And actually he was killed by Mohammedans, but in such a slow way that it did not look like assassination. He was old and sick, and since Mahatma Gandhi had died he never left his bed. Everybody said, “You should be happy that Gandhi is dead.” He said, “I feel very hollow without him. He was my joy, we were party to a game. Now I am alone. Now there is nobody with whom I can play the old game. Now there is nobody who is exactly my contemporary. My only contemporary was Mahatma Gandhi; he is dead.”
He became sick and to his closest disciple, Liyakat Ali Khan, he gave the position of acting head of the country, because he was not able to work. And what Liyakat Ali Khan did…. Just now the diary of the doctor who looked after Muhammad Ali Jinnah has been published. Liyakat Ali Khan moved Muhammad Ali Jinnah to a remote part of Pakistan where there was no medicine, no hospital – if you asked for any medicine it would take three weeks to reach – no railway lines, no airport, nothing, with the argument that the climate would suit him. Now he was in power.
And only a doctor was given to Jinnah, not even a nurse or a servant to look after him. And the doctor’s remembrance is, “It was a political murder done in a very diplomatic way.” There would be periods of three weeks when there was no medicine. The doctor would go on giving information that medicine was needed absolutely immediately, and after three weeks the urgent medicine would arrive.
My own feeling is also that Jinnah was killed. And the doctor reports in his book, “To me Jinnah confided a strange secret: ‘I have committed a mistake by dividing India and Pakistan.’” This is a very strange thing.
His whole life he fought for Pakistan, and at the end he says, “I committed a great mistake, and now there is no going back. I am too old and Gandhi is not alive. If I had a little health left, I would have flown to New Delhi, to Jawaharlal, and said to him, ‘Drop this idea of two countries. It is foolish.’” But with Gandhi he could never agree.
Were they enemies or complementaries? Ordinary historians will say they were enemies – they were not. Jinnah had immense respect for Gandhi, and so was the case with Gandhi. Agreement or non-agreement on political matters was one affair, but love for each other was a totally different thing.
You will not believe that Gandhi had offered Jinnah, “I will make you the first prime minister of India, but let India remain undivided. And you can choose your cabinet. I will not interfere, and I will withdraw Jawaharlal and others who are contenders. They are my people; I can tell them to withdraw, let Jinnah have his government. I trust you; the country will not suffer in your hands, it will prosper in your hands. Your intelligence, your caliber, your character – everything makes it reasonable that you should be the first prime minister of the whole country. Why be the head of a small section of the country when I am offering you the whole continent of India?”
But Jinnah refused. He said, “I never accept anything. I fight for it and I win it. Your idea is good, but it is your idea.” They fought their whole lives and both suffered. Gandhi was continually inquiring about Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s health: “How is he? Is he still the same warrior, with the same sharp intelligence?” And the same was true on the other side.