Jinnah, along with Ghandi and Nehru, played a fundamental role in India’s history in the Twentieth Century. Jinnah was born in 1876 and died in 1948.


Jinnah is considered to be the founding father of Pakistan. His followers called him Quaid -e-Azam which translates as Great Leader.

Jinnah joined the Indian National Congress but resented the fact that it was dominated by Hindus. He also failed to support Gandhi’s belief in the use of civil disobedience. In 1934, he left the INC and organised a rival to it – the Muslim League. The Muslim League had been founded in 1906 and it had originally been a cultural and religious organisation. Jinnah turned it into a more dynamic political organisation and in 1935, those Muslims who had remained in the INC joined Jinnah’s Muslim League. 

!937 witnessed provincial elections in India. The split between the Muslim League and Congress became apparent when Congress refused to join coalition administrations with the Muslim League in areas with mixed religion. The political scene was set that was to lead to post-1945 violence in India.

In 1940 at Lahore, Jinnah called for the creation of an independent state to be called Pakistan in which Muslim could live away from Hindus. This, he argued, would bring stability to the nation and end any potential for religious violence. Jinnah supported the British in World War Two whereas Congress failed to form any form of collaboration.  

The end of the war witnessed elections in India. The Muslim League won nearly all the seats in Muslim areas while Congress did the same in predominantly Hindu areas. Polarisation was now obvious. Jinnah demanded a six-province Pakistan – essentially those provinces that had supported the Muslim League. Congress rejected the break-up of India and Jinnah called on Muslims to engage in “direct action” – the opposite of Gandhi’s passive resistance. In riots between Muslims and Hindus in Calcutta, nearly 4000 people were killed. Between 1945 and he end of 1947, many millions of Indians were killed in the violence that occurred as Muslims moved to the new Pakistan, with Hindus moving away from what was the designated land for Pakistan to Hindu dominated India.

Jinnah’s dream of a Muslim state became a reality in August 1947 when Pakistan was created. Jinnah became its first Governor-General. However, he was in poor health and he died of tuberculosis in 1948.

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