Jinnah A Life by Yasser Latif Hamdani

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What better day than today to review the book. The biography of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. According to history, the man behind the two-nation theory, the communal fanatic. The author, through the book, tries to reason with the real facts and historical incidents about the role of Jinnah in the partition and the communal riots preceding the partition.

The book states the growing stages, academics, and professional life of Jinnah. The agility in his arguments is established with examples. The author distinguishes the professional lives of Gandhiji and Jinnah. All through the first half of the book, the author tries to bring light to the growth of Jinnah from lawyer to politician. His preoccupation with British style is depicted deftly and gives a clear picture of how he is molded to the picture that we see. 


It would be surprising to the readers that Jinnah has been the flag bearer of secularism. It’s new information that the Muslim League which is often referred to as Jinnah’s party was initially not his primary party but it was Congress which Jinnah supported initially. Jinnah always wanted parity and we Indians should be made aware of this reality.
However, the argument that Jinnah was unaware of the outcome of partition seems to be an inflated sense of perception. It is inconceivable that the man who is a connoisseur in law could not foresee the real intention behind a two-nation theory and that he expected the two nations-Hindustan and Pakistan- to come under one umbrella of India like the USA and Canada.
The author has a magnetic style of narrative. The book is as thrilling as a fictional thriller- primarily due to the finesse of the craft and secondarily since Jinnah’s life in itself is thrilling. It is commendable on the author’s part to bring the other side of the coin to the readers. The perils of partition we’re deliberately omitted as the readers would be always aware of it. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see how Jinnah dealt with something he unknowingly started off.

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