In this paper an attempt has been made to draw a comparison between Muhammad Ali  Jinnah the father of Pakistan  and Thiruvalluvar a Tamil scholar in terms of their approaches, ideas and  thoughts to drive home the message to the world that the enemity and peace either within a nation or between the nations in the world also depends on the quality and purity of the thoughts of the thinkers they inherit in a community from their forefathers rather than the inborn tendency of the human beings as such.  In other words the main theme of this paper is to discover the truth that even the thoughts and wisdom of the thinkers of a country can be apart from literature also act as an effective national strategy in ensuring peace and security of the of not only the concerned nations but also to the whole world.   India, particularly Tamil Nadu is fortunate to have Thiruvalluvar and Pakistan is unfortunate to have Jinnah as their respective thinkers.  One similarity Thiruvalluvar and Jinnah hold in common is that both are the leading figures of two different nations.  Thiruvalluvar for Tamils even though his work has a universal appeal and Jinnah pathetically not even for Muslims in Pakistan.  One may wonder and even question over the context of comparative appropriateness in analyzing between these two historical figures in terms of time and space.  Indeed, there is a close and subtle relationship exist between these two personalities in terms of standards of ethics, ethos, morals and philosophies they tend to employ as a yardstick to measure the performances of the government whether in the democracy or kingdom even though there is a vast difference in terms of space and time that separate them from each other by couple of centuries, irrespective of the period in which they live.   There are certain principles which are eternal forever.  How far they are successful in leading their own nation to the nadir of the success with their own thoughts and wisdom is a million dollar question to be asked here.  And in this article the author tries to find out an answer to the vital question that can the thoughts of the charismatic leaders of a nation or community guarantee their national security and peace for their posterity?



  • Thiruvalluvar had shown to the world on how to keep the nation intact by his immortal masterpiece called Thirukkural via different sections such as Good Governance, security and secular ethics.  On the other hand Jinnah through his speech enabled to the birth of Pakistan but without proper homework on how to keep Pakistan intact in future.


  • While Thiruvalluvar emphasized on self-reliance as a strategy to his nation, Jinnah relied on sheer external support as his strategy whose influence still haunts Pakistan till date.


  • Whereas Jinnah showed to the world that even an intact nation can be disintegrated by all cunning ways by discovering his new theory called Two Nation Theory.  While Thiruvalluvar is the symbol of unity uniting even the disgruntled nation into one entity.


  •  In the case of Jinnah the world in general and Pakistanis in particular had forgotten his visions and objectives, whereas Tamil Nadu people in particular and world in general did not forget the teachings of Thiruvalluvar even after 2000 years. 


  • While Thiruvalluvar divided his classic in to three parts namely Aram(righteousness), Porul(the wealth) and Inbam(the nature of love), Jinnah had divided the mother India in to three parts called India, Pakistan and Bangladesh though he had only sown seeds for the birth of Bangladesh.


  •   While Thiruvalluvar built nation building via positive thoughts, Jinnah built Pakistan via negative thoughts of anti-India belligerency alone.


  •  While Jinnah is a secular only in the last leg of his life as a repenting man while Thiuvalluvar is a staunch secular right from the beginning.


  • While Thirukkural is still relevant even after about 2000 years of existence, Two- Nation Theory is debunked even within 25 years by her own people which is evidenced from the disintegration of Pakistan in 1971. 


  • Thiruvaluvar’s masterpiece Thirukurral have been hailed all over the world, whereas Jinnah’s masterminded two-Nation theory have no buyers to take even in his own motherland. 


  • While Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Chrisitianity praise Thirukkural invariably, Jinnah’s works was disowned even by his own religion.


  •   While Jinnah gave his people a truncated Pakistan with enemity and suspicion towards India, whereas Thiruvalluvar bequeathed to his progenies the right conduct and ethics in public life to be followed by them with their neighbours.


  • While Thiruvalluvar denotes poverty, hungry, ignorance as main enemies of a nation state, Jinnah’s pointed fingers was against Hindu India, Hindu Indians, Hindu religion as main enemies.  In other words, according to Thiruvalluvar enemy is within a state whereas to Jinnah enemy is externally emanated one that too purposely from India. 


  • Thiruvalluvar is a theist but agnostic in his thoughts and Jinnah is a theist but fanatic in his thoughts.


  •  Thiruvalluvar was a statesman and savant and Jinnah was a politician cum savant. 


  •  While Jinnah handles the problem representing elite’s view, Thiruvalluvar does it from the common People’s view.


  •  Thiruvalluvar’s contribution to the world community was hailed as constructive and Jinnah’s as destructive that too to his own naton. 


  • Thirukurral is the gift of God, while Two nation theory is the gift of British as the price for Jinnah’s loyalty to the colonial masters.


