Television

Zee News presents Jinnah Vs. Jinnah

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NEW DELHI: Pakistan's founding father Mohd. Ali Jinnah is in news again in India. Zee News, a leading Hindi news channel, announced the telecast of India's first ever documentary on Pakistan's Independence Day- 14 August.

The 45-minute documentary, to be telecast at 8 pm, attempts to find some answers to the controversial historical personality and, in the process, raise some new questions. At the least, it promises to inform, said script-writer Anmol Saxena of News Watch Asia, the makers of the documentary.

Was Jinnah a secular at heart? This question recently created trouble for LK Advani, leader of India's biggest Opposition party, the right-win Bharatiya Janata Party, who during a visit to Pakistan tried to put forward a more secular front by dubbing Jinnah a secular person.

Was Jinnah communal from the very beginning? Or, is it too simplistic to categories his life span into one ideology? Or is he mystified in one nation and ignored in another? These are some of the many questions that have been raised in the riveting documentary, which was screened for a select gathering yesterday in Delhi.

Zee Telefilms director newsgroup Laxmi N. Goel said ,"The documentary Jinnah versus Jinnah is another path breaking effort of Zee News to look at important events through the eyes of dispassionate observers."

The film, rich in its footage from London and Karachi, has been produced by Zee News in collaboration with News Watch Asia comprsing some senior print medium jounalist like Raju Santhanam.

While Mohammad Ali Jinnah has been given the status of Quad e Azam in Pakistan, very little is known about him in India. With historians on both sides of the border caught in web of their own perspective, this film attempts to honesty place some facts as they exist, including the fact, as per admission by a Pakistani personality interviewed in the film, that in the beginning Jinnah's speeches were secular --- talking of Hindu-Muslim friendship--- but over the years his quest for power made practise politics based on religion.

The film is anchored by renowned actor Irfan Khan, who not present during the screening, is said to have been overwhelmed after reading the script. According to him, "Jinnah is an intriguing and fascinating character. It was very interesting to know more about him and explain the politics of that time."

Well-known advertising and theatre personality, Alyque Padamsee, who played the role of Jinnah in Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi and has lent his, voice for Jinnah in this Zee film, said, "The film portrays the lesser known facts of Jinnah, which people in India would like to, know."

The film interviews prominent historians of Pakistan like Ayesha Jalal, London-based sub- continent researcher Syed Hasan Khan, British historian David Page, besides Mushurral Hassan and Professor Bipin Chandra to name a few.

The film has also sourced letters from the archives to indicate that Jinnah and Winston Churchill were in secret correspondence as both were working towards a common cause of not to give the entire nation of India to the Congress.

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