This post, written for the occasion of Quaid-e-Azam Day (25th December), is a tribute to one of the greatest man the world has ever seen - Muhammad Ali Jinnah, known to Pakistanis as "Quaid-e-Azam" (The Great Leader). This man, the voice of one hundred million Muslims, fought for their religious, social and economic freedom. He was a man of solid character and a deep sense of honour, impartiality and justice. His bravery, courage and devotion to his mission are unparalleled throughout the history.
Prof. Stanley Wolpert writes in his book "Jinnah of Pakistan" (1984) :
"Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three."
He left his impression on all the people who had the chance to interact with him. Hence, he was the recipient of some of the greatest tributes paid to any one in modern times, some of them even from those who held a diametrically opposed viewpoint.
The following are the tributes/comments given by significant people in the history about Muhammad Ali Jinnah:
Allama Iqbal (Pakistan's national poet): "He is incorruptable and unpurchasable" [Ghulam Dastagir Rashid, Asrar-i lqbal (Hyderabad Deccan, 1944), p. 41.]
Gandhi (Indian leader and national hero): "Jinnah is incorruptible and brave" [Interview with Louis Fischer]
John Biggs-Davison (Member of UK Parliament): "Although without Gandhi, Hindustan would still have gained independence and without Lenin and Mao, Russia and China would still have endured Communist revolution, without Jinnah there would have been no Pakistan in 1947."
The Aga Khan (Imam of Ismaeeli followers) considered him "the greatest man he ever met", and added "I have met many politicians in my life, like Churchill, Mesoleni, Kaizon, Gandhi; but Jinnah was different from all of them. There was no other politician with such a strength of character"
Lord Mountbatten (Last Viceroy of India): "Muslims will perhaps never get such an honest leader."
Sir Stafford Cripps (British Labour politician who brought Cripps mission to the Sub-continent): "A most accomplished lawyer, outstanding amongst Indian lawyers, and a fine constitutionalist."
Sarat Chandra Bose (Indian barrister & Freedom Fighter): "Mr Jinnah, was great as a lawyer, once great as a Congressman, great as a leader of Muslims, great as a world politician and diplomat, and greatest of all as a man of action, By Mr. Jinnah's passing away, the world has lost one of the greatest statesmen and Pakistan its life-giver, philosopher and guide." [My Brother(1987),biography by Fatima Jinnah.]
Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha (Secretary General of the Arab League): "(He was) one of the greatest leaders in the Muslim world."
Gordon Johnson (Director Center of South Asian Studies): "He set a great example to other statesmen to follow by his skill in negotiation, his integrity and his honesty."
Harry S Truman (US President): "[He was] the originator of the dream that became Pakistan, architect of the State and father of the world's largest Muslim nation. Mr. Jinnah was the recipient of a devotion and loyalty seldom accord to any man"
Lord Lothian (British politician and diplomat): "Though Jinnah’s scheme of partition was good, it would take at least 25 years to take shape. But great wars and great men shorten history, and Jinnah was such a man who could alter the history of a nation"
Lord Wavell (Viceroy of India 1943 - 1947 who brought the Wavell plan): "Mr. Jinnah was one of the handsomest men I have ever seen; he combined the clear cut, almost Grecian features of the West with oriental grace and movement."
Nelson Mandela (Ex-South African President): Ali Jinnah is a constant source of inspiration for all those who are fighting against racial or group discrimination.' (Nelson Mandela had come to Islamabad in 1995 and had insisted on including Karachi as a destination to visit Jinnah's Grave and his house in Karachi where upon reaching he drove straight to the Quaid's Mazar) At another occasion while addressing the ANC Mandela mentioned three names Ali Jinnah, Gandhi and Nehru as sources of inspiration for the movement against apartheid.'
Beverley Nichols (author of `Verdict on India’) called him “the most important man in Asia”
Dr. Kailashnath Katju (the West Bengal Governor in 1948) thought of him as “an outstanding figure of this century not only in India, but in the whole world”.
Sir Patrick Spen (the last Chief Justice of undivided India): "There is no man or woman living who imputes anything against his honour or his honesty. He was the most upright person that I know, but throughout it all, he never, as far as I know, for one moment, attempted to deceive any body, as to what he was aiming at or as to the means he attempted to adopt to get it"
Mr. M.C Chagla (Foreign Minister of India): "Jinnah was a pure artist in the manner and method of his presentation. Even the most complex facts became simple and obvious when he waved his wand over them. He could be ferociously aggressive and almost boyishly persuasive as and when the occasion arose, and what particularly helped him in his advocacy, was the absolute clear head that he possessed, and on which he justly prided himself. He had common sense, that most uncommon of qualities in an uncommon degree"
Mr. Frank Moraes (Chief Editor of The Indian Express): "Watch him in the court room as he argues a case. Few lawyers command a more attentive audience. No man is more adroit in presenting his case. If to achieve the maximum result with minimum effort is the hallmark of artistry, Mr. Jinnah is an artist in his craft. He likes to get down to the bare bones of a brief. In stating the essentials of a case, his manner is masterly. The drab courtroom acquires an atmosphere as he speaks. Juniors crane their necks forward to follow every movement of his tall, well groomed figure; senior counsels listen closely; the judge is all attention."
Secretary of State Montagu - 1918: "Jinnah, young, perfectly mannered, impressive looking, armed to the teeth with dialectics and insistent upon the whole of his scheme --- he would rather have nothing if he could not get the whole lot. ---Chelmsford tried to argue with him and was tied up into knots. Jinnah is a very clever man, and it is of course an outrage that such a man should have no chance of running the affairs of his own country."
NOTE: We highly recommend you to read our follow up post regarding Quaid-e-Azam's motto, and how we Pakistanis have forgotten it.