Elections were fought under the Indian Government Act 1936. The Quaid-i-Azam fully devoted his time to organising and strengthening the League. The parliamentary politics was part of the main politics and the assemblies had become important. He was a member of the Central Assembly but he also was guiding the Muslim League parties in the Provincial Assemblies. In the Centre, he was the leader of the party and his right hand man was Liaquat Ali Khan who later had become first Prime Minister of Pakistan.

In 1945, crucial elections were held in the sub-continent, in which the youth led by the All India Muslim Students Federation played a key role. Jinnah as usual was chosen to represent the Bombay Urban Constituency. At the time of his election he was touring the far away the North West Frontier Province. Raja Amir Ahmad Khan of Mahmudabad as President of the All India Muslim Students Federation was supervision the elections. He was opposed by an Ismaili Hussain Bhai Lalji who was being backed by the Congress Party. In a very much false statement, the Congress Party stated that the Aga Khan had asked community members to vote for Hussain Bhai Lalji, but another prominent Ismaili leader Ibrahim Rahimtoola was very close to him. Fortunately, the Aga Khan happened to be in Delhi at that time. Ibrahim Rahimtoola immediately contacted him on telephone. Aga Khan not only categorically denied having instructed the Ismailis to vote for Hussain Bhai Lalji but also asked Ibrahim Rahimtoola to intimate all Ismaili families to vote him.

Muslim League had won 100 per cent seats in the Central Assembly and about 70 to 90 per cent in the Provincial Assemblies. This electoral success of Muslim League had strengthened the hands of Jinnah to a great extent and paved the way for the creation of Pakistan after the sub-continent partition in two separate independent States.

After the partition, the Assembly had the twin capacity of being the Constituent Assembly as well as the National Assembly of newly created Pakistan. Jinnah was elected as its President besides being the Governor General. It was in this Assembly that he in his address in August 11,1947 had laid down the guidelines for the future. In this historic speech, he had indicated that he wanted to see honesty, liberalism, clean life and noble society in Pakistan.

It is rather most unfortunate, sad as well as deplorable and dangerous that we have forgotten the direction so given by the Founder of Pakistan much sooner that what one would expect. But then at the same it must also be admitted and remembered that it was no other forum but the National Parliament at which he had given the guidelines for the future.

The first session of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was held on August 10, 1947 at Sindh Assembly Building in Karachi. On August 11,1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was unanimously elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly. On the following day i.e. August 12,1947, a resolution was passed for officially addressing Mr Muhammad Ali Jinnah as “Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah”.

He always chose his words quite carefully and never retraced any once so uttered. His critics usually received humiliating tongue-lashings for any barely aimed at him. He was not known to sit silent for the slightest reprimand having his razor sharp mind and words on and generally duller weapons of logic or wit drawn against him.

Jinnah always kept his audience in mind, which enabled him to assess their mental caliber. When he appeared in the courts as a lawyer, he knew that the judges were usually men of experience and knowledge, he could therefore narrate the complex nuances and fine points of law. In the Parliament too most of the members were aware of the problems of socio-political life. But in a public meeting of varied intellects and knowledge sat before him. Many points that he narrated were not easily understandable. So, he spoke in a manner and words on things that were easily understood.

In all fairness, he did not claim to be a saint or divine preaching to ordinary mortals and also did not foist his own views on his followers with dogmatic authority. However, when he was speaking in the Parliament and addressing rather sophisticated audience, he spoke quite differently and from the parliamentary speaker he rose to the heights of oratory.

As regards his voice and manner, the voice of the Quaid-i-Azam though lacking in volume but was rich in timber characterised by deep musical resonance, the audience listened to him with bated breath, a motion of a finger, a little waving of the head, or a slight turning of his impressive figure enthralled his audience. His incisive reasoning, the clear analysis of points of vintage, all characteristic qualities of a lawyer, also marked his way of speaking from a public platform as well as the Parliament. He never tried to hoodwink the audience; he was speaking to, and also kept away from verbal jugglery and mental aerobatics. He as such distinguished himself as a brilliant and astute parliamentarian. In many parliamentary battles, he always emerged as the hero of the day.

During the first decade of the Legislative Assembly, which was established under the Government of India Act 1919, he had crossed swords with many powerful debaters and invariably came out with flying colours. His parliamentary speeches show masterly grasp of the subject and incisive reasoning. In the legislature, he had shone as the epitome of the parliamentary decorum, the grand manner, and the elegant style.

For parliamentary leadership, he seemed to be cut out from the beginning and a Parliamentarian, which he always was and quick perception of legal squabbles and legislative intricacies all were ingrained in his blood.

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was indeed a quite distinguished personality, very neat and clean and head and shoulders above the common run of men. In the home, Parliament and on public platforms, he used to wear three piece suits or black and white sherwanis. Even in his old age, his behavior and deportment distinguished him. These were great qualities when he took the floor in the Parliament. Such characteristics are in the history and in all fairness; men like him are just rare.

 

The writer is Lahore-based Freelance Journalist, Columnist and Retired Deputy Controller (News) Radio Pakistan, Islamabad.