Prominent historian Prof. Ayesha Jalal's lecture on Quaid-e-Azam at SMIU

22 January 2017
Prof. Ayesha Jalal, noted historian and Director, Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies Tufts University Medford, Massachusetts, USA, has said that the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is relevant today in terms of constitutional supremacy, social justice, and peaceful coexistence. She said this while delivering a lecture on "How Relevant is Jinnah's Vision in Today's Pakistan," organized by Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) on Saturday evening at the courtyard of SMIU's Main Building.
Prof. Ayesha Jalal said that Mr. Jinnah was one of the great Muslim leaders in British Era, and was believed in constitution and democracy. "As the nations are needed heroes, likewise Muslims of subcontinent found their hero in the name of Mr. Jinnah," she said and added that Mr. Jinnah made his unique place in the polity of subcontinent despite facing odds. He was anti colonial nationalist. She said this great man must be honored.
Prof. Ayesha Jalal said that since last almost 70 years, there is still a debate in Pakistan that we should have democracy or dictatorship and or secular state or religious state.
She was of the view that Mr. Jinnah was firm believer of constitution, rule of law and federation with legitimate rights to the federating units. Mr. Jinnah expressed his clear vision in his speech delivered in the Constitutional Assembly on 11th August 1947 about the Pakistan's future status. She said that Mr. Jinnah was not in favour of division of Punjab and Bengal, but Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, leaders of Congress like Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel were in favour of division of Punjab and Bengal.
Prof. Ayesha Jalal said that the equal representation was given to the provinces in Senate in the constitution of 1973, but in later years many changes were made into it, which changed original shape of the constitution. Therefore, today is confused constitutional scenario.
While giving answer to a question asked by a student of SMIU she said that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a real ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity, but leaders of Congress Party Mr. Nehru and Mr. Patel were against it. Talking about Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi she said that he most actively played his political role up to 1920s.
Earlier, Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor of SMIU in his welcome speech thanked the guest speaker Prof. Ayesha Jalal and said that she is one of the great historians of our time with reference of her historic work on Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Talking on Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh said that although he was not belonging to an affluent class, living in 2 bed apartment along with his nine member family in Wazir Mansion, but got his prominent place in the politics of subcontinent through his sheer struggle and wisdom. "At that time there were many prominent leaders in Bengal, Punjab, Bombay and other parts of undivided India, but Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who belonged to a small province of Sindh and a minority community of Agha Khani, became sole spokesman of rights of Muslims in subcontinent. It proves his honesty, leadership qualities and political consciousness," Dr Shaikh said and added that today, the country needs to act upon the ideals of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and that is the only way to bring the country on the path of progress and development.
The lecture program was attended by dignitaries, diplomats, prominent academicians and Deans, chairperson, senior faculty, staff members and students of SMIU. On this occasion Prof. Ayesha Jalal also visited Jinnah Museum along with Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh and other guests.

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