The Inspirational Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Today is the 69th death anniversary of our one true leader i.e. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was without doubt an inspiration for everyone. However there was one segment of society that he greatly influenced i.e. the Muslim youth, especially the students. He was well aware that at that age they are selfless, full of determination and courage as well as capable of constant hard work. It was due to his foresight and psychological understanding that he knew; that one of the ways to unite youth is to put before them a high aim in life, one which they would want to strive for and achieve, and also that if their energies were channeled in the right direction, they could prove to be a strong aid in the Herculean task that lay ahead.
So let us take a brief look at how he achieved that:
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim Youth (1937-47)
Formation of All-India Muslim Student’s Federation
The All-India Students Federation was established by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1936, under the auspices of Congress. But the Hindu students displayed the same attitude as of their leaders. Therefore Muslim students believed that they needed to have a separate platform, so this lead to the formation of All-India Muslim Students Federation in 1937, with Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the President. His charismatic personality impressed them very much, for it is known that youth always follow a true and sincere leader and they had found one in him. That is why they went on to play an extremely important and unforgettable role in the freedom struggle.
Quaid-e-Azam never wanted to use students for any political purposes, the only reason he brought them together was because he wanted them to be vigilant and actively play the part that was required of them. Though the students were eager to take action, he asked them to stay away from practical politics, as students’ main focus should be their studies, but at the same time they should gain understanding of political matters and keep an eagle eye on what was happening around them. In contrast Hindu leaders urged their students to actively participate in politics and to organize demonstrations. On the occasion of Quit India Movement in 1942, Hindu students tried their best to involve Muslim students, but they followed Quaid-e Azam’s advice and stayed away from it.
Quaid-e-Azam’s Personal Motivation
Whenever he toured the subcontinent he would always meet the students. He also participated in hundreds of student sessions, where he gave soul stirring speeches with the objective of preparing them to shoulder their responsibilities with sincerity and devotion, in order to serve the nation and its people. He would apprise them of the affairs of the state, and once told them “Never be slaves to someone’s thinking, always contemplate yourself”.
He would give thought provoking messages in their magazines which contained precious advice for them. He personally replied to thousands of letters sent by students. So he not only guided them at a collective level but also at an individual level, because he had immense hopes attached with the youth, which later developed into profound trust because they proved that they were worthy of that and never once let him down in any situation. He also had great affection for them, one that had not been displayed by any other Muslim leader, and he considered them to be the army of Muslims in India. Students also had deep veneration for him. Thousands would gather at the train station just to catch a glimpse of him, such was their ardour.
Therefore it can be easily said that the discipline and character formation of the students was all due to him. That is how the All-India Muslim Students Federation and all its branches such as (Sindh, Bengal, , Punjab, UP, Orissa, Baluchistan, Bihar, Bombay, CP, Kashmir, Banglore, Sarhad etc) were able to train other students all over the subcontinent.
Student Conferences (1941-47)
There were many factors why Muslim League was unsuccessful, the biggest one perhaps was that many of its members were disloyal as they questioned the policies and doubted Quaid-e-Azam’s leadership. It was at times like these that the students solidly stood by him. They obeyed everything he told them as they truly believed that they could achieve freedom only if they followed his lead.
Therefore they set to task by arranging meetings and conferences that created awareness in Muslims regarding the need for independence from the British and Hindus. Quaid-e-Azam greatly appreciated all their efforts. On 1st March 1941, Punjab Muslim Students Federation organized a Special Pakistan Conference in Lahore which he presided over. The students made speeches in favour of Pakistan Resolution and assured Quaid-e-Azam of their belief in him as their leader, and it was decided that Pakistan was to be established at all costs. They continued to hold such a meeting every year till Pakistan came in to being and this helped in instilling the spirit for demanding a separate country. And a second very important meeting was held on 26th December 1941 in Nagpur.
