‘It was Iqbal who, through his letters, convinced Quaid e Azam to come back to India to lead Muslim League.’
The proof given for that is Iqbal’s letters to Jinnah. As many other myths this is not only untrue but opposite to facts.
Jinnah came back to India in late 1934. But those letters were written after Jinnah had come back to India. For example one of the main reference is “you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has a right to look up for safe guidance”. That letter was written on June 21, 1937.
Ghairatbrigade is fond of referring the foreword of Letters of Iqbal to Jinnah. Those letters were written between May of 1936 and November of 1937. Book was published in March 1943 and foreword was written by Jinnah. However Ghairatmands misquote that too. In this article Mr. Safdar Mehmood quotes Jinnah something like ‘Mine and his thoughts were very similar’ and he also conveys as if it were Iqbal’s thought that ultimately convinced Jinnah to reach at the conclusions which he reached. Actual relevant excerpt
“His views were substantially in consonance with my own and had finally led me to the same conclusions as a result of careful examination and study of the constitutional problems facing India, and found expression in due course in the united will of Muslim India as adumberated in the Lahore resolution of the All-India Muslim League, popularly known as the “Pakistan Resolution,” passed on 23rd March, 1940.”
Jinnah is saying that Iqbal’s views were in consonance (similar) to his own. So Iqbal did not change anything.
I doubt the often mentioned statement of Jinnah about Iqbal. As per Matlubul Hassan Saiyid, Jinnah told him after passage of Lahore resolution. Matlub joined Jinnah’s staff in 1940. I do not know if Matlub joined before or after March. Even if he joined before March, he would still have been very new and it is highly unlikely that reticent and private person like Jinnah would share such emotional and personal matter (even if he felt so I believe it was not so) with his newly hired secretary.
Incidentally the very first book I read about Jinnah was while I was in class 2 or 3. It was children version of Matlub’s book about Jinnah. It was in Urdu and called “Hamarey Mahboob Quaid e Azam”. It was published by national book foundation. It was very beautifully published during 1976 centenary celebrations. I loved that book and also Mr. Matlub. However later I found that Matlub was a “character”. He wrote a book called “The Political Study of Mohammad Ali Jinnah” first published in 1945.
I tried to read the full version of that book during last year but could not continue. It is full of fallacies and it is evident that he was not at all close with Jinnah on personal levels as he claimed. He writes, as we are taught, that when Jinnah came back from England after Bar Examination, he came to Karachi, stayed with family and then he moved to Bombay. That is false. When Jinnah was still in England his family moved to Bombay. Jinnah came back to Bombay and not to Karachi. When Jinnah came back to Bombay he stayed in hotel and not with his family. Matlub does say that Jinnah stayed in hotel he (Matlub) could not ask Jinnah which hotel he stayed. Now this was the level of his closeness with Jinnah five years after that March of 1940.
Story by Matlub also goes that Matlub told Jinnah that he wanted to write biography of him. Upon that Jinnah said that if he (Matlub) wanted to write biography then he should resign so that book was impartial. So Matlub “resigned” to write the book. It is not true either.
Well! Manto the great comes to our help. Matlub was from the family of Manto’s in laws. Per Manto and as narrated by Khalid Hasan, once a pricey item, most likely watch, of Jinnah went missing. Matloob was thought to be the person who stole it and Matlub was fired from job. Then he wrote book. Even though it was published in 1945, there was no personal involvement of Jinnah not did he seemed to have acknowledged that book like writing a foreword etc.
What ghairatmands have been telling about Iqbal’s so called role in making Jinnah a “Jinnah” is nothing but fiction. I call it Maududi’s revenge on Jinnah. It is deliberate effort of Maudi’ite to make Jinnah look like a Mullah at one front and on other front they make other anti-Jinnah leaders of that time look like great contributors of Pakistan movement.
Iqbal was not the cause of Jinnah’s return at all. But he definitely was one of those factors who caused Jinnah’s departure to England. When Simon Commission came to India in 1928 Muslim league and Congress both boycotted it. However Muslim league split into Jinnah League and Shafi league. Iqbal our so called right hand man of Jinnah became general secretary of NOT the Jinnah league but his opponent Shafi League. One of the other anti-Jinnah Muslim leaders was Sir Fazli from Batala who was chum to Iqbal.
When Durga Das, Jinnah’s close friend went to England in 1931 he met his old friend. Jinnah said to him
“I came away to London because I did not wish to meet that wretched Viceroy (Wellington)”.
Other reason was “those Fazli’s dogs”. Iqbal was one of those Fazli’s chums.
Just 2-3 months before death of Iqbal Nehru came to see him. When he was leaving Iqbal held his hand and asked “What is there in common between Jinnah and you?” Before Nehru could say anything, Iqbal himself said,
“He is a politician, you are a patriot.”