March 23, 2008: What Jinnah Has to Tell us Today

Posted on March 23, 2008
Filed Under >Darwaish, History, Law & Justice, People, Politics
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Darwaish

Today is 23rd March, 2008. On this date in 1940 the historic Lahore Resolution (Later Pakistan Resolution) was passed.

Last year in the series of March 23 posts (here, here and here), Adil Najam had written about ‘Owning Mohammad Iqbal.’ This year I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my favorite photographs from 1940’s and also very very relevant speeches of founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. One of the earliest posts on ATP had, similarly, featured some less-seen pictures of the Quaid (here).

Mohammed Ali JinnahQuaid i Azam M A JinnahMohammad Ali JinnahMr. Jinnah of Pakistan

It would be interesting if ATP readers can guess all the people in photographs; tough one, I think.

Personally, I love most of the photographs of Jinnah with young students and volunteers. I don’t remember seeing a photograph of a national leader sitting with students and communicating with them like Jinnah sahab in top-right photograph. Looking at these photographs reminds me that, unlike our leaders today, how Jinnah sahab always considered students as his most important asset and main strength and they were the ones who ran Pakistan movement campaign. Unfortunately, students and young people are generally the most depoliticized segment of our society.

Let me also share two speeches by Jinnah sahab which are very relevant to Pakistan’s current institutional situation. If our citizens, leaders and institutions pay attention to the spirit of these speeches, maybe we will all be better off.

First, this excerpt from his address to the Military Staff College, Quetta (June 14, 1948):

During my talks with one or two very high-ranking officers I discovered that they did not know the implications of the oath taken by the troops of Pakistan.

Of course, an oath is only a matter of form; what is more important is true spirit and heart. But it is an important form and I would like to take the opportunity of refreshing your memory by reading the prescribed oath to you: “I solemnly affirm, in the presence of Almighty God, that I owe allegiance to the Constitution and the Dominion of Pakistan and that I will be duty bound honestly and faithfully serve.

As I have said just now, the spirit is what really matters. I should like you to study the Constitution which is in force in Pakistan at present and understand its true constitutional and legal implications.

Next, this speech on Criminal Law Emergency Power Bills before the Imperial Legislative Council (February 6, 1919):

No man should lose his liberty or be deprived of his liberty without a judicial trial in accordance with the accepted rules of evidence and procedure… the powers which are going to be assumed by the executive, which means substitution of executive for judiciary, such powers are likely to be abused, and in the past we have instances where such powers have been abused… there is no precedent or parallel that I know of in any civilized country where you have laws of this character enacted… it imperils the liberty of the subject and fundamental liberties of a citizen.

As I read these statements and think about how relevant they are to our current situation, I am also reminded that it is a pity that there is such little audio or video record of Mr. Jinnah’s speeches. Here is one website (Humsafar) which has some a limited audio/video about Jinnah and Pakistan from 1940-1948. Geo TV also has some audio records (though, not original) of these speeches available at their website. I wonder if there is any way we can get all the speeches and videos of Jinnah and make them available online for public access. If somebody has an audio or video of Jinnah’s speeches, please share with us.

Note: All the photographs are from the collection of Dr. Ghulam Nabi Kazi. I have already written about the wonderful collection of Dr. Kazi in one of my previous post about the last letter written by Ruttie Jinnah to her husband. Click on each image for more details.

12 responses to “March 23, 2008: What Jinnah Has to Tell us Today”

  1. Aqeel Ahmed says:

    @Sadia: project has not even started yet and no signs it ever will so forget about it. Government has changed so everything will change, good or bad whatever.

    Nice reminder of Jinnah’s messages.

  2. Sadia Shahid says:

    Radio Pakistan Lahore used to have a large collection of historic Jinnah speeches and I believe some videos too. I don’t know what they have done with the collection and why it has not made available for public.

    Karachi’s Hassan family has a large collection of Jinnah documents and speeches. Last time I heard from previous government’s cabinet secretary Ejaz Rahim, a project was initiated to preserve this in Jinnah Archival Museum which was to be built in Karachi. If I remember correctly, this was a Rs. 26 million project. Don’t know what happened on this. Anyone knows more details?

    Excellent idea though.

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