Three Giants of South Asia

:
Gandhi, Ambedkar and
Jinnah
on Self-Determination
Professor Richard Bonney
2004
Three Giants of South Asia: Gandhi, Ambedkar and
Jinnah on Self - Determination
Prof. Richard Bonney
Editor
Prof. Richard Bonney
First Published by
University of Leicester
Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism
Institute for the Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations
Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
All rights reserved to the Author and
Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism
Institute for the Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations
Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
Published in India by:
Media House
375-A, Pocket 2, Mayur Vihar Phase-I, Delhi - 110 091, India
Ph: 011-22750667, 22751317, Fax: 011-22757040
E-mail: mediabooks@hotmail.com, books@indiancurrents.com
website: www.mediabooks.org
Printed at:
Jyoti Printers, E-94, Sector-6, Noida
ISBN:
Media House
Delhi
2004
Professor Richard Bonney 4
Three Giants of South Asia:
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-
Determination
Preface: What´s in a Title?
Professor Richard Bonney
There is a long tradition of controversy about the ordering
of names in titles which, in the case of the Independence
movement in South Asia, goes back at least to the
publication of the correspondence between Gandhi and
Jinnah in 1944. Each side put its leader as the first name in
the debate: for the Congress, it was the Gandhi-Jinnah
Talks, while for the Muslim League, not surprisingly, it was
the Jinnah-Gandhi Talks (introduction, vii n 9). In talking in
terms of Three Giants of South Asia, it is hoped that a
neutral stance is hereby adopted.
For the historian, hagiography can be no part of the process
of analysis. It is the contention here that all three men -
Ambedkar, Jinnah and Gandhi - deserve to be remembered
with respect and honoured by a critical analysis of their
writings. Perhaps a purely alphabetical listing of the names
in the subtitle might be preferred by some. The order that
has been adopted here reflects the fact that there were
two main participants in debate (Gandhi and Jinnah, or
Jinnah and Gandhi) and one main commentator on the debate
(Ambedkar), although he, too, was a participant as the
leader of the Dalits. It is an historical fact that in 1944 it
was Gandhi who asked for the meeting with Jinnah, and
therefore both in terms of the dating of the correspondence
on the future constitutional shape for the sub-Continent
(Document Seven, 17 September 1944) and in the
enunciation of a new `spiritual movement´ in politics to
which Jinnah took objection in 1920, as well as for purely
alphabetical reasons, it has been considered appropriate
to order the names in the way that appears on this title.
There is no inference that there was a `winner´ in the debate
on self-determination. There was a difference of opinion,
which it is the task of the historian to explain and document,
and the legacy of that difference of opinion continues to
have profound historical importance.
Professor Richard Bonney 6
Introduction to the Indian Edition of
Three Giants of South Asia: Gandhi,
Ambedkar and Jinnah on
Self-Determination
Professor Richard Bonney
An Indian edition of this book follows relatively swiftly upon
its first publication last year. In Britain, of the three giants
of South Asia, the one who is least well known is Dr
Ambedkar; in India his name needs no introduction as its
post-independence constitutional architect, the leader of
the Dalits and the author of the `masterpiece´ (A. G. Noorani´s
description), Pakistan or the Partition of India (1940 and
subsequent editions). Instead, in spite of occasional
references to him as one of the hundred statesmen
responsible for the making of India,
1
Jinnah´s name is the
one who is least known in the sense of being understood
as the true Jinnah of history. He is vilified as the advocate
of what is referred to as the `poisonous two nations´ theory´
2
and ipso facto therefore held responsible for the partition
of the sub-continent. In this preface to the Indian edition,
we seek to answer a number of questions which may be
summarized thus: why should the real Jinnah of history be
so vilified in India today? Was he responsible for the partition
of India? If not, who was responsible? Can there be any
justification, with hindsight, for the eventual British
acceptance of partition in 1947? In considering these
questions, the opportunity presents itself to reflect on the
study by Peter Clarke, entitled The Cripps Version, which
was published in 2002.
`The true Jinnah of history´ may be difficult to discern behind
the façade of negotiating postures and the claim and
counter-claim of propaganda. It should be noted, however,
that Jinnah did not originate the `two nations´ theory´. It is
sometimes claimed that Sir Mohammed Iqbal did so instead
in 1930 and that his friend Jinnah simply took up this idea
and developed it. Neither view is sustainable. No, as is
demonstrated in this book, the idea was formulated as a
consequence of the practice of demographic distinctions
(and subsequently, separate delegations and voting
qualifications) by religion within the sub-Continent. By 1906
the Muslims had made a separate delegation to the Viceroy,
while in 1911 T. W. Holderness commented that the British
administration considered the Indian Muslims `for many
purposes a nation´. Perhaps none of this quite constituted
a `theory´ of two nations, but it amounted to a recognition
of the reality, a practice of government.
This was in turn picked up by the Hindu Mahasabha leader,
Lala Lajpat Rai, who wrote in The Tribune on 14 December
1924:
Under my scheme the Muslims will have four Muslim States:
(1) The Pathan Province or the North-West Frontier; (2)
Western Punjab (3) Sindh and (4) Eastern Bengal. If there
are compact Muslim communities in any other part of India,
sufficiently large to form a province, they should be similarly
constituted. But it should be distinctly understood that this is
not a united India. It means a clear partition of India into a
Muslim India and a non-Muslim India.
At various moments during the constitutional discussions
after 1940, Congress itself was prepared to accept some
form of partition, while it was none other than Vallabhbhai
Patel, the Hindu realist and architect of a strong Indian
union - though he would have eschewed Peter Clarke´s
depiction of him as `the self-appointed hammer of the
1 Stanley Wolpert´s biography of Jinnah and his article for the
icons series entitled `Jilted Gentleman´ scarcely help with the
opening phrasing: `few individuals significantly alter the course
of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly
anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammed
Ali Jinnah did all three.´
2 Even the very well informed and usually dispassionate com-
mentator A. G. Noorani calls it this in part two of his review
article of Peter Clarke, The Cripps Version. The Life of Sir
Stafford Cripps, 1899-1952 (London: Penguin, 2002), entitled
`Cripps and the Partition of India´, Frontline, 19/15, 20 July-2
Aug. 2002 and 19/16, 3-16 Aug. 2002. Web versions at:
<www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1915/19150860.htm >
<www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1916/19160820.htm>
Earlier, Noorani had discussed `The Partition of India´, Frontline,
18/26, 22 Dec. 2001-4 Jan. 2002:
<www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1826/18260810.htm>
7 8 Introduction to the Indian Edition of Three Giants of South Asia Professor Richard Bonney
Muslims´
3
- who commented to Maulana Azad that, `whether
we liked it or not, there were two nations in India´.
4
Azad
deduced from this quite incorrectly that `it would not perhaps
be unfair to say that Vallabhbhai Patel was the founder of
Indian partition´. Patel merely recognized what the British
had had to deal with for a long period of time, but in a
sustained phase of lobbying since 1940. `Conciliation and
compromise can only be achieved when the desire is mutual´,
he wrote to Arthur Henderson in April 1947, `but if there is
only one-way traffic, only either surrender or a firm stand
can bring about the close of this sorry episode.´
5
A further criticism of Jinnah is that he was a `communalist´
whereas Gandhi, Patel and Nehru were `secularists´. The
veteran Socialist Prem Bhasin wrote these words in 1998,
quoted by Noorani in his review article on the partition of
India:
The ease with which a large number of Congressmen and
women - small, big and bigger still - have walked into the
RSS-BJP boat and sailed with it is not a matter of surprise.
For, there has always been a certain affinity between the two.
A large and influential section in the Congress sincerely
believed even during the freedom struggle that the interests
of Hindu Indians could not be sacrificed at the altar of a united
Independent India. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and Lala
Lajpat Rai had, for instance, actually broken away from the
Congress and founded the Nationalist Party which contested
elections against the Congress in the mid-[1920s].
But they had not all broken away from Congress in the
1920s. Many Congress supporters were either members of
the RSS or of the Hindu Mahasabha or shared many of
their views. Cripps put it succinctly, if tactlessly, when he
pronounced that Congress was `predominantly Hindu though
with some Muslim members and. controlled by the High
Caste or Brahmin Class´.
6
This was always the suspicion of
Jinnah. It was proven subsequently after Independence.
Patel was prepared to outlaw the RSS briefly following the
assassination of Gandhi. But the Hindu extreme Right Wing
was soon allowed to function once more. Patel did not
share Nehru´s view that the RSS was a Fascist organization
whose very existence was a threat to India´s secular
democracy. He thought, incorrectly it was to prove, that
its threat to act as a `state within a state´ could be
contained by paper agreements. There was a difference,
he told the Lok Sabha on 19 March 1949, between
attempting to `bring about a regeneration of the Hindu
community by peaceful and legitimate means´ and seeking
to `achieve this object by spreading poison and hatred
against other communities who are entitled under the law
to equal protection from the established Government´. In
such circumstances the government must act. He also
deplored the tendency of the RSS to suborn the youth
from parental control.
7
The denial that the RSS was hostile
to the Muslim community from inception was, sadly, fanciful.
Either the Sardar was being disingenuous or he had not
read the writings of Savarkar and Golwalkar.
Jinnah was fearful of a permanent Hindu majority, a Hindu
Raj as he termed it, it is true; but he was not anti-Hindu.
On the contrary, after partition was resolved, when his
true private feelings could have been revealed, he
3 Clarke, The Cripps Version, 420. One of the things that Patel
emphatically told General Roy Butcher, the [British] com-
mander-in-chief of the army of the newly independent Indian
Union, with whom he was on cordial terms, was that `everyone
thought that he was anti-Muslim but that was not the case at all.
He was quite ready to guarantee the safety and well-being of
Muslims all over India´.
<www.rediff.com/freedom/03care2.htm> Patel´s tone rather
later (6 Jan. 1948) was more threatening: `.I want to say a word
as a friend of Muslims and it is the duty of a good friend to speak
frankly. It is your duty now to sail in the same boat and sink or
swim together. I want to tell you very clearly that you cannot
ride on two horses. You select one horse, whichever you like
best´, that is, India or Pakistan: For a United India. Speeches of
Sardar Patel, 1947-1950 (rev. edn. 1967), 66-7.
4 <www.muslimindia.com/hfm/akalam.htm>
5 Clarke, The Cripps Version, 459.
6 Ibid. 350-1.
7 `Threat to Internal security overcome´: Sardar Patel´s speech in
Parl i ament, New Del hi , 19 March 1949. Uni versi ty of
Southampton, Ms 62 Mountbatten Papers MB1 / F5 folder 1 (of
2). Differences between Nehru and Patel over the RSS were `a
contributory factor in the increasingly strained relations be-
tween the two men which nearly ended in total breakdown of
cooperation early in 1948: Judith M. Brown, Nehru (Harlow,
1999), 73.
9 10 Introduction to the Indian Edition of Three Giants of South Asia Professor Richard Bonney
suppressed an inappropriate Time magazine story caption
because it might give offence to the Hindu community.
8
Among the Jinnah papers in Islamabad, the indefatigable
editor of his oeuvre, Dr Z. H. Zaidi, uncovered and kindly
transmitted to the author a hitherto unknown letter from a
Hindu admirer named Kanji Dwarkadas from Altamount Road,
Cumball Hill, Bombay at a very late date (Christmas Day,
1944: Jinnah´s birthday was 25 December) which casts a
very different complexion on Jinnah´s standing within the
Hindu community at that time:
My Dear Jinnah
I send you very very best wishes. I recall to my mind that I
first met you in 1916, and I always consider it a great privilege
that I worked with you in close contact during the Home Rule
League years and during 1920-1930.
My one big prayer is that by the time you celebrate your
birthday next year, a healthy settlement will have been arrived
at between the two big communities. It is curious but it is a
fact that Hindus in this country look to you for leadership -
and today you have as many Hindus as Muhammadans as
political and personal friends.
9
Your opportunity, as your
responsibility is great, and the best wishes of humble friends
like we are with you.
Once again, with very very best wishes.
Yours sincerely
Kanji Dwarkardas
In this simple, unsolicited, and deeply personal statement
there is implied an important understanding. Jinnah used
the terminology of the Pakistan, and was prepared to resort
to Pakistan if everything else failed; but what he actually
sought was agreement at an All India level. His political
party, after all, was the All India Muslim League. An
agreement for slightly under half the Indian Muslims was
better than none; but it would clearly have been preferable
to have had an agreement for all the Indian Muslims. Jinnah
wanted what he called `an equipoise´. By this he meant `an
adjustment of votes and of territorial division which would
give a Hindu-Muslim balance´. Precisely how it would be
achieved was a matter for negotiation. No balance, however,
would mean no settlement. Everything had to be settled
first, not afterwards. For, once the Constitutional Assembly
was in place, it could rewrite all the rules if there was any
lack of clarity. The Congress wanted the establishment of
a Constituent Assembly first as a solution to the problem.
This position was flawed. Noorani quotes a memorandum,
prepared by K. M. Panikkar on 10 October 1945, to the
effect that no such Assembly could succeed except on
the basis of a prior Congress-League accord and unless `a
procedure of bringing the parties together on some minimum
basis of agreement is evolved before the Constituent
Assembly meets´.
Here we may perceive an important difference in negotiating
tactics between Jinnah on the one hand, and Gandhi, Nehru
and Cripps on the other. For Cripps, in the end it all boiled
down to a question of faith and trust. If he could only sell
a deal to Gandhi by gaining his trust, and if there could be
faith in the future arrangements, then there could indeed
be a settlement.
10
Though Jinnah´s insistence that the
Muslims chosen for the interim government should all be
nominated by the Muslim League was clearly a difficulty,
the real sticking point was the guarantee to be given by
Congress on provincial groupings that was required by the
Muslim League. As Jinnah informed Cripps on 11 May 1946:
`if the Congress would agree to Groups of Provinces as
desired by the Muslim League, he would seriously consider
a Union.´
11
Gandhi had declared such grouping as `really
worse than Pakistan´,
12
while Patel was thought by Cripps
8 `As I think the description, "Mohammad Ali Jinnah: His Moslem
Tiger wants to eat the Hindu cow¨ is offensive to the sentiments
of the Hindu community, I cannot put my autograph on the
cover page. as requested by you´ (in response to a letter dated
24 July 1947). I. Talbot, Jinnah: Role Model for Future Genera-
tions of Pakistanis (Leicester, 2001), document four.
9 Passage underlined in the original.
10 Clarke, The Cripps Version, 438.
11 Ibid. 429.
12 Ibid. 426.
12 11 Introduction to the Indian Edition of Three Giants of South Asia Professor Richard Bonney
to be `anxious to break the thing up´, not wanting `anything
but a Congress dictatorship with himself as dictator!´
13
While
in prison during the Quit India campaign, Nehru had in
frustration revealed his own lack of confidence in Gandhi´s
political leadership. Noorani quotes from Nehru´s diaries the
Pandit´s view that `with all his very great qualities [Gandhi]
has proved a poor and weak leader´ (10 July 1943) and his
thought of `breaking with Gandhi. I have at present [5
August 1944] no desire even to go to him on release... I
suppose I shall see him anyhow...´ Yet in the end, Nehru
always did defer to Gandhi, to whom he owed his political
ascendancy in the Congress.
As Peter Clarke comments, the years in prison after 1942
`revealed the rigidity of the Congress mindset´. Nehru blamed
the British for separate electorates, `the seed of the
poisonous tree that has grown to poison all our national
life and prevent progress´. `The political backwardness of
the Muslims was taken for granted; the success of League
organization explained as "strikingly similar to the Nazi
technique¨´ - it was scarcely helpful that by 1947 Krishna
Menon was referring to Jinnah as the Führer both to
Mountbatten and Nehru;
14
after all, Jinnah had stood by
the Indian constitution when Congress had challenged it
and, moreover, had shown a commitment to the struggle
against the Axis powers which the Congress had refused
by putting the Quit India campaign first. The demand for
Pakistan was dismissed as `a sentimental slogan which they
have got used to´. The imposition of a unitary constitution
based on majority voting was urged despite the Muslim
League´s bluff about resistance.
15
Nehru, who also had the
wily Patel on his hands, was unwilling and unable to share
power with Jinnah, a much older and more experienced
politician than himself. Noorani again quotes from Nehru´s
diaries while in jail to telling effect: `instinctively I think it
is better to have Pakistan or almost nothing [at all] if only
to keep Jinnah far away and not allow his muddled and
arrogant head from [sic] interfering continually in India´s
progress´ (28 December 1943), though he accurately
predicted: `I cannot help thinking that ultimately the Muslims
of India will suffer most.´ The Cabinet Mission´s Plan was
wrecked not by Jinnah and the Muslim League but by Nehru
and Congress. It had had one of two choices: unqualified
acceptance of the Cabinet Mission´s Plan or Partition. It
preferred the latter.
Can any case be made out for British policy towards India
following upon the `conditional, deferred and plainly half-
hearted offer of Dominion status´ in August 1940?
16
Clearly
there was a difference between those, like Cripps, who
identified with a war for democracy which sought to enlist
democratic aspirations in India on the side of the Allies,
while in contrast hardliners such as the Viceroy, Linlithgow,
thought that the status quo ought to prevail for the duration
of the war: `India is hopelessly, and I suspect irremediably,
split by racial and religious divisions which we cannot bridge,
and which become more acute as any real transfer of power
by us draws nearer´, Linlithgow observed in January 1942.
17
Churchill is often blamed as the wrecker of the negotiations.
It is true that Churchill grossly overestimated the importance
of the Muslims as the predominant section of the `martial
classes´ (his estimate was 75 per cent of the Indian troops,
while the Viceroy´s was only 35 per cent);
18
he was able to
bear the news of the failure of the Cripps Mission in 1942
`with philosophy´ because he had thought this outcome
probable from the outset;
19
his main preoccupation
throughout was less to secure a settlement in India than
to keep Roosevelt and American opinion `on side´.
However, the detailed narrative provided by Peter Clarke in
The Cripps Version lends no substance to the view that
the Cripps mission was deliberately sabotaged from London
by Churchill. When Cripps met Gandhi in April 1946 they
13 Ibid. 424.
14 Transfer of Power, xii. 255. University of Southampton MS 62
Mountbatten Papers MB 1 / E 104: `I found there and every-
where [in Whitehall] that the `Führer´ had overplayed his hand.
Mr J´s last effort smells very badly, and even the man in the
street begins to understand his business´ (18 July 1947).
15 Clarke, The Cripps Version, 403-4.
16 Ibid. 276.
17 Ibid. 277.
18 Ibid. 283.
19 Ibid. 323.
13 14 Introduction to the Indian Edition of Three Giants of South Asia Professor Richard Bonney
renewed a conversation over who ought to assume
responsibility for the failure of his mission four years earlier.
Cripps made it clear that he had `always put down the
refusal of Congress to his [that is, Gandhi´s] action and
influence´, to which Gandhi replied it was `his influence but
not his action´.
20
Yet in practice, if not in law, the executive
council proposed by Cripps would have been `the supreme
government of India´; Cripps contended that `had there
been an agreement Indians would have had absolute control
of the situation´. He had earlier told a reporter on 29 March
1942: `you cannot change the constitution. All you can do
is to change the conventions of the constitution. You can
turn the Executive Council into a Cabinet.´
21
Jinnah and the
Muslim League had been ready to accept the Cripps offer,
but only if Congress did so. The fact that the Hindu
Mahasabha was wholly negative, `dismissing the non-
accession provisions as a threat to Indian unity´, was not
wholly unexpected. What was unexpected was Gandhi´s
phrase about a `vivisection of India´, which was already in
circulation in late March 1942, as was his aphorism that
the Cripps offer was `a post-dated cheque´.
22
The turnaround was extraordinary. From being seen by
Jinnah and the Muslim League as a friend of Congress at
the outset of the mission, Cripps made it clear that there
could be no `dictatorship of the majority´. `Simple
government majority´ - he amended the phrase to `an
irresponsible Majority Government´ - could not rule in a
country such as India where communal divisions were so
deep. It was not the case of a `fluctuating majority and
minority´ as in a western democracy; rather, it was `a
question of a communal minority and a communal majority
neither of which can be converted.´ Nehru denounced
Cripps as having turned `anti-Congress, communal and
reactionary´ and knowing `nothing about India´. In fact, the
British government had, with reluctance, accepted the
realism of Jinnah´s position since 1939.
23
Attlee as well as
Cripps had become suspicious of the `totalitarian
dictatorship´ which seemed to be inherent in the Congress
scheme for the future.
24
When events were replayed in 1946, once more the Muslim
League was prepared to accept the plan, this time the
Cabinet Mission Plan, and actually did so on 16 May 1946.
Once more, though without occupying any formal position
in Congress, Gandhi enunciated a right to interpret the
British proposals unilaterally. In Harijan on 17 May, Gandhi
carried the view that `provinces were free to reject the
very idea of grouping. No province could be forced against
its will to belong to a group even if the idea of grouping
was accepted.´ On 24 June he told the Cabinet Mission
that `lawgivers [that is, the Cabinet Mission]. could not
interpret their own law´. Once more Nehru bowed to the
master. Cripps wrote on 18 June: `Nehru who had opposed
Gandhi yesterday gave in to him to-day and went round to
his side - most disappointingly through, I fear, weakness.´
Rather crudely for one vegetarian describing another, Cripps
referred to Gandhi as `as stubborn as an ox´ once he was
convinced that he was right in an argument.
25
Pethick-
Lawrence even felt that Gandhi did not care whether two
or three million people died provided that he did not have
to compromise his views.
26
Then, on 6 July, shortly after
he took over the Congress presidency from Azad, Nehru
declared that there would be no grouping and the
Constituent Assembly would be a sovereign body free to
decide as it pleased. A united India spelt sharing of power
with the Muslim League. On 10 July 1946, Nehru told the
Cabinet Mission categorically that `the Congress were going
to work for a strong Centre and to break the Group System
and they would succeed. They did not think that Mr. Jinnah
had any real place in the country.´ This statement sits
uneasily with Nehru´s later remark, in December 1946, that
20 Ibid. 354. Cf ibid. 346, Coupland´s comment that `it may well
have been Mr. Gandhi´s opinions, though he was not there to
utter them, that at the last moment turned the scale´ on 9 and
10 April 1942.
21 Ibid. 303.
22 Ibid. 304-5.
23 Ibid. 338-340.
24 Ibid. 393.
25 Ibid. 447.
26 Ibid. 439.
16 Professor Richard Bonney
`no price was too high for real cooperation from the Muslims,
provided it was real´.
27
A. G. Noorani criticizes Cripps for a lack of honesty in
dealing with the Congress leaders in June 1946. `Cripps
would have served his friend [Nehru] and India better by
being more honest and firm at this time´, he contends.
`Partition might still have come a year earlier; but without
the rancour which "the fudge¨ produced.´ But in the event
the `fudge´ was clarified and the Congress rejection of the
Cabinet Mission proposals was clear. The rancour was there,
as Peter Clarke suggests, `basically because Congress failed
to evince its willingness to accept the provisions on
grouping´. Clarke continues:
28
It was now beyond the power of the British Government to
secure compliance through an exercise of coercive authority
- or through the Cabinet Delegation´s mixture of paternalism,
goodwill, ingenuity, pragmatism and bluff. `The British´, as
Gandhi said, `imagining that they can bring the League and
Congress together, are attempting the impossible.´ Cripps
had realized that this would be astoundingly difficult: it was
Gandhi himself who finally made it impossible.
Perhaps blame should not be attached to any one of the
three main leaders of Congress, because neither Nehru or
Patel saw fit, or had the power, to overrule Gandhi at this
critical turning point. Rather lamely, Cripps himself perhaps
had the last word on the question of responsibility in his
diary on 23 June 1946:
29
We feel we have done all that we could but this unfortunate
communal issue being imported with wide publicity into the
discussions at this last moment has made it well nigh impossible
for Congress to arrive at the accommodation that we might
otherwise have achieved.
It is no good blaming anyone for it - it arises from the long
and deep communal division and perhaps it was too much to
expect that we should be able to overcome it.
Cripps was an honourable man. His colleagues in the Cabinet
Delegation were also honourable men. There is convincing
evidence that most of the British administration was sincere
in its wish to negotiate a compromise. Cripps had mused at
the outset of his mission in 1946 that `the future of 400
million people hangs in the balance´ and prayed for God to
`give us wisdom to do what is right´. Never had he felt a
heavier responsibility on his shoulders. But success had to
be achieved somehow: `this is our duty and our debt to
India.´
30
This was much more than divide and rule, or even
quit and run. Yet the choice was not a simple one, and
much less easy than Gandhi claimed (`you will have to
choose between the two, the Muslim League and the
Congress, both your creations´).
31
Such a choice could not be made. 80 million Muslims could
not determine the outcome of the negotiations; but nor
could their interests be completely sacrificed to appease
the Congress leaders and to hold the 400 million Indian
citizens together in one political unit. The upshot was a
judgement of Solomon which, unlike the original judgement
in the first Book of Kings (1 Kings 3:24-28), had in the
event to be put into practice - with intolerable
consequences that still haunt relations between the
communities in the sub-Continent. The British could not
accept that simple majoritarianism was the way forward
without guarantees; they acceded to at least some of the
arguments put forward by Jinnah and the Muslim League
concerning Muslim rights of self-determination. Above all,
they wanted a compromise. At no stage were the British
prepared to concede in the new regime a permanent
second-class citizenship for as large a section of the
population as the Muslims of India.
32
(Whether they should
27 Ibid. 465.
28 Ibid. 457.
29 Ibid. 450-1.
30 Ibid. 415.
31 Ibid. 445. In fact, Cripps had earlier reflected (ibid. 431): `we
can get through I believe without the League if we have
Congress with us but not without Congress even if we have the
League.´ This was a statement of fact but would have implied the
acceptance of simple majoritarianism.
32 Ibid. 287. Churchill´s statement to the House of Commons on 11
March 1942 emphasised the need for `the necessary measure
of assent not only from the Hindu majority but also from those
great minorities amongst which the Muslims are the most
numerous and on many grounds pre-eminent´. In fact, since
Partition the Dalits have always been more numerous than the
Muslims in India; but this was not the case before Partition, and
Introduction to the Indian Edition of Three Giants of South Asia 15
17 18 Introduction to the Indian Edition of Three Giants of South Asia Professor Ram Puniyani
have been prepared to concede such a second-class
citizenship for the `Depressed Classes´ is another matter.
Dr Ambedkar had an automatic place in the executive council
as far as the British were concerned,
33
but far less than a
determining voice on this subject, given that Gandhi was
making enough noise already about the Muslims and had
proven himself obdurate about the Harijans, as he called
them.)
The British may have been responsible for initiating the
policy of distinctions by religion among the population; but
they had never implied that there was to be a two-tier
citizenship, with the upper tier belonging to the Indian
religions and the inferior tier of citizenship belong to those
from the non-Indian religions. Regrettably, this distinction
has now been endorsed in the last few months by the
second most senior member of the Indian government.
34
But it was exactly this fear of an inbuilt second-class
citizenship that motivated Jinnah and the Muslim League,
and the reason why they had sought guarantees first,
before the meeting of a Constituent Assembly. Hindsight is
a remarkable thing, and can sometimes deceive the
historian. But sometimes a long perspective is required. It
has taken the rise of the forces of Hindutva since 1992
and the challenge that they have posed to the minority
religions of India for a true perspective on the pre-partition
debates to be reached.
Professor Richard Bonney
Leicester, October 2003
Three Giants of South Asia:
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on
Self-Determination.
Introduction
*
Professor Richard Bonney
A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of
all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the
principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty
the interests of the populations concerned must have equal
weight with the equitable claims of the government whose
title is to be determined.
(Woodrow Wilson, speech to Congress known as the Fourteen
Points, 8 January 1918, point 5.)
Between Britain and the Dominions there is a partnership at
will on terms of equality and for mutual benefit. What India
will finally have is for her and her alone to determine. This
power of determination remains unfettered by the existing
creed. What therefore the creed does retain is the possibility
of evolution of swaraj within the British Empire or call it the
British Commonwealth.
(Gandhi on Independence, 13 January 1927)
Musl i ms. cl ai m sel f-determi nati on, as wel l as ful l y
autonomous administrations, for all racial and linguistic areas
- and particularly for those areas which have a majority
Muslim population.
(Aga Khan III, Speech Broadcast to the USA, London, 27
September 1931)
Muslim India will not be satisfied unless the right of national
self-determination is unequivocally recognized.
(Jinnah, Presidential Address to the All-India Muslim League,
Allahabad, April 1942)
no doubt Churchill in any case was thinking about the signifi-
cance of the Muslims as a force within the Indian army.
33 Ibid. 294.
34 A. P. Joshi, M. D. Srinivas, J. K. Bajaj, Religious Demography of
India (Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai, 2003). J Sri
Raman,`"Non-Indian´ minorities¨´, The Daily Times, 29 April
2003:
<www. groups.yahoo.com/group/indiathinkersnet/message/
3230>
* Richard Bonney is Professor of Modern History at the University
of Leicester and Director of the Centre for the History of
Religious and Political Pluralism and the Institute for the Study
of Indo-Pakistan Relations.
20 19 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
`In the 21
st
century most conflicts will be between ethnic
groups living in the same state. The issue at stake will be
the right to self-determination.´ This harsh warning comes
from the First International Conference on the Right to
Self-Determination, which was organized in Geneva by the
International Human Rights Association of American
Minorities and the International Council for Human Rights.
The conference unanimously passed a resolution
recommending that the United Nations establish an Office
of the High Commissioner for Self-Determination and a Self-
Determination Commission comprising representatives of UN
member states.
1
At the United Nations on 31 May 2002, the Ambassador of
Pakistan once more stated the case for Kashmiri self-
determination and the need for a plebiscite.
2
Earlier, on 22
March 2000, Ambassador Munir Akram had restated the
right of peoples to self-determination and its application
to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign
occupation.
3
None of these arguments is accepted by the Government
of India, which considers that Kashmir is an integral part of
the Indian Union rather than `disputed territory´. Particularly
since the collapse of the Soviet Union, India is concerned
(perhaps even obsessed) with the implications for the Union
of accepting any claims to self-determination. The views
of Professor Ainslie Embree, a member of the U.S. Kashmir
Study Group, were quoted i n the U.S. House of
Representatives by Representative Adolphus Towns on 12
November 1997:
4
.during the early days of independence Nehru defined India´s
problems as the communal problem, the caste problem and
the language problem, but Nehru failed to mention self-
determination as India´s biggest problem. He said ironically,
India itself was a big supporter of self-determination in those
days, and would support all the liberation movements against
the colonial powers in Africa, Asia or Latin America.
India changed its position on self-determination in 1966. since
1966 India pronounced the self-determination movement as
a movement against an alien occupation, foreign occupation
or a colonial occupation only; and once a country was
independent, no part of that country could claim independence,
and thus no self-determination movement was acceptable.
.India faces no external threat. The imminent threat to India
is [from] the movements for self-determination throughout
the subcontinent, he said. [He cited the freedom movement
in Kashmir as the most immediate, but also cited the freedom
struggles in Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab, Khalistan.]
India takes the position that self-determination movements
are only used legitimately against a colonial power, but that
once a country is independent no part of that country can
claim its independence, as the Sikh nation did on 7 October
1987, when it reclaimed its freedom, forming the separate,
sovereign country of Khalistan. Sikhs ruled Punjab until the
British annexation in 1849 and were to receive sovereign
power in 1947 when India was made independent, so clearly
it is now India that is the occupying colonial power in Khalistan,
as well as Kashmir, Nagaland, and many other countries in
South Asia. In fact, there was no political entity called India
until the British created it in the nineteenth century...
[Professor Embree said that] India will have to resolve the
Kashmir issue by letting the people of Kashmir exercise their
political will through the referendum they were promised in
1948, but which India has never allowed to be held.
1 The Right to Self-Determination. Collected Papers and
Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Right
to Self-Determination and the United Nations, ed. Y. N. Kly and
D. Kly (Geneva, 2000).
<www.atlasbooks.com/clarity/b0017.htm>
2 `The threat to peace will subside only once such de-escalation
takes place. Thereafter, further mutual steps could be taken.
On the one hand, to end the repression by Indian forces in
occupied Jammu and Kashmir and provide access for media and
human rights organizations there. On the other, encouraging
and enabling for Kashmir a freedom struggle to de-escalate,
and its transit to a political process for the realization of the
legitimate aspirations of the Kashmir people.´ The Ambassador
reminded the Security Council of its obligation stating, `The
Security Council and the UN Secretary-General, and, indeed, all
UN Member States, have an obligation flowing from Article 25
of the UN Charter, to secure the implementation of UN Security
Council resolutions relating to Kashmir, adopted from 1949 to
1998. All the modalities outlined in Article 33 of the Charter can
be mobilized for this purpose. Pakistan trusts that, at this
decisive hour, the Security Council will live up to its Charter
responsibilities.´ <www.un.int/pakistan/14020531.html> On the
cal l for a pl ebi sci te: <www.nyti mes.com/2002/05/30/
international/asia/30NATI.html?todaysheadlines>
3 <www.mission.itu.ch/pakistan/56%20CHR%20Item%205.htm>
4 <www.dalitstan.org/journal/rights/105/021198.html> The two
separate reports of Professor Embree´s views have been
integrated into one report here.
22 21 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
Given the contemporary relevance of the debate on self-
determination, and the continuity and virulence of ethnic
conflicts since Independence,
5
it is worth pursuing the
question in the South Asian context back to its origins in
the struggle for independence from British colonial rule.
`Gandhi and Jinnah appearing from the sky!´
6
Students who
visited a particular website in early 2002 were invited to
imagine what, to the author of the page, would have seemed
an improbable conversation. Here we had Gandhi and Jinnah
appearing from the sky, with the human tragedy of the
Partition shown on the ground. Students were encouraged
to imagine the conversation between them. Jinnah, the
Quaid-i-Azam, the father of the Muslim people, stating that
he regretted partition. Gandhi, the opponent of the
`vivisection of India´ appeared to state that he considered
that partition was a good thing for Pakistan and was perhaps
necessary for India. We are led to suppose that such a
conversation was improbable, not to say impossible.
Yet this supposition, that Gandhi and Jinnah were inveterate
enemies, is false.
7
On the cover of this publication is the
photograph of the Mahatma and Jinnah, standing together
smiling, at the time of their 1944 talks. The Mahatma has
his arm around Jinnah. Nothing very remarkable about that
one might conclude. Well, for rabid nationalists there is
something significant about it: Jinnah and Gandhi were
capable of relatively cordial relations.
Body language is important, as when President Musharraf
recently offered the hand of friendship to Mr Vajpayee,
the Indian Prime Minister. Body language has to be turned
into deeds, of course. But without some personal rapport
agreements between politicians are difficult to achieve.
We know that, in the end, a political solution could not be
struck between Gandhi and Jinnah, or perhaps more
accurately between the leaders of Congress and the Muslim
League. But though, ultimately, a separate Pakistan state
was established, Gandhi bore no malice towards it. In an
address on Christmas Day 1947, the Mahatma pleaded for
an amicable settlement of the disputes between the new
states of India and Pakistan.
`Religions´, Gandhi wrote, `are not for separating men from
one another, they are meant to bind them. It is a misfortune
that today they are so distorted that they have become a
potent cause of strife and mutual slaughter.´ In his speech
on the eve of his last fast, on 12 January 1948, Gandhi
said: `Death for me would be a glorious deliverance rather
than that I should be a helpless witness of the destruction
of India, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. That destruction is
certain if Pakistan ensures no equality of status and security
of life and property for all professing the various faiths of
the world, and if India copies her. Only then Islam dies in
the two Indias, not in the world. But Hinduism and Sikhism
have no world outside India. Those who differ from me will
be honoured by me for their resistance however implacable.
Let my fast quicken conscience, not deaden it.´ `Not one
Muslim´, he said on another occasion, has `taught me that
Islam was an anti-Hindu religion.´ It was an appeal for
peaceful relations between communities that was matched
by Jinnah, who on 9 January 1948 called on Muslims to
protect their Hindu neighbours.
8
We can agree that a human tragedy of enormous
proportions resulted from the failure of the politicians on
the eve of independence to agree on the political outcome
after the withdrawal of the British except for a last-minute
partition which contained unfinished business. What needs
to be stressed is less the malevolence of politicians on one
side or the other, but the nature of the conflicting views
on what self-determination meant within the Indian sub-
Continent and how best it might be achieved. It is that
5 P. Sahadevan, `Ethnic conflict in South Asia´ (Joan B. Kroc
Institute for International Peace Studies, June 1999).
6 In January 2002, the page was at the URL <www.youth.sify.com/
scene.jsp?leftnav=yd> but has since been removed.
7 For Jinnah´s allegedly `strong dislike of Gandhi´ in the 1920s: S.
Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan (New York and Oxford, 1984), 76.
It may be objected to this view that the disagreement between
them was political, not personal. Jinnah objected fundamentally
to Gandhi´s `spiritual movement´ as against an orthodox political
movement for Indian self-government.
8 These statements are all taken from the sources cited in Ram
Puniyani, The Second Assassination of Gandhi? (Leicester,
2002, Studies in South Asian History, 3).
24 23 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
disagreement which this volume seeks to document. Mushirul
Hasan asks the question, `Why should any book published
in the West be the reference point for a Gandhi-Jinnah
debate?´(Document Forty-Three).
9
There can only be one
answer to that question: `because the perspective is
somewhat different.´ We believe that by focusing on the
debate not just between Gandhi and Jinnah but including
the views of Dr Babasaheb (Bhimrao Ramji) Ambedkar (1891-
1956)
10
- views which Jinnah on the whole endorsed but
Gandhi rejected - a more rounded and balanced
interpretation of the self-determination debate of the 1940s
is capable of being presented to the modern reader. That,
at least, is the intention.
In this interpretation, there must be a due place given to
two contexts: the first is the Indian context (the extent
or otherwise to which India was already polarized and
communalised in the 1920s), the second is the international
debate on self-determination. On the Indian context, the
evidence of communal rioting is discussed below. There
was also heightened press and propaganda activity of a
communal nature in the 1920s. For G. R. Thursby, reviewing
Hindu-Muslim relations between 1923 and 1928, a `"mental
partition¨ of the united nation already existed´. He cites
the evidence of the Arya press as `an important force in
forging a new prose style in Hindi and with it emotionalism
and a tendency to inaccuracy´, which led to acrimonious
Arya-Muslim exchanges. Though a Religious Insults Bill was
passed on 19 September 1927,
11
this could not alter the
basic problem which arose from the nature of the audience
for the vernacular press: to command a market, newspapers
had to attack the government or represent the interests
of one particular community (or sometimes both at the
same time).
12
This is why the banning of publications by
the colonial government, evidently an act which could be
seen as directed against freedom of speech, might be
construed as acting in the public interest and for the
maintenance of communal harmony.
13
Against such views, which stress the extent to which
communal relations were already poisoned in the 1920s,
Mushirul Hasan argues that `political developments [in India]
were not necessarily leading towards a communal impasse´
9 Those who subscribe to this viewpoint need look no further than
M. Hasan (ed.), India´s Partition. Process, Strategy and
Mobilization (Delhi, 1993), though the chapter on Jinnah and the
Pakistan demand is written by R. J. Moore. The comment was
no doubt related to A. H. Merriam, Gandhi vs. Jinnah: the debate
over the partition of India (Columbia, Mo, 1980). This useful
book does not reprint the documents published in 1944 (Jinnah-
Gandhi Talks, September 1944 [Delhi, All-India Muslim League,
1944]; Gandhi-Jinnah Talks: text of correspondence and other
relevant matters, July-October 1944, with a preface by C.
Rajagopalachari [Delhi, Hindustan Times, 1944]: note the rival
versions had also rival titles!) and does contain some
misconceptions. Jinnah did not evince `hatred´ for Hindus
(Merriam, 52 n 39) but was respectful of them throughout his
life. As late as 1947 he refused to countenance publication of a
photograph in Time with a caption which would give Hindus
offence: `As I think the description, `Mohammad Ali Jinnah: His
Moslem Tiger wants to eat the Hindu cow´ is offensive to the
sentiments of the Hindu community, I cannot put my autograph
on the cover page. as requested by you´. I. Talbot, Jinnah: Role
Model for Future Generations of Pakistanis (Leicester, 2001),
Document Four.
10 Dr B. R. Ambedkar is probably best remembered today by the
Dalits (`Untouchables´ or Depressed Classes) as their revered
leader and would-be emancipator. He was also Law Minister in
Nehru´s first cabinet after Independence and the chief influence
on the drafting of the Indian Constitution. On 15 October 1956,
Ambedkar led 800,000 of his followers in a mass conversion to
Buddhism at Deeksha Bhoomi, Nagpur. For his 22 vows on this
occasion: <www.ambedkar.org> This website contains the
electronic version of his Pakistan or the Partition of India (Dec.
1940; Feb. 1945; 1946). References to the printed edition are
to vol. viii of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Writings and Speeches.
Pakistan or the Partition of India (Government of Maharashtra,
1990). Ambedkar was a member of the Viceroy´s Executive
Council between 1942 and 1946, so the colonial government
was in a position to know his views.
11 Ibid. 70.
12 Ibid. 23, quoting M. W. Fenton, Punjab Government Chief
Secretary on 21 Oct. 1909: `in the Punjab religion plays a very
prominent part in politics, and official discretion has ever to be
on the alert to hold the balance in the rivalries of the three
principal sects [sic]. A newspaper, to secure circulation, readers
and influence, must either be an organ frankly hostile to
Government or be the champion of the interests of the
Muhamadan, Hindu or Sikh community.´
13 N. Gerald Barrier, Banned: controversial literature and political
control in British India, 1907-1947 (Columbia, Mo., 1974).
25 26 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
until the early 1930s. Until then, there was no `sharp
communal polarization between Hindus and Muslims nor
any significant solidarity in the Muslim "community¨´. There
is, he contends, a `facet of communal relations which tends
to be overlooked in the face of stark and irrefutable
evidence on Hindu-Muslim antagonism. Harking on conflicts
alone and turning a blind eye to instances of Hindu-Muslim
co-operation and fraternization has not just distorted our
perspective but has strained India´s fragile social fabric´.
For Hasan, `the Muslim League, in the political wilderness
during the Khilafat movement, was needlessly treated by
the Congress as its political adversary´. The tragedy was
that the Congress `could not break the Hindu Mahasabha
stranglehold and found itself trapped in the cross-fire
between communalists of all shades. It considered the
Muslim League as its political adversary, though certain
elements in its own ranks, backed by the Hindu Mahasabha
and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS], were, in fact,
out to wreck al l prospects of a Hi ndu-Musl i m
rapprochement.´
14
We do not see that the two viewpoints expressed above
are necessarily mutually exclusive. For much of India,
communal relations may have been reasonably harmonious.
There were, however, sufficient regions where conflict took
place and numerous issues of contention for the pot to be
kept simmering, if not actually boiling over into sustained
communal conflict. The problems of the 1930s did not arise
in an historical vacuum. The Partition experience of 1947,
while not inevitable was not necessarily a mere `aberration´
or `historical accident caused by a complex configuration
of forces at a political juncture.´
15
For example, Attlee was
prepared to join a private meeting with Nehru, V. K. Krishna
Menon and Cripps at Cripps´ country house `Goodfellows´
near Filkins in June 1938, which discussed specific proposals
for the future of the sub-Continent.
16
Atlee was extremely
well informed about Indian affairs, having served on the
Simon (or Indian Statutory) Commission between 1927 and
1930 (he had spent eight months in total during two tours
of India). The Cripps Offer of 1942 `went beyond anything
previously considered by any Government´, but in Attlee´s
words, it `embodied in fact some of the main ideas´ discussed
at Filkins in June 1938.
17
This was before the rise of the
Muslim League as a mass political party. It should also be
noted that, unlike the Conservative party, resolutions at
the Labour party annual conference since 1920 had
supported self-determination for India.
18
The international debate on self-determination was scarcely
new. The Resolution of the London International [Socialist]
Congress of 1896 contained a commitment to `the full right
of all nations to self-determination (Selbstbestim-
mungsrecht)´ and expressed its sympathy for the workers
of every country now suffering under the yoke of military,
national or other absolutism.´ No lesser writers than Lenin
19
14 M. Hasan, Nationalism and Communal Politics in India, 1885-
1930 (Manohar, 1994), 282-93, esp. 288, 292-3.
15 Ibid. 283.
16 R. J. Moore, Escape from Empire. The Attlee Government and
Indian Problem (Oxford, 1983), 74, 350.
17 R. J. Moore, Churchill, Cripps and India, 1939-1945 (Oxford,
1979), vi. Some of the inferences drawn from this meeting may
nevertheless be unwarranted: P. Almeida, Jinnah. Man of
Destiny (Delhi, 2001), 119, 130. Since the meeting discussed
`the means by which the next Labour government would
transfer to India´, Almeida deduces that `this decided Nehru´s
policies. Nehru became a willing instrument of leaders like
Cripps and Attlee to derive future advantage vis-à-vis Jinnah.
Nehru knew that Jinnah would be an obstacle in the rapid march
towards freedom and only Whitehall [could] cut him [down to]
size. Significantly this secret meeting was never made known
by Nehru (or V. K. Krishna Menon) to any Congressman and to
Gandhi, the Mahatma. Was this not betrayal? Was Nehru
authorised to undertake such a secret mission?´
18 Moore, Escape from Empire, 6.
19 V. I. Lenin The Right of Nations of Self-Determination (1918), ch
1: `the self-determination of nations means the political
separation of these nations from alien national bodies, and the
formati on of an i ndependent nati onal state.´ ` ."sel f-
determination of nations¨ in the Marxists´ Programme cannot,
from a historico-economic point of view, have any other
meaning than political self-determination, state independence,
and the formation of a national state´:
<www. marxi sts. org/archi ve/l eni n/works/1914/sel f -det/
ch01.htm> The Communist Party supported the demand of
Pakistan on the ground of nationality and argued that there were
two national bourgeoisies, one Muslim and the other Hindu. This
flawed understanding influenced Lenin´s position at the second
28 27 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
and Trotsky
20
had written on the question of self-
determination, while in January 1918 President Woodrow
Wilson had committed the United States (and the future
League of Nations) to the principle of self-determination
(Point 5 of the Fourteen Points, though the term itself was
not used). Wilson had earlier written:
21
Sel f-government i s the l ast, the consummate stage of
constitutional development... Self-government is not a mere
form of institutions, to be had when desired, if only proper
pains be taken. It is a form of character. It follows upon the
long discipline which gives people a self-possession, self-
mastery, the habit of order and peace and common counsel,
and a reverence for law which will not fail when they themselves
become makers of law: the steadiness and self-control of
political maturity...
Thomas Masaryk studied the question in his The Making of
a State (1927).
22
For Masaryk, `no two minority questions
are alike. Each presents peculiarities of its own.´ There
were also practical issues involved. If Czechoslovakia ceded
two million of its Germans to Germany, the remaining million
`would have far greater reason to fear Czechization [sic]
than the three millions fear it now´. The `rights of race´ had
to be safeguarded, which could be achieved by local self-
government and proportional representation. The `language
question was also of great moment, politically and
educationally´. For Masaryk it was `natural that, as a general
rule, nationality should be determined by language, for
language is an expression of the national spirit. Conscious
fostering of nationality implies therefore a comprehensive
policy of culture and education´. However, if every religious,
linguistic or ethnic minority were to have the right of self-
determination, states would be indefinitely subdivided.
Placing Masaryk´s agenda in context, Elisabeth Bakke
contrasts the experience of western Europe and east central
Europe:
23
The concept of sel f-determi nati on i s rooted i n Kanti an
philosophy, and comes in three versions. In the American
declaration of independence (1776) and the French declaration
[on the rights of man and the citizen (1789)], the doctrine of
self-determination meant the right of people to choose their
government without coercion, i.e. sovereignty of the people.
This can be interpreted in terms of freedom from external
intervention or in terms of internal democracy. The heyday
of the third version, `the principle of free self-determination
of nations´, was the First World War and the subsequent peace
settlement at Versailles. National self-determination now came
to be understood in terms of the right of people to choose
their state and their government. National self-determination
was meant to remedy two ills: the refusal of the multinational
Congress of Comintern, where he defined the Muslim League as
the Party of the Muslim Bourgeoisie and the Indian National
Congress as the party of the Hindu National Bourgeoisie. The
social support of the Muslim League is a complex issue, but in
a province such as the Punjab, it expressed the aspirations of
traditional landowners (Jamindars) more than the bourgeoisie:
I. Talbot, `The Growth of the Muslim League in the Punjab, 1937-
46´, India´s Partition, ed. Hasan, 233-57 at 256 notes that `the
rural elite´s support was crucial to its [that is, the League´s]
success´.
20 Trotsky on Black Nationalism and Self-Determination, ed. G.
Breitman (New York, 1967). In a communication to the author
on 5 November 2002, the specialist on Trotsky, Dr Ian Thatcher,
writes: `Trotsky was generally supportive of self-determination,
but he limited his understanding of it to cultural autonomy. For
Trotsky, the days of the nation state were clearly numbered.
The forces of economic production had outgrown national
boundaries and had to be governed on a continent-wide and
ultimately world-wide basis. The key political organisations that
he fought for were a United States of Europe and a Balkan
Federative Republic as bodies that would eventually form a
United States of the World. Within these trans-national and
global governing structures, however, he thought different
groups should enjoy specific cultural guarantees. He also
thought that ethnic conflict would be neutralised as a result. It
would not lead to local or major wars. Secure in cultural
matters, different groups would find it easy to coexist in
harmony. However, there would also be limits to the types of
differences Trotsky thought humanity would eventually
experience. He saw communist society as godless, so much of
the religious conflict we see today would simply disappear. Why
fight over `holy´ land when there is no god, when religion is
simply a manifestation of false consciousness?´
21 The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 18, 1908-1909, ed. A. S.
Link (Princeton, NJ, 1974), quoted by D. Heater, National Self-
Determination: Woodrow Wilson and his legacy (1994), 24.
<www.mtholyoke.edu/~vpokrent/> <www.usinfo.state.gov/
usa/infousa/facts/democrac/51.htm>
22 Masaryk, The Making of a State, 429-435.
<www.ucis.pitt.edu/eehistory/H200Readings/Topic5-R2.html>
23 E. Bakke, `The principle of national self-determination in
Czechoslovak Constitutions, 1920-1992´:
<www.statsvitenskap.uio.no/nfkis/komp/bakke.pdf>
30 29 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
empires of Europe to grant autonomy to national groups and
the lack of democratic control within the states. Woodrow
Wilson tended to confuse the two issues, and in his mind,
nati onal sel f-determi nati on essenti al l y meant popul ar
sovereignty. In Central and Eastern Europe, however, national
self-determination was interpreted as the right of culturally-
defined nations to have a state of their own. The confusion
arose from different conceptions of nationhood. In the West,
the nation concept was political or voluntarist; in Central and
Eastern Europe, it was predominantly cultural or ethnic.
Clearly, the South Asian context was much closer to the
`predominantly cultural or ethnic´ definition of nationhood
in Eastern Europe than the definition in Western Europe,
which was political or voluntarist (that is the concept of a
nation based on will, i.e. the idea of a `pre-political voluntarist
nation´). However, careful analysis of the legacy of the
French Revolution in the west European evolution of national
self-determination suggests that `the process of national
consolidation, even if based on ostensibly voluntarist
premises, may end up blurring the classic distinction
between civic / inclusive and ethnic / exclusive nations´.
Chimène Keitner argues:
24
The exclusionary potential of ethnic nationhood is clear and
its susceptibility to abuse widely noted; however, even if ethnic
nationhood is rejected as a basis for state authority and
legitimacy, there remains an important need to harness or to
create some kind of social glue among citizens and some
basis for attachment to political institutions. On a theoretical
level, the nation-state principle only makes sense if nations
are assumed to be cohesive and in some sense unitary;
otherwise, there is no apparent reason to look to nations as
the normative basis for constructing territorially separate and
politically independent states. Cultural diversity is not just a
matter of eating different foods and celebrating different
holidays; it is a matter of preserving different ways of life
that, so far, continue to find their highest political expression
in the aspiration for, or reality of, a sovereign state.
David Miller defines a nation as `a community of people with
an aspiration to be politically self-determining´, while Ian
Brownlie characterizes self-determination as `the right of
cohesive national groups (`peoples´) to choose for themselves
a form of political organization and their relation to other
groups´. There is an assumption that `nations are ethically,
conceptually and even historically distinct from, and prior
to, states´. Clearly language is central to the sense of `people´
and `nation´: Keitner argues that `language became an
essential tool for forging unity and concretising identity´.
But there remains a fundamental problem about who or
what grouping constitute the `people´ who become a
`nation´. As Sir Ivor Jennings wrote on the subject of the
UN decolonization debates, `on the surface it seemed
reasonable: let the people decide. It was in fact ridiculous
because the people cannot decide until someone decides
who are the people´.
25
An illustration of this problem, within
the Indian sub-continent, is Muhammad Iqbal´s comment
that the expression `Indian Muhammadan´ was `a
contradiction in terms; since Islam is in its essence above
all conditions of time and space. Nationality with us is a
pure idea; it has no geographical basis.´
26
The resonance of the western discussions of self-
determination in the context of South Asia before
Independence becomes clear once we recall that the term
Self-determination for India was used as early as 1919 in
an Indian Home Rule League pamphlet; that the Congress
leader Annie Wood Besant (and President of Congress in
1917) used the term `self-determination and self-
government´ in chapter eight of her book on The Future of
Indian Politics published in May 1922; and that a furious
debate emerged on the respect merits of the English, Hindi
and Urdu languages (among others) during the so-called
`freedom struggle´ against British colonial rule.
Both Jinnah and Gandhi were in origin Gujarati speakers
but, after a period at Church Mission School in 1892, Jinnah
was much more proficient in English than in any of the
24 C. Keitner, `National self-determination: the legacy of the
French Revolution´, International Studies Association Annual
Meeting (Oxford, March 2000).
25 Ibid. D. Miller, On Nationality (Oxford, 1995), 19. I. Brownlie,
Principles of Public International Law, 5th edn. (Oxford, 1998),
599. I. Jennings, The Approach to Self-Government (Cambridge,
1956), 56.
26 Quoted in B. R. Nanda, Gandhi, Pan-Islamism, Imperialism and
Nationalism in India (Delhi, 1989), 385. Nanda talks of a `flight
from nationalism´ and it is clear that Iqbal´s views had developed
considerably by 1930.
32 31 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
Indian languages. `He never became, nor wanted to become,
a demagogue because he spoke neither Urdu nor Hindi with
facility - and mass audiences in India did not understand
English.´
27
Even Gandhi, who was no specialist in Urdu,
chided Jinnah because of his unwillingness to speak
Gujarati.
28
Gandhi also wrote to him in their native language:
`there was a day when I was able to persuade you to
speak in our mother tongue. Today I take courage to write
to you in the same.´ (Document Seven). In 1938 Jinnah
had told Gandhi that Hindi should not be made compulsory
in any of the provinces controlled by the Congress
(Document Three). Urdu, Jinnah declared on another
occasion, `is our national language and we should strain
every nerve to keep it unharmed and unpolluted and save
it from the aggressive and hostile attitude of our opponents´.
In Syed Ameer Ali´s formulation, Urdu `formed the ordinary
vehicle of intercommunication between the diverse races
which were brought together by the Muslim conquest´.
29
Yet Syed also stated that `present-day India is an artificial
unit. As yet the only binding force of an "Indian nation¨ is
the English language and the ideas conveyed by its medium,
superimposed on the very small proportion of the population
who can take advantage of secondary education´.
30
Donald Low considers that the British position towards its
empire `was characterised by a deeply laid ambiguity. They
found it exceedingly difficult to reconcile their intense
imperial instincts with the liberal political values they held
so dear´. The promise of Dominion status was held out by
Lord Irwin in his declaration of 31 October 1929, but this
would have to be `the natural issue of India´s constitutional
development´, which might take many years, and India would
have to remain in the British Empire, which ruled out the
objective of complete independence. Instead, `immense
efforts were made throughout the 1930s by the British to
push the genie of India´s nationalist demands for complete
independence back into its bottle once again´. For all his
sensitivity to Gandhi´s public image and awareness of his
potential political role, Irwin was conscious of the need for
the Indian government to prepare for a non-co-operation
movement much as the British government had prepared
for the national strike in 1926: it was his view that the
colonial government´s `business´ was to show `conclusively´
that they those agitating for independence could not make
government impossible.
31
Low concludes that British policy
was `deeply and perennially ambiguous´.
32
It was this
ambivalence or equivocation of British policy which Gandhi´s
satayagraha doctrine sought to confront: `the double-think
at the core of Britain´s imperial posture towards India during
the interwar years crucially determined the most substantial
nationalist response that was launched against it´.
33
In other, more repressive, imperialist systems Gandhi would
have been placed under life imprisonment or permanent
exile and thus neutralized.
34
Lord Irwin thought the
introduction of a `Mussolini system of government´ would
make `the main problem of keeping India within the Empire
a hundred times more difficult´.
35
After the Jallianwallah
Bagh massacre of 1919, the British were reluctant to use
military force and live ammunition against nationalist
opponents if this could be avoided.
36
Instead, the British
were interested in the propaganda battle and sought to
win the `moral high ground´, an impossible task against a
figure such as Gandhi, given his growing stature and moral
authority, his longevity during the three decades in which
he was in effect the political leader of Congress (he was
already aged sixty in 1929),
37
his iron will and his political
27 Fatima Jinnah quoted in S. M. Burke and S. Al-Din Quraishi,
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. His Personality and his
Politics (Karachi, 1997), 32, 35, 45.
28 Merriam, Gandhi vs. Jinnah, 44.
29 Memoirs and Other Writings of Syed Ameer Ali, ed. Syed Razi
Wasti (Lahore, 1968), 158.
30 Ibid. 93.
31 J. M. Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience. The Mahatma in
Indian Politics, 1928-34 (Cambridge, 1977), 60 n. 49.
32 D. A. Low, Britain and Indian Nationalism. The Imprint of
Ambiguity, 1929-1942 (Cambridge, 1997), 36.
33 Ibid. 39.
34 Hitler told Lord Halifax (formerly the Viceroy Lord Irwin) in
1937: `First shoot Gandhi.´ Almeida, Jinnah: Man of Destiny,
259. <www.tri bunei ndi a.com/2001/20010930/spectrum/
main2.htm>
35 Low, Britain and Indian Nationalism, 72.
36 Ibid. 117.
37 Gandhi was born in 1869; Jinnah is thought to have been born
in 1876 and was thus seven years younger, but his political
34 33 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
skills in leading a reasonably united `but potentially very
divided Indian National Congress across an ominous, yawning
generation gap. Had he misjudged or spurned his Jawaharlal
[Nehru] it could so easily have been otherwise.´
38
The
colonial government in India made no attempt to destroy
the nationalist movement altogether, though it sometimes
considered doing so;
39
instead, it refrained from proscribing
Congress, but sought allies against it; it tried to avoid
martial law and sought to adopt a reforming standpoint. It
made it clear that if civil disobedience stopped, Congress
would be free to operate without hindrance.
40
The three great countrywide campaigns mounted by Gandhi
in 1919-22, 1929-34 and 1939-44 went through a similar
pattern of response and counter-response. Each, writes
Low, `was prompted by some great insult to the Indians´
amour propre - the Rowlatt Bills of 1919; the Simon
Commission of 1927; and the Viceroy´s unilateral declaration
that India was at war in 1939.´
41
There then followed a
pause for negotiations in each case
42
and, later still, a
further upsurge of agitation.
43
The British made concessions
to avoid these further waves of agitation, but never
conceded more in response to the second upsurge, merely
proceeding with the changes already announced.
The immense wartime pressures on the British Imperial system
led to an apparent offer of home rule in India made in August
1940, apparent because as one contemporary observed it
was `so non-committal in regard to its being implemented
within any reasonable distance of time´ that it could `afford
no satisfaction whatever to the people´ of India.
44
Dominion
status for India was the objective of the British government,
and a representative assembly was to be set up `with the
least possible delay´ after the end of the war, but neither
the date nor the method of introducing self-government
was indicated. A guarantee was given to the Muslims that
there would be no transfer of power if the authority of the
new system was denied `by large and powerful elements of
India´s national life´.
45
This did not go far enough for Chiang
Kai-shek, the President of the Chinese Republic, who for
reasons of its strategic importance wanted Britain to concede
real political power to the Indians `as speedily as possible´.
His message to Roosevelt warned that `if the British
government does not fundamentally change their policy
towards India, it would be like presenting India to the enemy´.
46
Churchill´s parliamentary speech on the Roosevelt-Churchill
Atlantic Charter, signed at sea in August 1941, and the
foundation stone for the subsequent United Nations, further
dashed the hopes of an immediate British recognition of the
Indian right of self-determination. Article three expressed
`the right of all peoples to choose the form of government
under which they will live´. But on 9 September, Churchill
told the House of Commons that this applied only to European
nations under Nazi rule. It did not apply to India, Burma or
other parts of the Empire. The `progressive evolution of
self-governing institutions in the regions and peoples who
owe allegiance to the British crown´ had nothing to do with
the emancipation of Europe from Nazism.
47
The Americans
found this attitude difficult to accept or to justify because
of the likely `repercussions in India which may serve to impede
further India´s contribution to the war´.
