Well, the simple answer is no – it is just one approach to many when circumstances do not go the way a leader thought they would. But comparing Jinnah, our great leader, with Imran, our current prime minister on the same matter is debatable, as our Jinnah, too, took some great u-turns that apparently changed the course of the history of Indian subcontinent.
It was in the dusk of December, in 1916, when Lucknow Pact took place between All India Muslim League, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and Indian National Congress, led by B.G. Tilak. The pact was meant to improve the relations between which were earlier called by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as the ‘two nations’. M.A. Jinnah at the time was in Indian National Congress (but represented the Muslims as being a one in Lucknow Pact) and in some manners, rejected the two nation theory. He was once quoted saying:
“I am one of them who firmly believe that the union of the two communities in India is absolutely necessary for the purpose of India, and also that sooner or later these communities will be united.”
No one at the time knew that the very same person will found a nation of his own based on the ideology entirely antagonistic to his own idea on a day. The Lucknow Pact proved to be successful for some time, creating a vacuum in disagreements between the two nations. Our great leader, then, played a very vital role in the struggle for Hindu-Muslim unity, so great that he was even given the title of the “Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity”. It was time when everyone looked up to Jinnah as a light who will unite the nation, and with fight together with Gandhi representing Hindus, the nation will in no time find themselves free from the British rule in India. Everything was imagined, and politically calm, when after a few decades, the same person who was called the “Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity”, found himself opposing his own idea. It is the so-called U- turn that will change the course of the history of the Indian subcontinent, dividing it into two parts (later three) and people will be hassling and bussing having no idea they will have to fight the same people they were having dinner last night.
Of course, the fight was not only of Jinnah and in fact he was just representing the idea of his people, who apparently, as manipulated history tells us, wanted a separate nation to practice the religion they still do not truly understand or practice today in a separate nation. But then a leader is not only meant to represent his people, but also show them the possibilities which in the eyes of his people do not exist. It is also his duty to take tough turns, and even if his own people oppose him then, he shows them the right path by first traveling it himself. That is what Quaid-e-Azam did, and his and Allama Iqbal’s idea was so superior for the people it was for, that we still struggle to truly understand it today. That is the duty of a leader, to not only show us the real path but also travel it himself. And his followers will still doubt him. As sometimes people do not know what they want, you have to show them instead of just explaining t hem.
If today Imran Khan, our prime minister whom we elected, believe that his u-turn hides a deeper meaning that we may not understand, we have to trust him, just like we did five months ago. We, too, will be taking u-turns now by rejecting the implementations of the man we ourselves elected. So as Muhammad Ali Jinnah once said:
“Think a hundred times before you take a decision, but once that decision is taken; stand by it as one man.”
I think we citizens are in need of this quote more than anyone else.