Extra(1B) Speeches and statements by M.A. Jinnah from the period 1938-1940
[Additional Jinnah speeches and statements can be found here: Extra(1), Extra (1A), Extra(1C), Extra(2), Extra(6A), Extra(7) Extra(8)]
From 'Speeches, Statements and Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam', Vol. II, Khurshid Yusufi, Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore
In the 1937-1940 period, M.A.Jinnah began with warning the Congress against putting up Muslim candidates in provincial elections[Extra(8)], then proceeded to deride the Congress Working Committee as Fascist for refusing to set up coalition ministries with the Muslim League in provinces where the Congress had won legislative majorities.
In the same period he demanded the Congress's recognition of the League as sole representative of Muslims as pre-condition for any Hindu-Muslim settlement and later he demanded complete equality in representation for 25% Muslims in relation to the rest, 75% non-Muslims. This was followed by his assertion of a separate national identity of Muslims and his position finally culminated in the Lahore Resolution declaring separate statehood as Indian Muslims' avowed final destiny. Subsequently he set the acceptance of Pakistan as a pre-condition for national government and constitutional advance.
In this selection of speeches and statements, the mention of Pakistan and partition of India by Jinnah is first seen in July 1939, here.
A note on coalition governments in 1937-1939:
In the United Provinces (U.P.), the Muslim population percentage was 14% and the proportion of their seats in legislature under the Government of India Act 1935 was 30%. In 1937-1938, the Congress which had already won a majority in the U.P. legislature, as pre-condition for coalition asked the U.P. Muslim League to dissolve its U.P. provincial parliamentary board (the Congress had dissolved its own U.P parliamentary board) and to adhere to Congress party discipline in the choice of future by-election candidates, in the matter of voting with the Congress in the provincial assembly (on the principle of collective responsibility of elected government to legislature) and on whether to stay or quit the ministry in future. In addition, the Congress refused to grant the prospective two or one Muslim League ministers a communal veto over the rest of the Congress-led U.P. cabinet.
These conditions were unacceptable to the Muslim League and no coalition was formed. Jinnah derided this approach and a similar failure in Bombay, and propagated this episode vigorously as proof positive of the Congress intent to oppress Muslims in a future independent India. While Jinnah made it clear that he would parley with the Congress only if the Congress agreed to give up its nationalist creed and confine itself to Hindus, there is no evidence to suggest that the Congress had at any point in the negotiations asked the Muslim League to abandon its national platform or organisational structure (as opposed to their provincial parliamentary board in U.P. province). However, Jinnah accused the Congress of demanding the complete liquidation of the League as a pre-condition for Hindu-Muslim settlement. The defection of his Jamiat ul Ulema i Hind allies who had fought the U.P. elections after taking the Muslim League pledge and dissolving their provincial organisation, angered Jinnah even more.
Jinnah's approach to coalition ministry was however, quite different in Muslim-majority Sind. Sind had 30% Hindu population who had approximately 35% seats in legislature. Jinnah's approach in Sind was to attempt to bring down an existing coalition government led by Allah Bux Sumro and supported by the Congress, and to form an all-Muslim government under the League banner. He said he would consider including others in a coalition only after he succeeded in getting all Muslims in the Sind legislature to form a government after taking the Muslim League pledge. His attempt failed. According to the late B.J.P. leader K. R. Malkani in his book 'The Sindh Story' :
"A huge League conference was held in Karachi in October 1938. Here the League stalwarts roared against the Hindus, the Congress, and Allah Bux. The conference set-up was comic-opera, complete with Arab sands, date trees and horsemen in the Arab head-dress, Iqaal. They even adopted a resolution which talked of self-determination for the ''two nations'' of Hindus and Muslims. Pir Ali Mohammed Rashdi felt that Mohammed Ali Jinnah was indifferent to this resolution. ''He just allowed us to use it as a hint, a threat, a political stunt.'' The real object was to topple Allah Bux somehow, anyhow. They got 29 Muslim MLAs to join the League. With the help of 3 European MLAs, they could have formed a government of their own. When, however, a no-confidence motion was moved, only 7 of them voted for it. And the League leader Hidayatullah himself quit the party and joined the Allah Bux ministry. "
Subsequently, in 1939, the Muslim League launched an agitation centred around the Manzilgah mosque in Sukkur and the subsequent communal riots led to the fall of the Allah Bux ministry in early 1940 with even the Hindus of the Sind Congress voting against him. A Muslim League ministry followed, which fell in 1941 and Allah Bux came back to power. Inspite of commanding a majority in the Sind provincial assembly, Allah Bux was dismissed from office by the British governor of Sind when, after the Congress launched the Quit India movement in 1942, he refused to abandon his Congress allies and make common cause with his opponents, renounced his titles of O.B.E. and Khan Bahadur and resigned from the National Defence Council. He was assassinated a few months later in 1943, reportedly by his Muslim League rival.
Meanwhile, in U.P. too, the Muslim League had launched a campaign accusing the Congress ministry of persecuting Muslims. Just one example, from 'A Narrative of Communal Politics: Uttar Pradesh, 1937-39' (Sage Series in Modern Indian History, Vol. 2) by Salil Misra, page 258:
"One notable feature in the Assembly during 1937 and the first few months of 1938 was a number of questions put by Muslim Leaguers regarding the proportion of Muslims in various jobs and the financial grants provided by the government to specifically "Muslim" educational institutions. The idea behind this enquiry was obviously to establish a case of discrimination against Muslims, or put the government on the defensive, or more significantly mobilize the non-League non-Congress Muslim legislators in the Assembly. The interesting discovery, unfolded on the floor of the Assembly by mid-1938 was that Muslims had a representation in the government jobs well in excess of their proportion of the population. This then sparked off a volley of questions from mid-1938 onwards, this time from the "Hindu" quarters as to why the Muslim proportion was so high....
Pant [Govind Ballabh Pant, Chief Minister of United Provinces ] prepared a statement showing the representation of various religious communities in the important public services in UP and established that the proportion of Muslims was quite high and ranged from 30 to 60 percent in various jobs. He then added: "Give me the returns from any provinces showing that any Government in any province has treated the minority like this and I will accept defeat. I claim and I claim that we have not only been just but we have been generous and we will continue to be so because we know that these posts may come and may go. But how long can you afford to misunderstand us. Our actions will prove too strong even for your misunderstanding?.."
.... By the middle of 1938, the League's outburst on Muslim representation in jobs in U.P. died out. The number of questions put to the government also came down significantly. Pant had mentioned that earlier the number of questions put to the government in the U.P. Assembly far exceeded those put in any other Assembly. This lack of enthusiasm may have been because the Congress government had effectively called the League's bluff on the question of Muslim employment. The other reason probably was that Muslim League's campaign had sparked off a counter campaign from the "Hindu" quarters about discrimination against Hindus in government employment. "
In this period Jinnah also accused the Congress of claiming to be the only party representing the whole country.
B.R. Nanda writes in The Indian National Congress and the Partition of India, 1935-47, in The Partition of India, Policies and Perspectives, 1935-1947, editors C.H. Philips, M.D. Wainwright:
"Nehru was aware of the fact that the Congress was anathema to the official world. In September 1936, he came across a copy of a circular letter from the secretary of the court of wards, Allahabad to all district officers advising them that it was 'essential in the interests of the class which the Court of Wards represents, and of agricultural interests generally to inflict as crushing a defeat as possible on the Congress with its avowed socialistic principles. To this end it is of the utmost importance to avoid to the greatest extent practicable a split in the landlord vote, and a consequent dissipation of the voting power of the elements opposed to the Congress'."
"It was after reading this letter that Nehru issued a statement to the press on September 18, 1936: 'The real contest is between two forces - the Congress as representing the will to freedom of the nation, and the British Government of India and its supporters who oppose this urge and try to suppress it....Let this position be clearly understood by our people as it has been understood and acted upon by the Government. For the Government, there is only one principal opponent - the Congress.'"
"This statement was directed not against the Muslim League - which later was to make much play with it - but against the government. It is noteworthy that Nehru had described the contest as between 'two forces', not between 'two parties'. What he was stating was the obvious truth: the Congress represented the main anti-imperialist force in India."
Speech in reply to the address presented by the Muslims of Gaya, January 1, 1938 (excerpts)
Islam a Complete Code
The honour and regard which you have shown to me as Mr. Jinnah you have shown them to the Muslim League and Islam. Today in this huge gathering you have honoured me by entrusting the duty to unfurl the flag of the Muslim League, the flag of Islam, for you cannot separate the Muslim League from Islam. Many people misunderstand us when we talk of Islam particularly our Hindu friends. When we say 'This flag is the flag of Islam' they think we are introducing religion into politics - a fact of which we are proud. Islam gives us a complete code. It is not only religion but it contains laws, philosophy and politics. In fact, it contains everything that matters to man from morning to night.
When we talk of Islam we take it as an all-embracing word. We do not mean any ill will. The foundation of our Islamic code is that we stand for liberty, equality and fraternity...
To Bring Congress to its Senses
"The second task is how to make the High Command of the Congress to come down to the right path. I see there are many Hindu friends in this gathering. I welcome my Hindu friends that are here. Neither the Muslim League nor I, as its servant desire to fight against our Hindu brethren. Our object is that the Congress should come to its senses.
The Congress does not represent all the Hindus, but it does represent a large body of the Hindus. We are trying to convert the High Command of the Congress. We are trying to make the intelligent Hindus to understand that it is not in the interest of the community or in the interest of the country to pursue a policy which is ruinous. You must stop your High Command from pursuing a policy detrimental to you.
What is the League doing? That is apparent from the policy and programme of the Muslim League. I challenge anybody to say that it is not full blooded nationalist programme. The Congress has got its own dictionary. When we say and pass resolution-as we said in April 1938-that under the present conditions of our country we would utilise the provincial part of the constitution for what it is worth, we meant it. But the Congress passed the resolution saying that they wanted to wreck it while what they meant all the time was to work it. That too is the difference when the Congress says they would destroy imperialists, princes, capitalists and the zamindars. When it says that, it means, which has now been proved, that they would never alienate the imperialist, the princes, the capitalists and the zamindars.
What are we struggling for so far as the Muslims and the League are concerned? The difference between the High Command and ourselves is this - we want the High Command to come down to earth. We want them not to shut their eyes to realities and not to pretend or evade or refuse to understand that in a country situated as we are, there are minorities. The minorities must be won over by giving them proper security. That is the question of questions.
Whenever you succeed in voicing your feeling of insecurity in this vast continent, the Congress High Command considers that it is of no consequence. By their words and actions they tend not only to dissatisfy but to create doubts and to create fears in the minds of the Muslims. From day to day they are pursuing a policy which would completely shatter any hope of real settlement.
The following is the text translation of his Urdu speech:
Brethren, my knowledge of Urdu is very fragmentary, but it is my duty to explain something in Urdu. This is what the Muslim League is doing. Today we are entering a new era. The old times have changed. You know that the new constitution has come and another may come in the course of a few years. The Government constituted under the new constitution is a Government of the Majority and by the Majority. If the Government can be formed only by the Majority party that Majority means Hindus. Your representatives will be still in a Minority no matter whatever percentage they be. What we are afraid of is this that if only a Majority can form a Government and that Majority means Hindus, your representatives will not be able to protect your interest, try however much they may. The Congress says that they will protect the interest of the minorities without the intervention of constitutional safeguards. But when we look to the histories of the countries such as U.S.A, South Africa, Czechoslovakia and Egypt, we are disillusioned. The right of the minorities not protected by the constitution wields little respect.
What happened to the minorities in those countries? How can the majority community enjoy our confidence?
Hindu water and Muslim water
There is nothing in common between us. Our old philosophy of life as well as our religion and language are different. 'Hindu water' and 'Muslim water' are common enough cries heard at all railway stations. It shows that we do not drink each other's water. We want that we, being in a minority, should be given safeguards for we know in America self-government and democratic government mean a government of the white people, that is the majority. The Negroes have no right to vote and are treated like slaves. We know that if we do not wake up in time, we may lose.
The caste system established about one thousand years ago is still going strong and the untouchables are an outstanding illustration in history how those in power persecute those under their power. The constitution may cause some temptation in the beginning but what Provincial Autonomy means is this. It is not our Government. It is not even a Government by the Congress, but it is Government by the British Government and whatever little experience we have of its working, has further served to strengthen this conclusion. We must-Hindus and Muslim both-get something which is useful for all of us.
Bande Matram has been made a national song despite Muslim opposition. The Congress can impose its other wishes in similar manner provided the Governor does not stop it. But if he does not try to interfere, the matter ends and the Congress have its day.
The Muslim League is now fighting to protect the rights that none may crush and none may be crushed. Even many Hindus agree with us but their voices do not count. The High Command of the Congress is in an intoxicated state and consider themselves to be the monarch of the time. The only way open for us now is to unite and offer a united front and work together. It is to this end that we are trying and we want all Muslims to come under one flag-the flag of the Muslim League-the flag of Islam-so that we may all be one.
Speech in reply to an Address of Welcome presented to him on behalf of Delhi Provincial Muslim League, Delhi, January 30, 1938 (excerpts)
..Mr. Jinnah said, "We want our rights and we would only get our rights when the community with one voice, demands it. The times have changed and the new constitution is in operation in the provinces. Muslims are in a minority in seven provinces and it is a matter of great humiliation that the N.W.F.Province has also been won over by the Congress. It must teach us a lesson. The Frontier Province is a predominantly Muslim province, 95 percent of the population being Muslims, but the Congress is ruling that province and the orders are issued from Wardha are carried out by the Frontier Government. This shows the depth of our degradation and inaction. The fact remains that the Congress is in power in seven provinces and the decisions are taken there by the majority which is invariably Hindu.
It is, to all intents and purposes, therefore, "Hindu Raj" and we must remember that the Congress has only got limited autonomy now. Delhi is yet far away. The Hindus can do whatever they like.
Continuing in the same strain Mr. Jinnah declared emphatically, "We are now, by the actual working of the Provincial Autonomy, convinced that our necks, which are in the grip of the Congress, are not safe." Mr. Jinnah referred in this connection to the singing of Bande Mataram song in the Provincial Legislatures which he regarded smelt of idolatry and was a war cry against Muslims as a whole. He was terrified to think of the future and declared "I am raising the alarm bell. The flames are raging. It is your business to take care."
