On this occasion, I recall, vividly, the Condolence meeting that was held on Galle Face Green in September 1948, a few hours after Ceylon had received the sad news of his untimely demise.
The Prime Minister of Ceylon, the Hon’ble D. S. Senanayake officiated as Chairman. Five Members of the Cabinet along with several other prominent men participated as speakers. The motion of Condolence was moved by the Hon’ble S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the Leader of the House of Representatives and seconded by Senator Sir Mohamed Macan Markar. The people of Ceylon, all sections of them, had assembled in their multitudinous numbers, spontaneously and without much notice. The proceedings of that day bore unmistakable testimony, in ample measure, to the warmest feelings of affection and admiration they had for Quaid-i-Azam. The magnificent presence in Ceylon, seven months earlier, of his Special Envoy, the Hon’ble Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, to participate in Ceylon’s Independence Celebrations was on that occasion feelingly remembered. So was Pakistan.
Pakistan began in 1930 as a Poet’s Dream, developed as a Student’s Fancy, became in 1940 a People’s Will and in 1947 a World’s Reality. During these seventeen stormy years, many crises had been overtaking the mind of man, and changes had followed one another with a bewildering rapidity. Likewise did man’s views and opinions on many things alter. And Pakistan was no exception. In the years of the Round Table Conferences, the representatives of the Muslim League and the Muslim Conference were quite convinced that Pakistan was only a Student’s Scheme, chimerical and impracticable. To several at that time, Pakistan appeared as a geographical monstrosity, a historical anachronism, a political blunder and an economic impossibility. To many Pakistan was indeed a theocracy, dominated by medievalism, mullahism and mysticism.
False prophets there were many, and they were all proved completely wrong on the 14th of August 1947 when Pakistan was born a New State, with full panoply of sovereign power, rich in traditions and richer in resources. In September 1948 it was clear even to the most sceptical, that thanks to the fearless leadership, personal magnetism, incorruptible character and the practical genius of Quaid-i-Azam, Pakistan having passed through, with phenomenal success, its period of trials travails and tribulations, sacrifices and sufferings, unprecedented in modern history, had come to stay as the biggest Muslim Country and the fifth largest State in the World.
And when the heads were bowed in mournful silence at that Gall Face Meeting as the vote of condolence was being duly passed, Ceylon did indeed salute "the miracle that men called Pakistan, where men hoped to stand erect and equal, man to man, to see restored soon their ancient virtues and to live secure beneath the crescent moon. " Thus was homage paid to the memory of Pakistan’s Great Leader Quaid-i-Azam Mohamed Ali Jinnah, Great in character, Great in capacity, Great in aspiration and Great in achievement. And today we revive his memory and renew our tribute.
Jinnah on return from his self-imposed exile found the Muslim Community a sick man almost dying, with no energy to question or complain, to ask or answer, in a comatose condition totally oblivious of his parlous state and his noxious surroundings. Jinnah rescued this sick man from his death bed, induced consciousness and restored him to full health. The sick man on recovery began to understand his position, assert his rights and in a few years reached his end. That transformation was Jinnah’s magic. And for his people he achieved Pakistan – "their deliverance defence and destiny. "
Jinnah had his seven ages. He was a Scholar, a Lawyer, a Parliamentarian, a Politician, an Exile, a Leaguer, and a Leader – the Great Leader who brought his people to the Promised Land. He was a gifted and successful scholar who, by purposeful concentration of efforts, became the youngest Barrister in India of his generation. As a Lawyer he was elegant both in advocacy and appearance. Within a short period he earned the name of ‘the Lord Simon of the Indian Bar.’ As a Parliamentarian, he represented a communal constituency, but did not ever forget the larger interests of his country. Throughout he felt, "I am a nationalist first, a nationalist second and a nationalist last”. He fearlessly opposed the Government when its measures were wrong and courageously supported it when right. He had learned his first lesson in politics at the feet of Sir Surendra Nath Benerjea and was a personal friend of Chitta Ranjan Das. As a Congressman Jinnah was initiated by Dadabhai Naoroji and admired by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. He espied in Jinnah the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. And Jinnah’s one and own ambition then was to become "the Muslim Gokhale.
Jinnah during this period was able to persuade the Muslim League, through a change in its constitution, to bring itself in alignment with the Indian National Congress by having Swaraj as their common goal. The Lucknow Pact of 1916, to which Jinnah contributed immeasurably, was the sequal to this understanding between the League and the Congress. But that was not going to be the pattern of the future, barring the years of he khilafat agitation.
