Azad and Jinnah: A Political Rivalry in Late Colonial India

Faisal Devji, Farzana Shaikh, Francis Robinson, Shruti Kapila, Amar Sohal, Vanya Bhargav, Amerjit Deu, Aaron Virdee, Priya Atwal
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Merton College
Merton Street
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TS Eliot Lecture Theatre

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The Merton College MCR hosts the first screening of 'Azad and Jinnah: A Political Rivalry in Late Colonial India'.

Watch the trailer at:

This rare 60-minute documentary, produced by Talking Pictures Ltd, explores the political ideas of two rival Muslim leaders between 1937 and 1947. Maulana Azad, the long-serving president of the Indian National Congress and independent India’s first Minister of Education; and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the foremost leader of the Muslim League and Pakistan’s first Governor-General.

Written and presented by Amar Sohal, a DPhil student at Merton College, University of Oxford, this multifaceted film includes interviews with four world-leading historians: Farzana Shaikh (Chatham House, London), Faisal Devji (St Antony's College, University of Oxford), Francis Robinson (Royal Holloway, University of London), and Shruti Kapila (Corpus Christi, University of Cambridge). Uncovering their attitudes towards liberal democracy, Islam, and Indian history, culture and geography, it shows how Azad and Jinnah’s political thought often diverged, but on occasions thrillingly converged, as the subcontinent’s fate hung in the balance. Full of fresh insights that crush the popular myths surrounding the turbulent decade before independence and partition, the stories of these two illustrious careers are consistently brought into dialogue with those of their equally eminent contemporaries: Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Liaquat Ali Khan, and Sardar Patel.

Scholarly commentary is interspersed with dramatizations that bring history ‘alive’. Aaron Virdee plays Azad and Amerjit Deu plays Jinnah.

To guarantee seats and be put on the guest list, email by Friday 22 January. The remain seats will be allocated on a 'first-come, first-served' basis at the venue.