A boy, Jinnah, and pork sausages

As we were drinking our coffee and enjoying our sausages, in came an old, bearded Muslim with a young boy of about ten years of age, probably his grandson. They came and sat down near Jinnah. It was obvious that they had been directed from Town Hall… I then saw the boy’s hand reaching out slowly but irresistibly towards the plate of pork sausages. After some hesitation, he picked up one, put it in his mouth, munched it and seemed to enjoy it tremendously. I watched this uneasily… After some time they left and Jinnah turned to me, and said angrily: “Chagla, you should be ashamed of yourself.” I said: ” What did I do?” Jinnah asked: “How dare you allow the young boy to eat pork sausages?” I said: “Look, Jinnah, I had to use all my mental faculties to come to a quick decision. The question was: should I let Jinnah lose his election or should I let the boy go to eternal damnation? I chose in your favour.”

– M.C. Chagla, Roses in December, as quoted in Jinnah of Pakistan by Stanley Wolpert

I find it very hard to hold Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the same reverence that so many other Pakistanis seem to be able to. I read this book a year ago, and this is the one excerpt that remains embedded in my mind. There’s no secret that in politics religion is to be used to your advantage, but for some reason it annoys me that Jinnah wasn’t very good at being a hypocrite.

Anyway, Pakistaniat made a very interesting post a few years ago about President/General Zia trying to convince Wolpert to censor parts of his book that talked about Jinnah eating pork and drinking alcohol so it could be mandatory reading for all undergraduate students. Wolpert refused to have passages from his book censored, even after being given the promise of ‘making millions’ off the book.


Posted on March 21, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Really fascinating. I had always wondered where that rumor had come from. I actually googled because William Dalrymple wrote in a Guardian article yesterday (9/5/12) that Jinnah was a pork eater and I wanted to get to the bottom of this. I think it is a rumor and a lie. I am not a Pakistani and have no reason to hero-worship Jinnah. But being a Muslim and knowing Muslims, I can say that I have known Muslims who lie, steal, cheat, fornicate, and swim in alcohol, but somehow that particular food taboo is very hard to break. I have also known people who identify culturally as Muslim but think food taboos are man-made and silly, and have tried pork before, but couldn’t really get into it so never took to eating it because they felt repulsed by it, having been socialized that way. Food taboos which we learn in childhood are very strong.

  2. Jinnah made a mistaike. we could have been indians but we have to be pakistanis now. as a quadiani i really wosh things could haveb become different. indians are genraly better for people like us.

  1. Pingback: Shia Muslims and their future in Pakistan – by Omar Ali « World Shia Forum

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