  •    Thiruvalluvar is a blend of realist and idealist; while Jinnah is a pseudo-idealist and hyper-realist.


  • Thiruvalluvar can be compared with the intellectual giants like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, Leo Tolstoy.  Whereas Jinnah can be compared to the ilks like Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussain who had brought destruction to their own nation. 




Thiruvalluvar’s way

          Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukural is the reflection of the highest and purest of the human thoughts.  It contains 1330 couplets, divided in to 133 chapters of ten couplets each.  It is for our


convenience, the author intend to quote only very few of the following couplets as an illustration of his masterpiece and lofty ideals through which he guides and   motivates the humanity for generations together. 

  • Resource Mobilization, innovative enactment, preservation and   distributions are the main functions of the Kingdom. (Thirukkural 39.5)


  •   Amass wealth; there is no other proper steel

         To destroy the arrogance of your foes. (76. 9)



  •  There is no need to shave the head or grow a beard

         If acts condemned by the world are spared. (28.10)


  •  Envy, desire, anger, harsh words

        Are avoided in virtuous living. (4.5)



       With these kinds of ethical thoughts, he continues to guide the Tamils in particular and the world in general in a fraternal way towards peaceful co-existence.  Majority of Tamils all over the world still live peacefully adhering to the thoughts of this great immortal saint mentor.  Thiruvalluvar brings out the primacy of good governance, accumulation of wealth for purposes of driving the enemies out of the State. Insofar as the word ‘enemies’ is concerned, it cannot be seen within the narrow confines of protection against external aggression alone.  The word ‘enemies’ has to be viewed as having a wider connotation to mean and include the war against poverty, ignorance, immorality and so on. 



Jinnah’s contributions


Now we can look at the words of Muhammad Ali Jinnah which he used for goading his nation. 


Here are few of his statements.


  • Islam is in danger.  Save Islam.
  • Hindus will destroy Islam.
  • Hindu congress is anti-Islam.
  • Hindu will destroy Muslims.
  • Failure is a word unknown to me.
  • Hindus are Islam’s enemies. 
  • Hindu’s rule is a tyranny of majority.

          His way of exhorting his own people to do something in his favour was full of negativities and revengence against Hindus.  His concept of enemies, in contrast to Thiruvalluvar, was directed at a particular community highlighting only their weaknesses and lacunae conveniently ignoring the age-long amity and convergences.   Of course, there are reports saying Jinnah did mend his ways but it was too late to stem the rot which had already done more than enough damage to the prospects of peace either to his own people or to the India – Pakistan relationship.  In hindsight, it can be said about Jinnah in concrete terms that he acted in a hasty manner in accomplishing the concept and idea of Pakistan without proper conceptual framework unlike Thiruvalluvar in terms of polity, ethics, economy, society etc.  However, it was  also said from unconfirmed sources that Jinnah was transformed to secularism only in the last days of his life.  Before attainment of Pakistan he was anti-Hindu forgetting the fact that his ancestors were all Hindus.  After attainment of Pakistan he suddenly became in overnight mysteriously a secular-minded person.  From there onwards he started projected himself as a Hindu friendly leader.  That is why Jaswant Singh who penned the book "Jinnah: India - Partition, Independence" was expelled from B.J.P and his book was banned in Gujarat when he praised Jinnah in his book as a great secular.  The following are, however, some of his moderate thoughts in order to be neutral by the author. This is vouched from Jinnah`s address to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947:

  a)    “We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community — because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on — will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free people long long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls, in subjection; nobody could have conquered you, and even if it had happened, nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time, but for this. Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has got nothing to do with the business of the state…. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. The people of England in course of time had to face the realities of the situation and had to discharge the responsibilities and burdens placed upon them by the government of their country, and they went through that fire step by step. Today, you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen of Great Britain and they are all members of the nation. Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.” (Dawn, Independence Day Supplement, August 14, 1999.)

b)      Let me quote another instance of Mohammad Ali Jinnah`s presidential address at the All-India Muslim League session in Delhi in April 1943: “The minorities are entitled to get a definite assurance or to ask: `Where do we stand in the Pakistan that you visualize? That is an issue of giving a definite and clear assurance to the minorities. We have done it. We have passed a resolution that the minorities must be protected and safeguarded to the fullest extent, and as I said before, any civilised government will do it and ought to do it. So far as we are concerned, our own history and our prophet have given the clearest proof that non-Muslims have been treated not only justly and fairly but generously.” (Rizwan Ahmed, ed., Sayings of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah , Karachi: Pakistan Movement Center, 1986, p. 30.)

c)     It is worth quoting  excerpts from an interview he gave to a representative of the Associated Press of America on November 8, 1946:

 “Hindu minorities in Pakistan can rest assured that their rights will be protected. No civilized government can be run successfully without giving minorities a complete sense of security and confidence. They must be made to feel that they have a hand in government and to this end must have adequate representation in it. Pakistan will give it.”

 d)     In yet another interview with a Reuter`s correspondent on October 25, 1947, Jinnah said “Every citizen is expected to be loyal to the state and to owe allegiance to it. The arm of the law should be strong enough to deal with any person or section or body or people that are disloyal to the state. We do not, however, prescribe any schoolboy tests of their loyalty. We shall not say to any Hindu citizen of Pakistan: if there is war would you shoot a Hindu?”

