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Evolution of Jinnah’s politics

MOST historians and biographers of Jinnah divide the latter’s political career into three main phases. Remarkably though, each one of them, considered distinct in terms of his political orientation and public policy, merged into the next. The first phase (1904-20) of Jinnah’s political career was coterminous with the period of his deep involvement with the Congress. Then began the second phase which retained the major thrust of his earlier phase in terms of policy concerns and ultimate goals, but in which his erstwhile involvement with the Congress transformed into collaboration at critical junctures on certain issues on which the Congress’s stance was compatible with his own. This middle phase during which he seemingly sailed in two boats finally ended in 1937, marking the beginning of his mounting decade-long confrontation with the Congress. This third phase spanned the momentous decade of 1937-47. There was, of course, yet another phase — as founder of the new nation — but it w