21 April of this year marks the 78th death anniversary of Sir Muhammad Iqbal. Called the spiritual father of Pakistan, he is regarded in the country as the main driving force behind the idea of Pakistan. A poet, philosopher and a politician, Sir Iqbal advocated for the creation of a Muslim majority state in northwest India and though his writings, influenced many, including a prominent political leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Iqbal was critical of the Indian National Congress as he believed it to be dominated by the interests of Hindus but was equally disappointed with the Muslim league which lacked unity. If his idea of a separate nation for Indian Muslims was to be realized, he needed to get the league united and for that to happen, Jinnah had to be brought back from his self-imposed exile.

With his words and writings, he built a strong correspondence with Jinnah and eventually convinced him to return to India and take charge of Muslim league.  In exchange of letters, Iqbal also espoused in Jinnah the idea of Pakistan.  Hitherto, Jinnah maintained his stance of a united India but by 1940, officially started embracing Iqbal’s Idea.  With the Muslim league united under one front and lead by a strong leader like Jinnah, it was inevitable Partition would happen by the time the British leave.