I have today read Ayesha Jalal's book 'The Sole Spokesman'. In my opinion it is superficial and has made no difference to my view that it was the British who were responsible for the Partition of India, with Jinnah as their main agent ( though ultimately the Congress Party also acquiesed).The same Jinnah who was secular and the ' Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity' in the 1920s later became the main protagonist of the fraudulent two nation theory in the 1930s. Obviously he did this to satisfy his ambition to become the 'Quaid-e-Azam', regardless of the suffering his actions caused to both Hindus and Muslims. His call for Direct Action Day resulted in the terrible Calcutta killings in 1946. And, of course, the Partition resulted in the deaths of 500,000 people, Hindu and Muslim, and the uprooting of millions from their native places. Did this cause any grief to Jinnah ? Not at all. As long his ambition was satisfied he was not bothered about the horrible miseries he had caused.
If you read Jinnah's speeches and his letters ( they have all been published) you will see that from the 1930s onwards he relentlessly preached the 2 nation theory, that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations, and therefore cannot co-exist together. This was of course humbug.
If you wish to really understand the causes of Partition you must go further back in history. Upto 1857 there was no communal problem. Hindus and Muslims lived in harmony, and with great regard for one another. Hindus used to join in Eid celebrations, and Muslims in Holi and Diwali. The Muslim rulers like the Mughals ( though there is a controversy about Aurangzeb), the Nawabs of Avadh and Murshidabad, Tipu Sultan, etc were thoroughly secular. If you read Ghalib's letters to his Hindu friends like Hargopal Tofta, Munshi Shivnarain Aram, etc you will find how much affection there was between Hindus and Muslims upto 1857.
I may give some examples. Once Holi and Muharram fell coincidentally on the same day on the same day. The Nawab of Avadh, Wajid Ali Shah was a Shia. After taking out the tazia and burying it in the karbala in Lucknow, he enquired why Holi was not being celebrated. He was told that since Holi was a festival of joy, while Muharram was an occasion of sorrow, Hindus had decided not to celebrate Holi that year out of respect for the sentiments of their Muslim brethren. On hearing this the Nawab declared that since Hindus had respected the sentiments of their Muslim brethren, it was the duty of Muslims also to respect the sentiments of their Hindu brethren. He then announced that Holi would be celebrated the same day throughout Avadh, and he himself was the first to play Holi, although it was also Muharram day.
I may give another example. I had once gone to Shringeri in the state of Karnataka. That is the peeth or centre of the southern Shankaracharya ( the adi, or original, Shankaracharya had established 4 peeths for Hindus in the north, west, south, and east). The present Shankaracharya, Bharati Teerth, showed me 30 letters sent by Tipu Sultan with monetary grants to the then Shankaracharya. In one of these letters Tipu Sultan says that it is because of the blessings of the great saint Shankaracharya that his kingdom has prospered, there are good rains, people are happy, etc. Just next to the palace of Tipu Sultan still exists a huge, old Shiva temple.
I can give dozens more of such examples to show that there was no communal problem till 1857. There were no communal riots before that year.
In 1857 the Mutiny broke out, in which Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. After crushing it the British decided that the only way to control India was divide and rule. So directives were sent from London to the British Government in India that all efforts should be made to make Hindus and Muslims fight with each other. You can see details of these directives in B.N.Pandey's speech 'History in the Service of Imperialism' online. The speech was delivered by Prof. Pandey in the Indian Rajya Sabha ( Upper House of Parliament).
All communal riots, artificially engineered by the British authorities began after 1857. The British Collector would secretly call the Hindu Pandit, give him some money, and tell him to start speaking against Muslims, and similarly he would call the Muslim Maulana, give him money, and tell him to start speaking against Hindus. Music was deliberately played by agent provocateurs before mosques at prayer times to provoke Muslims. Cows were killed and thrown in front of Hindu temples by such people to provoke Hindus.
This poison was systematically injected into our society year after year and decade after decade after 1857. The Minto Morley 'Reforms' of 1909 introduced separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims to divide the communities. Every devilish step was taken by the scheming Britishers to sow the seeds of discord between us.
Obviously for this the British had to have local agents, and they chose Jinnah as their main one as he was the most efficient ( though there were others too, including some in the Congress Party).
The purpose of the British for dividing was to keep us weak and disunited by making Hindus and Muslims keep fighting each other, and thus be exploited. Partition in 1947 was also for the same purpose, so that we could continue to be exploited even after the British left, and may not become a highly industrialised state and thus rival for western industry.
I am afraid Ayesha Jalal knows nothing of all this, and hence her book is totally superficial.