Back to the Post. I was thinking that usually Jinnah (I prefer to use QeA but this time I’ll dispense with honorifics) is contrasted with Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi. Nevertheless a better basis of comparison would be Ambedkar.
When All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi, MP, and Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar addressed a rally in Aurangabad on Gandhi Jayanti, it marked a milestone in contemporary Indian politics.
In pre-Partition India, Muslim League leader Mohammed Ali Jinnah understood the power of this vote bank and quickly latched on to the idea of separate electorates when the British proposed it.
But the plan came a cropper when the more astute Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi convinced Dr B R Ambedkar that separate electorates were not the way forward and sealed the Poona Pact.
Then in the 1980s, Kanshi Ram realised the potential of Dalit votes and went on to form the Bahujan Samaj Party. It reached its zenith under his chosen successor Mayawati, a four time chief minister of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh.
See Also: Pakistan’s Forgotten Dalit Minority
(1.) Both were representing minority communities in the newly independent India. The Muslim community was 3x larger than the Dalit community (30% vs. 10%).
(2.) The Muslim community was similarly spread throughout India however it had a clear demographic majority in the periperheries of India (Greater Punjab and Bengal). The Dalit did not seem overwhelmingly concentrated in any one part of India.
(3.) While the Muslim community was able to rely on a pan-Muslim movement; it garnered some 75% of the national vote in 1946, I’m not able to find out if Dalit were able to vote in the limited franchise election.
(4.) While Jinnah opted for full separation (and immediate gratification), Ambedkar seemed to become increasingly disillusioned (he became a Buddhist in 1956).
(5.) While Pakistan (and Bangladesh) are immediate wins, they deeply disenfranchise the India Muslim population who otherwise would have been KingMakers in Indian national election.
(6.) Jinnah was probably the “best tactician” in the run-up to 1947 (he got what he wanted for the most part) but an exceptionally poor strategist. He doomed his country from the start by leaving it with contradictory messages. At one go he advocated secularism and on the other hand he was inciting riots (if not inciting, allowing them).
(7.) Ambedkar was probably the exact opposite by losing to Gandhi in the Poona Pact; he reinforced the Hindu Nature of the Dalit community. While this was initially extremely disadvantageous (Brahmin Patriarchy and all that); a more “awakened” Dalit community has started to manoeuvre the Indian political process.
(8.) The Dalits and other allied OBCs will now be KingMakers in several Indian states in a Rising and Prosperous India. Congress may have the aristocratic Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty as figureheads and BJP may have to put OBC (Modi etc) but it will be the opposite castes that vote for such parties.
(9.) While Jinnah won the initial battle he lost the Great War and the inverse for Ambedkar.
I could be wrong!