48
In his first public
statement on the Indian problem, Roosevelt distanced himself
from Churchill´s position and declared that the Atlantic Charter
applied to the whole world, including the people of Asia living
under European domination.
49
The difference of interpretation
career in India had started earlier. When Gandhi arrived in India
in 1915 from South Africa he was little known and viewed with
suspicion by many of the western-educated leaders of all-
Indian politics. Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 4.
38 Low, Britain and Indian Nationalism, 69.
39 Ibid. 141. Irwin on 6 April 1931 stated `no remedy can be found
except by. suppressing [Congress] with all the forces at our
disposal´. But at this juncture he thought such a course to be
`unprofitable and unwise´.
40 Ibid., 183.
41 Ibid., 180-1.
42 The Amritsar Congress in 1919; the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in 1930;
the Cripps negotiations in 1942.
43 The Khilafat movement of 1920-2, the second Civil Disobedience
movement of 1932; the `Quit India´ campaign of 1942.
44 Moore, Churchill, Cripps and India, 43.
45 G. Rizvi, Linlithgow and India. A Study of British Policy and the
Political Impasse in India, 1936-1943 (London, 1978), 158.
46 Ibid., 174-5.
47 Moore, Churchill, Cripps and India, 42.
48 Ibid. 49.
49 Rizvi, Linlithgow and India, 175.
36 35 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination: Introduction Professor Richard Bonney
in the wartime coalition could not be wider, but as yet US
influence in this theatre of the war was slight.
Though Jinnah declared in April 1942 that `Muslim India will
not be satisfied unless the right of national self-
determination is unequivocally recognized´ the mode in which
such self-determination would operate was by no means
pre-determined. Once the principle of the Muslim right of
self-determination, as embodied in the Lahore Resolution
of 1940, was conceded, the resulting Muslim state or states
could either `enter into a confederation with non-Muslim
provinces on the basis of parity at the centre´ or make, as
a sovereign state, `treaty arrangements with the rest of
India about matters of common concern´. For Ayesha Jalal,
therefore, the Lahore Resolution was nothing more than a
`tactical move´ and a `bargaining counter´.
50
Others have
argued that Jinnah was `hoist with his own petard´: `he fell
captive to his promise of separate statehood for six
provinces and was left by the Partition with the truncated
state that was alone consistent with the concept of a
nation defined by the religious map of the sub-Continent.´
51
Thomas Masaryk had said that `no two minority questions
are alike´. The partition of the Indian sub-continent suggests
that just one minority question - albeit a question involving
the largest minority of any state at the time - was
potentially capable of a number of different outcomes.
Professor Richard Bonney
Leicester, 22 November 2002
50 A. Jalal, The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League, and
the demand for Pakistan (Cambridge, 1985), 57, 241. A. Roy,
`The High politics of India´s Partition: the revisionist perspective´,
India´s Partition, ed. Hasan, 110-111. This is vigorously refuted
by R. J. Moore, `Jinnah and the Pakistan demand´, ibid. 197: `that
outcome [the eventual Pakistan] lends no support to speculation
that the Pakistan demand was Jinnah´s bargaining counter for
power in a united India, or that the Partition hoisted him with his
own petard.´
51 Views cited by Moore, `Jinnah and the Pakistan demand´, India´s
Partition, ed. Hasan, 162, but refuted in his chapter.
Three Giants of South Asia:
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-
Determination
Professor Richard Bonney
1 Divide and Rule: the Census in British
India and the Growth of Communal Identity
Hitherto [that is, before 1920], the English had ruled over us
by playing Hindu against Musulman, and Musulman against
Hindu. This was their chief strength and our chief weakness.
(Mahomed Ali, 23 July 1921)
1
The census, introduced by the British as an all-India
phenomenon from 1871, was a catalyst for change. In the
words of Kenneth W. Jones:
The census existed not merely as a passive recorder of data
but as a catalyst of change as it both described and altered
its environment. The act of describing meant providing order
to that which was described, and at the same time stimulating
forces which would alter that order. A decade later the new
modified world would be delineated by the next census which
would itself generate further change. This created a cyclical
effect, was the census fed back into itself, becoming in the
process a crucial point of interaction between the British-
Indian government and its subjects...
2
The theme on which Kenneth W. Jones focuses is that of
the census and its relationship to Hindu consciousness.
But the same point is equally valid with regard to its
relationship to Muslim or Sikh consciousness, or the
consciousness of the `scheduled castes´ as they were to
become. And each of these groups, in turn, had a dynamic
1 J. M. Brown, Gandhi´s Rise to Power. Indian Politics, 1915-1922
(Cambridge, 1972), 330.
2 K. W. Jones, `Religious identity and the Indian census´, The
Census in British India. New Perspectives, ed. N. G. Barrier
(New Delhi, 1981), 73-4.
38 37 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
impact on the subsequent development of the census.
The census, which from 1871 became an enumeration held
each decade,
3
focused attention on religious competition
between Christians, Sikhs and Muslims as well as on the
development of reconversion (suddhi) by Hindus. The Muslim
population was computed into percentages of Sunnis, Shi´as
and Wahabis. There were accounts of Hindu movements
such as the Brahmo Samaj, the Arya Samaj, the Dev Samaj
and so on. In the words of Kenneth W. Jones, `religions
became communities mapped, counted, and above all
compared with other religious communities. Furthermore
this was not a static concept, since each decennial census
measured changes for good or ill in the state of the
community and might even reshape a community through
a new definition. The census thus created a concept of
religious community more detailed and more exact than
any existing prior to the creation of the census.´
4
There
were some, such as the Muslim separatist Choudhary Rahmat
Ali, who claimed that the census makers were `the partisans
of "Indianism¨, who are past-masters in the manipulation
of facts and figures to their advantage´ so that the accuracy
of the data could not be guaranteed.
5
But this was a
distinctly minority viewpoint.
The overall impact of the census on literate Indians was to
create a state of anxiety. Using census data from 1872 to
1901, U. N. Mukerji described the Hindus as `a dying race´
and predicted, province by province, the date at which
they would eventually disappear from British India. In so
doing, he followed the lead of the British Census
Commissioner of Bengal, who calculated `the number of
years it would take the Hindus altogether to disappear
from Bengal if Muhammadan increase went on at the rate
it was doing´.
6
If traditional hatreds were the fundamental
cause of Hindu-Muslim friction, they were given a new
sense of urgency by the age of government-inspired (and
apparently government-approved) census statistics.
At every stage in the struggle for Muslim autonomy and
eventual independence, demographic statistics were
adduced to confer legitimacy on an argument resting
essentially on a sense of Muslim self-affirmation and,
eventually, on the Muslim drive for self-determination. At a
lecture in London on 3 July 1911, the Aga Khan, the
hereditary Imam and head of the Ismaili sect, recounted
that data from the 1901 census showed that there were
62.5 million Muslims and that as a proportion of the total
population the Muslim population had risen in ten years
from 19 to 21 per cent. He estimated the outcome of the
1911 census to be `much nearer 70 millions than 60 millions´.
And he noted that rather than building up an Indian
nationhood `in which religious and racial differences will be
largely forgotten and overshadowed by the sentiment of
geographical and political or national unity´, `on historical,
sentimental and moral and religious grounds the Indian
Mussulmans are bound to incline to self-organization and
self-expression and to the traditions associated with English
rule.´
7
The British administration was acutely aware that the
danger, from the point of view of the colonial power, was
the formation of a national bloc of nationalists which the
Congress, founded in 1885, threatened to become. If `young
educated Mohammedans´ could be prevented from joining
Congress, there would be clear advantages to the governing
authority. The educational mission of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
(1817-98), the founder of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental
(MAO) College in 1875 which became Aligarh University in
1920,
8
was thus to be encouraged and Syed became a
3 India census, 1872-1951: a check list and index (Zug, 1966).
Bibliography of census publications in India, compiled by C. G.
Jadhav; with assistance of Charan Singh, Anand Prakash; ed.
B. K. Roy Burman (Delhi, 1972).
4 Jones, `Religious identity and the Indian census´, 84.
5 C. R. Ali, Pakistan: the Fatherland of the Pak Nation (3rd edn,
Cambridge, 1947), 153.
6 Jones, `Religious identity and the Indian census´, 91.
7 Aga Khan III. Selected Speeches and Writings of Sir Sultan
Muhammad Shah. I. 1902-1927, ed. K. K. Aziz (London and New
York, 1998), 355-7.
8 The fund-raising for this started earlier, as a result of a decision
of the All-India Muslim League held at Delhi in January 1910: F.
C. R. Robinson, Separatism among Indian Muslims. The Politics
of the United Provinces´ Muslims, 1860-1923 (Cambridge,
1974), 199.
40 39 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
member of the Viceroy´s Council in 1878. There is a case
for stating that his views on the need to protect the
`interests of the smaller [Muslim] community´, while at the
same time seeking peaceful relations between Hindus and
Muslims, formed the intellectual background to the Aga
Khan´s delegation of 1906.
9
On 1 October 1906, a memorial was presented to Lord
Minto, Viceroy of India (1905-10), by thirty-five Muslims
led by the Aga Khan (the so-called Simla Declaration). The
address argued that British policy in India had paid
`deference. so far as possible. to the views and wishes
of the people. with due regard always to the diversity of
race and religion which forms such an important feature of
all Indian problems´. The position of Muslims in the structure
of representative government, it was argued, should be
`commensurate not merely with their numerical strength
but also with their political importance and the value of
the contribution which they made to the defence of the
Empire´. The census of 1901 had demonstrated that there
were over 62 million Muslims, a minority `amounting to a
quarter of the population - and in itself more numerous
than the entire population of any first class European Power,
except Russia´, and one which could justly lay claim to
adequate recognition as an important factor in the State.
Hindus and Muslims shared some common interests and `it
will always be a matter of the utmost satisfaction to us to
see these interests safeguarded by the presence in our
Legislative Chambers of able supporters of these interests,
irrespective of the their nationality. We Musulmans have,
however, additional interests of our own which are not
shared by other communities and these have hitherto
suffered grievous loss from the fact that they have not
been adequately represented.´
10
Here then, was an articulation, albeit a somewhat covert
articulation, of a `two nations theory´: the Hindus were a
`nationality´; so, too, were the Muslims (`we Mohammedans
cannot any longer, in justice to our own national interests,
hold aloof from participation in the conditions to which
their policy has given rise.´)
11
Later, in 1928, the Aga Khan
rejected the term `communal´ or `community´ when applied
to the Muslims of India. Instead they were `in a restricted,
special, sense a nation composed of many communities´.
12
The Aga Khan addressed this theme much more explicitly
in an interview with The Times on 14 February 1909, entitled
`The Problem of the Minorities in India´:
13
.I hold no less strongly that in framing the new political order
of things statesmanship must take account of the wide
differences which separate Hindus and Musulmans at the
present time. These differences are not only religious, they
are historical and physical, and in the latter respect, at least,
they soon become marked, even in the case of recent converts
to the Moslem faith. The changes of dietary habits, outlook
and social life generally consequent upon such conversion
soon tell upon body and mind, as has often been pointed out.
When I reflect upon the great distinction between the two
races [sic] - distinctions more or less known to everyone
familiar with India - I have to admit that fulfilment of the
ideal of homogeneity lies in a future so distant that it is quite
beyond me to predict the date of its arrival.
The British Government has hitherto been most careful to
maintain a neutral attitude as between one religion and
another, and it has thus been in a position, moral as well as
physical, to keep the peace when conflict, involving public
disorder, has been threatened or has broken out. In this way
the Government has created an atmosphere favourable to
9 Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
68-74. For Sir Syed Ahmed Khan: Rajmohan Gandhi, Under-
standing the Muslim Mind (2nd edn. 1987), 19-45.
10 Aga Khan III, ed. Aziz, i. 249-60, especially 252. P. C. Ghosh,
The Development of the Indian National Congress, 1892-1909
(Calcutta, 1960), 155. On the Aga Khan delegation and its
dependence on the thought of the thought of Sir Syed Ahmed
Khan: Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali
Jinnah, 74-77.
11 Aga Khan III, ed. Aziz, i. 251. Wolpert calls this `the first use of
the words "national interests¨ by Indian Muslims in appealing to
British rulers for help against the "unsympathetic¨ Hindu major-
ity´: Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan, 23. In 1930 the Indian
Statutory Committee produced a `Note on the History of
Separate Muhammadan Representation´ which essentially com-
menced in 1906 with the Aga Khan´s delegation: Report of the
Indian Statutory Commission [Cmd. 3568] (London, 1930), i.
183-189. In welcoming the deputation, Lord Minto gave the
`first official acknowledgement of the Muhammadan claim for
separate representation´ but used the term `community´ not
`nation´: ibid. i. 184.
12 Aga Khan III, ed. Aziz, ii. 833.
13 Ibid. i. 288-93.
42 41 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
the spread of the spirit of real intellectual toleration. But the
growth of this spirit is a work of time, and at the present
stage, by political machinery provided by the Sovereign power,
one element of the population is placed in a position to dictate
its will to the other elements. An Act of Parliament cannot
weld into one, by electoral machinery, two nationalities so
distinct as the Hindus and the Mahomedans. The former is a
vast conservative and widely-varying federation, while Islam
is a proselytising and unifying faith, so closely corresponding
in doctrine and ritual with Judaism that it is much nearer in
spirit and origin to Christianity than it is to Hinduism. With
such vast differences existing, it is certain that if one element
gets excessive political power, or is in a position to dictate its
will on the other, it will always not only be liable but compelled
by religious and social circumstances to exert that authority.
It is not that the leaders of the Hindu majority want to do us
injustice, but they will be compelled by religious and social
circumstances to exert the full political supremacy over us
they may possess.
Now is the opportunity for leading Hindus to show a true spirit
of patriotism and good will by recognizing that Mahomedan
misgivings as to the original scheme are just and reasonable.
They should frankly abandon the untenable claim that they
speak for the whole of India, and they should recognize that
the minority representation to which many of them agree in
theory [cannot] be real and effective without the changes for
which the Mahomedans have asked.
The Aga Khan noted that he had read `with keen interest
and appreciation´ a letter of Syed Ameer Ali (1849-1928;
Syed was also an Ismaili) to The Times. In this letter,
dated 9 January 1909, Syed had argued that `under the
existing conditions and in the present state of feeling among
the general body of the two nationalities a system of popular
[joint] electorates. would lead to constant friction,
heartburning and complaints´. The Muslims, he stated, were
over 53 millions; but `the importance of a nation cannot
always be adjudged by numerical considerations´.
14
In an
article entitled `Dawn of a New Policy in India´, quoting The
Times, Syed stated in November 1906 that Muslims had
either to join the Congress or `set up a second agitation of
their own´. `Nor ought it to be overlooked´, Syed argued,
that `the community of language, sentiment and tradition
places the Muslims of the different provinces on a common
platform, and constitutes them in an emphatic sense one
nationality´.
15
Muslims such as Syed Ameer Ali rejected the
accusation that they were separatists. As Muhammad Shafi
explained to Syed in a letter dated 22 August 1912:
16
As you say we are not separatists in any sense of the term.
We are always ready to cooperate with the sister communities
in everything calculated to promote the true interests of our
country. But the only sound basis of co-operation, the quote
a passage from your letter of the 14
th
November last, is a
modus vivendi by which the two Nations (i.e. Hindu and Muslim)
may work together for the common good whilst retaining their
own communal existence and their communal rights.
There had been earlier recognition of this viewpoint in, for
example, the writings of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, as has
been seen; but the first organizational result was the
formation of the All-India Muslim League on 30 December
1906.
17
Muslims, however, were not united behind this body.
The Aga Khan noted that Jinnah `came out in bitter hostility
towards all that my friends and I had done and were trying
to do´, a particular setback for him since he counted Jinnah
the most remarkable statesman he ever met.
18
Jinnah, too,
14 Memoirs and Other Writings of Syed Ameer Ali, ed. Syed. Razi
Wasti (Lahdore, 1968), 335-9.
15 Ibid. 262-3.
16 Ibid. 92 n 1.
17 M. Hasan, Nationalism and Communal Politics in India, 1916-
1928 (Delhi, 1979), 50-1 [hereafter referred to as Hasan
(1979)]. The objectives of the League were `a) to promote
amongst the [Muslims] of India feelings of loyalty to the British
Government and to remove any misconceptions that may arise
as to the intentions of the government with regard to any of its
measures; b) to protect and advance the political rights and
interests of [Muslims] of India and respectfully to represent
their needs and aspirations to the Government; c) to prevent
the rise among [Muslims] of India of any feelings of hostility
towards other communities without prejudice to the other
objects of the league´: Ghosh, The Development of the Indian
National Congress, 159. For the Aga Khan´s esteem of Jinnah,
expressed in his memoirs of 1954: Aga Khan III, ed. Aziz,
i.170-1, this in spite of the fact that Jinnah was the `only well-
known Muslim´ to take the view initially that the League was
`dividing the nation against itself´ The League wanted to quell
hostility to British rule, the continuance of which was seen as
essential for protecting Muslim interests: Wolpert, Jinnah of
Pakistan, 25-6.
18 Ghosh, The Development of the Indian National Congress, 159-
160.
44 43 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
was an Ismaili or Khoja,
19
one reason why his later appeal
to the Muslim `nation´ had to be constructed in political
and not religious terms, at least until there was an
overarching rallying cry of `Islam in danger´. Since the
majority of the Indian Muslims were Sunnis, an appeal in
strictly religious terms by a secular
20
Shiite was unlikely to
unite them. (In the end, in Rajmohan Gandhi´s phrase, `that
he was a Shia in a qaum with a large Sunni majority did not
hurt him. He and the League successfully used the slogan
of "One God, One Book one Prophet¨.´)
21
Jinnah did not join
the Muslim League until 1913 and then only on strict terms
that it would not prejudice his prior membership of
Congress;
22
at this stage was heavily influenced by his
friend, the moderate Congress leader Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
The second consquence was the adoption by the Indian
government, in 1909, of the Morley-Minto reforms, which
accepted the argument of the Simla Deputation, especially
the principle of separate electorates for Muslims in
recognition of their `political and historical importance´. From
the British point of view, this formed part of a long-term
strategy of seeking allies against Congress. Already in 1905,
W. E. Curtis had argued that the Muslims were `more
independent than the Hindus´, while Morley, the Secretary
of State for India, told Minto in February 1909 that Muslims
were `a strong conservative element. [who would thus
be] a substantial support to the Moderate Party in India.´
British policy should be to `enlist [them] as allies and
auxiliaries on the side of the British Government against
the extremists´. Above all, it would be `a grave mischance
if the Mahomedans were alienated´.
23
T. W. Holderness, in
Peoples and Problems of India, published in 1911, considered
Indian Muslims `for many purposes a nation. In administrative
matters the British Government has constantly to consider
Indian Muslims a separate community, with interests distinct
from and conflicting with those of the rest of the
population´.
24
While Jinnah´s `two nations theory´ was the ultimate
theoretical model and justification for this sort of reasoning,
there seems much to be said for the view that the British
administration of India had in large measure established
both the theoretical and the practical implications of this
approach to the communal problem. Lord Morley, Secretary
of State for India from 1905 to 1910, was in no doubt that
the gulf between Islam and Hinduism was `not a mere
difference of articles of faith and dogma. It is a difference
of life, in tradition, in history, in all the social things as well
as articles of belief that constitute a community.´
25
Lord
Ronaldshay, Governor of Bengal from 1917 to 1922 and
later Secretary of State for India, commented:
The Muslims have their internecine quarrels, but these apart,
the solidarity of Islam is a hard fact against which it is futile
to run one´ s head. It was not al ways real i zed by the
constitution makers even in India itself how fundamental and
far-reaching is the cleavage between the two communities.
The division between Muslims and Hindus are not only those
19 Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
32. Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan, 4: `the Khojas of South Asia
remained doubly conscious of their separateness and cultural
difference, helping perhaps account for the "aloofness¨ so often
noted as a characteristic quality of Jinnah and his family.´ P.
Almeida, Jinnah. Man of Destiny (Delhi, 2001), 16. Ibid., 122,
noting that the Aga Khan visited Ghandi in 1939 appealing to him
to settle with Jinnah if it was at all possible. The Ismailis are
known in India as Khojas `from the Hindu caste originally
converted by a Persian Ismaili, Sadr al-Din´: J. Bowker, Oxford
Dictionary of World Religions (Oxford, 1997), 481.
20 For Jinnah´s willingness to eat pork sausages in 1923, while
upbraiding of his wife for bringing him ham sandwiches during
his election campaign (`do you want me to lose my election. if
my voters were to learn that I am going to eat ham sandwiches
for lunch, do you think I have a ghost of a chance of being
elected?): Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan, 78-9.
21 Rajmohan Gandhi, Understanding the Muslim Mind, 184.
22 As evidenced by Sarojini Naidu. Mohomed Ali Jinnah, an
ambassador of unity: his speeches and writings, 1912-1917,
ed. Sarojini Naidu (Madras, 1918, repr. 1920), 11: `his two
sponsors were required to make a solemn preliminary covenant
that loyalty to the Muslim League and the Muslim interest would
in no way and at no time imply even the shadow of disloyalty to
the larger national cause to which his life was dedicated.´
Significantly, the Pakistani edition of Naidu´s introduction omits
this passage: Jamil-ud-Din Ahmad (ed.), Quaid-e-Azam as
seen by his contemporaries (Lahore, 1966), 158-165.
23 Hasan (1979), 311, n. 5.
24 Ibid., 310-11, n. 4.
25 Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah, 13.
46 45 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
due to religious belief and practice, but to a profoundly
different outlook on life resulting in social systems which are
the very antithesis of one another.
26
The Morley-Minto reforms introduced a profound change
i nto Indi an pol i ti cs, the pri nci pl e of communal
representation. Baron Hardinge, Viceroy of India (1906-
10), was hostile to the idea, but recognized the importance
of the transformation, that there could be no turning back:
`I do not like it´,
27
he admitted in 1912, `but Minto gave
definite pledges to the Muslims, and I do not see how we
can possibly go back on them. We shall have to redeem
our pledge to the Muslims.´
28
With the exception of Curzon´s division of Bengal in 1905,
there was probably `no deliberate British attempt to foster
communal hostility´. As Francis Robinson contends, `the
aim was to avoid it´; but there was no denying that the
British feared the Muslims and sought to pacify them through
special concessions.´
29
Moreover, a distinction needs to be
made between the period before World War II and the
crisis of the British imperial system that was precipitated
by the war. As Sanjoy Banerjee comments, `with the outbreak
of war in 1939, the British moved swiftly to promote the
Muslim League, which was still quite weak, as a
counterweight to Congress. Within months they gave
unprecedented recogni ti on to the League as a
representative of Muslim interests. These policies were
consciously intended to manipulate Congress and prevent
the consolidation of the movement for a united independent
India. The divide and rule policies were reinforced by the
growing communal divisions within India and the willingness
of the Muslim League to appeal to British authority to attain
their goals.´
30
The apogee of `divide and rule´ came under
the wartime leadership of the inveterate imperialist
Churchill.
31
For him, the eventual solution of the Indian
problem was not decolonisation but an arrangement
whereby the British `might sit on top of a tripos - Pakhistan
[sic], Princely India and the Hindus´, or as Viceroy Linlithgow
put it, `we shall remain there to hold the balance´.
32
For
Churchill, `the Hindu-Muslim feud´ was `the bulwark of British
rule in India´.
33
This lay far in the future. In the first decades of the century,
the leaders of Congress challenged the British assumptions
about Indian Muslims. Hardline Hindu opinion, in the form of
the Punjab Hindu Sabha (which eventually evolved into
26 Loc. cit.
27 Writing in 1821, a British officer under the assumed name of
Carnaticus wrote in the Asiatic Review that Divide et impera
`should be the motto of our Indian administration, whether
political, civil or military´. Opponents of the `two nations theory´
decry the British policy of divide and rule as one that was
deliberately conceived and executed: Almeida, Jinnah. Man of
destiny, passim.
<www. member s. t r i pod. com/ ~I NDI A_RESOURCE/ hi st -
2nation.html> However, Thursby notes that, following the
Governor-General´s proclamation in 1849 and the proclamation
of Queen Victoria in 1858, the British administration in India was
neutral in its standpoint between the different religions; and the
British sought to rule primarily by conciliation rather than by
repression. On the other hand, the British did facilitate the self-
identity of different groups by classifying their Indian subjects
for administrative convenience; moreover, the decentraliza-
tion of political power and devolution of government had a
major impact on inter-communal relations: G. R. Thursby,
Hindu-Muslim Relations in British India. A study of the contro-
versy, conflict and communal movements in Northern India,
1923-1928 (Leiden, 1975), 174-6.
28 Hasan (1979), 311 n. 6.
29 M. Hasan, Nationalism and Communal Politics in India, 1885-
1930 (Manohar, 1994) [hereafter Hasan (1994)], 224 n. 118.
Robinson, Separatism, 131-2. Nevertheless, Robinson con-
cedes `the divisions the British fostered were communal ones.
There can be no doubt that British policy played the main part
in establishing a separate Muslim identity in Indian politics by
1909.´
30 S. Banerjee, `Theory of Historical Structures: The Case of the
Partition of India´, paper delivered to the International Studies
Association (March 1998).
31 It is thus no coincidence that it was in 1941 that the classic Indian
nationalist statement of the Divide and Rule theory was pub-
lished: A. Mehta and A. Patwardhan, The Communal Triangle
(Allahabad, 1941). This point is made by Ian Talbot, `The
Growth of the Muslim League in the Punjab´, India´s Partition,
ed. Hasan, 234.
32 R. J. Moore, Churchill, Cripps and India (Oxford, 1979), 138. The
idea of the colonial administration holding the balance was well-
established but did not preclude secret subsidies to the weaker
side: Hasan (1994), 245-7.
33 Moore, Churchill, Cripps and India, 28.
47 48 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
the Hindu Mahasabha), took on a considerable lease of life
two years after its formation because of its opposition to
the `extravagant and unwarranted demands of Muslims
regarding representation in the reformed legislative councils´
and the concessions in the Morley-Minto reforms.
34
Even
moderate Hindu opinion was clear that separate electorates
would introduce `an invidious distinction and an undesirable
precedent whose perpetuation will only accentuate
bitterness and irritation´. Surendranath Banerjea, formerly
President of Congress in 1895 and 1902, moved a resolution
which Congress carried unanimously in 1909, which
denounced `the excessive and unfairly preponderant share
of representation given to the followers of one particular
religion [i.e. the Muslims]; [and] the unjust, invidious and
humiliating distinctions made between Muslims and non-
Muslim subjects. in the matter of the electorate, the
franchise and the qualifications of candidates.´
35
2 Jinnah as Gokhale´s political heir and
Ambassador for Hindu-Muslim Unity, 1916-20
For the long-serving Indian nationalist Sarojini Naidu, Gopal
Khrishna Gokhale (1866-1915), the President of Congress
in 1905, was a `marvellous, great, and complex embodiment
of God´s dreams of a splendid patriot: complex he was
essentially and many sided and it is his triumph that he
focussed all his myriad qualities into supreme and single-
hearted achievement of service; he was literally a servant
of India and in that he fulfilled the proudest and the highest
destiny of man: what can be a more gracious fate than to
be allowed to serve?.´
36
Only Gokhale among the Hindu Congress leaders was
prepared to explain as early as 1909 that under the
circumstances then prevailing, separate electorates were
the only practicable way of minimizing communal friction
between Hindus and Muslims and ensuring the representation
of minorities.
37
In his speech on the budget that year,
Gokhale stated:
.it has been argued by some of my countrymen that any
special treatment of minorities militates against the idea of
the union of all communities in public matters. The idea of
two watertight compartments for Hindus and [Muslims] will
not promote the best interests of the country, and moreover
it is really not feasible. For there cannot be only two such
compartments, unless all minorities other than [Muslims] are
to be joi ned to the Hi ndus. I earnestl y appeal to my
countrymen - both Hindu and [Muslim] - to exercise special
mutual forbearance at this juncture and meet each other half
way.
38
In a speech delivered in London on 19 July 1912, Gokhale
detected `signs that the worst part of the crisis. was
over, and that a distinct change for the better was visible,
both on the side of Hindus and [Muslims]´. He contemplated
the `India of the future´ which could not be only
a Hindu India, or a [Muslim] India; it must be compounded of
all the elements which existed at present in India - Hindu,
[Muslim], Parsee, Christian, aye, and the Englishman who
adopted India as his country. And they could do something
for that great cause. Every word they uttered, every action
they performed, should help to promote by a continual process
greater solidarity among them all, seeking in one way and
another to remove those differences which had, unfortunately,
kept them so long apart.
39
Moderate Hindu opinion began to shift in Gokhale´s direction
in the years around the outbreak of World War I. Tej Bahadur
Sapru, who by 1916 was one of the leading Hindu proponents
of Hindu-Muslim unity, had initially condemned separate
electorates in 1909. He changed his position on the grounds
that it removed `one of the several causes of friction´
between the communities. Other members of Congress,
34 Hasan (1979), 234-5. The Mahasabha took a similar stance
against the Lucknow Pact: ibid., 88.
35 Ibid., 66-7.
36 <www.mkgandhi.org/Sarojini/>
37 Speeches and Writings of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, ed. D. G.
Karve and D. V. Ambekar (2 vols., London, 1966), ii. 76-8: `You
cannot take away from the Mohammadan community today
what you gave them only yesterday, and I would say to my
Hindu brethren, make the best of the situation in the larger
interests of the country.´ Hasan (1994), 86-7. But he was hostile
to the whole of representation coming from separate elector-
ates; he also deprecated excessive representation to particular
groups: Gokhale, ii. 309-12.
38 Gokhale, i. 149-50.
39 Gokhale, ii. 393-4.
50 49 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
especially Tilak, gradually came to approve the principle
enshrined in December 1916 in the Lucknow Pact and thus,
in the words of the historian Mushirul Hasan, `perpetuated
an artificial category created by the Raj´.
40
Earlier Muslim leaders such as Badruddin Tyabji had argued
that Muslims should `make a common cause with their fellow
countrymen of all creeds and persuasions´ and, if Congress
sought to follow policies prejudicial to their interests,
Muslims should oppose `from within´ rather than `from
without´.
41
Such a viewpoint was unrealistic until such time
as a number of younger Muslim leaders came to have a
common educational background in which they had met
and formed friendships with Hindus, forming general views
which rose above the `existence of separate entities and
the din of communal claims´. Mazharul Haque declared `our
interests are practically identical´ with those of the Hindus,
and that he would happily be represented by his friend
Gokhale.
42
While at the Bar at Lincoln´s Inn, London, Jinnah
had participated in political discussions held at the residence
of Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917), the first Indian to be
elected as a British MP. Their Western educational
background, and their use of the English language, brought
about a degree of cohesiveness in what was otherwise a
culturally heterogeneous group of Hindu and Muslim Indian
social reformers and nationalists.
43
Jinnah went to England
in 1905 with Gokhale as a member of a Congress delegation
to plead the cause of Indian self-government during the
British elections. A year later, he served as Secretary to
Dadabhai Naoroji, the then Indian National Congress
President, a great honour for a budding politician. At the
Calcutta Congress session (December 1906), Jinnah made
his first political speech in support of the resolution on
self-government proposed by Naoroji as President.
44
There
were Muslim opponents of the Congress-Muslim League
rapprochement, especially the plan of Jinnah and Wazir
Hasan to hold a session of the League in Bombay
concurrently with a session of Congress in 1915, but they
were unsuccessful and the tide was with Hindu-Muslim
unity in 1915 and 1916, culminating in the Lucknow Pact.
An entente cordiale between Hindus and Muslims was worked
out at Bombay in December 1915. Notwithstanding some
internal dissension,
45
the All-India Muslim League adopted
the ideal of self-government under the `aegis´ of the British
crown. The Indian National Congress meeting at Karachi
adopted a resolution accepting the plan and expressing
complete accord with the belief that the League has so
emphatically declared at its last sessions that the political
future of the country depends on the harmonious working
and co-operation of the various communities in the country.
This Congress most heartily welcomes the hope expressed
by the League that the leaders of the different communities
will make every endeavour to find a modus operandi for joint
and concerted action on all questions of national good and
earnestly appeals to all sections of the people to help the
object which we all have at heart.
At the Bombay Provincial Conference held at Ahmedabad
in October 1916, Jinnah´s presidential address ranged widely
over the issues of the war and the making of a new India
once peace was declared. He quoted Lord Morley´s words
on a new spirit abroad in India, with young Indians leaving
the Universities `intoxicated with the ideas of freedom,
nationality and self-government´. Since the Karachi meeting
of the Congress, the programme of the League and that of
Congress had been more or less the same. Since 1909, the
Muslim community had been determined to insist upon
separate electorates. Jinnah therefore appealed to his `Hindu
Brethren´ that they should try to `win the confidence and
trust´ of the minority Muslim community. Hindus and Muslims
should `stand united´ and `use every constitutional means´
40 Hasan (1979), 311-12.
41 Ibid., 43.
42 Ibid., 83-4.
43 Ibid., 84-5.
44 <www.cybercity-online.net/quaid.htm#Political Career> Annie
Besant, India: Bond or Free? A World Problem (London, 1926),
138, quotes Naoroji: `the whole matter can be comprised in one
word, Self-Government , or Swaraj. Self-Government is the
only and chief remedy.´
45 This was partly political because of the change of direction
toward more positive relations with the Hindus, partly religious
from orthodox Muslims on account of `the European mode of
living´ of Jinnah and Mazar-ul-Haq: P. C. Bamford, Histories of
the Non-Co-Operation and Khilafat Movements (Delhi, 1925;
repr. 1974), 121.
52 51 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
to effect a speedy transfer of power. Wisdom and caution,
nevertheless, should be their watchwords.
46
Jinnah was President of the Ninth Annual Session of the
All-India Muslim League held at Lucknow in December 1916,
the `chosen leaders and representatives´ of 70 million Indian
Muslims. India had given a `free and spontaneous tribute
to the ideals of the great British nation´ in its support for
the war effort. `India´s loyalty to the Empire has set no
price on itself. After such colossal upheavals as this War,
the world cannot quietly slip back into its old grooves of
life and thought´, Jinnah declared. Among the problems
awaiting British statesmanship, `none is of more anxious
moment than the problem of reconstruction in India´. He
rejected various arguments that were aimed at justifying
`the existing methods of Indian governance´. Yet the
problems were formidable: `we have a vast continent
inhabited by 315 millions of people sprung from various
racial stocks, inheriting various cultures and professing a
variety of religious creeds.´ The only future for India was
self-governance. `The supreme duty of the men that lead
the forces of Indian progress is to insist that India´s rulers
should definitely set the ideal before them as the ultimate
goal to be attained within [a] reasonable time and should
accelerate the pace accordingly. Peace has its victories.
We are fighting, and can only fight, constitutional battles.´
The most significant and hopeful aspect of the spirit of
patriotism and national self-consciousness was a new-born
movement in the direction of national unity
which has brought Hindus and [Muslims] together involving
brotherly service for the common cause. Bombay had the
good fortune to see the Indian National Congress and the All-
India Muslim League meet for the first time in the same city
last December. [Lucknow was now hosting simultaneous
sessions once more.] Indeed, the person who fails to read in
the Hindu-Muslim rapprochement within the last few years
the first great sign of the birth of united India has little
knowledge of the political conditions of a few years ago and
has no business to talk of India´s future.
What this change really signifies can only be judged by a
reference to the state of things that obtained only a few years
ago, when mutual distrust and suspicion were rampant and
communal bigots on either side ruled the roost. Everyone of
us can easily recall the frame of Muslim mind and feeling in
which the All-India Muslim League was founded at Dacca. To
put it frankly, the All-India Muslim League came into existence
as an organisation with the main object of safeguarding the
Muslim interests. The main principle on which the first All-
India Muslim political organisation was based, was the
retention of Muslim communal individuality strong and
unimpaired in any constitutional readjustment that might be
made in India in the course of its political evolution. The creed
has grown and broadened with the growth of political life and
thought in the community. In its general outlook and ideal as
regards the future, the All-India Muslim League stands abreast
of the Indian National Congress and is ready to participate in
any patriotic efforts for the advancement of the country as a
whole. In fact, this readiness of educated Muslims, only about
a decade after they first entered the field of politics, to work
shoulder to shoulder with the other Indian communities for
the common good of all, is to my mind the strongest proof of
the val ue and need for the separate Musl i m pol i ti cal
organization at present.
Jinnah affirmed that he had been a `staunch Congressman
throughout my public life´ and had been no `lover of sectarian
cries´. However, the reproach of `separatism´ was `singularly
inept and wide of the mark´ when levelled at the Muslim
League, which he saw as a `great communal organisation
rapidly growing into a powerful factor for the birth of United
India´. He continued on the theme of the need for
safeguards for minorities:
A minority must, above everything else, have a complete
sense of security before its broader political sense can be
evoked for co-operation and united endeavour in the national
tasks. To the [Muslims] of India that security can only come
through adequate and effective safeguards as regards their
political existence as a community.
It is a matter of infinite gratification to me as well as to all
patriotic [Muslims] that the Muslim communal position in this
matter has been recognised and met in an ungrudging spirit
by the leaders of the great Hindu community. I rejoice to
think that a final settlement has at last been reached which
sets the seal on Hindu-Muslim co-operation and opens a new
era in the history of our country. A few irreconcilable spirits
in either camp may still exist here and there, but the
atmosphere has on the whole been rid of the menace of
sectarian thunder. Let us remember, whether Hindus or
[Muslims], that New India wants a wholly different type of
46 M. Rafique Afzal, Speeches and statements of the Quaid-i-Azam
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 1911-34 and 1947-8 (Lahore, 1966),
26-44.
54 53 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
public worker, of more generous spirit and ampler mould,
free from the egoism of sect and the narrowness of bigotry,
one who can resist the temptation to crush the weak and yet
would not quail before the aggression of the strong, who can
rise above the petty preoccupations of the day to the higher
plane of devotion and service which alone can give to a people,
faith, hope, freedom and power.
Towards the Hindus our attitude should be of good will and
brotherly feelings. Co-operation in the cause of our Motherland
should be our guiding principle. India´s real progress can only
be achieved by a true understanding and harmonious relations
between the two great sister communities. With regard to our
own affairs, we can depend on nobody but ourselves. We
should not lose the sympathy of our well-wishers in India and
in England by creating a wrong impression that we, as a
community are out only for self-interest and self-gain. We
must show by our words and deeds that we sincerely and
earnestly desire a healthy National unity. For the rest, the 70
millions of [Muslims] need not fear. The Renaissance of India
really lies in our own hands.
47
Nevertheless, the Muslim viewpoint underlying the Lucknow
Pact remained, as Jinnah expressed it in 1941, `the
fundamental principle of two separate entities´.
48
Wolpert
comments that `unfortunately, the Lucknow Pact was never
implemented; its adoption marked the high point of Indian
nationalist unity and provided as liberal and rational a
constitutional framework for governing the sub-continent
of Asia as any subsequent plan devised after years of
labo[u]r, vast expenditure and much precious blood had
been wasted. British rulers were not quite ready, however,
to apply the Wilsonian principle of "self-determination¨ to
their Indian empire.´
49
Rather, it was the rise of Gandhi´s
Khilafat agitation which struck the death blow to the
Lucknow Pact; by the time such matters were reconsidered
in the late 1920s, the Congress party had accepted Motilal
Nehru´s report and performed a volte-face by rejecting
communal electorates. The Report of the Indian Statutory
Commission of 1930 made it clear that the Franchise
Committee, reporting in 1918, had accepted communal
electorates and `thought it wise to abide by the allocation
of seats proposed in the Lucknow Pact´. The Government
of India had concurred with its recommendations `though
not without doubt´, and the position in 1930 was compared
to that of the Lucknow Pact proposals in a concluding
table in the 1930 Report. The percentage of Muslim
members in the Punjab was the same as under the Lucknow
pact (50 per cent); elsewhere in almost all the provinces
there had been an increase in Muslim representation (in
the United Provinces from 30 to 32.5 per cent; in Bengal,
from 40 to 46 per cent; in Bihar and Orissa, from 25 to 27
per cent; in Madras from 15 to 16.5 per cent; in Bombay
from 33 to 37 per cent; and in the Legislative Assembly
from 33.3 to 38 per cent; Assam had had no separate
provision under the Lucknow Pact, but had 37.5 per cent
Muslim members by 1930; only in the Central Provinces
had there been a slight decline, from 15 to 14.5 per cent).
50
It was not the British Imperial government which had
undermined the practice of separate electorates, whatever
its attitude in principle to Muslim (or Indian) self-
determination.
In Jinnah´s personal collection of photographs in the Pakistan
National Archives, there is a signed photograph `from your
friend Sarojini Naidu´. Princess Abida Sultan rejects the
idea they were in love: `these people were advanced,
progressive and they were in the company of men. Such
gestures did not mean anything more than what is said.´
51
Nevertheless, it was an extraordinary act of friendship that
led the Hindu activist and poetess-singer Sarojini Naidu
(1879-1949) to arrange for the publication in 1918 of Jinnah´s
speeches with a fulsome introductory tribute to the man
Gokhale had called `the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim
unity´:
52
Few figures of the Indian Renaissance are so striking or so
significant. the obvious sanity and serenity of his worldly
47 Ibid. 45-64.
48 K. A. Khan Yusufi (ed.), Speeches, Statements and Messages of
the Quaid-e-Azam (Lahore, 1996), ii. 1268.
49 Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan, 48-49.
50 Report of the Indian Statutory Commission, i. 189.
51 <www.harappa.com/abida/abida24.html>
52 Mohomed Ali Jinnah, an ambassador of unity: his speeches and
writings, 1912-1917, ed. Sarojini Naidu (Madras, 1918, repr.
1920), 1-20. The first quotation from Gokhale is omitted by
Jamil-ud-Din Ahmad (ed.), Quaid-e-Azam as seen by his
contemporaries (Lahore, 1966), 158-165.
56 55 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
vision effectually disguise a shy and splendid idealism which
is of the very essence of the man. it is. his personal triumph
and a testimony to his authentic mission that he stands
approved and confirmed by his countrymen not merely as an
ambassador but as an embodied symbol of Hindu-Muslim
unity.
She was prepared to believe that in `some glorious and
terrible crisis of our national struggle´ the `Muslim Gokhale´
(Jinnah´s own self-depiction) might pass into immortality
as `the Mazzini of the Indian liberation´.
53
That Sarojini Naidu
remained on good terms with Jinnah in the later 1920s is
clear from her letter to Gandhi on 8 November 1929:
54
Last evening I was discussing once again with Mr. Jinnah
the now all absorbing topic of the Round Table and the pros
and cons of such matters as amnesty to political prisoners,
the personnel of the Indian delegation, and the desirable
date of the Conference. Mr. Jinnah once more reiterated
that he believes that on these specific points the Viceroy
would be most willing to confer with you and meet you as
far as lay within his power. Of course on the hypothesis
that the delegation is satisfactory you could be willing to go
to the Conference. But the only question that troubled Mr.
Jinnah was how to establish a point of contact between you
two. I suggested the simple and natural expedient of your
being invited by Lord Irwin to come and discuss the things
with him. Mr. Jinnah expressed serious doubts as to whether
I was correct in assuming that you would respond to such
an invitation whereupon I undertook to ascertain your view
at once and should you assent he would put himself in touch
with the Viceroy and try to arrange for a very small informal
conference between His Excellency, yourself, Pandit Motilal,
himself, and one or two responsible representative men
like Sir Tejbahadur Sapru and others you might name of
equal standing who should be included in that private and
informal small conference to discuss the specific points.
As late as 27 July 1943 Jinnah received a telegram from
Sarojini Naidu rejoicing that `death could not touch one for
whom life still holds a great duty and a great destiny of
service for our beloved motherland´.
55
3 Gandhi, the Khilafat Movement and the
rise of Communal Politics
Two deaths profoundly marked Jinnah´s political evolution:
that of Gokhale, his mentor, in February 1915 and that of
the Hindu fundamentalist Lokmanya (`Friend of the people´)
Bal Gangadhar Tilak on 1 August 1920. Jinnah had defended
Tilak in his trials in 1908 and 1916. The recent Indian
biographer of Jinnah, Prakash Almeida, comments: `.as far
as Gokhale and Tilak were concerned, Jinnah had the most
profound admiration and respect for them and their views.
This clearly indicates that Jinnah divided politics into two
distinct periods, before the death of Tilak and after the
death of Tilak (instead, can one say before the rise of
Gandhi and after?).´
56
Jinnah explained that though Tilak
`was known in his earlier days to be a communalist. [he]
developed and showed [a] broader and greater national
outlook as he gained experience. [he] played a very
important part in bring about Hindu-Muslim unity which
ultimately resulted in the Lucknow Pact in 1916. [Tilak
(perhaps he was thinking, unlike Gandhi?)] was a practical
politician.´
57
Though a conservative Hindu, seeking Hindu revival, Tilak
was free of communal bias, and preferred to keep the
religious agenda out of politics. At the plenary session of
the Congress in December 1916 he dealt with the charge
that the Muslim League had succeeded in driving a hard
bargain: `it has been said. by some that we have yielded
too much to our Muhammadan brethren. I am sure that I
represent the sense of the Hindu community all over India
that we could not have yielded too much. I would not care
if the rights of self-government are granted to the
Muhammadan community only.´
58
Politics, Tilak wrote to
Gandhi in 1918, `is a game of worldly people and not of
sadhus´.
59
The British were `adept in political warfare. We
53 Naidu, Mohomed Ali Jinnah, 30. Ahmad (ed.), Quaid-e-Azam,
165.
54 <www.mkgandhi.org/Sarojini/>
55 Pakistan National Archives, Islamabad F-512 /3.
56 Almeida, Jinnah. Man of Destiny, 48.
57 Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 24.
58 B. R. Nanda, Gandhi, Pan-Islamism, Imperialism and National-
ism in India (Delhi, 1989), 97.
59 Nanda, In Search of Gandhi, 24.
58 57 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
must use against them the same weapons they use against
us and as, their tactics change, so must ours´.
60
Tilak was
of the view that Congress should `seek Muslim cooperation
on the broad national question of Swaraj. In that, by all
means, give them privileges if these will satisfy them and
bring them into Congress fold, but never seek to introduce
theology into our Politics.´ He had great respect and
admiration for Gandhi, but did not like his politics. He should
retire to the Himalayas, whereupon Tilak would send him
fresh flowers out of respect. Another Hindu contemporary
of Gandhi said that, while he might be saint, a saint would
be `a good guide for the kingdom of Heaven, but not for
the Empire of India´.
61
Tilak was not the only leading Congress politician who
denounced the arrival of Gandhi on the political scene and
the sudden intrusion of religion into the political game.
Annie Besant was even more direct in her opposition:
62
Under the Gandhi Raj
63
there is no free speech, no open
meeting except for Non Co-operators. Social and religious
boycott, threats of personal violence, spitting, insults in the
streets are the methods of oppression. Mob support is obtained
by wild promises, such as the immediate coming of Swaraj,
when there will be no rents, no taxes, [and] by giving to Mr
Gandhi high religious names, such as Mahatma and Avatara,
assigning to him supernatural powers and the like.
The Presidents of the two Home Rule Leagues were
therefore united against the proposed Gandhian techniques.
Tilak died on 1 August 1920, the very day that Gandhi
launched the non-co-operation movement as leader of the
Khilafatists. Annie Besant was forced to resign as President;
Gandhi became her successor and chaired the Home Rule
League meeting on 3 October 1920 with the purpose of
bringing its policy into line with that of Congress, which at
a special meeting in September voted over two to one in
favour of his policy.
64
Gandhi´s `alliance´ with the Muslims
was aimed at securing justice via the method of Satyagraha
(variously translated as `truth force´,
65
non-violent
resistance or non-co-operation) `and to show its efficacy
over all other methods´, to secure Muslim friendship for the
Hindus `and thereby internal peace´, but also to secure
acceptance, even affection, for the British constitutional
arrangements in India.
66
One of Tilak´s henchmen was of
the opinion that the Khilafat movement was a Pan-Islamic
question, and as long as the Indian Muslims had `one eye
towards Turkey and the other to the British Government,
their loyalty towards the latter is shaky and they are not
fit to be friends of the Hindus´.
67
On the Hindu side, the
Khilafat movement received little non-Brahmin support.
68
While it is probably true that Jinnah was in favour of the
Khi l afat agi tati on (though he opposed Gandhi ´ s
unconstitutional methods), he argued that the constitution
of the Muslim League forbade it to comment on the foreign
policy of the government; a minority of other Muslims were
prepared to argue that the agitation amounted to `extra-
territorial patriotism´ and that Muslims should switch their
attention `to the internal problems of our motherland.´
69
Gandhi disclaimed sainthood but affirmed that `the politician
in me has never dominated a single decision of mine.´ Politics
was a `snake´ to be wrestled with.
70
Furthermore, he
acknowledged on 12 May 1920 that he had been
experimenting
71
by introducing religion into politics. Let me explain what I
mean by religion. It is not the Hindu religion, which I cer-
60 Ibid. 241.
61 Brown, Gandhi´s Rise to Power, 219.
62 Besant, India: bond or free?, 194-5. Gandhi´s early riposte to
Annie Besant is at Gandhi, xx. 269. [All references to Gandhi´s
writings are to the electronic edition.]
63 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 80, discussing the
situation in 1929-30, comments: `He was accepted because of
the degree of unity his resolution permitted and because a mass
campaign without him appeared impossible. In such circum-
stances, opposition to him looked not only fatal to individuals´
political careers but positively unpatriotic.´
64 Brown, Gandhi´s Rise to Power, 270.
65 Gandhi, xxii. 451.
66 Gandhi, xx. 288, 5 May 1920. Robinson, Separatism, 300.
Brown, Gandhi´s Rise to Power, 194.
67 Brown, Gandhi´s Rise to Power, 226.
68 Ibid. 227.
69 Nanda, Gandhi, Pan-Islamism, Imperialism and Nationalism in
India, 381-2.
70 Brown, Gandhi´s Rise to Power, 251. Gandhi, xx. 304, 12 May
1920.
71 Gandhi, xx. 304, 12 May 1920.
59 60 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
tainly prize above all other religions, but the religion which
transcends Hinduism,
72
which changes one´s very nature, which
binds one indissolubly to the truth within and which ever pu-
rifies. It is the permanent element in human nature which
counts no cost too great in order to find full expression and
which leaves the soul utterly restless until it has found itself,
known its Maker and appreciated the true correspondence
between the Maker and itself.
For Gandhi, the non-co-operation movement, by reason of
its non-violence had `become a religious and purifying
movement´.
73
If the movement sought to transcend
Hinduism, with the Hindus as the majority community taking
the lead in cultivating a spirit of mutual harmony,
74
the
fact was that Gandhi talked in a religious language and
with religious imagery which was drawn from his own faith.
This was capable of being misunderstood. He was, he said,
convinced by events of recent months (here he referred
to the atrocities ordered in the Punjab on 13 April 1919 by
Brigadier-General Dyer at Jallianwalla Bagh in Amritsar) that
the British Empire was `utterly Satanic. I call it Ravanarajya´.
An oblation was needed, a yajna (that is, sacrifice) of
self-purification, which would end Ravanarajya and establish
Ramarajya. This Ramarajya, he held, was home rule or
swaraj: `without establishing swaraj we cannot throw off
the yoke of this Satanic rule.´
75
Or again, `if we want to
end Ravanarajya, we must have Ramarajya prevail´.
76
The
Report of the Indian Statutory Commission of 1930
concluded that the bond between Hindus and Muslims during
the Khilafat movement was `a common antagonism´ to the
British government of India which Gandhi had called
`satanic´.
77
Gandhi sought a political alliance with Islam in India, in
spite of the obvious distrust between the two main
communities:
78
I know that there is much too much distrust of one another
as yet. Many Hindus distrust Mussulmans honestly. They
believe that swaraj means Mussulman raj, for they argue
that wi thout the Bri ti sh, Mussul mans of Indi a wi l l ai d
Mussulman powers to build a Mussulman empire in India.
Mussulmans on the other hand fear that the Hindus, being in
an overwhelming majority, will smother them. Such an attitude
of mind betokens impotence on either´s part. If not their
nobility, their desire to live in peace would dictate a policy of
mutual trust and mutual forbearance. There is nothing in either
religion to keep the two apart. The days of forcible conversion
are gone. Save for the cow, Hindus can have no ground for
quarrel with Mussulmans. The latter are under no religious
obligation to slaughter a cow. The fact is we have never before
now endeavoured to come together to adjust our differences
and to live as friends bound to one another as children of the
same sacred soil.
Gandhi had introduced religion into politics in a way that
had not occurred before. What were the Muslims receiving
in return for a request to stop cow-killing? One newspaper
complained on 16 April 1921:
79
The manner which Mr Gandhi is being worshipped in the
country makes it impossible for the Moslem community to
pull on with him. We are ready to work with the Hindus as
72 B. R. Nanda, In Search of Gandhi. Essays and Reflections (Delhi,
2002), 24. Nanda argues that `Gandhian religion was simply an
ethical framework for the conduct of daily life. Unfortunately,
most intelligent people who concede the value of an ethical
framework in domestic and social spheres, are sceptical about
its feasibility in politics. Politics is considered to be a game in
which expediency must take precedence over morality.´
73 Gandhi, xxii. 151, 29 Dec 1920
74 Nanda, Gandhi, Pan-Islamism, Imperialism and Nationalism in
India, 283. In his In Search of Gandhi, 29, Nanda argues that
`few people are aware of Gandhi´s great contribution to secular-
ism in India. Deeply religious as he was, he said he would have
opposed any proposal for a state religion even if the whole
population of India had professed the same religion. He looked
upon religion as a personal matter. The resolution on funda-
mental rights passed by the Karachi Congress in 1931 with
Gandhi´s cordial approval, affirmed the principle of religious
freedom and declared that "the State shall observe neutrality
in regard to all religions¨. This doctrine was embodied in the
Constitution of independent India even after the Muslim League
waged and won the campaign for the partition of the country on
the basis of religion.´ The difficulty was for Muslims to know
whether they could trust Congress to keep its word.
75 Gandhi, xxi. 449, 4 Nov. 1920.
76 Gandhi, xxi. 455, 6 Nov. 1920.
77 Report of the Indian Statutory Commission, i. 248, 252.
78 Gandhi, xxiii. 141-2, 11 May 1921. Nanda, Gandhi, Pan-
Islamism, Imperialism and Nationalism in India, 283. As early
as 1908 Gandhi had argued that Muslims and Hindus shared a
common citizenship and that `India cannot cease to be one
nation because people belonging to different religions live in
it.´: Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah, 33.
79 Brown, Gandhi´s Rise to Power, 329.
62 61 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney
their brethren; we can even forego korbani [cow-sacrifice]
for their satisfaction; but we will never allow the holy crescent
to lie low at the feet of Sri Krishna.
Gandhi claimed that he had borrowed the phrase
`spiritualization of politics´ from Gokhale and, for the
Mahatma, true spirituality culminated in politics.
80
On 5
November 1920 at Calcutta, Gandhi declared that
81
.his was a religious movement, that to true Mohammedans,
non-co-operati on i ncl udi ng boycott of counci l s was an
obligation enjoined as their faith, which they may not break.
He described the state of excitement in the Mussulman
community, such that, for very safety and peace, no less for
brotherhood and unity, they should go with them non-co-
operating with Government. he was prepared to accept the
Das preamble defining the aim of non-co-operation to be the
attainment of complete swaraj.
Subsequently, at his trial at Ahmedabad on 23 March 1922,
Gandhi proclaimed that `non-violence is the first article of
my religion´:
82
I wanted to avoid violence. I want to avoid violence. Non-
violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article
of my creed. But I had to make my choice. I had either to
submi t to a system, whi ch I consi dered had done an
irreparable harm to my country, or to incur the risk of the
mad fury of my people bursting forth, when they understood
the truth from my lips.
In many respects, after the collapse of his movement in
1922, Gandhi had to rethink his political role. But what he
never rethought was his basic strategy of bringing religion
into politics. He told an English audience in September
1931:
83
You will be astonished to hear from me that, although to all
appearances my mission is political, I would ask you to accept
my assurance that its roots are - if I may use that term -
spiritual. It is commonly known, though perhaps not believed,
that I claim that at least my politics are not divorced from
morality, from spirituality, from religion. I have claimed -
and the claim is based upon extensive experience - that a
man who is trying to discover and follow the will of God cannot
possibly leave a single field of life untouched. I came also, in
the course of my service, to the conclusion that if there was
any field of life where morality, where truth, where fear of
God, were not essential, that field should be given up entirely.
But I found also that the politics of the day are no longer a
concern of kings, but that they affect the lowest strata of
society. And I found, through bitter experience that, if I wanted
to do social service, I could not possibly leave politics alone.
Gandhi´s `science of ahimsa´, usually translated as non-
violence although perhaps more accurately as the `minimum
possible violence´ (since some himsa or harm is inevitable
and inherent in human existence),
84
was one of his greatest
moral achievements and ensures his stature not just as
the Father of the Indian Nation but as one of the greatest
figures of the twentieth century.
85
Yet in the early 1920s,
his was consciously an innovation within the Hindu tradition,
drawing upon the insights of other religions;
86
Hinduism
itself had always comprised both pacific and more aggressive
viewpoints.
87
Moreover, Gandhi´s theory of ahimsa is open to the criticism
that it contained an element of self-contradiction or
80 B. Parekh, Colonialism, Tradition and Reform. An Analysis of
Gandhi´s Political Discourse, revised edn. (Delhi and London,
1999), 105. Nanda, In Search of Gandhi, 25.
81 Gandhi, xxi. 238.
82 <www.top-education.com/Speeches/MahatmaGandhi.htm>
83 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 14-15. Gandhi, liii. 396,
23 Sept. 1931.
84 Parekh, Colonialism, Tradition and Reform, 125.
85 Nanda, In Search of Gandhi, 249.
86 Parekh, Colonialism, Tradition and Reform, 127-9.
87 R. Thapar, Cultural Pasts. Essays in Early Indian History (Delhi,
2000), 974-5: `Yet ahimsa as an absolute value is characteristic
of certain Sramanic sects and less so of Brahmanism. The
notion first appears in the Upanisads, but it was the Buddhists
and the Janias who first made it foundational to their teaching,
and their message was very different from that of the Bhagavad-
Gita on this matter. That Brahmanism and Sramanism were
recognized as distinct after the period of the Upanisads further
underlines the significance of ahimsa to Sramanic thinking. This
is also borne out by the evidence of religious persecution.´ [This
article, `Imagined Religious Communities´, was originally pub-
lished in Modern Asian Studies, 23 (1989), 209-231.] Ibid,
1042: `Gandhiji´s concern with ahimsa is more correctly traced
to the Jaina imprint on the culture of Kathiawar. Not that the
Sramanic tradition prevented violence, but it was a central issue
early on in the ethics of Buddhism and Jainism and only later
enters the discussion of some Hindu sects.´ [This article,
`Syndicated Hinduism´, was originally published in Hinduism
Reconsidered, ed. G. D. Sontheimer and H. Kulke (Delhi, 1997),
54-81.]
64 63 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination
paradox. In the rhetoric of mobilization for satyagraha, he
himself used terms such as `non-violent warfare´, `army for
swaraj´ and so on which suggested that non-violence was
distinctly militant. Was the launching of a satyagraha
justified if violence might result? For some commentators,
notably Bhiku Parehk, `Gandhi´s theory pointed both ways.
His practice did not help much either.´
88
Gandhi´s answer
was simply to take personal responsibility for what happened
when things went wrong. This happened early on, with his
`Himalayan Miscalculation´ in 1919; in March 1922, when
he abruptly called off of the non co-operation movement
following the murders at Chauri Chaura, when some of his
leading followers, such as the Nehrus father and son, were
in jail (Gandhi affirmed that `God spoke clearly through
Chauri Chaura´);
89
in his statement in court at Ahmedabad
on 23 March 1922;
90
and in his subsequent hunger strikes
beginning in October 1924. Moreover as his Bengali critic,
Subhas Chandra Bose commented, Gandhi was also prepared
to take `strategic retreat(s)´ from active politics in order
to regain the initiative at a later date.
91
Even more serious in political terms, however, was that
many of his leading supporters within Congress did not
support his stand on ahimsa. The differences between
Motilal Nehru and Gandhi came into relief during long
negotiations at Juhu in April-May 1924. Motilal had
previously written:
92
The doctrine of Ahimsa with all its implications and logical
deductions has not been, and cannot be, adopted by the
Congress. Whilst Mahatmaji is not prepared to resort to
violence under any circumstances whatever in thought, word
or deed, many true Congressmen woul d under certai n
conditions consider it their highest duty to resort to actual
physical violence.
93
In fact I hold that [not to do so] would be
doing violence to the highest and noblest feelings implanted
in man, if we ruled out violence in any shape or form under
all conceivable circumstances. [What of preventing an attack
on a weaker victim or the right of self-defence?]
As for violence in thought it is obvious that one who is prepared
to resort to actual violence on certain occasions cannot be
entirely free from the thought of it. By joining the movement
of non-violent non-co-operation, all I have undertaken to do
is to refrain from inflicting, or even contemplating, violence
of any kind in carrying out the programme of non-co-operation
against the Government. The doctrine of non-violence has,
so far as I am concerned, a limited application for the very
special purpose for which I have adopted it.
There may be some who take the extreme view in theory,
but I do not know a single follower of Mahatmaji who acts
upon it. It is true that non-violence, even in the limited sense
that I give to it, must relate to both word and deed and cannot
be confined to abstention from causing physical hurt only.