Hindustani in schools
Proceeding he referred to what he called the compulsory introduction of Hindi Hindustani in the schools of all the Congress provinces and expressed the opinion that it would sound the death knell of Muslim culture and language and would prove suicidal for their children as well. Having enumerated his numerous grievances, Mr. Jinnah declared that they wanted to fight for their constitutional rights. He traced the history of the non-cooperation movement of 1921 and said how the Muslims, in the name of independence and Khilafat made heroic sacrifices which contributed to the present strength of the Congress. The Aligarh University was closed although not a single student of the Benares University joined the movement. Thus, their dearest institution was disbanded and what did the Congress give in return to the sacrifices of the Muslims? They presented us the 'Nehru Report', which you know, was universally condemned by the Muslims.
Concluding, Mr. Jinnah said that even if all the Muslims in India joined the Congress they would remain there in a minority. The only way of saving the Muslims was that they should rally round their flag and speak with one voice.
'I am confident, he added, 'that with your help and cooperation I will be able to make the Muslim League the Parliament of 80 million Muslims of India. Then alone I will give you a reply to the question as to what I am going to do with regard to Shahidganj and Palestine'.
Presidential Address at the Special Session of the All India Muslim League, Calcutta, April 17, 1938 (excerpts)
The Hindu-Muslim Question
Although some of the pronouncements of the President and other leaders of the Congress at Haripura created an impression of a really genuine desire for the settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question - and in pursuance of that, Mr. Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru have written to me, and I have replied to their letters, and the correspondence is going on - yet there is no slackening on the part of the Congress in the determination of their set purpose to annihilate every other party, and particularly the All-India Muslim League.
The Congress attitude, so far as it can be summoned up, is first that the Communal Award must go lock, stock and barrel; secondly, that there must be no separate electorates, and thirdly, that there must be no differential franchise, and if possible, there should be no reservation of seats of any community.
The result of this will be obvious: Mussalmans will be wiped out from securing any adequate representation either in the legislatures or in the municipal, local and district boards- as did happen in Bihar recently, since the Government have even removed the cumulative voting which existed before they assumed office.
It is no use masquerading under the name of nationalism. The Congress is a Hindu body mainly. It is begging the whole question to say that 'we are eager to do our very best to arrive at an agreed solution' and qualify it by saying 'consistently with the fundamental principles of nationalism' as if the Muslim League were opposed to the fundamental principles of nationalism. Muslims have made it clear more than once that, besides the question of religion, culture, language and personal laws, there is another question, equally of life and death for them, and that their future destiny and fate are dependent upon their securing definitely their political rights, their due share in the national life, the Government, and the administration of the country.
They will fight for it till the last ditch, and all the dreams and notions of Hindu Raj must be abandoned. They will not be submerged or dominated and they will not surrender so long as there is life in them.
Equality with the Congress
The Muslim League claims the status of complete equality with the Congress or any other organisation, and we have our problems to solve. We have, under the present conditions, to organize our people, to build up the Muslim masses for a better world and for their immediate uplift, social and economic, and we have to formulate plans of a constructive and ameliorative character, which would give them immediate relief from the poverty and wretchedness from which they are suffering more than any other section of the people of India.
In my opinion, the Congress is making one of the greatest blunders by pursuing its present policy. The High Command of the Congress has no policy except opportunism and arrogance. They are utilizing their organisation, because it happens to be the largest and most powerful, to treat every other party with contempt , and they imagine that they have already become the rulers of India. It is astounding that they believe that they have conquered six provinces absolutely, and in the seventh they have a dominant voice, as the majority in the coalition of the North-West Frontier Province are Congressmen. They talk of drums beating, and they believe that it will not be very long before the remaining four Provinces fall before the conquering heroes of the High Command of the Congress.
But to the Mussalmans, I say that they must realize that there cannot be any honourable settlement between two parties when one claims to be superior to the other, and has for its aim and object the domination and dictation of the other. Honourable settlement can only be achieved between equals, and unless the two parties learn to respect and fear each other, there is no solid ground for any settlement.
Besides even if a settlement does come, unless the Mussalmans are fully organized and have forged sanctions behind them, as well as the solid and united backing behind them, the agreements, pacts or treaties can only be treated as a scrap of paper - i.e., unless they can be enforced by a power from behind, which will see that the terms are carried out and maintained.
Therefore, my appeal to Mussalmans is: Don't depend upon anybody. You must depend upon your own inherent strength. The Mussalmans have not yet realized what power and strength they would possess if they were properly mobilized as one solid people. We have to go through a great deal of spade work and suffering. Our opponents will use all possible means of suppression. They may practice tyranny and may persecute us; but I am confident that we shall emerge out of that ordeal better, stronger than we have ever been.
Statement repudiating Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani's Statement, Simla, August 19, 1938 (full text)
Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, President of the All-India Muslim League, has issued the following statement:
"My attention has been drawn to a speech of Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani delivered at Ghaziabad on August 15 in which he is reported to have stated as follows:
"The reason why we did not oppose the League candidate at the general elections was that Mr. Jinnah had assured us then that the policy of the League had changed and the League was pledged to complete independence. But we were soon disillusioned when after the elections we were told by Mr. Jinnah that that talk before the election was merely a political stunt."
The whole of the statement is entirely untrue. As to why some members of the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Hind joined the League in 1936 and whole-heartedly supported the League candidates and that soon after left the League remains a mystery to me.
Presidential Address at the Sind Muslim League Conference, Karachi, October 8, 1938 (excerpts)
..It is an irony of fate that the two provinces .. the Sind and the North West Frontier Province, should remain outside the ken of the All India Muslim League. But I am glad that Sind Mussalmans have now realized... The North West Frontier Province for which the Muslim League fought against every machination including the opposition on the part of the Congress itself against our demand that it should have the constitution and reforms on an equal footing with all the other provinces of the British India should remain, when liberated, under the heel of Wardha.
But I feel confident that it will not be very long before the Mussalmans of North West Frontier Province will come home on the platform of the All India Muslim League and work as loyally and faithfully as any Mussalman under the banner and the flag of the All India Muslim League and those who have and are still misleading the Pathans will meet with their 'Nemesis'.
The struggle that we are carrying on is not merely for loaves and fishes, ministerships and jobs, nor are we opposed to the economic, social and educational uplift of our countrymen as it is falsely alleged. We want to make every contribution to uplift of our people particularly the Mussalmans. Do not believe when you are told that the policy and programme of the League is reactionary. No honest man who has studied the policy and programme of the League can conscientiously and truthfully say that is anything but fully national and most progressive. Yet Muslim League and its leaders are daily misrepresented and vilified. Truth is suppressed and falsehood is broadcast in the Congress press and new agencies; of course we having no press. But the greatest misfortune of India is that the High Command of the Congress has adopted a most brutal, oppressive and inimical attitude towards the All India Muslim League since they secured the majority in the six provinces.
After they decided to accept office and work the constitution when we were ready and offered our hand of cooperation as we had already made it clear before and after the elections also, the first demand was that the League must liquidate itself and we were told that it represents nobody except few estimable middle class gentlemen. And secondly the decision was taken that we must be treated as an anathema and the League groups in various legislature were boycotted by the Congress. And the members of the League party in the legislatures were to be treated as untouchables and that no one was to be included in the ministry of those provinces from amongst the representatives of the League party unless they unconditionally signed the pledge, the policy, and the programme of the Congress which honestly speaking is much worse than that of the All India Muslim League and more communal, in a fact, except that we stand for the adequate and effective safeguards, for the rights and interests of the Mussalmans and that we do not agree with false creed of 'truth and non-violence' which is observed and honoured more in breach. They were asked to abjure their party and forego their creed, policy and programme which is far more honest and straightforward and practical.
They started in the legislatures with a song of Bande Matram which is not only idolatrous but in its origin and substance a hymn to spread hatred for the Mussalmans. And they in their wisdom tried and are persisting now and compelling the school authorities to sing Bande Matram at congregations and school gatherings although it is admitted that it is not a national song. They have persistently hoisted tricolour flags in a most aggressive and offensive manner on all Government and public institutions irrespective of the feelings of others although it is admitted that it is not a national flag. They started 'the Muslim Mass Contact' which is not only silly but dangerous and some wiseacre amongst them think that this will bring about the destruction of the Communal Award or at any rate nullify its object and destroy the true strength of Muslim representation in the various legislatures and further thereby force every Muslim to submit to the membership of the Congress. They have been forcing radical changes in the educational system of the Provinces and to run the department on Wardha scheme which has assumed the name of Vidya Mandir and make Hindi compulsory in the guise of Hindustani but highly Sanskritised as 'Lingua franca' of India and leave no stone unturned to suppress Urdu which is the language of the largest number of Mussalmans in India and thus give a death blow to their culture and their solidarity.
Every available post or job is reserved for the Congress men or those Mussalmans who are prepared to desert or vilify the League. The 'Civil Liberties' has assumed new definition. That in the absence of Swadeshi Laws, 'lawless and reactionary laws' such as the 'Criminal Law Amendment Act' and 'Section 144' are to be freely utilized against those persons who disobey or differ from the Congress Ministries and particularly in the case of the members of the Muslim League. Measures are brought in, bills have been passed and laws have been enacted which are obviously highly detrimental to the interests of the Mussalmans, for instance amendments of the franchise system of voting and representation of minorities in the Municipal, Local and District Boards. The Muslim Press is terrorized under threat of penalty of forfeiture of securities and in some cases the obnoxious executive orders have been passed and securities of some Muslim Urdu newspapers have been forfeited. Is this the national programme that is being pursued for the advancement of the people of this country which will achieve freedom and independence of India? If this is the foretaste on the threshold of limited and restricted authority and power enjoyed by the Congress I shudder to think what would be the fate of ninety millions of Mussalmans in this country if the Congress were incharge of full and plenary powers of the Government of India, and yet the other day the President of the Congress had the temerity in speaking at the Haripura Congress Session in February 1938 to solemnly ask 'I would put it to the members of the minority communities in India to consider dispassionately if they have anything to fear when the Congress programme is put into operation.' So far I have not dealt with the cases of maltreatment and tyranny and persecution regarding which columns and columns have been filled by newspapers- specially in three Provinces of Bihar, U.P. and C.P. and we are awaiting the report of the committee that has been appointed. I hope that the report will be out before the next session of Muslim League in December 1938.
It is common knowledge that the average Congress man whether he is a member by conviction or 'convenience' arrogates to himself the role of a ruler of this country and although he does not possess the educational qualifications, training and culture and traditions of the British bureaucrat he behaves and acts towards the Mussalmans in a much worse manner that the British did towards Indians. The Supreme Command may well deplore corruption, untruthfulness and violence and may further deplore the faked register of membership of the Congress by ' convenience.'
These are a few characteristic features of the Congress programme so far regarding the Mussalmans. But we are told very recently in your city by a high authority that surely the fact that the Governors have not yet thought fit to interfere or exercise their special powers is a proof positive and shows that the Mussalmans were not only justly and fairly treated but they are dealt with handsomely and generously. I know that Governors and the Governor-General have failed the minorities and specially the Mussalmans. But on the other hand, we are told that there is a gentlemen's agreement and a secret understanding between the British Government and the Congress in consequence of which assurances were given that such powers will not be exercised, and so it is obvious that the Congress ministries are getting the longest rope with the result that the foolish policy of the Congress is responsible not only for intense bitterness between the two sister communities but among the various classes and interests. It has result in various clashes and conflicts and ill will which are bound to recoil in the long run on the progress and welfare of India. It seems that Congress is only tumbling into the hands of those who are looking forward to the creation of a serious situation which will break India vertically and horizontally. But this is not all.
Now let us turn to Bengal, Punjab and Assam. In these provinces there happens to be a predominant Muslim voice in the Ministries and hence they are made the target and the object of final destruction by the Congress High Command.
In Bengal the move to defeat Fazlul Haq Ministry has ignominiously failed. In Punjab various efforts are made to weaken the ministry of Sir Sikander Hyat. But in Punjab they have not yet dared to table a no-confidence motion because Punjab Ministry cannot yet be bent. In Assam, Mr. Saadullah's Ministry resigned. Immediately the Congress President went post-haste with other henchmen and agents to help the birth of a so-called Congress Ministry with utter disregard of all their previous professions and declaration and contrary to their avowed determination to have nothing to do with coalition and he gathered together various groups all and sundry. But in forming the Ministry, Mr. Bordoloi was not able to announce the name of even one of the three Muslim Ministers who were to be included in the Ministry. Apart from the methods adopted further to move the President for adjournment of the Assembly sine die was hardly creditable, and for a great party not to face the legislature knowing full well that they had not the majority at their back was sheer cowardice. It is under threat of suspension of oath taking ceremony that the President and Congress party agreed to the sessions of the Assembly being called at an early date, and up the present moment Mr. Bordoloi has not been able to get more than one of the three Muslim Ministers, and he is still hunting for the remaining two Muslim Ministers. When 56 members of the Assembly out of 107 are not only against the so-called Congress Ministry but have tabled the vote of no-confidence, I congratulate the President, Mr. Bose, for his statesmanlike achievement for this stillborn child which is now anxious to feed by means of oxygen and bring to life by appealing to the European planters to come to his rescue.
The Congress High Command is obsessed with one idea and determined to divide the Mussalmans and particularly to break the solidarity of the Muslim League no matter how low they may have to stoop. They have no scruples or any standard or principle in their methods. Their policy is based on arrogance and opportunism and unfortunately they are getting the support of a large body of Hindus who have respect for the Congress and they are being fully exploited. Not only that but even Mr. Gandhi who has acquired the spiritual influence over a large body of the Hindu public and with his halo of Mahatma is used by those who surround him. He often tries to get out of awkward corners by falling back upon his inner voice or the voice of silence and relies upon the fact that he is not even a four-anna member of the Congress; he deplores corruption, untruthfulness and violence and pleads to his utter helplessness for the decisions of Congress High Command. This grand Fascist Council, the Working Committee which is named 'the shadow cabinet' of a parallel Government of India is supposed to speak on behalf of 'the Indian Nation'. Some of its antics remind one of a clown imitating the artist in a circus. During this critical situation about the end of September last this so-called shadow cabinet continually sat in sessions and kept vigil as the All India Congress committee had entrusted them with a power to take such decisions as they thought proper with regard to the question of India's part in the event of the war breaking out.
