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That Man

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Out of the travail of 400 million in the Indian subcontinent have come two symbols—a man of love and a man of hate. Last winter the man of nonviolence, Gandhi, died violently at the hands of an assassin. Last week the man of hate, Mohamed Ali Jinnah, at 71, died a natural death in Karachi, capital of the state he had founded. His devoted and equally fanatic sister, Fatima, was at his side; so was his daughter, Mrs. Dinah Wadia, whom he had disowned because she married a Parsee (as he had done before her).

Gandhi's death shamed Hindus and Moslems into halting the communal massacres which he had been unable to stop during his life. Jinnah's passing might release a new wave of fanaticism which even he would have opposed. As he died a crisis which might bathe all India in blood was boiling up. When the news of his death reached New Delhi, a Hindu said, "A man can be more dangerous in death than in life." He meant that the inflammatory preachings of Jinnah the agitator would live on, but the occasionally restraining hand of Jinnah the politician had been removed.

"The Best Showman." Jinnah was born in Karachi in 1876 of a wealthy trading family; at 16 he went to England to study law. As an advocate of the Bombay High Court he was, according to a colleague, "the best showman of them all ... His greatest delight was to confound the opposing lawyer by confidential asides and to outwit the presiding judge in repartee."

He joined the Congress Party and for a while worked for Hindu-Moslem unity. In 1921, he abandoned the Congress to build the Moslem League and to work for a separate government for Indian Moslems. The walls of his meeting halls blazed with such slogans as: "Make the blood of slaves boil with the force of faith!" and "Make the small sparrow fight the big hawk!" He would stalk into meetings wearing his "political uniform"—native dress with a black astrakhan cap—and whip the Moslems into a frenzy. Sometimes, in his fury, his monocle would pop out of its socket. After meetings, he would go home, change to Western clothes and be again the suave Western lawyer.

Enemies among the Moslems whispered against him: "Jinnah does not wear a beard; Jinnah does not go to the mosque; Jinnah drinks whiskey." Yet his power increased to the point where he was able to force the Hindus and the British to split India into two dominions. He became governor general of Pakistan. With the split came the riots. His part in them will not soon be forgotten by Hindus. Last week, when news of his death reached New Delhi's bazaars, there was bitter exultation. A Hindu refugee said:

"I had six people working under me in the West Punjab. Because of that man, I now work as a watchman for one rupee, eight annas [45¢] a day. Now that man is dead, but what about me?"

"A Man of Destiny." The Hindustani Times devoted a page to an uncompromising attack on Jinnah's motives and methods. However, it concluded: "A man of destiny, he was perhaps the greatest man of Islam since Mohamed."


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