But non-violence in thought must be ruled out entirely as
impracticable. Otherwise, we shall be weaving a cobweb of
casuistry around us from which it would be impossible to
extricate ourselves.
Motilal Nehru´s disagreement on principle with Gandhi went
further than this. It struck at the core of Gandhi´s
spiritualization of politics. The opposing viewpoint was
expressed with Motilal´s characteristic bluntness in his
presidential address to Congress in December 1928:
94
Whatever the higher conception of religion may be, it has in
our life come to signify bigotry and fanaticism, intolerance
and narrow-mindedness. Its chief inspiration is hatred of him
who does not profess it. Can any sane person consider the
trivial and ridiculous causes of conflict between Hindu and
Muslim, or between sect and sect, and not wonder how anyone
with a grain of sense should be affected by them. Religion
as practised today is. the greatest separatist force. It puts
artificial barriers between man and man and prevents the
development of [a] healthy and co-operative national life.
Its association with politics has been for the good of neither.
Religion has been degraded and politics has sunk in the mire;
complete divorce of one from the other is the only remedy.
88 Parekh, Colonialism, Tradition and Reform, 153.
89 Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan, 76. Gandhi, xxvi. 177, 16 February
1922.
90 `I know that my people have sometimes gone mad. I am deeply
sorry for it and I am therefore here not to submit to a light
penalty but to the highest penalty. I do not ask for mercy. I do
not plead any extenuating act. I am here therefore to invite and
cheerfully submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted
upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears
to me to be the highest duty of a citizen.´
91 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 6 n. 4.
92 B. R. Nanda, Motilal Nehru (Delhi, repr. 1970), 152-4.
93 Though not in satyagraha confrontations: Low, Britain and
Indian Nationalism, 118: `Congressmen not only totally es-
chewed violence. They did everything they could to prevent the
city crowd from resorting to it too.´
94 B. R. Nanda, Gokhale, Gandhi and the Nehrus. Studies in Indian
Nationalism (London, 1974), 57.
65 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 66
Gandhi might have agreed with the analysis but would have
rejected the conclusion, on the necessity of a divorce
between religion and politics. If there were such divisions
of opinion with Congress itself, is it surprising that the
1920s saw a breakdown in relations between the Hindu
and Muslim parties. Ultimately, Congress sought to mobilize
a multi-caste coalition of Hindus and it rejected orthodox
Brahminic conceptions of Hinduism. Gandhi was the
charismatic leader and his role was central in reconstructing
a more liberal form of Hindu social thought, while the Nehrus,
father and son, articulated a non-religious political rhetoric.
Nonetheless, precisely because of Gandhi´s radical departure
in advocating ahimsa, the Congress was obliged to seek
allies with Hindu conservatives and also to use terminology
which would appeal widely to the Hindu masses. Gandhi´s
term Ramrajya (rule according to Ram´s ideals) and the
Congress party´s recourse to the late nineteenth-century
song with anti-Muslim references Bande mataram (`Hail to
thee, Mother´, an invocation to the Hindu goddess Kali),
were perceived by the Muslim League as evidence of an
increasingly exclusivist Hindu stance of Congress (Document
Three). The Bande mataram was sung when Gandhi arrived
at a Congress session on 31 December 1928 and also when
he won a vote on this occasion:
95
the song was part of
Congress enthusiasm and not confined to Hindu Mahasabha
extremism. The previous year, Gandhi admitted that his
tactics had failed to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity and
the matter had `passed out of human hands and has been
left to God´s hand alone´; both communities were `perhaps
entitled to say that my method has failed´.
96
In Penderel
Moon´s words, `The Hinduising of the national movement,
which Gandhi´s leadership promoted and symbolised was
injurious and ultimately fatal to Hindu-Muslim unity´. Gandhi
failed to see the danger: `conscious only of his own goodwill
towards the Muslims he was obstinately blind to the adverse
effects on Muslim opinion of his own pronounced Hinduism.´
97
Jinnah retained many of his Hindu friends and his successful
re-election to the Central Legislative Assembly from the
Muslim Constituency in Bombay in November 1926 was
secured in part by his Hindu supporters providing him with
at least a hundred cars to enable him to get his Muslim
voters to the polling booths.
98
In tendering his resignation
from the All-India Home Rule League along with 19 friends,
in October 1920, Jinnah told Gandhi:
99
If by `new life´ you mean your methods and your programme,
I am afraid I cannot accept them, for I am fully convinced
that it must lead to disaster. your methods have already
caused split[s] and division[s] in almost every institution that
you have approached hitherto; and in the public life of the
country not only amongst Hindus and Muslims but between
Hindus and Hindus and Muslims and Muslims and even between
fathers and sons; .your extreme programme has for the
moment struck the imagination mostly of the inexperienced
youth and the ignorant and the illiterate. All this means
complete disorganization and chaos. I do not wish my
countrymen to be dragged to the brink of a precipice in order
to be shattered.
He accused Gandhi both of arbitrary conduct in procedural
terms and also of inciting `unconstitutional and illegal
activities´. Gandhi rejected the accusations but tried to
encourage Jinnah´s return to a body `which you have hitherto
nursed with industrious affection´.
100
Jinnah could not accept
Gandhi´s `spiritual movement´; nationalist politics, in his view,
must be `a real political movement based on real political
principles´; these real principles were political ones, not
spiritual ones. `Were Gokhale still alive´, Jinnah ventured to
surmise that `he too would not have endorsed this
95 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 38.
96 Ibid. 24. Gandhi, xl. 476, 1 Dec. 1927.
97 P. Moon, Gandhi and Modern India (London, 1968), 276. Also
quoted by Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah, 155: `His basic concepts,
his moral values and ideals, even his fads and foibles, were of
Hindu origin; in his writings and speeches he constantly employed
language, imagery and symbolism undisguisedly derived from
Hindu sources; and he often appeared to evince as much
interest in the reform of Hinduism as in the attainment of
Independence, and indeed more or less to equate them.´
Merriam comments that when Gandhi claimed to be as much a
Muslim or Jew as Hindu, `such a contention unmistakably
reflected the absorptive and transcendent characteristics typical
of Hinduism but largely absent in Islam´. Ibid. 156.
98 Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
147.
99 Ibid. 130. Almeida, Jinnah: Man of Destiny, 71. Wolpert, Jinnah
of Pakistan, 70.
100 Gandhi xxi. 382-4, 25 Oct. 1920
67 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 68
programme.´
101
Jinnah had therefore not reached the same
conclusion as Iqbal, that `in Islam the spiritual and the
temporal are not two distinct domains. all that is secular
is, therefore, sacred in the roots of its being.´
102
In his presidential address to the All-India Muslim League
at Lahore on 24 May 1924, Jinnah concluded:
103
Many mi stakes have been made, bl unders have been
committed, [a] great deal of harm has been done, but there
has come out of it a great deal of good also. The result of the
struggle of the last three years has this to our credit that
there is an open movement for the achievement of Swaraj
for India. There is a fearless and persistent demand that steps
must be taken for the immediate establishment of Dominion
Responsible Government in India. The ordinary man in the
street has found his political consciousness and. self-respect.
[W]e must not forget that [the] one essential requisite condition
to achieve Swaraj is the political unity between the Hindus
and the Muhammadans; for the advent of foreign rule and its
continuance in India is primarily due to the fact that the people
of India, particularly the Hindus and the Muhammadans, are
not united and do not sufficiently trust one another. The
domination by the Bureaucracy will continue as along as the
Hindus and the Muhammadans do not come to a settlement.
I am almost inclined to say that India will get Dominion
Responsi bl e Government the day the Hi ndus and
Muhammadans are uni ted. Swaraj i s [an] al most
interchangeable term with Hindu-Muslim unity. If we wish to
be a free people, let us unite. I have no doubt that if the
Hindus and Muhammadans make a whole-hearted and earnest
effort, we shall be able to find a solution once more as we did
at Lucknow in 1916. In the case of Ireland and Egypt, mark
how they have extorted their freedom from the hands of the
British Parliament and the British Nation.
The rise in communal tension was a powerful explanation
as to why that Jinnah´s call for Hindu-Muslim unity in 1924
failed to raise the response it had achieved in 1916. The
vitriol pouring from the vernacular press was a powerful
factor in adding to the tension, there being `in many
newspapers a freedom, indeed a violence of language,
which, from time to time, brings within the scope of the
criminal law the person put forward as Editor´.
104
The United
Provinces Deputy Secretary Milner White noted on 29
November 1925 the relationship between offensive
communal publications and violent confrontations: `the main
reason for the increased vigilance of the district officer is,
of course, that of late years the Arya Samaj has extended
its missionary activities and directed them openly and
violently against Muslims. Some very objectionable books
issued by them against Islam have come to notice as having
been distributed broadcast - e.g. in Bijnor - and in the
notes on recent publications submitted to me by the
Government Examiner of Books I have been struck by the
violence of polemical tracts issued by the society. They
have done much to increase communal tension, and cannot
- or should not - complain if their attacks sometimes
recoil on their own hands.´
105
Three pamphlets attacking
the Prophet were published in 1923, 1924 and 1927.
106
The
Arya press took issue with Gandhi´s teaching on ahimsa:
`to refrain from punishing malignant enemies and allow
tyrants to do whatever they like is. tantamount to
committing serious violence. The Vedas permit us to kill
our enemies, both human beings and animals´.
107
In his
manifesto Hindutva: who is a Hindu? (1923), V. D Savarkar,
the theoretician of the Hindu Mahasabha, blamed the
Buddhist community for promoting the philosophy of non-
violence and decried its disastrous effects on Hindus.
108
Though denounced by Gandhi and Rajagopalacharya in
1923,
109
the shuddhi movement to incorporate into the main
body of Hinduism former or marginal members was led by
the Arya Samajist Lala Munshi Ram, known as Swami
101 Almeida, Jinnah: Man of Destiny, 80. Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan,
74.
102 Fateh Mohammed Malik, Iqbal´s Reconstruction of Political
Thought in Islam (Leicester, INPAREL Studies in South Asian
History 6, forthcoming in 2002).
103 Afzal, Speeches and statements of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali Jinnah, 131-6. Wilfrid Cantwell Smith commented in his
Modern Islam in India (rev. edn., 1946; repr. Lahore, 1963):
`little attention was paid to it [the Muslim League] until after the
non-co-operation movement collapsed and the Turkish khilafah
(`Caliphate´) was abolished. Then (1924) the Muslim League
was at once revived, and its small militant group ousted.´
104 Report of the Indian Statutory Commission, i. 261.
105 Thursby, Hindu-Muslim Relations in British India, 34.
106 Ibid. 43.
107 Ibid. 170.
108 Loc. cit.
109 Ibid. 157.
69 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 70
Shraddhanand. Shraddhanand claimed on 24 July 1923 that
`Muslim aggression´ was the main reason for `enmity´ between
Hindus and Muslims, especially at Malabar and Multan: `many
of the Muslim religious leaders have said in their speeches
that the snake and the mongoose can be friends, but there
can be no unity between Hindu kaffirs and Muslims.´ Hindus
must organize and emerge as `the strongest´. When
Shraddhanand was assassinated in 1926, there was
inevitably a rise in communal tension.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya proposed Hindu Sabhas in
every village to promote Hindu unity and regeneration. He
claimed that Hindu weakness had invited assault by the
`bad elements among the Muslims´; what was needed above
all was `self-preservation and [the] religious safety of the
Hindu community´.
110
In its March 1926 resolution at Delhi,
the Mahasabha urged Hindus to readmit all converts to
their caste fellowship; all non-Hindus who `feel reverence
for and express faith in Hinduism should be admitted into
the Hindu fold´.
111
The rallying cry was Sangathan, that is,
the acquisition of strength through the consolidation of
communal resources.
112
Hindu support for the revivalist
movement spread because of negative stereotypes and
the perception that the Muslim community had gained
increased strength acquired from `separate communal
electorates´. At its session in Calcutta in April 1925, the
Mahasabha passed a resolution against separate communal
representation as `harmful and detrimental´ to the creation
of national solidarity.
113
`..[S]uch was the hegemonic
influence of the Hindu Mahasabha in the late 1920s´, writes
Mushirul Hasan, `that even the secular-oriented Congress
leadership often succumbed to its ideological pressures.´
Madan Mohan Malaviya, the former leader of the Mahasabha
was `the most communally-minded leader´ in Hasan´s
judgement, yet he `could assume the nationalist garb and
freely sail between the Mahasabha and the Congress. No
attempt was ever made to curb this trend.´
114
This overlap
of membership between the Mahasabha and the Congress
explains in part the gradual alienation of Muslim opinion in
the late 1920s and 1930s.
In the four-year period between the beginning of 1923 and
the end of 1926 there were 72 major communal riots. This
contrasted with about 16 in the period from 1900 to 1922.
The new Viceroy, Lord Irwin, called Hindu-Muslim tension
`the dominant issue in Indian life today´. He wanted a `new
atmosphere of trust´ between Hindu and Muslim leaders
and the promotion of a `change of soul that India needs´.
115
The comments both of Dr Ambedkar
116
and the Report of
the Indian Statutory Commission of 1930
117
provide
evidence for the rise in communal tension:
The Hindu community became disturbed by the growing stress
laid by their allies on religious aims, and in August 1921 the
Moplah outbreak
118
showed that there was good ground for
their apprehensions. non-co-operation opened up new
possibilities in the relations between Hindus and Moslems. To
many of them it seemed that, if there was a possibility of
political control passing before long completely out of the
hands of Parliament, it became important for each community
to organize and consolidate its forces in preparation for the
new situation that would then arise. Movements were set on
foot by both Hindus and Muhammadans for the re-conversion
of classes which were said to have lapsed to the other faith.
Suspicion and bitterness were the inevitable result, and in
the excitement of religious festivals occasions for dispute were
only too easy to find. By the middle of 1923, communal riots,
marked by murder, arson and looting, were of almost monthly
occurrence. In 1924 fierce outbursts occurred in many of the
greater cities of the North. At Kohat, in the North-West Frontier
Province, the entire Hindu population fled the town in terror
of their lives. The year 1925 saw a lull in the actual rioting,
but the tone of the Press and of public speeches left no doubt
about the intensity of communal feeling. In April 1926, there
occurred the first of a series of dangerous riots in Calcutta,
110 Ibid. 162.
111 Ibid. 167.
112 Ibid. 158.
113 Ibid. 172.
114 Hasan (1994), 280.
115 Thursby, Hindu-Muslim Relations in British India, 118.
116 Ambedkar, Pakistan, ch 7, 163-184. Burke and Al-Din Quraishi,
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 149, quote briefly from
this.
117 Report of the Indian Statutory Commission, i. 249, 252-3.
118 For Gandhi´s initial underestimate of the Moplah position (`in
Malabar the Moplahs who were a spirited people had now
become disciplined under its influence [that is, the non-
cooperation movement]´) and subsequent condemnation of the
movement: Gandhi, xxiii. 300, 18 June 1921; xxiv. 165-7, 189,
4 and 8 Sept. 1921.
71 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 72
and the following twelve months saw 40 riots resulting in the
death of 197 persons and injuries to nearly 1,600.
119
Subsequently in 1928-9, according to Ambedkar, the number
of riots was reduced although the number of casualties
actually increased, with 204 people killed in the Bombay
riots.
120
During the year 1929-30, he noted that `communal
riots, which had been so conspicuous and deplorable a
feature of public life during the preceding years, were very
much less frequent. Only 12 were of sufficient importance
to be reported to Government of India, and of these only
the disturbances in the City of Bombay were really serious.´
121
He further commented:
122
The year 1930-1 saw the eruption of the Civil Disobedience
Movement It gave rise to riots and disturbances all over the
country. They were mostly of a political character and the
parties involved in them were the police and the Congress
volunteers. But, as it always happens in India, the political
disturbances took a communal twist. This was due to the fact
that the Muslims refused to submit to the coercive methods
used by Congress volunteers to compel them to join in Civil
Disobedience. The result was that although the year began
with political riots it ended in numerous and quite serious
communal riots. Throughout Northern India communal
relations had markedly deteriorated during the first two
months of 1931, and already, in February, there had been
serious communal rioting in Benares. This state of affairs was
due chiefly to the increasing exasperation created among
Muslims by the paralysis of trade and the general atmosphere
of unrest and confusion that resulted from Congress activities.
The increased importance which the Congress seemed to be
acquiring as a result of the negotiations with the Government
aroused in the Muslims serious apprehensions and had the
effect of worsening the tension between the two communities.
Ambedkar characterized communal tensions as `twenty
years of civil war. interrupted by brief intervals of armed
peace´.
123
Gandhi himself deplored the Hindu-Muslim riots in
Kanpur (Cawnpore) in 1931, which made him despair of the
possibility of any agreed constitutional progress:
124
`let it
be remembered by those who are in a hurry to achieve
India´s freedom that every such strife makes progress
119 Cf. Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 10. Ambedkar gives
figures of 197 deaths and 1,598 injuries; for 1927-8, he gives
the figures of 103 killed and 1084 injured. 27 were killed and 272
in the riots in Lahore in May 1927.
120 Thus Ambedkar, Pakistan, 171-2: `The year 1928-29 was
comparatively more peaceful than the year 1927-28. His
Excellency Lord Irwin, by his speeches to the Central Legisla-
ture and outside, had given a strong impetus to the attempts to
find some basis for agreement between the two communities,
on those questions of political importance, which were respon-
sible for the strained relations between them. Fortunately the
issues arising out of the inquiry by the Simon Commission,
which was appointed in 1929, absorbed a large part of the
energy and attention of the different communities, with the
result that less importance came to be attached to local causes
of conflict, and more importance to the broad question of
constitutional policy. Moreover, the legislation passed during
the autumn session of the Indian Legislature in 1927 penalising
the instigation of inter-communal hostility by the press, had
some effect in improving the inter-communal disturbances. The
number of riots during the twelve months ending with March
31st, 1929, was 22. Though the number of riots was compara-
tively small, the casualties - swelled heavily by the Bombay
riots - were very serious, no fewer than 204 persons having
been killed and nearly a thousand injured. Of these, the
fortnight´s rioting in Bombay accounts for 149 killed and 739
injured. Seven of these 22 riots, or roughly one-third of them,
occurred on the day of the celebration of the annual Muslim
festival of Bakr-i-Id at the end of May. The celebration of this
festival is always a dangerous time in Hindu-Muslim relations
[because of Hindu objections to Muslim ritual cow-killing].´
121 Ibid. 173.
122 Ibid. 174-5.
123 Ibid. 184. Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali Jinnah, 58.
124 Low, Britain and Indian Nationalism, 139. For the Congress
enquiry following the riots: Roots of Communal Politics, ed. N.
Gerald Barrier (Columbia, Mo., 1976). This enquiry proposed a
a fusion of the `so-called "separate¨ [Hindu and Muslim] cul-
tures´: ibid. 404. It also rejected separate electorates as
communally divisive and urged that `Congress should on no
account agree to its continuance´. Ibid. 414. But there was a
minority Muslim report which rejected this idea on the grounds
that `so long as the general attitude of high-caste Hindus, who
have at present almost the monopoly of all that is worth having,
does not undergo a radical change.´ He also rejected the
report´s idea of a fusion of Hindu and Muslim cultures: ibid. 467,
472. Ambedkar, Pakistan, 177, stated categorically: `this com-
munal riot, which need never have occurred but for the
provocative conduct of the adherents of the Congress, was the
worst which India has experienced for many years. The trouble,
moreover, spread from the city to the neighbouring villages,
where there were sporadic communal disturbances for several
days afterwards.´
73 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 74
towards the goal more and more difficult.´
125
The Report of
the Indian Statutory Commission of 1930 stated that `in
the early months of 1927 it looked as if the communal
question would govern political movements throughout India
to the exclusion of everything else.´
126
Motilal Nehru was
particularly gloomy in his verdict:
127
The only education the masses are getting is in communal
hatred. It is not true today [30 March 1927] as it certainly
was a couple of years ago that communal strife was confined
to cities
128
and was not known in the villages. The latter now
are more frequently the scenes of communal riots than the
former.
For the Muslim community, the year 1927 was particularly
difficult, because its politics was fragmented to an
unprecedented extent. The Jinnah Group drafted the Delhi
Muslim Proposals of 20 March 1927 which, under certain
safeguards, were prepared to envisage joint electorates.
Jinnah´s statement to the Associated Press on 29 March
denied that the issue was one of principle:
129
The question of separate or mixed electorates is after all a
method and a means to an end. The end in view is that
Mussalmans should be made to feel that they are secure and
safeguarded against any act of oppression on the part of the
majority, and that they need not fear that during the transitional
stage towards the fullest development of national government
the majority would be in a position to oppress or tyrannize
the minority, as majorities are prone to do in other countries.
the real issue is how to give a sense of confidence and security
to the minorities.
The Shafi group denounced the Delhi Muslim Proposals as
`formulated by some Muslims in their individual capacity´;
they were unacceptable to the Muslims of India.
130
In the
event, the Report of the Committee chaired by Motilal Nehru
rejected separate electorates without any compensating
guarantees for the Muslim community. Jinnah addressed
the All-Parties National Convention at Calcutta on 22
December 1928 in the hope of securing amendments to
the Report:
131
We are here... for the purpose of entering into [a] solemn
contract and all parties who enter into it will have to work for
it and fight for it together. What we want is that Hindus and
Mussal mans shoul d march together unti l our object i s
obtained. Therefore, it is essential that you must get not only
the Muslim League but the Mussalmans of India and here I
am not speaking as a Mussalman but as an Indian. [Without
disrespect to Sikhs, Christians and Parsis, the Hindus and
Muslims are the two major communities in India.] Minorities
cannot gi ve anythi ng to the majori ty. Look at the
constitutional history of Canada and Egypt. The minorities
are always afraid of the majorities. The majorities are apt to
be tyranni cal and oppressi ve and parti cul arl y rel i gi ous
majorities and the minorities, therefore, have a right to be
absolutely secured. If you do not settle this question today,
we shall have to settle it tomorrow, but in the meantime our
national interests are bound to suffer. We are all sons of this
land. We have to live together. We have to work together and
whatever our differences may be, let us at any rate not create
more bad blood. If we cannot agree, let us at any rate agree
to differ but let us part as friends.
The amendments proposed by Jinnah were all lost. Instead,
Congress decided to give a one-year ultimatum to the British
government to accept the Nehru Report by the end of
1930 and grant independence (not Dominion status as the
Report had suggested) or else face a campaign of non-co-
operation.
132
For Jinnah, these decisions and Gandhi´s re-
emergence as a political leader marked the final parting of
the ways with Congress.
125 Gandhi, li. 302, 26 March 1931. The Aga Khan commented: `the
dreadful events of Cawnpore and elsewhere in India in March
of this year made Muslims more than ever nervous as to their
future´. Aga Khan III, ed. Aziz, ii. 864.
126 Report of the Indian Statutory Commission, i. 257.
127 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 12.
128 For more recent communal rioting as primarily an urban
phenomenon: A. Varshney, Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life.
Hindus and Muslims in India (New Haven and London, 2002).
129 Afzal, Speeches and statements of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali Jinnah, 252.
130 Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 154.
131 Afzal, Speeches and statements of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali Jinnah, 294-5. Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, Modern Islam in India,
279, noted the `five communalist amendments to the Nehru
Report. Of these, the most important was a proposal to reserve
for the Muslim community one-third of the seats in the central
legislature. The Congress refused to make any such conces-
sion, and nothing came of the suggested alliance.´ For Jinnah
and the Nehru report: Hasan (1994), 273-6.
132 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 35, 37. Subsequently,
the date for independence was brought forward to the end of
1929.
75 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 76
A few days later, Jinnah participated in the All-Parties Muslim
League Conference presided over by the Aga Khan at Delhi
on 31 December 1928. The Aga Khan had already
denounced the Nehru Report.
133
At the conference his call
was for a clear rejection of the Nehru Report:
134
The changes that must come over India profoundly affecting
our future, will not come in a day. They will not come as in
Russia like a thief in the night. Whatever our wishes may be,
this Conference is but the first of many more that will have to
evolve a truly representative body to look after and further
the desires of Muslims of India.
It is impossible for Muslims to live happily and peacefully in
India if friction and suspicion are to prevail between them
and the Hindus. India as a whole cannot be a prosperous or
self-governing country if such a large and important section
of the community as the Muslims remain[s] in doubt as to
whether their cultural entity is safe or not.
The merits and demerits of separate or so-called communal
electorates have been discussed so often that it is unnecessary
to re-examine them in detail. In regard to the implications of
the term `communal´, I may remark in passing that the Muslims
of India are not a community, but in a restricted, special,
sense a nation composed of many communities and [a]
population. outnumbering. even. the pre-war German
Empire.
The vi tal and domi nant consi derati on. i s the real
representation of Muslims in all legislatures and self-governing
bodies. How that can be secured is a problem for the Muslim
population of this country to consider and solve without any
prejudices.
The decision of the Conference on 1 January 1929 was
that separate electorates were the law of the land and
the Muslim community could not be deprived of them without
their consent.
135
The Simon Commission rehearsed the
arguments for and against communal representation, but
noted `the indisputable fact that the Muhammadan
community as a whole is not prepared to give up communal
representation´; indeed, it
136
woul d regard i ts abol i ti on, wi thout the assent of that
community, not only as the withdrawal of a security which it
prizes but as a cancelling of assurances upon which it has
relied. Objections from this quarter, more than anything else,
accentuated division over the Nehru Report, and this in spite
of the very ingenious and persuasive analysis which that
Report contained of the distribution of religious opinion in
Bengal and the Punjab.
All the Muhammadan bodies which appeared before us agreed
in demanding the retention of separate electorates. Though a
few spoke of the possibility of this system disappearing
eventually, none of them was ready to set any time limit or
formulate any explicit conditions under which this would
become possible. There were some minor variations of opinion
on the subject of the number of seats to be fi l l ed by
Muhammadans, but there was general agreement with the
view endorsed at the All-India Muslim Conference of January
1929. As far as we have been abl e to ascertai n, the
recommendations of this conference, which, of course, covered
a wide range and were not confined to the question under
consideration at the moment, have now found very wide
acceptance among the Muhammadans in India. The minority
of their leaders who were formerly prepared to take a less
uncompromi si ng vi ew on the subject of communal
representative have recently moved nearer to the majority.
We have thought it well therefore to reproduce in an appendix
at the end of this chapter the text of the resolutions of 1
January 1929.
137
Moderate Hindus, as can be seen from the views expressed
by Provincial Committees, are often ready to agree that
Muhammadans must not be deprived against their will of
separate electorates; but they share (with hardly a dissentient)
the view of their co-religionists (who press for the immediate
disappearance of this form of representation) that the proper
system to adopt is that of joint electorates, with reservation
of seats, as long as the need for any such protection is insisted
on. There can be no doubt that political Hinduism as a whole
is strongly opposed to any separate representation of Moslem
interests which goes beyond this point. Most of those who
take this view would calculate on the basis of population the
number of seats to be reserved.
Jinnah argued that the Nehru Report could `at best be
treated only as Hindu counter-proposals´ to the Delhi Muslim
proposals of 20 March 1927.
138
His group within the Muslim
League settled upon a Resolution containing Fourteen Points
of disagreement with the Nehru Report and embodying basic
principles to safeguard Muslim rights and interests, including
133 Aga Khan III, ed. Aziz, ii. 813-24.
134 Ibid. ii. 829-34.
135 Ibid. ii. 835-6.
136 Report of the Indian Statutory Commission, ii. 58-9.
137 Ibid. ii. 84-5.
138 Afzal, Speeches and statements of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali Jinnah, 297.
77 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 78
a federal constitution with the residuary powers vested in
the provinces.
139
Gandhi received a copy of Jinnah´s Fourteen Points from a
Muslim deputation on 4 April 1931. His willingness to concede
to the Muslim point of view, to grant them a `blank cheque´,
was overridden by the relatively small number of Congress
Muslims whose allegiance to the party gave it some
credence to be more than a Hindu body, yet who vehemently
opposed separate electorates.
140
In a press statement on
6 April 1931, Gandhi rejected separate electorates since
Muslim support for these was not unanimous.
141
At the
Second Round Table Conference in London on 15 September,
Gandhi declared that Congress claimed to represent all
Indian communities, classes and interests and that he alone
acted as its representative.
142
Yet Gandhi´s status as a
national leader had already been considerably weakened
because, with the exception of the North-West Frontier
Province, there had been no significant Muslim support for
his campaign of disobedience.
143
This had undercut his claim
that between the government and the people the Congress
should be considered the sole intermediary, a claim rejected
by the colonial government in India.
144
In the minorities
committee, the `Untouchables´ leader Dr B. R. Ambedkar
pressed for separate representation of the Depressed
Classes. Gandhi replied that Congress only accepted Muslims
and Sikhs as separate political entities. The Muslims had
attached other allies to themselves, with agreement on
joint proposals reached on the basis of separate electorates
and an assured membership of provincial and central
cabinets by the representatives of the main minorities.
145
Gandhi rejected the minorities´ pact as a mechanism for
`vivisection´, a term he would later use about partition.
146
It is possible to gauge the new self-confidence of the
Muslims in view of this informal alliance with other minorities.
In a broadcast to the United States form London on 27
September 1931, the Aga Khan anticipated Jinnah´s `two
nations theory´ by nine years and declared:
147
The Muslims of India differ from the Hindus in most matters
which can divide one set of people from another. They differ
in customs, in habits, in laws, and above all, in their food and
in their clothes. They also differ in cultural and economic
ideals. In India there is such a thing as the untouchable. The
Muslim religion teaches us that all men are created equal. To
them it is a sin to consider any human being as untouchable.
We believe that one man has as good a right to walk erect on
God´s earth as any other man. Our religion gives equal rights
to both men and women. The difference between the Muslims
and Hindus of India is, therefore, more than religious. It is
greater than the difference of Protestants and Catholics in
Ireland, or even of French Canadians and English Canadians
in Canada.
We all regret that India should be a house divided against
itself. Alas! Recent events in India show that some people fly
at the throats of others on the least excuse. The dreadful
events of Cawnpore and elsewhere in India in March of this
year made the Muslims more than ever nervous as to their
future.
But the Muslims want such a Federal Constitution for India as
will safeguard their legitimate interests. They want something
that will save. their ideals from being submerged. They ask
for an adequate share in the Federal Legislature, as also in
139 Ibid. 302-5. Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quai d-i -Azam
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 166-7.
140 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 221.
141 Ibid. 222. Gandhi, li. 352-3.
142 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 251. Gandhi, liii. 359-
66, 15 Sept. 1931: at the Federal Structure Committee, Gandhi
proclaimed that Congress `has had nearly 50 years of life,
during which period it has, without any interruption, held its
annual session. It is what it means - national. It represents no
particular community, no particular class, no particular interest.
It claims to represent all Indian interests and all classes. The
position the Congress took up in 1920 remains the same today;
and so you will see the Congress has attempted from its very
beginning to be what it described itself to be, namely, national
in every sense of the term... the Congress represents, in its
essence, the dumb, semi-starved millions scattered over the
length and breadth of the land in its 700,000 villages, no matter
whether they come from what is called British India or what is
called Indian India.´ Also Gandhi liii. 463, 8 Oct. 1931: `Congress
claims to represent the whole nation, and most decidedly the
dumb millions, among whom are included the numberless
untouchables, who are more suppressed than depressed, as
also in a way the more unfortunate and neglected classes
known as Backward Races.´
143 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 137, 139, 145, 148-9.
144 Low, Britain and Indian Nationalism, 134, 149.
145 Brown, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience, 247, 249.
146 Ibid. 250. Gandhi, liv. 66, 134, 20 Oct and 9 Nov. 1931.
147 Aga Khan III, ed. Aziz, ii. 863-5.
79 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 80
the Federal administration of India, and they claim self-
determination, as well as fully autonomous administrations,
for all racial and linguistic areas - and particularly for those
areas which have a majority Muslim population. They want to
decide freely for themselves whether they will keep the
institution of separate electorates for their protection or not.
They do not want the right, borrowed by India from the
experience of some European Constitutions, to be forcibly
taken from them. They will resist to the last any attempt which,
under colour of democracy, places them at the mercy of any
other section.
4 Prelude to the Lahore Declaration: the
Search for Pakistan and the Growth of
Communal Politics, 1933-1940
Two distinct ideas of a Muslim homeland need to be
distinguished at the outset. The first is the idea of a distinct
Muslim `nationality´ that might (or might not) lead to the
call for a separate homeland. The second idea was that
certain provinces had a Muslim majority population and
that these might act as a bastion for a separate identity:
this idea of a homeland might be no more than a support
for provincial separatism; taken at its extreme, however, it
might lead to the demand for a separate state. The fusion
of these two ideas might, eventually, lead to both the
demand for a separate state and the justification for the
demand. However strongly both ideas had surfaced by 1940,
their fusion in the Lahore declaration was by no means
complete. Only two months before the Lahore resolution
was passed, Jinnah had spoken of a new constitution which
might recognize that there were `in India two nations who
both must share the governance of their common
motherland´.
148
It is incorrect to argue that Jinnah originated the argument
that Hindus and Muslims were two separate `nations´. This
argument was already projected by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan,
best known for his theory of Koranic exegesis,
149
who was
also the founder of Mohammedan Education Congress in
1886 (later, in 1890, renamed Conference, to show that it
had nothing to do with the Indian National Congress). It
was he who talked of the parliamentary form of government
as `unsuited to a country containing two or more nations´
which might tend `to oppress the numerically weaker´. The
few Muslims who had joined Congress did not imply that
the whole Muslim nation had joined that organization, he
claimed on 14 March 1888.
150
The following month, he
contested the idea that Congress could be composed of
two nations who had such different opinions and only
happened to agree on some small points. The divisions
shown at the time of the Mutiny, and the damage the
repression had caused the Muslim community, still haunted
him.
151
His determination to oppose Congress led later in
1888 to the founding of the Indian Patriotic Association,
which was intended to comprise Muslims and Hindus who
were opposed to Congress.
Separate nationalities as an idea was thus reconcilable
with an all-India position. The idea of creating a separate
Muslim homeland was more ambiguous. The term `Pakstan´
was formulated by Choudhary Rahmat Ali and first used in
a pamphlet published in January 1933 entitled Now or Never.
Later, Rahmat Ali recalled its meaning, which was drawn
from the first letter of the main provinces which would
form a Muslim homeland.
152
The `i´ was added to make it
148 Jalal, The Sole Spokesman, 57.
149 Ahmad and von Grunebaum, Muslim Self-statement in India
and Pakistan, 25-48.
150 Ghosh, The Development of the Indian National Congress, 148.
Jalal, The Sole Spokesman, 52 n. 30. Jalal notes the different
context of the late nineteenth-century.
151 Ghosh, The Development of the Indian National Congress, 149.
152 `"Pakistan¨ is both a Persian and an Urdu word. It is composed
of letters taken from the names of all our homelands - "Indian¨
and "Asian¨. That is, Panjab, Afghania (North West Frontier
Province), Kashmir, Iran, Sindh (including Kach and Kathiawar),
Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and Balochistan. It means the land of
the Paks - the spiritually pure and clean. It symbolizes the
religious beliefs and ethnical stocks of our people; and it stands
for all the territorial constituents of our original Fatherland. It
has no other origin and no other meaning; and it does not admit
of any other interpretation. Those writers who have tried to
interpret it in more than way have done so either through the
love of casuistry, or through ignorance of its inspiration, origin
and composition.´ C. R. Ali, Pakistan: the Fatherland of the Pak
81 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 82
`Pakistan´ and thus ease pronunciation, which sounded
similar to `Afghanistan´ and therefore more familiar. The
name permitted the formation in 1933 of a party committed
to the cause of a national homeland, the Pakistan National
Movement. But, as the representatives of the All-India
Muslim League expressed it, in evidence before the Joint
Select Committee of Parliament on Indian Constitutional
Reform, the campaign was condemned at the time as `only
a student´s scheme, chimerical and impractical´.
153
However, though he originated the name, Rahmat Ali was
not the originator of the idea of a Muslim homeland. That
honour, he claimed, rested with Sardar Muhammad Gul Khan,
who in the course of his evidence before the North-West
Frontier Committee in 1923 stated:
We [Muslims] would very much rather see the separation of
the [Hindus] and Muhammadans, 23 crores of [Hindus] to the
south and eight crores of Muslims to the north. Give the whole
portion of India from Raskumari [Cape Comorin] to Agra to
[Hindus] and from Agra to Peshawar to Muslims.
154
The following year Maulana Hasrat Mohani entered into
discussions with the Hindus, in which the bi-communal
(Hindu-Muslim) basis for the future independent India was
recognized; the Hindu and Muslim majority provinces would
become states with communal majorities; and there would
be a federation under a supreme national government
comprising Hindus and Muslims. The idea was a free Islam
in a free federal India. Later in the same year, the Hindu
Lala Lajpat Rai accepted the idea of partitioning India into
Hindu and Muslim states.
155
Muslim India would include
Afghania, Western Panjab, Sind, Eastern Bengal and other
parts of India inhabited by `compact Muslim communities´.
156
So far as is known, Rai´s was the first Hindu proposal to
accept the idea of partition, which won Choudhary Rahmat
Ali´s plaudit as `a decisive step in the right direction´.
The most famous declaration in favour of a Muslim homeland
was that of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, `the immortal poet of
Islam´ as Ali called him, as well as a highly significant political
thinker and philosopher, in his presidential speech at the
Allahabad session of the All-India Muslim League in 1930:
.The principle of European democracy cannot be applied to
India without recognising the fact of communal groups. The
Muslim demand for the creation of a Muslim India within India
is, therefore, perfectly justified. I would like to see the Punjab,
North-West Frontier, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into
a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or
without the British Empire, and the formation of a consolidated
North-West Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final
destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India. The
idea need not alarm the Hindus or the British. India is the
greatest Muslim country in the world. The life of Islam as a
cultural force in this country very largely depends on its
centralisation in a specified territory. the Muslim demand.
is actuated by a genuine desire for free development which
is practically impossible under the type of unitary government
contemplated by the nationalist Hindu politicians with a view
to secur[ing] permanent communal dominance in the whole
of India.
I, therefore, demand the formation of a consolidated Muslim
state in the best interests of India and Islam. For India it
means security and peace resulting from an internal balance
of power.
157
Iqbal´s aim was to create (or perhaps, more accurately,
articulate) a `Muslim India within India´. For Iqbal, `we
Muslims have a duty towards India where we are destined
to live and die´, while to Hindus he stated: `the unity of the
Indian nation must be sought not in the negation but in
the mutual harmony and co-operation of the many.´ For
Choudhary Rahmat Ali, Iqbal´s demand for an Indian
federation was `a thing against which we have been fighting
since 1933´; but he recalled with gratitude that the speech
`re-inspired our people to think in terms of the consolidation
of our nation, [it] revived the issue of our future, and
riveted our gaze on our homelands in the north-west of
"India¨´.
158
In May 1937, Iqbal wrote to Jinnah on `the gravity
of the situation as far as Muslim India is concerned. a
Nation (3rd edn, Cambridge, 1947), 225 note. The first edition
was published in 1935. There is a website devoted to Rahmat
Ali: <www.slam33.freeserve.co.uk/pakistan.htm>.
153 Ali, Pakistan: the Fatherland of the Pak Nation, 231.
154 Ibid. 215. A crore was 10 million or 100 lakhs.
155 Rai, however, was closely associated with Hindu Mahasabha so
his viewpoint was one of Hindu communalism.
156 Ibid. 216-17.
157 Ibid. 218-20. Muslim self-statement in India and Pakistan, ed.
Ahmad and von Grunebaum, 150-1.
158 Ali, Pakistan: the Fatherland of the Pak Nation, 220-1.
83 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 84
political organization which gives no promise of improving
the lot of the average Muslim cannot attract our masses´.
The enforcement and development of shariat law was
`impossible in this country without a free Muslim state or
states. I still believe this to be the only way to solve the
problem of bread for Muslims as well as to secure a peaceful
India. If such a thing is impossible in India the only other
alternative is a civil war which as a matter of fact has
been going on for some time in the shape of the Hindu-
Muslim riots.´
159
There can be no doubt that Iqbal exercised a profound
influence on Jinnah. On the news of his death in April 1938,
his tribute was fulsome: `To me he was a personal friend,
philosopher and guide and as such the main source of my
inspiration and spiritual support.´ He had played `a signal
part´ in the unified platform of the All-India Muslim League.
He was `the staunchest and most loyal champion´ of its
policy and programme and one of the greatest Indians who
ever lived. No greater blow could have been struck against
the Muslim cause than the death of Iqbal.
160
Later, when
an annual Iqbal day (25 March) had been established, Jinnah
paid a further tribute to the man: `if I were offered to
make a choice between the works of Iqbal and the rulership
of the Muslim state, I would prefer the former´. Iqbal `was
not only a great poet who had a permanent place in the
history of the world´s best literature, he was a dynamic
personality who, during his lifetime, made the greatest
contribution towards rousing and developing [the] Muslim
national consciousness.´
161
Yet before 1940 Jinnah himself
scarcely alluded to Iqbal´s idea of a Muslim India within
India or, for that matter, to the idea of creating Pakistan
as a Muslim homeland. That task was left to Choudhary
Rahmat Ali, who was nothing if not consistent in his
statements in favour of Pakistan from 1933 to 1947.
Choudhary Rahmat Ali´s speech to Supreme Council of the
Pakistan National Movement held at Karachi on 8 March
1940 may be taken as the definitive statement of his
minority Muslim viewpoint on the eve of the Lahore
Declaration. In it, he stressed a bi-national solution for the
sub-continent and the dangers of the `great and growing
forces of "Indianism¨´. The choice for Muslims was between
a heroic or even martyr´s fate as against submission, and
joining `the helots of careerism´.
In the world today it is the territorial unit which defines the
position of a nation, the jurisdiction of a state, and the domain
of a sovereignty. This is axiomatic, as also is the fact that all
our present anxieties and alarms in `India´ originate in the
mischievous myth of `Indian´ territorial unity; and that, unless
and until this myth is once and for all exploded, there is no
hope for us. [On] the premise of the territorial unity of `India´,
`Indianism´ will create the central government, control its civil
administration, and command its military arm; and that if,
and when, sure of its power, it will, in the name of democracy
and with the help of British bayonets, make use of that power
to coerce and crush us - its prey - into complete captivity.
162
If `bi-nationalism´ was the first half of the fundamental creed
of the small Pakistan National Movement, the other half
therefore had to be `de-Indianisation´. Choudhary Rahmat
Ali´s contended that the All-India Muslim League had lost
the plot, since it was founded at a time `when we foolishly
linked our fate to "India¨. its very name bears the stamp of
"Indianism¨ and so belies our struggle against "Indianism¨´.
Instead, Ali pronounced, `we must scrap the All-India Muslim
League as such and create an alliance of the nations of
Pakistan, Bengal and Osmanistan´.
163
It was a last cry of
despair from the leader of a minority movement which was
to be rapidly pushed even further to the margins of
irrelevance by the League´s adoption the Lahore Resolution.
Though the scheme for `Osmanistan´ may be considered to
have been unrealistic, Ali at least sought to address the
residual problem of the 35 million Muslims he calculated
would be left in India, who formed one-third of the Muslim
community (millat). Critics of the demand for Pakistan
159 Muslim self-statement in India and Pakistan, ed. Ahmad and
von Grunebaum, 151-2.
160 Yusufi, ii. 795-6, 21 April 1938.
161 Yusufi, ii. 1188-9. He stated that after April 1936 `until the end
of his life´ Iqbal had `stood like a rock by him´. In 1941 he called
him `the greatest interpreter of Islam in modern times´: Yusufi,
ii. 1340.
162 Ali, Pakistan: the Fatherland of the Pak Nation, 238-55, at 242-3.
163 Ibid. 253-5. Osmanistan was Ali´s name for a proposed Muslim
state of Hyderabad-Deccan in central India.
85 Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 86
autonomy in the Lahore Declaration argued that it failed to
address this central issue. Rahmat Ali´s earlier answer to
this dilemma had been: `as to the future, the only effective
guarantee we can offer is that of reciprocity, and, therefore,
we solemnly undertake to give all those safeguards to non-
Muslim minorities in Pakistan which will be conceded to our
Muslim minority in Hindustan.´ The internal logic to Choudhary
Rahmat Ali´s scheme of 1940 was that `minorityism´ was to
be avoided at all costs. As he argued in October 1942, `we
must not leave our minorities in [Hindu] lands, even if the
British and the [Hindus] offer them the so-called
constitutional safeguards. For no safeguards can be a
substitute for nationhood which is their birthright´.
164
This argument led Choudhary Rahmat Ali to develop
increasingly complex schemes for the creation of other
Muslim homelands which would prevent minorities being left
to the mercy of a Hindu majority within an India from which
Pakistan had been separated. As these schemes evolved,
so the Pakistan National Movement became increasingly
isolated as a minority movement within the Muslim separatist
agitation. The `Pak Plan´ in its definitive form aimed to
integrate 100 million Muslims (sic: the highest figure talked
of was 90 million by Jinnah
165
and others) in ten countries,
of which Pakistan would be just one.
166
The scheme was
too complicated to be easily understood by the masses,
who could not easily be mobilized for such a cause. More
importantly, the scheme was incapable of realization: it
would have been opposed by the British, the Congress and
the Muslim League.
By so placing himself on the fringe of mainstream Muslim
politics, Choudhary Rahmat Ali left the centre ground to
Jinnah, for whom the word `Pakistan´ after March 1940
became synonymous with the Lahore Resolution. It had
the advantage of being readily comprehensible:
It is no use saying this word Pakistan is `misused by some
people´ [that is, Choudhary Rahmat Ali]
167
. If there is any
mischief-maker, who wants to create mischief, God alone can
stop him: I cannot stop him. Everybody who has got any
intelligence, who is honest, understands perfectly well what
we mean when we say Paki stan: we mean the Lahore
resolution.
168
Not only was it readily comprehensible, it could easily be
summarized and commented on in the media:
The Lahore resolution inter alia laid down that no constitutional
plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to
[Muslims] unless it is designed on the following basic principle,
namely, that geographically contiguous units are demarcated
into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial
adjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the
Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the north-western
and eastern zones of India, should be grouped to constitute
`independent states´ in which the constituent units shall be
autonomous and sovereign.
Some confusion prevails in the minds of some individuals in
regard to the use of the word `Pakistan´. This word has become
synonymous with the Lahore resolution owing to the fact that
it is a convenient and compendious method of describing the
Lahore resolution quoted above. For this reason the British
and Indian newspapers generally have adopted the word
`Pakistan´ to describe the Muslim demand as embodied in the
Lahore resolution. I really see no objection to it and I fail to
understand why some people are making a mountain out of
this molehill.
169
However, this lay in the future. Until then, Jinnah was involved
in establishing the Muslim League as a viable challenger to
the Congress party. Between 1936 and 1942, Jinnah single-
mindedly sought to reorganize the Muslim League on a totally
new footing, to broaden the organization of the party and
to intensify communalist propaganda. Jawalharlal Nehru threw
down the gauntlet, stating that the Muslim League´s demands
had `nothing to do with the masses.´ He claimed that he
164 Ibid. 267.
165 Yusufi, ii. 1326.
166 Ali, Pakistan: the Fatherland of the Pak Nation, 373. The others
were Bangi stan, Osmani stan, Si ddi qi stan, Faruqi stan,
Haidaristan, Muinistan, Maplistan, Safiistan and Nasaristan.
167 Moore comments on the diversity of schemes embodying
`Pakistan´ in 1940: `any precise scheme must surely divide the
League´. Moore, `Jinnah and the Pakistan demand´, India´s
Partition, ed. Hasan, 185.
168 Yusufi, ii. 1337. Viceroy Lord Linlithgow nevertheless argued as
late as 2 May 1943 that `half the strength of his [Jinnah´s]
position is that he has refused to define it and I am quite certain
that he would refuse to define it now if asked to.´: M. Hasan,
`Introduction´, India´s Partition, ed. Hasan, 27.
169 Yusufi, ii. 1319-20.
87 Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 88 Professor Richard Bonney
was in better touch with the Muslim masses than Jinnah
and `most members of the Muslim League. There were only
two forces in the country, the Congress and the British
colonial government.
170
Jinnah contended there was a third
party, the Muslims,
171
and the `busybody President´
172
of
Congress (Nehru), `torn between Benares and Moscow´,
173
should not `poke his nose into everything´. He refuted Nehru´s
contention that there was no Hindu-Muslim question and
that the minorities´ problem did not exist in India.
174
Jinnah
specifically rejected the Congress accusation that the Muslim
League rejected `complete freedom and self-government´
for India; but he asserted that there could not be `acquisition
first, and distribution afterwards, or in the latest dictum,
"possession first and partition afterwards¨´.
175
There was
`no communalism or religion involved´ in the demand for the
protection of a minority against the tyranny of the majority.
176
Wilfrid Cantwell Smith commented on the spoiling tactics
of the Muslim League:
177
Its method of refusal [to co-operate] was to postulate an
utterly impossible `condition´ and then to adopt an air of
offended generosity when this was not accepted. Its demand
was that before any negotiations between Congress and [the]
League might even be begun, the Congress must constitute
itself [as] a Hindu communalist body, and must pledge itself
not to recognize any Muslim who was not member of the
League. There was no reason whatever why the Congress
either should or could accede to this fantastic proposition.
Actually, back in 1935, before the League´s subsequent role
had been assumed in its full vigour, a communal pact was
reached by Jinnah and the Congress president, Rajindra
Prashad.
178
The Congress agreed to the pact; but the League
later insisted on the Hindu Mahasabha´s agreeing also; and
on the grounds of the Mahasabha´s non-adherence, the League
was able to repudiate the whole business.
The Muslim League reorganization was not accomplished in
time for the 1937 elections. At this time, less than 4.5 per
cent of the Muslim electorate was persuaded to vote for
the League, `a sorry showing indeed´ in Wilfrid Cantwell
Smith´s phrase. The Muslim League´s next move was to
persuade `a majority of the Muslim members of the provincial
legislatures, already elected on some other platform, to
join the League´. In this way, it came to have considerable
strength in the four non-Congress provinces. In three of
these (Assam, Bengal, Sind) there were unstable coalition
ministries; in the fourth (the Punjab) there was a Unionist
pseudo-coalition, dominated by Sir Sikander Hayat Khan,
which was strong. As Smith observed, Fazl al Haq in
Bengal
179
and Hayat Khan in the Punjab were `refractory
and undependable supporters of the League and its
autarchical president. They did not owe their position and
power to the League; rather vice versa, for without these
two men the League´s claim to represent Muslim India would
have been shakier than ever.´
180
The rallying cry was given by Jinnah in his presidential
address to the annual session of the Muslim League meeting
at Lucknow on 15 October 1937,
181
in terms which Gandhi
referred to as `a declaration of war´:
182
170 Almeida, Jinnah. Man of Destiny, 113-14.
171 Yusufi, i. 461.
172 Ibid. i. 523.
173 Ibid. i. 469.
174 Ibid. i. 495.
175 Ibid. i. 641.
176 Ibid. i. 643-4.
177 Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, Modern Islam in India, 286.
178 Joint statement of Jinnah and Prasad, 1 March 1935: Yusufi, i.
128. Jinnah observed that in 1935 `he spent four or five weeks
holding conferences with Babu Ranjendra Prasad (then Presi-
dent of the Congress) and trying to get the Muslim viewpoint
accepted at least by the Congress leaders if not by the Hindu
Mahasabha.´ Yusufi, i. 509.
179 For Haq: Rajmohan Gandhi, Understanding the Muslim Mind,
189-216.
180 Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, Modern Islam in India, 283. The modern
overview of these difficult relationships is Jalal, The Sole
Spokesman.
181 Alemida, Jinnah. Man of Destiny, 116, called the speech `the
beginning of the end of the nationalist Jinnah´.
182 Yusufi, i. 645-57. Foundations of Pakistan. All-India Muslim
League Documents, 1906-1947. II. 1924-1947, ed. S. S.
Pirzada (Karachi and Dacca, 1970), 265-73. Gandhi´s remark
is at Gandhi, lxxii. 353, 19 Oct. 1937. Jinnah replied to Gandhi
on 5 Nov. 1937: `I am sorry you think my speech at Lucknow is
a declaration of war. It is purely in self-defence. Kindly read it
again and try and understand it. Evidently, you have not been
following the course of events of the last twelve months.´
Gandhi, lxxii. 494. Gandhi commented on 3 February 1938: `In
your speeches I miss the old nationalist. When in 1915 I
Professor Richard Bonney Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination 90 89
The present leadership of the Congress, especially during
the last ten years, has been responsible for alienating the
Musalmans of India more and more, by pursuing a policy
which is exclusively Hindu; and since they have formed
governments in the six provinces where they are in a majority,
they have by their words, deeds and programme shown, more
and more that the Musalmans cannot expect any justice or
fair play at their hands. Wherever they were in a majority
and wherever it suited them, they refused to co-operate with
the Muslim League parties and demanded unconditional
surrenders and the signing of their pledges.
The demand was insistent: abjure your party and foreswear
your policy and programme and liquidate the Muslim League.
On the very threshold of what little power and responsibility
is given, the majority community have clearly shown their
hand: that Hindustan is for the Hindus. Only the Congress
masquerades under the name of nationalism, whereas the
Hindu Mahasabha does not mince words.
183
The result of the
present Congress Party policy will be, I venture to say, class
bi tterness, communal war and a strengtheni ng of the
imperialistic hold as a consequence.
God only helps those who help themselves. I want the
Musalmans to believe in themselves and take their destiny in
thei r own hands. Organi ze yoursel ves, establ i sh your
solidarity and complete unity. Equip yourselves as trained
and disciplined soldiers. a well-knit, solid, organized, united
force can face any danger, and withstand any opposition to
its united front and wishes. There is magic power in your own
hands.
The Congressite Musalmans are making a great mistake when
they preach unconditional surrender. It is the height of a
defeatist mentality to throw yourselves on the mercy and
goodwill of others, and the highest act of perfidy
184
to the
Musalman community; and if that policy is adopted, let me
tell you, the community will seal its doom and cease to play
its rightful part in the national life of the country and the
government. Do not be disturbed by the slogans and such
taunts as are used against the Musalmans, `communalists´,
`toadies´ and `reactionaries´. These terms and words of abuse
are intended to create an inferiority complex among the
Musalmans, and to demoralize them; and are intended to
sow discord in our midst and give us a bad name in the world
abroad. This is the standard of a propaganda which can only
be treated with contempt.
The All-India Muslim League certainly and definitely stands
to safeguard the rights and interests of the Musalmans and
other minorities effectively. That is its basic and cardinal
principle. That is the casus belli. That is why the Muslim League
and those who stand by it have incurred the displeasure of
the Congress. The Congress attempt, under the guise of
establishing mass contact with the Musalmans, is calculated
to divide and weaken and break the Musalmans, and is an
effort to detach them from their accredited leaders. It is a
dangerous move but it cannot mislead anyone. All such
manoeuvres will not succeed, notwithstanding the various
blandishments, catchwords and slogans. The only honest and
straightforward course is to give the minorities a fair deal.
There are forces which may bully you, tyrannize over you
and intimidate you, and you may even have to suffer. But it is
by going through this crucible of the fire of persecution which
may be levelled against you, the tyranny that may be
exercised, the threats and intimidations that may unnerve
you - it is by resisting, by overcoming, by facing these
disadvantages, hardships and suffering and maintaining your
true convictions and loyalty, that a nation will emerge, worthy
of its past glory and history and will live to make its future
history greater and more glorious not only in India, but in the
annals of the world. Eighty millions of Musalmans in India
have nothing to fear. They have their destiny in their hands.
Jinnah lamented the fact that Gandhi decided to be `guided
by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad as Dr. Ansari is no more´
(Document One). But while Azad´s credentials in the Khilafat
movement were impeccable and his longevity in the
returned from the self-imposed exile in South Africa, every-
body spoke of you as one of the staunchest of nationalists and
the hope of both Hindus and Mussalmans. Are you still the same
Mr. Jinnah? Gandhi lxxii. 446. Jinnah replied on 15 Feb. 1938:
`Nationalism is not the monopoly of any single individual; and
in these days it is very difficult to define it: but I don´t wish to
pursue this line of controversy any further.´ Ibid. lxxii. 503.
Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah, 59-60.
183 Jinnah had earlier commented (1 July 1937) that `at times it is
very difficult to say who are Congress leaders and who are
Mahasabha leaders, for the line of demarcation between the two
with regard to a large number of them is very thin indeed´.
Yusufi, i. 513. Subsequently, in December 1938, Congress
branded both the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League as
communal organizations: Anita Inder Singh, The Origins of the
Partition of India, 1936–1947 (Delhi, 1987, repr. 1997), 41.
However, Viceroy Lord Linlithgow reported that Sardar Patel
encouraged Dr B S Moonje, the architect of the Hindu Mahasabha
to `stand firm on a variety of points in the interest of Hinduism´:
Hasan, `Introduction´, India´s Partition, ed. Hasan, 13.
184 Jinnah subsequently referred to nationalist Muslims, including
the Mullahs who sided with them or encouraged them, as
`traitors´ on 5 February 1938: Yusufi, ii. 727.
Congress cause led him to become the President of Congress
during World War II and immediately after, as well as
Education Minister in the independent India,
185
Azad was
essentially untypical of Muslims who supported Congress.
In spite of a flirtation with a Muslim `mass contact´
movement in 1937-8, relatively few Muslims transferred to
the Congress cause.
186
By March 1942, Gandhi recognized
just how weak their position was: `receiving aid from
members of another faith will only expose your own
weakness. Besides, other members of your own faith will
view it with suspicion and the poison will spread. The matter
needs to be viewed with discretion. We come across very
few nationalist Muslims who are strong enough. They lack
self-confidence. They would not even be able to explain
why they are nationalist.´
187
A meeting between Jinnah and Gandhi on 28 April 1938
achieved little, although Jinnah kept a note of his demands
(Document Three). By December, in his presidential address
to the annual Muslim League session at Patna, he denounced
the Congress as `nothing but a Hindu body´ and singled out
Gandhi himself as `the one man responsible for turning the
Congress into an instrument for the establishment of Hindu
Raj in India´. Controversially, he branded Congress as likely
to become `the only totalitarian organization of the Fascist
brand´.
188
Nehru had already called such tactics `communalism in
excelsis´
189
and Wilfrid Cantwell Smith was one of the
contemporary commentators who denounced the Muslim
League propaganda. While, with hindsight, we may reject
some of Smith´s comparisons between the Muslim League
propaganda and the Nazis (`as Germans hate Jews, so
Muslims have hated Hindus´), there is no doubt that, as he
contended, `the Muslim League throve on attack´.
190
He
continued:
191
It was anti-Hindu, anti-Congress, anti-`one free India´. It
attacked the Hindus with fervour, fear, contempt and bitter
hatred.
192
It would seek out, air and emphasize the differences
between the two communities; cultural, social, religious and
185 Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958) is studied by Rajmohan Gandhi,
Understanding the Muslim Mind, 219-53. His speech on 23
October 1947 after Partition reveals Azad´s sense of futility and
weakness: `Do you remember? I hailed you, you cut off my
tongue. I picked up my pen, you severed my hand. I wanted to
move forward, you cut off my legs. I tried to turn over, and you
injured my back. When the bitter political games of the last
seven years were at their peak, I tried to wake you up at every
danger signal. Today, mine is no more than an inert existence
or a forlorn cry.The Partition of India was a fundamental
mistake. The manner in which religious differences were in-
cited, inevitably, led to the devastation that we have seen with
our own eyes. the debacle of Indian Muslims is the result of the
colossal blunders committed by the Muslim League´s misguided
leadership.´ R. Zakaria, The Widening Divide. An Insight into
Hindu-Muslim Relations (Delhi, 1996), 87-8. Azad convinced
himself that partition would be `short-lived´ since `the division
only on the map and not in the hearts of people´: A. Roy, `The
High Politics of India´s Partition´, India´s Partition, ed. Hasan,
127.
186 M. Hasan, `The Muslim Mass Contacts Campaign: analysis of a
strategy of political mobilization´, India´s Partition, ed. Hasan,
133-159. Hasan concludes that Congress let an opportunity slip
and allowed Jinnah to `take advantage of deteriorating commu-
nal relations and rally his community around the divisive
symbol of a separate Muslim homeland´.
187 Gandhi lxxxii. 94, 5 March 1942. Gandhi had been advised: `a
majority of the well-to-do Muslims belong to the League,
because they see their interests better served that way. The
poorer Muslims are handicapped by paucity of funds in their
nationalist activities. If they ask for funds it is assumed that they
are [in it] for the sake of money, and then they are advised to
make their own arrangements for their finances. How can this
dilemma be avoided?´ Gandhi´s reply was characteristic but
lacked realism: `by carrying on your work. All the reformers of
the world had sold their shirts to subsist, yet gone ahead with
their mission. If the poorer Muslims love their country and do
not wish to vivisect it they will withstand any calamity.´
188 Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah, 62. Yusufi, ii. 905-18, esp. ii. 914.
Foundations of Pakistan. All-India Muslim League Documents,
1906-1947. II, ed. Pirzada, 302-11 (with closing remarks in
Urdu here translated). Gandhi seems not to have responded to
this personal attack.
189 Anita Inder Singh, The Origins of the Partition of India, 20 (July
1937)
190 Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, Modern Islam in India, 295.
