We have all heard about the chain reaction in science, which is a self sustaining process caused by a small particle or a neutron in an atomic reaction. An avalanche which gets triggered with the breaking of ice results into a huge sea of snow destroying everything on its way. In a human life too sometime such reactions are possible which get initiated by a very small, insignificant event but have catastrophic consequences in the future.
On August 5, 2019 India, in a so called historic move, revoked Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir. The event has resulted in a never ending debate all across the world and verbal feud between India and Pakistan which can even lead to fifth conventional war between the two jeopardising the peace of entire region.
Making of Muhammed Ali Jinnah is perhaps one such chain reaction which resulted in displacement of twelve million people from their houses, loss of unaccounted numbers of lives and creation of two lifelong enemies and this is still self sustaining and moving on with no full stops.
More than a revelation it is frightening to know the fact that Muhammed Ali Jinnah was a descendant of a Hindu Gujrati family, who ultimately proved to be a catalyst in the entire reaction which not only divided India but also created an everlasting animosity between the divided fragments. In this entire sequence there were mainly three facts, which, if not had been there, India perhaps would have been an undivided India without any ongoing problems.
Premjibhai Meghji Thakkar , a Kathiawari Gujrati, was Jinnah’s grandfather. Though he belonged to Lohana community, who were strictly vegetarians, he chose to trade in fish at the coastal town of Veraval. A very profitable business but it was against the religious belief and faith of their community, who ostracised him. Finally when he wanted to join back, after having made a fortune, it was the inflated egos of the community seniors who refused to accept him back. Had they accepted Jinnah’s grandfather at that time, course of the future would have been, may be, out of our imagination. So, in a fit of rage, Premjibhai Meghji Thakkar, changed his and his four sons’ religion, and embraced Islam, starting a chain reaction with no end.
Conversion to Islam was not a new phenomenon then. However most of conversions were mainly the result of religious leaders who denied the acceptance to so called violators back into their own religion. During the Islamic invasion of 12th century in India, many Hindus lost their religion due to various rules of the Muslims rulers and some Hindus were forcibly converted. They were considered responsible for their own fate and Hindu priests refused to take them back in the community. So if Jinnah’s grandfather was allowed to come back to his caste and religion then Jinnah would have remained a Hindu and rest would have been just the imagination.
Next frightening fact in the chain reaction was the challenge to Jinnah by his own friend Nehru. It is said that after the death of his wife Rattanbai Petit, in 1929, Jinnah decided to lead a private life detached from the rest of the world. So, he migrated to London and lived his chosen life till he was termed as “Finished” by Nehru. This comment galvanised the Jinnah who decided to prove it otherwise. He came back to India and started to work towards the inevitable transforming the Muslim League into a powerful political party of India. So, the fact remains, had Jawaharlal Nehru wouldn’t have commented, Jinnah would have remained in London and India would have remained united.
Now comes the third frightening fact which is again attributed to a Hindu, Dr. J. A. L. Patel, who was the personal doctor of Jinnah. It is said that just one year before the partition and independence of India, doctor had detected something very alarming about the Jinnah’s health. He had found out that Jinnah was suffering from a very advanced stage of Tuberculosis and he would not survive for long. Imagine the consequences of the disclosure of his find. Perhaps, Gandhi and Mountbatten would have delayed the independence of India to let Jinnah die in peace and avoid the partition. But it did not happen that way.
Jinnah requested his doctor to keep the secret between the two of them and he pushed Mountbatten for a speedy freedom and partition of India to make sure he made the mark in history before he dies. Dr. Patel, true to the medical ethos preferred to keep the secret of Jinnah’s disease and imminent death without realising that millions will die just to save one man. Thus came the division, creation of East and West Pakistan and death of millions of people of all the community.
So, in a nutshell, had the Hindu priests accepted back the Jinnah’s grandfather, Jinnah would have perhaps remained a Hindu. Had Nehru not have challenged Jinnah, he would have stayed in London only. And had Dr. Patel disclosed the state of health of Jinnah, India would have perhaps stayed united. Jinnah prevailed upon the doctor to keep the secret and succeeded to do which shouldn’t have been done. But then the facts prevailed and it happened. Jinnah’s grandfather would have never thought that his decision to go into fish business would have impacted the lives of millions one century later and will keep impacting thereafter. Frightening facts indeed!
08 Aug 19/Thursday Written by Azadazraq