Jinnah as the unifying force

THIS refers to the review of Ian Bryant Well’s book, “Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity”, by V.N. Datta (Spectrum, May 1). The book in question deals with Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s early political role till his parting of ways with the Congress, when his six-point proposal, which, inter alia, demanded 33 per cent Muslim representation at the Centre, was rejected.

Jinnah’s political career began in 1904, two years before the birth of the Muslim League. Then, he was an ardent nationalist, a constitutionalist, and a dedicated Congressman. His role models were Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta and Gopal Krishan Gokhale. No wonder, he rejected Lord Minto’s The Indian Council Act, 1909 (also known as Morley-Minto Reforms), as it commended separate electorate to the Muslims in the legislatures. To him, these ‘reforms’ were ‘divisive’ and he refused to accept the Muslim League’s ideology.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief


As a member of the Imperial Legislative Council, Jinnah worked closely with Gokhale and strove to help the Indian cause before the British Parliamentary Council on India as well as the White Hall Committee on India. At the Lucknow session in 1916, Jinnah joined forces with the Congress, adopting a joint programme known as the Lucknow Pact, which, inter alia, laid down the proportion of seats to be reserved for the Muslims in the councils. The Congress, thus, accepted the principle of communal electorates, while the Muslim League sought self-rule.

At the Bombay session in 1918, the Congress condemned the Montague-Chelmsford Report on Indian Constitutional reforms as inadequate and disappointing. However, the substance of the report was embodied in the Government of India Act, 1919, that led to dyarchy, which failed to work. Then came the Rowlatt Act (1919) followed by agitations, hartals and repression by way of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (April 13, 1919). Slogans of Hindu-Muslim unity filled the air. Nevertheless, the Khilafat and the Non-cooperation movements (passed at the Nagpur session, 1920) were ‘anathema’ to Jinnah who regarded these as ‘a recipe for disaster’.

Presiding over a special session of the Muslim League in 1924, he got the League to vote and work for a joint Hindu-Muslim struggle. When the Muslim League fared poorly in the elections in 1937, Jinnah felt his liberal constituency had ‘evaporated’. From now onwards, he was firmly committed to the idea of Pakistan, with a near-unanimous support from the Muslims and the British.


Gender bias in Hindi films

THIS has reference to M. L. Dhawan's "Heroic heroines" (Spectrum, May 8). The writer states that leading women in the Hindi film world have started commanding the same price as the male leads. This is not true. Male actors continue to be paid much more remuneration than their female counterparts. When Kareena Kapoor reportedly charged Rs 2.5 crore for Harry Baweja's untitled film a few months ago, it made headlines as such a price for a heroine was unprecedented. On the other hand, we often hear of successful heroes charging as much as Rs 5 crore for a movie. In fact, Aamir Khan charged Rs 7 crore for Bobby Bedi's The Rising, a fact which the film's producer did not deny.

I have never been able to gauge the reason behind this phenomenon. In India, it is more difficult for women to come out of their houses for shoots. Often, they have to work at odd hours. Most of the actresses take their family members to shoots. Moreover, I don't think men have ever proved that they are better than women in the field of acting.



Snakes and sensitivity

With reference to ‘This Above All’ by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, April 30), Singh’s logic that snakes should not be killed as they eat rats does not hold water. If what he says is accepted then why should the rats be killed because they are also God’s creatures?

A snake kills a rat only to capture the latter’s hole. Rats are not even the staple diet of snakes. Cats are there to eliminate the rats, where is the need to shelter snakes? Moreover, if one comes across a snake should one call an expert to detect whether it is poisonous or not. What is “the delicate balance of nature”? Is it necessary to preserve it? Civilisation, by its very definition, disturbs, even does away with “the delicate balance of nature”. Should we, therefore, go back to pre-historic days?


Mullick music

“Golden Era’s Melody Man,” (Spectrum, May 8) by Pran Nevile on Pankaj Mullick, was a befitting tribute to the legendary singer. Strangely, the Indian film industry has forgotten his contribution. The article is rich in content but Mullick’s contribution to the popularisation of Rabindra Sangeet through films has not been mentioned. Pankaj Babu had also scored music for two Bombay films — Zalzala and Kasturi made by Paul Zils and writer Vrajendra Gaur respectively. His music in the New Theatres’ Mahaprasthaner Pathe and its Hindi version Yatrik was enriched with devotional rendering. Mullick used to broadcast a weekly music lessons programme from AIR Calcutta and authored an autobiography Amar Yug Amar Gaan in Bengali.


Five-star education

Apropos of D.S. Cheema’s book review “Ways of learning” (Spectrum, April 24), Major Singh in his book “Value-based education” — need of the hour emphasises that unless ethics, morals and spirituality are integrated into the learning of science and technology, balanced growth is not possible. Can our planners of education rise above their politics of defining ethics and morality in the most biased manner? They polarise society on the basis of caste and religion, thereby creating communal hatred.

The elitist (rather five-star) concept of education is threatening to erode the basis of education. A few schools like the Pathways World School, Jain International Residential School etc. that have come up recently charge Rs 5 lakh per annum per student, accentuating the class divide.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |