Mr. Jinnah in Caricature is More Real

Posted on December 25, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Education, History, People
Total Views: 61916


Adil Najam

Today, December 25, marks the birth anniversary of Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Mr. Jinnah has been a subject of frequent, and sometimes heated, discussion on ATP (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here). Maybe it is best to spare him the agony of argumentation on his birthday.

Instead, we wish to share this rather interesting and apt tribute to him (supposedly, the first in a series) by Dawn newspaper. (Click on image for larger image).

Jinnah's life . Dawn newspaper

Dawn newspaper is currently celebrating its own and Pakistan’s 60th anniversary and as part of this celebration will carry a series of illustrated episodes from Mr. Jinnah’s life. This one, the first in this series, is illustrated by Syed Salman Nasir.

I, for one, liked this very much. As readers know I have always liked Jinnah the human even more than Quaid-i-Azam the icon. I also think that this type of story-telling might appeal to the young far more than staid narrations.

Given how our official portraits of Mr. Jinnah tend to be over-stylized and how the national discourse on his is more iconic than human, it is interesting (to say the least) that his human side (see here and here) emerges much more clearly in this caricature than it does in most of our national discussions about him.

23 Comments on “Mr. Jinnah in Caricature is More Real”

  1. December 25th, 2007 11:42 am

    Fascinating. Young kids learn so many of life’s lessons from such cartoon images than they would with Quaid’s farmaans relayed before the 9 PM news.
    It is not only important that we see Jinnah, probably our only undisputed, non-discredited, leader as a person, but it is necessary for our political health as a nation. We need to also be able view today’s leaders as humans first…and judge how they rate before us as people and individuals, before what their famous last names stands for.

  2. Malique says:
    December 25th, 2007 12:26 pm

    Its high time to human-ise our Azam-ish Jinnah.His personality has been made so controversial and so has been the case with his sayings,courtesy of the syllabus specially modified for the students of “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”-that he never founded!

  3. Daktar says:
    December 25th, 2007 2:16 pm

    I like this a lot. I think Dawn is onto something important in humanizing the Quaid. How can you go wrong with cricket. Great idea.

  4. Daktar says:
    December 25th, 2007 2:18 pm

    Sorry for the double message. But does anyone know how frequently and when more episodes will appear?

  5. Watan Aziz says:
    December 25th, 2007 3:34 pm

    Pakistaniat has both marbles and cricket, guli-danda and hockey.


    Seems the editor or the cartoonist has a dislike for marbles, as there was no need to bring that up in this manner. I particularly do not care, just thinking that if we have had distorted image of Jinnah before now, it looks to me it is fully hijacked in this rendition!

    BTW, this ‘back-to-the-future’ genre was used by Akbar Ahmed’s Jinnah ( A must see movie for all interested in Pakistaniat. And I also highly recommend his book.

  6. December 25th, 2007 5:11 pm

    I agree with Adil that the man before the title Quaid needs to come to the fore and I laud the efforts of Dawn in this regard.

    Its high time the youth can link the Quaid and his principles to the Pakistan of today. Principles of justice and fair play are eternal and never grow old and its the youth that must incorporate them.

    This ‘reawakening’ with the Quaids principles is a must for Pakistan for every generation. We must as each generation be able to draw strength from the Quaid and his principles. Indeed had we done so earlier we would not have endured the evil of military dictatorships for our people would never have accepted such distortions in our national fabric.

    I am happy with the efforts of Dawn and believe them crucial in helping to bring the Quaid alive to today’s Pakistan. The Quaid must be more than a portrait above our offices and homes, he must live on in us for only then can we achieve the Pakistan our forefathers made sacrificies for.

    I am confident that we can build a better, and a more just Pakistan, that ‘other’ Pakistan we all crave. Please help create such a Pakistan, do see



  7. KARAMAT says:
    December 25th, 2007 8:47 pm

    I believe this is based on actual accounts of the Quaid’s friends. I was also stunned by the comic book style at first but I think that is because we are not used to seeing this. I think this type of storytelling is eyecatching not only for the young but also for rest of us because it catches the attention by its unusual style. A good effort certainly.

