The ghost of Jinnah

From Website

“Forget the past and move into the future”. Chetan Bhagat.

Roopinder Singh an eminent journalist who was the guest speaker, this Monday critically evaluated, Jaswant Singh’s latest book, “Jinnah – Jaswant – Partition and the Truth”. He did not talk only about the book but also the larger issues concerning the partition, the censorship and the blame game. It was indeed a very controversial, emotional & complex subject, Rtn. Manmohan could not have offered a better choice for a speaker.
Roopinder disagrees with Chetan Bhagat. He feels, to move forward, it is important to understand the past, History has a habit of prompting and always haunts us, Germany, inspite of having achieved so much development post WWII—has not been able to shake off the Ghost of Hitler and his era. Since history has a habit of repeating itself in the future, it should be properly understood. The partition of India in 1947 was the biggest “Human Catastrophe” of the 20th century and Punjab and Bengal bore the brunt by the virtue of a political line drawn across the map of India by the British Rulers and accepted by the leaders of all hues.

From Right to left: Man Mohan Singh, Roopinder Singh and Club President G S Lakhmana at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh.

From Website

Does Jaswant break any new ground? Roopinder opines not really, it is the same old wine in a new bottle. Jaswant takes pains to convince his readers that it is a basically a collection of some old facts and opinions, there is nothing new other than the name of the author on the title with a dash of political bashing. The branding of Jaswant as the devil’s advocate, for challenging the notion people have of Jinnah, is also farfetched. If only his critics had read through the whole book, before firing from all barrels, they would have realised that this books also exposes the many facets of Jinnah’s flawed personality.
Freedom of expression is another victim of this controversy, an aspect highlighted by the action of Gujarat State’s ban on the sale of the book. This ban on the contrary has boosted the sale of the book, which otherwise would not have stood out. For example, Salman Rushdie’s controversial book the “Satanic Verses”, the book might have gone unnoticed, had there not been a Death Fatwa tag attached to it. But it did make Salman a much sought after writer worldwide and the trappings that go with it. There have been other lesser known writers, unfortunate enough for losing their lives for committing lesser sins.
Roopinder feels, the level of tolerance has taken a nosedive in our society and particularly in the polity, at the drop of a hat, draconian laws are applied and the freedom of speech enshrined in our constitution is given a go bye. Now, the matter of ban in Gujarat rests with the Supreme Court
The fact remains, if you think, by reading this book, you will arrive at some definite conclusion as to who the players were of the “Great Game” – Partition”, you are wrong. It was period of uncertainty, there were many groups and each had its own vested interests, Jinnah, Nehru, Patel and Mahatma Gandhi were all part of it. It was collective failure of the leaders of the time and events shaped themselves. Whatever may have motivated Jaswant into authoring this book, one thing is certain that he has made enough of moollah from the sale of the book to hang up his boots and retire in peace.
It was a very interesting and enlightening talk put very aptly, which only a seasoned and knowledgeable journalist could handle and that too with such finesse.