Showing posts with label Case. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Case. Show all posts

Jinnah and Colonel Blimp

Although everyone says what a superb lawyer Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was, rarely does one get to read anything about the court appearances that earned him that reputation.

I remember years ago in Lahore, Safdar Mir, the great Zeno of Pakistan Times , telling me about the Quaid’s contribution to the “Indianisation” of the British-led and officered army. Though I never made the effort to look up how and where the Quaid had made his contribution, what Safdar Mir has said remained engraved in my memory.

The other day, while reading the autobiography of the late Maj. Gen. Ajit Anil “Jik” Rudra, who originally came from Lahore, served in three armies, fought in both World Wars and died in India in 1997 at the age of 93, I came upon an episode that showed that the Quaid’s reputation as a brilliant lawyer was not a Pakistani myth but a fact.

The Government of India appointed a committee of the legislature – I am not clear about the year – to study the question of Indianising the army. British officers were unabashedly racist when it came to Indian officers being posted to purely British officered units. Curiously, British officers invariably enjoyed close relationships with the men and ORs (other ranks) who served under them. The Subedar Major, for instance, used to be known as “Kala Karnail.” But when it came to officers serving with them as their equals, juniors and, especially, as their seniors, or dining with them in their all British messes, or frequenting their clubs, they found it unacceptable. Col. Ronny Datta, a retired Indian officer, told me that he had seen a sign at the front door of the once all-British Fort William Club in Calcutta that said, ‘Indians and Dogs not allowed.’

Nations are born in the hearts of poets!!!

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