191 Ibid. 295-300, passim.
192 However Jinnah stated categorically: `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 conflict was with the Congress `High Command´: Yusufi, ii.
865-6.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 91 92
every other difference on which it could lay its hands. The
attack on Congress was closely related. In 1938, the League
issued the `Pirpur Report´ on atrocities suffered by Muslims at
the pitiless hands of Congress provincial governments. On
12 December 1939, when those governments had relinquished
office in protest about India´s treatment in the war, the League,
supported by other communalists,
193
celebrated a `Day of
Deliverance´ in the towns of India. In presidential and other
speeches, the League would spend a good deal of its time
and most of its invective in traducing the Congress.
The Pirpur Report
194
created a furore among many Muslims.
Actually, some of the `atrocities´ of which it complained were
flagrantly silly. some were simply accounts from the Muslim
point of view of the Muslim side of such communal riots as
had occurred in provinces with Congress governments and in
the years since those governments took office. Some were
mild `injustices´ which could hardly be grievances to the
reasonable. Some were statements of government partiality
between the two communities, and of Muslim disabilities
(especially relating to dealings in meat), which, if true, merited
serious inquiry and adjustment.
The report repeatedly stated explicitly that the Muslims were
in a worse case under the Congress than under the British.
The savage and irrational attacks on the nationalist flag, on
the nationalist song, and above all on the theologue-supported
`Muslim mass contact´ movement of the Congress, are not
really surprising when one remembers that the chairman of
the Pirpur committee was the ruler of a native state.
The anti-Congress campaign was one of utmost defamation.
If the Hindus, with little power that they were given in
provincial governments, could wreak such horror on the
helpless Muslims, what they would inflict in an independent
India might well be imagined. Helps to imagining it were
profusely distributed by the League. It was suggested that in
a united India the strong, even ferocious, Hindu-dominated
centre, in its policy of crushing or exterminating Islam, would
impose upon the Muslims a foreign language, an alien and
caste-ridden social system, an infidel and rather barbarous
culture; and of course would place `foreigners´ in charge of
administering these evils, and all in posts of authority. The
threat that was brandished with the greatest of horror was
the economic.. The appeal was always to the economically
dissatisfied..
We have already said that the movement was negative, and
was based on hatred and fear, rather than having a constructive
programme and an exact positive ideal. Its hatred and fear
motivation made it unhealthy. Leaguers had a religious
conviction, which absolved them from rational thought and
from meeting rational criticism. By saying that `Islam is so
different´, they released themselves from the duty of learning
anything from history, from the West, from modern sociology.
By feeling that outsiders simply did not understand Islam and
the Muslims, they avoided the duty of listening tolerantly to
objections raised by foreigners, by Hindus - and even by
nationalist Muslims, whom they called `renegades from Islam´.
In fact, they enjoyed being misunderstood; it seemed to them
to prove their point. Whatever else it might be, Pakistanism
was unlovely..
Dr Ambedkar´s analysis of the Muslim League reports of
misdeeds by the Congress provincial ministries is more
neutral in tone, but he also concluded that the claims
were exaggerated:
195
A perusal of these instances, as given in the reports of the
Muslim League Committees, leaves upon the reader the
impression that although there may be some truth in the
allegations there is a great deal which is pure exaggeration.
The Congress Ministries concerned have issued statements
repudiating the charges. It may be that the Congress during
the two years and three months that it was in office did not
show statesmanshi p, di d not i nspi re confi dence i n the
minorities, nay tried to suppress them. But can it be a reason
for partitioning India? Is it not possible to hope that the voters
who supported the Congress last time will grow wiser and not
support the Congress? Or may it not be that if the Congress
returns to office it will profit by the mistakes it has made,
revise its mischievous policy and thereby allay the fear created
by its past conduct?
A departmental enquiry ordered by Lord Linlithgow, the
Viceroy, largely dismissed the Muslim League allegations,
but as one recent historian argues, `the important point to
bear in mind is not whether the Muslim grievances were
true or exaggerated, but whether many Muslims believed
in them. Anything which widened the rift between the
Hindus and Muslims and indicated that the difference
between the two communities was unbridgeable proved
Jinnah´s thesis that a democratic structure was unsuited
for India.
196
Another recent analysis has concluded that
`there was little justification for the charge that the Congress
governments discriminated against Muslims´.
197
193 Smith´s so-called `communalists´ included the Dalits.
194 Anita Inder Singh, The Origins of the Partition of India, 33-41.
195 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 352, ch. 13: `Must there be Pakistan?´.
196 Rizvi, Linlithgow and India, 101-2.
197 Anita Inder Singh, The Origins of the Partition of India, 33.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 93 94
Ambedkar summarized succinctly the increasing demands
of Jinnah and the Muslim League:
198
After taking into account what the Muslims demanded at the
[Round Table Conference] and what was conceded to them,
any one could have thought that the limit of Muslim demands
was reached and that the 1932 settlement was a final
settlement. But, it appears that even with this the Musalmans
are not satisfied. A further list of new demands for safeguarding
the Muslim position seems to be ready. In the controversy
that went on between Mr. Jinnah and the Congress in the year
1938, Mr. Jinnah was asked to disclose his demands which he
refused to do. But these demands have come to the surface
in the correspondence that passed between Pandit Nehru and
Mr. Jinnah in the course of the controversy and they have
been tabulated by Pandit Nehru in one of his letters to Mr.
Jinnah. His tabulation gives the following items as being
matters of disputes and requiring settlement: (1) The fourteen
points formulated by the Muslim League in 1929; (2) The
Congress should withdraw all opposition to the Communal
Award and should not describe it as a negation of nationalism;
(3) The share of the Muslims in the state services should be
definitely fixed in the constitution by statutory enactment;
(4) Muslim personal law and culture should be guaranteed by
statute; (5) The Congress should take in hand the agitation
in connection with the Sahidganj Mosque and should use its
moral pressure to enable the Muslims to gain possession of
the Mosque; (6) The Muslims´ right to call Azan and perform
their religious ceremonies should not be fettered in any way;
(7) Muslims should have freedom to perform cow-slaughter;
(8) Muslim majorities in the Provinces, where such majorities
exist at present, must not be affected by any territorial re-
distribution or adjustments; (9) The Bande Mataram song
should be given up; (10) Muslims want Urdu to be the national
language of India and they desire to have statutory guarantees
that the use of Urdu shall not be curtailed or damaged; (11)
Muslim representation in the local bodies should be governed
by the principles underlying the Communal Award, that is,
separate electorates and population strength; (12) The
tricolour flag should be changed or alternately the flag of the
Muslim League should be given equal importance; (13)
Recognition of the Muslim League as the one authoritative
and representative organization of Indian Muslims; (14)
Coalition Ministries should be formed. With this new list, there
is no knowing where the Muslims are going to stop in their
demands. Within one year, that is, between 1938 and 1939,
one more demand and that too of a substantial character,
namely 50 per cent share in everything, has been added to
it. In this catalogue of new demands there are some which on
the face of them are extravagant and impossible, if not
irresponsible. As an instance, one may refer to the demand
for fifty-fifty and the demand for the recognition of Urdu as
the national language of India.
Jinnah and the Muslim League were delighted by the resignation
of the Congress Party provincial governments following the
Viceroy´s unilateral declaration of the participation of India in
the war against Fascism. A `Day of Deliverance´ was proclaimed
for 22 December 1939 to celebrate the escape from the
alleged tyranny and oppression of the Hindu ministries.
199
Jinnah refuted Gandhi´s claim that the Muslim League was `an
obstacle to the progress of the country´ and dismissed Gandhi
as indulging `in a campaign of polemics and metaphysics,
ahimsa and truth´.
200
But Jinnah´s statement that the
Deliverance Day celebrations had seen, for the first time in
the history of the Muslim League, `the minorities. gathered
on the same platform´
201
gave Gandhi an opening to try to
reverse the growing communal divisions. He referred to Jinnah
as `an old comrade´ and noted that several anti-Congress
Hindu parties had joined the Muslim League in celebrating
`Deliverance Day´:
202
He is thus lifting the Muslim League out of the communal rut
and giving it a national character. I regard his step as perfectly
legitimate. I observe that the Justice Party and Dr. Ambedkar´s
party have already joined Jinnah Saheb. The papers report
too that Shri Savarkar,
203
the Presi dent of the Hi ndu
Mahasabha, is to see him presently. Jinnah Saheb himself
has informed the public that many non-Congress Hindus have
expressed their sympathy with him. I regard this development
as thoroughly healthy. Nothing can be better than that we
should have in the country mainly two parties - Congress and
non-Congress or anti-Congress, if the latter expression is
198 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 262-4, ch 11, `Communal Aggression´.
199 Nehru called this a `psychological barrier which effectively
prevents mutual approach and discussion´: Yusufi, ii. 1097. He
continued to refuse to disassociate or disown Muslim supporters
of Congress: ibid. 1092.
200 Yusufi ii. 1067-1071, esp ii. 1068.
201 Yusufi, ii. 1082-3.
202 Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah, 64-65. Gandhi, lxxvii. 222-3, 15
Jan. 1940.
203 For the views of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966):
Document Forty-Seven. Savarkar´s reputation is assessed in
Ram Puniyani, Hindu Extreme Right-Wing Groups: Ideology
and Consequences (Leicester, 2002: INPAREL South Asian
History Academic Papers Series, 2).
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 95 96
preferred. Jinnah Saheb is giving the word `minority´ a new
and good content. Such an al i gnment of parti es i s a
consummation devoutly to be wished. If the Quaid-e-Azam
can bring about the combination, not only I but the whole of
India will shout with one acclamation: `Long Live Quaid-e-
Azam Jinnah.´ For he will have brought about permanent and
living unity for which I am sure the whole nation is thirsting.
Jinnah immediately refuted the suggestion that his politics
was about securing the place of the minorities as such. It
was partly a case of `adversity bringing strange bedfellows
together´ and partly of a common interest of Muslims and
the other minorities. But he reaffirmed than India was neither
a nation nor a country: `it is a sub-continent composed of
nationalities, Hindus and Muslims being the two major
nations.´ For his part, Gandhi professed not to be able to
conceive that because Muslims had converted from
Hinduism they ceased to `belong to their provinces because
of their change of faith´.
204
In a press statement on 2
February 1940, Ji nnah asserted that ` the whol e
constitutional problem should be considered de novo´. The
Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League had been
given a recommendation from a joint meeting of the Foreign
Committee and authors of alternative constitutional
schemes submitted to the League which stated their view
regarding the future of the Indian Muslim nation:
205
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 statement is extremely interesting, because it suggests
why at first Jinnah´s two nations theory won more support
in Indian provinces where Muslims were in a minority than
in Muslim-majority provinces; the Muslims in Muslim-minority
provinces believed that they would gain a new nationality
from the outcome. Whereas `safeguards´ defined only their
status as a minority, the two nations theory placed Hindus
and Muslims on an equal footing, since nations negotiated
as equals. This might be the way for Muslims to reverse
any perceived loss of political or economic power.
206
The
Muslims in the Muslim-minority provinces did not believe,
as was later to prove the case, that they would be left
virtually as `hostages´ within an independent Hindustan.
Wilfrid Cantwell Smith commented:
207
The League was relatively strongest in the part of India where
Muslims are in a minority. (These are the parts of India in
which the incidence of urban and bourgeois Muslims is much
the highest.). The Muslim League never at any time tried to
convince anybody that it represented all the Muslims of India.
It assumed that it did so; and went on to convince people of
something that followed from that. In mass psychology,
insinuation is more powerful than argument.
In brief, the Muslim League was creating enthusiasm for a
separate Islamic state for Muslim Indians; and enthusiasm
based on many things, including the engendered fear that if
Muslims and Hindus lived together in the same state, and
that state were independent, the Muslims would be horribly
maltreated. Very little attention was given to the nature of
the Pakistan to be. [Instead, the Muslim League] said loudly
and constantly what it did not want.
In an interview to the London Daily Mail on 19 February
1940, Jinnah rejected any tribunal of Gandhi´s conception
as the arbiter of the future destiny and fate of Muslim
India, and equally rejected any British `final arbitrament´:
`we must and shall be the sole and final judges of what is
best for us´, he declared.
208
204 Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah, 65-66. Gandhi, lxxvii. 247, 23
January 1940. Jinnah blamed the dashing of Hindu-Muslim unity
on Gandhi´s two decades of influence on the policy and
programme of Congress: Yusufi, ii. 1110.
205 Yusufi, ii. 1112.
206 Anita Inder Singh, The Origins of the Partition of India, 75. Cf.
L. Brennan, `The illusion of security: the background to Muslim
separatism in the United Provinces´, India´s Partition. Process,
Strategy and Mobilization, ed. Hasan, 322-60.
207 Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, Modern Islam in India, 289, 291-2.
208 Yusufi, ii. 1141.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 97 98
5 The Lahore Resol uti on and the
Transformation of Jinnah: The Two Nations
Theory, March 1940
I am not a learned Maulana or Maulvi. Nor do I claim to be
learned in theology. But I also know a little of my faith and I
am a humble and proud follower of my faith. May I know in
the name of Heavens, how is the Lahore resolution against
Islam? Why is it against Islam? But this is an argument that
has been advanced by a man of no less a position than Mr.
Rajagopalacharya.
209
Jinnah was no theologian but a politician. The Pakistan
issue was a political and not a moral consideration. He
studiously refused to give Gandhi his epithet Mahatma or
`great Soul´, since to do so would be to confuse Gandhi´s
political and religious roles. As Dr Ambedkar stated: `the
partition of a country is neither moral nor immoral. It is
unmoral. It is a social, political or military question. Sin has
no place in it´ (Document Forty-Five).
210
For his part, Gandhi
was perfectly prepared to confuse the political and religious
issues. He stated on 18 March 1940: `to me Hindus, Muslims,
Parsis, Harijans, are all alike. I cannot be frivolous while I
talk of Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah. He is my brother.´
211
That a transformation occurred in Mohammad Ali Jinnah
between 1936 and 1940, creating the persona deserving
the epithet `the great leader´ (Quaid-i-Azam) is clear. Gandhi
had tended to call him `Janab Jinnah Saheb´; suddenly, in
1940, even as he dismissed from Congress `minds the
impossible and utterly anti-national stand´ taken by him,
Jinnah had become for Gandhi, too, the Quaid-i-Azam.
212
Azad, indeed, claimed that `it was Gandhiji who first gave
currency to the title of Quaid-i-Azam, or great leader, as
applied to Mr Jinnah.´
213
The responsibility for the
transformation is less certain. It may have been the spiritual
influence of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, `the main source of my
inspiration and spiritual support´.
214
Other explanations were
made at the time. In his profound analysis of the
significance of the Lahore Resolution, Dr Babasaheb
Ambedkar offered a more cynical view, comparing Jinnah
to Henri IV of France. Henri IV changed religion twice,
once in 1572 to avoid possible murder as a Protestant, and
once more in 1593 to become a (Catholic) king of France.
On the second occasion it was claimed later that he had
said that Paris (at that time held by his political opponents)
`was worth a Mass´, in other words that to become king in
fact rather than in name it was worthwhile changing religion.
It is difficult to understand how Mr. Gandhi could be so blind
as not to see how Mr. Jinnah´s influence over the Muslim
masses has been growing day by day and how he has engaged
himself in mobilizing all his forces for battle. Never before
was Mr. Jinnah a man for the masses. He distrusted them. To
exclude them from political power he was always for a high
franchise. Mr. Jinnah was never known to be a very devout,
pious or a professing Muslim. Besides kissing the Holy Koran
as and when he was sworn in as an M.L.A., he does not appear
to have bothered much about its contents or its special tenets.
It is doubtful if he frequented any mosque either out of
curiosity or religious fervour. Mr. Jinnah was never found in
the midst of Muslim mass congregations, religious or political.
Today one finds a complete change in Mr. Jinnah. He has
become a man of the masses. He is no longer above them.
He i s among them. Now they have rai sed hi m above
themselves and call him their Qaid-e-Azam. He has not only
209 Yusufi, ii. 1334. Speech of Jinnah, 2 March 1941.
210 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 407.
211 Quoted by Jinnah on 22 March 1940: Yusufi, ii. 1173. Gandhi had
used a slightly different formulation: `I have never even in my
dream thought that I was a maha-atma (great soul) and that
others were alpa-atma (little souls). We are all equal before our
Maker - Hindus, [Muslims], Parsis, Christians, worshippers of
one God. Why then do we fight among ourselves? We are all
brothers - even the Quaid-e-Azam is my brother. I have meant
all that I have said about him, never has a frivolous word
escaped my lips, and I say that I want to win him over.´ Gandhi,
lxxi. 352.
212 Compare Gandhi, lxx. 318 (`Janab Jinnah Saheb looks to the
British power to safeguard Muslim rights´, 30 October 1939) with
lxxi. 190 (`We may dismiss from our minds the impossible and
utterly anti-national stand taken by Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah´, 6
February 1940).
213 R. Gandhi, Understanding the Muslim Mind, 243.
214 The correspondence between Iqbal and Jinnah (the replies do
not survive) is reproduced in Fateh Mohammed Malik, Iqbal´s
Reconstruction of Political Thought in Islam (Leicester 2002),
INPAREL Studies in South Asian History 6, immediately forth-
coming.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 99 100
become a believer in Islam, but is prepared to die for Islam.
Today, he knows more of Islam than mere Kalama. Today, he
goes to the mosque to hear Khutba and takes delight in joining
the Id congregational prayers. Dongri and Null Bazaar once
knew Mr. Jinnah by name. Today they know him by his
presence. No Muslim meeting in Bombay begins or ends
without Allah-ho-Akbar and Long Live Qaid-e-Azam. In this
Mr. Jinnah has merely followed King Henry IV of France. As
Paris became worth a Mass to Henry IV, so have Dongri and
Null Bazaar become worth a Mass to Mr. Jinnah and for similar
reason. It is strategy; it is mobilization. But even if it is viewed
as the sinking of Mr. Jinnah from reason to superstition, he is
sinking with his ideology which by his very sinking is spreading
into all the different strata of Muslim society and is becoming
part and parcel of its mental make-up. This is as clear as
anything could be...
215
No Muslim would have made this accusation, and for many
Muslims Ambedkar´s viewpoint may be considered as vitiated
by the fact that he was a Dalit, an `Untouchable´.
Nevertheless, in historical terms, Ambedkar´s comparison
of Jinnah with Henri IV of France was perspicacious, for as
the first Bourbon king united a nation behind him that had
been torn by civil war, so Jinnah brought about a wholly
unprecedented unity in Muslim political opinion. As Viceroy
Lord Linlithgow expressed it on 8 September 1941, Jinnah
was `the one man´ who had succeded in united the Muslims
in the last forty years.
216
That there was a strategic aspect
to Jinnah´s policies and that the consciously mobilized Muslim
popular opinion there can be no doubt. The question is
where the root of the transformation originated. Rather
than taking a mechanistic viewpoint (that of Ambedkar) or
that of a spiritual transformation (the primacy of the
influence of Iqbal), it is perhaps more realistic to stress
Jinnah´s emerging viewpoint as a consequence of Hindu
majority rule in those provinces which they controlled from
1936 to 1939. For the ideas that were subsequently
formulated in his Presidential Address to the All-India Muslim
League Session on 22 March 1940 are to be found in nascent
form in his speeches and reactions to Hindu majority rule in
the earlier years.
The opportunity of the twenty-seventh session of the All-
India Muslim League provided Jinnah with the occasion, on
22 March 1940, for one of his greatest speeches:
217
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 the [Muslims]
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 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 more towards natural
good-will 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 interests
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, literatures.
They neither intermarry nor inter-dine 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 [Muslims] derive their
inspiration from different sources of history. They have
215 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 407-8.
216 Anita Inder Singh, The Origins of the Partition of India, 66.
217 Yusufi, ii. 1166-84. Jamil-ud-Din Ahmad (ed.), Speeches and
Writings of Mr Jinnah (Lahore, 1960), i. 159-63. A. Ahmad and
G. E. von Grunebaum, Muslim Self-Statement in India and
Pakistan, 1857-1968 (Wiesbaden, 1970), 153-5. Even this long
quotation is still an excerpt from the full speech. Moore notes
that Jinnah draw upon Bashir Ahmad´s and the Aligarh group´s
condemnation of Linlithgow´s statement of 18 October 1939:
Moore, `Jinnah and the Pakistan Demand´, India´s Partition, ed.
Hasan, 176-182.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 101 102
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
[the] 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. The
Balkan Peninsula comprises as many as seven or eight
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 twelve 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 one hundred and fifty 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 mi nori ti es can onl y mean Hi ndu raj.
Democracy of the ki nd wi th whi ch the Congress Hi gh
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 the Hindus of Sukkur when
he said that they must defend themselves violently or non-
violently, blow for blow, and if they could not, they must
emigrate.
[Muslims] are not a minority as it is commonly known and
understood. One has only got to look round. Even today,
according to the British map of India, four out of eleven
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. [Muslims] 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.
The Lahore Resolution was the definitive early statement
for a Muslim homeland, subsequently known as Pakistan. It
was, in Jinnah´s concluding words, `a landmark in the history
of Muslim India because they had defined their goal´:
218
1. While approving and endorsing the action taken by the
Council and the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim
League as indicated in their resolutions dated the 27th of
August, 17th and 18th of September and 22nd of October
1939 and 3rd of February 1940 on the constitutional issue,
this Session of the All-India Muslim League emphatically
reiterates that the Scheme of Federation embodied in the
Government of India Act, 1935, is totally unsuited to, and
unworkable in the peculiar conditions of this country and is
altogether unacceptable to Muslim India;
2. It further records its emphatic view that while the
declaration dated the 18th of October 1939 made by the
Viceroy on behalf of His Majesty´s Government is reassuring
in as far as it declares that the policy and plan on which the
Government of India Act, 1935, is based will be reconsidered
i n consul tati on wi th the vari ous parti es, i nterests and
communities in India, Muslim India will not be satisfied unless
the whole constitutional plan is reconsidered de novo and
that no revised plan would be acceptable to the Muslims, unless
it is framed with their approval and consent;
3. Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of
the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would
be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless
it is designated on the following basic principle, viz. that
geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions
whi ch shoul d be so consti tuted wi th such terri tori al
readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which
218 Yusufi, ii. 1185.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 103 104
the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-
Western and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to
constitute `Independent States´ in which the Constituent Units
shall be autonomous and sovereign;
4. That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards
should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities
in these units and in the regions for the protection of their
religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other
rights, and interests in consultation with them; and in other
parts of India where the [Muslims] are in a minority, adequate,
effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically
provided in the constitution for them and other minorities for
the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political,
administrative and other rights, and interests in consultation
with them;
5. This Session further authorizes 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 powers such as defence, external
affairs, communication, customs, and such other matters as
may be necessary.
219
Jinnah´s instructions to Muslims on how to complete the
1941 census return provide the clearest indication of `the
great importance´ of the statistical outcome in order to
underline the separatist claim. With regard to question 3,
race, tribe or caste, `the answer by every Muslim should
be that he is a Muslim´; similarly, with regard to question
43, religion, `the answer should be Islam´. The language
issue was also critical: on question 18, the mother tongue,
though Jinnah admitted that his own knowledge of Urdu
was `very fragmentary´,
220
`the answer should be Urdu: but
if he or she does not know Urdu at all, then such other
language as he or she may know´. For Urdu, he declared on
another occasion, `is our national language and we should
strain every nerve to keep it unharmed and unpolluted and
save it from the aggressive and hostile attitude of our
opponents´.
221
`Lastly´, Jinnah concluded, `every head of
every household should take every possible care to give
the correct number of the members of the household. I
hope that organised efforts will be made all over India.´
222
Clearly Jinnah recognized that in all probability the 1941
census would be the determining one for establishing the
relative regional strength of the religious communities in
the sub-Continent and would thus provide the statistical
basis for the post-war campaign for Pakistan. Indeed it
was the 1941 census that was used by Dr Ambedkar in his
analysis of the relative strengths of the religious
communities in the second edition (1945) of his Pakistan
or the Partition of India (Appendix Two and Tables).
6 The Lahore Resolution and its Effect on
Hindu Opinion: Dr Ambedkar´s Analysis, 28
December 1940
The name of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar is not as well
remembered today by Hindus and Muslims as it should be.
223
A multi-faceted personality, Ambedkar is remembered above
all by the Dalits (`Untouchables´) as their emancipator.
Though undoubtedly a social rebel and a bitter critic of the
Hindu religion especially in the manifestation of the caste
system, he was also a prolific author, educationalist, political
philosopher, religious specialist and humanist. The legal and
constitutional expertise which made him the ideal person
to oversee the drafting of the Indian Constitution after
Partition made him a distinguished commentator on the
issues which were firmly placed in the public arena by the
Lahore Resolution.
There are several reasons why Ambedkar´s viewpoint should
be regarded as independent of both the Hindu and Muslim
positions. The first is that he had cautiously stated the
view in December 1932 that Dalits should be prepared to
219 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 21-2. Foundations of Pakistan. All-India
Muslim League Documents, 1906-1947. II, ed. Pirzada, 340-1.
220 Yusufi, ii. 694.
221 Yusufi, ii. 1318.
222 Yusufi, ii. 1309-10.
223 Though there are many publications on Dr Ambedkar. Apart
from the inestimable resource provided by the CD Rom of his
writings (<www.ambedkar.org>), there are useful introduc-
tions on Ambedkar by A. H. Doctor, Political Thinkers of Modern
India (Delhi, 1997), ch 10, 123-37 and B. R. Ambedkar. His
Political and Social Ideology, ed. S. R. Bakshi (2 vols., Delhi,
2000).
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 105 106
sympathize with Muslims as a similarly oppressed group,
while recognizing that there were significant obstacles
towards Muslim-Dalit unity (obstacles which, on the whole,
remain today).
224
In October 1939 Ambedkar has asked
Jinnah to act as the spokesman of the Depressed Classes
in conversations with the Viceroy.
225
Secondly, although
the prospects of Gandhi starving himself to death as a
martyr in opposition to separate electorates for the Dalits
had led Ambedkar to modify his position in the Poona Pact
of September 1932,
226
he remained resolutely hostile to
the position of the Congress as well as the Hindu faith on
the issue of caste. He rejected Gandhi´s depiction of the
`untouchables´ as `sons of God´ (Harijans). When Congress
introduced a bill renaming them Harijans in January 1938,
Ambedkar opposed it on the grounds that a change of
name would make no difference to their condition. Already
on 13 October 1935, he had caused consternation among
moderate Hindus by exhorting the Depressed Classes to
leave Hinduism and embrace another religion. He declared
with prescience: `I was born as a Hindu but I will not die as
a Hindu.´
227
Thus assuredly in the circumstances of 1940 Ambedkar
could not be considered too favourable to the Congress
position and has to be seen as an independent viewpoint.
Jinnah recognized the following year that `Dr Ambedkar
had understood the constitutional position in this country
and the stand taken by the League in its Lahore resolution
on the "Pakistan scheme¨´.
228
Ambedkar described himself
as without `popular prejudice´ and having an `open mind,
though not an empty mind´ about the issues. In the second
edition, the preface of which was dated 1 January 1945,
Ambedkar stated that Gandhi and Jinnah `in their recent
talks cited the book as an authority on the subject which
might be consulted with advantage´, a commendation which,
in his words, `bespeaks the worth of the book´.
229
The first edition of Pakistan or the Partition of India was
completed on 28 December 1940.
230
Ambedkar stated the
significance of the Lahore Resolution with clarity:
The Muslim League Resolution on Pakistan has called forth
different reactions. There are some who look upon it as a
case of political measles to which a people in the infancy of
their conscious unity and power are very liable. Others have
taken it as a permanent frame of the Muslim mind and not
merely a passing phase and have in consequence been greatly
perturbed. My position in this behalf is definite, if not singular.
224 `When Hindus and Muslims fight among themselves, the Un-
touchables tend to incline towards Muslims. They feel they
would be benefited if they develop friendship with Muslims. But
Untouchables should keep in mind that it is not all that true as
it appears and so they should be very careful.´ Quoted in K.
Jamandas, `What is the nature of Dalit–Muslim unity?´: <www.
ambedkar . or g/ cul t ur e/ What _i s_t he_nat ur e_of _Dal i t _
Muslim_Unity.htm>
225 Yusufi, ii. 1044-5. On 30 June 1940, Jinnah met another leader
of the Untouchables, P. N. Rajbhoj, and stated that `it was a
cardinal principle of the Muslim League to see that the rights and
interests of the Harijans and all other minorities were ad-
equately and effectively safeguarded´: Yusufi, ii. 1216. On
another occasion, in 1941, Jinnah commented: `The Muslim
League stood for adequate and full safeguards for all commu-
nities. He knew no untouchability. Every human being was his
brother. He advised the depressed classes to organise them-
selves´: Yusufi, ii. 1377. Earlier, in 1938, he had described the
untouchables as `an outstanding illustration in history [of] how
those in power persecute those under their power´: ibid., ii. 695.
226 Ambedkar referred to `the success of Mr. Gandhi in getting that
part of the Award which related to the Depressed Classes revised
by means of the pressure of a fast unto death´. When Jinnah was
asked in 1941 to intervene on their behalf, he commented that
at the Round Table Conference they had received `separate
electorates, which they gave up to save the life of Mr Gandhi´.
They should now `ask Mr Gandhi to save their life´: Yusufi, ii.
1376. On another occasion in 1941, Jinnah referred to 60 million
`of depressed classes [who were] considered untouchables´. The
irony of the situation was that `the Hindu caste community which
is not only least fitted but unfit for any experiment in the realm
of democracy is clamouring for, and is falling head over heels in
love with, democracy´: Yusufi, ii. 1354.
227 `Important events´ (though his own conversion was delayed
until 1956):
<www.ambedkar.org/Babasaheb/impevents.htm>.
228 Yusufi, ii. 1377.
229 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 2.
230 <www.ambedkar.org/pakistan/> reproduces the full text. As
stated in the introduction, references are to the 1990 Govern-
ment of Maharashtra published edition, ed. V. Moon (Bombay,
1990), v: `Pakistan or the Partition of India is a valuable source
of historical material. After more than forty-five years, its value
as the record of contemporaneous events has increased.´
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 107 108
I believe that it would be neither wise nor possible to reject
summarily a scheme if it has behind it the sentiment, if not
the passionate support, of 90 p.c. [of] Muslims of India. I
have no doubt that the only proper attitude to Pakistan is to
study it in all its aspects, to understand its implications and to
form an intelligent judgement about it.
231
Ambedkar pointed out that the Pakistan scheme was one
which Hindus and Muslims must decide for themselves, for
it mattered little to the British `whether India remains one
undivided whole, or is partitioned into two parts, Pakistan
and Hindustan, or into twenty linguistic fragments as
planned by the Congress, so long as all of them are content
to live within the Empire´. He declared `coercion, as an
alternative to Pakistan´ unthinkable.
232
The Muslims could
not be deprived of the benefit of the principle of self-
determination. Nor could the issue be ignored:
233
It will be the greatest folly to suppose that if Pakistan is buried
for the moment, it will never raise its head again. I am sure,
burying Pakistan is not the same thing as burying the ghost
of Paki stan. So l ong as the hosti l i ty to one Central
Government for India, which is the ideology underlying
Pakistan, persists, the ghost of Pakistan will be there, casting
its ominous shadow upon the political future of India. Neither
wi l l i t be prudent to make some ki nd of a make-shi ft
arrangement for the time being, leaving the permanent
solution to some future day. To do so would be something
like curing the symptoms without removing the disease. But,
as often happens in such cases, the disease is driven in,
thereby making certain its recurrence, perhaps in a more
virulent form.
Ambedkar began by discussing the Muslim case for Pakistan
and the significance of the Lahore Declaration. What was
the Muslim League demanding? In summary, he considered
that the Muslim case was (i) the creation of administrative
areas which are ethnically more homogeneous; (ii) The
Muslims want these homogeneous administrative areas
which are predominantly Muslim to be constituted into
separate States, (a) because the Muslims by themselves
constitute a separate nation and desire to have a national
home, and (b) because experience shows that the Hindus
want to use their majority to treat the Muslims as though
they were second-class citizens in an alien State.
234
Ambedkar did not consider the Lahore Declaration
particularly original, since the scheme resuscitated that
put forth by Sir Mahomed Iqbal at Allahabad in December
1930, while Mr Rahmat Ali had already given Pakistan its
name.
235
The League had added one more Muslim state to
the east, including Muslims in Bengal and Assam, but barring
this `it expresses in its essence and general outline the
scheme put forward´ by Iqbal and propagated by Rahmat
Ali.
236
Pakistan, Ambedkar contended, was in one sense no
more disruptive than the Congress Party´s idea of creating
linguistic provinces: it was `merely another manifestation
of a cultural unit demanding freedom for the growth of its
own distinctive culture´.
237
But Ambedkar also saw that the call for Pakistan in the
Lahore Resolution was also the call for a national home for
Muslims. Congress called the demand `a stab in the back´
238
because it followed that if the Muslims in India were a
separate nation, then India itself was not a nation. Congress
had already convinced itself that the demand for self-
government for India rested on the claim to nationhood.
The Hindus denied that any difference of race existed
between themselves and the Muslims. Furthermore, reliance
was placed not only racial unity `but also upon certain
common features in the social and cultural life of the two
communities´. But did such common rites and practices
231 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 6-7.
232 Ibid. 10.
233 Ibid. 11.
234 Ibid. 19.
235 Ibid. 22-3.
236 Ibid. 23. Ambedkar also mentioned the precedent of the
partition of Bengal in 1905 by Curzon, which was reversed in
1912 at the insistence of the Hindus: ibid. 25. `The first partition
encouraged the idea of a Muslim-majority east Bengal and a
Hindu-majority west Bengal, or the division of the province on
the basis of community, though the British publicly insisted that
the partition was made for administrative reasons only. This
partition helped arouse Muslim political consciousness and
extensive agitation led by Hindus against it´: L. A. Gordon,
`Divided Bengal: problems of nationalism and identity in the
1947 Partition´, India´s Partition, ed. Hasan, 286.
237 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 28.
238 Ibid. 30.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 109 110
result in a feeling that the two communities wished to
belong to each other? Ambedkar concluded that `the political
and religious antagonisms divide the Hindus and the
[Muslims] far more deeply than the so-called common things
are able to bind them together. The prospects might perhaps
be different if the past of the two communities [could] be
forgotten by both.´ But, he argued, `the pity of it is that
the two communities can never forget or obliterate their
past. Their past is imbedded in their religion, and for each
to give up its past is to give up its religion. To hope for this
is to hope in vain. In the absence of common historical
antecedents, the Hindu view that Hindus and [Muslims]
form one nation falls to the ground. To maintain it is to
keep up a hallucination.´
239
The Muslims claimed that they
had plenty of grievances to support their claim, above all
that `constitutional safeguards have failed to save them
from the tyranny of the Hindu majority´. Two years and
three months of Congress government in the Hindu provinces
have `completely disillusioned them and made them the
bitterest enemies of the Congress´.
Ambedkar´s analysis thus passed on to the causes of this
bitterness, which had led the Muslims to celebrate 22
December 1939 as their Deliverance Day, that is the day
of deliverance from the Congress majority governments in
the provinces they had controlled. In his view, there were
two causes of the clash: firstly, the refusal by the Congress
to recognize the Muslim League as the only representative
body of the Muslims; and secondly, the refusal by the
Congress to form coalition Ministries in the Congress
Provinces. On the first point, Congress was prepared to
accept the Muslim League as one of the many Muslim political
organizations, such as the Ahrars, the National Muslims
and the Jamiat-ul-Ulema. But it would not accept the Muslim
League as the only representative body of the Muslims. In
Ambedkar´s view Congress must make its decision, and deal
with one or other grouping. `To deal with neither is not
only stupid but mischievous. This attitude of the Congress
only serves to annoy the Muslims and to exasperate them.
The Muslims rightly interpret this attitude of the Congress
as an attempt to create divisions among them with a view
to cause confusion in their ranks and weaken their front.´
240
On the second point, Congress agreed to include Muslims
in their cabinets, provided they resigned from their parties,
joined the Congress and signed the Congress pledge.
However, where Congress was in the minority, they were
prepared to form coalition ministries without asking the
ministers from other parties to sign the Congress pledge.
Ambedkar concluded that the Muslims were entitled to ask
`if coalition is bad, how can it be good in one place and bad
in another?´
241
He contended:
242
the Congress High Command seems to have misunderstood
what the main contention of the Muslims and the minorities
has been. Their quarrel is not on the issue whether the
Congress has or has not done any good to the Muslims and
the minorities. Their quarrel is on an issue which is totally
different. Are the Hindus to be a ruling race and the Muslims
and other minorities to be subject races under Swaraj? That
is the issue involved in the demand for coalition ministries.
On that, the Muslims and other minorities have taken a definite
stand. They are not prepared to accept the position of subject
races. It is no use saying that the Congress is not a Hindu
body. A body which is Hindu in its composition is bound to
reflect the Hindu mind and support Hindu aspirations. The
onl y di fference between the Congress and the Hi ndu
Mahasabha is that the latter is crude in its utterances and
brutal in its actions while the Congress is politic and polite.
Apart from this difference of fact, there is no other difference
between the Congress and the Hindu Mahasabha. The
Congress is not prepared to share power with a member of a
community who does not owe allegiance to the Congress.
Allegiance to the Congress is a condition precedent to sharing
power. It seems to be a rule with the Congress that if allegiance
to the Congress is not forthcoming from a community, that
community must be excluded from political power.
Exclusion from political power is the essence of the distinction
between a ruling race and a subject race; and inasmuch as
the Congress maintained this principle, it must be said that
this distinction was enforced by the Congress while it was in
the saddle. The [Muslims] may well complain that they have
239 Ibid.37. Ambedkar distinguished between nationality (`con-
sciousness of kind, awareness of the existence of that tie of
kinship) and nationalism (`the desire for a separate national
existence for those who are bound by this tie of kinship´). Ibid. 39.
240 Ibid. 44.
241 Ibid. 46.
242 Ibid. 46-9.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 111 112
already suffered enough and that this reduction to the position
of a subject race is like the proverbial last straw. The British
conquest of India brought about a complete political revolution
in the relative position of the two communities. For six hundred
years, the [Muslims] had been the masters of the Hindus.
The British occupation brought them down to the level of the
Hindus. From masters to fellow subjects was degradation
enough, but a change from the status of fellow subjects to
that of subjects of the Hindus is really humiliation. Is it
unnatural, ask the Muslims, if they seek an escape from so
intolerable a position by the creation of separate national
States, in which the Muslims can find a peaceful home and in
which the conflicts between a ruling race and a subject race
can find no place to plague their lives?
In Part II of Pakistan or the Partition of India, Ambedkar
explored the Hindu case against Pakistan. The three
principal reasons adduced by the Hindus were firstly that
it involved the breaking up of the unity of India; secondly,
that it weakened the defence of India; and thirdly, that it
failed to solve the communal problem. `Before the Hindus
complain of the destruction of the unity of India, let them
make certain that the unity they are harping upon does
exist. What unity is there between Pakistan and Hindustan?´,
he asked.
243
After an historical account, he concluded that
the bitterness between the communities resulted from the
Muslim invasions, destruction of temples and forced
conversions. Judged in the light of such considerations,
the unity between Pakistan and Hindustan was, in his view,
a myth.
244
The Hindus need have no fear for the lack of a
naturally secure frontier. The resources of a Hindustan state
were likely to be far greater than the resources of Pakistan,
whether in terms of area, population or revenue. The
question of the armies for the new states was more complex.
The fighting forces available for the defence of India came
mostly from the areas to be included in the proposed new
Pakistan. Significant changes in the composition of the
Indian army after 1919 had reinforced these tendencies.
He concluded that military considerations alone were
sufficient to justify the creation of Pakistan:
245
The Hindus have a difficult choice to make: to have a safe
Army or a safe border. In this difficulty, what is the wisest
course for the Hindus to pursue? Is it in their interest to insist
that the Muslim India should remain part of India so that they
may have a safe border, or is it in their interest to welcome
its separation from India so that they may have a safe Army?
The [Muslims] of this area are hostile to the Hindus. As to
this, there can be no doubt. Which is then better for the Hindus:
Should these [Muslims] be without and against or should they
be within and against? If the question is asked to any prudent
man, there will be only one answer, namely, that if the
[Muslims] are to be against the Hindus, it is better that they
should be without and against, rather than within and against.
Indeed, it is a consummation devoutly to be wished that the
Muslims should be without. That is the only way of getting rid
of the Muslim preponderance in the Indian Army.
The third question, whether or not the creation of Pakistan
would solve the communal question, was more complex to
answer, involving as it did two distinct issues: firstly, the
number of seats to be allotted to the Hindus and the Muslims
in the different legislatures; and secondly, the nature of
the electorates through which these seats were to be
filled. The communal problem would continue to exist
wherever a hostile majority is brought face to face with a
hostile minority. But would not Pakistan, with its proposed
borders not aggravate the situation? Ambedkar suggested
that it would:
246
The rule of the Hindu minorities by the Muslim majorities and
the rule of the Muslim Minorities by the Hindu majorities are
the crying evils of the present situation. This very evil will
reproduce itself in Pakistan, if the provinces marked out for it
are incorporated into it as they are, i.e., with boundaries drawn
as at present. Besides this, the evil which gives rise to the
Communal Question in its larger intent, will not only remain
as it is but will assume a new malignity. Under the existing
system, the power centred in the Communal Provinces to do
mischief to their hostages is limited by the power which the
Central Government has over the Provincial Governments.
At present, the hostages are at least within the pale of a
Central Government which is Hindu in its composition and
which has power to interfere for their protection. But, when
Pakistan becomes Muslim State with full sovereignty over
internal and external affairs, it would be free from the control
of the Central Government. The Hindu minorities will have no
recourse to an outside authority with overriding powers, to
243 Ibid. 53.
244 Ibid. 66.
245 Ibid. 99. 246 Ibid. 112.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 113 114
interfere on their behalf and curb this power of mischief, as
under the scheme, no such overriding authority is permitted
to exist. So, the position of the Hindus in Pakistan may easily
become similar to the position of the Armenians under the
Turks or of the Jews in Tsarist Russia or in Nazi Germany.
Such a scheme would be intolerable and the Hindus may well
say that they cannot agree to Pakistan and leave their co-
religionists as a helpless prey to the fanaticism of a Muslim
National State.
This fierce denunciation of the proposed Pakistan, however,
arose solely from the proposed borders. Ambedkar stated
categorically: `.the evils of Pakistan are not inherent in it.
If any evil results follow from it they will have to be attributed
to its boundaries.´
247
Could the boundaries be redrawn in
such a way that Pakistan would become an `ethnic state´
248
composed of one homogeneous community, namely Muslims?
He contended that it could: `.it is perfectly possible to
create homogeneous Muslim States out of the Punjab,
Bengal and Assam by drawing their boundaries in such a
way that the areas which are predominantly Hindu shall be
excluded. That this is possible is shown by the maps given
in the appendix.´
249
In the case of North-West Frontier
Province and Sind there were scattered Hindu populations
which did not facilitate a territorial adjustment. In that
case, there might need to be a transfer of the population
as happened between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria: `that
the transfer of minorities is the only lasting remedy for
communal peace is beyond doubt.´
250
But would the creation of Pakistan serve the interests of
the 45 million Muslims remaining in Hindustan, and how
could it do so? In one sense, the Pakistan scheme seemed
to concern itself with Muslim majorities who did not need
protection, while abandoning the Muslim minorities who did.
Rahmat Ali´s answer was cited by Ambedkar: `as to the
future, the only effective guarantee we can offer is that
of reciprocity, and, therefore, we solemnly undertake to
give all those safeguards to non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan
which will be conceded to our Muslim minority in
Hindustan.´
251
Jinnah had given similar answers, though his
view seems to have been that, if necessary, the minority
remaining in India would have to be sacrificed in the
interests of the general good of achieving a Muslim
homeland.
252
In view of the distribution of the Muslim
population, Ambedkar was prepared to concede that `. if
Pakistan does not wholly solve the communal problem within
Hindustan, it frees the Hindus from the turbulence of the
Muslims as predominant partners. It is for the Hindus to
say whether they will reject such a proposal, simply
because it does not offer a complete solution.´
253
In Part III of his analysis, Ambedkar asked what alternatives
could be envisaged if the demand for Pakistan were not
conceded. With a degree of prescience about later
developments in India, he expounded the philosophy of
the Hindu Mahasabha, which proposed to resist the Pakistan
claim `by all means´. He quoted the words of V. D. Savarkar,
President of the Hindu Mahasabha:
254
In expounding the ideology of the Hindu movement, it is
absolutely necessary to have a correct grasp of the meaning
attached to these three terms. From the word `Hindu´ has
been coined the word `Hinduism´ in English. It means the
schools or system of Religion the Hindus follow. The second
word `Hindutva´ is far more comprehensive and refers not
only to the religious aspects of the Hindu people as the word
` Hi ndui sm´ does but comprehends even thei r cul tural ,
linguistic, social and political aspects as well. It is more or
less akin to `Hindu Polity´ and its nearly exact translation would
be `Hinduness´. The third word `Hindudom´ means the Hindu
people spoken of collectively. It is a collective name for the
Hindu World, just as Islam denotes the Moslem World.
In Ambedkar´s judgement, `the Hindu Mahasabha identifies
itself with the National life of Hindudom in all its entirety.
we must always keep in view even after Hindustan attains
247 Ibid. 113.
248 Ibid. 113. However, it may be objected that the proposed
Pakistan would in fact include a number of separate ethnicities,
e.g. Pathans, Punjabis, Baluchis, and so on.
249 Ibid. 114.
250 Ibid. 116.
251 Loc. cit.
252 Yusufi, ii. 1298: `Let us the minority provinces, Mr. Jinnah said
[on 27 December 1940], "face our fate, but free the Muslim
Majority provinces to live and form their own government in
independent states in accordance with Islamic laws¨.´
253 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 120.
254 Ibid. 132-3.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 115 116
the status of a self-governing country, a powerful and
exclusive organization of Hindudom like the Hindu Mahasabha
will always prove a sure and devoted source of strength, a
reserve force for the Hindus to fall back upon to voice
their grievances more effectively than the joint Parliament
can do.´
What did the party mean by Swaraj or, as Gandhi had
described it in a pamphlet he published in South Africa in
1908, `Indian home rule´?
255
For Ambedkar, the first aim
was the retention of the name Hindustan as the proper
name for India although other cherished epithets such as
Aryavarta and Bharat-Bhumi would continue to appeal to
the cultured elite. Clearly this was `an insuperable mountain´
in the way to Hindu-Muslim unity. The second fundamental
was the retention of Sanskrit as the sacred language and
Hindi as the national language. What was to be the position
of the non-Hindu minorities once Swaraj had been obtained?
Savarkar was quoted from a speech he made in 1939:
256
When once the Hindu Mahasabha not only accepts but maintains
the principles of `one man one vote´ and the public services
to go by merit alone added to the fundamental rights and
obligations to be shared by all citizens alike irrespective of
any distinction of Race or Religion. any further mention of
minority rights is on the principle not only unnecessary but
sel f-contradi ctory. Because i t agai n i ntroduces a
consciousness of majority and minority on Communal basis.
The Moslem minority in India will have the right to be treated
as equal citizens, enjoying equal protection and civic rights in
proportion to their population. The Hindu majority will not
encroach on the legitimate rights of any non-Hindu minority.
But in no case can the Hindu majority resign its right which as
a majority it is entitled to exercise under any democratic and
legitimate constitution.
Ambedkar´s comments justified the basic position of Jinnah
in the years between 1937 and 1940: `The Hindus do not
want a change of masters, are not going to struggle and
fight and die only to replace an Edward by an Aurangazeb
simply because the latter happens to be born within Indian
borders, but they want henceforth to be masters
themselves in their own house, in their own Land. And it is
because he wants his Swaraj to bear the stamp of being a
Hindu Raj that Mr. Savarkar wants that India should have
the appellation of Hindustan.´
The philosophy of the Hindu Mahasabha was thus based
on two propositions. The first was that the Hindus were a
nation. The second was on the definition of the term Hindu.
A Hindu was a person, in the words of V. D. Savarkar, who
`regards and owns this Bharat Bhumi, this land from the
Indus to the Seas, as his Fatherland as well as his Holy
Land, i.e. the land of the origin of his religion, the cradle of
his faith´. For Ambedkar, `this definition of the term Hindu
has been framed with great care and caution. It is designed
to serve two purposes which Mr. Savarkar has in view.
First, to exclude from it Muslims, Christians, Parsis and
Jews by prescribing the recognition of India as a Holy Land
as a qualification for being a Hindu. Secondly, to include
Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, etc., by not insisting upon belief in
the sancti ty of the Vedas as an el ement i n the
qualifications.´
257
The categorical assertion that the Hindus
were a nation by themselves carried with it the `most
absolute emphasis´ that the Muslims, too, were a nation
by themselves. Ambedkar quoted Savarkar´s speech at the
Hindu Mahasabha Session held at Ahmedabad in 1937:
Several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in
supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious
nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do
so. These our well-meaning but unthinking friends take their
dreams for realities. That is why they are impatient of
communal tangl es and attri bute them to communal
organizations. But the solid fact is that the so-called communal
questions are but a legacy handed down to us by centuries of
a cultural, religious and national antagonism between the
Hindus and the Muslims. When the time is ripe you can solve
them; but you cannot suppress them by merely refusing
255 M. K. Gandhi, Hind Swaraj or Indian Home-Rule (1908). The
pamphlet was also famous for its critique of certain features of
modernity. Gandhi´s study, The Essence of Hinduism contained
a section on Ambedkar´s critiques of Hinduism. Gandhi was not
the first to use the term. Dadabhai Naoroji, the President of the
Congress in 1906, had declared the goal of the Congress the
attainment of swaraj or `self-government´: Ghosh, Indian
National Congress, 153, 206. Jinnah moved an amendment to
this resolution `that we are all equal, that there should be no
reservation for any class or any community.´: ibid. 154.
256 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 138-9. 257 Ibid. 141.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 117 118
recognition of them. It is safer to diagnose and treat [a] deep-
seated disease than to ignore it. Let us bravely face unpleasant
facts as they are. India cannot be assumed today to be a
unitarian and homogeneous nation, but on the contrary these
are two nations in the main, the Hindus and the Muslims in
India.
Ambedkar´s judgement was thus conclusive: `Strange as it
may appear, Mr. Savarkar and Mr. Jinnah instead of being
opposed to each other on the one nation versus two nations
issue are in complete agreement about it. Both agree, not
only agree but insist that there are two nations in India -
one the Muslim nation and the other the Hindu nation.
They differ only as regards the terms and conditions on
which the two nations should live.´ For Jinnah, the
consequence was the partition of India and the construction
of Pakistan. For Savarkar, the consequence was that there
should be one country and a single constitution under which
the Hindu nation would be enabled to occupy a predominant
position that was due to it and the Muslim nation made to
live in the position of subordinate co-operation with the
Hindu nation. Savarkar´s attitude was illogical, because `if
he claims a national home for the Hindu nation, how can
he refuse the claim of the Muslim nation for a national
home?´
258
However, from the point of view of the Muslims,
Savarkar´s scheme had `a frankness, boldness and
definiteness which distinguishes it from the irregularity,
vagueness and indefiniteness which characterizes the
Congress declarations about minority rights. [It] has at
least the merit of telling the Muslims, thus far and no further.
The Muslims know where they are with regard to the Hindu
Mahasabha. On the other hand, with the Congress the
[Muslims] find themselves nowhere because the Congress
has been treating the Muslims and the minority question
as a game in diplomacy, if not in duplicity´.
259
Savarkar was `unconcerned about the Muslim reaction to
his scheme´, his attitude being one of `take it or leave it´.
Not so Gandhi. `Mr. Gandhi is never tired of saying that
there is no Swaraj without Hindu-Muslim unity. Mr. Gandhi
did not merely make this slogan the currency of Indian
politics but he has strenuously worked to bring it about.´
Gandhi´s efforts between 1919 and 1940, years during which
he laboured hard to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity, were
recorded in detail by Ambedkar, who also documented the
communal riots in those years. `Placed side by side with
the frantic efforts made by Mr. Gandhi to bring about Hindu-
Muslim unity, the record makes most painful and heart-
rending reading.´ Ambedkar concluded, `it would not be much
exaggeration to say that it is a record of twenty years of
civil war between the Hindus and the Muslims in India,
interrupted by brief intervals of armed peace´.
260
The tempers
on each side were the tempers of two warring nations.
Ambedkar concluded that the search for Hindu-Muslim unity
was the search for a mirage; today, that is in 1940, it was
`out of sight and also out of mind´.
261
Without a consciousness of unity, and a desire for unity, it
was impossible for government to bring about unification.
Ambedkar quoted the opinion of the Simon Commission
262
that the communal riots were a manifestation of the anxieties
and ambitions aroused in both the communities by the
prospects of India´s political future. So long as authority was
firmly established in British hands and self-government was
not thought of, Hindu-Muslim rivalry was confined within a
narrower field. This was not merely because the presence of
a neutral bureaucracy discouraged strife. A further reason
was that there was little for members of one community to
fear from the predominance of the other. The comparative
absence of communal strife in the Indian States today may
be similarly explained. Many, who are well acquainted with
conditions in British India a generation ago, would testify that
at that epoch so much good feeling had been engendered
between the two sides that communal tension as a threat to
civil peace was at a minimum. But the coming of the Reforms
and the anticipation of what may follow them have given new
point to Hindu-Muslim competition. The one community
naturally lays claim to the rights of a majority and relics upon
its qualifications of better education and greater wealth; the
other is all the more determined on those accounts to secure
effective protection for its members, and does not forget that
it represents the previous conquerors of the country. It wishes
to be assured of adequate representation and of a full share
of official posts.
258 Ibid. 143.
259 Ibid.
260 Ibid. 184.
261 Ibid. 187.
262 Ibid. 188-9.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 119 120
Without social union, political unity was difficult to achieve
and would be precarious. Ambedkar declared nation-building
for India to be impossible without a degree of social union:
263
.nationalism - the most dynamic force of modern times -
is seeking everywhere to free itself by the destruction and
disruption of all mixed states. The danger to a mixed and
composite state, therefore, lies not so much in external
aggression as in the internal resurgence of nationalities which
are fragmented, entrapped, suppressed and held against their
will. Those who oppose Pakistan should not only bear this
danger in mind but should also realize that this attempt on
the part of suppressed nationalities to disrupt a mixed state
and to found a separate home for themselves, instead of
being condemned, finds ethical justification from the principle
of self-determination.
Ambedkar went on to argue that Hindus who refused the
Muslim demand for Pakistan would do well to study the
fate of other countries, such as Turkey and Czechoslovakia,
which have harboured many nations and sought to
harmonise them. The lessons of these two examples were
that
264
.whether one cal l s i t an i rrati onal i nsti nct or posi ti ve
hallucination, the fact remains that it is a potent force which
has a dynamic power to disrupt empires. Whether nationalism
is the cause or the threat to nationalism is the cause, is a
difference of emphasis only. The real thing is to recognize, as
does Mr. Toynbee, that `nationalism is strong enough to
produce war in spite of us. It has terribly proved itself to be
no outworn creed, but a vital force to be reckoned with´.
Would the Hindus really lose out by partition? Ambedkar
argued that `the loss of her possessions by Turkey [was]
the removal of an anomalous excrescence and the gain of
a new skin´. The analogy could be applied to the sub-
continent:
265
The Muslim areas are an anomalous excrescence on Hindustan
and Hindustan is an anomalous excrescence on them. Tied
together they will make India the sick man of Asia. Welded
together they will make India a heterogeneous unit. If Pakistan
has the demerit of cutting away parts of India, it has also the
merit of introducing harmony in place of conflict.
Severed into two, each becomes a more homogeneous unit.
The homogeneity of the two areas is obvious enough. Each
has a cultural unity. Each has a religious unity. Pakistan has a
linguistic unity. If there is no such unity in Hindustan, it is
possible to have it without any controversy as to whether the
common language should be Hindustani, Hindi or Urdu.
Separated, each can become a strong and well-knit state.
India needs a strong Central Government. But it cannot have
it so long as Pakistan remains a part of India.
Ambedkar´s argument was both prescient and correct. But
it has taken moderate Hindu opinion over fifty years to
recognition both the logic and the inevitability of it. Rajmohan
Gandhi, one of the grandsons of the Mahatma, published
his Revenge and Reconciliation: Understanding South Asian
History in 1999 with the thesis that `nothing so good as
partition ever happened to the Hindus in India´, in that
otherwise the Muslim population would have grown too
large and created division in India.
266
But whereas some
Hindu leaders, such as Sardar Patel, eventually became
realistic advocates of partition, Rajmohan Gandhi has
acknowledged that his grandfather continued `to see
partition as a sin´. His grandson recalls that Mahatma Gandhi
had said, `I would sooner have you vivisect me than India´.
On 1 April 1940, Gandhi answered the question: `Do you
intend to start general civil disobedience although Quaid-
e-Azam Jinnah has declared war against Hindus and has
got the Muslim to pass a resolution favouring [the]
vivisection of India into two? If you do, what becomes of
your formula that there is no swaraj without communal
unity?´ Gandhi replied:
267
I admit that the step taken by the Muslim League at Lahore
creates a baffling situation. But I do not regard it [as] so
baffling as to make civil disobedience an impossibility. [But]
the Muslims will be entitled to dictate their own terms. Unless
the rest of India wishes to engage in internal fratricide, the
others will have to submit to Muslim dictation if the Muslims
will resort to it. I know of no non-violent method of compelling
the obedience of eight crores of Muslims to the will of the rest
of India, however powerful a majority the rest may represent.
The Muslims must have the same right of self-determination
that the rest of India has. We are at present a joint family.
Any member may claim a division.
263 Ibid. 193-4.
264 Ibid. 215-16.
265 Ibid. 220.
266 R. Gandhi, Revenge and Reconciliation: Understanding South
Asian History (New Delhi; London [Penguin Books], 1999).
267 Gandhi, lxxi. 387-390.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 121 122
Thus, so far as I am concerned, my proposition that there is
no swaraj without communal unity holds as good today as
when I first enunciated it in 1919.
I do not believe that Muslims, when it comes to a matter of
actual decision, will ever want vivisection. Their good sense
will prevent them. Their self-interest will deter them. Their
religion will forbid the obvious suicide which the partition would
mean. The `two nations´ theory is an untruth. The vast majority
of Muslims of India are converts to Islam or are descendants
of converts. They did not become a separate nation as soon
as they became converts. A Bengali Muslim speaks the same
tongue that a Bengali Hindu does, eats the same food, has
the same amusements as his Hindu neighbour. They dress alike.
I have often found it difficult to distinguish by outward sign
between a Bengali Hindu and a Bengali Muslim. [As for Quaid-
e-Azam Jinnah] his name could be that of any Hindu. When I
first met him, I did not know that he was a Muslim. I came to
know his religion when I had his full name given to me. His
nationality was written in his face and manner. Sir Mahommed
Iqbal used to speak with pride of his Brahminical descent.
Hindus and Muslims of India are not two nations. Those whom
God has made one, man will never be able to divide.
And is Islam such an exclusive religion as Quaid-e-Azam
would have it? Is there nothing in common between Islam
and Hinduism or any other religion? Or is Islam merely an
enemy of Hinduism? Were the Ali Brothers and their associates
wrong when they hugged Hindus as blood brothers and saw
so much in common between the two?. Quaid-e-Azam has,
however, raised a fundamental issue [here Gandhi quotes
Jinnah´s address on the `real nature of Islam and Hinduism,
and their different religious philosophies, social customs and
literatures as well as different sources of history]. He does
not say some Hindus are bad´ he says Hindus as such have
nothing in common with Muslims. I make bold to say that he
and those who think like him are rendering no service to
Islam; they are misrepresenting the message inherent in the
very word Islam. I say this because I feel deeply hurt over
what is now going on in the name of the Muslim League. I
should be failing in my duty, if I did not warn the Muslims of
India against the untruth that is being propagated against
them. This warning is a duty because I have faithfully served
them in their hour of need and because Hindu-Muslim unity
has been and is my life´s mission.
Earlier, on 26 March, Gandhi had rejected the idea that his
Hinduism demanded pacts. `I can never be party to the
coercion of Muslims or any other minority. Do they not
realize that any Muslim demand made by the Muslim
delegates´ at a Constituent Assembly, he asked rhetorically,
`will be irresistible? If the vast majority of Indian Muslims
feel that they are not one nation with their Hindu and
other brethren, who will be able to resist them?´
268
Jinnah objected strongly to the term `vivisection´ for the
partition of the sub-Continent: `it gives you at once a
feeling of horror. Is it really to frighten the Muslims not to
commit the vivisection of India? Is it really to frighten the
Hindus that their motherland is vivisected by these wretched
Muslims!. May I know when India was one? Was it ever
one? Why use the word "vivisection¨?´
269
`.The Hindu nation,
which is in the majority in India, cannot but give expression
to its will, faith, culture and social order´, he stated in June
1941. `Hence the Muslims ask that where they are in a
majority they should be allowed to have their own way of
life and that where the Hindus are in [a] majority they
should continue to have their way of life, each nation
according to its own philosophy, faith and culture. To
describe such a proposal as vivisecting India is to poison
the minds of the people.´
270
India, he declared on another
occasion, was not a nation state but ` a state of
nationalities´.
