Mr Jinnah is an extraordinary person in history, no matter how you look at it. For 38 years after partition, there was extreme nationalist propaganda about him both in Pakistan and India – in Pakistan he is presented as a champion of Islam and in India he is a villain of all villains. All of this changed in 1985 the year Dr Ayesha Jalal published her magnificent book “Sole Spokesman”. In this book she showed – very convincingly- that for -Jinnah the idea of a separate Muslim majority group was in congruence with the idea of a United India, which would slowly march towards a more perfect union. Many have tried to counter this view. First it was a little known Indian historian- and a prejudiced one at that- from North Carolina. He was taken to task by the great Oxford historian Faisal Devji. Now a Pakistani political scientist, masquerading as a historian- has jumped into the fray and written a 600-page missive against Jinnah trying to disprove Ayesha Jalal and failing miserably at it. The problem is that the less than 350 pages of Ayesha Jalal book remain unimpeachable. When you need to write a book of 600 to 700 pages to counter the basic idea of a historian, you have already lost the plot. After abusing Jinnah for 599 pages, the said political scientist only has a few statements by Jinnah denying that he was using the Pakistan demand as a bargaining counter. It is amazing to suggest that an All India politician who scoffed at the idea of religion in politics – which is why he left Gandhi and the Congress- would sudden take a 180 degree turnLet us consider this proposition. If one was a politician bluffing about a maximum demand would he come out and say it in Public? Would he say “Look this my demand but wink wink, it is only a bluff.” He is more likely to press with his demand as Jinnah did. It is what he settled for is that is important. He accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan. Saying that he sold it to Muslim League as the first step to Pakistan is no argument. The Cabinet Mission Plan provided for a reconsideration of terms of the agreement in 10 years. While it was a check on Hindu majoritarianism, it could go the other way, kind of like the United States of America. The only difference is that Jefferson and Hamilton could still work together whereas stay-at-home privileged Nehru only had contempt for the upstart self-made Jinnah.Only Maulana Azad understood the real position of Mr. Jinnah. When Pandit Nehru repudiated the agreement with his July statement, Jinnah rescinded the agreement. It was for this reason that Maulana Azad called nominating Nehru as his successor as the president of Congress a Himalayan blunder. The analysis by the great Indian Jurist H M Seervailed to the same conclusion. He wrote the famous line: It was Nehru and Patel who wanted partition and it was Jinnah who wanted a United India.Jinnah’s politics from 1904 (not 1906)when he first joined Congress was aimed at composing differences between various competing interests and it was because of this that he was called the Best Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity. No other politician in the subcontinent was ever given this title. It is amazing to suggest that an All India politician who scoffed at the idea of religion in politics – which is why he left Gandhi and the Congress- would sudden take a 180 degree turn. It is unthinkable that a politician, who at the roundtable conference in 1931 was arguing for a strong federation of India where the princes came in without any extra benefits, would suddenly have a change of heart. It is complete ludicrous to say that Jinnah, who travelled to London as late as December 1946 to redeem the Cabinet Mission Plan, would have thrown his life’s work away and turned his back on Bombay, the city of his love and where his only child lived. Soon after partition, Jinnah complained to a friend that he did not want “this damned partition” but it was forced on him. This obviously pokes a million holes in the established Indian and Pakistani myths which the said political scientist seeks to resurrect in 2020. The thing is that a political scientist is incapable of deeply analyzing historical documents in the way a historian or a lawyer would do. The work of a political scientist revolves around abstract theories, which have no practical use in real politics.Add to this familial bias. The said political scientist’s father was a card carrying member of Majlis-e-Ahrar which was a tout Islamist party for Congress. This bigoted anti Jinnah and also anti Ahmadi and anti Shia party – akin to those who are chanting anti-Shia slogans in Karachi these days- called Jinnah Kafir-e-Azam. The said political scientist- whose identity should patently obvious to you dear reader- himself was mentored by Agha Shorish Kashmiri, a renowned bigot and an enemy of Jinnah. Therefore, if someone tries to disagree with him, he launches into a diatribe against Ahmadis. This writer was accused of being a “Qadiani” by said political scientist on several occasions publicly for the crime of speaking out for Ahmadis and their rights in Pakistan. He breaks into song and dance about Zafrullah Khan not joining Shabbir Ahmad Usmani in Jinnah’s funeral prayer. All the anti-Ahmadi propaganda and myths come frothing out. Then he claims that while Jinnah spoke of a secular inclusive Pakistan on 11 August 1947, he changed his view and actually wanted an Islamic Pakistan. That Jinnah tried to sell his democratic inclusive Pakistan as in perfect congruence with the ideals of Islam to various groups but he spoke of equal rights for minorities in half of his speeches given after partition. Again would a politician speaking to Muslim crowd claim that Islam was not in congruence with modernity and democracy? That would have meant that instead of marching with him towards a modern democratic and inclusive Pakistan, they would rebel against him. It is in this light that one has to see his speeches – few and far between- speaking of Islamic principles. What he made clear again and again was that Pakistan would not be a theocratic state. So this argument holds no water.Therefore I must urge the said political scientist to try again. Maybe focus on actually countering Ayesha Jalal’s argument in a cogent manner, instead of writing 600 pages of hogwash which no one will read, except a few right wing Indians who don’t want to admit the facts of history. Yasser Latif Hamdani is the author of “Jinnah a Life” published by Pan Macmillan India.