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The Jinnah Anthology - 4th Edition First Love Story on LGBT.

Byline: Syeda Areeba Rasheed

Book Title: The Jinnah Anthology

Author: Liaquat H. Merchant and Sharif Al Mujahid

Publisher: Lightstone Publishers

Pages: 344

ISBN: 9789697160693

The Jinnah Anthology was first published in 1999 to tie up with the premiere of the film 'Jinnah' which was directed by Jamil Dehlvi. The idea came to Liaquat H. Merchant who is the grandson of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the President of The Jinnah Society which he founded in 1997. A lot of hard work and effort has gone into upgrading the quality of the book.

It is a study of Muhammad Ali Jinnah from multifarious perspectives - Jinnah as lawyer, parliamentarian, Indian nationalist, Congress leader, Muslim League leader, ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, politician, statesman, visionary and liberator. He became Quaid-e-Azam to his people when, in the words of his famous biographer and historian Professor Stanley Wolpert, 'he changed the course of history, altered the map of the world and created a Nation-State, a triple achievement. Hardly anyone can be credited for achieving all three.' The quote has been taken from his book 'Jinnah of Pakistan' and is also printed on the back cover of The Jinnah Anthology.

In Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah seems to have become an outsider and so are his principles. Though he is still respected as the father of the nation, rarely is he talked about in public or political debates on issues related to the future of Pakistan. Yasser Latif Hamdani, a high court advocate and author of the book 'Jinnah: Myth and Reality', vouched for this at the launch of the book stating, 'Jinnah did not want a Pakistan where it was the prerogative of the state to decide as to who was a Muslim and who was not.

He would not have wanted a country where Aasia Bibi would have faced humiliation and persecution just because of her faith.' He also said that the first cabinet that Jinnah made after independence consisted of a Hindu member and an Ahmadi, although the Ahmadis were not declared a minority by then.

Several books on Jinnah have been written in the past but this book is unique in its own way with records, personal reflections on his life, biography, history and his judicial pronouncements, all rolled into one. It will not only interest scholars and historians but also be of attention to students and the public as some of the material in the book has never been published and, if published, was out of reach of general readers.

According to Liaquat H. Merchant, it was not easy to understand Jinnah as he was different to different people. But all he wanted for the Muslims was political and economic independence. Abdul Basit, former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India, also shared his views at the launch saying that we as a nation have not done justice to Jinnah's ideals. Sikandar Hayat, Professor of History at FC College in Lahore and author of the book 'The Charismatic Leader Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Creation of Pakistan' emphatically asserted, 'This Anthology cannot, and should not, be taken as a coffee table book, for, in my opinion, it is not! It's serious work.'

The book has various photographs from Jinnah's both personal and professional life, his personal recollections of contemporaries such as Princess Abida Sultaan of Bhopal, Justice Z. Z. Chana, Begum Shaista Ikramullah and Sharifuddin Pirzada, to name a few. His impression of people has always been inspiring. While Beverly Nicholas titled Jinnah as the 'most important man in Asia', Aga Khan III called him the most remarkable statesman among Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Churchill, Curzon and Mahatma Gandhi. Other than essays and articles, the book has excerpts from various books, speeches, statements and quotes, along with Jinnah's will. The obituary in The Times and The Hindu have also been reproduced.

The tribute section in the book has various well-known people paying their respects to Mr. Jinnah. Sir Stafford Cripps was of the opinion that from the moment Jinnah assumed the role of a leader of the Muslims in India, he was never challenged in that leadership. He showed himself as an outstanding figure and one to whom the Muslims looked upon for their guidance and inspiration. Sir Cowasji Jehangir (a Parsi leader and member of the Indian Legislative Assembly) also said that nothing could sidetrack him from what he considered was the path of duty, truth, righteousness and equity. No amount of opposition, no threats and no danger could daunt him in his determination. He was a man full of courage and tenacity.

The Jinnah Anthology series came to a conclusion after twenty long years, with its fourth and final edition. All earlier editions have been sold out and the book is in constant demand by the people from both within and outside the country.
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Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 18, 2019
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