271
And on yet another occasion, he quoted
the speech of Leopold Amery, Secretary of State for India,
in the House of Commons in 1940:
India cannot be unitary in the sense that we are in this island,
but she can still be a unity. India´s future house of freedom
has room for many mansions.
272
Gandhi´s disciple Chakravarti Rajagopalacharya went further
than the Mahatma and, in an allusion to the judgement of
Solomon,
273
described the Lahore Resolution as a proposal
268 Ibid., lxxi. 372. However, Gandhi contended that it was `permis-
sible to dispute the authority of 50,000 Muslims who listened to
Quaid-e-Azam to represent the feelings of eight crores of Indian
Muslims´.
269 Yusufi, ii. 1333-4.
270 Yusufi, iii. 1424-5.
271 Yusufi, ii. 1295.
272 Yusufi, ii. 1272. Amery´s speech, somewhat perversely in the
context of Hindu-Muslim relations, alluded to John 14:2 in the
King James´ Bible (`in my Father´s house there are many
mansions.´).
273 Yusufi, ii. 1193: `Mr Rajagopalacharya´s arguments of dividing
the baby and the parable of King Solomon have gone beyond
the zenith of his intellectual powers. Surely India is not the sole
property of the Congress.´
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 123 124
to cut the baby into two. In another analogy, he described
the proposal in a speech, reported on 7 April 1940, as if
`when two Hindu brothers are quarrelling, one wants to cut
the mother cow into two halves´. Jinnah took great exception
to the remark, on the grounds that such an analogy was
intended to `rouse. the religious feelings of the Hindus´;
his own position was that he had always had `very great
respect for the religious feelings and sentiments of any
community´; any such language, by implication, would be
avoided.
274
This could only be intended or undoubtedly is calculated to
incite the highest passions of the Hindu community against
me. It i s a most wi cked thi ng for a man l i ke Mr.
Rajagopalacharya, who occupies such a high position in the
Congress hierarchy, to have resorted to such an analogy.
I have al ways had every respect for the Hi ndus as a
community and for their religious feelings, sentiments and
beliefs.
275
Two other Hindu statements on the Lahore Declaration are
particularly noteworthy. Dr Moonje and Savarkar of the
Hindu Mahasabha, who respectively commended the Italian
Fascist and German Nazi governments, declared that `the
Muslims were like Jews in Germany and should be treated
as such´.
276
Even before the Nazi policy of the Holocaust
was public knowledge in the west, the allusion to the loss
of all civic rights by Jews in Nazi Germany was particularly
unfortunate. Jinnah was not slow in responding, and
condemning the remark as the wish to impose slavery on
the Muslims:
277
[The Muslim League] wanted freedom and self-government,
freedom for Hindus as well as Muslims and not freedom for
the Hindus and slavery for the Muslims. Hindu policy was clear
and Mr Savarkar and Dr Moonje had not minced matters when
they had openly declared that the Muslims of India were like
the Jews of Germany. The only difference between the Hindus´
Sabha and the Congress was that the former did not mince
matters while the latter said the same thing in a subtle way.
Mr. Sathyamurthi also in one of his recent speeches has said:
`The acid test of Mr. Amery´s ability would be to tell the Muslims
- No "Pakistan¨, no impossible safeguards, you must settle
with the majority.´
Jinnah, however, retorted to the sort of argument advanced
by Sathyamurthi by quoting Amery´s words in the House of
Commons on 14 August 1940:
278
Agreement by consent is, indeed, the foundation of all free
government, of all true democracy. Decision by majority is
not so much of the essence of democracy as a practical
convenience which presupposes for its proper working an
antecedent general consent to the constitution itself. It has,
indeed, in most federal constitutions been limited in various
ways in order to safeguard the separate interests of the
federating elements. To describe the need for such agreement
as a veto on constitutional progress is, I think, to do an
injustice to the patriotism and sense of responsibility of those
concerned. Agreement means not veto by any element but
compromise, and willingness to compromise in India as
elsewhere is an essential test of the sense of responsibility
on which a free government must be based.
In a statement on 25 February 1942, quoted by Jinnah on
11 March, Ambedkar denounced the principle of Hindu
majoritarianism as Fascist in inspiration:
279
274 Yusufi, ii. 1334.
275 Yusufi, ii. 1196. Statement of Jinnah, 11 April 1940.
276 Yusufi, ii. 1279. For the Fascist and Nazi interests: Ram
Puniyani, Hindu Extreme Right-Wing Groups.
277 Yusufi, ii. 1294.
278 Yusufi, iii. 1414-15.
279 Yusufi, iii. 1537-8. Jinnah commented: `this statement was
printed and broadcast through all the Hindu- and British-edited
papers. But none of them has been taken to task by Mr Gandhi
yet, as far as I know.´ This statement was in response to Gandhi,
lxxxii. 85, 2 March 1942 (published 8 March in Harijan): `What
will be the state of Hindus under Pakistan? Will they be
suppressed as barbarians? There is no attempt in the papers at
looking at the other side. The policy adopted in the papers must
lead to the promotion of bitterness and strife between the two
communities. If the end is to be attained through strife and force
and not by persuasion and argument, I can have nothing to say.
But I observe from Quaid-e-Azam´s speeches that he has no
quarrel with the Hindus. He wants to live at peace with them. I
plead, therefore, for a juster estimate of men and things in
papers representing the policy and programme of the Muslim
League.´ There is no evidence in this volume of Gandhi´s
correspondence of a rebuttal of Ambdekar´s statement. In-
stead, Gandhi denounced Jinnah´s rebuttal as defending the
indefensible (`I do not hesitate to criticize any party or person
whenever the occasion demands criticism. I have more than
once criticized unbecoming writings in the non-Muslim Press´):
Gandhi lxxxii. 125, 17 March 1942 (published in Harijan, 22
March).
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 125 126
The Congress cannot expect any sane person who knows
anything about the conditions in India to agree to the
government of the country being placed in the hands of the
Hindu majority, simply because it is a majority. The Congress
chooses to forget that Hinduism is a political ideology of the
same character at the Fasci st or Nazi i deol ogy and i s
thoroughly anti-democratic. If it is let loose - which is what
[a] Hindu majority means - it will prove a menace to the
growth of others who are outside Hinduism and are opposed
to Hinduism. This is not the point of view of Muslims alone. It
is also the point of view of the depressed classes and also of
the non-Brahmins.
Ambedkar tried to clarify the issues of self-determination
in relation to the demand for Pakistan:
280
The idea underlying self-determination has developed along
two different lines. During the nineteenth century self-
determi nati on meant the ri ght to establ i sh a form of
government in accordance with the wishes of the people.
Secondly, self-determination has meant the right to obtain
national independence from an alien race irrespective of the
form of government. The agitation for Pakistan has reference
to self-determination in its second aspect.
He was clear that the politicians were playing fast and
loose with the concept of self-determination for their own
party aggrandizement:
281
In the first place, self-determination must be by the people.
This point is too simple even to need mention. But it has
become necessary to emphasize it. Both the Muslim League
and the Hindu Mahasabha seem to be playing fast and loose
with the idea of self-determination. An area is claimed by the
Muslim League for inclusion in Pakistan because the people
of the area are Muslims. An area is also claimed for being
included in Pakistan because the ruler of the area is a Muslim
though the majority of the people of that area are non-Muslims.
The Muslim League is claiming the benefit of self-determination
in India. At the same time the League is opposed to self-
determination being applied to Palestine. The League claims
Kashmir as a Muslim State because the majority of people
are Muslims and also Hyderabad because the ruler is Muslim.
In like manner the Hindu Mahasabha claims an area to be
included in Hindustan because the people of the area are
non-Muslims. It also comes forward to claim an area to be a
part of Hindustan because the ruler is a Hindu though the
majori ty of the peopl e are Musl i ms. Such strange and
conflicting claims are entirely due to the fact that either the
parties to Pakistan, namely, the Hindus and the Muslims do
not understand what self-determination means or are busy in
perverting the principle of self-determination to enable them
to justify themselves in carrying out the organized territorial
loot in which they now seem to be engaged. India will be
thrown into a state of utter confusion whenever the question
of reorganization of its territories comes up for consideration
if people have no exact notions as to what self-determination
involves and have not the honesty to stand by the principle
and take the consequences whatever they be.
Ambedkar referred to Jinnah´s speech at Jullundur on 15
November 1942, in which he stated:
282
Now the latest trick - I call it nothing but a trick to puzzle and
to mislead the ignorant masses, and those playing the game
understand it - is, why should the right of self-determination
be confined to Muslims only and why not extend it to other
communities? Having said that all have the right of self-
determination, they say the Punjab must be divided into so
many bits, likewise the North-West Frontier Province and Sind.
Thus there will be hundreds of Pakistans.
Who is the author of this new formula that every community
has the right of self-determination all over India ? Either it is
colossal ignorance or mischief and trick. Let me give them a
reply, that the [Muslims] claim the right of self-determination
because they are a national group on a given territory which
is their homeland and in the zones where they are in a
majority. Have you known anywhere in history that national
groups scattered all over have been given a State? Where
are you going to get a State for them? In that case you have
got 14 per cent Muslims in the United Provinces. Why not
have a State for them? Muslims in the United Provinces are
not a national group; they are scattered. Therefore, in
constitutional language, they are characterized as a sub-
national group who cannot expect anything more than what
is due from any civilized government to a minority. I hope I
have made the position clear. The Muslims are not a sub-
national group; it is their birthright to claim and exercise the
right of self-determination.
Ambedkar´s contention was that Jinnah had `completely
missed the point´.
The point raised by his critics was not with regard to the non-
Muslim minorities in general. It had reference to the non-
Muslim minorities in the Punjab and Bengal. Does Mr. Jinnah
propose to dispose of the case of non-Muslim minorities who
occupy a compact and an easily severable territory by his
280 Ambekdar, Pakistan, 371.
281 Ibid. 371-2.
282 Yusufi, iii. 1648-9. Quoted by Ambedkar, Pakistan, 375. His
comments, ibid. 375-6.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 127 128
theory of a sub-nation? If that is so, then one is bound to say
that a proposition cruder than his it would be difficult to find
in any political literature. The concept of a sub-nation is
unheard of. It is not only an ingenious concept but it is also a
preposterous concept. What does the theory of a sub-nation
connote? If I understand its implications correctly, it means a
sub-nation must not be severed from the nation to which it
belongs even when severance is possible: it means that the
relations between a nation and a sub-nation are no higher
than the relations which subsist between a man and his
chattels, or between property and its incidents. Chattels go
with the owner, incidents go with property, so a sub-nation
goes with a nation. Such is the chain of reasoning in Mr.
Jinnah´s argument. But does Mr. Jinnah seriously wish to argue
that the Hindus of the Punjab and Bengal are only chattels so
that they must always go wherever the Muslims of the Punjab
and the Muslims of Bengal choose to drive them? Such an
argument wi l l be too absurd to be entertai ned by any
reasonable man. It is also the most illogical argument and
certainly it should not be difficult for so mature a lawyer as
Mr. Jinnah to see the illogicality of it. If a numerically smaller
nation is only a sub-nation in relation to a numerically larger
nation and has no right to territorial separation, why can it
not be said that taking India as a whole the Hindus are a
nation and the Muslims a sub-nation and as a sub-nation they
have no right to self-determination or territorial separation?
Clearly, Jinnah was not prepared to concede to minorities
in the future Pakistan the status of `sub-nations´, and thus
Ambedkar was correct in observing a measure of inconsis-
tency in his approach to the minorities problem. Overall,
however, he conceded the basic position of the Muslims
(as indeed did Gandhi):
283
It is beyond question that Pakistan is a scheme which will
have to be taken into account. The Muslims will insist upon
the scheme being considered. The British will insist upon some
kind of settlement being reached between the Hindus and the
Muslims before they consent to any devolution of political
power. There is no use blaming the British for insisting upon
such a settlement as a condition precedent to the transfer of
power. The British cannot consent to settle power upon an
aggressive Hindu majority and make it its heir, leaving it to
deal with the minorities at its sweet pleasure. That would not
be endi ng i mperi al i sm. It woul d be creati ng another
imperialism. The Hindus, therefore, cannot avoid coming to
grips with Pakistan, much as they would like to do.
It was precisely the trilateral aspect of the negotiations
between the British authorities, the Hindus and the Mus-
lims which provided Jinnah and the Muslim League with
their political opportunity between 1941 and 1947.
7 Harmonious Disagreement? The Gandhi-
Jinnah Talks, 1944
The fourteen interviews which took place at Bombay
between Gandhi and Jinnah from 9 September to 27
September 1944 were held amid a glare of publicity and
heightened expectations that the two men would be able
somehow to extract an elusive settlement of the rival claims
to self-determination where others had failed. In particular,
Gandhi used the media as an instrument for helping to
achieve his political objectives. The meetings took place
as a result of Gandhi´s initiative (Document Seven) and
the correspondence which took place between them during
the interval between meetings was published shortly
afterwards with their agreement. There were differences
between the two men at the outset in terms of their
objectives and, as Jinnah insisted, their respective status.
For Gandhi had no official standing with the Congress Party
(although he had immense influence because of his personal
relationship with Nehru and Patel). Gandhi, moreover, was
at first insistent on discussing the political formula of
Chakravarti Rajagopalacharya (Document Six), not the
Lahore Resolution. But Rajagopalacharya (also known as
Rajajai) had had to resign from the Congress Party Working
Committee on 30 April 1942 because of opposition to his
draft political formula and his willingness to acknowledge
the Muslim League´s claim for separation.
284
Even had the formula been acceptable to Jinnah, therefore,
which it was not, he would have had misgivings as to the
capacity of Gandhi and Rajagopalachari to win the Congress
Party over to their viewpoint. For his part, Jinnah claimed
he was at a disadvantage because of his Presidency of
283 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 9.
284 Gandhi-Jinnah Correspondence and the Communal Question,
ed. Amalendu De (Calcutta, 1999), unpaginated introduction
and n 29.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 129 130
the Muslim League. If he committed himself to an agreement,
there was the risk that the League itself would be implicated
in the agreement before it had had the opportunity to
discuss the issue. Above all, however, for Jinnah the Rajaji
formula `mutilated´ the Lahore Resolution (Documents Ten
and Eighteen), which provided `the only solution of India´s
problem´ by dividing India into Pakistan and Hindustan. He
considered that the Rajaji and Gandhi Formulas were
`calculated completely to torpedo the Pakistan demand of
Muslim India´ (Document Thirty-Seven). At the annual
session of the Muslim League in Delhi in April 1943 he had
already criticized Gandhi and his tactics, accusing him of
`wanting to turn the whole of India into his Hindu ashram´.
285
Acceptance of the Congress Resolution of August 1942
woul d i nvol ve the ` i mmedi ate grant of Compl ete
Independence [and the] setting up immediately of a Federal
Central Government on the basis of a united, democratic
Government of India with federated units or Provinces,
which means establishing a Hindu Raj´ (Document Twenty-
Nine).
Gandhi had expressed his opposition to the Lahore Resolution
on 1 April 1940. In the Bombay negotiations he returned to
theme of the Resolution: `I find no parallel in history for a
body of converts and their descendants claiming to be a
nation apart from the parent stock. If India was one nation
before the advent of Islam, it must remain one in spite of
the change of faith of a very large body of her children´.
Were there to be referendums under the terms of the Lahore
Resolution? What of the rights of the many Muslims who
dissented from the Muslim League position? (Document
Twenty-Two). Jinnah in turn dismissed Gandhi´s claim to
represent all the people of India (Document Twenty-Five):
As I have said before, you are a great man and you exercise
enormous influence over the Hindus, particularly the masses,
and by accepting the road that I am pointing out to you, you
are not prejudicing or harming the interests of the Hindus or
of the minorities. On the contrary, Hindus will be the greater
gainers. I am convinced that true welfare not only of the
Muslim but the rest of India lies in the division of India as
proposed by the Lahore Resolution. It is for you to consider
whether it is not your policy and programme, in which you
have persisted, which has been the principal factor of `ruin of
the whole of India´ and of misery and degradation of the people
to which you refer and which I deplore no less than anyone
else.
`Hindus will be the greater gainers.´ The argument was
expressed clearly by Jinnah, who also by cited Dr.
Ambedkar´s book (Documents Forty-Four and Forty-Five)
and `M. R. T.´s´ Nationalism in Conflict in India (Document
Forty-Seven):
286
`we maintain and hold that Muslims and
Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a
nation´ (Document Twenty-Five). Numerically the total
Muslim population of British India was simply too large to
be absorbed by a Hi ndu-domi nated state after
Independence. By no means all of the Indian Muslims could
enjoy an equal right of self-determination, because much
would depend on their geographical location and the precise
details of any partition. For Gandhi, `Dr. Ambedkar´s thesis,
while it is ably written, has carried no conviction to me´
(Document Twenty-Six) - presumably because the
conclusions he reached were diametrically opposed to those
of the Mahatma. For Ambedkar´s verdict was that,
`separated, each can become a strong and well-knit state.
India needs a strong Central Government. But it cannot
have it so long as Pakistan remains a part of India.´ The
status of the princely states was of critical importance for
the future demarcation between the two states. Gandhi
had posed the question: how are the Muslims under the
Princes to be disposed of as a result of this scheme? What
did the Lahore Resolution intend to do with them?
(Document Twenty-Two) Jinnah had correctly inferred that
`the Lahore Resolution is only confined to British India. This
question does not arise out of the clarification of the
Resolution´ (Document Twenty-Five). But this was a crucial
weakness for, as the Working Committee of the Congress
had remarked on 2 April 1942 (Document Four):
The complete ignoring of the ninety millions of the people of
285 Yusufi, iii. 1689. However, in fairness to Gandhi, while the
ashram had a Hindu ethos, he was insistent that it should have
a place for other faiths.
286 Published in Bombay in 1942 with Jinnah´s introduction, this
work went into a second impression in 1943.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 131 132
the Indian States and their treatment as commodities at the
disposal of their rulers is a negation of both democracy and
self-determination. While the representation of an Indian State
in the constitution-making body is fixed on a population basis,
the people of the States have no voice in choosing those
representatives, nor are they to be consulted at any stage,
while decisions vitally affecting them are being taken.
The Lahore Resolution failed to address this problem, and
it was not until 30 July 1947 that Jinnah reiterated the
Muslim League position that it had no intention of `coercing
any state into adopting any particular course of action.
The Muslim League recognizes the right of each state to
choose its destiny.´
287
This contrasts with the basic position
of Nehru and Patel, which was that all the states should
merge into the new `secular´ India, and if necessary they
would be compelled to do so. Whether or not the Maharaja
of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the Indian union before
the arrival of Indian troops has been contested; what is
without doubt is that the plebiscite promised by Nehru on
several occasions (for example, in his radio broadcast of 2
November 1947, in his telegram to Liaquat Ali Khan the
following day and to the Constitutent Assembly on 25
November) was never carried out. Hyderabad´s pretensions
to separate status were ended by force in September 1948.
Once Partition occurred, there was plenty of Indian
propaganda, led by Patel himself in his speeches, that the
Muslims in India could not `ride two horses´ at the same
time (that is, they could not support the Pakistan cause
while remaining as Indian citizens).
288
What is clear is that
none of the leading Congress politicians who gained power
in the newly-Independent India was prepared to subscribe
to the `two nations´ theory. Acceptance of the British terms
for gaining Independence was purely tactical. The aspiration
of the Indian governing elite was to choke the independent
Pakistan at birth and correct the `historical injustice´, as it
was perceived, of partition. What Gandhi had aspired to in
1944, that partition should take place `as between two
brothers, if a division there must be´ (Document Twenty-
Eight) was no more than a forlorn hope given the scale of
the human tragedy at the time of partition and the enduring
enmities it produced.
Had the Mahatma´s emphasis on a plebiscite proved
acceptable to all sides and capable of implementation,
perhaps some of the bitterness would have been prevented.
However, at his press conference at the end of the
negotiations, Gandhi ruled out the voluntary migration of
peoples as impracticable, while on the general proposition
he ruled that if acceptance of the Lahore Resolution `means
utterly independent sovereignty so that there is to be
nothing in common between the two, I hold it is an
impossible proposition. That means war to the knife. It is
not a proposition that resolves itself into a voluntary or
friendly solution´ (Document Thirty-Nine). Thus there was
some truth to Jinnah´s proposition that `the question of
the division of India as Pakistan and Hindustan is only on
your lips and it does not come from your heart.´ (Document
Thirty-Three). For Jinnah, it was essential that, once
partition had occurred, the two states should be seen as
`independent, equal, sovereign states´; there could be no
talk of restoring a single India, let alone by war; as for the
two-nations theory, it was `not a theory but a fact´ and
had to be accepted as such. In his view, the Indian Union
was no more than a federation of Hindu national states,
but in any case both states were committed to their solemn
declarations giving a fair deal and safeguards for their
religious minorities (Document Forty-Two).
Jinnah´s argument that India was a Hindu state had some
substance in the era between the granting of Independence
and the acceptance of the Constitution in 1950. How could
it be said, with confidence, that India had a `secular´
constitution enshrining the rights of Muslims and other
minorities before that constitution was drawn up? (The
point was equally true of the rights of Hindus and other
minorities in Pakistan before the adoption of the first
Pakistan Constitution, which declared it an Islamic Republic,
in 1956.) Jinnah admitted that undertakings had been given
by both sides (Document Forty-Two):
In accepting the [partition] Plan, even before then, solemn
declarations were made both by the Congress and the Mus-
287 Afzal, Speeches and statements of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali Jinnah, 427.
288 For a United India. Speeches of Sardar Patel, 1947-1950 (rev.
edn. 1967), 66-7.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 133 134
lim League that the minorities of both states would be given a
fair deal and that safeguards for them should be secured
specially for the protection of their religious, cultural, eco-
nomic, political, administrative and other rights in consulta-
tion with them and that position is not seriously questioned
even now by any responsible person.
The Liaquat-Nehru Pact of 8 April 1950 was an attempt to
fill the constitutional void in the two countries and provide
a `bill of rights´ for the minorities of India and Pakistan. It
was divided into three parts, which attempted a) to put to
rest the fears of the religious minorities on both sides; b)
to establish communal peace; and c) to create an
atmosphere in which the two countries could resolve their
other differences. According to the agreement, `the
government of India and Pakistan solemnly agree that each
shall ensure, to the minorities throughout its territories,
complete equality of citizenship, irrespective of religion; a
full sense of security in respect of life, culture, property
and personal honour´. It also guaranteed the fundamental
human rights to the minorities, such as freedom of
movement, speech, occupation and worship. The pact also
provided for the minorities to participate in the public life
of the country, to hold political or other office and to
serve in their country´s civil and armed forces.
289
There can be no doubt that it would have been preferable
for the Indian sub-Continent had the talks between Gandhi
and Jinnah not failed in 1944 and had such a pact been
signed. The evils of partition might not have been completely
avoided, but the human suffering would have been lessened,
the transition to two independent states could have been
achieved in a more orderly manner and there would have
been a prospect of reasonably harmonious relations between
the two states in the future. Gandhi stated after the
breakdown in the talks: `I want to make it clear that I
believe Mr. Jinnah is sincere, but I think he is suffering from
hallucination when he imagines that an unnatural division
of India could bring either happiness or prosperity to the
people concerned´ (Document Forty). For his part, Jinnah
was firm but without rancour. He commented:
I have placed before him everything and every aspect of the
Muslim point of view in the course of our prolonged talks and
correspondence, and we discussed all the pros and cons
generally, and I regret to say that I have failed in my task of
converting Mr. Gandhi. We have, therefore, decided to release
to the Press the correspondence that has passed between us.
Nevertheless, we hope that the public will not feel embittered,
and we trust that this is not the final end of our effort.
The areas of difficulty remained considerable, however,
and could not be easily surmounted. They are most
accessibly summarized in Allen Hayes Merriam´s table of
the main points of disagreement.
290
Allen Hayes Merriam: Main Points of Disagreement
between Gandhi and Jinnah (1980)
289 <www.storyofpakistan.com/articletext.asp?artid=A096> With
regard to possessions, the agreement determined that mi-
grants could take all immovable properties and up to 150
rupees for adults and 75 rupees for children. The agreement
provided that migrants could leave jewellery and cash which
could then be transferred. In cases of return by 31 December
1950, immovable property would be returned except in `excep-
tional cases´ in which cases migrants would be compensated. In
cases of non-return, the immovable property would continue to
be owned by the migrant and placed in the `trusteeship´ of a
committee `consisting of the minority and presided over by a
representative of Government´. This trust was `empowered to
recover rent´. The provincial and state governments were to
enact supporting legislation and also `provide all possible
assistance for the discharge of the Committee´s functions´. The
agreement also included clauses addressing the protection of
minorities. According to section D of the agreement, the
minority protection clauses (section C) extended to the entirety
of both countries. However, the property administration clauses
appear to be specifically limited in scope (East Bengal, West
Bengal, Assam, and Tripura, and in certain cases Bihal). Section
G specifically states, `except where modified by this agreement,
the inter-Dominion Agreement of December 1948 shall remain
in force´: `Agreement Between India and Pakistan on Minori-
ties´, reprinted in Middle East Journal, 4.3 (July 1950), 344-346.
<www.arts.mcgill.ca/MEPP/PRRN/biblo2.html>
290 Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah, 149-50.
Jinnah
The Congress Party
stands for Hindu rule.
1
Gandhi
The Congress Party is a
national body standing
for Indian independence.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 135 136
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
The Muslim League is the
sole representative of
Indian Muslims.
Gandhi speaks only for
Hindus.
The communal issue must
be settled before
independence or else the
Hindu Congress would
subject Muslims to slavery.
Indian unity is a myth
resul ti ng from the
imposition of British rule.
The myth of a united
India can only lead to
endless strife, giving the
British an excuse to stay.
Hindus and Muslims are
irreconcilably antagonistic.
Hindus and Muslims are
two distinct nations.
Both groups could progress
better if in charge of their
own desti ny (` sel f-
determination´)
The creation of Pakistan
would lead to peace by
endi ng communal
competition within a
single state.
The League is only one
among many Musl i m
political parties.
Gandhi speaks for all
Indians.
Independence must be
achieved first and then
any domestic problems
can be solved by Indians
themselves.
India is a united nation.
The British presence has
caused the present
divisiveness.
Muslim communalism is
weakening the nationalistic
efforts of Congress, thus
prolonging British rule.
Indian Muslims are merely
converted Hindus.
A person´s nationality does
not change just because
he changes religion.
Parti ti on woul d not
materially benefit Muslims.
Two communally-based
nations could go to war
against each other.
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Irel and-Bri tai n and
Burma-Indi a are
precedents for partition
Government and religion
cannot be separated in
India.
Gandhi does not
understand the yearnings
of Muslims.
Gandhi must first accept
the principle of partition
and then the details will
resolve themselves.
Paki stan must be a
total l y i ndependent,
sovereign nation.
Muslims have an inherent
right to a homeland.
No non-Muslims can have
any say in determining
the future of the Muslim
nation.
There are no historical
precedents for a religious
group to call itself a
nation.
Secular government is
not concerned wi th
matters of faith.
Partition is opposed to
the spirit of Islam.
Various details can be
di scussed but the
principle can never be
agreed because it is an
untruth.
A separate Muslim state
can exist as long as it
remains within the Indian
nation.
India is the homeland of
all religious groups.
Any separation must
have the approval of all
the peopl e i n the
affected areas.
It was not the final end of the effort at an agreed solution.
This came on 10 July 1946, when Nehru refused to accept
any restrictions on the power of Congress in the Constituent
Assembly in contravention of the Muslim League´s
acceptance of an agreed distribution of powers between
the centre, the provinces and the three sections in which
the provinces would be grouped. It was a mutilation of the
Cabinet Mission plan to which Gandhi and Nehru were active
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 137 138
participants and Azad a passive participant. After this,
hopes of a Muslim League-Congress agreement were dashed
(Document Forty-One). As Azad admitted, `Mr Jinnah took
full advantage of his [that is, Nehru´s] mistake´.
291
Instead, there was no choice but partition. After 1942,
the key figure in matters relating to the transfer of power
was Vapal Pangunni Menon, the Reforms Commissioner.
When the Prime Minister of Bikaner State, Sardar K. M.
Panikkar, presented a partition plan, this was handed over
to V. P. Menon, who submitted to the Viceroy, Wavell, his
own statement on the nature and mechanics of partition.
Menon produced a further plan in consultation with Sir
Benegal Rau, one of Wavell´s chief advisers on constitutional
law. The Menon-Rau plan of 23 January 1946 was, in the
words of Alistair Lamb, `in many respects a blueprint for
what actually took place in the summer of 1947´.
292
`Both
the Punjab and Bengal would be partitioned, generally on a
District by District basis (actually Menon and Rau tended
to think in terms of Divisions, that is to say, groups of
Districts: in practice the result was the same), but not
always so.´, Lamb writes. `In the Punjab the Gurdaspur
District, or at least the three eastern tehsils of it, would,
despite the District´s Muslim majority and its contiguity
with other Muslim-majority Districts, remain in India.´ A draft
telegram was prepared for Wavell by George Abell on the
basis of this plan, and after consultation with V. P. Menon,
the plan was forwarded to London by Wavell on 6 February
1946.
293
For Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, writing in 1946, `a careful reading
of the published correspondence summarizing the
[September 1944] talks makes it evident that Jinnah was
not working for a settlement´. In his opinion, neither Gandhi
nor Jinnah `was able to understand the other´s point of
view´.
294
The main points at issue, Smith judged, were three:
a plebiscite, the powers of a provisional government and
the machinery for dealing with matters of common interest
between Pakistan and Hindustan. Smith continued:
295
Regarding the first, Gandhi insisted that there must be a
plebiscite of all the adult inhabitants in the regions to be
separated; Jinnah refused to hear of any plebiscite that would
include non-Muslims. (Perhaps the Muslims of whom a
plebiscite might, according to the League, be taken, are all
the Muslims of India, not merely those of the Pakistan area.
`We claim the right of self-determination as a nation and not
as a territorial unit.´) Secondly, Gandhi wanted a provisional
government to be set up on India with full powers, independent
of Britain (except in military matters as long as the war should
last), which government would subsequently hold a plebiscite,
demarcate Pakistan, and realize partition; Jinnah apparently
felt that such a government, if full powers were transferred
to it and the British departed, could not be trusted to carry
out whatever pledges it might have previously made to the
Muslims. Presumably he therefore visualized that the whole
matter of demarcation and division should not only be agreed
upon but actually carried out before the British left the country
- though he did not say so. Thirdly, Gandhi insisted that the
agreement to partition India must include arrangements for
joint dealing with matters of common interest between the
two states, such as defence, forei gn affai rs, i nternal
communications, etc; Jinnah was rather self-contradictory
about whether there might be such matters of common
291 M. A. H. Ispahani, Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah as I knew him (Karachi,
1966), 172-5. Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 302-3, call what Azad called Nehru´s
`unfortunate statement´ a `godsend to Jinnah. It furnished him
with a legitimate excuse for withdrawing the League´s accep-
tance of the scheme´. Anita Inder Singh, The Origins of the
Partition of India, 176. Ayesha Jalal argues: `the singular
nationalism of the Indian National Congress got the better of
both the Muslim claim to "nationhood¨ and the majoritarian
provincialism of Muslims in the north-western and [north-]
eastern extremities of the sub-Continent. The Congress lead-
ership, keen on grasping the centralized apparatus of the
colonial state, was prepared neither to share power with Muslim
League at the all-India level nor accommodate Muslim
majoritarian provincialism within a loose federal or confederal
structure. It was ready instead to wield the partitioner´s axe -
in concert one might add with the Hindu Mahasabha - to
exclude both the League and the Muslim-majority areas from
the horizons of the secular Indian nation state.´ Jalal, `Explod-
ing communalism: the politics of Muslim identity in south Asia´,
Nationalism, Democracy and Development: State and Politics in
India, ed. Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal (Delhi, 1997), 94-5.
292 A. Lamb, Incomplete Partition. The Genesis of the Kashmir
Dispute, 1947-1948 (Hertingfordbury, 1997), 33.
293 Ibid., 85.
294 Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, Modern Islam in India (rev. edn., 1946;
repr. Lahore, 1963), 319.
295 Ibid. 319, 321-2.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 139 140
interest, but anyway insisted that they must be agreed upon
by the two states after they had become separate and
sovereign, not before.
There was also a difference of geographic interpretation;
though the total lack of agreement on other matters kept this
point from being effectively discussed. Previously, it had been
impossible to discover what, geographically, the Muslim League
had meant by Pakistan. Gandhi in these talks envisaged it as
embraci ng such admi ni strati ve Di stri cts (they are al l
contiguous) as have more than 50 per cent Muslim population.
Such a District-wise Pakistan
296
would include Baluchistan, Sind
and the Frontier Province, one District in Assam, and those
parts of Bengal and the Punjab that have Muslim majorities.
Jinnah had ridiculed this suggestion as `a shadow and a husk,
maimed, mutilated and moth-eaten Pakistan´; and he now
told Gandhi that if this concept were accepted, `the present
boundaries of these provinces would be maimed and mutilated
beyond redempti on and l eave us onl y wi th the husk´
[Document Thirty-Three]. In other words, the League, in
demanding the partition of India, was refusing to consider
the partition of Bengal and the Punjab. (This question is liable
to become the essential geographic issue.) For the first time
(September 1944), the League now put forward a demand
that was specific: Jinnah insisted that Pakistan should embrace
not only the solidly-Muslim provinces (Baluchistan, Sind and
the Frontier), but also the whole of Assam and the whole of
Bengal and the Punjab
297
`subject to territorial adjustments
that may be agreed upon´.
However profound the analysis of Wilfrid Cantwell Smith,
he was a lecturer in Islamic History and a future theologian
of the world´s religions, not a constitutional specialist. The
most searching analysis of the Gandhi-Jinnah talks was
provided by the man who, as we have seen, had already
provided the most penetrating discussion of the Lahore
Resolution and its significance: Dr B. R. Ambedkar, the future
chief architect of the Indian Constitution, who added a
new, fifteenth, chapter to his study of the Pakistan scheme
in a second edition of his publication (Document Forty-
Five).
298
Ambedkar was clear that the Gandhi-Jinnah talks had not
addressed the correct issues (leaving aside the `Rajaji
Formula´, the errors of which he also demonstrated):
It would have been a great gain if straight questions had
been put to Mr. Jinnah and unequivocal answers obtained.
But instead of coming to grips with Mr. Jinnah on these
questions, Mr. Gandhi spent his whole time proving that the
C. R. [= Rajaji] Formula is substantially the same as the
League´s Lahore Resolution - which was ingenious if not
nonsensical and thereby lost the best opportunity he had of
having these questions clarified.
After these talks Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Jinnah have retired to
their pavilions as players in a cricket match do after their
game is over, as though there is nothing further to be done.
There is no indication whether they will meet again and if so
when. What next? is not a question which seems to worry
them. Yet it is difficult to see how India can make any political
advance without a solution of the question which one may
refuse to discuss. It does not belong to that class of questions
about which people can agree to differ. It is a question for
which solution will have to be found. How? It must be by
agreement or by arbitration.
What is striking is the extent to which Dr Ambedkar
succeeded in encapsulating the potential pitfalls of the
partition proposal. Had Ambedkar´s work been studied by
the British government and had the colonial government
been given the time and the resources to work out a more
satisfactory arrangement instead of adopting a position,
determined by Mountbatten, of `partition and run´ in 1947,
299
296 Smith published a map to illustrate the point: ibid. 320.
297 Merriam contends that `the rhetoric of partition advocates
exhibited a West Pakistan bias´ even though Bengal contained
the larger population. The omission of the letter `b´ for Bengal
in the original `Pakstan´ acronym is significant. In Merriam´s
judgement, the `roots of the conflict which led to secession and
war over East Pakistan can be traced directly to the partition
movement of the 1930s and 1940s´: Merriam, Gandhi vs Jinnah,
161. It is true that on 24 April 1943 Jinnah declared that the
Punjab was `the cornerstone of Pakistan´: Yusufi, iii. 1692.
However, he had stated on 24 December 1942 that `the Muslim
homelands are in the North Western and Eastern zones of the
sub-continent where they are in a solid majority with a popula-
tion of nearly 70 millions and they desire that these parts should
be separated from the rest of India and constituted into
independent sovereign states [sic]´ (Document Forty-Seven).
Note that this preface is not published at the date of 24 Dec.
1942 in the Yusufi edition of Jinnah´s writings.
298 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 385-416.
299 Merriam, Gandhi vs. Jinnah, 158, criticizes Jinnah for portraying
Partition `as the cure-all for India´s problems without offering
specific plans for its efficient execution. the hasty preparations
for division in the summer of 1947 further indicated a lack of
realistic planning and foresight´. However, it was the colonial
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 141 142
then most of the enduring damage inflicted by the partition
experience could have been avoided and the hostility evinced
between the two newly independent states might have
been kept in check.
Firstly, Ambedkar correctly assumed that since the British
had presided over the partition of Ireland, which had
involved their own kith and kin, they were perfectly capable
of presiding over a partition of the Indian sub-continent
which did not. Secondly, Ambedkar correctly envisaged
that the delineation of boundaries was likely to prove a
fundamental issue (Document Forty-Five):
300
If the Majority of the Muslims are in favour of separation and
a majority of non-Muslims are against separation, steps must
be taken to delimit the areas wherever it is possible by
redrawing provincial boundaries on ethnic and cultural lines
by separating the Muslim majority districts from the districts
in which the majority consists of non-Muslims. A Boundary
Commission is necessary for this purpose. So a Boundary
Commission is provided for in the Act [that is, the draft Act
which Ambedkar included in his proposals].
301
It would be
better if the Boundary Commission could be international in
its composition.
The evident wisdom of this proposition has sometimes
escaped attention. For an international boundary commission
would not have been the rushed job that the Radcliffe
Commission proved to be; nor could it have been regarded
with the deep suspicion in which the Radcliffe Award has
been held since 1947. Justice might have been done and
have been seen to be done. Some of the subsequent
quarrels between India and Pakistan might have been
averted. As the last Viceroy of India, charged with presiding
over Partition, Earl Mountbatten of Burma has been accused
of partiality towards India and in particular of influencing
the boundary commission to alter the frontier in India´s
favour (Document Forty-Six). Such accusations of partiality
and interference with the Boundary Award would have been
averted had Ambedkar´s proposal for an international
Boundary Commission been accepted. However, the British
government clearly regarded Partition as an internal matter
for the British Empire to resolve and clearly an international
Boundary Commission would have worked in a more
deliberate manner than at the breakneck speed determined
by Mountbatten´s timetable for the transfer of power.
Ambedkar´s second proposal concerned the nature of the
proposed referendums, especially the avoidance of coercion by
a majority, and also a suggested trial period of ten years before
a permanent constitutional arrangement was determined:
302
The scheme of separate referenda of Muslims and non-Muslims
is based on two principles which I regard as fundamental.
The first is that a minority can demand safeguards for its
protection against the tyranny of the majority. It can demand
them as a condition precedent. But a minority has no right to
put a veto on the right of the majority to decide on questions
of ultimate destiny. This is the reason why I have confined
the referendum on the establishment of Pakistan to Muslims
only. The second is that a communal majority cannot claim a
communal minority to submit itself to its dictates. Only a
political majority may be permitted to rule a political minority.
This principle has been modified in India where a communal
minority is placed under a communal majority subject to
certain safeguards. But this is as regards the ordinary question
of social, economic and political importance. It has never been
conceded and can never be conceded that a communal
majority has a right to dictate to a communal minority on an
issue which is of a constitutional character. That is the reason
why I have provided a separate referendum of non-Muslims
only, to decide whether they prefer to go in Pakistan or come
into Hindustan...
[Proposed ten-year peri od to determi ne permanent
arrangements.] Such i s my scheme. It i s based on a
community-wise plebiscite. The scheme is flexible. It takes
account of the fact that the Hindu sentiment is against it. It
also recognizes the fact that the Muslim demand for Pakistan
may only be a passing mood. The scheme is not a divorce. It
is only a judicial separation. It gives to the Hindus a term.
They can use it to show that they can be trusted with authority
to rule justly. It gives the Musalmans a term to try out Pakistan.
Ambedkar distinguished his proposal from the `Cripps Offer´
of 1942:
303
administration which presided over Partition; Jinnah had rec-
ommended Ambedkar´s analysis to Gandhi in their 1944 talks
and that analysis was clear on how the process should operate
in practice. The advice was known, but rejected.
300 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 392.
301 Ibid. 386-92.
302 Ibid. 393.
303 Ibid. 396. Moore, Churchill, Cripps and India is the basic
account, which uses Cripps´ diary. For the draft declaration and
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 143 144
The main difference between my plan and that of Sir Stafford
Cripps is quite obvious. For deciding the issue of accession or
secession which is only another way of saying, will there be
or will there not be Pakistan, Sir Stafford Cripps took the
Province as a deciding unit.
304
I have taken community as the
deciding unit. I have no doubt that Sir Stafford adopted a
wrong basis. The Province can be a proper unit if the points
of dispute were inter-provincial. For instance, if the points of
dispute related to questions such as distribution of taxation,
of water, etc., one could understand the Province as a whole
or a particular majority in that Province having the right to
decide. But the dispute regarding Pakistan is an inter-
communal problem which has involved two communities in
the same Province. Further, the issue in the dispute is not on
what terms the two communities will agree to associate in a
common political life. The dispute goes deeper and raises the
question whether the communities are prepared at all to
associate in a common political life. It is a communal difference
in its essence and can only be decided by a community-wise
plebiscite.
Ambedkar was also mindful of the precedent of the Partition
of Ireland. But he was clear that this was not a desirable
precedent, and his words were not only full of foreboding
but also an accurate prediction of the dangers of a rushed,
or even botched, Partition with an inevitable highly damaging
post-Partition experience for the Indian sub-continent:
305
Can His Majesty´s Government be depended upon to repeat
in India what it did in Ireland? I am unable to answer the
question. But two things I will say. The first thing is that His
Majesty´s Government knows full well what have been the
consequences of this partition of Ireland. The Irish Free State
has become the most irreconcilable enemy of Great Britain.
The enmity knows no limits. The wound caused by partition
will never be healed so long as partition remains a settled
fact.
306
The partition of Ireland is not a precedent worthy to
be followed. It is an ugly incident which requires to be avoided.
It is a warning and not an example. I doubt very much if His
Majesty´s Government will partition India on its own authority
at the behest of the Muslim League.
The other thing I would like to say is that it would not be in
the interests of the Muslim League to achieve its object by
invoking the authority of His Majesty´s Government to bring
about the partition of India. In my judgement more important
than getting Pakistan is the procedure to be adopted in bringing
about Pakistan if the object is that, after partition, Pakistan
and Hindustan should continue as two friendly States with
goodwill and no malice towards each other.
What is the procedure which is best suited for the realization
of this end? Everyone will agree that the procedure must be
such that it must not involve victory to one community and
humiliation to the other. The method must be of peace with
honour to both sides. I do not know if there is another solution
better calculated to achieve this end than the decision by a
referendum of the people.
The error of granting independence to two new states
without settling some of the outstanding issues, such as
statement of 30 March 1942:
<www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1942/420330a.html>
304 Jalal, The Sole Spokesman, 75, argues that `by offering a
provincial not a communal option, Cripps hoped to provide a
powerful incentive for those very constituents on whom Jinnah´s
strategy depended to unhitch their wagons from the League´s
train´. She argues that `the provincial leaders had no urgent
reason before Cripps came to India to challenge and deny
Jinnah´s purposes. Cripps hoped to give them reason to do so´.
Moore argues that Jinnah and the League had initially seen the
Cripps Offer as recognizing the principle of Pakistan: Moore,
`Jinnah and the Pakistan demand´, India´s Partition, ed Hasan,
187 (Resolution of the League Working Committee, as late as
11 April 1942). On 4 April 1942, Jinnah stated that `Muslim India
will not be satisfied unless the right of national self-determina-
tion is unequivocally recognized´: Yusufi, iii. 1556. Finally, in his
statement on the League´s rejection of the Cripps Proposals,
Jinnah stated on 13 April: `we examined the whole of the
proposal as one document and came to the conclusion that, as
regards the future, the principle of partition (Pakistan) was not
conceded, but there was possibility for a province or provinces
to stand out. In effect Pakistan was not conceded unequivo-
cally and the right of Muslim self-determination was denied´:
Yusufi, iii. 1561-2. Moore, Churchill, Cripps and India, 87, on
Muslim non-accession. In his broadcast to CBS on 26 July 1942,
Cripps stated: `The Moslems, of whom there are at least 80
million, are deeply opposed to Congress Party domination, as
are also the tens of millions of depressed classes. To have
agreed to the Congress Party´s or Mr. Gandhi´s demands would
have meant inevitable chaos and disorder. This is not merely
my assertion. It has been stated by Mr. Gandhi himself. Quite
recently he has said: "Anarchy is the only way. Someone asked
me if there would be anarchy after British rule. Yes, it will be
there. But I tell the British to give us chaos¨.´
<www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1942/420726a.html>
305 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 401-2.
306 Only the joint peace-making efforts for Northern Ireland by the
British and Irish governments have truly begun to heal the
wounds, containing as they have done a provision for north-
south interaction on issue of mutual interest.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 145 146
the accession of the Princely States, which carried with it
the seeds for future conflict, were implicit in Ambedkar´s
words. The Kashmir dispute has proved intractable precisely
because it contains some of the basic ingredients of conflict
arising from a flawed or incomplete Partition. There was
too much concentration in 1946-7 on the competition for
power rather than on the mechanics of the transfer of
power and the way in which the transfer was achieved.
Was it to be a `prompt and decisive´ transfer of power with
reasonable consent and satisfaction to both sides? Ambedkar
concluded in late 1944:
307
What next? I don´t know what else [there] can be. All I know
is that there will be no freedom for India without an answer.
It must be decisive, it must be prompt and it must be
satisfactory to the parties concerned.
8 Epi l ogue. The Kashmi r Di spute:
Contrasting Theories of Self-Determination and
National Identity
The commitment of Jawaharlal Nehru to the cause of
Kashmir´s accession to India is attested from some of the
pre-partition documents in the last months of British rule.
308
Mountbatten´s predecessor as Viceroy, Wavell, dismissed
Nehru´s account of the troubled Kashmir body politic in
early 1947 as exaggerated.
309
Nehru´s long memorandum
to Mountbatten dated 17 June 1947, allegedly produced
at the new Viceroy´s request, is full of important details on
pre-partition Kashmir, but argued overtly for Kashmir´s
incorporation into India. The rationale had nothing to do
with the religious balance of the population, for Nehru did
not seek to conceal the result of the 1941 census, which
produced the figures of 77 per cent Muslims and 21 per
cent Hindus for the state as a whole. Instead, Nehru sought
to make Kashmir the cornerstone for an attack on the `two
nations theory´ according to which the sub-continent was
to be partitioned.
Nehru advanced the argument that Kashmir was special
because it had Muslim support for an anti-Muslim League
position, the Kashmir National Conference of Sheikh
Abdullah. It was a point of honour that the Sheikh should
be released from prison and resume his `rightful´ place as
the political leader of Kashmir who was closely associated
with Congress. Kashmir´s accession to India was thus in
the interests of economic and social reform within the state
itself. In contrast, Nehru dismissed the Muslim League
position as communalist and one which appealed to vested
interests. Once Sheikh Abdullah was back at the helm of
affairs, he considered that India would win the Kashmir
plebiscite if one were held.
310
Of course, Nehru made no
mention of the rumoured family relationship with Sheikh
Abdullah.
311
Professor Judith Brown comments that `to Nehru, Kashmir
was a much-loved ancestral homeland. But, even more
important, the future of Kashmir as a part of India [it would
become its only Muslim majority state] was a vital part of
his project of creating a non-communal nation in which
Muslims would be secure. If Kashmiri Muslims became
Pakistanis under duress then India´s claims about her own
secular national identity would become a hollow mockery..
[Kashmir´s] presence within the union was a challenge to
the two-nation theory´ that Hindus and Muslims were two
distinct and separate nations.´
312
At the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference in January
1951, Nehru rejected the two-nations theory, stating that
India was unwilling to accept this as the basis for a Kashmir
settlement. Attlee refuted Nehru´s contention, arguing that
307 Ambedkar, Pakistan, 416.
308 Note that Wilfrid Cantwell Smith´s map, published in 1946,
shows Kashmir as a Muslim-majority princely state.
309 The Transfer of Power, 1942-47, ix. 541, 625.
310 Ibid., xi. 442-8. M. Rahman, Divided Kashmir. Old Problems,
New Opportunities for India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri People
(Boulder, Col., 1996), 81.
311 That is, that Abdullah was the bastard son of Nehru´s father
Motilal Nehru. The rumour is cited by an impeccable Indian
source: P. Gupte, Mother India. A Political Biography of Indira
Gandhi (New York, 1992), 270 note. Uniquely among Indian
provincial leaders, Abdullah regularly stayed in Jawaharlal
Nehru´s house. However, there is no suggestion of this in
Nanda´s biography of Motilal Nehru, and the rumour was kept
well under wraps.
312 J. M. Brown, Nehru (Harlow, 1999), 77.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 147 148
India had been partitioned in 1947 on religious grounds in
accordance with the two-nations theory.
313
Attlee
commented in 1964 in an article entitled `Nehru in
Retrospect´:
314
I can recall many long discussions with Mr Nehru on the vexed
question of Kashmir, sometimes between the two of us,
sometimes with other prime ministers, but they proved
fruitless. Although we proposed every possible variant in order
to have a fair plebiscite, to which he had already agreed in
principle, we could not get acceptance from Mr Nehru. I have
always considered this the blind spot of a great statesman.
By 1951, the status of Kashmir had already become non-
negotiable for the Indian government, and one which, in
the words of Judith Brown had `deepened Hindu anxieties
about the identity of their nation and suspicions about the
loyalties of their Muslim fellow-citizens. Kashmir, the
touchstone of Nehru´s envisaged nation, thus became a
source of national instability through his life and beyond.´
315
And so it has remained ever since. The ongoing conflict,
and the threat it poses to world peace, is so well known
that analysis of the sources for the continuance of this
ideological conflict is almost superfluous. However, we end
with the views of just two of the many authorities who
have written on the subject. Firstly, Sumanatra Bose
writes:
316
Both countries have chosen to make possession of Kashmir
central to their respective national ideologies - `secular´
nationalism in the case of India, Muslim nationalism in the
case of Paki stan. The resul ts of thi s competi ti on are
maximalist claims to Kashmir which are fundamentally
irreconcilable. In their present form, they leave no scope for
any kind of compromise. While most political disagreements
are amenable to some sort of resolution through negotiation
and bargaining, there is one type of disagreement which is
usually not - differing conceptions of national identity and
basic state allegiance. In societies that are divided along this
highly intractable fault-line, attempts to impose forcibly the
preferences of one group on the others in the population, or
to resolve the issue through popular referenda decided on
the majoritarian principle are dangerous, recipes more for
civil war than anything else.
Secondly, the well-known writer and broadcaster on India,
Mark Tully comments:
317
Kashmir is where the two principles - secularism and the
two nations theory - directly conflict. Pakistan, not without
reason, considers that it has been cheated out of Kashmir.
But Kashmir´s inclusion in India is seen by India as crucial to
secularism: if India were to allow Kashmir to go to Pakistan
because of its Muslim majority, it would be an acceptance of
the two nations theory with all that could entail for India´s
cohesion and stability. It is this conflict above all which makes
Kashmir such a bone of contention, and which makes it so
difficult for India to compromise or accept external mediation.
Just as in the era of Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah, self-
determination remains one of the most contested of political
issues.
313 Rahman, Divided Kashmir, 92, citing The Times 17 Jan. 1951.
In general terms this is borne out in the Pakistan account:
<www.pak.gov.pk/public/kashmir/Kashmir_freedom.htm>
314 Burke and Al-Din Quraishi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
360.
315 Brown, loc. cit.
316 <www.fp.kashmir.f9.co.uk/editorial12.htm> 317 Mark Tully, `The "ifs¨ over Kashmir´, The Tablet, 22 June 2002, 8.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Professor Richard Bonney 149 150
Three Giants of South Asia:
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-
Determination
Documents
Appendix One
The One-nation versus the Two-nations
Theory: the Gandhi-Jinnah Talks of 1944
and their background
Document One
M. A. Jinnah to Gandhi, 3 March 1938
I have received your letter of the 24th February, 1938. I
am sorry for the delay in replying as I was not well. In your
letter I missed the note of response, first whether you are
of opinion that you see light now and the moment has
come, and secondly, if so, whether you are prepared to
take the matter up in right earnest, and thirdly, I find that
there is no change in your attitude and mentality when
you say you would be guided by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
as Dr. Ansari is no more. If you pursue this line you will be
repeating the same tragedy as you did when you expressed
you helplessness because Dr. Ansari, holding pronounced
and die-hard views, did not agree and you had to say that
although you were willing, but what could you do? This
happened, as you know, before you went to the Round
Table Conference. At the Round Table Conference the
tragedy was repeated by you when you seemed to be
willing to accept provisionally certain terms: but you there
also expressed that you were helpless as the Hindus were
unwilling and you, as a representative of the Congress,
would have no objection, if the Hindus and Mussalmans
came to an agreement.
We have reached a stage when no doubt should be left
that you recognize the All-India Muslim League as the one
authoritative and representative organization of the
Mussalmans of India and on the other hand you represent
the Congress and other Hindus throughout the country. It
is only on that basis that we can proceed further and
devise machinery of approach.
Of course, I shall be glad to see you, although I shall be
equally glad to see Pandit Jawaharlal or Mr. Bose, [as] you
may desire. The matter as you know will not be clinched
without reference again to you by either of them. Therefore,
I will prefer to see you first. In any case, I am sorry to say
that I cannot come to Segaon to see you before the 10th
March. I have to go to Bombay and also I have fixed various
other engagements of my tour. But we can fix up the time
and place that may suit us both.
Source: Gandhi lxxiii. 454.
Document Two
Gandhi to C. Rajagopalachari, 21 May 1938
I had two hours and a half with friend Jinnah yesterday.
The talk was cordial but not hopeful, yet not without hope.
I must not enter into the details of the conversation, but
he complained bitterly of Hindi having been imposed in
particular areas of Madras in primary schools. What is exactly
the position? Are Mussalman boys affected? Please send
me as early a reply as possible and one that I could publicly
use...
Source: Gandhi lxxiii. 185.
Document Three
M. A. Jinnah, Notes on a Discussion with Mr
Gandhi, 20 May 1938, 2.30 to 5 pm
1 The Congress must recognize the Muslim League on a
footing of complete equality as the authoritative and
representative organization of the Musulmans of India.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 151 152
2 That Muslim mass contact movement on behalf of the
Congress should cease.
3 The League cannot recognize any other Muslim organi-
zation or individual Musulman as representatives of the
Musulmans.
4 Bande Mataram should be abandoned in all public insti-
tutions.
5 Bande Mataram should not be sung in mixed gatherings.
6 Hindi should not be made compulsory.
7 Congress flag should not be forced on any public insti-
tution.
8 The Muslim members of the Congress should not be con-
sidered to represent the Muslims.
9 Stop persecution of the Muslim press and the members
and workers of the [Muslim] League.
Source: Pakistan National Archives, Islamabad. Jinnah Papers, F-
20 / 20-22.
Document Four
Resolution of the Working Committee of
Congress, 2 April 1942
The Working Committee have given their full and earnest
consideration to the proposals made by the British War
Cabinet in regard to India and the elucidation thereof by
Sir Stafford Cripps. These proposals, which have been made
at the very last hour because of the compulsion of events,
have to be considered not only in relation to India´s demand
for independence, but more especially in the present grave
war crisis, with a view to meeting effectively the perils
and dangers that confront India and envelop the world.
The Congress has repeatedly stated, ever since the
commencement of the War in September 1939, that the
people of India would line themselves with the progressive
forces of the world and assume full responsibility to face
the new problems and shoulder the new burdens that had
arisen, and it asked for the necessary conditions to enable
them to do so to be created. An essential condition was
the freedom of India, for only the realization of present
freedom could light the flame which would illumine millions
of hearts and move them to action. At the last meeting of
the All-India Congress Committee, after the commencement
of the War in the Pacific, it was stated that: `Only a free
and independent India can be in a position to undertake
the defence of the country on a national basis and be of
help in the furtherance of the larger causes that are
emerging from the storm of war.´
The British War Cabinet´s new proposals relate principally
to the future upon the cessation of hostilities. The
Committee, while recognizing that self-determination for
the people of India is accepted in principle in that uncertain
future, regret that this is fettered and circumscribed and
certain provisions have been introduced which gravely
imperil the development of a free and united nation and
the establishment of a democratic State. Even the
constitution-making body is so constituted that the people´s
right to self-determination is vitiated by the introduction
of non-representative elements. The people of India have
as a whole clearly demanded full independence and the
Congress has repeatedly declared that no other status
except that of independence for the whole of India could
be agreed to or could meet the essential requirements of
the present situation. The Committee recognize that future
independence may be implicit in the proposals but the
accompanying provisions and restrictions are such that
real freedom may well become an illusion. The complete
ignoring of the ninety millions of the people of the Indian
States and their treatment as commodities at the disposal
of their rulers is a negation of both democracy and self-
determination. While the representation of an Indian State
in the constitution-making body is fixed on a population
basis, the people of the States have no voice in choosing
those representatives, nor are they to be consulted at
any stage, while decisions vitally affecting them are being
taken. Such States may in many ways become barriers to
the growth of Indian freedom, enclaves where foreign
authority still prevails and where the possibility of
maintaining foreign armed forces has been stated to be a
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 153 154
likely contingency, and a perpetual menace to the freedom
of the people of the State as well as of the rest of India.
The acceptance beforehand of the novel principle of non-
accession for a province is also a severe blow to the
conception of Indian unity and an apple of discord likely to
generate growing trouble in the provinces, and which may
well lead to further difficulties in the way of the Indian
States merging themselves in the Indian Union. The Congress
has been wedded to Indian freedom and unity and any
break in that unity, especially in the modern world when
people´s minds inevitably think in terms of ever larger
federations, would be injurious to all concerned and
exceedingly painful to contemplate. Nevertheless the
Committee cannot think in terms of compelling the people
in any territorial unit to remain in an Indian Union against
their declared and established will. While recognizing this
principle, the Committee feel that every effort should be
made to create conditions which would help the different
units in developing a common and co-operative national
life. The acceptance of the principle inevitably involves
that no changes should be made which result in fresh
problems being created and compulsion being exercised on
other substantial groups within that area. Each territorial
unit should have the fullest possible autonomy within the
Union, consistently with a strong national State. The
proposal now made on the part of the British War Cabinet
encourages and will lead to attempts at separation at the
very inception of a Union and thus create friction just
when the utmost co-operation and goodwill are most
needed. This proposal has been presumably made to meet
a communal demand, but it will have other consequences
also and lead politically reactionary and obscurantist groups
among different communities to create trouble and divert
public attention from the vital issues before the country.
Any proposal concerning the future of India must demand
attention and scrutiny, but in today´s grave crisis, it is the
present that counts, and even proposals for the future are
important in so far as they affect the present. The Com-
mittee have necessarily attached the greatest importance
to this aspect of the question, and on this ultimately de-
pends what advice they should give to those who look to
them for guidance. For the present the British War Cabinet´s
proposals are vague and altogether incomplete and it would
appear that no vital changes in the present structure are
contemplated. It has been made clear that the Defence of
India will in any event remain under British control. At any
time defence is a vital subject; during wartime it is all-
important and covers almost every sphere of life and ad-
ministration. To take away defence from the sphere of
responsibility at this stage is to reduce that responsibility
to a farce and a nullity, and to make it perfectly clear that
India is not going to be free in any way and her Govern-
ment is not going to function as a free and independent
government during the. of the War. The Committee would
repeat that an essential and fundamental prerequisite for
the assumption of responsibility by the Indian people in
the present is their realization as a fact that they are free
and are in charge of maintaining and defending their free-
dom. What is most wanted is the enthusiastic response of
the people which cannot be evoked without the fullest
trust in them and the devolution of responsibility on them
in the matter of defence. It is only thus that even at this
grave eleventh hour it may be possible to galvanize the
people of India to rise to the height of the occasion. It is
manifest that the present Government of India, as well as
its provincial agencies, are lacking in competence, and are
incapable of shouldering the burden of India´s defence. It
is only the people of India, through their popular represen-
tatives, who may shoulder this burden worthily. But that
can only be done by present freedom, and full responsibil-
ity being cast upon them. The Committee, therefore, are
unable to accept the proposals put forward on behalf of
the British War Cabinet.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 457-459
Document Five
Resolution of the All India Committee of
Congress on the limits of self-determination,
2 May 1942
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 155 156
The AICC is of [the] opinion that any proposal to
disintegrate India by giving liberty to any component state
or territorial unit to secede from the Indian Union or
Federation will be highly detrimental to the best interests
of the people of the different states and provinces and
the country as a whole and the Congress, therefore, cannot
agree to any such proposal.
Source: Amalendu de, 85. Known as the Jagat Narain Lal proposal.
Document Six
The Rajaji (Rajagopalachari) Formula, 8 July
1944
Basis for terms of settlement between the Indian National
Congress and the All-India Muslim League to which Gandhiji
and Mr Jinnah agree [sic] and which they will endeavour
respectively to get the Congress and the League to
approve:
1 Subject to the terms set out below as regards the
constitution for [a] free India, the Muslim League endorses
the Indian demand for Independence and will co-operate
with [the] Government for the transition period.