While addressing the Muslim Students Federation at Sialkot in 1944 he said:
I am not a young man like you, but your youthful spirit and enthusiasm have made me young. It is through your untiring efforts during the last seven years, I feel today, that you have strengthened my hands tremendously. We can claim now that we are not a community, but a nation. There is not a single Muslim who does not know what we stand for. Even a child knows that a Muslim stands for Pakistan. But the question is how to achieve it.” He went on to say “…Sialkot Session is not less important than the Lahore Session. After seeing your enthusiasm at Sialkot, I am greatly heartened, and have no doubts about the success. The day is not far off when you will have the reward of your sacrifices.
The female students also did not lag behind in their duty, and the Muslim Women Students Federation was established in 1941. In a meeting of Muslim Girl Students and Ladies in 1946, Quaid-e-Azam called them “pioneers and soldiers of Islam”. In his address he said:
From the early days of my life when I was a student I believe and I still believe that no nation can make any progress without men and women marching together on terms of equality. It is the duty of every one who loves his people and his country and believes in progress to take women with us in our struggle for Pakistan.” He added: “There are certain things which can be done by men. There are others which can be done by women. But both together can do anything and everything.
Muslim League was in a very weak position being cornered by the British, Congress and smaller Muslim parties who had their own interests at heart. This was the reason that the League had failed to represent the Muslims of India effectively. Therefore it was imperative to win as many seats as possible in the 1945-46 Elections. Hence it was at this turning point that Quaid-e-Azam asked the students to participate in politics.
They spread throughout the subcontinent and worked as publicists for all candidates of Muslim League. Student leaders such as Abdul Sattar Khan Niyazi and Hameed Nizami organized students and youth into small groups and they visited small towns and villages, gathering the people and listening to their problems, in order to find solutions. They also tried to explain the League’s policies and objectives to them. They went to every house to collect money; they distributed literature regarding elections and the Pakistan Movement. They opened election offices and organized special training camps for candidates. Furthermore thousands of students of Aligarh University, Islamia College and other institutes worked diligently to educate and motivate the voters throughout the country. Females also played an important role by creating awareness. As a result one-third of the election meetings comprised of women. In short they did a memorable job and helped the League achieve victory for the first time in its history. It can be truly said that they changed the mind-set of the Muslim masses.
In the same year the students launched a development program through which literature on Quaid-e-Azam’s guiding principles was distributed among the public, so that everyone could learn and benefit from them. While students also established associations in UK and America, and they worked very hard to create awareness regarding the freedom struggle for Pakistan. A fine example was the convention held at the Islamic Cultural Centre, London on 3rd November 1946.
Civil Disobedience 1947
Even after Muslim League achieved great success in all provinces, they were still not offered to form a government. Moreover restrictions were placed on them. So in January 1947 students started a ‘civil disobedience’ movement which went on for a month. Newspaper publication was being controlled, yet students still managed to send information to other provinces and also kept Quaid-e-Azam abreast about all the happenings. Though they had to face numerous hardships but that did not dampen their spirit. Their persistent efforts were commendable, for the result of this movement greatly accelerated the pace of attaining Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam said “Muslim Students have changed the course of history”
After the establishment of Pakistan, students focused their attention on the refugees and their problems, and worked with the same zeal as witnessed before. And even though Quaid-e-Azam was surrounded by numerous problems facing the country, he still remained in close contact with them, guiding them on every step. That however came to an unexpected end with his untimely demise, yet what he had already done was far beyond of what any leader has ever done for his youth.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Everlasting Legacy…
This peek into our history shows that in order for youth to develop into conscientious and upright individuals, those who have a strong spirit of nationalism, they need someone that can inspire them.
However today we do not have any present leaders whom one could emulate, yet we are fortunate that we have Quaid-e-Azam’s legacy which is very powerful and there are so many great lessons to be learnt from every facet of his life. And though we have not truly inculcated them in our lives, they have still has been passed on from one generation to another in the past seven decades. The effects of which can be seen in our youth. Therefore we must applaud them for all that they have done and are currently doing, for time and time again they have advocated Pakistan’s name all over the world in the most befitting manner!