So, to begin with, a sympathetic message was sent by the High Command to the Government of Czechoslovakia and the Mahatma and the Working Committee were continuing the vigil waiting for the Whitehall to approach Mahatma Gandhi. But the war is averted and soon now the vigil will terminate and India must breathe a sigh of relief as we are saved from the Congress decision with regard to the war for the moment. So now this is the situation and position that we have to face. It is no use relying upon anyone else. We must stand on our own inherent strength and build up our own power and forge sanctions behind our decisions. Today we are told that even for the purpose of settlement of Hindu Muslim question we do not represent the Mussalmans of India and we are required to prove the position and status of ours by 'Service and merits' before the mighty High Command. Gentlemen! the meaning is clear. It is no use blaming others, it is no use our accusing our opponents only, it is no use our expecting our enemies to behave differently.
If the Mussalmans are going to be defeated in their national goal and aspirations, it will only be by the betrayal of the Mussalmans among us as it has happened in the past. For the renegades and traitors I have nothing to say. They can do their worst. But I appeal most fervently to those Mussalmans who honestly feel for their community and its welfare and those who are misled or misguided and indifferent to come on to the platform of the Muslim League and work under its flag, and please close your rank and file and stand solid and united at any and all costs and speak and act with one voice.
Here I wish to make it clear that I am not fighting the Hindu community as such nor have I any quarrel with the Hindus generally for I have many personal friends amongst them; but the Congress 'High Command' is in my opinion the greatest enemy of India's progress and for the matter of that even of the interests of the Hindus. Although there are many Hindus who entirely condemn them and are completely fed up with them yet a large body of the Hindu public is still hypnotised and mesmerized by them by their seductive and abusive propaganda and disingenuous catchwords and slogans. Will they get their freedom of judgment and action!
With regard to the tragedy of Palestine that is going on at present and the ruthless repression that is practiced against the Arab because of their struggle for the freedom of their country, I need hardly tell you that we had most convincing proofs demonstrated all over India that the heart of every Mussalman is with them in their brave and wonderful struggle that they are carrying on against all odds and in spite of their being 'defenceless'...
I am glad here to note that the Congress Working Committee also at Delhi have passed a resolution. That having regard to its importance it was moved by the chair without any comments. This is an indication of the superficial interest Congress takes in matters which the Mussalmans consider nearest and dearest to their heart. During the recent times Great Britain has thrown her friends to the wolves and broken her solemn promises. Only those succeed with the British people who possess force and power and who are in a position to bully them. They have also let down and thrown the Mussalmans of India to the wolves. I am sure there will be no peace in the Near East unless they give an honest and square deal to the Arabs in Palestine.
In India I may draw attention of His Majesty's Government and the British statesmen who I am sure are not under any delusion that the Congress represents the people of India or Indian nation, for there are 90 millions of Mussalmans.
And I would draw their attention and here also of the Congress High Command and ask them to mark, learn and inwardly digest the recent upheaval and its consequent developments which threatened the world war. It was because the Sudetan Germans who were forced under the heel of the majority of Czechoslovakia who oppressed them, suppressed them, maltreated them and showed a brutal and callous disregard for their rights and interests for two decades hence the inevitable result that the Republic of Czechoslovakia is now broken up and a new map will have to be drawn. Just as the Sudeten Germans were not defenseless and survived the oppression and persecution for two decades so also the Mussalmans are not defenseless and cannot give you their national entity and aspirations in this great continent.
Here also I may mention the Frontier policy of the Government of India which the sooner it is given up the better and the methods of reconciliation are resorted to instead. I will therefore appeal to the British Government to review and revise their policy with regard to Palestine, Waziristan and Mussalmans of India and the Islamic powers generally. It is in the interest of Great Britain to seriously consider the reorientation in the light of the developments that have taken place during the last two decades.
To the Mussalmans therefore I say go forward and organize your people all over India and if reasons and arguments fail our ultimate resort must depend upon our own inherent strength and power. I do not despair nor need we fear the consequences in this great struggle of the life and death which involves the destiny of 90 millions of our people.
Statement on withdrawal from agreement in Sind, Karachi, October 13, 1938 (excerpts)
On my arrival on the 7th October, 1938, it was made clear to me that there was a universal desire for solidarity and unity among the Muslims in Sind. Wherever I went and whoever came to see me expressed most fervently the desire to bring about unity. I saw various Muslim leaders and no less than 20 Muslim members of the Sind Legislative Assembly and that was the prevalent sentiment not only among the Muslims but also among the thinking men of the communities-Hindus, Parsis and Europeans. They all desired that there should be a stable government in Sind. Here I may at the very outset deprecate the false and discreditable propaganda carried on by a section of the press and the Congressmen that we were aiming at constituting a purely Muslim ministry in Sind. In the first instance we thought of bringing about unity among various Muslim groups in the Assembly as there were at least four such groups among the Muslim members of the Assembly, and once we were able to put our house in order we could approach other groups in the Sind Assembly.
Desire for Unity
In response to that universal desire, I carried on my conversation with Khan Bahadur Allah Bux who also had come to see me, and his colleague Pir Illahi Bux. He also endorsed the view that there should be one solid united Muslim party and most cordially assured me that he desired nothing else if that could be achieved and that he did not wish to continue as Chief Minister or cared for any office at all. Similar views were expressed by his colleague, Pir Illahi Bux, and I gathered that there were about 7 members with the Chief Minister and his colleague.
Therefore I saw Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah and he also expressed the same views and assured me his full support. His group consisted to about thirteen members. Next I saw Mr. Bundeh Ali, the leader of the Baluch group, which consists of about seven members with the Chief Minister and his colleagues and last I saw Mr. G.M.Syed who has a following as I understood of six members. They also expressed the same desire and assured me of their fullest support. Therefore I suggested to each one of them that they should all meet together and that Mr. Fazlul Haq and Sir Sikander Hyat Khan with whom they also had interviews should also be present and accordingly the Bengal and Punjab Premiers and myself met the leaders of all four groups on the afternoon of October 9, and after prolonged discussion and exchange of view the following agreement was arrived at and signed by Khan Bahadur Allah Bux, Pir Illahi Bux, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Mir Bundeh Ali, Mr. G.M. Syed and Mr. Abdul Majid.
Terms of Agreement
The terms of agreement were as follows:
1. It was agreed that one solid party of the Muslim members of the Sind Legislative Assembly should be formed as Muslim League Party, within the legislature, and all the members who join the party will become members of the Muslim League and sign the creed and accept the policy and programme of the Muslim League and would sign the usual pledge of the Muslim League.
2. That in order to facilitate the formation of the new ministry the present Muslim ministers have agreed to tender their resignations and these resignations will be tendered to the Governor simultaneously with the proposal of the leader of Muslim League Party to constitute a new Ministry.
3. That the meeting of those members who have already joined the Muslim League or who may agree to join the Muslim League Party should take place on October 12, 1938, at 11.a.m. in my room and those members who are not in Karachi at present be requested to come down here-there being already 27 members present in the city.
4. That Khan Bahadur Allah Bux and Sir Ghulam Hussain were to intimate those Muslim members who were not in Karachi already and ask them to attend the meeting fixed for October 12.
5. That the leader of the party should be elected by the unanimous vote of the party and in default he should be nominated by Mr. Jinnah and the party would abide by his choice.
6. The personnel of the Ministry to be formed shall be determined according to the same principle, namely, that the party should accept it unanimously, in default the party should abide by the decision of Mr. Jinnah as to the Muslim personnel of the Ministry that the leader should submit to the Governor.
Telegrams under Joint Signatures
In accordance with the agreement telegrams were sent to those members who were not in Karachi over the joint signatures of Khan Bahadur Allah Bux and Sir Ghulam Hussain requesting the members to attend the meeting fixed for October 12, 1938, in my room.
Congress Party's Move
I received information early in the morning from a responsible and reliable source that the "leader of the Congress Assembly Board had wired to the President of the Congress Parliamentary Party that in view of the danger of a League Ministry being formed in Sind, the no-confidence motion should be permitted not to be made a party question and freedom of voting be permitted to the members of the party. If this were done, of course all the ten members of the Congress Party would vote against the no-confidence motion. Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel has sent out telegrams to the members of his board soliciting their views..
I am aware of the contents of the documents in your possession signed by the six gentlemen on Sunday evening (9th October, 1936) but I thought you might know about this new move. Any attempt to gain time to-day may therefore not be permitted."
Premier Backs Out of Agreement
When we met at 11 o'clock on 12 October 1938, much to the astonishment of every one, Khan Bahadur Allah Bux backed out of the agreement and took an unabashed position that he and his supporters would join the Muslim League Party only if he is assured beforehand that the party will agree to elect him as the leader and allow him to continue as the Chief Minister!
Premier Holding a Pistol
An overwhelming majority of the members present in the meeting objected to this attitude on the ground that it was contrary to the very conception of the formation of a party that any individual member of any group should hold a pistol and impose a condition precedent to joining the party. Every effort was made to persuade Khan Bahadur Allah Bux and 6 or 7 members who were inclined to support him, and finally he left the meeting after several hours of discussion in the meeting and separately by various members who tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to give up such an attitude and abide by the agreement he had already signed. In the meantime those who were inclined to join the Muslim League Party signed the pledges and handed them over to me accepting the creed, policy and programme of the Muslim League. As a result 27 members have come under the banner of the Muslim League. But Khan Bahadur Allah Bux was adamant and left with an ultimatum that unless his condition that he should be accepted as a leader and allowed to continue as Chief Minister is agreed to, he was not prepared to proceed any further. On his taking up this extraordinary attitude some of his own supporters also signed the pledge and remained in the meeting.
Gross Breach of Faith
Those members who were present at the meeting considered that the attitude of Khan Bahadur Allah Bux was most improper and unjust, and that he was guilty of gross breach of faith in resiling from the agreement which he had already signed in the presence of Sir Sikander, Mr. Fazlul Haq and myself..
Playing into Other Hands
In the meantime it is now public property and the newspaper reports clearly show that Khan Bahadur Allah Bux was in the hands of the Congress Party and was making time to receive the instructions of the Congress High Command. I regret to say that he had not even the courtesy to give me his promised reply this morning although I waited the whole day before issuing this statement.
Sacrificing People's Interests
One can only draw the inference that he has been assured by the Congress High Command who seem to me to be obsessed with one and the only idea of destroying any effort which will bring solidarity among the Muslims at the sacrifice of not only the vital interest of the country at large but also Sind where it is essential to have a stable ministry for the welfare and progress of the people, and they do not seem to hesitate to sacrifice all their principles, their interests, their professions and the interests of the people which they claim so loudly to serve.
So far as we are concerned I am glad that we have formed a Muslim League Party in the Assembly and we shall carry out our programme for the social, economic, educational and political uplift of the people of Sind generally and of Mussalmans in particular. Our party in the Assembly will always be willing and ready to co-operate with any party or group notwithstanding the Muslim majority - for the advancement and welfare of the people of Sind, but we cannot accept the position of subordination as Khan Bahadur Allah Bux has chosen to do.
Speech at a Public Meeting, Shikarpur (Sind), October 17, 1938 (full text)
During his speech he said it was no use complaining about others when we have not brought about unity amongst ourselves. Twenty-seven members have joined the Muslim League and seven are still outside. " It is in your hands to make the Ministry. The Allahbux ministry is reigning with Hindu support but if there is unity among the Muslims they can compel him to resign in case he does not join the League."
Mr. Jinnah in concluding his speech advised the Muslims to join the League.
Statement on Muslim League's claim in reply to a statement of Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose, Karachi, October 20, 1938 (full text) [Bose-Jinnah correspondence in Extra (4B)]
To say that the Congress is ready and willing to negotiate a settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question with the Muslim League in one breath and in another to say that the Muslim League is not a representative organisation of the Muslims is so transparently ridiculous, and yet the Congress President, Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose, arrogates to himself, on behalf of the Congress, the right to say that the Congress is the one organisation not only able to deliver goods but also to discuss with the British Government a final solution of the Indian problem.
Charge Against Subhas
"Mr. Bose has magnanimously assured the minorities that while refusing to acknowledge the Muslim League as the one representative political organisation of the Muslims the Congress would do what was fair and just towards all minorities. Mr. Bose clearly, consciously or unconsciously identified himself with the majority community by making such a declaration. I congratulate Mr. Bose for having said that, because that is a honest and true position.
The Congress did not represent Muslims and Congress alone could not deliver the goods. As long as this foolish policy was pursued, India could not advance.
Absurdities of Position
As far as the Muslim League was concerned, its policy was laid down by the Executive Council at Karachi and he did not wish to enter into a wordy warfare with Mr. Bose in this connection, as the matter now rested with the executives of both organisations. But he must say this much that the absurdities of the position as explained by Mr. Bose on behalf of the Congress are manifest to any man who possesses any intelligence. Mr. Jinnah characterised the interview attributed to Sir Sikander Hyat Khan, suggesting that Sir Sikander held a different view from that of the reply sent by the League's Executive Council to Mr. Bose as absolutely untrue, adding that the League's reply to the Congress was adopted unanimously by the Executive Council, Sir Sikander taking a very prominent part in the wording of the reply.
Mr. Jinnah could not believe that between Karachi and Lahore Sir Sikander should have changed his mind as was attributed to him.
Presidential Address delivered extempore at the 26th Annual Session of the All-India Muslim League, Patna, December 26, 1938 (excerpts)
Falsehood of the Congress
.. So far as the masses were concerned and so far as my dear young friends the Muslim youth were concerned, they were all hypnotised by the Congress falsehood. The youth believed their slogans and catchwords. They were caught right in the net that was spread for them by the Congress. They were led into the belief that the Congress was fighting for the freedom of the motherland. Being honest themselves they could not believe that other people could be otherwise. They were led to believe that the question was really an economic one and that they were fighting for dal bhat, for the labour and the kisans. Their pure, untutored minds became easy victims of the Congress net. When we, who saw through the game and understood the inward meaning of the Congress leaders' move, tried to make them understand that they were being misled, we were dubbed reactionaries, communalists and much else besides.
