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Jogendra Nath Mandal: Chosen by Jinnah, banished by bureaucracy

Written by James Kinuthia on Sunday August 13, 2017

Later, he presided over the historic session of the Constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947, where Mohammed Ali Jinnah was sworn in as the first Governor-General of Pakistan.

Jinnah trusted Mandal – who belonged to the lowest tier of the Hindu religious hierarchy – the Untouchables or Dalits – for his vision and righteousness.

Years earlier, Gandhi had tried to replace the word Dalit by ‘Harijans’ or the children of the Hindu god Hari. The euphemism was later considered condescending by the community in question.

Dr B. R. Ambedkar, the principal architect of the constitution of India and himself a Dalit, had accused Gandhi of deceiving the Untouchables.

He believed that Gandhi was using tactics to keep them tied to Hinduism. Later, Ambedkar and his 3,000 followers converted to Buddhism.

Renowned historian Mubarak Ali says that long after Partition, the Untouchables chose to be called ‘Dalits’ or the oppressed.

To this day, the social and financial conditions of the Dalits, in both India and Pakistan, have not changed much. However, these people – having been oppressed for centuries – are now fighting for their rights.

Coming back to my topic, Jogendra Nath Mandal not only held important law positions before Partition, but also became the first Law and Labour Minister of Pakistan.

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