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Monday, February 22, 2010

Birth Centenary Celebrations – M A Jinnah (Part - I)


1976 marked the 100th birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Born on 25th December 1876 in Karachi, he was to one day change the destiny of a people and force the once mightiest empires of the world to give in and carve out from the United India a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent. He had his early schooling at the famous Sindh Madrassat-ul-Islam and the Christian Mission School in Karachi. He then got admission in the Lincoln's Inn in 1893 to study law and become the youngest Indian to be called to the Bar at Law.

Jinnah entered politics in 1905 from the platform of the Indian National Congress (the same time that Muslim League was also founded by Sir Agha Khan in 1906, but Jinnah was to join the League much later). In January 1910, he was elected to the newly-constituted Imperial Legislative Council. In 1934, Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal persuaded Jinnah to assume the leadership of the Muslims. So Jinnah joined the All India Muslim League and from here he fought a tough battle with the British and the Hindus, and it was his powerful advocacy of the case of Pakistan and his remarkable strategy in the delicate negotiations that made him win a separate Muslim country for the Muslims of the United India then under the Great Britain.


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Jinnah became Pakistan’s first governor general much to the annoyance of Lord Mountbatten, for which Pakistan had to pay very dearly in the division of boundary of Kashmir (a Muslim majority area), which till date remains a bitter bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Jinnah finally bade farewell to the newly born country on 11 September 1948 and was buried in his hometown, Karachi.

Year 1976 was celebrated as the 100th birthday of Jinnah and Pakistan Post issued a number of commemorative stamps on the occasion as shown above. The stamps also included a Rs.10 commemorative stamp with outline of Jinnah embossed in golden colour. This special stamp was published at Da Carter SA, Paris (France). His photos also appeared on the RCD yearly anniversary commemorative stamps (the other portraits included Raza Shah of Iran and Kemal Attaturk of Turkey).

Many a country also joined Pakistan Post in issuing commemorative stamps to honour this great leader of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. These will be posted in a separate post shortly.

Related Reading on Jinnah:
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Wikipedia)

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