That was the position in 1936. I am glad to say that things have now changed. One thing has been demonstrated beyond doubt, namely, that the Congress High Command wanted the Mussalmans to be a mere understudy of the Congress, mere foot-pages of the Congress leaders, to be used, governed and brought under the heels when they had served the purpose of the Congress. The Congress leaders wanted them to submit unconditionally to the Hindu raj. That game is now fully exposed.
The next question that you will have to consider is that of the Federation. Let the Congress continue to say that they will never accept the Federation. But I tell you I do not at all believe in the professions of the Congress.
The Congress will tumble into it just as it tumbled into the Provincial part of the Constitution. Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose was loud in his declaration the other day that whatever individual Congressmen might say here and there, the Congress as a whole was determined to reject the Federation, lock, stock and barrel. I do not believe in such declarations. I know another Congress leader has said that revision and modification will satisfy them, and if the elective principle was accepted, it would appease the Congress, and yet another leader declares that if the Federal scheme could be so altered as to give the substance of independence, the Congress might work it and in that way the undesirable and unworkable Federal Constitution might be made a desirable and workable one. I say the whole idea behind the Congress leaders' move is once again to deceive the Muslims. I want to tell those leaders, however, that they cannot deceive the Muslims any more. The Muslims are not what they were three years ago. The whole game of the Congress is and has been to get substantial majority in this wretched, highly objectionable and rotten Constitution which they want to enjoy. If they get a majority, they will accept the Federation with utmost glee, and then they will be in to pursue their nefarious scheme of destroying the Muslim culture and organisation and to build up the Congress organisation as the one and only totalitarian organisation of the Fascist brand. And then they will be able to establish their ideal of Hindu Raj in Hindustan.
The Congress leaders know what they are aiming at. They have got their majorities in seven provinces and have Congress governments there. There are only four provinces left. The covetous eyes of the Congress leaders are now cast upon these provinces. Every now and then they declare that the non-Congress governments in these provinces are tottering, aye, tottering, in spite of their majorities, struggling on their last legs. The Congress leaders think that in these four provinces the Ministries are not very strong. But it is not difficult to see through the Congress game. They want to see a Congress government in whichever of these provinces they can. I had a talk with some friends of the North-West Frontier province. I am told that in that province our co-religionists - credulous Pathans as they are - have been told that the Congress is for the good of the people, that the Muslim League is the supporter of imperialism and an ally of imperialism! I say there cannot be a greater falsehood than the allegation that the Muslim League is an ally of imperialism. Inside the legislature or outside the legislature have I on any single occasion supported imperialism, not to speak of proving myself an ally of imperialism? (Voices: no, no).
I am sure even of there were a few amongst Muslims who had thought in the past that the Muslims might gain their end by alliance with British imperialism, they have now been thoroughly disillusioned. I say the Muslim League is not going to be an ally of anyone, but would be the ally of even the devil if need be in the interests of Muslims.
(A pin-drop silence suddenly appeared to seize the House at this stage. Mr. Jinnah paused for a moment and then continued).
It is not because we are in love with imperialism, but in politics one has to play one's game as on the chessboard. I say the Muslims and the Muslim League have only one ally and that ally is the Muslim nation, and one and only one to whom they look for help is God!
The Congress game with regard to Federation is very clever. If the Congress can gain control over the Federal machinery, then, by means of direct and indirect powers vested in the Federal Government, the Congress would be able to reduce to nonentity the Governments of the Hon'ble Mr. Fazl-ul-Haq in Bengal and the Hon'ble Sir Sikander Hayat Khan in the Punjab. So in the end the Congress will have seven provinces where they enjoy overwhelming numerical majority as a gift of God, and the other four provinces where Muslims dominate will be feudatories of the Congress High Command.
If I am right in my judgment, that is the objective of the Congress. Therefore, I say the Congress opposition to the Federation is not honest. Am I to blame for it? Am I wrong? (Voice: no, no).
Face to Face with a Life and Death Struggle
Ladies and Gentlemen, now it is for you and you alone to make your decision. All the responsibilities will be yours. You are face to face with a life and death struggle..
Inaugural speech at the All-India Muslim Students' Conference, Patna, December 29, 1938 (excerpts)
There were three forces in the country: the British, the States and the Congress. The time has now come to give battle to all these forces and the sooner young men made up their minds to do so the better for them, observed Mr. M.A. Jinnah, inaugurating the All-India Muslim Students Conference.
Criticising the Congress at length, he said that young men had been deluded into believing that the Congress fought for the freedom of the country and the masses, and that the Congress would turn the country into a land of milk and honey. But now it was amply evident that it said one thing while meaning something quite different.
Referring to the negotiations with the Congress for a settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question and the political status of the League, he said that the Congress had offered terms which were unjust and prejudiced. The Muslim League would be satisfied with nothing less than perfect equality. The Congress claim of being the only body representing the entire country was preposterous. India was not a nation yet, but a number of nationalities.
Referring to Federation, he warned his audience against being deluded by the Congress declaration that they did not want Federation. He added that the Congress had declared that it would not accept the new constitution, but was now embracing it.
Statement regarding Federal Scheme, Bombay, July 29, 1939 (excerpts)
Detrimental to Interests
In the first instance, no doubt the Princes think that the Federal scheme is detrimental to their interests, and also those of their people and States generally, and that they are called upon to make a tremendous sacrifice, and for what purpose? They naturally do not wish to be pawns in the Federal scheme to be used by the Paramount Power.
They know that the Congress is opposed to it and so is the Muslim League. With whom are they then to federate? Therefore not only would they be signing their own death warrant by joining the Federation - but to what purpose is the question. Will they be helping the country? Will they be helping Hindus or Muslims, as there is not even two per cent of responsibility given at the Centre.
I therefore trust that they will, apart from their interests and sacrifices, which they are called upon to make, in the larger interests of India, stand by their Bombay decision and not be coerced by any outside agencies.
As to the Congress, which represents a solid body of Hindus in the country, their declarations are clear that they are fundamentally opposed to the scheme. Will the Congress be allured into accepting the scheme, as it is urged upon them to do so on the ground that otherwise the Muslims will break away, as they are thinking already of Pakistan, which will mean the destruction of all-India unity? Will the Congress accept this constitution because the Muslims have a special additional grievance that they are not adequately safeguarded in the Federal scheme. Will it satisfy the ambition of some Congress leaders that in this dummy legislature, without control and responsibility on all vital matters, because they will secure a majority and therefore dominate in number over the Muslims the Federal scheme is good enough to be accepted?
It has been openly said that Mr. Gandhi conveyed at Rajkot to some of his followers that they would have to accept the Federal scheme as embodied in the Government of India Act. A few days ago when he was interviewed at Lahore it is reported that he was asked a question as to what his opinion was on Federation, and he declined to make any statement.
Is Mr. Gandhi going to fall into the trap for the sake of merely having a Congress majority under this wretched Federal scheme and is he going to be frightened to death on the score that the Muslims will break away and it might lead to a partition of India?
Is he going to accept this halter round India's neck simply for the sake of dominating the Muslims in those few minor departments which are transferred to the Legislature? I cannot believe it, and I cannot believe that the Congress will be a party to such a betrayal of the vital interests of India.
As regards the Muslim League, I need not repeat that it is firmly and definitely opposed to the scheme of Federation as embodied in the Government of India Act, and I once more appeal to Lord Linlithgow and His Majesty's Government not to force this Federal Constitution upon unwilling India in the teeth of the real and genuine opposition by every responsible party in the country..
Speech at a meeting of the Osmania University Student's Union, Hyderabad (Dn), September 30, 1939 ( full text)
The democratic parliamentary system of Government is most unsuited to the genius of the people of India, and having regard to be conditions of living in this country will not work successfully - observed Mr. M.A. Jinnah at the Osmania University Hall in the course of his address at the Osmania University Students' Union.
Mr. Jinnah said that he had been vehemently criticised by the leaders belonging to other school of thought and certain section of the press for the decision of the Working Committee of the Muslim League but he would ask all his critics to give consideration to the arguments advanced by him and not come to hasty conclusions. His experience of democratic countries including America where Mr. Abraham Lincoln first coined the phrase the government of the people, for the people by the people, showed that even that country had not practiced democracy in the real sense of the term, there being millions of Negroes having no voice in the administration. In the case of Britain, it was a different affair and democracy was possible there owing to the homogeneous character of the nation with no difference of culture or ideology and they had built up that system for centuries. Conditions in India were different and leaving aside the communal questions, there were other considerations standing in the way of the introduction of this form of Government, first and foremost being illiteracy of the people and the incapacity of the voters to judge independently for themselves.
Freedom and Democracy
Those who cried from their house-tops for freedom and democracy, Mr. Jinnah continued, did not actually mean it, their ideal of democracy being the rule of three to one, three dominating the one. His attitude was declared as inconsistent by the Congress daily of Bengal, Amrita Bazar Patrika, in view of the fact that he himself favoured the majority rule in the provinces where the Muslims dominated, but this criticism could not hold good owing to the fact that, when the Hindus dominated as many as seven Provinces, it was only fair that the Muslims should be given the same accommodation in the Provinces where they were in a majority.
Concluding, Mr. Jinnah said that any attempt to drive a wedge between the Muslim League and other Mussalmans as was being done by a certain section of the press who questioned the representative character of the League could not succeed for obvious reasons.
Statement while releasing his correspondence with Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Bombay, January 7, 1940 (excerpts)[More Nehru-Jinnah correspondence in Extra (4B)]
Mr. M.A.Jinnah, President of the All-India Muslim League, has released the correspondence between himself and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. In a statement in this connection he said:
" I regret to find that Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, during his recent tour in the Punjab and elsewhere, has thought it fit to attack me in a manner unworthy of any responsible leader. He accuses me of being bent upon the preservation of British domination over India which I can only characterise as not only unwarranted but mean. The reasons for his refusing to continue his talks with me, as given by him, are far from correct, are misleading and unfair.
I would not further comment upon his reckless and irresponsible pronouncements, but I shall rest content with releasing the correspondence between us on the subject. This will show the true reasons for his refusing to proceed further in the matter and I leave it to the public to judge the impossible attitude that is being taken up by him and the Congress.
Letter from Pandit Nehru to Mr. M.A. Jinnah, dated December 1, 1939 from Allahabad
My dear Mr. Jinnah,
When we met last in Delhi it was agreed that we should meet again to discuss various aspects of the communal problems. You told me that on your return to Bombay you would write to me suggesting some date for such a meeting. I have been looking forward to your letter since then. I hope that whenever it is convenient for you to fix a date you will kindly let me know.
Sir Stafford Cripps is coming to India soon and is likely to spend two or three weeks in this country.
... Could you kindly let me know if you are likely to be in Bombay about the third week of Bombay or a little later?
(Sd.) Jawaharlal Nehru
Letter from Mr.M.A.Jinnah to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, dated December 4, 1939, from Bombay
My Dear Jawahar,
I am in receipt of you letter of December 1 and I thank you for it. As at present advised, I hope to be in Bombay for the next two or three weeks and if it is convenient to you I shall be very glad to see you and fix up any date that may suit you. Please therefore, let me know what date and time will suit you.
As regards Sir Stafford Cripps..
Letter from Pandit Nehru to Mr. M.A.Jinnah, dated December 9, 1939:
My Dear Jinnah,
Two days ago I sent you a letter informing you that I intended going to Bombay soon and hoped to meet you there. Yesterday morning I read in the newspapers your statement fixing December 22 as a day of deliverance and thanksgiving as a mark of relief that the Congress Governments have at last ceased to function.
I have read this statement very carefully more than once and have given 24 hours' thought to the matter. It is not for me in this letter to enter into any controversy about facts or impressions or conclusions. You know my views about these, formed, I hope, in all earnestness and desire to find the truth. It may be that I am mistaken, but I have sought more light and that light has not come.
But, what has oppressed me terribly since yesterday is the realisation that our sense of values and objectives in life and politics differ so greatly. I had hoped after our conversations that this was not so great. But now the gulf appears to be wider than ever. Under these circumstances I wonder what purpose will be served by our discussing with each other the problems that confront us. There must be some common ground for discussion to yield fruit. I think I owe it to you as well as myself to put this difficulty before you.
You were good enough to show me in Delhi a letter you had received from Bijnor. I enquired into this matter..
(Sd.) Jawaharlal Nehru
Letter from Mr.M.A.Jinnah to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, dated December 13, 1939, from Bombay
Dear Jawahar Lal,
I am in receipt of your letter of December 9. I did not know where to address my reply as your movements were reported in the Press to be uncertain.
I quite agree with you that 'there must be some common ground for discussion. Some common objective aimed at for that discussion to yield fruit." That is the very reason why I made it clear in our conversation at Delhi in October last to Mr. Gandhi and yourself first that so long as the Congress is not prepared to treat the Muslim League as the authoritative and representative organisation of the Mussalmans of India, it was not possible to carry on talks regarding the Hindu-Muslim settlement as that was the basis laid down by the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League and secondly, that we cannot endorse the Congress demand for the declaration as laid down in the resolution of the Working Committee confirmed by the All-India Congress Committee on October 10, 1939 apart from the nebulous and impracticable character of it, till we reach an agreement with regard to the minority problem.
The Muslim League was also not satisfied with the declaration made by the Viceroy. If happily we could settle with Hindu-Muslim question then we would be in a position to evolve an agreed formula for the demand of a declaration by His Majesty's Government that would satisfy us; neither the first nor the second suggestion of mine was acceptable to Mr. Gandhi or to yourself at Delhi, but you were good enough to express your wish that you would like to meet me again and I said that I would always be glad to see you...
Letter from Pandit Nehru to Mr. Jinnah, dated December 14, 1939 from Bombay
My dear Jinnah:
Thank you for your letter of December 13, which was delivered to me in the forenoon to-day on my arrival here. I sent you my last letter from Allahabad after reading and giving full thought to your statement about the celebration of a day of deliverance and thanksgiving by the Muslims. This statement had distressed me greatly as it made me realise that the gulf that separated us in our approach to public problems is very great. In view of this fundamental difference, I wonder what common ground there was for discussion and I put my difficulty before you.
