Somnath Temple in Gujarat, India

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Somnath Temple in Gujarat, India



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Jinnah: As experienced by Mountbatten

'A Rose Between Two Thorns'

(The following piece of information is excerpted from the famous and authoritative source Freedom at Midnight, a masterpiece on the sub-continent's history written by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre.)

"There was no need for the air-conditioner whirring in the viceregal study that April afternoon. The chill emanating from the austere and distant leader of the Moslem League was quite sufficient to cool its atmosphere. From the instant he'd arrived, Mountbatten had found Mohammed Ali Jinnah in a most frigid, haughty and disdainful frame of mind. "

[...] "Their meeting had begun with an unhappy gaffe, a gaffe poignantly revealing of the meticulous, calculating Jinnah to whom no gesture could be spontaneous. Realizing he would be photographed with the Mountbattens, Jinnah had carefully memorized a pleasant little line to flatter Edwina Mountbatten, who he was sure would be posed between the Viceroy and himself. "

"Alas, poor Jinnah! It was he and not Edwina who wound up in the middle. But he couldn't help himself. He was programmed like a computer and his carefully rehearsed line just had to come out. 'Ah,' he beamed, 'a rose between two thorns'."


(Freedom at Midnight, Delhi, Reprint 1996, p. 100)

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