By Professor Asalm Bazmi
Few tributes paid to Mohamamd Ali Jinnah strike as profound as the one we find laconically expressed in the following words of Sir John Alec Biggs-Davisn, former Conservative Member of British Parliament: “Although without Gandhi, Hindustan still would have gained independence and without Lenin and Mao Russia and China would still have endured Communist revolution, without Jinnah there would have been no Pakistan in 1947.” Viewing Jinnah’s feat from yet another perspective, Professor Akbar S Ahmad very succinctly states: “Islam gave the Muslims of India sense of identity; dynasties such as the Moghuls had given them territory; poets like Iqbal created in them a sense of destiny; Jinnah’s heroic stature can be understood from the fact that by leading the Pakistan movement and creating the state of Pakistan, he gave them all three.”
Mohammad Ali Jinnah radiated the purity of heart and character reminiscent of the sublimity of saints and mujaddids. He lived and breathed throughout his personal and public life the pristine virtues of truthfulness, courage, honesty and integrity. This set him apart from mundane politics relying on deceit and chicanery as the watchwords of success. Great nations remember with gratitude their founding fathers and hold them in abiding esteem. This is imperative to nurture and sustain in people the sublime spirit of emulating the deeds and sacrifices of their heroes and leaders.
One efficacious and proven way of inculcating in adolescents sound leadership traits and an intrinsic passion for selfless service will be taking them on a vicarious journey into the lives of great leaders. This will help them imbibe the sublime examples of courage, rectitude, devotion and sacrifice. Today, there is a pressing need to study and ponder on what made Jinnah the saviour of the beleaguered Muslim nation during the British raj in India. We can draw immense inspiration from his epic struggle for independence which eventually culminated into carving out a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia.
It is in this perspective that Professor Aslam Bazmi’s recently published work, Our Quaid—As Remembered Reported merits keen interest and attention. Being a handy collection of perceptively gleaned anecdotes, featuring and spotlighting various character traits of the great leader, the book is vibrantly engaging and absorbing to the core. It is creditable that the author, a man of vast reading, immense energy, deep humility and firm determination, has expended a great deal of time and energy to produce a highly readable and insightful work for a wide cross-section of audience—students, teachers, academics, executives, leaders and the public at large.
People in general are averse to sermons and homilies but they tend to respond positively to a thought or message couched in an inspiring tale and anecdote. An illuminating book focused on a sublime theme therefore has tremendous inspirational and transformational value. Rather than dictating what to do and what not to do, it whispers, suggests, appeals silently without bruising anyone’s ego or self-esteem. It teaches as well as pleases.
Quite rich in content and elegant in its layout and design, Our Quaid—As Remembered Reported is a fine compilation of anecdotes, spread over 166 pages—a laudable tribute to Quaid’s sterling qualities of head and heart. The book is one of the pioneering publications of NUST Publishing, H-12, Islamabad. For the ease of the reader, the contents are thematically indexed, each chapter covering a single character trait of the great leader. It is hoped the book will deeply touch the hearts and souls of its audience. It is expected to help instill in the reader the values and attitudes, in the absence of which no individual or society can aspire for a place of dignity and honour.