That difficulty remains.
In your letter you have emphasized two other preliminary conditions before any common ground for discussion can arise. The first is that the Congress must treat the Muslim League as the authoritative and representative organisation of the Mussalmans of India. The Congress has always considered the League as a very important and influential organisation of the Muslims and it is because of this that we have been eager to settle any differences that may exist between us.
But presumably what you suggest is something more and involves some kind of repudiation by us of, or dissociation from, other Muslims who are not in the League. There are as you know, a large number of Muslims in the Congress, who have been and are our closest colleagues. There are Muslim organisations like the Jamiat-ul-Ulema, the All-India Shia Conference, the Majlis-i-Ahrar, the All-India Momin Conference, etc., apart from trade unions and peasant unions, which have many Muslims as their members. As a general rule, many of these organisations and individuals have adopted the same political platform as we have done in the Congress. We cannot possibly dissociate ourselves from them or disown them in any way.
You have rightly pointed out on many occasions that the Congress does not represent everybody in India. Of course not. It does not represent those who disagree with it, whether they are Muslims or Hindus. In the ultimate analysis, it represents its members and sympathisers. So also the Muslim League. But there is this vital difference that while the Congress by its constitution has its membership open to all who subscribe to its objectives and methods, the Muslim League is only open to Muslims. Thus the Congress constitutionally has a national basis which it cannot give up without putting an end to its existence. There are many Hindus, as you know, in the Hindu Mahasabha who oppose the idea of the Congress representing the Hindus as such. Then there are the Sikhs and others who claim that they should be heard when communal matters are considered.
League and Muslims
I am afraid, therefore, that if your desire is that we should consider the League as the sole organisation representing the Muslims to the exclusion of all others, we are wholly unable to accede to it. It would be equally at variance with facts if we made a similar claim for the Congress, in spite of the vastness of the Congress organisation. But I would venture to say that such questions do not arise when two organisations deal with each other and consider the problems of mutual interest.
Your second point is that the Muslim League cannot endorse the Congress demand for a declaration from the British Government. I regret to learn this for this means that apart from communal questions, we differ entirely on purely political grounds. The Congress demand is essentially for a declaration of war aims and more especially for a declaration of Indian independence and the right of the Indian people to frame their own constitution without external interference. If the Muslim League does not agree to this this means that our political objectives are wholly dissimilar.
The Congress demand is not new. It is inherent in article one of the Congress constitution and all our policy for many years past has been based on it. It is inconceivable to me how the Congress can give it up or even vary it. Personally, I would be entirely opposed to any attempt at variation. But this is not a personal matter. There is a resolution of the All-India Congress Committee, endorsed by a thousand meetings all over India, and I am powerless to ignore it.
It thus seems that politically we have no common ground and that our objectives are different. That in itself makes discussion difficult and fruitless. What led me to write my last letter to you also remains-the prospect of a celebration of a day of deliverance by the Muslims as suggested by you. That raises very vital and far-reaching issues, in which I need not go now, but which must influence all of us. That approach to the communal problem cannot be reconciled with an attempt to solve it.
I feel therefore that it will serve little purpose for us to meet at this stage and under these conditions, with this background. I should like to assure you, however, that we are always prepared to have free and frank discussions of the communal and other problems as between the Congress and the League...
(Sd.) Jawahar Lal Nehru
Declaration of War Aims
Letter from Mr. M.A.Jinnah to Pandit Nehru, dated December 15, 1939, from Bombay
Dear Jawahar Lal,
I am in receipt of your letter of December 14, 1939, and I am sorry to say that you have not appreciated my position with regard to the second point. I did not say that the Muslim League cannot endorse the Congress demand for a declaration from the British Government. What I have said was that we cannot endorse the Congress demand for the declaration as laid down in the resolution of October 10, 1939, of the Working Committee and confirmed by the All-India Congress Committee for the reasons I have already specified in my letter.
If this resolution of the Congress cannot be modified in any way and as you say that personally you would be entirely opposed to any attempt at variation of it and as you make it clear that you are wholly unable to treat the Muslim League as the authoritative and representative organisation of the Mussalmans of India, may I know in these circumstances what you expect or wish me to do.
Letter from Pandit Nehru to Mr. Jinnah, dated December 16, 1939
My dear Jinnah,
Thank you for your letter of December 15. I realise the difference you have pointed out. Of course the Muslim League cannot oppose the idea of any declaration. What the Congress had asked for was an enunciation of war aims and a recognition of India's independence and the right of her people to frame their constitution, a right that must necessarily be inherent in independence. All these are being principles which flow from our objective of independence, and as the Muslim League has the same declared objective, there should be no difference of opinion about them.
In the application of these principles many important matters will no doubt have to be considered. But so far as basic demands are concerned, they are of the very essence of Indian nationalism. To give them up or to vary them materially is to knock down our case for independence.
In regard to the war also the Congress has repeatedly declared its policy during the last 11 years, the present declaration is a logical outcome of that policy. I have personally had some share in shaping this policy and I have attached importance to it...
May I say again that no one on our behalf so far as I know, challenges or minimises the authority, influence and importance of the Muslim League. It is for this reason that we have been eager to discuss matters with it and to arrive at a satisfactory solution of the problems that confront us. Unfortunately we never see to reach even the proper discussion of these problems as various hurdles and obstructions, in the shape of conditions precedent, come in our way. These conditions precedent, as I have ventured to point out to you have far-reaching significance. I do not know why they should be allowed to obstruct all progress or prevent us from considering these problems. It should not be difficult to remove these hurdles and come to grips with the subject itself.
But as these hurdles continue and others are added to them I am compelled to think that the real difficulty is the difference in political outlook and objectives. At the present moment the decision to have an India demonstration on December 22 has added psychological barrier which effectively prevents mutual approach and discussion. I regret this exceedingly and have earnestly wished that you would see your way to remove this barrier which is leading and can only lead to ill-will. I still hope that you may be able to do so.
I do wish to assure you that for my part I do not want to leave any stone unturned which can lead to mutual understanding and settlement. But you will not have me, as I do not want to have you, leave integrity of mind and purpose in the pursuits of anything. Nothing worthwhile can be gained that way. I have deep political convictions and I have laboured in accordance with them these many years. I cannot leave them at any time, much less now when the world is in the throes of a terrific crisis.
(Sd.) Jawahar Lal Nehru
Statement clarifying League attitude towards the constitutional problem of India, New Delhi, February 2, 1940 (excerpts)
With reference to the frequently asked question of the definite constitutional demands of the Muslim League, Mr. M.A.Jinnah, in an interview stated that the answer to that question had been indicated before, particularly in the resolution passed by the Muslim League Working Committee immediately after the outbreak of the war.
Certain fundamental principles on which, in the opinion of Muslims, the future Indian constitution should be based have been defined by a joint meeting held here of the members of the Foreign Committee of the All-India Muslim League and of the authors of the alternative constitutional schemes submitted to the League. Sir Abdulla Haroon presided.
All the nine schemes so far prepared were discussed and analysed in the light of the Indian conditions and in relation to the international situation and the latest position in the country following the frequent expression of different opinions.
"At this junction," says a resolution adopted by the meeting, "the meeting feels it desirable and necessary on its part to make a respectful recommendation to the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League to state its mind in unequivocal language with regard to the future of the Indian Muslim nation and prepare the latter also for launching a struggle to achieve the following fundamental rights about which the Muslim nation of India is absolutely definite and clear in its mind:
"1. The Muslims of India who constitute 90 millions of people, are a separate nation entitled to the same right of self-determination which has been conceded in respect of other nations.
"2. The Muslims of India shall in no case agree to be reduced to the position of a minority on the basis of extraneous and foreign considerations or for the sake of any political convenience or expediency.
"3. That in order to make the Muslim right of self-determination really effective, the Muslims shall have a separate national home in the shape of an autonomous state.
"4. That the Muslims living in the rest of India shall be treated as the nationals of the aforesaid Muslim state and their rights and privileges shall be fully safeguarded.
"5. That any scheme of Indian reforms interfering with these basic principles shall be stoutly resisted by the Indian Muslim nation till it has achieved the aforesaid objective.
The resolution will be placed before the meeting of the All-India Muslim League Working Committee which begins its session tomorrow.
Speech delivered at the Muslim University Union, Aligarh, March 6, 1940 (excerpts)
That ever since the Minto-Morley reforms most people have assumed that Muslims were a minority and as such needed safeguards for the protection of their rights: but when we used this term we meant it in an entirely different sense. What we meant was that Muslims were a political entity and that must be preserved at all costs. The separate electorates was only an indication of this inner feeling of the Mussalmans. It was in this spirit that the Lucknow Pact was signed, the basic principle of which was that two separate distinct entities were entering into a mutual settlement. But unfortunately the Hindus understood one thing from this pact and we understood another. They thought that the Muslims were a mere minority who should be governed and ruled by the Hindu majority. The Muslims were constantly bamboozled into a false sense of security; and the term minority came to be regarded as historical, constitutional and legal.
The Muslims were by no means like the minorities in European countries. When the present Constitution was being framed the Muslims insisted upon the separation of Sind and the introduction of reforms on an equal footing in the N.W.F.Province; but the Hindus including the Congress opposed it tooth and nail. We were of the view that we must have real power at least in certain areas where we were in majority. On one occasion when this question was being discussed, the late Maulana Mohammad Ali, disgusted with the unreasonable opposition of the Congress, got excited and said, "I insist upon it as it is my corridor from Karachi to Calcutta." One thing is now obvious that we are by no means a minority but a solid and distinct Nation by ourselves with a destiny of our own.
I have declared on numerous occasions that we Mussalmans are a Nation but when in my letter to Mr. Gandhi recently I made this statement, he said that all his hopes of Hindu-Muslim unity had been dashed. The question is, what are the hopes of Mr. Gandhi and what does he mean by Hindu-Muslim unity? Mr. Gandhi's hope is to subjugate and vassalise the Muslims under a Hindu raj. I have resisted it will all the power at my command, and therefore, I am condemned as the worst Mussalman in this country! If this had not been done and Mr. Gandhi had been allowed to have his own way, there would have been greater disaster that there is today when we are frankly fighting for some clear and definite issues.
Many people ask me why Hindu-Muslim settlement had not been reached. I would say upon Mr. Gandhi's conditions no settlement is possible. There can be no settlement except on equal terms and on a footing of complete equality. I have got as much right to share in the governance of this country as any Hindu. We have never shown any attitude which may be regarded as inimical to Hindu-Muslim settlement. The Congress on coming to power in several provinces got intoxicated and began to dream of establishing absolute Hindu supremacy over the country. It is this attitude of the Congress caucus which is preventing the Hindu-Muslim settlement, and holding up the progress of the country. The Congress High Command by their attitude are doing the greatest disservice to the Hindus themselves.
Two years ago at Simla I said that the democratic parliamentary system of government was unsuited to India. I was condemned everywhere in the Congress press. I was told that I was guilty of disservice to Islam because Islam believes in democracy. So far as I have understood Islam, it does not advocate a democracy which would allow the majority of non-Muslims to decide the fate of the Muslims. We cannot accept a system of government in which the non-Muslims merely by numerical majority would rule and dominate us.
The question was put to me, if I did not want democracy what then did I want - Fascism, Nazism or totalitarianism. I say, what have these votaries, these champions of democracy done? They have kept sixty millions of people as untouchables; they have set up a system which is nothing but a 'Grand Fascist Council.' Their dictator is not even a four-anna member of the Congress. They set up dummy ministries which were not even responsible to the legislatures or the electorate but to a caucus of Mr. Gandhi's choosing. Then, generally speaking, democracy has different patterns even in different countries of the West. Therefore, naturally I have reached the conclusion that in India where conditions are entirely different from those of the Western countries, the British party system of government and the so-called democracy are absolutely unsuitable.
Are these gentlemen serious about anything? So far as I have been able to understand, they only want to be a nuisance to the British Government and to blackmail it. It is not that they want the British Government to go but only to cajole and coerce it to give them something which would enable them to dominate the Muslims under British protections.
So far as we are concerned, we are quite ready to make a realistic approach to the problem. But we have real apprehensions. What we fear is that the British Government may again open the door to Mr. Gandhi to pursue his plan subjugating and annihilating the Muslims and other minorities. I say with all the emphasis at my command that if the British Government attempts or might attempt to have a settlement with the Congress which is detrimental to the Mussalmans, we will not allow it to stand. We are demanding of the British Government that no constitution and no interim settlement be made without the consent and approval of the Mussalmans. But if our fears materialise, all concerned should know that the Mussalmans will resist with every means in their power and reduce the settlement to nullity.
Presidential Address at the 27th Session of the All-India Muslim League, Lahore, March 22, 1940 (excerpts)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are meeting today in our session after fifteen months. The last session of the All-India Muslim League took place at Patna in December 1938. Since then many developments have taken place. I shall first shortly tell you what the All India Muslim League had to face after the Patna session of 1938.
Assessment of Developments since 1938:
You remember that one of the tasks, which was imposed on us and which is far from completed yet, was to organise Muslim Leagues all over India. We have made enormous progress during the last fifteen months in this direction. I am glad to inform you that we have established Provincial Leagues in every province. The next point is that in every by-election to the Legislative Assemblies we had to fight with powerful opponents. I congratulate the Mussalmans for having shown enormous grit and spirit throughout our trials. There was a single by-election in which our opponents won against Muslim League candidate. In the last election to the U.P. Council, that is the Upper Chamber, the Muslim League's success was cent per cent. I do not want to weary you with details of what we have been able to do in the way of forging in the direction of organising the Muslim Leagues. But I may tell you that it is going up by leaps and bounds.
Next, you may remember that we appointed a committee of ladies..
We had many difficulties to face from January 1939 right up to the declaration of war. We had to face the Vidya Mandir in Nagpur. We had to face the Wardha Scheme all over India. We had to face ill-treatment and oppression to Muslims in the Congress-governed provinces. We had to face the treatment meted out to Muslims in some of the Indian States such as Jaipur and Bhavnagar. We had to face a vital issue that arose in the small state of Rajkot. Rajkot was the acid test made by the Congress which would have affected one-third of India.
