25 December marks the birth of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the first Governor-General of Pakistan. Born in Karachi and trained as a barrister in London. In 1895, at age 19, he became the youngest Indian to be called to the bar in England. Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century. By 1940, Jinnah had come to believe that Indian Muslims should have their own state. In that year, the Muslim League, led by Jinnah, passed the Lahore Resolution, demanding a separate nation. Ultimately, the Congress and the Muslim League could not reach a power-sharing formula for a united India, leading all parties to agree to separate independence of a predominately Hindu India, and for a Muslim-majority state, to be called Pakistan.
In summarizing Jinnah’s life and career, historian Stanley Wolpert stated,
Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.