Jaswant does an Advani on Jinnah

In reverence



In an interview to CNN-IBN news channel, he has blamed the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the partition during independence.

“Nehru believed in a highly centralized polity. That’s what he wanted India to be. Jinnah wanted a federal polity, which even Gandhi accepted. Nehru didn’t. Consistently, he stood in the way of a federal India until 1947 when it became a partitioned India,”

Jaswant Singh told Karan Thapar in “Devil’s Advocate”, which will be aired on CNN-IBN on Sunday and Monday. Singh contested the popular Indian portrayal of Jinnah as the villain of the piece -the man responsible for the partition. “It is not borne out of facts… We need to correct it,” he said.

“I think we have misunderstood him because we needed to create a demon... We needed a demon because in the 20th century the most telling event in the subcontinent was the partition of the country,” Singh further added.

His praise for Jinnah comes ahead of the BJP’s three-day ‘Chintan Baithak’ (brainstorming session) which is to begin in Shimla on Aug 19.

The BJP has also been maintaining that the 2005 resolution, which the party had adopted during Advani’s visit to Pakistan and the tributes he rained on Jinnah, have remains unchanged.

Jaswant Singh, whose biography on Jinnah would be released Monday, said he did not subscribe to the popular demonization of Jinnah and said he was attracted by the personality of the Pakistani leader.

“I was attracted by the personality which has resulted in a book. If I was not drawn to the personality I wouldn’t have written the book. It’s an intricate, complex personality, of his great character, determination,” Singh said.

Singh also questioned the wisdom of Indians who hesitated to call Jinnah a great Indian.
Asked if he views Jinnah as a great man, he said: “Oh yes, because he created something out of nothing and single-handedly stood against the might of the Congress Party and against the British who didn’t really like him ... Gandhi himself called Jinnah a great Indian. Why don’t we recognize that? Why don’t we see (and try to understand) why he called him that?”

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