Thus the Muslim League had all along to face various issues from January 1939 up to the time of the declaration of war. Before the war was declared the greatest danger to the Muslims of India was the possible inauguration of the federal scheme in the Central Government. We know what machinations were going on. But the Muslim League was stoutly resisting them in every direction. We felt that we could never accept the dangerous scheme of the Central Federal Government embodied in the Government of India Act 1935. I am sure that we have made no small contribution towards persuading the British Government to abandon the scheme of Central Federal Government. In creating that mind in the British Government the Muslim League, I have no doubt, played no small part. You know that the British people are very obdurate people. They are also very conservative; and although they are very clever, they are slow in understanding.
After the war was declared, the Viceroy naturally wanted help from the Muslim League. It was only there that he realised that the Muslim League was a power. For it will be remembered that up to the time of the declaration of war, the Viceroy never thought of me but of Gandhi and Gandhi alone. I have been the leader of an important Party in the Legislature for a considerable time, larger than the one I have the honour to lead at present, the Muslim League Party in the Central Legislature. Yet the Viceroy never thought of me before. Therefore, when I got this invitation from the Viceroy along with Mr. Gandhi, I wondered within myself why I was so suddenly promoted and then I concluded that the answer was the 'All India Muslim League' whose President I happen to be. I believe that that was the worst shock that the Congress High Command received, because it challenged their sole authority to speak on behalf of India. And it is quite clear from the attitude of Mr. Gandhi and the High Command that they have not yet recovered from that shock. My point is that I want you to realise the value, the importance, the significance of organising yourselves. I will not say anything more on the subject.
But a great deal yet remains to be done. I am sure from what I can see and hear that Muslim India is now conscious, is now awake and the Muslim League has by now grown into such a strong institution that it cannot be destroyed by anybody whoever he may happen to be. Men may come and men may go, but the League will live for ever.
Now, coming to the period after the declaration of war our position was that we were between the devil and the deep sea. But I do not think that the devil or the deep sea is going to get away with it. Anyhow our position is this. We stand unequivocally for the freedom of India. But it must be freedom for all India and not freedom for one section or, worse still, of the Congress caucus and slavery of Mussalmans and other minorities.
Ladies and gentlemen, we never thought that the Congress High Command would have acted in the manner in which they actually did in the Congress-governed provinces. I never dreamt that they would ever come down so low as that. I never could believe that there would be a gentlemen's agreement between the Congress and the Britishers to such an extent that although we cried hoarse, week in and out, the Governors were supine and the Governor-General was helpless. We reminded them of their special responsibilities to us and to other minorities and the solemn pledge they have given to us. But all that had become a dead letter. Fortunately, Providence came to our help and that gentlemen's agreement was broken to pieces and the Congress, thanks Heaven, went out of office. I think they are regretting their resignations very much. The bluff was called off. So far so good.
Issue for the Future Constitution
Now, what is our position with regard to the future constitution? It is that, as soon as circumstances permit or immediately after the war at the latest, the whole problem of India's future constitution must be examined de novo and the Act of 1935 must go once and for all. We do not believe in asking the British Government to make declaration.
These declarations are really of no use. You cannot possibly succeed in getting the British Government out of this land by asking them to make declarations. However, the Congress asked the Viceroy to make a declaration. The Viceroy said, "I have made the declarations." The Congress said, "No, no, we want another kind of declaration. You must declare at once the India is free and independent with the right to frame its own constitution by a Constituent Assembly to be elected on the basis of adult franchise or as low a franchise as possible. This assembly will of course satisfy the minorities' legitimate interests." Mr. Gandhi says that if the minorities are not satisfied then he is willing that some tribunal of the highest character and most impartial should decide the dispute. Now, apart from the impracticable character of this proposal and quite apart from the fact that it is historically and constitutionally absurd to ask the ruling power to abdicate in favour of a Constituent Assembly - apart from all that, suppose we do not agree as to the franchise according to which the Central Assembly is to be elected, or suppose we the solid body of Muslim representatives do not agree with the non-Muslim majority in the Constituent Assembly, what will happen? It is said that we have no right to disagree with regard to anything that this assembly may do in framing a national constitution of this huge subcontinent except those matters which may be germane to the safeguards for the minorities. So we are given the privilege to disagree only with regard to what may be called strictly safeguards of the rights and interests of minorities. We are also given the privilege to send our own representatives by separate electorates. Now, this proposal is based on the assumption that as soon as this constitution comes into operation the British hand will disappear. Otherwise there will be no meaning in it. Of course, Mr. Gandhi says that the constitution will decide whether the British will disappear and, if so, to what extent. In other words, his proposal comes to this: First give me the declaration that we are a free and independent nation, then I will decide what I should give you back.
Does Mr. Gandhi really want the complete independence of India when he talks like this? But whether the British disappear or not, it follows that extensive powers must be transferred to the people. In the event of there being a disagreement between the majority of the Constituent Assembly and the Mussalmans, in the first instance, who will appoint the tribunal? And suppose an agreed tribunal is possible and the award is made and the decision given, who will, may I know, be there to see that this award? And who will see that it is honoured in practice, because, we are told, the British will have parted with their power mainly or completely? Then what will be the sanction behind the award which will enforce it? We come back to the same answer: the Hindu majority would do it - and will it be with the help of the British bayonet or Mr. Gandhi's "ahimsa"? Can we trust them any more? Besides, ladies and gentlemen, can you imagine that a question of this character, of social contract upon which the future constitution of India would be based affecting 90 millions of Mussalmans, can be decided by means of a judicial tribunal? Still that is the proposal of the Congress.
Before I deal with what Mr. Gandhi said a few days ago I shall deal with the pronouncements of some of the other Congress leaders- each one speaking with a different voice. Mr. Rajagopalacharya, the ex-Prime Minister of Madras, says that the only panacea for Hindu-Muslim unity is the joint electorates. This is his prescription as one of the great doctors of the Congress organisation! (Laughter) Babu Rajendra Prasad on the other hand only a few days ago said "Oh, what more do the Mussalmans want?" I will read to you his words. He says, referring to the minority question he says : "If Britain would concede our right of self-determination surely all these differences would disappear." How will our differences disappear? He does not explain or enlighten us about it.
"But so long as Britain remained and held power, the differences would continue to exist. The Congress had made it clear that the future constitution will be framed not by the Congress alone but by the representatives of all political parties and religious groups. The Congress has gone further and declared that the minorities can have their representatives elected for this purpose by separate electorates though the Congress regards separate electorates as an evil. It will be representative of all the peoples of this country, irrespective of their religious and political affiliation, who will be deciding the future constitution of India and not this or that party. So, according to Babu Rajendra Prasad, the moment we enter the Assembly we shall shed all our political affiliations, and religions and everything else. This is what Babu Rajendra Prasad said as late as 18th March 1940.
And this is now what Mr. Gandhi said on the 20th of March, 1940. He says: "To me Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Harijans, are all alike. I cannot be frivolous" - "but I think he is frivolous - I cannot be frivolous while I talk of Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah. He is my brother."
The only difference is this, that brother Gandhi has three votes and I have only one vote! (Laughter.)
"I would be happy indeed if he could keep me in his pocket." I do not know really what to say to this latest offer of his.
"There was a time when I could say that there was no Muslim whose confidence I did not enjoy. It is my misfortune that it is not so today."
Why has he lost the confidence of Muslims today? May I ask, ladies and gentlemen?
"I do not read all that appears in the Urdu press, but perhaps I get a lot of abuse there. I am not sorry for it. I still believe that without Hindu-Muslim settlement there can be no Swaraj."
Mr. Gandhi has been saying this now for the last 20 years.
"You will perhaps ask in that case why do I talk of a fight? I do so because it is to be a fight for a Constituent Assembly."
He is fighting the British. But may I point out to Mr. Gandhi and the Congress that you are fighting for a Constituent Assembly which, the Muslims say, we cannot accept - which, the Muslims say, means three to one, about which the Mussalmans say, that they will never be able, in that way by the counting of heads, to come to any agreement which will be real agreement from the hearts, which will enable us to works as friends and, therefore, this idea of a Constituent Assembly is objectionable, apart from other objections. But he is fighting for the Constituent Assembly, not fighting the Mussalmans at all.
He says, "I do so because it is to be a fight for a Constituent Assembly. If Muslims who come to the Constituent assembly" - mark the words, "who come to the Constituent Assembly through Muslim votes" - he is first facing Assembly through Muslim votes - he is first facing us to come to that Assembly - and then says "declare that there is nothing common between Hindus and Muslims and then alone I would give up all hope, but even then I would agree with them because they read the Koran and I have also studied something of that holy Book."
So he wants the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of ascertaining the views of the Mussalmans and if they do not agree then he will give up all hope, but even then he will agree with us! Well, I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, is this the way to show any real, genuine desire, if there existed any, to come to settlement with the Mussalmans?
(Voices of no, no). Why does not Mr. Gandhi agree and I have suggested to him more than once and I repeat it again from this platform, why does not Mr. Gandhi honestly now acknowledge that the Congress is a Hindu Congress that he does not represent anybody except the solid body of Hindu people? Why should not Mr. Gandhi be proud to say, "I am a Hindu, Congress has a solid Hindu backing?" I am not ashamed of saying that I am a Mussalman, I am right and I hope and believe even a blind man must have been convinced by now that the Muslim League has solid backing of the Mussalmans of India. Why all these methods to coerce the British to overthrow the Mussalmans? Why this declaration of non-cooperation? Why this threat of civil disobedience? And why fight for a Constituent Assembly for the sake of ascertaining whether the Mussalmans agree or they do not agree? Why not come as a Hindu leader proudly representing your people and let me meet you proudly representing the Mussalmans? This is all that I have to say so far as the Congress is concerned.
The Hindu-Muslim Situation
As far as our internal position is concerned, we have also been examining it and, you know, there are several schemes which have been sent by various well-informed constitutionalists and others who take interest in the problem of India's future constitution, and we have also appointed a sub-committee to examine the details of the schemes that have come in so far. But one thing is quite clear. It has always been taken for granted mistakenly that the Mussalmans are a minority and of course we have got used to it for such a long time that these settled notions sometimes are very difficult to remove. The Mussalmans are not a minority. The Mussalmans are a nation by any definition.
The British and particularly the Congress proceed on the basis. "Well, you are a minority after all, what do you want?" "What else do the minorities want?" Just as Babu Rajendra Prasad said. But surely the Mussalmans are not a minority. We find that even according to the British map of India, we occupy large parts of this country, where the Mussalmans are in a majority - such as Bengal, Punjab, N.W.F.P., Sind and Baluchistan.
Now the question is, what is the best solution of this problem between the Hindus and the Mussalmans? We have been considering and as I have already said, a committee has been appointed to consider the various proposals. But whatever the final scheme of constitution, I will present to you my views and I will just read to you in confirmation of what I am going to put before you, a letter from Lala Lajpat Rai to Mr. C.R.Das. It was written, I believe, about 14 or 15 years ago and that letter has been produced in a book by one Indra Prakash recently published and that is how this letter has come to light. This is what Lala Lajpat Rai, a very astute politician and a staunch Hindu Mahasabhite said. But before I read this letter it is plain from that that you cannot get away from being a Hindu if you are Hindu! (Laughter). The word 'nationalist' has now become the play of conjurers in politics.
This is what he says:
"There is one point more which has been troubling me very much and one which I want you to think carefully and that is the question of Hindu-Mohammedan unity. I have devoted most of my time during the last six months to the study of Muslim history and Muslim law and I am inclined to think it neither possible nor practicable. Assuming and admitting the sincerity of Mohammedan leaders in the non-co-operation movement, I think their religion provides an effective bar to anything of the kind.
"You remember, the conversation I reported to you in Calcutta which I had with Hakim Ajmal Khan and Dr. Kitchlu. There is no finer Mohammedan in Hindustan that Hakim Ajmal Khan, but can any Muslim leader override the Koran? I can only hope that my reading of the Islamic law is incorrect.
I think his reading is quite correct. (Laughter)
And nothing would relieve me more that to be convinced that it is so. But if it is right then it comes to this, that although we can unite against British we cannot do so to rule Hindustan on British lines. We cannot do so to rule Hindustan on democratic lines."
Ladies and gentlemen, when Lala Lajpat Rai said that we cannot rule this country on democratic lines it was all right but when I had the temerity to speak the same truth about 19 months ago there was a shower of attacks and criticisms. But Lala Lajpat Rai said 15 years ago that we cannot do so, viz., to rule Hindustan on democratic lines.
What is the remedy? The remedy according to Congress is to keep us in the minority and under the majority rule. Lala Lajpat Rai proceeds further:
"What then is the remedy? I am not afraid of the seven crores of Mussalmans. But I think the seven crores in Hindustan plus the armed hosts of Afghanistan, Central Asia, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Turkey, will be irresistible."
I do honestly and sincerely believe in the necessity or desirability of Hindu-Muslim unity. I am also fully prepared to trust the Muslim leaders. But what about the injunctions of the Koran and Hadis? The leaders cannot override them. Are we then doomed? I hope your learned mind and wise head will find some way out of this difficulty."
Now, ladies and gentlemen, that is merely a letter written by one great Hindu leader to another great Hindu leader fifteen years ago. Now, I should like to put before you my views on the subject as it strikes me taking everything into consideration at the present moment. The British Government and Parliament, and more so the British nation, have been for many decades past brought up and nurtured with settled notions about India's future, based on developments in their own country which has built up the British constitution, functioning now through the Houses of Parliament and the system of cabinet. Their concept of party government functioning on political plans has become the ideal with them as the best form of government for every country, and the one-sided and powerful propaganda, which naturally appeals to the British, has led them into a serious blunder, in producing the constitution envisaged in the Government of India Act of 1935. We find that the most leading statesmen of Great Britain, saturated with these notions, have in their pronouncements seriously asserted and expressed a hope that the passage of time will harmonise the inconsistent elements in India.
