[Reader-list] When he was called Pandit Jinnah

Harshvardhan Tripathi harshvardhan.tripathi at tv18online.com
Wed Jun 8 10:58:15 IST 2005


-----Original Message-----
From: mihir25 [mailto:mihir25 at indiatimes.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 1:59 PM
To: reader-list at sarai.net
Subject: [Reader-list] When he was called Pandit Jinnah

When he was called Pandit Jinnah RAJNISH Sharma Hindustan Times Lucknow,
June 5 http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1389389,0015002500000000.htm
When the former Deputy PM L K Advani described Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a
secular man during his early days, he wasn't quite off the mark as it is now
a part of recorded history. Though his comments have raised a furore back
home, few would know that this man was even referred to as Pandit Jinnah
once. And if indifference to religion is any indicator of secularism, the
Qaid-e-Azam was probably the biggest of all secular fundamentalists. There
are two incidents hitherto not found in any history book which highlight
this aspect of his character in a rather comical way which were narrated by
none other than the eminent jurist and statesman, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru. It
was told by Sir Tej to his granddaughter's husband Dr IM Chak, Retired Dy
Director of CDRI during a meeting with his grandfather Pt. Prithvi Nath
Chak, another legal giant of that time under whom Motilal Nehru learnt to
practise law. A contemporary of Sir Sapru, Jinnah along with him once
visited Egypt during the month of Ramzaan. The Muslim porters there refused
to carry their luggage saying they would only carry the luggage of a fellow
Muslim. When Jinnah told them to go ahead, the porters decided to test them.
They were asked to recite the kalma. While Sir Tej happily recited it with
élan, he had Jinnah looking sheepishly at him for the wine loving brown
sahib didn't know a word of it! Sir Tej had a hard time convincing the
porters that Jinnah, who was to later create a separate Islamic State, was
indeed a Muslim! The other incident saw these two friends sparring in the
court of law in a case that involved elements of religion. The case saw Sir
Tej quoting innumerable ayats from Quran in support of his arguments.
Jinnah, though a formidable lawyer himself, drew a blank once again on this
account. The next day local newspaper headlines screamed Pandit Jinnah vs
Maulana Sapru! 

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