VIEW : Jinnah and Gandhi and the Indian Constitution — Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada
Jinnah and Gandhi’s contribution to the Constitution of India, though indirect, is well established
Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a combination of rare qualities. He had the charisma of Churchill, dignity of De Gaulle, greatness of Gandhiji, magnetism of Mandela and objectivity of Obama. His achievements are well known. In this article I shall deal with an unusual topic: the contribution of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi to the Constitution of India.
Edgar Snow, the well-known American author, noted: “Even if one only appraised Jinnah as a Barrister, it would be to acknowledge that he had won the most monumental Judgment in the history of the Bar. He had realised in the romantic ideal of Pakistan a case that could be fought and won.” Sir Stafford Cripps spoke of him as “a most accomplished lawyer, outstanding amongst Indian Lawyers and a fine Constitutionalist”.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi were two outstanding leaders of the subcontinent. Both were barristers and political giants. In the subcontinent no constitutional scheme could work unless the two leaders agreed. Jinnah, Gandhi, and Dr B R Ambedkar participated in the Second Round Table Conference (1931). Jinnah and Ambedkar worked together. Jinnah pleaded separate electorates for the Muslims and other minorities including the Harijans (Dalits). Dr Ambedkar supported Jinnah. Gandhi vehemently opposed the grant of separate electorates to the depressed classes.