A leading journal like the London Times commenting on the Government of India Act of 1935, wrote 'Undoubtedly the difference between the Hindus and Muslims is not of religion in the strict sense of the word but also of law and culture, that they may be said, indeed, to represent two entirely distinct and separate civilisations. However, in the course of time, the superstitions will die out and India will be moulded into a single nation.' So, according to the London Times, the only difficulties are superstitions. These fundamental and deep-rooted differences, spiritual, economic, cultural, social and political, have been euphemised as mere 'superstitions'. But surely it is a flagrant disregard of the past history of the subcontinent of India as well as the fundamental Islamic conception of society vis-a-vis that of Hinduism to characterise them as mere 'superstitions'. Notwithstanding a thousand years of close contact, nationalities which are as divergent today as ever, cannot at any time be expected to transform themselves into one nation merely by means of subjecting them to a democratic constitution and holding them forcibly together by unnatural and artificial methods of British Parliamentary Statute. What the unitary government of India for 150 years had failed to achieve cannot be realised by the imposition of a central federal government. It is inconceivable that the fiat or the writ of a government so constituted can ever command a willing and loyal obedience throughout the subcontinent from various nationalities except by means of armed forces behind it.
Autonomous National States
The problem in India is not of an inter-communal character but manifestly of an international one, and it must be treated as such. So long as this basic and fundamental truth is not realised, any constitution that may be built, will result in disaster and will prove destructive and harmful not only to Mussalmans but to the British and Hindus also. If the British Government are really in earnest and sincere to secure peace and happiness of the people of this sub-continent, the only course open to us all is to allow the major nations separate homelands by dividing India into 'autonomous national states'. There is no reason why these states should not be antagonistic to each other. On the other hand, the rivalry and the natural desire and efforts on the part of one to dominate the social order and establish political supremacy over the other in the government of the country will disappear. It will lead towards natural goodwill by international pacts between them, and they can live in complete harmony with their neighbours. This will lead further to a friendly settlement all the more easily with regard to minorities by reciprocal arrangements and adjustments between Muslim India and Hindu India, which will far more adequately and effectively safeguard the rights and interest of Muslims and various other minorities.
It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits and is the cause of most of your troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literatures. They neither intermarry nor interdine together and, indeed they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from difference sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state.
History has presented to us many examples, such as the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, Czechoslovakia and Poland. History has also shown to us many geographical tracts, much smaller than the sub-continent of India, which otherwise might have been called one country, but which have been divided into as many states as there are nations inhabiting them. Balkan Peninsula comprises as many as 7 or 8 sovereign states. Likewise, the Portuguese and the Spanish stand divided in the Iberian Peninsula. Whereas under the plea of unity of India and one nation, which does not exist, it is sought to pursue here the line of one central government when we know that the history of the last 12 hundred years has failed to achieve unity and has witnessed, during the ages, India always divided into Hindu India and Muslim India. The present artificial unity of India dates back only to the British conquest and is maintained by the British bayonet, but termination of the British regime, which is implicit in the recent declaration of His Majesty's Government, will be the herald of the entire break-up with worse disaster than has ever taken place during the last one thousand years under Muslims. Surely that is not the legacy which Britain would bequeath to India after 150 years of her rule, nor would Hindu and Muslim India risk such a sure catastrophe.
Muslim India cannot accept any constitution which must necessarily result in a Hindu majority government. Hindus and Muslims brought together under a democratic system forced upon the minorities can only mean Hindu raj. Democracy of the kind with which the Congress High Command is enamoured would mean the complete destruction of what is most precious in Islam. We have had ample experience of the working of the provincial constitutions during the last two and a half years and any repetition of such a government must lead to civil war and raising of private armies as recommended by Mr. Gandhi to Hindus in Sukkur when he said they must defend themselves violently or nonviolently, blow for blow and if they could not, they must emigrate.
Mussalmans are not a minority as it is commonly known and understood. One has only got to look around. Even to-day, according to the British map of India, 4 out of 11 provinces, where the Muslims dominate more or less, are functioning notwithstanding the decision of the Hindu Congress High Command to non-co-operate and prepare for civil disobedience. Mussalmans are a nation according to any definition of a nation and they must have their homelands, their territory and their state. We wish to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours as a free and independent people. We wish our people to develop to the fullest our spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life in a way that we think best and in consonance with our own ideal and according to the genius of our people. Honesty demands and the vital interest of millions of our people impose a sacred duty upon us to find an honourable and peaceful solution, which would be just and fair to all. But at the same time we cannot be moved or diverted from our purpose and objective by threats or intimidations. We must be prepared to face all difficulties and consequences, make all the sacrifices that may be required of us to achieve the goal we have set in front of us.
Anyhow, I have placed before you the task that lies ahead of us. Do you realise how big and stupendous it is? Do you realise that you cannot get freedom or independence by mere arguments? I should appeal to the intelligentsia. The intelligentsia in all countries in the world have been the pioneers of any movements for freedom. What does the Muslim intelligentsia propose to do? I may tell you that unless you get this into your blood, unless you are prepared to take off your coats and are willing to sacrifice all that you can and work selflessly, earnestly and sincerely for your people, you will never realise your aim. Friends, I therefore want to you make up your mind definitely and then think of devices and organise your people, strengthen your organisations and consolidate the Mussalmans all over India. I think that the masses are wide-awake. They only want your guidance and your lead. Come forward as servants of Islam, organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by every body.
Interview to the Press explaining the significance of the League's decision at the Lahore Session, Lahore, March 25, 1940 (excerpts)
I am for a compromise and an honourable settlement between the Hindus and Muslims and the minorities, but the sooner the ideas of any organisation, however great, representing all India is given up the better," said Mr. M.A.Jinnah in an interview after explaining the significance of the All-India Muslim League's decisions at the Lahore session.
Referring to the main resolution passed by the League, Mr. Jinnah said that, though no man could lay down a scheduled programme, "but I know that Muslim India will not shirk any sacrifice as we have definitely made up our minds for the realisation of the goal that we have set in front of us."
"The declaration of our goal which we have definitely laid down, of the division of India," he said "is in my opinion undoubtedly a landmark in the future history of the Mussalmans of India.
I am asked what are the means by which we will realise this goal. Firstly, by reasoning with and persuading our Hindu friends and the British Government. We believe that our cause is right and we do not despair of convincing them.
I really do not see why our Hindu friends or the British Government should put difficulties in the way of our proposal. I thoroughly believe that the idea of one united India is a dream. Given goodwill and a friendly understanding, Muslim India and Hindu India can live as most friendly neighbours free from clashes and friction to their respective spheres and peacefully develop the government of their States to their own satisfaction respectively.
... This is not a passing phase and it is a mistake to think that the methods of a constituent assembly will make any change in the solid opinion of the Mussalmans..
Statement on the Lahore Resolution, New Delhi, April 1, 1940 (excerpts)
Mr. Jinnah said : I still hope that at any rate the better mind of the Hindus will give earnest and serious consideration to our proposals as there lies the achievement of India's freedom at the earlier possible period. This freedom we shall be able to retain peacefully both internally and externally.
Replying to the critics of the League's resolution, Mr. Jinnah said : In the first place a wrong idea and false propaganda appear to be set in motion in order to frighten the Muslim minorities that they would have to migrate en bloc and wholesale. I wish to assure my Muslim brethren that there is no justification for this insidious misrepresentation. Exchange of population, however, on the physical division of India as far as practicable will have to be considered. Secondly, the Muslim minorities are wrongly made to believe that they would be worse off and be left in the lurch in any scheme of partition or division of India. I may explain that the Mussalmans, wherever they are in a minority, cannot improve their position under a united India or under one central government. Whatever happens, they would remain a minority. They can rightly demand all the safeguards that are known to any civilised government to the utmost extent. But by coming in the way of the division of India they do not and cannot improve their own position. On the other hand, they can, by their attitude of obstruction, bring the Muslim homeland and 60,000,000 of the Mussalmans under one government, where they would remain no more than a minority in perpetuity.
It was because of the realisation of this fact that the Mussalman minorities in Hindu India readily supported the Lahore resolution. The question for the Muslim minorities in Hindu India is whether the entire Muslim India of 90,000,000 should be subjected to a Hindu majority raj or whether at least 60,000,000 of Mussalmans residing in the areas where they form a majority should have their own homeland and thereby have an opportunity to develop their spiritual, cultural, economic and political life in accordance with their own genius and shape their own future destiny, at the same time allowing Hindus and others to do likewise. Similar will be the position of the Hindus and other minorities in the Muslim homelands.
Position of Sikhs
Mr. Jinnah next dealt with the apprehensions created amongst the Sikhs by the Lahore resolution and said: I always have had an admiration and respect for the Sikh community and I want my Sikh friends to thoroughly study the constitutional problem of India as it stands to-day. I am sure that they would be much better off in the North-West Muslim zone than they can ever possibly be in a united India or under one central government. For under one central government their voice would be negligible. The Punjab in any case would be autonomous sovereign unit. And, after all, they have to live in the Punjab. It is obvious that whereas in a united India they would be mere nobodies, in the Muslim homelands constituted of the western zone of the federated autonomous states, including the autonomous sovereign states of Punjab, the Sikhs would always occupy an honoured place and would play an effective and influential role.
Relations with Britain
In regard to the relationship of the Muslim homelands with Great Britain, Mr. Jinnah referred to the Lahore resolution which said: "This session authorises the Working Committee to frame a scheme of constitution in accordance with these basic principles providing for the assumption finally by the respective regions of all power such as defence, external affairs, communications, customs and such other matters as may be necessary."
Continuing, Mr. Jinnah said : As regards other zone or zones that may be constituted in the rest of India our relationship will be of an international character. An example already exists in the relationship of India with Burma and Ceylon..."
Statement releasing telegrams exchanged between him and the Congress President, Bombay, July 12, 1940 (full text)
Mr. M.A. Jinnah, President of the All-India Muslim League, has released to the Press the following telegrams exchanged between him and the Congress President, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad:-
From Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to Mr. Jinnah - "Confidential. Your July 9 statement, Congress Delhi resolution definitely means by National Government a composite Cabinet not limited to any single party. But is it position of League that she cannot agree to any provisional arrangement not based on two-nations scheme? If so please clarify by wire."
Mr. Jinnah's Reply
Mr. Jinnah's reply - "Your telegram. Cannot reciprocate confidence. I refuse to discuss with you by correspondence or otherwise as you have completely forfeited the confidence of Muslim India... Cannot you realize you are made a Muslim show-boy Congress President to give it colour that it is national and to deceive foreign countries? You represent neither Muslims nor Hindus. The Congress is a Hindu body. If you have self-respect resign at once. You have done your worst you have hopelessly failed. Give it up."
Statement to the Press regarding League deputation, September 6, 1940 (excerpts)
It has been decided that a deputation consisting of the Raja of Mahmudabad, Mr. Hasan Ispahani, M.L.A. of Calcutta, Maulana Jamal Mian Firangimahali, of Lucknow, Raja of Pirpur, M.L.A., U.P. Sir Currimbhoy Ebrahim, M.L.C. of Bombay, Nawab Siddique Ali Khan, M.L.A Central (C.P.) should tour, to begin with, in the two provinces, Bihar and U.P., in order to explain to the public particularly the Mussalmans that the only solution of the problem of India's future constitution lies in the division of India, popularly known as "Pakistan", as laid down in the Resolution of the All-India Muslim League passed at Lahore, last March; and further to explain the resolution passed by the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League at Bombay on the 2nd September 1940, particularly with regarding to the strengthening and organising the Muslim National Guards....
Speech at a public meeting, Ahmedabad, December 27, 1940 (full text)
"Pakistan is not far off. Every Mussalman in every town and village is ready to sacrifice for Pakistan" declared Mr.M.A.Jinnah, President of the All-India Muslim League, addressing a public meeting of over 50,000 Mussalmans.
He said that Dr. Moonje talked of Hindu nation, Hindu rule and Hindu kingdom. While the Hindu Mahasabha spoke mainly, the Congress spoke subtly but they both spoke the same thing in substance and letter. The Congress spoke of democracy, joint electorates and national government responsible to the elected members of the Legislature. If that was accepted, it meant Hindu Kingdom and Hindu Raj. The Congress was ready to give separate electorates to the Mussalmans as a favour, but in the end it meant three Hindus and one Mussalman in the Central Government. The Mussalmans had enough foretaste of the Congress Raj in seven provinces.
Continuing Mr. Jinnah said that democracy was entirely alien to Hindu life and society. They talked of democracy merely for the purpose of votes. He quoted the instance of six crores of untouchables to say nothing about Mussalmans from whose hands they would not take water or food. Every ingredient of democracy was lacking in Hindu society.
Pakistan, went on Mr. Jinnah, had existed for ages. Their homelands were in the north-west and the east where Mussalmans were even to-day in a majority of 70 per cent. In these regions there should be independent Muslim states so that they could lead their own life in consonance with their religion, culture and laws. Six and a half crores of Mussalmans of the nine crores of Mussalmans in India inhabited these parts, whereas the Hindu Mahasabha and the Congress wanted the whole of India to dominate over the Mussalmans by establishing a unitary Central Government with the result that in seven Hindu provinces the Mussalmans would remain in a minority from seven to 14 percent at the most, entirely under domination of Hindu rule. Any appeal against injustice to the Central Government would be like falling from the frying pan into the fire, as in the Central Government there would be a Hindu majority under the mathematical calculation of democracy.
Proceeding Mr. Jinnah said that this was a position which could never be accepted by them, and if it was forced upon them, it would never work and lead to a greater disaster than ever before in India. Pakistan was the quickest way of achieving freedom for both the majority nations. The Mussalmans should not be afraid of being crushed by the Hindu majority provinces. Let us in the minority provinces, Mr. Jinnah said "face our fate, but free the Muslim Majority provinces to live and form their own government in independent states in accordance with Islamic laws."
Speech at public meeting, Ahmedabad, December 28, 1940 (excerpts)
.. Muslim minorities in the Hindu provinces would put up with their fate, but they would not stand in the way of Muslim majority provinces becoming free. Mr. Jinnah did not ask the Muslims in the Hindu majority provinces to migrate en masse to Pakistan when it was established. What he wanted was that over the Muslim majority provinces where there was already in existence Pakistan, there should be no control of a central government with a Hindu majority. The idea of a unitary central government was dead, but if it was revived the Muslims would resist it, as the Hindu minorities in the Muslim provinces would make it impossible for the government to run with the aid of the central government with the Hindu majority at their back, and the Muslim majority would be virtually feudatories of the central government in all respects.