2 After the termination of the War, a commission shall be
appointed for demarcating contiguous districts in the North-
West and East of India, wherein the Muslim population is in
absolute majority. In the areas thus demarcated, a plebiscite
of all the inhabitants held on the basis of adult suffrage or
other practicable franchise shall ultimately decide the issue
of separation from Hindustan. If the majority decide in
favour of forming a sovereign State separate from
Hindustan, such decision shall be given effect to, without
prejudice of the right of districts on the border to choose
to join either state.
3 It will be open to all parties to advocate their points of
view before the plebiscite is held.
4 In the event of separation, mutual agreements shall be
entered into for safeguarding Defence and Communication
and for other essential purposes.
5 Any transfer of population shall only be on an absolutely
voluntary basis.
6 These terms shall be binding only in case of transfer by
Britain of full power and responsibility for the governance
of India.
Source: Amalendu De, 93-4. Ibid., 95-8, for the publication of Rajaji-
Jinnah correspondence April-July 1944.
Document Seven
Gandhi to Jinnah, 17 September 1944
Brother Jinnah,
There was a day when I was able to persuade you to
speak in our mother tongue. Today I take courage to write
to you in the same. I had invited you to meet me while I
was in jail. I have not written to you since my release. But
today my heart says that I should write to you. We will
meet whenever you choose. Don´t regard me as an enemy
of Islam or of the Muslims of this country. I have always
been a friend and servant not only of yourself but of the
whole world. Do not disappoint me.
Your brother
Gandhi
Source: Pakistan National Archives, Islamabad, Jinnah Papers F-98
/ 57. Ibid. / 54 for the Urdu and Gujarati letters, the Gujarati version
signed, and / 58 for Jinnah´s reply of 14 July (proposing Bombay
mid-August). The text of Gandhi´s letter is substantially different
from that in Gandhi, lxxxiv. 199, where he asks Jinnah to reply in
Urdu.
Document Eight
Gandhi´s answers to questions, 20 July 1944
Regarding Pakistan there is a tendency here to interpret
your last contact with Mr. Jinnah as indicating your
acceptance of Pakistan. Is this so?
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 157 158
Mr. Rajagopalachari´s Formula indicates my way of meeting
the communal difficulty. I am indifferent whether it is called
Pakistan or not.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 221.
Document Nine
Gandhi, Interview to the Press, 30 July 1944
Asked when he expected to meet Mr. Jinnah, Mahatma
Gandhi said:
I expect to meet the Qaid-e-Azam as soon as he wants
me, of course, health permitting. The publication of the
Formula is in pursuit of negotiations for a communal
settlement. It is not an idle effort. It is conceived in all
sincerity. It is unfortunate that the criticism that has been
levelled against it, so far as I can see, has been conceived
out of prejudice or careless study of the Formula. Nor is it
an offer on the part of any party. It is a contribution from
two life-servants of the nation towards the solution of the
communal tangle, which has hitherto defied solution. It is
in open invitation to all parties to apply their minds to the
solution. The Rajaji Formula is intended as a help to all
lovers of the country. It is the best we could conceive,
but it is open to amendment, as it is open to rejection or
acceptance.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 253-4.
Document Ten
Speech of Jinnah at the Meeting of the Council
of the All-India Muslim League, Lahore, 30 July
1944
`At last and it is to the good and conducive to further
progress that Mr. Gandhi has at any rate in his personal
capacity accepted the principle of Pakistan´, declared Mr.
M.A. Jinnah.
Mr Jinnah said: `Since the release of Mr. Gandhi there has
been a flood of statements, press reports, comments, and
I have tried to follow all this carefully as is possible for me
to do so particularly with reference to what is called by C.
Rajagopalachari, his formula for Hindu-Muslim settlement
and for the moment I wish to deal with that matter.
Burying the past, and starting from a point let me examine
the position. On 18 May 1943, Gandhi´s letter to me from
prison, dated 4 May 1943, was released, because it was
stated that the Dawn had asked for its publication and
that it was owing to public that the letter should see the
light of the day. Hence the release of the letter is under
Mr. Gandhi´s instructions. In that letter Mr. Gandhi says:
`I have followed the proceedings of the Muslim League as
reported in the Dawn columns. I welcome your invitation. I
suggest our meeting face to face rather than talking through
correspondence. But I am in your hands. I hope that this
letter will be sent to you and if you agree to my proposal
that Government will let you visit me. One thing I had
better mention. There seems to be an `if´ in your invitation.
Do you say I should write only if I have changed my heart?
God alone knows man´s hearts. I would like you to take me
as I am´.
I knew the substance of this letter, because the Government
had furnished me with it at the time; and in my statement
I pointed out that it was not the kind of letter that I
expected from Mr. Gandhi in response to the appeal which
I made in my speech in April 1943 in my presidential address
to the Muslim League. It has now been fully borne out
without shadow of doubt that Mr. Gandhi understood that
there was an `if´ about my invitation which was evaded,
but nevertheless as usual the entire Congress press
accused me of having gone back on my word and did
everything in their power to misrepresent, vilify and mutilate
my speech. That `if´ still remains and the letter still remains
undelivered to me. While Mr. Gandhi was busy and there
had been a plethora of correspondence between him from
Agha Khan Palace and the Viceroy and since his release he
has been well enough to see numerous prominent men from
day to day and carry on correspondence with Viceroy and
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 159 160
others, he has not however thought it proper to send me
even a copy of that letter, I being the addressee of the
original, but thought fit to release it to the press.
League by-passed
Then comes the next chapter. After all his efforts had
failed to establish contact with Lord Linlithgow to negotiate
with him over the head of the Muslim League, completely
ignoring and by-passing it, he sought interview with Lord
Wavell, his dear friend, conveying to him ad nauseam that
he was a friend of the British nation and loyal son of the
British Empire and that he should be allowed to meet the
members of the Congress Working Committee in prison or
they should be released, and for that purpose he said: `I
plead now as a free man for such permission. If you will
see me before deciding, I shall gladly go whenever you
want me to´.
This request of his was refused by the Viceroy by his letter
of 22 June. This `no´ to Mr. Gandhi, it was reported, cast
gloom over the Poona. But even the final effort of Mr.
Gandhi through the British journalist, Mr. Gelder, as go-
between to link him and Lord Wavell was only a misfire.
At this psychological moment, Mr. Rajagopalachari was at
Poona, and suddenly I received a telegram from him on 30
June as another go-between complaining without any reason
that his letter of 8 April remained unanswered; although
he knew perfectly well that it required no answer as answer
had already been given to him in April, and threatening me
that he would like to publish the formula and my rejection.
He said he had sent the telegram with Mr. Gandhi´s approval
and further warned me that he would like me at this juncture
to reconsider my rejection.
In my reply I pointed out to him that his version that I had
rejected the formula was wrong, and I am glad that he
does not contradict the true facts as stated by me but
confirms them. The correspondence was however abruptly
released to the press, so that I should stand on my trial
before the bar of public opinion of the world and India, and
especially of Mussalmans. Immediately the word had passed
and the Congress press framed various grave charges
against me.
This Hindu Press
To give a few instances, in some of the so-called responsible
newspapers - irresponsible and ill-considered reply from
one who claims to speak for his community is nothing short
of a betrayal of his community and country at large. `It is
now up to the Muslim community to judge the offer on its
merits and find the leader who will play the game.´
`Intoxicated with ego and vanity.´ `Uncompromising
attitude.a block in the way of freedom of India.´ `Mr. Jinnah
should be sacked or made to retire by Muslim India´ and so
on and so forth.
It is surprising that even Mr. Gandhi at this juncture has
encouraged this propaganda both in this country and abroad
by enemies of the Muslim League by stating in his interview
on 13 July that the British Government is using me as a
cloak and that this `diabolical conspiracy to stifle India´s
aspirations must be broken´.
This is the background of the so-called negotiations for
Hindu-Muslim settlement started by C. Rajagopalachari with
the approval of Mr. Gandhi; and from the varying statements
and contradictions today only one essential issue emerges
that I am put on my trial and I have now to defend myself.
My only sin, to use Mr. Gandhi´s own words, was that I
requested C. Rajagopalachari to allow me to place his
proposal before my Working Committee and that as Mr.
Gandhi was no longer in prison I requested that he should
directly communicate to me whatever proposals he may
choose to put forward, assuring him that I would place
them before my Working Committee.
What was the objection to such a course? I fail to appreciate
the line adopted by Mr. Gandhi and C. Rajagopalachari, and
I am willing to face the verdict of the Muslim League and
any other independent and impartial men in India or abroad.
This is so far as the procedure adopted is concerned. Now
we come to the form of the formula. These proposals were
not open to any discussion or modification. It was on the
basis of `take it or leave it´. It seems that Congress
philosophy goes better than British Imperialism.
Even the Cripps´ proposals had the sanction behind them
of His Majesty´s Government and His Majesty´s Government
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 161 162
had sent one of the members of the Cabinet all the way to
India to personally approach the Congress and the Muslim
League. Not only that, Cripps was closeted with the
Congress Leaders and the Working Committee for more than
two weeks in explaining and clarifying whatever points were
raised by the Congress and the Muslim League. True, there
also was that rigidity that the fundamentals of Cripps´
proposals were not open to any modifications, and that
was the reason why he failed. But Mr. Gandhi and C.
Rajagopalachari are out-heroding Herod.
Pure Dictation
This is pure and simple dictation and not sincere desire to
negotiate. In the first place, C. Rajagopalachari is the
expelled member of the Congress, and whatever individual
effort he may have made were by virtue of approval of Mr.
Gandhi to his proposals during Mr. Gandhi´s incarceration.
But once Mr. Gandhi is released and is a free man, it is up
to Mr. Gandhi personally to deal with this grave problem of
settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question, and there is no
need of any go-between. But Mr. Gandhi is too ill and in his
recent interview, when any question was put to him, he
directed the question to C. Rajagopalachari, and the press
representatives have been told that he personally
subscribed to C. Rajagopalachari´s offer when he was fasting
in prison camp. It is now 16 months old and for the rest of
the offer I must carry out the contract between C.
Rajagopalachari and myself. He is to bear the brunt of all
criticisms that might be made about that offer. It is a pity
that he gives no indication of this in his famous letter of 4
May 1943, which still remains undelivered to me; and it
has got a new name now, it is not a formula but an offer.
As regards Mr. Gandhi, who says he has subscribed to this
offer (according to C. Rajagopalachari, it is `a joint
contribution and formula´) the question arises in what
capacity can Mr. Gandhi´s association be judged, for he
not even a four anna member of the Congress. He has got
so many capacities - his personal capacity, his capacity
as a dictator of the Congress, and above all his Mahatmic
divine authority which is guided by his inner voice and he
is a satyagrahi and sole interpreter of what it means and
stands for. He is not Hindu but Sanatanist and he follows
Hinduism of his own. It is rather difficult to know as to
what capacity Mr. Gandhi will use at the given time.
Study League Constitution
Mr. Gandhi, I hope, will be good enough to study the
constitution, rules and regulations of the All-India Muslim
League, and then he will better understand my position as
the President of a really well-organised and democratic
body namely, the All-India Muslim League. I remember when
Mr. Gandhi met Lord Linlithgow in September 1939 after
the outbreak of war, he broke down and tears rolled down
from his eyes when he visualised the possible destruction
by bombing of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of
Parliament and said: `What was the use of the Indian freedom
if England and France were defeated´, and in a statement
declared his whole-hearted and most enthusiastic support
for the prosecution of war. But, hardly a week thereafter,
the Congress Working Committee decided to non-co-operate
if their demand for immediate independence was not met
and, as a first step, the Congress members of the Central
Assembly were ordered to withdraw. Mr. Gandhi turned round
and said they were right; he was only in a minority of one
and advised Lord Linlithgow to come to terms with the
Congress approving their decision.
Now we come to the merits of the proposals. In this case
we are told by C. Rajagopalachari, to quote his own words,
of series of telegrams which were released by him, `Mr.
Gandhi, though not vested with representative or special
capacity in this matter, definitely approved by my proposal
and authorised me to approach you on that basis. The
weight of his opinion would most probably secure the
Congress acceptance´. Mr. Rajagopalachari in his statement
of 16 July from Panchgani starts with an absolutely untrue
and misleading statement. He says: `It is now two years
since I started work, even though I had secured Mr. Gandhi´s
unqualified support to the scheme and it conceded all that
the Muslim League had ever demanded in its resolution of
1940´. If this is so, why not say we accept the League
resolution of 1940.
Grossest Travesty
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 163 164
His formula is a parody, a negation of, and intended to
torpedo the Muslim´s League resolution of March 1940, and
when he says that his formula concedes all that the Muslim
League had ever demanded by its resolution, it is the
grossest travesty. First of all, where does he find any
mention of plebiscite of any kind in that resolution? Then
why this ridiculous proposal of a plebiscite district-wise?
But let me take, clause by clause, some of the important
points of Mr. Rajagopalachari´s formula. First, take the
preamble basis of the terms which if accepted will
completely bind the Muslim League, whereas the Mahatma
may withdraw his blessings as he is not speaking, according
to C. Rajagopalachari, with the authority of the Congress
or his representative capacity whatever that may mean.
Then we come to the first clause, `subject to terms set
out below as regards the constitution´, I do not see `the
constitution´ in this formula. Which constitution does he
refer to? Then comes the demand for our endorsing the
Indian demand for independence. It implies that we are
against the independence of the peoples of India, and both
Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Rajagopalachari know that it is an uncalled
for insinuation to make and they are casting an unwarranted
reflection on the Muslim League.
Next comes the condition that we will co-operate with the
Congress in the formation of a provisional interim government
for the transitional period, thereby arrogating to the
Congress a dominant and superior position and requiring
our co-operation as a subordinate body with this leading
organisation. As to kind of provisional interim government
for the transitional period that is to be formed, no indication
is given as to its form, character, personnel, its powers,
etc.
After the termination of the war, commission shall be
appointed for demarcating contiguous districts in north-
west and east of India, and a plebiscite of all the inhabitants
would be held district-wise where Muslim population is in
absolute majority. It is not stated who will appoint the
Commission, what will be its personnel and its powers and
who will enforce its findings. Really, how can Mr.
Rajagopalachari stand unabashed and make a public
statement that his formula concedes all that the Muslim
League´s resolution of March 1940 demanded.
Freedom to parties!
It would be open to all parties to advocate their point of
view before the plebiscite is held, although this agreement
is intended to be only between the Congress and the League.
Next, in the event of separation, mutual agreements shall
be entered into for safeguarding defence, commerce, and
communications and for other essential purposes. The
question arises, safeguarding these matters from whom
and what does it mean? These mutual agreements are
made obligatory, and it is not very easy to understand the
significance of this clause.
Then comes the last clause which is the height of ingenuity.
`These terms shall be binding only in the case of transfer
by British of full power and responsibility for the governance
of India. But it does not say to whom, how and when.
According to the latest statement of Mr. Gandhi, the August
resolution is `absolutely innocuous´, that, while his authority
has lapsed, the August resolution has not lapsed. Let it
now collapse, for Mussalmans do not regard it as innocuous,
as both the demand and the sanction for it to force this
demand are inimical to the Muslim ideal and demands.
Let Mr. Gandhi join hands with the Muslim League on the
basis of Pakistan in plain and unequivocal language, and
we shall be nearer independence for the peoples of India
which is so dear to the heart of not only Mr. Gandhi but of
the mi l l i ons i n thi s country. Mr. Gandhi and C.
Rajagopalachari are putting the cart before the horse when
they say that all these clauses can have any value or can
become effective only if Great Britain transfers powers to
India. There is no chance of it unless Hindus and Muslims
unite and by means of a united front wring it out from the
unwilling hands of rulers of Great Britain.
I am sorry if, by expressing my view honestly and freely
and in self-defence, I have hurt anybody´s feelings. I
purposely did not wish to say anything when Mr. Gandhi
was good enough to release to press his famous letter to
me dated 4 May 1943. I refused to say a single word
throughout the period commencing from the release of Mr.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 165 166
Gandhi. I refused to say anything when abruptly the
correspondence was closed and released to the press by
Mr. Rajagopalachari as I had expected along with the millions
of people in this country that Mr. Gandhi would review and
revise the entire situation and give a correct lead, having
regard to the realities and conditions prevailing in India.
But I think in fairness to the Muslim League and to myself I
must now put our case before the bar of the world opinion,
particularly the public opinion of Hindus and Mussalmans in
this land, as by the tactics of Mr. Rajagopalachari, approved
by Mr. Gandhi, I am forced to do so. But out of evil cometh
good.
Pakistan accepted
I do not mind all vilification and misrepresentation and base
campaign that is carried on against me. But at last and it
is to the good and conducive to further progress that Mr.
Gandhi has, at any rate, in his `personal capacity´ accepted
the principle of Pakistan. What remains now is the question
of how and when? This has got to be carried out. Mr.
Gandhi knows and understands the position better than
any living man, for in one of his articles in Harijan he put
the question of Pakistan demand in a nutshell.
This is what he said: `I hope the Quaid-e-Azam does not
represent the considered opinion even of his colleagues.
Pakistan, according to him, in a nutshell is the demand for
carving out of India portions to be wholly treated as
independent and sovereign states´.
I am glad the Mr. Gandhi realises that 1944 is not 1942. It
is so in more senses than one, and he may further take
into consideration that 1939-40-41 is not 1944.
I hope that I have made it clear that the procedure and
method adopted is hardly conducive to friendly negotiations,
and the form is pure dictation, as it is not open to any
modification. This is not calculated to lead to fruitful results
or a solution and settlement of the problem, which concerns
the destiny of a nation of 100 millions Muslims and their
posterity.
As regards the merits of the proposals, Mr. Gandhi is offering
a shadow and a husk, maimed, mutilated, and moth-eaten
Pakistan, and thus trying to pass off as having met our
Pakistan scheme and the Muslim demand.
But since all these happenings I have received a letter
from Mr. Gandhi, dated 17 July, and I replied to him on 24
July from Srinagar before my departure. They are as follows.
Let us therefore, wait and see, hoping for the best.
[Mr Jinnah then read out the English translation of Mr.
Gandhi´s letter, written in Gujarati. The League President
then proceeded to read his own reply, which is as follows:]
I received your letter dated 19
th
of July on the 22
nd
of July
and I thank you for it.
I shall be glad to receive you at my house in Bombay on
my return, which will probably be about the middle of August.
By that time I hope that you will have recuperated your
health fully and will be returning to Bombay. I would like to
say nothing more till we meet.
I am very pleased to read in the press that you are making
very good progress, and I hope that you will soon be all
right.
`I ask you to pray and give me your blessings. God willing,
we may come to honourable settlement´.
Source: K. A. Khan Yusufi (ed.), Speeches, Statements and Messages
of the Quaid-e-Azam (Lahore, 1996), iii. 1917-27.
Document Eleven
Interview of Gandhi with Dr Shyama Prasad
Mookerjee, Worki ng Presi dent, Hi ndu
Mahasabha, 5 August 1944
Gandhiji says that his association with the Rajaji Formula is
personal and is meant to commit nobody but himself. He is,
therefore, anxious that people should express their opinion
freely and fearlessly. I gathered from our conversation that
he welcomed such criticism for he was open to conviction.
If he discovered any flaw in the Formula he would have no
hesitation in correcting the error. In his opinion the Formula
is intended to be just to all. If, therefore, any community
was likely to be unjustly affected by the Formula being
given effect to, the flaw should be brought to his notice.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 167 168
He was also anxious that people should remember that if
an agreement was reached between Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah
and himself it would be open to all parties to advocate
their points of view before the plebiscite is held and the
plan would come into effect only in case of transfer by
Britain of full power and responsibility in the governance of
India. There was, therefore, ample time for a calm and
dispassionate discussion. He also said that the Rajaji Formula
was a way of reducing to a concrete form the Congress
resolution on self-determination and nothing could operate
without the consent of all sections. He assured me that
he had always welcomed criticism and that he had flourished
on it and that his influence could not be weakened by it.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 271-2. Mookerjee commented: `I had a long
interview with Mahatmaji yesterday in my individual capacity and
fully explained why I and those who think like me are so strongly
opposing Mr. Rajagopalachari´s Formula from the point of view of
India as a whole. The discussion was full and frank.´
Document Twelve
Gandhi´s interview to the United Press of India,
7 August 1944
QUESTION: You said in Panchgani: `All my recent
declarations are quite consistent with all my previous
declarations on the communal problem.´ But in the past
you had said: `Partition means a patent untruth. My whole
soul rebels against the idea. To assent to such a doctrine
is for me denial of God (Harijan, 13-4-1940). `The partition
proposal has altered the face of the Hindu-Muslim problem.
I have called it an untruth. There can be no compromise
with it. It cannot come by honourable agreement´ (Harijan,
4-5-1940). `I consider vivisection of India to be a sin.´
(Harijan, 24-5-1942) Would you kindly enlighten me how
they are consistent? The Mahasabhaites seem to argue in
the above style and hence clarification is sought.
ANSWER: Though I would avoid answering all questions on
the subject before the forthcoming meeting between Quaid-
e-Azam and me, I must not postpone answering yours. I
know my present attitude has puzzled and pained many
people. I have not revised the opinion quoted by you. At
the same time that I made the statement you refer to, I
was also a party to the self-determination resolution of
the A. I.C. C. I hold that the Rajaji Formula gives effect to
that resolution. I would however urge critics not to mind
my inconsistencies, so-called or real. Let them examine
the question on merits and bless the effort if they can.
Q. What is your reaction to Mr. Jinnah´s speech? If Mr.
Jinnah does not accept your proposal or your talks with
him end in failure, will you withdraw your support to Rajaji´s
proposals or will the proposals stand?
A. I do not believe in dying before my death. I do not
approach the forthcoming visit with the expectation of
failure. I always hope for the best and prepare for the
worst. I would therefore ask you not to anticipate failure.
Ask me when failure stares you and me in the face.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 276.
Document Thirteen
Gandhi´s Note concerning the views of Jagdish
K. Munshi, on or before 12 August 1944
1. Division of India is like poison to my mind; because I am
also of the view that it is sinful to do so.
2. The Delhi Resolution of 2 April [1942] was concerned
with self-determination. After this on April 30, Rajaji´s
Resolution was turned down and Jagat Narayan´s Resolution
about not partitioning India was adopted. In my view this
was a highly inappropriate and hasty step and due to this
alone Jinnah has been able to spread poison in the Muslim
masses.
3. I had discussed this matter with Maulana [Azad] also.
According to him, in spite of Jagat Narayan´s Resolution, I
still retain the authority to discuss the matter with Jinnah
because the Resolution of April 2 still stands.
4. Later on when I had negotiations with Jinnah I had
asked him whether he would accept help from a foreign
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 169 170
Power if he was granted a sovereign State. To this he
said: `Yes.´ I then asked him if, after securing that help, he
would invade India. To this (also) he said: `Yes.´ Then I
told him: `It would be a sin to do such a thing and I cannot
be a party to it.´.
6. Rajaji´s offer does not seem to have the virulence of his
earlier talk and hence I am in agreement with it. According
to this offer if there can be a separate treaty regarding
Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications, I do not see
any harm in giving him the rest. And after this, Pakistan
seems to have no meaning at all.
7. It is not that everybody has been in agreement with me
about everything from the beginning of [my] life. There is
bound to be a difference of opinion and it is good that it is
there. But nobody has ever told me that I have done
anything in bad faith.
8. Jinnah too has complete faith in me. He knows that I
have no axe to grind in these negotiations. And he seems
to have somewhat softened by my last letter, and hence,
my only advice can be that at such a time nobody should
create any obstacle. Jinnah has hated me since the day I
asked him in a meeting to give up English and speak in
Gujarati. Sir Chimanlal Setalvad also feels the same way
about me from that day and it has not changed to this
day.
9. Jinnah is definitely not unselfish. He is prone to be easily
led by others because of his vanity. (Just) because I am
going to meet him I am not led away by him. I have not
accepted everything that he has said. Otherwise it would
mean that he has won me round. That is why even when I
meet him it will be with some misgivings.
10. Munshi has raised a new cry, and I cannot stop him.
And it would not befit me even if I did it.
11. But Munshi very much loves to dominate everywhere
and become a leader. I know that everybody hates him for
that reason. Everybody believes that even in the Congress
he wants to set up his own protagonists. But how can one
prevent a person if he is capable of spreading his influence
because of his own power? Only the person who has all his
teeth intact can crack a betel-nut and so, there is no
need to be scared of him. He seems to be much perturbed.
Hence, at such a time we should do only that which we
feel is correct. If he shows me the statement, I shall
certainly go through it.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 287-9.
Document Fourteen
Gandhi´s Answers to Questions from Lala Brijlal,
23 August 1944
QUESTION: Mahatmaji, you have been during your whole
political career a strong supporter of the integrity of India
and an opponent of vivisection. How do you reconcile your
present position in giving support to Rajaji´s proposals ?
ANSWER: There is no change in my views. I am even today
as much against vivisection of India as ever before. Rajaji´s
formula concedes [the] right of self-determination, but it
does not concede Pakistan - an indefinite and undefined
expression. As a believer in non-violence I cannot use force
in keeping people of a particular area inside India if they
want to separate. All I can do is to persuade them.
Q. Whatever be the result of your negotiations with Mr.
Jinnah, don´t you think that the British statesmen taking
advantage of Rajaji´s offer, which has your support, will
divide India into two parts and establish two rival
federations instead of one and thereby find an additional
reason for the continuance of British control ?
A. I do not think the British statesmen will do it, unless
they want it themselves and have independently so decided.
They know that forty crores of people cannot be kept
under permanent bondage. The world forces are moving so
fast that whether the British Government will or not India
must be free at no distant date. Furthermore, Rajaji´s formula
definitely lays down that the exercise of the right of self-
determination can only accrue after independence.
Q. The non-Muslims of the Punjab and of Bengal feel panicky
about Rajaji´s formula because they are afraid that under
this formula the non-Muslims in the separated areas will be
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 171 172
thrown into Pakistan.
A. From the reports that I receive it is evident that so far
as the Punjab is concerned there is already Pakistan in
action. The religious and cultural rights of the non-Muslims
they say are denied to them. My informants say that undue
restrictions are placed on non-Muslim leaders and their
womenfolk cannot even move about freely for fear of
molestation. If this is a true picture I don´t think the position
will be in any way worse in `Pakistan´ if ever it is established.
The people of the Punjab and Bengal need entertain no
false fears, as I am not going to sell them off. I have no
right to do so. No individual can barter away rights of
brave people endowed with self-confidence. Today I enjoy
the confidence of the people because they believe that
their interests are safe in my hands and I cannot betray
them. If tomorrow I act against their wishes and interests
I shall be stoned by these very people who now trust me.
I am rather pained at the nervousness exhibited by the
Sikhs who are a brave community. Unless they have lost
the chivalrous spirit and bravery which the Gurus infused
in them, they need entertain no fear about my coming
talks with Mr. Jinnah. I have already explained in my Press
statement and I repeat again that nothing will be done by
me or us to the prejudice of any section of the Indian
population and whatever proposals are agreed to between
Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah and myself will be open to confirmation,
amendment and rejection by the representatives of various
communities and interests. There is no idea of forcing
anything on anybody against his will.
Q. If Pakistan ever comes into existence don´t you think,
Mahatmaji, the existence of a rival independent state in
the north-west wi l l be a constant danger to the
independence of India ?
A. Thirty crores and over of inhabitants living in India have
nothing to fear from two crores of Muslims living in the
north-west. If the former are so weak as not to be able to
defend themselves against two crores in the north-west,
then they have no right to ask for independence. I have
no doubt in my mind that if India becomes independent,
Indians will be able to defend themselves against any
outside aggression with the resources at their disposal.
Q. Mahatmaji, all your attempts during the last twenty
years or over for bringing about Hindu-Muslim unity have
gone in vain and Hindu-Muslim relations today are as much
strained as ever before. Don´t you think that India has
been put on the wrong track and communal electorates
are the bane of the Indian constitution? The Muslim demand
for Pakistan and Mr. Jinnah´s propounding of the two-nation
theory are the natural sequences of separate electorates
and communal reservations and so long as the principle of
separate electorates on religious basis continues to disfigure
the constitution of our country, there is no chance of the
Hindus and Muslims living at peace as members of the great
Indian nations? If you agree with the above contention
why don´t you give a right lead to the country by pressing
for joint electorates as the basis of political rights ?
A. I do believe that separate electorates have done more
harm than good.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 318-19.
Document Fifteen
Gandhi to Rajaji (Rajagopalachari) on talks with
Jinnah, 9 September 1944
It was a test of my patience. I am amazed at my own
patience. However, it was a friendly talk. His (Jinnah´s)
contempt for your Formula (the Rajaji Formula) and his
contempt for you is staggering. You rose in my estimation
that you could have talked to him for all those hours and
that you should have taken the trouble to draw up that
formula. He says you have accepted his demand and so
should I. I said, `I endorse Rajaji´s Formula and you can call
it Pakistan if you like.´ He talked of the Lahore Resolution. I
said, `I have not studied it and I do not want to talk about
it. Let us talk about Rajaji´s Formula and you can point out
any flaws that you find there.´
In the middle of the talk he came back to the old ghost: `I
thought you had come here as a Hindu, as a representative
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 173 174
of the Hindu Congress.´ I said, `No, I have come here neither
as a Hindu nor as a representative of the Congress. I have
come here as an individual. You can talk to me as an
individual or as the President of the League, whichever
way you prefer. If you had agreed with Rajaji and accepted
his Formula, you and he would have gone before your
respective organizations and pleaded with them to accept
it. That is why Rajaji came to you. You would then have
placed it before other parties, too, in the same way. Now
you and I have to do it.´ He said he was the President of
the League. Where was the basis for a talk if I was there
representing nobody except myself? Who was to deliver
the goods? I was the same man as he had found me in
1939. There was no change in me. I almost felt like saying,
`Yes, I am the same man and since you think it is no use
talking to me, I will go away.´ But I resisted the temptation.
I told him, `Is it not worth your while to convert an individual?
I am the same man no doubt. You can change my views if
you can and I will support you whole-heartedly.´ `Yes, I
know, if I can convert you, you will be my Ali,´
1
he said. He
said I should concede Pakistan and he would go the whole
length with me. He would go to jail, he would even face
bullets. I said, `I will stand by your side to face them.´ `You
may not,´ he said. `Try me,´ I replied.
We came back to the Formula. He wants Pakistan now,
not after independence. `We will have independence for
Pakistan and Hindustan,´ he said. `We should come to an
agreement and then go to the Government and ask them
to accept it, force them to accept our solution.´ I said I
could never be a party to that. I could never ask the
Britishers to impose partition on India. `If you all want to
separate, I can´t stop you. I have not got the power to
compel you and I would not use it if I had.´ He said, `The
Muslims want Pakistan. The League represents the Muslims
and it wants separation.´ I said, `I agree the League is the
most powerful Muslim organization. I might even concede
that you as its President represent the Muslims of India,
but that does not mean that all Muslims want Pakistan.
Put it to the vote of all the inhabitants of the area and see.´
He said, `Why should you ask non-Muslims?´ I said, `You
cannot possibly deprive a section of the population of its
vote. You must carry them with you, and if you are in the
majority why should you be afraid?´ I told him of what Kiron
Shankar Roy had said to me `If the worst comes to the
worst, we in Bengal will all go in Pakistan, but for goodness
sake do not partition Bengal. Do not vivisect it.´ `If you are
in majority,´ I said, `you will have your choice. I know it is a
bad thing for you, but if you want it all the same you will
have it. But that will be an adjustment between you and
me. It cannot occur while the Britishers are here.´
He began to cross-examine me on the various clauses of
the Formula. I said to him, `If you want clarification of
those things, is it not better to have it from the author of
the Formula?´ `Oh, no´, he did not want that. I said, `What
is the use of your cross-examining me?´ He recollected
himself. `Oh, no. I am not cross-examining you´, and then
added: `I have been a lawyer all my life and my manner
may have suggested that I was cross-examining you.´ I
asked him to reduce to writing his objections to the Formula.
He was disinclined. `Must I do so?´ he asked. `Yes, I would
like you to.´ He agreed. In the end he said, `I would like to
come to an agreement with you.´ I answered, `You remember
that I have said that we should meet not to separate till
we had come to an agreement. He said, yes, he agreed. I
suggested, `Should we put that also in our statement?´ He
said, `No, better not. Nevertheless that will be the
understanding between us and the cordiality and friendliness
of our talk will be reflected in our public utterances, too.´
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 369-71.
Document Sixteen
Jinnah to Gandhi, 10 September 1944
With reference to our talk yesterday, September 9th, I
understood from you that you had come to discuss the
Hindu-Muslim settlement with me in your individual capacity,
and not in any representative character or capacity on
1 A cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet. He was among the first
to accept the Prophet´s message.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 175 176
behalf of the Hindus or the Congress, nor had you any
authority to do so. I naturally pointed out to you that there
must be someone on the other side with authority holding a
representative status with whom I can negotiate and, if
possible, come to a settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question,
and that for the position you had adopted there was no
precedent, and that this raises great difficulties in my way.
As you know, I can only speak on behalf of Muslim India and
the All-India Muslim League, as the President of the organization
which I represent, and as such I am subject to and governed
by its constitution, rules and regulations. I think you realize
and will admit that the settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question
is the foremost and the major hurdle, and unless the
representatives of these two nations put their heads together,
how is one to make any headway with it?
Nevertheless, I explained to you the Lahore Resolution of
March 1940, and tried to persuade you to accept the basic
and fundamental principles embodied in that resolution,
but you not only refused to consider it but emphasized
your opposition to the basic position indicated in the
resolution, and remarked that there was `an ocean between
you and me´, and when I asked you what is then the
alternative you suggest, you put forward a formula of Mr.
Rajagopalachari, approved of by you. We discussed it, and
as the various matters were vague and nebulous, and some
required clarification, I wanted to have a clear idea of
what it really meant, and what were its implications, and
asked you for explanation and clarification regarding the
proposals embodied in that Formula.
After some discussion, you requested me to formulate in writing
my points that I thought required or called for explanation and
clarification, and to communicate with you and that you would
reply in writing before our next meeting on Monday, September
11th, at 5.30 p.m. I am, therefore, submitting to you the
following points which required clarification:
1. With regard to the preamble: in what capacity will you
be a consenting party if any agreement is reached between
you and me?
2. Clause 1: With regard to `the constitution for free India´
referred to in this clause, I would like to know first, what
constitution do you refer to, who will frame it, and when
will it come into being?
Next, it is stated in the Formula that `the Muslim League
endorses the Indian demand for independence´. Does it
mean the Congress demand for Independence as formulated
in the August Resolution of 1942 by the All-India Congress
Committee in Bombay or, if not, what is the significance of
this term, for you know the Muslim League has made it
clear not only by its resolutions but also by its creed,
which is embodied in its constitution, that we stand for
the freedom and independence of the whole of this
subcontinent, and that applies to Pakistan and Hindustan.
Next, it is stated that the Muslim League `will co-operate
with the Congress in the formulation of a Provisional Interim
Government for the transitional period´. I would like to know
the basis or the lines on which such a Government is to be
set up or constituted. If you have a complete and definite
scheme, please let me have it.
3. Clause 2: Who will appoint the Commission referred to in
this clause and who will give effect to their findings? What
is the meaning of `absolute majority´ referred to in it? Will
the contemplated plebiscite be taken district-wise, or, if
not, on what basis? Who will determine and decide whether
such a plebiscite should be based on adult franchise or
other practicable franchise? Who will give effect to the
decision or verdict of the above mentioned plebiscite? Would
only the districts on the border which are taken out from
the boundaries of the present provinces by delimitation be
entitled to choose to join either State or also those outside
the present boundaries would have the right to choose to
join either State?
4. Clause 3: Who are meant by `all parties´ in this clause?
5. Clause 4: I would like to know between whom and through
what machinery and agency will the `mutual agreements´
referred to in this clause be entered into? What is meant by
`safeguarding defence and commerce, communications and
for other essential purposes´? Safeguarding against whom?
6. Clause 6: `These terms shall be binding only in case of
transfer by Britain of full power and responsibility for the
Government of India´. I would like to know to whom is this
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 177 178
power to be transferred, through what machinery and
agency, and when?
These are some of the important points that occur to me
for the moment, which require explanation and clarification,
and hope that you will let me have full details with regard
to the various points that I have raised, in order that I
may be better able to understand and judge your proposals
before I can deal with them satisfactorily.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 461-463. Amalendu De, 2-5.
Document Seventeen
Gandhi to Jinnah, 11 September 1944
I received your letter yesterday at 3.30 p.m. I was in the
midst of appointments. I hasten to reply at the earliest
opportunity.
I have said in my letter to you, it is implied in the Rajaji
Formula and I have stated publicly that I have approached
you as an individual. My life mission has been Hindu-Muslim
unity, which I want for its own sake, but which is not to be
achieved without the foreign ruling power being ousted.
Hence the first condition of the exercise of the right of
self-determination is achieving independence by the joint
action of all the parties and groups composing India. If
such joint action is unfortunately impossible, then too. I
must fight with the assistance of such elements as can be
brought together.
I am glad, therefore, that you did not break off our talks
when I refused to assume or accept a representative
capacity. Of course I am pledged to use all the influence I
may have with the Congress to ratify my agreement with
you. May I remind you that the Rajaji Formula was designed
in the first instance for your acceptance, and submission
thereafter to the League?
It is true that I said an ocean separated you and me in
outlook. But that had no reference to the Lahore Resolution
of the League. The Lahore Resolution is indefinite. Rajaji
has taken from it the substance and given it a shape.
Now for the points raised by you:
1. I have already answered this in the foregoing.
2. The constitution will be framed by the Provisional
Government contemplated in the Formula or an authority
specially set up by it after the British power is withdrawn.
The independence contemplated is of the whole of India
as it stands. The basis for the formation of the Provisional
Interim Government will have to be agreed to between the
League and the Congress.
3. The Commission will be appointed by the Provisional
Government. `Absolute majority´ means a clear majority over
non-Muslim elements as in Sind, Baluchistan or the Frontier
Province. The form of plebiscite and the franchise must be
a matter for discussion.
4. `All parties´ means, the parties interested.
5. `Mutual agreement´ means agreement between
contracting parties. `Safeguarding defence, etc.,´ means
for me a central or joint board of control. Safeguarding
means safeguarding against all who may put the common
interests in jeopardy.
6. The power is to be transferred to the nation, that is, to
the Provisional Government. The Formula contemplates
peaceful transfer by the British Government. So far as I
am concerned I would like the transfer to take place as
early as possible.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 373-4. Amalendu De, 6-8.
Document Eighteen
Jinnah to Gandhi, 11 September 1944
I received your letter of September 11 at 5 p.m. today. I
note that you have approached me as an individual, and I
have already expressed my views about it. Please do not
take it that I acquiesce in the position that you have
adopted, for which there is no precedent. Nevertheless, I
proceeded to discuss matters with you naturally because I
am anxious to convert you to my point of view, if possible.
I urged you that the only solution of India´s problem is to
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 179 180
accept the division of India as Pakistan and Hindustan, as
briefly laid down in the Lahore Resolution of March 1940,
and proceed to settle the details forthwith. You say the
Lahore Resolution is indefinite. You never asked me for any
clarification or explanation of the terms of the Resolution,
but you really indicated your emphatic opposition to the
very basis and the fundamental principles embodied in it. I
would, therefore, like to know in what way or respect the
Lahore Resolution is indefinite. I cannot agree that Rajaji
has taken from it its substance and given it shape. On the
contrary, he has not only put it out of shape but mutilated
it, as I explained in my speech which I delivered at the
meeting of the Council of the All-India Muslim League at
Lahore on the 30th of July 1944.
2. You say the `first condition of the exercise of the right
of self-determination is achieving independence by the joint
action of all the parties and groups composing India. If
such joint action is unfortunately impossible, then, too, I
must fight with the assistance of such elements as can be
brought together´. This in my opinion is, as I have repeatedly
said, putting the cart before the horse, and is generally
opposed to the policy and declarations of the All-India
Muslim League, and you are only holding on firmly to the
August Resolution of 1942. In order to achieve the freedom
and independence of the peoples of India, it is essential, in
the first instance, that there should be a Hindu-Muslim
settlement.
Of course, I am thankful to you when you say that you are
pledged to use all the influence that you have with the
Congress to ratify your agreement with me, but that is not
enough in my judgement, although it will be a very valuable
help to me. I once more ask you, please, to let me know
what is your conception of the basis for the formation of a
Provisional Interim Government. No doubt it will be subject
to agreement between the League and the Congress, but
I think in fairness you should at least give me some rough
idea of the lines of your conception, for you must have
thought it out by now, and I would like to know what are
your proposals or scheme for the formation of a Provisional
Interim Government, which can give me some clear picture
to understand it.
3. You have omitted to answer my question as to who will
give effect to the findings of the Commission, and also it is
not clear to me what you mean by absolute majority, when
you say it means `a clear majority over non-Muslim elements
as in Sind, Baluchistan or the Frontier Province´. You have
not even replied to my question as to who will decide the
form of the plebiscite and the franchise contemplated by
the Formula.
4. The answer does not carry any clear idea when you say
`all parties´ means `parties interested´.
5. You say `mutual agreement means agreement between
contracting parties´, who are the contracting parties once a
Provisional Interim Government is established of your
conception? Who will appoint the Central or Joint Board of
Control, which will safeguard defence, etc., and on what
principle, through what machinery and agency, and subject to
whose control and orders will such a Central or Joint Board be?
6. You say `the power is to be transferred to the nation,
that is, to the Provisional Government´. That is all the
greater reason why I would like to know full details of the
Provisional Government as contemplated by you and of
your conception.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 464-5. Amalendu De, 9-11.
Document Nineteen
Speech by Gandhi at a Prayer Meeting, 11
September 1944
All that he could say at the present stage was that Jinnah
Saheb and he had met as old friends on Saturday
(September 9), and again that day (Monday). He added
that they would be meeting again the next day from 10.30
a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5.30 to 7 p.m. This would leave
them a little time to attend to other work and to digest
the substance of the talks. They fully realized what a heavy
responsibility rested on their shoulders. They knew that
millions were watching the talks and were anxious that a
settlement should be arrived at which would serve the
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 181 182
interests not of any particular group or community, but of
the whole of India. Gandhiji said:
Our goal is the attainment of independence for the whole
of India. It is for that we pray and are pledged to lay down
our lives. Jinnah Saheb and I have only God between us as
witness. My constant prayer these days is that He may so
guide my speech that not a word might escape my lips so
as to hurt the feelings of Jinnah Saheb or damage the
cause that is dear to us both. I am sure the same is the
case with Jinnah Saheb. He told me today, `If we part
without coming to an agreement, we shall proclaim
bankruptcy of wisdom on our part.´ What is more, the hopes
of millions of our countrymen will be dashed to pieces.
Today the eyes of all the oppressed people of the world
are on us. We therefore are fully alive to our responsibility
and are straining every nerve to come to a settlement.
But we realize that ultimately the result lies in God´s good
hands. You should therefore all pray that He may guide us
and give us wisdom to serve the cause of India.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 375.
Document Twenty
Gandhi to Jinnah, 14 September 1944
I have your letter of the 13th instant. I understood from
our talks that you were in no hurry for my answer I was,
therefore, taking the matter in a leisurely fashion, even
hoping that as our talks proceeded and as cordiality
increased, mutual clarification would come of itself and
that we would only have to record our final agreement.
But I understand and appreciate the other viewpoint. We
should take nothing for granted. I should clarify your
difficulties in understanding the Rajaji Formula and you
should do likewise regarding yours, i.e., the Muslim League
Lahore Resolution of 1940.
With reference to the Lahore Resolution, as agreed between
us I shall deal with it in a separate letter.
Perhaps at the end of our discussion, we shall discover
that Rajaji not only has not put the Lahore Resolution out
of shape and mutilated it but has given it substance and
form. Indeed, in view of your dislike of the Rajaji Formula, I
have, at any rate for the moment, put it out of my mind
and I am concentrating on the Lahore Resolution in the
hope of finding a ground for mutual agreement. So much
for the first paragraph of your letter.
As to the second, I do hold that unless we oust the third
party we shall not be able to live at peace with one another.
That does not mean that I may not make an effort to find
ways and means of establishing a living peace between us.
You ask for my conception of the basis for a provisional
interim government. I would have told you if I had any
scheme in mind. I imagine that if we two can agree it
would be for us to consult the other parties. I can say
this, that any provisional government to inspire confidence
at the present moment must represent all parties. When
that moment arrives, I shall have been replaced by some
authoritative person, though you will have me always at
your beck and call when you have converted me or I you,
or by mutual conversion we have become one mind
functioning through two bodies.
As to the third point, the provisional government being the
appointing authority, will give effect to the findings of the
Commission. This I thought was implied in my previous answer.
Rajaji tells me that `absolute majority´ is used in his Formula
in the same sense as it is used in ordinary legal parlance
wherever more than two groups are dealt with. I cling to
my own answer. But you will perhaps suggest a third meaning
and persuade me to accept it.
The form of the plebiscite and franchise must be left to be
decided by the provisional interim government unless we
decide it now. I should say it should be by adult suffrage
of all the inhabitants of the Pakistan area.
As to the fourth, `all parties´ means you and I and everyone
else holding views on the question at issue will and should
seek by peaceful persuasion to influence public opinion as
is done where democracy functions wholly or in part.
As to the fifth, supposing that the result of the plebiscite
is in favour of partition, the provisional government will
draft the treaty and agreements as regards the
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 183 184
administration of matters of common interest, but the same
has to be confirmed and ratified by the governments of
the two States. The machinery required for the settlement
and administration of matters of common interest will, in
the first instance, be planned by the interim government,
but subsequently will be a matter for settlement between
the two governments acting through the agencies appointed
by each for that purpose.
As to the sixth, I hope the foregoing makes superfluous
any further reply.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 379-81. Amalendu De, 13-15.
Document Twenty-One
Jinnah to Gandhi, 14 September 1944
I received your letter of September 14 [sic] at 4.45 p.m.
today in reply to my letter of September 11 (and not of
September 13 as you state, which seems to be a mistake)
and I thank you for it.
Please let me have as soon as you can your promised
letter indicating in what way or respect the Lahore
Resolution is `indefinite´.
With regard to the provision in the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula
that `the Muslim League endorses the Indian demand for
Independence´, I asked you in my letter dated September
10, `does it mean the Congress demand for independence,
as formulated in the August 1942 Resolution by the All
India Congress Committee in Bombay or, if not, what is the
significance of this term?´, to which you replied by your
letter of September 11, `The Independence contemplated
is of the whole of India as it stands´. Hence I again ask,
does it mean on the basis of a United India? I find that you
have not clarified the point satisfactorily.
As regards the next part of the clause, the Formula proceeds
to lay down that `the Muslim League will co-operate with
the Congress in the formation of the Provisional Interim
Government for the transitional period´. I requested you by
my letter of September 10 to let me know `the basis or the
lines on which such a Government is to be set up or
constituted. If you have a complete and definite scheme,
please let me have it´, to which you replied by your letter
of September 11 under reply that `the basis for the formation
of the Provisional Interim Government will have to be agreed
to between the League and the Congress´. But that is not
meeting my request for clarification, or giving me at least
the outlines of such a Government. And that is what I
have been asking for. I hope that you do appreciate my
point when I am requesting you to let me have rough
outlines of the proposed Provisional Interim Government
according to the Formula, so that I may have some idea.
Of course, I can quite understand that such a Provisional
Interim Government will represent all the parties and would
be of a character that will inspire confidence at the present
moment of all the parties. I can quite understand that
when the moment arrives, certain things may follow but
before we can deal with this Formula in a satisfactory
manner, I repeat again that as it is your Formula, you
should give me a rough idea of the Provisional Interim
Government that you contemplate and of your conception.
What I would like to know would be, what will be the
powers of such a Provisional Interim Government, how it
will be formed, to whom it will be responsible, and what will
be its composition, etc. You, being the sponsor of this
Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, should give me some rough idea
and picture of it, so that I may understand what this part
of the Formula means.
In your letter of September 14 in reply to my letter of
September 11, you inform me that you would have told me
if you had any scheme in mind. `I imagine that if we two
can agree it would be for us to consult the other parties´,
but that is just the point. Unless I have some outlines or
scheme, however rough, from you, what are we to discuss
in order to reach any agreement?
As regards the other matters which you have further
explained, I have noted the explanation, and I do not think
I need press you further, although some of them are not
quite satisfactory.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 466-7. Amalendu De, 16-18.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 185 186
Document Twenty-Two
Gandhi to Jinnah, 15 September 1944
This is in terms of our talks of Wednesday the 13th instant.
For the moment I have shunted the Rajaji Formula and
with your assistance am applying my mind very seriously
to the famous Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League.
You must admit that the Resolution itself makes no reference
to the two nations theory. In the course of our discussions,
you have passionately pleaded that India contains two
nations, i.e., Hindus and Muslims, and that the latter have
their homelands in India as the former have theirs. The
more our argument progresses, the more alarming your
picture appears to me. It would be alluring if it was true.
But my fear is growing that it is wholly unreal. I find no
parallel in history for a body of converts and their
descendants claiming to be a nation apart from the parent
stock. If India was one nation before the advent of Islam,
it must remain one in spite of the change of faith of a very
large body of her children.
You do not claim to be a separate nation by right of
conquest, but by reason of acceptance of Islam. Will the
two nations become one if the whole of India accepted
Islam? Will Bengalis, Oriyas, Andhras, Tamilians,
Maharashtrians, Gujaratis, etc., cease to have their special
characteristics if all of them become converts to Islam?
These have all become one politically because they are
subject to one foreign control. They are trying today to
throw off that subjection.
You seem to have introduced a new test of nationhood. If
I accept it, I would have to subscribe to many more claims
and face an insoluble problem. The only real, though awful,
test of our nationhood arises out of our common political
subjection. If you and I throw off this subjection by our
combined effort, we shall be born a politically free nation
out of our travail. If by then we have not learnt to prize
our freedom, we may quarrel among ourselves and, for
want of a common master holding us together in his iron
grip, seek to split up into small groups or nationalities.
There will be nothing to prevent us from descending to
that level and we shall not have to go in search of a
master. There are many claimants to the throne that never
remains vacant.
With this background, I shall present you with my difficulty
in accepting your Resolution.
1. Pakistan is not in the Resolution. Does it bear the original
meaning Punjab, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan,
out of which the name was mnemonically formed? If not
what is it?
2. Is the goal of Pakistan pan-Islam?
3. What is it that distinguishes an Indian Muslim from every
other Indian, if not his religion? Is he different from a Turk
or an Arab?
4. What is the Connotation of the word `Muslims´ in the
Resolution under discussion? Does it mean the Muslims of
India of geography or of the Pakistan to be?
5. Is the Resolution addressed to the Muslims by way of
education, or to the inhabitants of the whole of India by
way of appeal, or to the foreign ruler as an ultimatum?
6. Are the constituents in the two zones to constitute
`Independent States´, an undefined number in each zone?
7. Is the demarcation to take place during the pendency
of British Rule?
8. If the answer to the last question is in the affirmative,
the proposal must be accepted first by Britain and then
imposed upon India, not evolved from within by the free
will of the people of India.
9. Have you examined the position and satisfied yourself
that these `Independent States´ will be materially and
otherwise benefited by being split up into fragments?
10. Please satisfy me that these Independent Sovereign
States will not become a collection of poor States, a menace
to themselves and to the rest of India.
11. Pray show me by facts and figures or otherwise how
the independence and welfare of India as a whole can be
brought about by the acceptance of the Resolution?
12. How are the Muslims under the Princes to be disposed
of as a result of this scheme?
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 187 188
13. What is your definition of `minorities´?
14. Will you please define the `adequate, effective and
mandatory safeguards´ for minorities referred to in the
second part of the Resolution?
15. Do you not see that the Lahore Resolution contains only
a bare statement of the objective and does not give any
idea as to the means to be adopted for the execution of the
idea and the concrete corollaries thereof? For instance:
(a) Are the people in the regions falling under the plan
to have any voice in the matter of separation and,
if so, how is it to be ascertained?
(b) What is the provision for defence and similar matters
of common concern contemplated in the Lahore
Resolution?
(c) There are many groups of Muslims who have
continuously expressed dissent from the policy of
the League. While I am prepared to accept the
preponderating [sic] influence and position of the
League and have approached you for that very
reason, is it not our joint duty to remove their doubts
and carry them with us by making them feel that
they and their supporters have not been practically
dis[en]franchised?
(d) Does this not lead again to placing the Resolution of
the League before the people of the zones concerned
as a whole for acceptance?
As I write this letter and imagine the working of the Resolution
in practice, I see nothing but ruin for the whole of India.
Believe me, I approach you as a seeker. Though I represent
nobody but myself, I aspire to represent all the inhabitants
of India, for I realize in my own person their misery and
degradation, which is their common lot, irrespective of class,
caste or creed. I know that you have acquired a unique
hold on the Muslim masses. I want you to use your influence
for their total welfare, which must include the rest.
In this hastily written letter, I have only given an inkling of
my difficulty.
Source: Pakistan National Archives, Islamabad. Jinnah Papers, F-
98 / 79-85. Gandhi, lxxxiv. 381-4. Amalendu De, 19-23.
Document Twenty-Four
Gandhi to Jinnah, 15 September 1944
I have yours of the 14th instant, received at 9.40 a.m. I
woke up at 3 a.m. today to finish my promised letter on
the Lahore Resolution There is no mistake about the date,
for I wrote in answer to your reminder of the 13th instant.
Independence does mean as envisaged in the A.I.C.C.
Resolution of 1942. But it cannot be on the basis of a
united India. If we come to a settlement, it would be on
the basis of the settlement, assuming, of course, that it
accrues general acceptance in the country. The process
will be somewhat like this. We reach by joint effort
independence for India as it stands. India becoming free
will proceed to demarcation, plebiscite and partition if the
people concerned vote for partition. All this is implied in
the Rajaji Formula.
As to the provisional interim government, I am afraid I
cannot carry my answer any further than I have done.
Though I have no scheme for the provisional government,
if you have one in connection with the Lahore Resolution,
which also, I presume, requires an interim government, we
can discuss it.
The Formula was framed by Rajaji in good faith. I accepted
it in equal good faith. The hope was that you would look at
it with favour. We still think it to be the best in the
circumstances. You and I have to put flesh on it, if we
can. I have explained the process we have to go through.
You have no objection to it. Perhaps, you want to know
how I would form the provisional government if I was invited
thereto. If I was in that unenviable position, I would see
all the claimants and endeavour to satisfy them. My co-
operation will be available in that task.
I can give you full satisfaction about your inquiry, `What I
would like to know would be, what will be the powers of
such a provisional interim government, how it will be formed,
to whom it will be responsible.´ The provisional interim
government will be responsible to the elected members of
the present Assembly or a newly-elected one. It will have
all the powers less that of the Commander-in-Chief during
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 189 190
the war and full powers thereafter. It will be the authority
to give effect to the agreement that may be arrived at
between the League and the Congress and ratified by the
other parties.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 384-5. Amalendu De, 24-25.
Document Twenty-Five
Jinnah to Gandhi, 17 September 1944
I have your letter of 15 September, and I thank you for it.
I note that you have for the moment shunted the Rajaji
Formula and are applying your mind very seriously to the
Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League. It is my duty to
explain the Lahore Resolution to you today and persuade
you to accept it, even though you are talking to me, as
you have often made it clear, in your individual capacity. I
have successfully converted non-Muslim Indians in no small
number and also a large body of foreigners, and if I can
convert you, exercising as you do tremendous influence
over Hindu India, it will be no small assistance to me,
although we are not proceeding on the footing that you
are carrying on these talks in your representative character
or capacity, and my difficulties remain until you are vested
with a representative status and authority in order to
negotiate and reach an agreement with you.
You have stated in your letter dated September 11 that
the Lahore Resolution is `indefinite´. I, therefore, naturally
asked you to please let me know in what way or respect
the Lahore Resolution is indefinite, and now I have received
your letter of September 15 under reply.
The third paragraph of your letter is not seeking clarification,
but a disquisition and expression of your views on the point,
whether the Mussalmans are a nation. This matter can
hardly be discussed by means of correspondence. There is
a great deal of discussion and literature on this point which
is available, and it is for you to judge finally, when you
have studied this question thoroughly, whether the
Mussalmans and Hindus are not two major nations in this
sub-continent. For the moment, I would refer you to two
publications, although there are many more - Dr. Ambedkar´s
book and `M. R. T.´s´ Nationalism in Conflict in India. We
maintain and hold that Muslims and Hindus are two major
nations by any definition or test of a nation. We are a
nation of a hundred million, and what is more, we are a
nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization,
language and literature, art and architecture, names and
nomenclature, sense of value and proportion, legal laws and
moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions,
aptitudes and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive
outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law
we are a nation. Now I shall reply to your various points:
1. Yes, the word `Pakistan´ is not mentioned in the Resolution
and it does not bear the original meaning. The word has
now become synonymous with the Lahore Resolution.
2. This point does not arise, but still I reply that the question
is a mere bogey.
3. This point is covered by my answer that the Mussalmans
of India are a nation. As to the last part of your query, it is
hardly relevant to the matter of clarification of the
Resolution.
4. Surely, you know what the word `Muslims´ means.
5. This point does not arise by way of clarification of the
text of the Lahore Resolution.
6. No. They will form units of Pakistan.
7. As soon as the basis and the principles embodied in the
Lahore Resol uti on are accepted, the questi on of
demarcation will have to be taken up immediately.
8. In view of my reply to (7), your question (8) has been
answered.
9. Does not relate to clarification.
10. My answer to (9) covers this point.
11. Does not arise out of the clarification of the Resolution.
Surely, this is not asking for clarification of the Resolution.
I have in numerous speeches of mine and the Muslim League
in its resolutions have pointed out that this is the only
solution of India´s problem and the road to achieve freedom
and independence of the peoples of India.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 191 192
12. `Muslims under the Princes´: The Lahore Resolution is
only confined to British India. This question does not arise
out of the clarification of the Resolution.
2
13. The definition of `minorities´: You yourself have often
said minorities mean `accepted minorities´.
14. The adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards
for minorities referred to in the Resolution are a matter for
negotiation and settlement with the minorities in the
respective States, viz., Pakistan and Hindustan.
15. It does give basic principles and when they are
accepted, then the details will have to be worked out by
the contracting parties.
(a & b). Does not arise by way of clarification; (c) The
Muslim League is the only authoritative and representative
organization of Muslim India; (d) No. See answer (c).
As regards your final paragraph, before receiving
clarifications from me you have already passed your
judgement and condemned the Lahore Resolution, when
you say, `As I write the letter and imagine the working of
the Resolution in practice I see nothing but ruin for the
whole of India´. I understand that you have made clear to
me that you represent nobody but yourself, and I am trying
to persuade you and to convert you that this is the road
which will lead us all to the achievement of freedom and
independence, not only of the two major nations, Hindus
and Muslims, but of the rest of the peoples of India, but
when you proceed to say that you aspire to represent all
the inhabitants of India, I regret I cannot accept that
statement of yours. It is quite clear that you represent
nobody else but the Hindus, and as long as you do not
realize your true position and the realities, it is very difficult
for me to argue with you, and it becomes still more difficult
to persuade you, and hope to convert you to the realities
and the actual conditions prevailing in India today. I am
pleading before you in the hope of converting you, as I
have done with many others successfully. As I have said
before, you are a great man and you exercise enormous
influence over the Hindus, particularly the masses, and by
accepting the road that I am pointing out to you, you are
not prejudicing or harming the interests of the Hindus or of
the minorities. On the contrary, Hindus will be the greater
gainers. I am convinced that true welfare not only of the
Muslim but the rest of India lies in the division of India as
proposed by the Lahore Resolution. It is for you to consider
whether it is not your policy and programme, in which you
have persisted, which has been the principal factor of `ruin
of the whole of India´ and of misery and degradation of the
people to which you refer and which I deplore no less than
anyone else. And it is for that very reason I am pleading
before you all these days, although you insist that you are
having talks with me only in your individual capacity, in the
hope that you may yet revise your policy and programme.
Source: Pakistan National Archives, Islamabad. Jinnah Papers, F-
98 / 86-90. Gandhi, lxxxiv. 467-9. Amalendu De, 26-30.
Document Twenty-Six
Gandhi to Jinnah, 19 September 1944
Many thanks for yours of the 17th instant. I am sorry to
have to say that your answers omitting 1, 2 and 6 do not
give satisfaction.
It may be that all my questions do not arise from the view of
mere clarification of the Lahore Resolution. But I contend that
they are very relevant from the standpoint of a seeker that I
am. You cannot expect anyone to agree to or shoulder the
burden of the claim contained in the Lahore Resolution without,
for instance, answering my questions 15 (a) and 15 (b)2 which
you brush aside as not arising by way of clarification.
Dr. Ambedkar´s thesis, while it is ably written, has carried
no conviction to me. The other book mentioned by you, I
am sorry to say, I have not seen.
Why can you not accept my statement that I aspire to
represent all the sections that compose the people of India?
Do you not aspire? Should not every Indian? That the
aspiration may never be realized is beside the point.
