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Gandhi and Jinnah - a study in contrasts

An extract from the book that riled India's Bharatiya Janata Party and led to the expulsion of its author Jaswant Singh, one of the founder members, of the party. Comparing Gandhi and Jinnah is an extremely complex exercise but important for they were, or rather became, the two foci of the freedom movement. Gandhi was doubtless of a very different mould, but he too, like Jinnah, had gained eminence and successfully transited from his Kathiawari origins to become a London barrister before acquiring a political personality. Yet there existed an essential difference here. Gandhi's birth in a prominent family - his father was, after all, a diwan (prime minister) of an Indian state - helped immeasurably. No such advantage of birth gave Jinnah a leg up, it was entirely through his endeavours. Gandhi, most remarkably, became a master practitioner of the politics of protest. This he did not do by altering his own nature, or language of discourse, but by transforming the very natu