Proceeding, Mr. Jinnah said that the Hindu Mahasabha openly and bluntly stood for Hindu raj over the entire subcontinent. The Congress talked of democracy, joint electorates and a national government responsible to the elected members of the Legislature. Democracy did not exist anywhere in the world in the strict sense of the word.
Even in England it was the ruling class that governed, but in India even such a democracy was not possible. There was nothing in common between Hindus and Muslims socially and culturally, to say nothing about religion. Where was the substance of a nation and expression of national will upon which even the diluted so-called democracy that obtained in England could be adopted in India?
Muslims And National Government
Continuing Mr. Jinnah said that a national government responsible to the elected members of the Legislature at the Centre could only be formed at the dictate of the permanent Hindu majority, and the Muslims and other small minorities would entirely be at the mercy of Hindu raj. Mr. Jinnah wondered whether Mr. Gandhi would be happy over such a state of things. Even two brothers in a joint family had many a time found it impossible to live together and partition had restored peace and better relations between them. Why should they be denied division of India when they knew and were convinced that they could not live peacefully having regard to the far more vital differences and antagonism in culture, religion and social life than ever could exist between two brothers of the same family?
Speech in the Central Legislative Assembly, on the Indian Finance (No.2) Bill, New Delhi, November 19, 1940 (excerpts) [More excerpts in Extra (6A)]
Mr. S. Satyamurti: .. Now, there is a joke in this speech. The expenditure on air raid precautions is to be met by the centre. What are these air raid precautions? In my city I cannot go out after 6 o'clock except at 10 miles an hour, and all the places are absolutely dark. I am a layman, but what is the idea? Cannot aeroplanes come in the daylight and drop bombs? And even if they come, what is the defence that they have got? I am told there are two antiaircraft guns in Madras, one of which is out of action! That is the kind of precautions they have for the defence of this country.
Then, as regards the requirements of aeroplanes for the defence of this country. Sir Jeremy Raisman gave a negative assurance, for which I feel thankful- he said the idea of having an aeroplane factory has not been abandoned. What a consoling statement, and with what composure does he make this statement? Is there no anger and resentment in us?
You treat us as if we are children...
Mr. M.A. Jinnah (Bombay City: Muhammadan Urban) : Non-violence.
Mr. S. Satyamurti: I am grateful to Mr. Jinnah, the Leader of the Muslim League Party, for reminding me of our creed of non-violence, and I for one want to tell him and this House that non-violence is the only creed by which humanity can hope to survive. I put it to my friends, Sir, honestly and sincerely, if this war goes like this, if aeroplanes are multiplied a thousandfold, a millionfold, if this kind of slaughter goes on, then humanity will soon go back to the level of the Ape and the Chimpanzee, and the world will become uninhabitable by man. You may laugh at us, our flesh may be weak- mine is weak- but I put it to my friend Mr. Jinnah as to whether he does not see that the future of humanity rests on the acceptance of the creed of non-violence sooner or later by the whole of humanity.
Mr. M. A. Jinnah: I did not expect the Honourable Member to give us on the lecture on the virtues of non-violence.
What I said was when he was expressing his urge and anger, it was opposed to non-violence.
Mr. S. Satyamurti: Now, Sir, I am glad to be taught a lesson..
Mr. M. A. Jinnah: If I am wrong, why be angry?
Mr. S. Satyamurti: I shall control my anger in the hope that he will follow my example. I shall be quite content if Mr. Jinnah also ceases to be angry. That will be good for the country.
Mr.M.A.Jinnah: I don't believe in non-violence.
Mr. S. Satyamurti: I don't believe in being angry.
Mr. S. Satyamurti: I say that this question must be solved with the help of all representative and distinguished Indians who can speak in the name of people of India. I suggest that the demand of the Congress has been, is and will be that the constitution of a free India shall be determined by a constituent assembly based on adult suffrage in which all minorities will be returned by separate electorates. Can anything be fairer, more democratic, juster? I want to know what is wrong with it. Of course, if they have no use for democracy, I cannot argue about that, but if Britain fights for democracy, I suggest that it is most democratic, it is a most just solution.
Mr. M.A.Jinnah: Britain has never said she is fighting for democracy.
Mr. S. Satyamurti : Very good, I will leave that to the Government and to Mr. Jinnah.
Mr.M.A. Jinnah: Britain has never said that she is fighting for democracy in the world.
Mr. S. Satyamurti: Then, what for? Why should we pay the money then? I am very grateful to my Honourable friend for pointing out that Britain is not fighting for democracy. What then is she fighting for?
Mr. M.A.Jinnah: For her survival.
Mr. S. Satyamurti: That is a different matter, but why should we pay for it? What have we got to vote for is whether we shall pay the money for Britain's survival..
Mr. M.A. Jinnah: ... Then I am told- and this is their last argument, a forlorn argument- all the others are platitudes for supporting the Government- what will happen and all that - but the last is this: that if we allow this Bill to be defeated you - and of course the Congress are absolutely determined to defeat - what will be the impression abroad? In the first instance, if the Congress succeeds in defeating you it is not my fault; it is the fault of your Constitution; and you have enacted this Constitution; you have been carrying it on this wooden, antediluvian Government for decades now, and you cannot have it both ways. It is your Constitution, it is of your making. But I am told: 'But it will have a bad impression abroad" When you say bad impression aboard, where and what will be that impression? Let me tell you, Sir, that those who want to create that impression have worked it out mathematically. Even if you win by a few votes, even if the Muslim League was to go into your lobby, they have already informed those abroad that the majority of the elected members are against it; and which fool is there in America, which fool is there in Germany, who does not know your constitution, who does not know the nature and character of this Assembly? Who is the man who will be so much upset that you will lose the war because this Finance Bill was rejected?
Let me, for the sake of argument assume-assuming that it will be an embarassment-I do not think so, and I think you are exaggerating, and you are attaching too much importance to it- but even if it was to embarrass you, how can you expect me to support you? Mind you I do not say that I am satisfied with the acceptance of the principle, but it is not a question of my being satisfied. Nobody is going to get 16 annas, and specially, believe me, when you are in the grip in danger, it is not wise for one party or the other to put up any extraordinary demands, because that is not business, and that is the very reason why we have never said a word that you should agree to give me "Pakistan" before I support you: and believe me, whatever my friends of the Congress Party may say, we have finally determined that that is our only goal; and we will fight for it and die for it. Make no mistake about it. Democracy is dead-democracy of Mr. Desai's kind. We may be less in numbers and we are; but could give you, I venture to say and perhaps you do not know it, but I do, and I am not saying this by way of a threat but by way of information to you- that we can give you a hundred times more trouble than the Congress can give you if we so determine; but we do not want to. You will realise that. But we do not want to do it even now. The future- we will leave the future.
Therefore, so far as the Government is concerned, that is the position of the Muslim League.
I have only got to say few more words with regard to my Congress friends; and I think I must at least tell me, whether they agree with me or whether they do not, but as Mr. Desai said it very rightly, we must face facts. What is the position? I will narrate it very briefly. Mr. Desai read out a statement of the Working Committee which he said was of 10th September: I only interrupted him because in my record it was the 14th September; I wished to get the correct date. Mr. Desai says the 10th- and I accept that. After that statement of the Working Committee of the 10th September that Resolution or statement was placed before the All-India Congress Committee and that Committee passed the Resolution on the 10th October of last year. That resolution laid down a declaration of India's independence and freedom, the right to frame their own constitution by Constituent Assembly to be elected by way of adult franchise, and special franchise for the minorities and safeguards for the minorities to the satisfaction of minorities. And although I am pressed for time, I think I must tell the House the correct position, and I tell you and my Congress friends that they have still, at the back of their head the idea that the Congress and Congress alone represents the country, the people of India, the Indian nation, and so on, that they alone are the spokesmen, and that the Muslims and others are minorities. I say this on the floor of this House that the reason why there has not been a settlement between the Hindus and Mussalmans is that - the Congress leader will pardon me for saying this - the Congress is a Hindu organization, whatever they may say - the Hindu leaders and Congress leaders had always at the back of their head, the basis that the Mussalmans have to come within the ken of the Congress and the Hindu Raj, that they are a minority, and all that they can justly press for is merely safeguards as a minority, whereas let me tell gentlemen of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party members that the Mussalmans always had at their back the basis- and it has never been different during the last 25 years- that they are a separate entity...
Mr. M.S. Aney: At least that was not the view of Jinnah before 1920.
Mr. M.A.Jinnah: Since 1916, since the Lucknow Pact was passed, on the fundamental principle of two separate entities..
Mr. M.S.Aney: I was there.
Mr. M.A.Jinnah: My friend may have been there, but he was not even heard of at that time. That has been at the back of the Mussalman mind, and the other idea has been at the back of the Hindu leaders' mind. The bases are different, and I will give my friends one more proof because I was interrupted. Why is it-do you know it or do you not- why is it that the Mussalmans insisted upon the separation of Sind? You know it. Do you know that the man who was at the time devoted to the Congress, Maulana Mohammad Ali said: "We want a corridor from Karachi to Calcutta?"
Do you remember that? Why is that some of you so vehemently opposed the separation of Sind? No doubt, outward grounds are different, but the real grounds we know. Outwardly, it is financial ground, this, that and the other. You said it will be better off if Sind is with Bombay, it is not in the interest in Sind to be separated, and so on..
Mr. Lalchand Navalrai: It is not unfortunate now for Sind?
Mr.M.A. Jinnah: My dear friend, it is a misfortune to all of us now. Nobody is in fortune just now. I am only giving you indications to prove my point that that has been at the back of Muslim India and the Hindu India, and the basis have been different, and that is why we have failed to come to a settlement. That is continued up to the present moment. I will quote from my friend, the Deputy Leader, Mr. Satyamurti, and what did he say only as late as May last after Mr. Amery had made his statement? This is what Mr. Satyamurti said. What was his acid test? The acid test of Mr. Amery's ability and earnestness will be his saying to the Muslim League, - Muslim Leaguers, 'No Pakistan, no coalition, no coalition ministries, no impossible safeguards, you must settle with the majority'; once he says that the rest will be easy.."
An Honourable Member : Who says that?
Mr.M.A.Jinnah: Mr. Satyamurti. He says, no coalition - no coalition ministries, no impossible safeguards, settle with the majority. My friend asks hand over the Muslim to our tender mercies..
Mr. S. Satyamurti: No, no, I did not say that.
Mr. M.A. Jinnah: My friend's acid test is nothing but that.
Mr. S. Satyamurti: I did not say that.
Mr.M.A.Jinnah : I say Sir, that is the mentality at the back of Congress leaders.
Mr. S. Satyamurti: Not at all.
Mr. M.A.Jinnah: And I tell my friends that they are making the greatest mistake that they ever made in their life. Mr. Satyamurti says to Mr. Amery: "Tell them to settle with the majority." Well, I daresay, I get frightened of Mr. Amery also, because these people are sharpening the knife, non-cooperating and preparing for civil disobedience and launching it. This Government and the British Government, if I may say so, is unnerved, and I get frightened, and they think that, in spite of your tenacity, you may be forced into it; but then comes the statement of 8th August and Mr. Amery's speech. That is now the crux. I don't say that the British Government could have done anything else.
If they had done anything else, if they had been a party to coerce the Muslims, if they had been a party to throw the Muslims and other minorities at the mercy of the Congress, they would have left a dishonourable record in the history of this country.
[More excerpts from the same exchange in Extra (6A)]
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Secondary sources on Page 3
CMP(2) - The Congress League positions on 12 May 1946
CMP(3) - The Cabinet Mission Plan 16 May 1946>
CMP(8) - More exchanges on parity during Simla Coonference meeting 11 May 1946
CMP(9)- Jinnah's Conversations with Major Wyatt(1) on Pakistan and the Cabinet Mission Plan , 8 January and 25 May 1946
CMP(10) - Jinnah's Conversations with Major Wyatt((2) on the interim government, 11 June 1946
CMP(12A) Congress and the Cabinet Mission's arguments over inclusion of a Congress Muslim in the Interim Government June 12 and June 23 1946
CMP(13)- Jawaharlal Nehru's press conference on the Plan, 10 July 1946
CMP(14) - League withdrew from Plan, called Directt Action, Viceroy Wavell talked to Nehru, July-August 1946
CMP(15) - The Viceroy tried to strong-arm Nehru annd Gandhi on compulsory grouping, Pethick Lawrence to Attlee, August-September 1946
CMP(16)- Intelligence assessment on Jinnah's options and threat of civil war, September 1946
CMP(17)- The League's boycott of the Constituent Assembly, Jinnah and Wavell, Mission insisting on compulsory grouping, etc October 1946-January 1947
CMP (A1) - Additional material - Some Plain speaking from Sir Khizr Hayat, Abell on the Breakdown plan, Viceroy to Jinnah
CMP(A2) North West Frontier Province, October-November 1946 and February-March 1947
CMP(A3) Bengal and Bihar, August - November 1946
CMP(A4) Punjab, February - March 1947
CMP (18) - My take
CMP (19) - What did parity and communal veto mean in numbers?
CMP(20) Another summary /take on the Cabinet Mission Plan-with links to the above reference material
CMP(21) Mountbatten discusses the Cabinet Mission Plan with Sardar Patel and M. A. Jinnah, 24-26 April 1947
CMP(22) A reply on the Cabinet Mission Plan
Extra(1) - Speech by Jinnah in March 1941 outlining the case for an independent sovereign Pakistan
Extra(1A) Jinnah's Speeches and Statements from 1941-1942
Extra(1B) Jinnah's Speeches and Statements from 1938-1940
Extra(1C) Jinnah's speeches and Statements from 1943-45
Extra(2) - Jinnah's letter to Gandhi during GGandhi-Jinnah talks in 1944 on defining Pakistan
Extra(3)- B.R. Ambedkar quoted from his book 'Pakistan or the Partition of India'
Extra(6A) Jinnah on Congress's offers of Prime Ministership 1940-43 and Gandhi's 1943 letter to Jinnah from jail