All you need to know about Quaid e Azam achievements

As the winter leaves start to fall, we once again approach that time of the year where the memory of one of the greatest leaders in Sub-continent history is revived from every corner of the country. 

Muhammad Ali Jinnah stands unique among the leaders of the world in that his legacy remains untarnished even as more and more information comes to light about his extraordinary personal life. 

Deemed the voice of a nation without a home, Jinnah’s title of Quaid-e-Azam truly reflects the exalted position he occupies in the minds of Pakistanis. In the words of Sir Pendrel moon: “There is, I believe, no historical parallel for a single individual affecting such a political revolution {…}. It was Mr. Jinnah who created Pakistan and undoubtedly made history”

While the life of Quaid e Azam has been recounted thousands of times and his achievements celebrated on both individual and state levels, it is of paramount importance to understand that a statement of facts cannot and does not do justice to the legacy of Jinnah. 

From a seemingly nonexistent involvement in the affairs of Indian Muslims, Muhammad Ali Jinnah shot to prominence and acquired the status of a beloved by the masses leader in a relatively short amount of time. For a lawyer, having stayed away from the subcontinent, the political stature attained was phenomenal and a testament to the charisma that he possessed.

Quaid e Azam’s greatest value to the struggle of millions of Muslims in the subcontinent was the vision he espoused for a unified homeland. The laser-sharp focus required to separate unimportant issues from those that were essential to the sustainability of a future country, and the ability to communicate the vision as a coherent strategy for success, were an offering that no other leader in the Muslim League at the time excelled at. Rather than a fragmented view towards independence, Jinnah was one of the few leaders who understood that while a loose federation coexisting with the Hindu majority state was sub-optimal but acceptable, it was always a short-term fix that had to be rectified once the British left. 

He was also receptive towards the dynamic nature of the Muslim-Hindu situation to ultimately realize that such a fix would not be sustainable and pivoted towards the demand for a separate country.

Even in times of desperation and acute gloom, Quaid’s personal conviction in his ideals and force of character propelled his agenda for Pakistan, forcing the British to take the Muslim stance as a separate and worthy policy directive. 

The Civil disobedience and Khilafat movements were highly popular but stood in opposition to everything that Quaid e Azam believed in. It would not have been unusual for anyone in his opposition to resort to the same type of campaigns, especially during the Second World War, to disrupt the status quo and bring the grievance held by the leaders of the Muslim league into the limelight. 

However, Jinnah was farsighted in his assessment that the British were never going to be completely eliminated from the affairs of the South Asian region, and no other major power could overthrow them completely. A strategy of alienating the British was doomed to fail in the long run and any such push could lead to a retaliatory policy by the imperialists that could strengthen the stranglehold that Hindus already exerted over the political affairs of the Indian subcontinent.

Rather than restating the well-known actions of the man, it would be far more poignant to state the difficult job that Jinnah faced after partition. While the vision for a separate homeland materialized in 1947, the job of actually running the ethnically diverse region and nonexistent administrative machinery in place were seemingly insurmountable challenges that threatened to render the new state meaningless. 

A broken economy, an empty treasury, millions of refugees entering the nascent state with only the proverbial clothes on their backs, and a belligerent Hindu state as a neighbor who still desired to create a greater India by hook or crook. These were only a few of the challenges faced by the man who had apparently achieved the most impressive victory for the Muslims living in the subcontinent for the last 200 years. At some level, Jinnah also knew that his health would fade with the rigors of office expected of him.

Undeterred, Quaid e Azam’s time in charge of the nation is one filled with bustling activity. While he would not remain alive to see the state he had created out of nothing to become a sustainable entity; nationwide at least if not economically, the foundations for a strongly Islamic country upholding religious freedoms and civil liberties were established under his leadership.

Revamping the depleted military command and control structures and creating a bureaucratic vehicle to support the administrative requirements of the new country were initiated. The focus and attention to detail required for creating the bedrock of our current political, legal, and civil systems makes Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah a unique individual in the annals of history, whose brilliance and will to create a nation-state for the Muslims of India remains an accomplishment without compare.