Mohammad Ali Jinnah was born on December 25,1876 in Karachi. He received his primary and secondary education at Karachi and Bombay. From 1892 to 1896, Jinnah studied law at Lincoln’s Inn, London. After returning to India, he enrolled himself as an advocate at the Bombay High Court.
Jinnah’s political career began with the Indian National Congress and he was greatly influenced by the moderate leader, Gopal Krishna Gokhale. At this time, he did not regard the interests of Muslims as distinct from those of other Indians. In fact, in 1906, Jinnah signed a memorandum against separate electorates for Muslims. In 1909, Jinnah got elected to the Imperial Legislative Council as the representative of the Muslims of Bombay. Even after joining the All-India Muslim League in 1913, he did not break his contacts with the Congress.
In May 1914, he was sent to London as a member of Congress deputation. In 1915, he worked for the coming together of Congress and Muslim League and the resultant Lucknow Pact, under which the two parties agreed to present joint constitutional demands to the government. Jinnah was elected to the presidentship of the Muslim League in 1916. In 1917, he joined Annie Besant’s Home Rule Movement and was elected President of its Bombay branch. In 1919, Jinnah resigned from the Imperial Legislative Council in his protest against the Rowlatt Act.
Jinnah’s relations with the Congress started to become sour after the entry of Gandhi in the Congress. He was highly critical of the latter’s policies and strongly disapproved the Non-Cooperation Movement. By this time, significant differences had also crept up between Hindus and Muslims. Jinnah resigned both from the Congress and the Home Rule League and hereafter completely associated himself with the politics of the Muslim League. In 1928, he proposed amendments to the Nehru Report and sought major concessions for Muslims. In March 1929, Jinnah proposed his Fourteen Point demands. These, however, were not accepted.
Jinnah left for England in 1930 to practice at the Privy Council and did not return until 1935. He was then offered the leadership of the Muslim League which he accepted. The 1937 elections proved a setback for the Muslim League since the party performed badly as compared to the Congress. After the elections, Jinnah adopted a tough stand and blocked all avenues for conciliation between the Congress and the League. He demanded that the Congress declare itself a Hindu organisation and recognise the Muslim League as the sole representative of the Indian Muslims. On March 24,1940, the Lahore session of the Muslim League passed the ‘Pakistan Resolution’ and called for formation of a separate state for Muslims.
After 1940, the League stuck to its demand of a separate state throughout the negotiations under August Offer, Cripps’ proposals, Simla Conference and Cabinet Mission Plan. Finally, the League under Jinnah succeeded in getting its terms accepted and Pakistan was formed. Jinnah became the first Governor-General of Pakistan. He died at Karachi in September 1948.