  8. RE says:
    December 25th, 2007 9:47 pm goes after Mullah’s

  9. December 25th, 2007 11:25 pm

    I only said that:
    East and West Quaid is best

  10. RE says:
    December 26th, 2007 1:47 am

    Pakistan still have to see one good leader after Jinnah. He was hardworking servant of Pakistan.

    Thanks to him we have our country Pakistan along with all the people who stayed behind the scene. Thank you all Allah give you all place in Janat.

  11. December 26th, 2007 2:57 am

    Really Nice !

    I hardly get a chance to check out pakistani newspaper here in Dubai but I saw this one yestarday during the PIA flight.

    I agree that this will be definately more appealing to the young than the standard impasive writings about Jinnah.

  12. Mukarram says:
    December 26th, 2007 4:48 am

    What? No protests yet? These are Caricatures. For God’s sake, protest…

    Pun aside, I think that humanizing Jinnah and so many other idols that have been created for us over years is extremely important. We need inspiration, but that does not mean that we are not capable of new thoughts and ideas. Great work Dawn!

  13. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    December 26th, 2007 5:18 am

    History witnesses !

    @ Quaid-e-Azam was a devout, sincere, honest humble
    muslim, and the only one in centuries anywhere.!!

    Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad

    Long live
    Islamic Republic of Pakistan

  14. Roshan says:
    December 26th, 2007 6:43 am

    Dawn has commemorated Quaid’s anniversary and its own sixtieth anniversary in a good way rather than publishing a traditional press release by APP which normally conveys the message from PM and President.
    I like this pictorial illustration by using comic genre.

  15. Rahim Khan says:
    December 26th, 2007 9:04 am

    Reducing Jinnah to a caricature or cartoon does not seem that inspiring, for kids or adults, I would think. Bad Idea…..For sure.

  16. JQ says:
    December 26th, 2007 9:33 am

    Perhaps if someone introduces this to kids at the elementary level, things might change.

    I still remember the ridiculously long and monotonous chapters on Jinnah in EVERY Urdu and Pakistan Studies book in primary school. To be honest, knowing the date he joined the league did not inspire me much! If only…

  17. Wahab says:
    December 26th, 2007 10:40 am

    We have turned Jinnah into just an icon. Every government twists his sayings to suit their purpose. In all of this the Quaid’s real meaning and ideas have been totally lost. I like this effort and the image of his playing cricket is certainly one that I can identify with more than studying under a single candle all night. So, good job Dawn.

  18. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    December 26th, 2007 11:06 am

    The Mighty Mountains of the world

    @ Icons are man-made Taghoot, caricatures, cartoons,
    they remain a true picture of “their” creator’s lowerness
    of quality and level, on the other hand you have K2 and

    M.A.Jinnah was never an icon, but when Quaid
    was born, K2 and Himalay grew 47 cm higher.

  19. Akram says:
    December 26th, 2007 12:14 pm

    I think we sometimes give Jinnah too much attention. Don’t get me wrong, I think he was a great man. But Pakistan’s problems today have to b solved by Pakistanis today. Maybe we should stop always looking towards the Quaid for solutions to problems that we created and we should be solving.

  20. Jadoon says:
    December 26th, 2007 5:30 pm

    SO the message of this is what… we play as a team. All as Pakistanis, not as ethnicities or sects, or falana maslaq or dhamalka maslak. That is a good message. Unfortunately, like much of the mesage of Jinnah most Pakistanis will ignore this message too.

  21. qazi says:
    February 4th, 2008 7:28 am

    jeetay rahoo miyan sahib

  22. February 6th, 2008 7:12 am

    a good effort from DAWN new to depict Jinnah’s life

  23. Taimur says:
    December 4th, 2010 12:20 pm

    Yaar, Jinnah Saab. Kiya kiya na kiya logoun nay aap kay naam kay sath!

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)