I am beholden to you, in spite of your opinion about me,
2 A significant weakness of the Lahore Resolution, it was to prove,
because it left for example the status of Kashmir unresolved at
the time of Partition in 1947.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 193 194
for having patience with me. I hope you will never lose it,
but will persevere in your effort to convert me. I ask you
to take me with my strong views and even prejudices, if I
am guilty of any.
As to your verdict on my policy and programme, we must
agree to differ. For, I am wholly unrepentant. My purpose is as
a lover of communal unity to place my services at your disposal.
I hope you do not expect me to accept the Lahore Resolution
without understanding its implications. If your letter is the
final word, there is little hope. Can we not agree to differ on
the question of `two Nations´ and yet solve the problem on
the basis of self-determination? It is this basis that has
brought me to you. If the regions holding Muslim majorities
have to be separated according to the Lahore Resolution,
the grave step of separation should be specifically placed
before and approved by the people in that area.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 398-9. Amalendu De, 31-2.
Document Twenty-Seven
Jinnah to Gandhi, 21 September 1944
I am in receipt of your letter of September 19, and I have
already given you my answers to all your questions relating
to clarification of the Lahore Resolution or any part of it,
and I am glad that you admit when you say it may be that
`all my questions do not arise from the view of mere
clarification of the Lahore Resolution´, but you particularly
emphasize your points 15 (a) and 15 (b).
I regret to say it has no relation to the context of the
Resolution or any part thereof. You have brought so many
matters into our correspondence, which are entirely outside
the matter requiring clarification, so I have perforce to
deal with them. Let me first deal with your letter of
September 11.
You say, `My life mission has been Hindu-Muslim unity, which
I want for its own sake but which is not to be achieved
without the foreign ruling power being ousted. Hence the
first condition of the exercise of the right of self-determination
is achieving independence by the joint action of all the
parties and groups composing India. If such joint action is
unfortunately impossible, then too I must fight with the
assistance of such elements as can be brought together´.
The gist of your letters up to date is that you are wedded
to this policy and will pursue it. In your next letter of
September 14, while you were good enough to furnish me
with the clarification of the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, you
were pleased to observe: `I have, at any rate for the
moment, put it out of my mind and I am now concentrating
on the Lahore Resolution in the hope of finding a ground
for mutual agreement.´
In your letter of September 15, you say `Independence does
mean as envisaged in the A.I.C.C. Resolution of 1942´. It is,
therefore, clear that you are not prepared to revise your
policy and that you adhere firmly to your policy and
programme, which you have persisted in and which culminated
in your demand, final policy, programme and the method
and sanction for enforcing it by resorting to mass civil
disobedience in terms of the 8 August 1942 Resolution, and
you have made it more clear again by stating in your letter
of September 19 as follows: `As to your verdict on my policy
and programme, we must agree to differ. For, I am wholly
unrepentant.´ You know that the August 1942 Resolution is
inimical to the ideals and demands of Muslim India.
Then again, in the course of our discussion when I asked
you for clarification of the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, you were
pleased to say, by your letter of September 15 as follows:
`For the moment I have shunted the Rajaji Formula and
with your assistance am applying my mind very seriously
to the famous Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League´. We
discussed it in its various aspects, as you told me you
were open to be persuaded and converted to our point of
view. I discussed the Resolution at great length with you,
and explained everything you wanted to understand, even
though you have emphasized more than once that you are
having these talks with me in your personal capacity, and
in your letter of September 15 you assured me in the
following words with regard to the Lahore Resolution:
`Believe me, I approach you as a seeker, though I represent
nobody but myself´, and that you were open to conviction
and conversion.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 195 196
You had informed me by your letter of September 11 as
follows: `It is true that I said an ocean separated you and me
in outlook. But that had no reference to the Lahore Resolution
of the League. The League Resolution is indefinite.´ I naturally,
therefore, proceeded in reply to ask you by my letter of
September 11 as follows: `You say the Lahore Resolution is
indefinite. You never asked me for any clarification or
explanation of the terms of the Resolution, but you really
indicated your emphatic opposition to the very basis and the
fundamental principles embodied in it. I would, therefore, like
to know in what way or respect the Lahore Resolution is
indefinite´, and I sent you a reminder on September 13, to
which you replied by your letter of September 15, not
confining yourself really to matters of clarification, but
introducing other extraneous matters, with some of which I
had already dealt, in reply to this letter of yours of September
15, by my letter of September 17 and furnished you with all
the clarifications, informing you that you had introduced
several matters which could hardly be discussed in a
satisfactory manner by means of correspondence.
I have already given you all the clarifications you require
so far as the Lahore Resolution goes and its text is
concerned. You again raise further arguments, reasons and
grounds and continue to persist in a disquisition on the
point, amongst others, whether Muslims of India are a nation,
and then you proceed further to say: `Can we not agree to
differ on the question of two nations and yet solve the
problem on the basis of self-determination?´
It seems to me that you are labouring under some
misconception of the real meaning of the word `self-
determination´. Apart from the inconsistencies and
contradictions of the various positions that you have
adopted in the course of our correspondence, as indicated
above, can you not appreciate our point of view that we
claim the right of self-determination as a nation and not as
a territorial unit, and that we are entitled to exercise our
inherent right as a Muslim nation, which is our birth-right?
Whereas you are labouring under the wrong idea that `self-
determination´ means only that of `a territorial unit´ which,
by the way, is neither demarcated nor defined yet; and
there is no Union or Federal Constitution of India in being,
functioning as a sovereign Central Government. Ours is a
case of division and carving out two independent sovereign
States by way of settlement between two major nations,
Hindus and Muslims, and not of severance or secession
from any existing union, which is non-existent in India.
The right of self-determination which we claim postulates
that we are a nation, and as such it would be the self-
determination of the Mussalmans, and they alone are
entitled to exercise that right.
I hope you will now understand that your question 15(a)
does not arise out of the Lahore Resolution or of any part
thereof. As to 15(b), again it does not arise as a matter of
clarification, for it will be a matter for the constitution-
making body chosen by Pakistan to deal with and decide
all matters as a sovereign body representing Pakistan vis-
à-vis the constitution-making body of Hindustan or any
other party concerned. There cannot be Defence and similar
matters of `common Concern´ when it is accepted that
Pakistan and Hindustan will be two separate independent
sovereign States. I hope I have now given all satisfactory
explanations, over and above the matter of clarification of
the Lahore Resolution, in the hope of converting you as an
individual `seeker´.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 469-71. Amalendu De, 33-37.
Document Twenty-Eight
Gandhi to Jinnah, 22 September 1944
Your letter of yesterday (21st instant) so disturbed me that
I thought I would postpone my reply till after we had met at
the usual time. Though I made no advance at our meeting,
I think I see some what clearly what you are driving at. The
more I think about the two-nation theory the more alarming
it appears to be. The book recommended by you gives me
no help. It contains half-truths and its conclusions or
inferences are unwarranted. I am unable to accept the
proposition that the Muslims of India are a nation, distinct
from the rest of the inhabitants of India. Mere assertion is
no proof. The consequences of accepting such a proposition
are dangerous in the extreme. Once the principle is admitted
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 197 198
there would be no limit to claims for cutting up India into
numerous divisions, which would spell India´s ruin. I have,
therefore, suggested a way out. Let it be a partition as
between two brothers, if a division there must be.
You seem to be averse to a plebiscite. In spite of the
admitted importance of the League, there must be clear
proof that the people affected desire partition. In my
opinion, all the people inhabiting the area ought to express
their opinion specifically on this single issue of division.
Adult suffrage is the best method, but I would accept any
other equivalent.
You summarily reject the idea of common interest between
the two arms. I can be no willing party to a division which
does not provide for the simultaneous safeguarding of
common interests, such as Defence, Foreign Affairs and
the like. There will be no feeling of security by the people
of India without a recognition of the natural and mutual
obligations arising out of physical contiguity.
Your letter shows a wide divergence of opinion and outlook
between us. Thus you adhere to the opinion often expressed
by you that the August 1942 Resolution is `inimical to the
ideals and demands of Muslim India´. There is no proof for
this sweeping statement.
We seem to be moving in a circle. I have made a suggestion.
If we are bent on agreeing, as I hope we are, let us call in a
third party or parties to guide or even arbitrate between us.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 403-4. Amalendu De, 38-39.
Document Twenty-Nine
Jinnah to Gandhi, 23 September 1944
I am in receipt of your letter of September 22 and thank
you for it. I am sorry that you think I have summarily
rejected the idea of common interest between two arms,
and now you put it somewhat differently from 15(a), when
you say there will be no feeling of security by the people
of India without a recognition of the natural and mutual
obligations arising out of physical contiguity. My answer,
already given, is that it will be for the constitution-making
body of Pakistan and that of Hindustan, or any other party
concerned, to deal with such matters on the footing of
their being two independent States.
I am really surprised when you say there is no proof of what
you characterize as a sweeping statement of mine, that the
August 1942 Resolution is inimical to the ideals and demands
of Muslim India. The Resolution in its essence is as follows:
(a) Immediate grant of Complete Independence [and the]
setting up immediately of a Federal Central Government on
the basis of a united, democratic Government of India with
federated units or Provinces, which means establishing a
Hindu Raj.
(b) That this National Government so set up will evolve a
scheme for a Constituent Assembly, which will be chosen
by adult franchise, which will prepare a constitution for
the Government of India, which means that the Constituent
Assembly chosen will be composed of an overwhelming
majority of the Hindus, nearly 75 per cent.
(c) To enforce this demand of the Congress the August
Resolution decides on and sanctions a resort to mass civil
disobedience at your command and when ordered by you
as the sole Dictator of the Congress.
This demand is basically and fundamentally opposed to the
ideals and demands of Muslim India of Pakistan, as embodied
in the Lahore Resolution, and to enforce such a demand by
means of resort to mass civil disobedience is inimical to the
ideals and demands of Muslim India, and if you succeed in
realizing this demand it would be a death-blow to Muslim
India. I see from the correspondence and talks between you
and me that you are still holding fast to this fateful resolution.
From the very first day of our talks, you made it clear to
me, and you have repeatedly said in the course of our
correspondence and talks that you have approached me in
your individual capacity, and you assured me that you were
a seeker of light and knowledge and that you seriously and
earnestly wanted to understand the Lahore Resolution and
were open to conviction and conversion. Therefore, in
deference to your wishes I made every effort all these
days and in the course of our prolonged talks and
correspondence to convert you, but unfortunately it seems
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 199 200
I have failed. And now you have made new suggestions
and proposals by your letter under reply:
1. You say, `I have, therefore, suggested a way out. Let it
be a partition as between two brothers, if a division there
must be´. I really do not know what this means, and I would
like you to elaborate this proposal and give me some rough
outlines of this new idea of yours, as to how and when, the
division is to take place, and in what way it is different from
the division envisaged by the Lahore Resolution.
2. You say, `Let us call in a third party or parties to guide or
even arbitrate between us´. May I point out that you have
repeatedly made clear to me that you are having these
talks as an individual seeker? How can any question of a
third party or parties to guide or arbitrate between us arise?
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 472-3. Amalendu De, 40-42.
Document Thirty
Gandhi to Jinnah, 23 September 1944
Last evening´s talk has left a bad taste in the mouth. Our
talks and our correspondence seem to run in parallel lines
and never touch one another. We reached the breaking
point last evening but, thank God, we were unwilling to
part. We resumed discussion and suspended it in order to
allow me to keep my time for the evening public prayer.
In order that all possibility of making any mistake in a
matter of this great importance may be removed I would
like you to give me in writing what precisely on your part
you would want me to put my signature to.
I adhere to my suggestion that we may call in some outside
assistance to help us at this stage.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 406. Amalendu De, 43.
Document Thirty-One
Jinnah to Gandhi, 23 September 1944
.I may say that it is not a case of your being asked to put
your signature as representing anybody till you clothe
yourself with representative capacity and are vested with
authority. We stand by, as I have already said, the basic
and fundamental principles embodied in the Lahore Resolution
of March 1940. I appeal to you once more to revise your
policy and programme, as the future of this sub-continent
and the welfare of the peoples of India demand that you
should face realities.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 406 n. Amalendu De, 44.
Document Thirty-Two
Gandhi to Jinnah, 24 September 1944
.With your assistance, I am exploring the possibilities of
reaching an agreement, so that the claim embodied in the
Muslim League Resolution of Lahore may be reasonably
satisfied. You must, therefore, have no apprehensions that
the August Resolution will stand in the way of our reaching
an agreement. That Resolution dealt with the question of
India as against Britain, and it cannot stand in the way of
our settlement.
I proceed on the assumption that India is not to be regarded
as two or more nations, but as one family consisting of
many members of whom the Muslims living in the north-
west zones, i.e., Baluchistan, Sind, North-West Frontier
Province and that part of the Punjab where they are in
absolute majority over all the other elements and in parts
of Bengal and Assam where they are in absolute majority,
desire to live in separation from the rest of India.
Differing from you on the general basis, I can yet recommend
to the Congress and the country the acceptance of the
claim for separation contained in the Muslim League Resolution
of Lahore, 1940, on my basis and on the following terms:
(a) The areas should be demarcated by a commission,
approved by the Congress and the League. The wishes of
the inhabitants of the area demarcated should be
ascertained through the votes of the adult population of
the areas or through some equivalent method.
(b) If the vote is in favour of separation, it shall be agreed
that these areas shall form a separate State as soon as
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 201 202
possible after India is free from foreign domination and
can, therefore, be constituted into two sovereign
independent States.
(c) There shall be a treaty of separation, which should
also provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration
of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications,
Customs, Commerce and the like, which must necessarily
continue to be matters of common interest between the
contracting parties.
(d) The treaty shall also contain terms for safeguarding
the rights of minorities in the two States. Immediately on
the acceptance of this agreement by the Congress and
the League, the two shall decide upon a common course
of action for the attainment of the independence of India.
(e) The League will, however, be free to remain out of any
direct action, to which the Congress may resort and in
which the League may not be willing to participate.
If you do not agree to these terms, could you let me know
in precise terms what you would have me to accept in
terms of the Lahore Resolution and bind myself to
recommend to the Congress? If you could kindly do this, I
shall be able to see, apart from the difference in approach,
what definite terms I can agree to. In your letter of 23rd
September, you refer to `the basis and fundamental principles
embodied in the Lahore Resolution´ and ask me to accept
them. Surely, this is unnecessary when, as I feel, I have
accepted the concrete consequence that should follow
from such acceptance.
Source: Gandhi, lxxxiv. 407-9. Amalendu De, 45-7.
Document Thirty-Three
Jinnah to Gandhi, 25 September 1944
I am in receipt of your letter of September 24, and I thank
you for it. You have already rejected the basic and
fundamental principles of the Lahore Resolution.
1. You do not accept that the Mussalmans of India are a nation.
2. You do not accept that the Mussalmans have an inherent
right of self-determination.
3. You do not accept that they alone are entitled to exercise
this right of theirs for self-determination.
4. You do not accept that Pakistan is composed of two
zones, north-west and north-east, comprising six Provinces,
namely, Sind, Baluchistan, North-West Frontier Provinces,
Punjab, Bengal and Assam, subject to territorial adjustments
that may be agreed upon, as indicated in the Lahore
Resolution. The matter of demarcating and defining the
territories can be taken up after the fundamentals above
mentioned are accepted, and for that purpose, machinery
may be set up by agreement.
You do not accept the provisions embodied in the Lahore
Resolution for safeguarding the minorities, and yet in your
letter under reply you say: `With your assistance, I am
exploring the possibilities of reaching an agreement so that
the claim embodied in the Muslim League Resolution of
Lahore may be reasonably satisfied´ and proceed to say:
`You must, therefore, have no apprehensions that the
August [1942] Resolution will stand in the way of our
reaching an agreement.´
I have already clearly explained to you that the August
Resolution, so long as it stands, is a bar, for it is
fundamentally opposed to the Lahore Resolution. You, then,
proceed to say: `That Resolution dealt with the question
of India as against Britain, and it cannot stand in the way
of our settlement.´ I am not at present concerned with
Britain, but the August Resolution, as I have already stated,
is against the ideals and demands of the Muslim League.
Further, there is the resolution of Jagat Narain Lal, passed
by the All-India Congress Committee in May 1942 at
Allahabad, which in express terms lays down as follows:
The AICC is of the opinion that any proposal to disintegrate
India by giving liberty to any component State or territorial
unit to secede from the India Union of Federation will be highly
detrimental to the best interests of the people of the different
States and Provinces and the Country as a whole and the
Congress, therefore, cannot agree to any such proposal.
These two resolutions, so long as they stand, are a
complete bar to any settlement on the basis of the division
of India as Pakistan and Hindustan. It is open to the
Congress to revise and modify them, but you are only
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 203 204
speaking in your individual capacity and even in that
capacity you are holding fast to the August Resolution,
and you have given no indication of your attitude regarding
Jagat Narain Lal´s Resolution. I have repeatedly made it
clear after we had discussed the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, as
you maintained that, to use your language, `Rajaji not only
has not put the Lahore Resolution out of shape and mutilated
it, but has given it substance and form´ and proceeded to
say: `indeed, in view of your dislike of the Rajaji Fomula, I
have, at any rate for the moment, put it out of my mind
and I am now finding a ground for mutual agreement.´
When I asked for further clarification, which you furnished
me by your letter of September 15, you stated by saying:
`I have shunted the Rajaji Formula and with your assistance
I am applying my mind very seriously to the famous Lahore
Resolution of the Muslim League.´ And thenceforward the
Gandhi-Rajaji Formula was not discussed any further, and
the question of your representative character and authority,
which I had pointed out from the very commencement,
therefore, did not arise, as you had given me the task of
converting you to the fundamentals of the Lahore
Resolution, and ever since we discussed the Lahore
Resolution only at great length and examined the pros and
cons, and finally you have rejected it.
As a result of our correspondences and discussions, I find
that the question of the division of India as Pakistan and
Hindustan is only on your lips and it does not come from
your heart, and suddenly at the eleventh hour you put
forward a new suggestion, consisting of only two sentences,
by your letter of September 22, saying: `I have, therefore,
suggested a way out. Let it be a partition as between two
brothers, if a division there must be.´ I naturally asked you
what this new suggestion of yours mean, and wanted you
to give me rough outlines of this new idea of yours as to
how and when the division is to take place and in what way
it is different from the division envisaged in the Lahore
Resolution, and now you have been good enough to give me
your amplification, in your letter of September 24 under
reply, in which you say: `Differing from you on the general
basis, I can yet recommend to Congress and the country
the acceptance of the claim to separation contained in the
Muslim League Resolution of Lahore, 1940, on my basis and
on the following terms.´ The terms clearly indicate that your
basis is in vital conflict with, and is opposed to, the Lahore
Resolution. Now let me take your main terms:
(a) `I proceed on the assumption that India is not to be
regarded as two or more nations, but as one family
consisting of many members, of whom the Muslims living in
the north-west zones, i e., Baluchistan, Sind, North-West
Frontier Province and that part of the Punjab where they
are in absolute majority over all the other elements and in
parts of Bengal and Assam where they are in absolute
majority, desire to live in separation from the rest of India.´
If this term were accepted and given effect to, the present
boundaries of these Provinces would be maimed and
mutilated beyond redemption and leave us only with the
husk, and it is opposed to the Lahore Resolution.
(b) That even in these mutilated areas so defined, the
right of self-determination will not be exercised by the
Muslims but by the inhabitants of these areas so
demarcated. This again is opposed to the fundamentals of
the Lahore Resolution.
(c) That if the vote is in favour of separation, they shall
be allowed to `form a separate State as soon as possible
after India is free from foreign domination´, whereas we
propose that we should come to a complete settlement of
our own immediately and by our united front and efforts do
everything in our power to secure the freedom and
independence of the peoples of India on the basis of
Pakistan and Hindustan.
(d) Next you say, `There shall be a treaty of separation
which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory
administration of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal
Communications, Customs, Commerce, and the like, which
must necessarily continue to be matters of common interest
between the contracting parties.´ If these vital matters
are to be administered by some central authority, you do
not indicate what sort of authority or machinery will be set
up to administer these matters, and how and to whom
again that authority will be responsible. According to the
Lahore Resolution, as I have already explained to you, all
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 205 206
these matters, which are the life-blood of any State, cannot
be delegated to any central authority or government. The
matter of security of the two States and the natural and
mutual obligations that may arise out of physical contiguity
will be for the constitution-making body of Pakistan and
that of Hindustan, or [any] other party concerned, to deal
with on the footing of their being two independent States.
As regards the safeguarding of the rights of minorities, I
have already explained that this question of safeguarding
the minorities is fully stated in the Lahore Resolution.
You will, therefore, see that the entire basis of your new
proposal is fundamentally opposed to the Lahore Resolution,
and as I have already pointed out to you, both in the
correspondence and in our discussions, it is very difficult
for me to entertain counter-proposals and negotiate and
reach any agreement or settlement with you as an
individual, unless they come from you in your representative
capacity. That was the same difficulty with regard to the
Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, and I made it clear to you, at the
very outset, but the Formula was discussed as you asserted
that it had met the Lahore Resolution in substance. But
while you were furnishing me with the clarification of this
Formula, you shunted it and we confined ourselves to the
Lahore Resolution, and hence the question of your
representative capacity did not arise regarding this Formula.
But now you have, in your letter of September 24, made a
new proposal of your own on your own basis, and the
same difficulties present themselves to me as before, and
it is difficult to deal with it any further unless it comes
from you in your representative capacity.
I cannot agree with you when you finally wind up by saying:
`In your letter of 23rd September, you refer to "the basic
and fundamental principles embodied in the Lahore
Resolution¨ and ask me to accept them. Surely, this is
unnecessary when as I feel I have accepted the concrete
consequence that should follow from such acceptance.´
This is obviously far from correct. Why not then accept
the fundamentals of the Lahore Resolution and proceed to
settle the details?
Source: Gandhi lxxxiv. 473-5 (extract only). Amalendu De, 48-53.
Document Thirty-Four
Gandhi to Jinnah, 25 September 1944
Yesterday´s talk leads me to inflict this letter on you, which
I trust you will not mind.
Our conversations have come about as a result of your
correspondence with Rajaji in July last over his Formula
and your consultations with the League Working Committee
thereon, and my own letter to you suggesting a meeting
between you and me. My proposal of yesterday is an earnest
effort to meet the essential requirements of the Lahore
Resolution. I would like you, therefore, to think fifty times
before throwing away an offer which had been made entirely
in the spirit of service in the cause of communal harmony.
Do not take, I pray, the responsibility of rejecting the offer.
Throw it on your Council. Give me an opportunity of
addressing them. If they feel like rejecting it, I would like
you to advise the Council to put it before the open session
of the League. If you will accept my advice and permit me,
I would attend the open session and address it.
You are too technical when you dismiss my proposal for
arbitration or outside guidance over points of difference. If
I have approached you as an individual, and not in any
representative capacity, it is because we believe that if I
reach an agreement with you, it will be of material use in
the process of securing a Congress-League settlement and
acceptance of it by the country. Is it irrelevant or
inadmissible to supplement our efforts to convince each
other without help, guidance, advice or even arbitration?
Source: Gandhi lxxxiv. 412. Amalendu De, 54-55.
Document Thirty-Five
Jinnah to Gandhi, 26 September 1944
I am in receipt of your letter of September 25. It is entirely
incorrect and has no foundation in fact, for you to say
that our conversations have come about as a result of
my correspondence with Rajaji in July last over his Formula.
It is equally baseless to say `and your consultations with
the League Working Committee thereon´. It was entirely
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 207 208
in response to your letter of July 17, 1944, which I received
while I was at Srinagar, with a fervent request on your
part to meet you, and you ended that letter by saying,
`Do not disappoint me´. In my reply, again from Srinagar,
dated 24 July 1944, I intimated to you that I would be
glad to receive you at my house in Bombay on my return,
which would probably be about the middle of August. This
was long before the meeting of the Working Committee or
that of the Council of the All-India Muslim League, and
long before I reached Lahore, and when you arrived here
and told me that you were approaching me in your
individual capacity, I at once made it clear to you and
informed you, both in our talks and by my letter, that the
position you had taken up had no precedent for it, and
further that it was not possible to negotiate and reach an
agreement unless both the parties were fully represented.
For, it is one-sided business, as it will not be binding upon
any organization in any sense whatever, but you would
as an individual only recommend it, if any agreement is
reached, to the Congress and the country, whereas it
would be binding upon me as the President of the Muslim
League. I cannot accept this position. I hope you do see
the unfairness and the great disadvantage to me, and it
is so simple and elementary for anyone to understand.
As regards your proposal of yesterday, which you have
simplified in your letter of September 24, I have already
sent you my reply.
With regard to your suggestion to be allowed to address
the meeting of the Council, and if they feel like rejecting
your `offer´ the matter should be put before the open
session, let me inform you that only a member or delegate
is entitled to participate in the deliberations of the meetings
of the Council or in the open session, respectively. Besides,
it is a most extraordinary and unprecedented suggestion
to make. However, I thank you for your advice.
As regards your proposal for arbitration and outside
guidance, I have already replied to you, and it is not merely
technical but a matter of substance. I fully reciprocate
your desire for securing a Congress-League settlement.
However, I regret I have failed to convince you and convert
you, as I was hopeful of doing.
Source: Gandhi lxxxiv. 475-6. Amalendu De, 56-57.
Document Thirty-Six
Gandhi to Jinnah, 26 September 1944
In view of my letter to you of yesterday, left to myself, I
would have refrained from dealing with your letter before
our meeting today. But I have deferred to Rajaji´s advice
to finish the chain of correspondence.
I confess I am unable to understand your persistent refusal
to appreciate the fact that the Formula presented to you
by me in my letter of the 24th as well as the Formula
presented to you by Rajaji give you virtually what is
embodied in the Lahore Resolution, providing at the same
time what is absolutely necessary to make the arrangement
acceptable to the country. You keep on saying that I should
accept certain theses, which you call the basic and
fundamental principles of the Lahore Resolution, while I have
been contending that the best way for us, who differ in our
approach to the problem, is to give body to the demand as
it stands in the Resolution and work it out to our mutual
satisfaction. It is on this plan that I understand Rajaji´s
Formula is to be conceived, and it is on the same plan that
I have tried to work it out in the course of and as a result of
our talks. I contend that either gives you the substance of
the Lahore Resolution. Unfortunately, you reject both. And
I cannot accept the Lahore Resolution as you want me to,
especially when you seek to introduce into its interpretation
theories and claims which I cannot accept and which I
cannot ever hope to induce India to accept.
Your constant references to my not being clothed with
representative authority are really irrelevant. I have
approached you so that, if you and I can agree upon a
common course of action, I may use what influence I possess
for its acceptance by the Congress and the country. If you
break, it cannot be because I have no representative capacity,
or because I have been unwilling to give you satisfaction in
regard to the claim embodied in the Lahore Resolution.
Source: Gandhi lxxxiv. 413. Amalendu De, 58-59.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 209 210
Document Thirty-Seven
Jinnah to Gandhi, 26 September 1944
I have received your letter of September 26, and I note
that you have written it with Rajaji´s advice. Of course, it
is for you to follow such advice as you may choose to do,
but I am only concerned for the moment with you. I note
that at the last moment you have resurrected the Gandhi-
Rajaji Formula, although it was shunted all this time and
you proceed to say that this Formula gives me virtually
what is embodied in the Lahore Resolution. You further say
that on the same plan you have tried to formulate your
latest proposals, as mentioned in your letter of September
24 and you maintain that either gives me the substance of
the Lahore Resolution. In your previous letter you asserted
that your Formula gives me the `essence´ of the Lahore
Resolution. I see a very close family resemblance between
the two, and the substance of one or the other is practically
the same, only it is put in different language, and I have
already expressed my opinion, that in my judgment they
neither meet the substance nor the essence of the Lahore
Resolution. On the contrary, both are calculated completely
to torpedo the Pakistan demand of Muslim India. I have
never asked you to accept certain theses nor have I
introduced any theories in the Lahore Resolution. Theses
and theories are matters for scholars to indulge in.
I am very sorry I have to repeat, but I am compelled to do
so, that I cannot agree with you that my references to
your not being clothed with representative authority are
really irrelevant. On the contrary, they have an important
bearing, as I have already explained to you more than
once. You again repeat that if you and I can agree upon a
common course of action, you may use what influence you
possess for its acceptance by the Congress and the country.
I have already stated from the very beginning that that is
not enough, for the reasons I have already given. Your
representative capacity comes into play when you are
making counter-proposals, and I cannot understand how
you can say that it is irrelevant. No responsible organization
can entertain any proposal from any individual, however
great he may be, unless it is backed up with the authority
of a recognized organization, and comes from its fully
accredited representative. However, I need not labour this
point any more, as I have already explained it in our previous
correspondence.
If a break comes, it will be because you have not satisfied
me in regard to the essence of the claim embodied in the
Lahore Resolution. It is not a question of your being unwilling,
but in fact, it is so. If a break comes it will be most
unfortunate. If one does not agree with you or differs from
you, you are always right and the other party is always
wrong, and the next thing is that many are waiting prepared,
in your circle, to pillory me when the word goes, but I must
face all threats and consequences, and I can only act
according to my judgement and conscience.
Source: Gandhi lxxxiv. 477-8. Amalendu De, 60-61.
Document Thirty-Eight
Statement of Jinnah, 27 September 1944
Mr. Gandhi from the very commencement of our talks made
it clear that he had approached me in his individual capacity
and that he represented no one but himself. However, he
assured me that he was really open to conviction and
conversion to the Muslim League Lahore Resolution of March
1940.
Without prejudice to my objection that in order to reach
any settlement, negotiations can only be carried on properly
when the other side is also fully represented and vested
with authority, in deference to Mr. Gandhi´s wishes I agreed
to the task of persuading and converting him to the
fundamentals of the Lahore Resolution.
I have placed before him everything and every aspect of
the Muslim point of view in the course of our prolonged
talks and correspondence, and we discussed all the pros
and cons generally, and I regret to say that I have failed in
my task of converting Mr. Gandhi. We have, therefore,
decided to release to the Press the correspondence that
has passed between us. Nevertheless, we hope that the
public will not feel embittered, and we trust that this is not
the final end of our effort.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 211 212
Source: Gandhi lxxxiv. 478. Amalendu De, 62-63.
Document Thirty-Nine
Gandhi´s Press Conference on the Talks with
Jinnah, 28 September 1944
It is a matter of deep regret that we two could not reach
an agreement. But there is no cause for disappointment.
The breakdown is only so-called. It is an adjournment sine
die. Each one of us must now talk to the public and put
our viewpoints before them. If we do so dispassionately
and if the public cooperate, we may reach a solution of
the seemingly insoluble at an early date. My experience of
the previous three weeks confirms me in the view that the
presence of a third power hinders the solution. A mind
enslaved cannot act as if it was free. I need not impute
base motives to the rulers to prove what seems to me to
be an axiomatic truth. Nevertheless, I am going to continue
to work for the solution as I have been during these three
weeks. The questions for consideration are simple. Has
the Rajaji Formula or mine made a reasonable approach to
the Lahore Resolution? If they or either of them is such an
approach, all parties, and especially the members of the
Muslim League, should ask the Quaid-e-Azam to revise his
opinion. If Rajaji and I have stultified the Lahore Resolution
we should be educated. The chief thing is for the Press
and the public to avoid partisanship and bitterness.
To a question on his future plans, whether he proposed to
concentrate on a Hindu-Muslim settlement or take up
political work, seeking imprisonment if necessary, Mahatma
Gandhi replied:
I shall act as my inner voice tells me.
Asked how far the offer he had made had conceded the
demand made in the Lahore Resolution of the League,
Mahatma Gandhi emphasized that the Rajaji Formula or the
formula that he presented conceded the substance of the
League demand. He said:
In my opinion, either formula gives as much as can
reasonably be expected with due regard to the interests
of the whole of India.
In answer to a question whether his offer was to be treated
now as withdrawn, he said that so far as he was concerned
the offer he had made stood. It was not made in any
bargaining spirit. He said:
I think it is a just solution of the problem and it is in the
spirit of the policy which the Congress has consistently
adopted in connection with the communal question, namely,
self-determination.
A number of questions were put on the representative
character of the two l eaders who conducted the
negotiations and why Mahatma Gandhi prolonged the talks
when he was apprised of Mr. Jinnah´s views on the first
day of the talks. Mahatma Gandhi answered:
I am a man reputed to have inexhaustible patience and I
had no reason to despair of either being converted by the
Quaid-e-Azam or in my turn converting him. Therefore, so
long as there was the slightest possibility, I clung to the
hope that we shall pull through to a solution. Haste in such
cases is a most dangerous thing. You should, therefore,
conclude that yesterday was really the moment when the
public should have been taken into confidence. As for
myself, I am entirely satisfied that we have not wasted
these three weeks. I have no doubt whatsoever that we
know now each other better than ever before.
When you agreed to meet Mr. Jinnah, did you meet him on
the basis that he was the sole representative of the Muslims?
I have never admitted that claim, but I have said
throughout that the Muslim League is by far the most
representative Muslim organization. It would have been
folly on my part not to recognize this, but I have always
been aware that there is outside the League a large body
of Muslims which does not see eye to eye with the League
and which does not believe in the two nations theory.
Mahatma Gandhi asserted that the fight for freedom had
not been suspended when he approached the Quaid-e-
Azam. He said:
My approach to the Quaid-e-Azam was itself a part of the
fight for freedom.
Asked if there was any possibility of the two leaders meeting
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 213 214
again in the near future, Mahatma Gandhi said:
I hope so. It is for the Press and the public to make it
possible and hasten the date. I assure you that we have
not parted as enemies, but as friends.
If the Rajaji Formula or his own formula had conceded the
substance of the Lahore Resolution, then why not agree
to the Resolution itself?
Although the Resolution does not say so, if you study the
correspondence, it shows that it is based on the two nations
theory and it has been known as the Pakistan Resolution.
Further, I had to examine the Resolution in view of the
interpretation put upon it by the Quaid-e-Azam in his
numerous speeches and statements in elucidation of the
Resolution. It is indisputable that the Resolution, while it
does not enunciate that theory, is based upon that theory.
The Quaid-e-Azam has insisted upon that. Therefore, I
urge that apart from the two nations theory, if I could
accept the principle of division of India in accordance with
the demand of the League, he should accept it. But
unfortunately it was just there we split.
Asked about Mr. Jinnah´s views regarding a provisional interim
government, he said:
I am not sure that the Quaid-e-Azam puts great weight on
the interim government. I gave all the explanation of my
conception of an interim government without any
reservation. It is quite clear in my letters. If I did not go
any further, it was because I could not and, even if you
cross-examine me any further, I would have to say I could
not go any further. But if, as you suggest, the Quaid-e-
Azam attached greater weight to it, then it was open to
him to put it into concrete form. I would have then taxed
myself and spared no effort to accept the proposition or
to make some other suggestions.
Mahatma Gandhi was told that those Muslims who did not
see eye to eye with the League had no real Muslim backing.
He replied:
Therefore, I have said that the League is by far the most
representative of Muslim opinion, but I cannot despise the
others by simply saying that they have no Muslim backing.
What does it matter if they have no more Muslim backing if
the opinion represented by a single Muslim, or by a body of
Muslims whom you can count on your fingers, is intrinsically
sound? The way of approaching a question is not to examine
the numerical strength of those behind the opinion, but to
examine the soundness of the opinion on merits, or else
we will never reach a solution, and if we reach one, it will
be a blind solution simply because it is the wish of the
largest body. If the largest body goes wrong, it is up to me
to say you are wrong and not to submit. The rule of majority
does not mean that it should suppress the opinion of even
an individual, if it is sound. An individual´s opinion should
have greater weight than the opinion of many, if that opinion
is sound on merits. That is my view of real democracy.
Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought of the idea
of [the] formation of provinces on linguistic, cultural and
communal basis.
He replied that since 1920 he was for provinces on a
linguistic basis. As for redistribution on a cultural basis, he
did not really know what it meant and he was unable to
understand how provinces could be reconstituted on
communal lines unless there was a suggestion that there
should be inter-migration of the various communities to
concentrate in particular areas. It seemed to him to be
fantastic and impossible. He said: We are not inhabiting a
country full of deserts and wastelands. We are a densely
populated country and I do not see the slightest chance
for such redistribution.
In that respect the Lahore Resolution is quite sound -
where there is an obvious Muslim majority they should be
allowed to constitute a separate State by themselves and
that has been fully conceded in the Rajaji Formula or my
formula. There is not much distinction between them. That
right is conceded without the slightest reservation. But if
it means utterly independent sovereignty so that there is
to be nothing in common between the two, I hold it is an
impossible proposition. That means war to the knife. It is
not a proposition that resolves itself into a voluntary or
friendly solution. Therefore, the Rajaji Formula and my
formula have presented certain things to be in common
between sovereign States. Therefore, there is no question
of one party overbearing the other or the Centre having
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 215 216
an overbearing Hindu majority. I think our formula should
be critically and sympathetically examined and it would be
found that the formula concedes everything that could
reasonably be conceded if we consider ourselves to be
one family. Children of the same family, dissatisfied with
one another by reason of change of religion, if they should
separate, then the separation should be within ourselves
and not separation in the face of the whole world. When
two brothers separate, they do not become enemies of
one another in the eyes of the world. The world will still
recognize them as brothers.
A journalist said that some of the Nationalist Muslims felt
that the Congress through Mahatma Gandhi meeting Mr.
Jinnah had put them in a false position and that they might
have to change their attitude towards Indian nationalism.
Mahatma Gandhi replied that it was an extraordinary
suggestion. Nationalist Muslims were nationalists simply
because they could not be otherwise. He said:
I am a nationalist, not in order to please anybody, but
because I cannot be otherwise. And if I approached the
Quaid-e-Azam, I approached him in the common interests
of myself and Nationalist Muslims and other Nationalists.
Nationalist Muslims, so far as I know, were delighted when
I approached the Quaid-e-Azam and were looking forward
to a proper solution in the confidence that I would not sell
the interests represented by them. Undoubtedly, a
Nationalist Muslim represents the nation, but he represents
the Muslims also, who are a part of the nation. He would
be guilty of disloyalty, if he sacrifices the Muslim interests.
But my nationalism has taught me that I would be guilty of
disloyalty if I sacrifice the interests of a single Indian.
Asked if there was any difference between his present
attitude towards the Muslim League demand and the stand
he took in 1942, Mahatma Gandhi said:
There is very great difference. In 1942, Rajaji had not
`burst´ on the scene as he did at the Aga Khan Palace with
a concrete proposition. It reflects very great credit on his
persistence. He never takes up a standpoint without the
fullest consideration and having taken it up, he follows it
to the bitterest end. He had abundant faith in my loyalty
and he never gave me up as I have never given him up.
When he found me in the Aga Khan Palace and presented
the Formula, I did not take even five minutes and I said
`Yes´ because I saw it in a concrete shape. My mind is
narrow. I have not read much literature. I have not seen
much of the world. I have concentrated upon certain things
in life and beyond that I have no other interest. Therefore,
I could not realize the meaning of Rajaji´s stand and I disliked
it. But when he came with a concrete formula - I myself a
concrete being of flesh and blood - and when he had put
something in concrete shape, I felt I could hug it and touch
it. Therefore, you see the vast difference between 1942
and today. However, thereby I have not departed from the
Congress standpoint in general terms. Congress has accepted
self-determination and the Rajaji Formula has also accepted
the principle of self-determination and therefore the Formula
had become common ground.
Proceeding, Mahatma Gandhi explained that he accepted
the principle of sovereign States, consistent with
friendliness. He said:
Friendliness suggests that before the whole world we must
act as one nation, not united by extraneous circumstances,
or united by force of British arms, but united by a greater
force, that is, our own determined will.
Source: Gandhi lxxxiv. 419-23. Amalendu De, 65-74.
Document Forty
Gandhi on why the talks with Jinnah failed.
Interview given to Stuart Gelder, News
Chronicle, London, 29 September 1944 at
Bombay
Mr. Gandhi told me today why his talks with Mr. Jinnah
failed to produce a solution of the Hindu-Muslim differences.
`I could not accept the two nations basis. This was Mr.
Jinnah´s demand. He wants immediate recognition of the
North-West Frontier Province, Sind, the whole of the Punjab,
Bengal and Assam as sovereign and completely independent
Pakistan.´ He wants Mr. Gandhi to agree to this amputation
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 217 218
from the rest of India without consulting the wishes of the
i nhabi tants by pl ebi sci te. He has rejected the
Rajagopalachari Formula.
I asked Mr. Gandhi what he was prepared to recognize as
Pakistan and on what basis there could be any hope of
agreement in future.
He was frank and precise. He replied: `I want to make it
clear that I believe Mr. Jinnah is sincere, but I think he is
suffering from hallucination when he imagines that an
unnatural division of India could bring either happiness or
prosperity to the people concerned. It was my suggestion
that provided there was the safeguard of a plebiscite there
could be sovereignty for the predominantly Muslim areas,
but it should be accompanied by bonds of alliance between
Hindustan and Pakistan. There should be common policy
and working arrangement on foreign affairs, defence,
communications and similar matters. This is manifestly vital
to the welfare of both parts of India.´ This arrangement,
Mr. Gandhi said, could not interfere with the internal life of
Muslims who would not be subject in any way to Hindu
domination. Such a division would not create an artificial
split between people who whatever their religious faiths
are descended from a common stock and are all Indians.
`Unfortunately, Mr. Jinnah would have none of it and asked
me to agree to the principle of two nations entirely separate.´
I asked Mr. Gandhi if he had adopted the attitude because
he thought he could not `sell´ such a division to the country
or because he thought it wrong in principle.
He replied: `Because it is fundamentally wrong in principle.
If I had thought Mr. Jinnah´s view was right, even though
the whole world were against me, I would have accepted
it personally and given him my unquestioned allegiance.´
If Mr. Jinnah agreed to your view of division, but insisted
there should be no plebiscite or a plebiscite in which only
Muslims would vote, would you settle on this basis?
Never. How could I agree in a personal or any other capacity
to decide the future of millions of people without their
having anything to say about their destiny?
What was your impression of Mr. Jinnah´s attitude on the
question of an interim national government which you
outlined to me in July?
Mr. Jinnah has said that he is deeply interested in
independence, but it did not seem to me that he set as
great store by it as immediate recognition of the Pakistan
he wants. Whereas, you see, my view has been all along
that we cannot be free among ourselves until we are free
from imperial domination. We have parted as friends. These
days have not been wasted. I am convinced that Mr. Jinnah
is a good man. I hope we shall meet again. I am a man of
prayer and I shall pray for understanding. In the meantime,
it is the duty of the public to digest the situation and bring
the pressure of their opinion upon us.
Source: Gandhi lxxxiv. 424-5. Amalendu De, 75-7.
Document Forty-One
Nehru to Jinnah, 6 October 1946
I have consulted some of my colleagues about the matters
discussed by us yesterday and over the possibility of
rapprochement between the Muslim League and the
Congress. We are all agreed that nothing could be happier
and better for the country than that these two organizations
should meet again as before as friends having no mental
reservations and bent on resolving their differences by
mutual consultation and never desiring or allowing the
intervention of the British Government through the Viceroy
or others of any other foreign power. We would, therefore,
welcome the decision of the League to join the Interim
Government for it to work as a united team on behalf of
India as a whole.
The points put forward by you in our conversation were
the formula suggested to you by Gandhiji
the League not being responsible for the members at present
representing the Scheduled Castes and the minorities
what should be done in case any vacancy should arise
among the members representing the minorities other than
the Scheduled Castes
the procedure to be adopted over what may be called
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 219 220
major communal issues and
alternating Vice-Presidentship.
Regarding (1), we feel that the formula is not happily worded.
We do not question the purpose underlying it. We are wiling,
as a result of the elections, to accept the Muslim League
as the authoritative representative organization of the
overwhelming majority of the Muslims of India and that as
such and in accordance with democratic principles they
have today the unquestionable right to represent the
Muslims of India, provided that for identical reasons the
League recognizes the Congress as the authoritative
organization representing all non-Muslims and such Muslims
as have thrown in their lot with the Congress. The Congress
cannot agree to any restriction or limitations to be put
upon it in choosing such representatives as they think
proper from amongst the members of the Congress. We
would suggest, therefore, that no formula is necessary
and each organization may stand on its merits.
Regarding (2), I am to say that the question of the League
being responsible does not arise and, as you do not raise
any objections to the present constitution of the Government
in this respect, there is no question to be solved.
Regarding (3), I am to say that if any such vacancy arises,
the whole Cabinet will consider what should be done to
replace the vacancy and advise the Viceroy accordingly.
There can be no question of right in the matter of
consultation with the League in regard to the representation
of these minorities.
Regarding (4), your suggestion about the Federal Court is
not feasible. Matters coming before the Cabinet cannot be
made the subject-matter of references to court. We should
thrash out all such matters amongst ourselves and bring up
agreed proposals before the Cabinet. In the event of failure
to reach an agreed decision, we should seek the method of
arbitration of our own choice. We hope, however, that we
will act with such mutual trust, forbearance and friendliness
that there will be no occasion to go to such arbitration.
Regarding (5), it is out of the question to have any rotation
in the Vice-Presidentship. We have no objection if you
desire to have an additional Vice-Chairman for the Co-
ordinating Committee of the Cabinet, who can also preside
at such meetings from time to time.
I am hoping that if your Committee finally decide upon the
League joining the National Cabinet, they will also decide
simultaneously to join the Constituent Assembly, or
recommend to your Council to this effect.
I need hardly mention that when an agreement has been
reached by us it can only be varied by mutual agreement
and not otherwise.
Source: Pakistan National Archives, Islamabad. Jinnah Papers, F-
98 / 2-3.
Document Forty-Two
Interview of Jinnah given to Duncan Hooper of
Reuter´s, 25 October 1947
Question. What, in your view, is the best basis for firm and
friendly relations between the Dominions of Indian and
Pakistan?
Answer: First and foremost, both Dominions must make all-
out efforts to restore peace and maintain law and order in
their respective states - that is fundamental. I have
repeatedly said that, now that the division of India has
been brought about by solemn agreement between the two
Dominions, we should bury the past and resolve that, despite
all that has happened, we shall remain friends. There are
many things which we need from each other as neighbours
and we can help each other in diverse ways, morally,
materially and politically and thereby raise the prestige and
status of both dominions. But before we can make any
progress, it is absolutely essential that peace must be
restored and law and order maintained in both the Dominions.
The minorities in both Dominions must be made to feel that
their life, property and honour are absolutely safe and secure
and they will get without question a fair deal from their
respective Governments. It is very unfortunate that vigorous
propaganda has been going on from the moment that the
division was agreed upon and the two states were created
that Pakistan is only a truncated Pakistan, and that it is
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 221 222
merely a temporary madness on the part of the Muslim
League that has brought about this `secession´, that
Pakistan will have to come into the Union as a penitent,
repentant, erring son and that the `two nation theory´ is
responsible for all that has taken place.
It is also very unfortunate that the Muslims in Hindustan
are told threateningly that they must abjure the leadership
of the League and declare their `folly´ in having supported
Pakistan and in believing in this `fantastic two-nation
theory´, also that certain tests and standards of loyalty
are demanded from them and unless they satisfy those
tests, it is said that they have no place in Hindustan.
No Union Between Two States
I want to make it quite clear that Pakistan will never
surrender and never agree in any shape or form to any
constitutional union between the two sovereign states with
one common centre.
Pakistan has come to stay and will stay. But we are always
ready to come to an understanding or enter into agreements
with Hindustan as two independent, equal, sovereign states,
just as we may have our alliances, friendships and
agreements with any other foreign nation. But all this
propaganda and agitation, all the threats that are held out
even by prominent Congress speakers, against our fully
independent sovereign state are not likely to restore
goodwill and friendly relations between the two states.
We must try to stop any effort or attempt which is intended
to bring about a forced union of the two Dominions. The
methods advocated for the achievement of this are:
1) Bring about a revolt by Muslims against the Muslim
League and the Pakistan Government.
2) Failing that, making the leaders of Pakistan realize
the folly of the two nation theory and change their
ways and force them once again to agree to join the
Union and thereby create a single India by war.
India is a Hindu State
If firm and friendly relations are to be established between
the two Dominions, this sort of propaganda must stop. As
for the two-nation theory, it is not a theory but a fact. The
division of India is based on that fact and, what is more,
that fact has been proved beyond doubt by the ugly and
deplorable events of the past two months, and by the action
of the Dominion of India in pulling out Hindus from Pakistan as
their nationals. How then can it be said that there is one
nation? I do not wish to dwell upon this further. There are
many other events that are taking place which go to show
the reality which is that the Dominion of India is a Hindu state.
Even a great professor, Dr Gadgil, in his statement of 9
October, says that a `Hindu state or more fully a federation
of Hindu national states´ is the only proper description of
the new Indian Union. And he says that to describe the
Indian Union as a Hindu state is to bring out its dominant
and most significant characteristic and he further proceeds
to say that this does not mean that the territories of the
Indian Union have no place for those who do not belong to the
Hindu tradition and that others will be discriminated against.
Minorities do not cease to be Citizens
Minorities belonging to different faiths living in Pakistan or
Hindustan do not cease to be citizens of the respective
states by virtue of their belonging to a particular faith,
religion or race. I have repeatedly made it clear, especially
in my opening speech to the Constituent Assembly, that
the minorities in Pakistan would be treated as our citizens
and will enjoy all the rights and privileges that any other
community gets. Pakistan shall pursue that policy and do
all it can to create a sense of security and confidence in
the non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan.
Every citizen is expected to be loyal to the state and to
owe true allegiance to it. The arm of the law should be
strong enough to deal with any person or section or body
of people that is disloyal to the state. We do not, however,
prescribe any schoolboy tests of their loyalty. We shall not
say to any Hindu citizen of Pakistan, `if there was war,
would you shoot a Hindu?´
To the Muslim minority and their leaders left in India, I
have already conferred advice that they must reorganize
themselves under their own chosen leadership as they have
a very big part to play in safeguarding the rights and interests
of many millions. They have already professed under my
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 223 224
advice their loyalty to the Government of India and made
their position clear on the very first day when they attended
the Indian Dominion Constituent Assembly.
In spite of this, insidious propaganda is going on that they
have been let down by the Muslim League and Pakistan is
indifferent to what may happen to them. The Muslim minority
in India have played a magnificent part in the achievement
and establishment of Pakistan. They were fully active to
the consequences that they would have to remain in
Hindustan as minorities but not at the cost of their self-
respect and honour. Nobody visualized that a powerful
section in India was bent upon the ruthless extermination
of Muslims and had prepared a well-organized plan to achieve
that end. This gangsterism, I hope, will be put down
ruthlessly by the India Government, otherwise they will
forfeit the claim to be a civilized Government.
I therefore, while deeply and fully sympathising with their
sufferings, urge upon Muslims in India to bear their trial
with courage and fortitude and not get panicky and play
into the hands of our enemies by hasty decisions or actions.
They should not in their adversity be led away by
mischievous propaganda of interested parties and hold the
Muslim League and its leadership responsible for all their
tribulations. They must hold on to their posts, and Pakistan,
I can assure them, will not be a mere spectator of their
sufferings. We are deeply concerned with their welfare and
future, and we shall do everything in our power to avert
the danger that they are facing. I sincerely hope that,
with the co-operation of the Indian Dominion, we shall be
able to secure a fair deal for them.
Strike at the Roots of Conspiracy
Question. Do you consider that Pakistan and India have
now passed through the worst of the communal troubles
following the transfer of power?
Answer: You can hardly call this communal trouble, although
I know that it has been very loosely described at that. It
is now clear beyond doubt that it was well-planned, well-
organized and well-directed and the object of it all, it seems
to me, was to paralyse the new-born Dominion of Pakistan,
which obviously was starting from scratch. There is only
one remedy now left - that is for the Indian Dominion to
deal ruthlessly with this diabolical conspiracy and extirpate,
I say extirpate, the roots of the plot and the powerful men
who are behind the organization. It is no use dealing with
the symptoms. You must strike at the root.
Function of Muslims
Question. What do you consider are now the proper
functions of the Muslim League outside Pakistan?
Answer. The Muslim League has already achieved its mission
- its fundamental object - which was to establish the
independent state of Pakistan.
The remaining aims and objects of the Muslim League are
very general. I quote: `to protect and advance the political,
religious and other rights and interests of Indian Mussulmans
and other communities of India, and to maintain and
strengthen brotherly relations between the Mussulmans of
India and those of other communities.
I wanted to call a meeting of the Working Committee and
of the Council of the All-India Muslim League at an early
date because it is obvious that we have to reorient the
Muslim League organization in the light of the fundamental
changes that have taken place. But, unfortunately, owing
to the grave situation that was created, we were so fully
absorbed that we had no time to attend to this or many
other matters which are facing us and which still require
our urgent consideration.
Fair deal for Indian Muslims
The main objective of Muslims in India is to play their part
in ensuring that they get a fair deal. But, with the
establishment of the two Dominions, this is also a matter
which can be handled effectively on a Government level.
The plan of 3 June was accepted by the two major nations
as successor authorities and now in accordance with that
plan and under the terms of the Indian Independence Act
of 1947, there have emerged two independent sovereign
states. In accepting the Plan, even before then, solemn
declarations were made both by the Congress and the
Muslim League that the minorities of both states would be
given a fair deal and that safeguards for them should be
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 225 226
secured specially for the protection of their religious,
cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights
in consultation with them and that position is not seriously
questioned even now by any responsible person.
Terrific bloodshed
The birth of the two Dominions was, I am glad to say,
celebrated everywhere as the day of the attainment of
freedom and independent, not only for these two major
nations but for all the inhabitants of this great sub-continent
- yet immediately thereafter there came this terrific
bloodshed which was undoubtedly intended to eliminate
the Muslim minorities from Hindustan.
Lastly, I must emphasize that the Congress and the Indian
Dominion Government must put down the leadership of those
who planned this ruthless killing and also those elements
who are collaborating with them to defy law and order.
No Retaliation, no Revenge
I have refrained as far as possible from apportioning blame
between the Hindus as a community or the Muslims as a
community. But I must make it clear that I deplore and
condemn without reserve the horrible deeds of killing and
destruction that have taken place irrespective of their place
of occurrence or origin.
I have done my utmost, and I am glad to say, not without
considerable success, to impress upon the Muslims that
whatever the provocation, there shall be no retaliation, no
revenge. On the contrary, it is the duty of every Muslim as
a man of honour - and what is more his religion enjoins it
upon them - that there should be no retaliation or revenge
[and] that it is our bounden duty to protect the minorities
and that we mean to give them a fair deal as our citizens.
Source: Afzal, Speeches and statements of the Quaid-i-Azam
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 437-44. Yusuf, iv. 2361-2638.
Document Forty-Three
Mushirul Hasan, `The Mahatma and the Qaid-
i-Azam: A study in contrast´
And then Gandhi came. He was like a powerful current of
fresh air that made us stretch ourselves and take deep
breaths, like a beam of light that pierced the darkness and
removed the scales from our eyes, like a whirlwind that upset...
most of all the working of people´s mind. He did not descend
from the top; he seemed to emerge from the millions of India...
(Jawaharlal Nehru)
Like most of you, I read all about the 50th year of
Independence. My regret is that we missed an historic
opportunity of reminding ourselves of Gandhi´s moral and
political philosophy, his sensitivity to oppression and
exploitation, and his contribution to heightening popular
consciousness during the liberation struggle. And my
disappointment is with the feeble attempts to understand
or interpret the Gandhian legacy, more so when a
beleaguered nation is supposedly engaged in fighting
simultaneously on political, social and economic fronts.
True, Gandhi´s moral and political philosophy had severe
limitations. It is also true that he lost the magic touch
after having led and guided the civil disobedience
campaigns. His concern for the plight of Dalits was genuine
but their empowerment, which would have caused an upper
caste backlash, was not his political agenda. He opposed
separate electorates for them. He did not deal with their
leaders, notably B. R. Ambedkar, on equal terms.
Gandhi´s method of dealing with Muslims was, likewise, based
on mistaken beliefs. He treated them as a distinct pan-
Indian entity and approached them as a monolithic religious
group and not as differentiated cultural, linguistic and
economic entities. He did not turn to the regional Muslim
communities or take cognisance of their regional aspirations.
He spent years in the company of liberal and secular-minded
Muslims without being receptive to their modernist
interpretation of Islam. He regarded the traditionalist view
as the more authentic voice of India´s Muslims.
It is easy to disagree with Gandhi on many such issues and
dwell on his inconsistencies and contradictions. Yet his
conception of state and society, with its emphasis on
morality and non-violence, demands serious attention.
Gandhi was a Hindu, but not a Hindu leader. He deployed
Hinduised symbols, which appealed to Hindus and Muslims
alike in rural areas, to unite and not to divide his growing
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 227 228
constituency. Indeed, his political engagements developed
out of his concern to articulate the interests of the Indian
people. That is why Mohamed Ali stated in the early-1920s:
`It is Gandhi, Gandhi, Gandhi, that has got to be dinned
into the people´s ears, because he means Hindu-Muslim
unity, non-cooperation, dharma and Swaraj.´
M. A. Jinnah did not endorse such a view then or later. One
should understand why this was so, though there is no
earthly reason to compare his political trajectory with that
of Gandhi or publicise his fulminations against the Mahatma.
Why should any book published in the West be the reference
point for a Gandhi-Jinnah debate? Is it important to be told
that Jinnah spent less than Gandhi on train fares despite
travelling first class, since he only had to buy one ticket?
Or, that Gandhi believed in the increment of human
excrement, whereas the elitist Jinnah did not wish to soil
his carefully scrubbed hands by consorting with the masses.
At the same time, one is ill-served by those who demonise
Jinnah or interpret his role from the lofty heights of Indian
nationalism. He should not be belittled for rejecting the
Congress creed; others did the same more consistently.
He should not be singled out as the `villain´, the sole leader
responsible for the Partition. The nationalist rhetoric can
no longer obscure the role of certain key Congress and
Hindu Mahasabha players in signing united India´s death-
warrant.
Jinnah´s political trajectory can best be studied in relation
to the complex interplay of forces that created spaces for
the Pakistan demand to gather momentum, the subtle
changes in institutional and bureaucratic structures, the
shifts in political alignments and the bitter struggle for
gaining access to power, patronage and authority. Still,
how did Sarojini Naidu´s `Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity´
become Pakistan´s Qaid-i-Azam? Why did Jinnah repudiate
his own liberal and secular creed? How and why did he
succeed in mobilising so many Muslims in so short a time?
The explanations lie elsewhere and not in the pedantic
debates centred around the whims and idiosyncrasies of
individuals. Jinnah was not a political force when Gandhi
launched the Rowlatt Satyagraha and the non-cooperation
movement. He searched in vain for a role in British politics,
while Gandhi led the spectacular Dandi March. During the
1937 elections, he was dismayed to discover that Gandhi´s
Congress and not his Muslim League was the people´s party.
Yet, he was not one to lick his wounds. He bounced back
and used his bargaining skills to extract major political
concessions from a beleaguered war-time government. That
was the time when Gandhi, his bête noir, languished in
British jails.
The two men had little in common. Jinnah was a
constitutionalist who relished debating finer points of law
and legal processes. He was often impetuous and sometimes
reckless in promoting his favourite projects; hence the use
of religion to establish his moral authority on his allies. He
was not inclined to define his long-term agenda. He had no
blueprint to cope with the demands of a modern nation-
state. His overall world-view failed to transcend the confines
of the law courts.
The Mahatma was a popular and charismatic figure. He
was a powerful communicator. He possessed a sharp and
intuitive mind, with the ability to marshal his resources
towards ends clearly discerned and goals clearly defined.
He was an innovator, a synthesiser of diverse political and
philosophical traditions. He developed a political theory
grounded in the unique experiences and articulated in terms
of the indigenous philosophical vocabulary.
Such a man was, alas, reduced to being a figurehead in
the Congress hierarchy during 1945-7. Humbled and
marginalized by his erstwhile colleagues, he was a lonely
figure at the time of Independence and Partition. He moved
to riot-ravaged areas to provide the healing touch. Here
was somebody who practised what he preached. Here was
somebody who reminded us through his ideas and actions
that a second partition must not be allowed to take place.
This is the Mahatma´s legacy for you.
Source: Indian Express, 23 August 1997:
<www.financialexpress.com/ie/daily/19970823/23450103.html>
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 229 230
Appendix Two
Document Forty-Four
Dr Ambdekar on The Problems of Pakistan
(1940), ch. 14
I
Among the many problems to which the partition of India
into Pakistan and Hindustan must give rise will be the
following three problems:
(1) The problem of the allocation of the financial assets
and liabilities of the present Government of India,
(2) The problem of the delimitation of the areas, and
(3) The problem of the transfer of population from
Pakistan to Hindustan and vice versa.
Of these problems the first is consequential, in the sense,
that it would be worthwhile to consider it only when the
partition of India has been agreed to by the parties
concerned. The two other problems stand on a different
footing. They are conditions precedent to Pakistan in the
sense that there are many people who will not make up
their mind on Pakistan unless they are satisfied that some
reasonable and just solution of them is possible, I will,
therefore, confine myself to the consideration only of the
last two problems of Pakistan.
II
On the question of the boundaries of Pakistan we have
had so far no clear and authoritative statement from the
Muslim League. In fact it is one of the complaints made by
the Hindus that while Mr. Jinnah has been carrying on a
whirlwind campaign in favour of Pakistan, which has resulted
in fouling the political atmosphere in the country, Mr. Jinnah
has not thought fit to inform his critics of the details
regarding the boundaries of his proposed Pakistan. Mr.
