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When Manmohan Singh's Foul Ball Struck Jinnah in Lahore

On this day, only a handful of people who had actually met and interacted with Jinnah are still alive and active. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is one such person. He had met Jinnah in Lahore in 1945 and also struck him with a stray ball.

D P Satish | CNN-News18dp_satish

Updated:May 7, 2018, 5:31 PM IST
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When Manmohan Singh's Foul Ball Struck Jinnah in Lahore
File photos of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Manmohan Singh.
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Bengaluru: The Jinnah portrait controversy at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has once again made Muhammad Ali Jinnah a part of the national political discourse. Jinnah, a highly polarizing and a divisive figure is hated in India and revered in Pakistan, the nation he created.

On this day, only a handful of people who had actually met and interacted with him are still alive and active. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is one such person. He had actually met Jinnah in Lahore in 1945 and also struck him with a stray ball.

The humble former PM who is also an acclaimed economist, has a completely different story to flaunt amid the whole Jinnah controversy. Perhaps no one else will ever be able to share a similar anecdote before or after this. Singh, who was an avid hockey player in his teenage years, told a few select media persons in Bengaluru on Monday that a ball played by him had accidentally hit Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Manmohan Singh who was in Bengaluru to campaign for the Karnataka Assembly elections revealed this “top secret” to half a dozen media persons during an informal lunch. He said, “I had met Jinnah at Lahore in 1945. He used to live close to my house and we used to play hockey near his house. One day a ball played by me hit Mr Jinnah, fortunately, he was not injured. Jinnah was standing outside his house watching us play when my shot hit him.”

When a journalist jokingly told him that it was the first strike at Jinnah and Manmohan Singh should claim credit for that, Dr Singh smiled shyly.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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