             Unfortunately, Jinnah’s advice to his nation as a Governor General of Pakistan did not fall in to the good ears of bad Pakistani rulers just like they fell during the pre-Partition days.  After his demise, Pakistan was heading towards theocratic philosophy and in the couple of decades it was declared as a theocratic state much against to the last wishes of her founding father Jinnah.  For the last several decades, nobody is following his advice which is evidenced by the increasing amount of kidnapping, abduction and forceful conversion or even forceful marriage of the minorities by majorities very frequently by some extremists who perpetrates such inhuman acts in Pakistan with the blessings of the ISI officials for the past several years without any kind of protection given to them by the government.  Only God can save Pakistan especially these aggrieved minorities from the ongoing onslaught of persecutions and violence against them.  Thank God even for name sake Jinnah had at last and at least changed finally to the moderate voice.  Otherwise, Pakistan would have been bereft of an indigenous role model for Pakistan internally.  Even now it is not too late for Pakistani leaders to adapt to the post independence thoughts of none other than their own leader and founding father Jinnah rather than from Thiruvalluvar.  They would not hesitate to learn from someone who belongs to them rather than from totally outside Pakistan in terms of caste, religion, clan and sect even though all the paths of various religions are one in terms of love, peace and harmony.


      In conclusion, it can be boldly said that Thiruvalluvar’s thoughts stood and still stands for egalitarian way of dealing with the problems while Jinnah’s wanted a pessimistic and negative way of dealing with the problems.  Thiruvalluvar’s approach is relevant particularly in the age of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) leading the humanity towards Mutually Assured Survival (MAS), while Jinnah’s will certainly lead us to Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) without doubt.  If Thiruvalluvar was to born in Pakistan, She would not have gone the way as presently she miserably finds herself at.  On the other hand if Jinnah was to born in Tamil Nadu, in 1947 itself it would have been a separate state breaking away from India.

Look at the soil of Tamil Nadu where his thoughts were born is flourishing and prospering leaps and bounds in terms of economy, security, culture, spirituality, divinity, political stability and Music.  On the other hand, take for instance any province or state in Pakistan which is besieged with the problems like terrorism, political instability, weak economy, social and military insecurity, growing domestic intolerance, obscurantism, cultural paucity, Preatorian Society, violence, target killings etc.  In other words, Thiruvalluvar’s lofty ideal thoughts have elevated Tamil Nadu state to the successful height well within the Indian Union, whereas Jinnah’s myth-ridden ideas made Pakistan a failed or ailing state threatening to disintegrate on her own accord at any time of her fragile existence.


As an Indian first and a Tamil second, I am proud to inherit such a blemishless and secular work of Thruvalluvar.  But, as far as Muslims in Pakistan are concerned only elites can feel braggadociously proud about their inheritance from Jinnah, not certainly the section of the common masses and downtrodden whether Hindus, Muslims or Christians like me who are still living unlike me uncertainly with stupendous fear of honour killings, suicide blasts, assassinations and drone attacks hanging over them like the age-old Damocles’ sword.  From such horrendous internal situation in Pakistan, one question comes to the mind is that then how Pakistan can manage peace in Jammu & Kashmir as she claims without qualms?  It is surprising that Pakistan too started following the advice and wisdom of Thirukural of late when on the eve of the semi-finals of world cricket match between India and Pakistan at Mohali, the Pakistan Prime Minister of Pakistan admitted that we need to focus on dealing with our common enemy- the issues of inflation, poverty, hunger, disease and unemployment for the prosperity of the two countries.  This kind of universally benign thoughts will certainly enhance or at least portends good for the national security of India and Pakistan together freeing their relationship from the deadly clutches of the zero- sum game or security dilemma that has so far been bedeviling their relations. 



About the author

Dr. G. Thanga Rajesh, Research Associate, Indian Council of Social Science and Research(ICSSR), Centre for South Asian Studies, Unesco Madanjeet Singh Institute for South Asian Regional Cooperation (UMISARC), Pondicherry University.

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Author: Dr. G. Thanga Rajesh