With the coming out of Jaswant Singh's book recently on India's independence from Britain in 1947, one thing is clear. There is a much controversy on the role of then Indian leaders, especially in the Congress party (Gandhi, Nehru et al.), during the period leading to independence of India and its subsequent partition into predominantly Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan.
Note that Jinnah's role as the leader of Muslim League party, in initiating the partition of united India into India and Pakistan which led to immense suffering and loss of life and property on both sides, is quite similar to that of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate leader who wanted to separate from the United States thus creating two independent countries (the United States and the Confederate States). Even though Jefferson Davis, unlike Jinnah, was not successful in the end in having his own country, his decision to separate from the United States also led to immense suffering and loss of life and property in the United States (north and south) just like what happened in India and Pakistan after India was partitioned.
Interestingly, while no American politician of note to date, in almost 150 years after the US Civil War in which Jefferson Davis lost, has called Jefferson Davis publicly a "great American" because of his role in trying to divide the USA, the Indian leaders and politicians (Jaswant Singh et al.) in less than 60 years have proved unusually generous towards Jinnah and keep on heaping praise on him in public and in books using the epitaphs like "secular" and a "great Indian" even though he had demanded and got India partitioned on religious basis.
More than thirty years ago, I was one day watching a TV program in a university on some old newsreel about the Subcontinent. It showed Jinnah giving an interview in Urdu to a reporter. The interview seemed to have been conducted within just a few years of India’s partition leading to the creation of Pakistan.
While most of the interview seemed tied closely to issues related to Pakistan and I quickly forgot about it, I still remember a few sentences from Jinnah's interview which were quite an eye opener in terms of their significance and conditions prior to India's independence and partition. Jinnah said, paraphrasing here in English (it has been a long time), "I was sick of Hindu media – intruding and goading all the time. In the end I told them 'spare us (Muslims). You (Hindus / Hindu media?) go one way and we (Muslims) go the other.'"
It seems the Indian news media, especially the Hindu media, might also have had something to do with India's partition. Perhaps not everyone saw it in the same light.
- Seva (Subhash C. Sharma)