, who made the great mistake of refusing to take Pakistan seriously.

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