Jinnah then was a prophet "honoured in his own country in his own time." But he soon found himself lone and isolated, out of tune with the mood and methods of both the Congress as well as the League. His warnings of the communal frenzy that would be roused as a result of some of the unconstitutional forms of agitation then in vogue were not merely unheeded but mistaken for signs of utter cowardice on his part. He was even dismissed as an Anglicized advocate and an unorthodox Muslim. Nevertheless Jinnah tried to serve his country and community through the Round Table Conferences in England. "His triple assets of a magnetic personality, an impressive delivery, and a voice with an arresting timbre" did not, however, produce results despite "his extraordinary powers of persuasion, his luminous exposition, his searching argument and his impeccable judgment", for the Hindus thought he was a Muslim Communalist, the Muslims took him to be pro-Hindu, the Princes deemed him to be too democratic, the Britishers considered him a rabid extremist, with the result that he was everywhere but nowhere. None wanted him. The Muslim Gokhale seemed to have no future in the land of his birth.
Jinnah after an agonizing reappraisal of the state of affairs then prevailing, decided, of his own volition, to become a political exile in England and practice law before the Privy Council. He pursued this course for nearly four years. But Destiny dragged him home to reorganize and resurrect the League, assisted by Liaquat Ali Khan and encouraged by Iqbal. The results produced by the League in the General Elections of 1937 were far from satisfactory. Despite his efforts for two eyars the League Organisation was found to be deficient in men, money and material. This situation was a challenge to Jinnah and the hero in him emerged triumphant. Jinnah showed defiance in defeat. In the peroration of his Presidential Address delivered in October 1937 at the Lucknow Session of the All India Muslim League Jinnah gave eloquent expression to the innermost feelings of himself and his people:
"Organise yourself, establish your solidarity and complete unity. Equip yourself as trained and disciplined soldiers. Create the feeling of esprit-de-corps, and of comradeship amongst yourselves. Work loyally, honestly and for the cause of your people and your country. No individual or people can achieve anything without industry, suffering and sacrifice. There are forces which may bully you, tyrannise over you and intimidate you, and you may even have to suffer. But it is by going through this crucible of fire of persecution which may be levelled against you, tyranny that may be exercised, threats and intimidations may un-nerve you, but it is by resisting, by over-coming, by facing these disadvantages, hard-ships, and suffering and maintaining your true convictions and loyalty that a nation will emerge worthy of its past glory and history and will live to make the future history greater and more glorious not only of India, but in the annals of the world. Eighty millions of Mussalmans in India have nothing to fear. They have their destiny in their hands, and as a well-knit, solid, organized, united force can face any danger, and withstand any opposition to its united front and wishes. There is the magic power in your own hands. Take you vital decisions – they may be grave and momentous and far-reaching in their consequences. Think hundred times before you take any decision, but once a decision is taken stand by it as one man. Be true and loyal, and I feel confident that success is with you. "
Jinnah’s leadership was no longer a matter for argument. His watchword – Faith, Unity and Discipline – was keenly followed. The General Election of 1946 told a different story. There was now a victorious vindication of Jinnah’s views on parity of esteem and parity of status for the Muslim League. Thereafter, there could be no dispute about Jinnah’s demands. There could be no doubt about the standing of the League. And there could be no undue delay to fulfil the General Will of the Muslims so clearly and convincingly expressed. The British thereupon decided to divide and quit India.
In his Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam indicated how the country’s new Constitution should read and how the new State function:
"I know there are people who do not quite agree with the division of India and the partition of the Punjab and Bengal. Much has been said against it, but now that it has been accepted, it is the duty of everyone of us to loyally abide by it and honourably act according to the agreement which is now final and binding on all. But you must remember, as I have said, that this mighty revolution that has taken place is unprecedented….. Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the wellbeing of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relation he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make".
Jinnah’s concluding words in his last and farewell Message to his beloved people were:
"Nature has given you everything: you have got unlimited resources. The foundations of your state have been laid, and it is now for you to build, and build as quickly and as well as you can. So go ahead and I wish you God speed. Pakistan Zindabad. "
These are words equally applicable to us of Ceylon. And we today salute him as Quaid-i-Azam and revere the memory of Mohamed Ali Jinnah – The Maker of a Nation and a Model of Leadership.

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