It is such a shame that this movie was never shown to a mass audience in the West, like the Gandhi biopic of 1982, in an age when media plays a major role in shaping narratives. Sir Christopher Lee himself has credited his portrayal of Jinnah as the best role he had ever played. He also lamented the fact that the West’s censure of the movie was due to it being a positive portrayal of a Muslim leader.

During his time in exile, Jinnah was constantly visited by Muslim leaders who begged him to return to India and continue his political struggle for their cause. Chaudhry Rehmat Ali and his group of friends met Jinnah during this time as well, and proposed to him a radical idea of a Muslim state comprising the western provinces of India which were majority Muslim. The Eastern provinces which were also Muslim majority were conveniently left out.

Upon his return to India, Jinnah assumed the leadership of the Muslim League, although he still looked favorably towards some sort of accommodation of Muslims in a United India. Jinnah’s aspirations for settlement were shattered when the Congress (maintaining its claim of representing all Indians) swept the 1937 elections and formed governments in the Center and the Provinces. Nehru and his party felt no need to consider a minority party in the formation of their government.

Many incidents of maltreatment, provocation and rioting were reported in the Muslim majority provinces, which disillusioned the Muslim populations from the party which claimed to represent all Indians. In one of his speeches before the outbreak of WWII, Nehru insisted that there were only two powers in India, the British and the Congress. Mr. Jinnah retorted and said that there was a third power as well, namely the Muslims.

Video Credits: Jamil Dehlavi & Akbar S. Ahmed



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