68 Facts About Jinnah

1. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was an anti-colonialist barrister, politician, statesman and the founder of Pakistan.

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2. Jinnah is revered in Pakistan as the Quaid-e-Azam and Baba-e-Qaum ("Father of the Nation").

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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16. In 1900, P H Dastoor, a Bombay presidency magistrate, left the post temporarily and Jinnah succeeded in getting the interim position.

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

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

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

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

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21. Dissatisfied with this, 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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22. Jinnah said that our principle of separate electorates was dividing the nation against itself.

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

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

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

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

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28. Shortly afterwords, Jinnah returned home to India in January 1915.

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29. Nevertheless, Jinnah worked to bring the Congress and League together.

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30. Jinnah's 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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31. Rattanbai defied her family and nominally converted to Islam, adopting the name Maryam Jinnah, resulting in a permanent estrangement from her family and Parsi society.

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32. Relations between Indians and British were strained in 1919 when the Imperial Legislative Council extended emergency wartime restrictions on civil liberties; Jinnah resigned from it when it did.

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

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

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

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

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

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39. 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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40. 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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41. Jinnah was a delegate to the first two conferences, but was not invited to the last.

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

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43. Jinnah's lived and travelled with him, and became a close advisor.

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44. 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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45. In early 1934, 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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46. 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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47. Jinnah restructured the League along the lines of the Congress, putting most power in a Working Committee, which he appointed.

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48. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims.

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

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50. 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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51. 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 Jinnah rejected the proposals as not sufficiently recognising Pakistan's right to exist.

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

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

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

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56. The League held influence at the provincial level in the Muslim-majority states mostly by alliance, and 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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57. Jinnah demanded that Mountbatten divide the army prior to independence, which would take at least a year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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64. Vali Nasr says Jinnah "was an Ismaili by birth and a Twelver Shia by confession, though not a religiously observant man.

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

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66. An eminent lawyer who practised in the Bombay High Court until 1940 testified that Jinnah used to pray as an orthodox Sunni.

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

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68. Christopher Lee, who portrayed Jinnah, called his performance the best of his career.

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