Jinnah´s argument has all along been that any discussion
regarding the boundaries of Pakistan is premature and that
the boundaries of Pakistan will be a matter for discussion
when the principle of Pakistan has been admitted. It may
be a good rhetorical answer, but it certainly does not help
those who wish to apply their mind without taking sides to
offer whatever help they can to bring about a peaceful
solution of this problem. Mr. Jinnah seems to be under the
impression that if a person is committed to the principle of
Pakistan he will be bound to accept Mr. Jinnah´s plan of
Pakistan. There cannot be a greater mistake than this. A
person may accept the principle of Pakistan, which only
means the partition of India. But it is difficult to understand
how the acceptance of this principle can commit him to
Mr. Jinnah´s plan of Pakistan. Indeed if no plan of Pakistan
is satisfactory to him he will be quite free to oppose any
form of Pakistan although he may be in favour of the
principle of Pakistan. The plan of Pakistan and the principle
of Pakistan are therefore two quite distinct propositions.
There is nothing wrong in this view. By way of illustration
it may be said that the principle of self-determination is
like an explosive substance. One may agree in principle to
its use when the necessity and urgency of the occasion is
proved. But no one can consent to the use of the dynamite
without first knowing the area that is intended to be blown
up. If the dynamite is going to blow up the whole structure
or if it is not possible to localize its application to a particular
part he may well refuse to apply the dynamite and prefer
to use some other means of solving the problem.
Specifications of boundary lines seem therefore to be an
essential preliminary for working out in concrete shape the
principle of Pakistan. Equally essential it is for a bona fide
protagonist of Pakistan not to hide from the public the
necessary particulars of the scheme of Pakistan. Such
contumacy and obstinacy as shown by Mr. Jinnah in refusing
to declare the boundaries of his Pakistan is unforgivable in
a statesman. Nevertheless those who are interested in
solving the question of Pakistan need not wait to resolve
the problems of Pakistan until Mr. Jinnah condescends to
give full details. Only one has to carry on the argument on
the basis of certain assumptions. In this discussion I will
assume that what the Muslim League desires is that the
boundaries of the Western Pakistan should be the present
boundaries of the Provinces of the North-West Frontier,
the Punjab, Sind and Baluchistan, and that the boundaries
of Eastern Pakistan should be the boundaries of the present
province of Bengal with a few districts of Assam thrown in.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 231 232
III
The question for consideration therefore is: is this a just
claim? The claim is said to be founded on the principle of
self-determination.
To be able to assess the justice of this claim it is necessary
to have a clear understanding of the scope and limitations
of the principle of self-determination. Unfortunately, there
seems to be a complete lack of such an understanding. It is
therefore necessary to begin with the question: What is
the de facto and de jure connotation of this principle of
self-determination? The term self-determination has become
current since the last few years. But it describes something
which is much older. The idea underlying self-determination
has developed along two different lines. During the 19th
century self-determination meant the right to establish a
form of government in accordance with the wishes of the
people. Secondly, self-determination has meant the right to
obtain national independence from an alien race irrespective
of the form of government. The agitation for Pakistan has
reference to self-determination in its second aspect.
Confining the discussion to this aspect of Pakistan it seems
to me essential that the following points regarding the
issue of self-determination should be borne in mind.
In the first place, self determination must be by the people.
This point is too simple even to need mention. But it has
become necessary to emphasize it. Both the Muslim League
and the Hindu Maha Sabha seem to be playing fast and
loose with the idea of self-determination. An area is claimed
by the Muslim League for inclusion in Pakistan because the
people of the area are Muslims. An area is also claimed for
being included in Pakistan because the ruler of the area is
a Muslim though the majority of the people of that area
are non-Muslims. The Muslim League is claiming the benefit
of self-determination in India. At the same time the League
is opposed to self-determination being applied to Palestine.
The League claims Kashmir as a Muslim State because the
majority of people are Muslims and also Hyderabad because
the ruler is Muslim. In like manner the Hindu Maha Sabha
claims an area to be included in Hindustan because the
people of the area are non-Muslims. It also comes forward
to claim an area to be a part of Hindustan because the
ruler is a Hindu though the majority of the people are
Muslims. Such strange and conflicting claims are entirely
due to the fact that either the parties to Pakistan, namely,
the Hindus and the Muslims do not understand what self-
determination means or are busy in perverting the principle
of self-determination to enable them to justify themselves
in carrying out the organized territorial loot in which they
now seem to be engaged. India will be thrown into a state
of utter confusion whenever the question of reorganization
of its territories comes up for consideration if people have
no exact notions as to what self-determination involves
and have not the honesty to stand by the principle and
take the consequences whatever they be. It is, therefore,
will to emphasize what might be regarded as too simple to
require mention, namely, that self-determination is a
determination by the people and by nobody else.
The second point to note is the degree of imperative
character with which the principle of self-determination
can be said to be invested. As has been said by Mr.
O´Connor:
`The doctrine of self-determination is not a universal principle
at all. The most that can be said about it is that generally
speaking, it is a sound working rule, founded upon justice,
making for harmony and peace and for the development of
people in their own fashion, which, again generally speaking,
is the best fashion. But it must yield to circumstances, of
which size and geographical situation are some of the most
important. Whether the rule should prevail against the
circumstances or the circumstances against the rule can
be determined only by the application of one's common
sense or sense of justice, or, as a Benthamite would prefer
to put it, by reference to the greatest good of the greatest
number - all these three, if properly understood, are really
different methods of expressing the same thing. In solving
a particular case very great difficulties may arise. There
are facts one way and facts another way. Facts of one
kind may make a special appeal to some minds, little or
none to others. The problem may be of the kind that is
called imponderable, that is to say, no definite conclusion
that will be accepted by the generality of the mankind
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 233 234
may be possible. There are cases in which it is no more
possible to say that a nation is right in its claim to interfere
with the self-determination of another nation than that it
is to say that it is wrong. It is a matter of opinion, upon
which honest and impartial minds may differ.´
There are two reasons why this must be so. Firstly,
nationality is not such a sacrosanct and absolute principle
as to give it the character of a categorical imperative,
over-riding every other consideration. Secondly, separation
is not quite so essential for the maintenance and
preservation of a distinct nationality.
There is a third point to be borne in mind in connection
with the issue of self-determination. Self-determination for
a nationality may take the form of cultural independence
or may take the form of territorial independence. Which
form it can take must depend upon the territorial layout of
the population. If a nationality lives in easily severable and
contiguous area, other things being equal, a case can be
made out for territorial independence. But where owing to
an inextricable intermingling the nationalities are so mixed
up that the area they occupy are not easily serverable,
then al l that they can be enti tl ed to i s cul tural
independence. Territorial separation in a case like this is
an impossibility. They are doomed to live together. The
only other alternative they have is to migrate.
IV
Having defined the scope and limitations of the idea of
self-determination we can now proceed to deal with the
question of boundaries of Pakistan. How does the claim of
the Muslim League for the present boundary to remain the
boundaries of Pakistan stand in the light of these
considerations? The answer to this question seems to me
quite clear. The geographical layout seems to decide the
issue. No special pleading of any kind is required. In the
case of the North-West Frontier Province, Baluchistan and
Sind, the Hindus and the Muslims are intermixed. In these
Provinces a case for territorial separation for the Hindus
seems to be impossible. They must remain content with
cultural independence and such political safeguards, as
may be devised for their safety. The case of the Punjab
and Bengal stands on a different footing. A glance at the
map shows that the layout of the population of the Hindus
and the Muslims in these two Provinces is totally different
from what one finds in the other three Provinces. The
non-Muslims in the Punjab and Bengal are not found living
in small islands in the midst of and surrounded by a vast
Muslim population spread over the entire surface as is the
case with the North-West Frontier Province, Baluchistan
and Sind. In Bengal and the Punjab the Hindus occupy two
different areas contiguous and severable. In these
circumstances, there is no reason for conceding what the
Muslim League seems to demand, namely, that the present
boundaries of the Punjab and Bengal shall continue to be
the boundaries of Western Pakistan and Eastern Pakistan.
Two conclusions necessarily follow from the foregoing
discussion. One is that the non-Muslims of the Punjab and
Bengal have a case for exclusion from Pakistan by territorial
severance of the area they occupy. The other is that the
non-Muslims of North-West Frontier Province, Baluchistan
and Sind have no case for exclusion and are only entitled
to cultural independence and political safeguards. To put
the same thing in a different way it may be said that the
Muslim League claim for demanding that the boundaries of
Sind, North-West Frontier and Baluchistan shall remain as
they are cannot be opposed. But that in the case of the
Punjab and Bengal such a claim is untenable and that the
non-Muslims of these Provinces, if they desire, can claim
that the territory they occupy should be excluded by a
redrawing of the boundaries of these two Provinces.
V
One should have thought that such a claim by the non-
Muslim minorities of the Punjab and Bengal for the redrawing
of the boundaries would be regarded by the Muslim League
as a just and reasonable claim. The possibility of the
redrawing of boundaries was admitted in the Lahore
Resolution of the Muslim League passed in March 1940.
The Resolution said:
`The establishment of completely independent States formed
by demarcating geographically contiguous units into regions
which shall be so constituted, with such territorial
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 235 236
readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which
the Musalmans are numerically in a majority, as in the north-
western and eastern zones of India, shall be grouped
together to constitute independent States as Muslim free
national home-lands in which the constituent units shall
be autonomous and sovereign.´
That this continued to be the position of the Muslim League
is clear from the resolution passed by the Muslim League
on the Cripps Proposals as anyone who cares to read it will
know. But there are indications that Mr. Jinnah has changed
his view. At a public meeting held on 16 November 1942 in
Jullunder Mr. Jinnah is reported to have expressed himself
in the following terms:-
'The latest trick - I call it nothing but a trick - to puzzle
and to mislead the ignorant masses purposely, and those
playing the game understand it, is, why should the right of
self-determination be confined to Muslims only and why
not extend it to other communities? Having said that all
have the right of self-determination, they say the Punjab
must be divided into so many bits; likewise the North-West
Frontier Province and Sind. Thus there will be hundreds of
Pakistans.
Sub National Groups
`Who is the author of this new formula that every community
has the right of self-determination all over India ? Either it
is colossal ignorance or mischief and trick. Let me give
them a reply, that the Musalmans claim the right of self-
determination because they are a national group on a given
territory which is their homeland and in the zones where
they are in a majority. Have you known any where in
history that national groups scattered all over have been
given a State? Where are you going to get a State for
them? In that case you have got 14 per cent. Muslims in
the United Provinces. Why not have a State for them?
Muslims in the United Provinces are not a national group;
they are scattered. Therefore in constitutional language
they are characterized as a sub-national group who cannot
expect anything more than what is due from any civilized
Government to a minority. I hope I have made the position
clear. The Muslims are not a sub-national group; it is their
birthright to claim and exercise the right of self-
determination.´
Mr. Jinnah has completely missed the point. The point raised
by his critics was not with regard to the non-Muslim
minorities in general. It had reference to the non-Muslim
minorities in the Punjab and Bengal. Does Mr. Jinnah propose
to dispose of the case of non-Muslim minorities who occupy
a compact and an easily severable territory by his theory
of a sub-nation? If that is so, then one is bound to say
that a proposition cruder than his it would be difficult to
find in any political literature. The concept of a sub-nation
is unheard of. It is not only an ingenious concept but it is
also a preposterous concept. What does the theory of a
sub nation connote? If, I understand its implications
correctly, it means a sub-nation must not be severed from
the nation to which it belongs even when severance is
possible: it means that the relations between a nation and
a sub nation are no higher than the relations which subsist
between a man and his chattels, or between property and
its incidents. Chattels go with the owner, incidents go with
property, so a sub-nation goes with a nation. Such is the
chain of reasoning in Mr. Jinnah´s argument. But does Mr.
Jinnah seriously wish to argue that the Hindus of the Punjab
and Bengal are only chattels so that they must always go
wherever the Muslims of the Punjab and the Muslims of
Bengal choose to drive them? Such an argument will be
too absurd to be entertained by any reasonable man. It is
also the most illogical argument and certainly it should not
be difficult for so mature a lawyer as Mr. Jinnah, to see the
illogicality of it. If a numerically smaller nation is only a
sub-nation in relation to a numerically larger nation and
has no right to territorial separation, why can it not be
said that taking India as a whole the Hindus are a nation
and the Muslims a sub-nation and as a sub - nation they
have no right to self-determination or territorial separation?
Already there exists a certain amount of suspicion with
regard to the bona fides of Pakistan. Rightly or wrongly,
most people suspect that Pakistan is pregnant with mischief.
They think that it has two motives. One immediate, the
other ultimate. The immediate motive, it is said, is to join
with the neighbouring Muslim countries and form a Muslim
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 237 238
Federation. The ultimate motive is for the Muslim Federation
to invade Hindustan and conquer or rather reconquer the
Hindu and re-establish Muslim Empire in India. Others think
that Pakistan is the culmination of the scheme of hostages
which lay behind the demand, put forth by Mr. Jinnah in his
fourteen points, for the creation of separate Muslim
Provinces. Nobody can fathom the mind of the Muslims
and reach the real motives that lie behind their demand for
Pakistan. The Hindu opponents of Pakistan if they suspect
that the real motives of the Muslims are different from the
apparent ones may take note of them and plan accordingly.
They cannot oppose Pakistan because the motives behind
it are bad. But they are entitled to ask Mr. Jinnah, Why
does he want to have a communal problem within Pakistan?
However vicious may be the motives behind Pakistan it
should possess at least one virtue. The ideal of Pakistan
should be not have a communal problem inside it. This is
the least of virtues one can expect from Pakistan. If
Pakistan is to be plagued by a communal problem in the
same way as India has been, why have Pakistan at all? It
can be welcomed only if it provides an escape from the
communal problem. The way to avoid it is to arrange the
boundaries in such a way that it will be an ethnic State
without a minority and a majority pitched against each
other. Fortunately it can be made into an ethnic State if
only Mr. Jinnah will allow it. Unfortunately Mr. Jinnah objects
to it. There in lies the chief cause for suspicion and Mr.
Jinnah, instead of removing it, is deepening it by such
absurd, illogical, and artificial distinctions as nations and
sub-nations.
Rather than resort to such absurd and illogical propositions
and defend what is indefensible and oppose what is just,
would it not be better for Mr. Jinnah to do what Sir Edward
Carson did in the matter of the delimitation of the boundaries
of Ulster? As all those who know the vicissitudes through
which the Irish Home Rule question passed know that it
was at the Craig Avon meeting held on 23 September 1911
that Sir Edward Carson formulated his policy that in Ulster
there will be a government of Imperial Parliament or a
Government of Ulster but never a Home Rule Government.
As the Imperial Parliament was proposing to withdraw its
government, this policy meant the establishment of a
provisional government for Ulster. This policy was embodied
in a resolution passed at a joint meeting of delegates
representing the Ulster Unionist Council, the Country Grand
Orange Lodges and Unionist Clubs held in Belfast on 25th
September 1911. The Provisional Government of Ulster was
to come into force on the day of the passing of the Home
Rule Bill. An important feature of this policy was to invest
the Provisional Government with a jurisdiction over all `those
districts which they (Ulsterites) could control.´
The phrase `those districts which they could control´ was
no doubt meant to include the whole of the administrative
division of Ulster. Now this administrative division of Ulster
included nine countries. Of these three were overwhelmingly
Catholic. This meant the compulsory retention of the three
Catholic counties under Ulster against their wishes. But
what did Sir Edward Carson do in the end? It did not take
long for Sir Edward Carson to discover that Ulster with
three overwhelmingly Catholic districts would be a liability,
and with all the courage of a true leader be came out with
a declaration that he proposed to cut down his losses and
make Ulster safe. In his speech in the House of Commons
on the 18th of May 1920 he announced that he was content
with six counties only. The speech that he made on that
occasion giving his reasons why he was content only with
six countries is worth quoting. This is what he said:
`The truth is that we came to the conclusion after many
anxious hours and anxious days of going into the whole
matter, almost parish by parish and townland by townland,
that we would have no chance of successfully starting a
Parliament in Belfast which would be responsible for the
government of Donegal, Caven and Monaghan. It would be
perfectly idle for us to come here and pretend that we
should be in a position to do so, We should like to have the
very largest areas possible, naturally. That is a system of
land grabbing that prevails in all countries for widening the
jurisdiction of the various governments that are set up;
but there is no use in our undertaking a government which
we know would be a failure if we were saddled with these
three countries.´
These are wise, sagacious and most courageous words.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 239 240
The situation in which they were uttered has a close parallel
with the situation that is likely to be created in the Punjab
and Bengal by the application of the principle of Pakistan.
The Muslim League and Mr. Jinnah if they want a peaceful
Pakistan should not forget to take note of them. It is no
use asking the non-Muslim minorities in the Punjab and
Bengal to be satisfied with safeguards. If the Musalmans
are not prepared to be content with safeguards against
the tyranny of Hindu majority why should the Hindu
minorities be asked to be satisfied with the safeguards
against the tyranny of the Muslim majority? If the Musalmans
can say to the Hindus `Damn your safeguards, we don´t
want to be ruled by you´ ¯ an argument which Carson used
against Redmond ¯ the same argument can be returned by
the Hindus of the Punjab and Bengal against the Muslim
offer to be content with safeguards.
The point is that this attitude is not calculated to lead to
a peaceful solution of the problem of Pakistan. Sabre-rattling
or show of force will not do. In the first place, this is a
game which two can play. In the second place, arms may
be an element of strength. But to have arms is not enough.
As Rousseau said: `The strongest is never strong enough
to be always master, unless he transforms his might into
right, and obedience into duty.´ Only ethics can convert
might into right and obedience into duty. The League must
see that it claim for Pakistan is founded on ethics.
VI
So much for the problem of boundaries. I will now turn to
the problem of the minorities which must remain within
Pakistan even after boundaries are redrawn. There are two
methods of protecting their interests.
First is to provide safeguards in the constitution for the
protection of the political and cultural rights of the minorities.
To Indians this is a familiar matter and it is unnecessary to
enlarge upon it.
Second is to provide for their transfer from Pakistan to
Hindustan. Many people prefer this solution and would be
ready and willing to consent to Pakistan if it can be shown
that an exchange of population is possible. But they regard
this as a staggering and a baffling problem. This no doubt
is the sign of a panic-stricken mind. If the matter is
considered in a cool and calm temper it will be found that
the problem in neither staggering nor baffling.
To begin with consider the dimensions of the problem. On
what scale is this transfer going to be? In determining the
scal e one i s bound to take i nto account three
considerations. In the first place, if the boundaries of the
Punjab and Bengal are redrawn there will be no question of
transfer of population so far as these two Provinces are
concerned. In the second place, the Musalmans residing in
Hindustan do not propose to migrate to Pakistan nor does
the League want their transfer. In the third place, the
Hindus in the North-West Frontier Province, Sind and
Baluchistan do not want to migrate. If these assumptions
are correct, the problem of transfer of population is far
from being a staggering problem. Indeed it is so small that
there is no need to regard it as a problem at all.
Assuming it does become a problem, will it be a baffling
problem? Experience shows that it is not a problem which
it is impossible to solve. To devise a solution for such a
problem it might be well to begin by asking what are the
possible difficulties that are likely to arise in the way of a
person migrating from one area to another on account of
political changes. The following are obvious enough: (1)
The machinery for effecting and facilitating the transfer of
population; (2) Prohibition by Government against migration;
(3) Levy by Government of heavy taxation on the transfer
of goods by the migrating family; (4) The impossibility for a
migrating family to carry with it to its new home its
immovable property; (5) The difficulty of obviating a resort
to unfair practices with a view to depress unduly the value
of the property of the migrating family; (6) The fear of
having to make good the loss by not being able to realize
the full value of the property by sale in the market; (7)
The difficulty of realizing pensionary and other charges
due to the migrating family from the country of departure;
(8) The difficulty of fixing the currency in which payment
is to be made. If these difficulties are removed the way to
the transfer of population becomes clear.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 241 242
The first three difficulties can be easily removed by the
two States of Pakistan and Hindustan agreeing to a treaty
embodying an article in some such terms as follows:
`The Governments of Pakistan and Hindustan agree to
appoint a Commission consisting of equal number of
representatives and presided over by a person who is
approved by both and who is not a national of either.´
`The expenses of the Commission and of its Committees
both on account of its maintenance and its operation shall
be borne by the two Governments in equal proportion.´
`The Government of Pakistan and the Government of
Hindustan hereby agree to grant to all their nationals within
their territories who belong to ethnic minorities the right to
express their desire to emigrate.´
`The Governments of the States above mentioned undertake
to facilitate in every way the exercise of this right and to
interpose no obstacles, directly or indirectly, to freedom of
emigration. All laws and regulations whatsoever which
conflict with freedom of emigration shall be considered as
null and void.´
The fourth and the fifth difficulties which relate to transfer
of property can be effectually met by including in the treaty
articles the following terms:
`Those who, in pursuance of these articles, determine to
take advantage of the right to migrate shall have the right
to carry with them or to have transported their movable
property of any kind without any duty being imposed upon
them on this account.
`So far as immovable property is concerned it shall be
liquidated by the Commission in accordance with the
following provisions:
(1) The Commission shall appoint a Committee of Experts
to estimate the value of the immovable property of
the emigrant. The emigrant interested shall have a
representative chosen by him on the Committee.
(2) The Commission shall take necessary measures with a
view to the sale of immovable property of the emigrant.´
As for the rest of the difficulties relating to reimbursement
for loss, for payment of pensionary and charges for
specifying the currency in which payments are to be made
the following articles in the treaty should be sufficient to
meet them:
(1) The difference in the estimated value and the sale
price of the immovable property of the emigrant
shall be paid in to the Commission by the Government
of the country of departure as soon as the former
has notified it of the resulting deficiency. One fourth
of this payment may be made in the money of the
country of departure and three-fourths in gold or
short term gold bonds.
(2) The Commission shall advance to the emigrants the
value of their immovable property determined as
above.
(3) All civil or military pensions acquired by an emigrant
at the date of the signature of the present treaty
shall be capitalized at the charge of the debtor
Government, which must pay the amount to the
Commission for the account of its owners.
(4) The funds necessary to facilitate emigration shall
be advanced by the States interested in the
Commission.
Are not these provisions sufficient to overcome the
difficulties regarding transfer of population? There are of
course other difficulties. But even those are not insuperable.
They involve questions of policy. The first question is: is
the transfer of population to be compulsory or is it to be
voluntary? The second is: is this right to State-aided
transfer to be open to all or is it to be restricted to any
particular class of persons? The third is: how long is
Government going to remain liable to be bound by these
provisions, particularly the provision for making good the
loss on the sale of immovable property? Should the
provisions be made subject to a time limit or should the
liability be continued indefinitely?
With regard to the first point, both are possible and there
are instances of both having been put into effect. The
transfer of population between Greece and Bulgaria was
on a voluntary basis while that between Greece and Turkey
was on a compulsory basis. Compulsory transfer strikes
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 243 244
one as being prima facie wrong. It would not be fair to
compel a man to change his ancestral habitat if he does
not wish to, unless the peace and tranquility of the State
is likely to be put in jeopardy by his continuing to live
where he is or such transfer becomes necessary in his own
interest. What is required is that those who want to transfer
should be able to do so without impediment and without
loss. I am therefore of opinion that transfer should not be
forced but should be left open for those who declare their
intention to transfer.
As to the second point, it is obvious that only members of
a minority can be allowed to take advantage of the scheme
of State aided transfer. But even this restriction may not
be sufficient to exclude all those who ought not to get the
benefit of this scheme. It must be confined to certain
well-defined minorities who on account of ethnic or religious
differences are sure to be subjected to discrimination or
victimization.
The third point is important and is likely to give rise to
serious difference of opinion. On a fair view of the matter
it can be said that it is quite unreasonable to compel a
Government to keep open for an indefinite period the option
to migrate at Government cost. There is nothing unfair in
telling a person that if he wants to take advantage of the
provisions of the scheme of State-aided migration contained
in the foregoing articles, he must exercise his option to
migrate within a stated period and that if he decides to
migrate after the period has elapsed he will be free to
migrate but it will have to be at his own cost and without
the aid of the State. There is no inequity in thus limiting
the right to State-aid. State-aid becomes a necessary
part of the scheme because the migration is a resultant
consequence of political changes over which individual
citizens have no control. But migration may not be the
result of political change. It may be for other causes, and
when it is for other causes, aid to the emigrant cannot be
an obligation on the State. The only way to determine
whether migration is for political reasons or for private
reasons is to relate it to a definite point of time. When it
takes place within a defined period from the happening of
a political change it may be presumed to be political. When
it occurs after the period it may be presumed to be for
private reasons. There is nothing unjust in this. The same
rule of presumption governs the cases of civil servants
who, when a political change takes place, are allowed to
retire on proportionate pensions if they retire within a given
period but not if they retire after it has lapsed.
If the policy in these matters is as I suggest it should be,
it may be given effect to by the inclusion of the following
articles in the treaty:
`The right to voluntary emigration may be exercised under
this treaty by any person belonging to an ethnic minority
who is over 18 years of age.
`A declaration made before the Commission shall be sufficient
evidence of intention to exercise the right.
`The choice of the husband shall carry with it that of the
wife, the option of parents or guardians that of their children
or wards aged less than 18 years.
`The right to the benefit provided by this treaty shall lapse
if the option to migrate is not exercised within a period of
5 years from the date of signing the treaty.
`The duties of the Commission shall be terminated within
six months after the expiration of the period of five years
from the date when the Commission starts to function.´
What about the cost? The question of cost will be important
only if the transfer is to be compulsory. A scheme of
voluntary transfer cannot place a very heavy financial
burden on the State. Men love property more than liberty.
Many will prefer to endure tyranny at the hands of their
political masters than change the habitat in which they
are rooted. As Adam Smith said, of all the things man is
the most difficult cargo to transport. Cost therefore need
not frighten anybody.
What about its workability? The scheme is not new. It has
been tried and found workable. It was put into effect after
the last European War, to bring about a transfer of
population between Greece and Bulgaria and Turkey and
Greece. Nobody can deny that it has worked, has been
tried and found workable. The scheme I have outlined is a
copy of the same scheme. It had the effect of bringing
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 245 246
about a transfer of population between Greece and Bulgaria
and Turkey and Greece. Nobody can deny that it was worked
with signal success. What succeeded elsewhere may well
be expected to succeed in India.
The issue of Pakistan is far from simple. But it is not so
difficult as it is made out to be provided the principle and
the ethics of it are agreed upon. If it is difficult it is only
because it is heart-rending and nobody wishes to think of
its problems and their solutions as the very idea of it is so
painful. But once sentiment is banished and it is decided
that there shall be Pakistan, the problems arising out of it
are neither staggering nor baffling.
Source: <www.ambedkar.org>. Ambedkar, Pakistan, 369-84.
Document Forty-Five
Additions to Dr Ambedkar´s Analysis (late
1944). Chapter 15: Who Can Decide? and
Epilogue
There are two sides to the question of Pakistan, the Hindu
side and the Muslim side. This cannot be avoided.
Unfortunately however the attitude of both is far from
rational. Both are deeply embedded in sentiment. The layers
of this sentiment are so thick that reason at present finds
it extremely difficult to penetrate. Whether these opposing
sentiments will wither away or they will thicken, time and
circumstances alone can tell. How long Indians will have to
wait for the melting of the snow no one can prophesy. But
one thing is certain that `until this snow melts freedom will
have to be put in cold storage. I am sure there must be
many millions of thinking Indians who are dead opposed to
this indefinite postponement of Indian freedom till an ideal
and a permanent solution of Pakistan is found. I am one of
them. I am one of those who hold that if Pakistan is a
problem and not a pose there is no escape and a solution
must be found for it. I am one of those who believe that
what is inevitable must be faced. There is no use burying
one´s head in the sand and refusing to take notice of what
is happening round about because the sound of it hurts
one´s sentiments. I am also one of those who believe that
one must, if one can, be ready with a solution long before
the hour of decision arrives. It is wise to build a bridge if
one knows that one will be forced to cross the river.
The principal problem of Pakistan is: who can decide
whether there shall or shall not be Pakistan? I have thought
over the subject for the last three years, and I have come
to some conclusions as to the proper answer to this
question. These conclusions I would like to share with
others interested in the solution of the problem so that
they may be further explored. To give clarity to my
conclusions, I have thought that it would serve the purpose
better if I were to put them, in the form of an Act of
Parliament. The following is the draft of the Act which
embodies my conclusions:
Government of India (Preliminary Provisions) Act
Be it enacted by the King´s most Excellent Majesty, by and
with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament
assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows
1 (1) If within six months from the date appointed in this
behalf a majority of the Muslim members of the Legislatures
of the Provinces of the North-West Frontier, the Punjab,
Sind and Bengal pass a resolution that the predominantly
Muslim areas be separated from British India, His Majesty
shall cause a poll to be taken on that question of the Muslim
and the non-Muslim electors of these Provinces and of
Baluchistan in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
1 (2) The question shall be submitted to the electors in
these Provinces in the following form: (i) Are you in favour
of separation from British India? (ii) Are you against
separation? (3) The poll of Muslim and non-Muslim electors
shall be taken separately.
2 (1) If on a result of the poll, a majority of Muslim electors
are found to be in favour of separation and a majority of
non-Muslim electors against separation, His Majesty shall
by proclamation appoint a Boundary Commission for the
purpose of preparing a list of such districts and areas in
these Provinces in which a majority of inhabitants are Muslims.
Such districts and areas shall be called Scheduled Districts.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 247 248
2 (2) The Scheduled Districts shall be collectively
designated as Pakistan and the rest of British India as
Hindustan. The Scheduled Districts lying in the North-west
shall be called the State of Western Pakistan and those
lying in the North-east shall be called Eastern Pakistan.
3 (1) After the findings of the Boundary Commission have
become final either by agreement or the award of an
Arbitrator, His Majesty shall cause another poll to be taken
of the electors of the Scheduled Districts.
3 (2) The following shall be the form of the questions
submitted to the electors: (i) Are you in favour of separation
forthwith? (ii) Are you against separation forthwith?
4 (1) If the majority is in favour of separation forthwith it
shall be lawful for His Majesty to make arrangements for
the framing of two separate constitutions, one for Pakistan
and the other for Hindustan.
4 (2) The New States of Pakistan and Hindustan shall
commence to function as separate States on the day
appointed by His Majesty by proclamation issued in that
behalf.
4 (3) If the majority are against separation forthwith it
shall be lawful for His Majesty to make arrangements for
the framing of a single constitution for British India as a
whole.
5 No motion for the separation of Pakistan if the poll under
the last preceding section has been against separation
forthwith and no motion for incorporation of Pakistan into
Hindustan if the poll under the last preceding section has
been in favour of separation forthwith shall be entertained
until ten years have elapsed from the date appointed by
His Majesty for putting into effect the new constitution for
British India or the two separate constitutions for Pakistan
and Hindustan.
6 (1) In the event of two separate constitutions coming
into existence under Section Four it shall be lawful for His
Majesty to establish as soon as may be after the appointed
day, a Council of India with a view to the eventual
establishment of a constitution for the whole of British
India, and to bringing about harmonious action between
the Legislatures and Governments of Pakistan and
Hindustan, and to the promotion of mutual intercourse and
uniformity in relation to matters affecting the whole of
British India, and to providing for the administration of
services which the two parliaments mutually agree should
be administered uniformly throughout the whole of British
India, or which by virtue of this Act are to be so
administered.
6 (2) Subject as hereinafter provided, the Council of India
shall consist of a President nominated in accordance with
instructions from His Majesty and forty other persons, of
whom twenty shall be members representing Pakistan and
twenty shall be members representing Hindustan.
6 (3) The members of the Council of India shall be elected
in each case by the members of the Lower Houses of the
Parliament of Pakistan or Hindustan.
6 (4) The election of members of the Council of India shall
be the first business of the Legislatures of Pakistan and
Hindustan.
6 (5) A member of the Council shall, on ceasing to be a
member of that House of the Legislature of Pakistan or
Hindustan by which he was elected a member of the
Council, cease to be a member of the Council: Provided
that, on the dissolution of the Legislature of Pakistan or
Hindustan, the persons who are members of the Council
shall continue to hold office as members of the Council
until a new election has taken place and shall then retire
unless re-elected.
6 (6) The President of the Council shall preside at each
meeting of the Council at which he is present and shall be
entitled to vote in case of an equality of votes, but not
otherwise.
6 (7) The first meeting of the Council shall be held at such
time and place as may be appointed by the President.
6 (8) The Council may act notwithstanding a deficiency in
their number, and the quorum of the Council shall be fifteen.
6 (9) Subject as aforesaid, the Council may regulate their
own procedure, including the delegation of powers to
committees.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 249 250
6 (10) The constitution of the Council of India may from
time to time be varied by identical Acts passed by the
Legislature of Pakistan and the Legislature of Hindustan,
and the Acts may provide for all or any of the members of
the Council of India being elected by parliamentary electors,
and determine the constituencies by which the several
elective members are to be returned and the number of
the members to be returned by the several constituencies
and the method of election.
7 (1) The Legislatures of Pakistan and Hindustan may, by
identical Acts, delegate to the Council of India any of the
powers of the Legislatures and Government of Pakistan
and Hindustan, and such Acts may determine the manner
in which the powers so delegated are to be exercisable by
the Council.
7 (2) The powers of making laws with respect to railways
and waterways shall, as from the day appointed for the
operation of the new constitution, become the powers of
the Council of India and not of Pakistan or Hindustan:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall prevent the
Legislature of Pakistan or Hindustan making laws authorising
the construction, extension, or improvement of railways
and waterways where the works to be constructed are
situate wholly in Pakistan or Hindustan as the case may
be.
7 (3) The Council may consider any questions which may
appear in any way to bear on the welfare of both Pakistan
and Hindustan, and may, by resolution, make suggestions
in relation thereto as they may think proper, but suggestions
so made shall have no legislative effect.
7 (4) It shall be lawful for the Council of India to make
recommendations to the Legislatures of Pakistan and
Hindustan as to the advisability of passing identical Acts
delegating to the Council of India the administration of any
all-India subject, with a view to avoiding the necessity of
administering them separately in Pakistan or Hindustan.
7 (5) It shall be lawful for either Legislature at any time by
Act to deprive the delegation to the Council of India of
any powers which are in pursuance of such identical Acts
as aforesaid for the time being delegated to the Council
and thereupon the powers in question shall cease to be
exercisable by the Council of India and shall become
exercisable in parts of British India within their respective
jurisdictions by the Legislatures and Governments of
Pakistan and Hindustan and the Council shall take such
steps as may be necessary to carry out the transfer,
including adjustments of any funds in their hands or at
their disposal.
8 (1) If at the end of ten years after coming into operation
of a constitution for British India as prescribed by Section
4 (3) a petition is presented to His Majesty by a majority
of the Muslim members representing the Scheduled Districts
in the Provincial and Central Legislatures demanding a poll
to be taken with regard to the separation of Pakistan from
Hindustan, His Majesty shall cause a poll to be taken.
8 (2) The following shall be the form of the questions
submitted to the electors: (i) Are you in favour of separation
of Pakistan from Hindustan?
(ii) Are you against the separation of Pakistan from
Hindustan?
9 If the result of the poll is in favour of separation it shall
be lawful for His Majesty to declare by an Order-in-Council
that from a day appointed in that behalf Pakistan shall
cease to be a part of British India, and dissolve the Council
of India.
10 (1) Where two constitutions have come into existence
under circumstances mentioned in Section 4 it shall be lawful
for His Majesty to declare by an Order-in-Council that
Pakistan shall cease to be a separate State and shall form
part of Hindustan. Provided that no such order shall be
made until ten years have elapsed from the commencement
of the separate constitution for Pakistan. Provided also that
no such declaration shall be made unless the Popular
Legislatures of Pakistan and Hindustan have passed
Constituent Acts as are provided for in Section 10 (2).
10 (2) The popular Legislatures of Pakistan and Hindustan
may, by identical Acts agreed to by an absolute majority
of members at the third reading (hereinafter referred to as
Constituent Acts), establish, in lieu of the Council of India,
a Legislature for United India, and may determine the
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 251 252
number of members thereof and the manner in which the
members are to be appointed or elected and the
constituencies for which the several elective members are
to be returned, and the number of members to be returned
by the several constituencies, and the method of
appointment or election, and the relations of the two Houses
if provided for to one another.
11 (1) On the date of the union of Pakistan and Hindustan
the Council of India shall cease to exist and there shall be
transferred to the Legislature and Government of India all
powers then exercisable by the Council of India.
11 (2) There shall also be transferred to the Legislature
and Government of British India all the powers and duties
of the Legislatures and Government of Pakistan and
Hindustan, including all powers as to taxation, and those
Legislatures and Government shall cease to exist.
12 (1) A poll under this Act shall be taken by ballot in the
same manner so far as possible as a poll of electors for the
election of a member to serve in a Legislature and His
Majesty may make rules adopting the election laws for the
purpose of the taking of the poll.
12 (2) An elector shall not vote more than once at the
poll, although registered in more than one place.
12 (3) Elector means every adult male and female residing
in the Provinces of North-West Frontier, the Punjab, Sind,
and Bengal and in Baluchistan.
13 This Act may be called the Indian Constitution
(Preliminary Provisions) Act, 194(?).
I do not think that any detailed explanation is necessary
for the reader to follow and grasp the conclusions I have
endeavoured to embody in this skeleton Act. Perhaps it
might be advantageous if I bring out some of the salient
features of the proposals to which the projected statute
of Parliament is intended to give effect by comparing them
with the Cripps proposals.
In my opinion it is no use for Indians to ask and the British
Parliament to agree to proceed forthwith to pass an Act
conferring Dominion Status or Independence without first
disposing of the issue of Pakistan. The Pakistan issue must
be treated as a preliminary issue and must be disposed of
one way or the other. This is why I have called the proposed
Act `The Government of India (Preliminary Provisions) Act´.
The issue of Pakistan being one of self-determination must
be decided by the wishes of the people. It is for this that I
propose to take a poll of the Muslims and non-Muslims in
the predominantly Muslim Provinces. If the Majority of the
Muslims are in favour of separation and a majority of non-
Muslims are against separation, steps must be taken to
delimit the areas wherever it is possible by redrawing
provincial boundaries on ethnic and cultural lines by
separating the Muslim majority districts from the districts
in which the majority consists of non-Muslims. A Boundary
Commission is necessary for this purpose. So a Boundary
Commission is provided for in the Act. It would be better if
the Boundary Commission could be international in its
composition.
The scheme of separate referenda of Muslims and non-
Muslims is based on two principles which I regard as
fundamental. The first is that a minority can demand
safeguards for its protection against the tyranny of the
majority. It can demand them as a condition precedent.
But a minority has no right to put a veto on the right of
the majority to decide on questions of ultimate destiny.
This is the reason why I have confined the referendum on
the establishment of Pakistan to Muslims only. The second
is that a communal majority cannot claim a communal
minority to submit itself to its dictates. Only a political
majority may be permitted to rule a political minority. This
principle has been modified in India where a communal
minority is placed under a communal majority subject to
certain safeguards. But this is as regards the ordinary
question of social, economic and political importance. It
has never been conceded and can never be conceded
that a communal majority has a right to dictate to a
communal minority on an issue which is of a constitutional
character. That is the reason why I have provided a
separate referendum of non-Muslims only, to decide whether
they prefer to go in Pakistan or come into Hindustan.
After the Boundary Commission has done its work of
delimiting the areas, various possibilities can arise. The
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 253 254
Musalmans may stop with the delimitation of the boundaries
of Pakistan. They may be satisfied that after all the principle
of Pakistan has been accepted - which is what delimitation
means. Assuming that the Musalmans are not satisfied with
mere delimitation but want to move in the direction of
establishing Pakistan there are two courses open to them.
They may want to establish Pakistan forthwith or they
may agree to live under a common Central Government for
a period of say ten years and put the Hindus on their trial.
Hindus will have an opportunity to show that the minorities
can trust them. The Muslims will learn from experience
how far their fears of Hindu Raj are justified. There is another
possibility also. The Musalmans of Pakistan having decided
to separate forthwith may after a period become so
disgusted with Pakistan that they might desire to come
back and be incorporated in Hindustan and be one people
subject to one single constitution.
These are some of the possibilities I see. These possibilities
should in my judgement be kept open for time and
circumstances to have their effect. It seems to me to be
wrong to say to the Musalmans if you want to remain as
part of India then you can never go out or if you want to
go then you can never come back. I have in my scheme
kept the door open and have provided for both the
possibilities in the Act (1) for union after a separation of
ten years, (2) for separation for ten years and union there
after. I personally prefer the second alternative although I
have no strong views either way. It would be much better
that the Musalmans should have the experience of Pakistan.
A union after an experience of Pakistan is bound to be
stable and lasting. In case Pakistan comes into existence
forthwith, it seems to me necessary that the separation
should not altogether be a severance, sharp and complete.
It is necessary to maintain live contact between Pakistan
and Hindustan so as to prevent any estrangement growing
up and preventing the chances of reunion. A Council of
India is accordingly provided for in the Act. It cannot be
mistaken for a federation. It is not even a confederation.
Its purpose is to do nothing more than to serve as a coupling
to link Pakistan to Hindustan until they are united under a
single constitution.
Such is my scheme. It is based on a community-wise
plebiscite. The scheme is flexible. It takes account of the
fact that the Hindu sentiment is against it. It also
recognizes the fact that the Muslim demand for Pakistan
may only be a passing mood. The scheme is not a divorce.
It is only a judicial separation. It gives to the Hindus a
term. They can use it to show that they can be trusted
with authority to rule justly. It gives the Musalmans a term
to try out Pakistan.
It might be desirable to compare my proposals with those
of Sir Stafford Cripps. The proposals were given out as a
serial story in parts. The draft Declaration issued on 29
March 1943 contained only the following:
`His Majesty´s Government therefore make the following
terms:
(a) Immediately upon cessation of hostilities steps shall be
taken to set up in India in manner described hereafter an
elected body charged with the task of framing a new
constitution for India.
(b) Provision shall be made, as set out below, for participation
of Indian States in the constitution-making body.
(c) His Majesty´s Government undertake to accept and
implement forthwith the constitution so framed subject only
to:
(c i) The right of any province of British India that is not
prepared to accept the new constitution to retain its present
constitutional position, provision being made for its
subsequent accession if it so decides. With such non-
acceding provinces should they so desire. His Majesty´s
Government will be prepared to agree upon a new
constitution giving them the same full status as the Indian
Union and arrived at by a procedure analogous to that
here laid down.´
Particulars of accession and secession were given in his
broadcast. They were in the following terms: `That
constitution-making body will have as its object the framing
of a single constitution for the whole of India - that is, of
British India, together with such of the Indian States as
may decide to join in.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 255 256
`But we realize this very simple fact. If you want to persuade
a number of people who are inclined to be antagonistic to
enter the same room, it is unwise to tell them that once
they go in there is no way out, they are to be forever
locked in together.
`It is much wiser to tell them they can go in and if they find
they can´t come to a common decision, then there is nothing
to prevent those who wish, from leaving again by another
door. They are much more likely all to go in if they have
knowledge that they can by their free will go out again if
they cannot agree.
`Well, that is what we say to the provinces of India. Come
together to frame a common constitution - if you find
after all your discussion and all the give and take of a
constitution-making assembly that you cannot overcome
your differences and that some provinces are still not
satisfied with the constitution, then such provinces can
go out and remain out if they wish and just the same
degree of self-government and freedom will be available
for them as for the Union itself, that is to say complete
self-government.´
To complete the picture further details were added at the
Press Conference. Explaining the plan for accession or
secession of provinces Sir Stafford Cripps said: `If at the
end of the Constituent Assembly proceedings, any province
or provinces did not wish to accept the new constitution
and join the Union, it was free to keep out - provided the
Provincial Assembly of that province, by a substantial vote
say not less than 60 per cent, decided against accession. If
it was less than 60 per cent, the minority could claim a
plebiscite of the whole province for ascertaining the will of
the people. In the case of the plebiscite, a bare majority
would be enough. Sir Stafford explained that for completing
accession there would have to be a positive vote from the
Provincial Assembly concerned. The non-acceding province
could, if they wanted, combine into a separate union through
a separate Constituent Assembly, but in order to make such
a Union practicable they should be geographically contiguous.´
The main difference between my plan and that of Sir
Stafford Cripps is quite obvious. For deciding the issue of
accession or secession which is only another way of saying,
will there be or will there not be Pakistan, Sir Stafford Cripps
took the Province as a deciding unit. I have taken community
as the deciding unit. I have no doubt that Sir Stafford adopted
a wrong basis. The Province can be a proper unit if the
points of dispute were inter-provincial. For instance, if the
points of dispute related to questions such as distribution
of taxation, of water, etc., one could understand the Province
as a whole or a particular majority in that Province having
the right to decide. But the dispute regarding Pakistan is an
inter-communal problem which has involved two communities
in the same Province. Further the issue in the dispute is not
on what terms the two communities will agree to associate
in a common political life. The dispute goes deeper and
raises the question whether the communities are prepared
at all to associate in a common political life. It is a communal
difference in its essence and can only be decided by a
community-wise plebiscite.
IV
I do not claim any originality for the solution I have proposed.
The ideas which underlie it are drawn from three sources,
from the Irish Unity Conference at which Horace Plunket
presided, from the Home Rule Amending Bill of Mr. Asquith
and from the Government of Ireland Act of 1920. It will be
seen that my solution of the Pakistan problem is the result
of pooled wisdom. Will it be accepted? There are four ways
of resolving the conflict which is raging round the question
of Pakistan. First is that the British Government should act
as the deciding authority. Second is that the Hindus and
the Muslims should agree. Third is to submit the issue to
an International Board of Arbitration and the fourth is to
fight it out by a Civil War.
Although India today is a political mad-house there are I
hope enough sane people in the country who would not
allow matters to reach the stage of Civil War. There is no
prospect of an agreement between political leaders in the
near future. The A.I.C.C. of the Indian National Congress
at a meeting in Allahabad held in April 1942 on the motion
of Mr. Jagat Narayan Lal resolved not to entertain the
proposal for Pakistan. Two other ways are left to have the
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 257 258
problem solved. One is by the people concerned; the other
is by international arbitration. This is the way I have
suggested. I prefer the former. For various reasons this
seems to me the only right course. The leaders having
failed to resolve the dispute it is time it was taken to the
people for decision. Indeed, it is inconceivable how an
issue like that of partition of territory and transference of
peoples´ allegiance from one government to another can
be decided by political leaders. Such things are no doubt
done by conquerors to whom victory in war is sufficient
authority to do what they like with the conquered people.
But we are not working under such a lawless condition. In
normal times when constitutional procedure is not in
abeyance the views of political leaders cannot have the
effect which the fiats of dictators have. That would be
contrary to the rule of democracy. The highest value that
can be put upon the views of leaders is to regard them as
worthy to be placed on the agenda. They cannot replace
or obviate the necessity of having the matter decided by
the people. This is the position which was taken by Sir
Stafford Cripps. The stand taken by the Muslim League
was, let there be Pakistan because the Muslim League has
decided to have it. That position has been negatived by
the Cripps proposals and quite rightly. The Muslim League
is recognized by the Cripps proposals only to the extent of
having a right to propose that Pakistan as a proposition be
considered. It has not been given the right to decide.
Again it does not seem to have been realized that the
decision of an All-India body like the Congress which does
not carry with it the active consent of the majority of the
people, immediately affected by the issue of Pakistan,
cannot carry the matter to solution. What good can it do
if Mr. Gandhi or Mr. Rajagopalachariar agreeing or the All-
India Congress Committee resolving to concede Pakistan,
if it was opposed by the Hindus of the Punjab, or Bengal?
Really speaking it is not the business of the people of
Bombay or Madras to say, `let there be Pakistan´. It must
be left to be decided by the people who are living in those
areas and who will have to bear the consequences of so
violent, so revolutionary and so fundamental a change in
the political and economic system with which their lives
and fortunes have been closely bound up for so many years.
A referendum by people in the Pakistan Provinces seems
to me the safest and the most constitutional method of
solving the problem of Pakistan.
But I fear that solving the question of Pakistan by a
referendum of the people howsoever attractive may not
find much favour with those who count. Even the Muslim
League may not be very enthusiastic about it. This is not
because the proposal is unsound. Quite the contrary. The
fact is that there is another solution which has its own
attractions. It calls upon the British Government to establish
Pakistan by the exercise of its sovereign authority. The
reason why this solution may be preferred to that which
rests on the consent of the people is that it is simple and
involves no such elaborate procedure as that of a
referendum to the people and has none of the uncertainties
involved in a referendum. But there is another ground why
it is preferred, namely, that there is a precedent for it. The
precedent is the Irish precedent and the argument is that
if the British Government by virtue of its sovereign authority
divided Ireland and created Ulster why cannot the British
Government divide India and create Pakistan?
The British Parliament is the most sovereign legislative body
in the world. De L´Homme, a French writer on the English
Constitution, observed that there is nothing the British
Parliament cannot do except make man a woman and woman
a man. And although the sovereignty of the British Parliament
over the affairs of the Dominions is limited by the Statute
of Westminster it is still unlimited so far as India is concerned.
There is nothing in law to prevent the British Parliament
from proceeding to divide India as it did in the case of
Ireland. It can do it, but will it do it? The question is not
one of power but of will. Those who urge the British
Government to follow the precedent in Ireland should ask
what led the British Government to partition Ireland. Was
it the conscience of the British Government which led them
to sanction the course they took or was it forced upon
them by circumstances to which they had to yield? A
student of the history of Irish Home Rule will have to admit
that the partition of Ireland was not sanctioned by
conscience but by the force of circumstances. It is not
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 259 260
often clearly realized that no party to the Irish dispute
wanted partition of Ireland. Not even Carson, the Leader
of Ulster. Carson was opposed to Home Rule but he was
not in favour of partition. His primary position was to oppose
Home Rule and maintain the integrity of Ireland. It was
only as a second line of defence against the imposition of
Home Rule that he insisted on partition. This will be quite
clear from his speeches both inside and outside the House
of Commons. Asquith´s Government on the other side was
equally opposed to partition. This may be seen from the
proceedings in the House of Commons over the Irish Home
Rule Bill of 1912. Twice amendments were moved for the
exclusion of Ulster from the provisions of the Bill, once in
the Committee stage by Mr. Agar-Roberts and again on
the third reading by Carson himself. Both the times the
Government opposed and the amendments were lost.
Permanent partition of Ireland was effected in 1920 by Mr.
Lloyd George in his Government of Ireland Act. Many people
think that this was the first time that partition of Ireland
was thought of and that it was due to the dictation of the
Conservative-Unionists in the Coalition Government of which
Mr. Lloyd George was the nominal head. It may be true
that Mr. Lloyd George succumbed to the influence of the
predominant party in his coalition. But it is not true that
partition was thought of in 1920 for the first time. Nor is it
true that the Liberal Party had not undergone a change
and shown its readiness to favour partition as a possible
solution. As a matter of fact partition as a solution came in
1914 six years before Mr. Lloyd George´s Act when the
Asquith Government, a purely Liberal Government, was in
office. The real cause which led to the partition of Ireland
can be understood only by examining the factors which
made the Liberal Government of Mr. Asquith change its
mind. I feel certain that the factor which brought about
this change in the viewpoint of the Liberal Government
was the Military crisis which took place in March 1914 and
which is generally referred to as the `Curragh Incident´. A
few facts will be sufficient to explain what the `Curragh
Incident´ was and how decisive it was in bringing about a
change in the policy of the Asquith Government.
To begin at a convenient point the Irish Home Rule Bill had
gone through all its stages by the end of 1913. Mr. Asquith
who had been challenged that he was proceeding without
a mandate from the electorate had however given an
undertaking that the Act would not be given effect to until
another general election had been held. In the ordinary
course there would have been a general election in 1915 if
the War had not supervened. But the Ulstermen were not
prepared to take their chance in a general election and
started taking active steps to oppose Home Rule. They
were not always very scrupulous in choosing their means
and their methods and under the seductive pose that they
were fighting against the Government which was preventing
them from remaining loyal subjects of the King they resorted
to means which nobody would hesitate to call shameless
and nefarious. There was one Maginot Line on which the
Ulstermen always depended for defeating Home Rule. That
was the House of Lords. But by the Parliament Act of 1911
the House of Lords had become a Wailing Wall neither strong
nor high. It had ceased to be a line of defence to rely
upon. Knowing that the Bill might pass notwithstanding its
rejection by the House of Lords, feeling that in the next
election Asquith might win, the Ulstermen had become
desperate and were searching for another line of defence.
They found it in the Army. The plan was twofold. It included
the project of getting the House of Lords to hold up the
Annual Army Act so as to ensure that there would be no
Army in existence to be used against Ulster. The second
project was to spread their propaganda - that Home Rule
will be Home Rule - in the Army with a view to preparing
the Army to disobey the Government in case Government
decided to use the Army for forcing Home Rule on Ireland.
The first became unnecessary as they succeeded easily in
bringing about the second. This became clear in March
1914 when there occurred the Curragh Incident. The
Government had reasons to suspect that certain Army
depots in Ireland were likely to be raided by the Unionist
Volunteers. On March 20th, orders were sent to Sir Arthur
Paget, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Ireland, to
take steps to safeguard these depots. His reply was a
telegram to the effect that officers were not prepared to
obey and were resigning their commissions and it was feared
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 261 262
that men would refuse to move. General Sir Hubert Gough
had refused to serve against the Ulster Unionists and his
example had been followed by others. The Government
realized that the Army had become political, nay, partisan.
It took fright and decided in favour of partition acting on
the well-known maxim that wisdom is the better part of
valour. What made Asquith change his position was not
conscience but the fright of the Army rebelling. The fright
was so great that no one thereafter felt bold enough to
challenge the Army and enforce Home Rule without partition.
Can His Majesty´s Government be depended upon to repeat
in India what it did in Ireland? I am unable to answer the
question. But two things I will say. The first thing is that His
Majesty´s Government knows full well what have been the
consequences of this partition of Ireland. The Irish Free
State has become the most irreconcilable enemy of Great
Britain. The enmity knows no limits. The wound caused by
partition will never be healed so long as partition remains a
settled fact. The Partition of Ireland cannot but be said to
be morally indefensible inasmuch as it was the result not of
the consent of the people but of superior force. It was as
bad as the murder of Duncan by Macbeth. The blood stains
left on His Majesty´s Government are as deep as those on
Lady Macbeth and of which Lady Macbeth said that `All the
perfumes of Arabia´ had failed to remove the stink. That His
Majesty´s Government does not like to be responsible for
the execution of another deed of partition is quite clear
from its policy with the Jew-Arab problem in Palestine. It
appointed the Peel Commission to investigate. The
Commission recommended partition of Palestine. The
Government accepted it in principle as the most hopeful line
of solving the deadlock. Suddenly the Government realized
the gravity of forcing such a solution on the Arabs and
appointed another Royal Commission called the Woodhead
Commission which condemned partition and opened an easy
way to a Government which was anxious to extricate itself
from a terrible position. The partition of Ireland is not a
precedent worthy to be followed. It is an ugly incident which
requires to be avoided. It is a warning and not an example.
I doubt very much if His Majesty´s Government will partition
India on its own authority at the behest of the Muslim League.
And why should His Majesty´s Government oblige the Muslim
League? In the case of Ulster there was the tie of blood
which made a powerful section of the British politicians
take the side of Ulster. It was this tie of blood which made
Lord Curzon say `You are compelling Ulster to divorce her
present husband, to whom she is not unfaithful and you
are compelling her to marry someone else who she cordially
dislikes, with whom she does not want to live´. There is no
such kinship between His Majesty´s Government and the
Muslim League and it would be a vain hope for the League
to expect His Majesty´s Government to take her side.
The other thing I would like to say is that it would not be
in the interests of the Muslim League to achieve its object
by invoking the authority of His Majesty´s Government to
bring about the partition of India. In my judgement more
important than getting Pakistan is the procedure to be
adopted in bringing about Pakistan if the object is that
after partition Pakistan and Hindustan should continue as
two friendly States with goodwill and no malice towards
each other.
What is the procedure which is best suited for the realization
of this end? Everyone will agree that the procedure must
be such that it must not involve victory to one community
and humiliation to the other. The method must be of peace
with honour to both sides. I do not know if there is another
solution better calculated to achieve this end than the
decision by a referendum of the people. I have made my
suggestion as to which is the best course. Others also will
come forth with theirs. I cannot say that mine is the best.
But whatever the suggestion be unless good sense as well
as a sense of responsibility is brought to bear upon the
solution of this question it will remain a festering sore.
Epilogue
Here I propose to stop. For I feel that I have said all that I
can say about the subject. To use legal language I have
drawn the pleadings. This I may claim to have done at
sufficient length. In doing so, I have adopted that prolix
style so dear to the Victorian lawyers, under which the
two sides plied one another with plea and replication,
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 263 264
rejoinder and rebutter, surrejoinder and surrebutter and so
on. I have done this deliberately with the object that a full
statement of the case for and against Pakistan may be
made. The foregoing pages contain the pleadings. The facts
contained therein are true to the best of my knowledge
and belief. I have also given my findings. It is now for
Hindus and Muslims to give theirs.
To help them in their task it might be well to set out the
issues. On the pleadings the following issues seem to be
necessary issues:
(1) Is Hindu-Muslim unity necessary for India´s political
advancement? If necessary, is it still possible of realization
notwithstanding the new ideology of the Hindus and the
Muslims being two different nations?
(2) If Hindu-Muslim unity is possible, should it be reached
by appeasement or by settlement?
(3) If it is to be achieved by appeasement, what are the
new concessions that can be offered to the Muslims to
obtain their willing co-operation, without prejudice to other
interests?
(4) If it is to be achieved by a settlement, what are the
terms of that settlement? If there are only two alternatives,
(i) Division of India into Pakistan and Hindustan, or (ii)
Fifty-fifty share in Legislature, Executive and the Services,
which alternative is preferable?
(5) Whether India, if she remained one integral whole, can
rely upon both Hindus and Musalmans to defend her
independence, assuming it is won from the British?
(6) Having regard to the prevailing antagonism between
Hindus and Musalmans and having regard to the new
ideology demarcating them as two distinct nations and
postulating an opposition in their ultimate destinies, whether
a single constitution for these two nations can be built in
the hope that they will show an intention to work it and
not to stop it?
(7) On the assumption that the two-nation theory has
come to stay, will not India as one single unit become an
incoherent body without organic unity, incapable of
developing into a strong united nation bound by a common
faith in a common destiny and therefore likely to remain a
feebler and sickly country, easy to be kept in perpetual
subjection either of the British or-of any other foreign power?
(8) If India cannot be one united country, is it not better
that Indians should help India in the peaceful dissolution of
this incoherent whole into its natural parts, namely, Pakistan
and Hindustan?
(9) Whether it is not better to provide for the growth of
two independent and separate nations, a Muslim nation
inhabiting Pakistan and a Hindu nation inhabiting Hindustan,
than pursue the vain attempt to keep India as one undivided
country in the false hope that Hindus and Muslims will some
day be one and occupy it as the members of one nation
and sons of one motherland?
Nothing can come in the way of an Indian getting to grips
with these issues and reaching his own conclusions with
the help of the material contained in the foregoing pages
except three things: (1) A false sentiment of historical
patriotism, (2) a false conception of the exclusive ownership
of territory and (3) absence of willingness to think for
oneself. Of these obstacles, the last is the most difficult
to get over. Unfortunately thought in India is rare and free
thought is rarer still. This is particularly true of Hindus.
That is why a large part of the argument of this book has
been addressed to them. The reasons for this are obvious.
The Hindus are in a majority. Being in a majority, their
viewpoint must count! There is not much possibility of
peaceful solution if no attempt is made to meet their
objections rational or sentimental. But there are special
reasons which have led me to address so large a part of
the argument to them and which may not be quite so
obvious to others. I feel that those Hindus who are guiding
the destinies of their fellows have lost what Carlyle calls
`the Seeing Eye´ and are walking in the glamour of certain
vain illusions, the consequences of which must, I fear, be
terrible for the Hindus. The Hindus are in the grip of the
Congress and the Congress is in the grip of Mr. Gandhi. It
cannot be said that Mr. Gandhi has given the Congress the
right lead. Mr. Gandhi first sought to avoid facing the issue
by taking refuge in two things. He started by saying that
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 265 266
to partition India is a moral wrong and a sin to which he
will never be a party. This is a strange argument. India is
not the only country faced with the issue of partition or
shifting of frontiers based on natural and historical factors
to those based on the national factors. Poland has been
partitioned three times and no one can be sure that there
will be no more partition of Poland. There are very few
countries in Europe which have not undergone partition
during the last 150 years. This shows that the partition of
a country is neither moral nor immoral. It is unmoral. It is a
social, political or military question. Sin has no place in it.
As a second refuge Mr. Gandhi started by protesting that
the Muslim League did not represent the Muslims and that
Pakistan was only a fancy of Mr. Jinnah. It is difficult to
understand how Mr. Gandhi could be so blind as not to see
how Mr. Jinnah´s influence over the Muslim masses has
been growing day by day and how he has engaged himself
in mobilizing all his forces for battle. Never before was Mr.
Jinnah a man for the masses. He distrusted them. To exclude
them from political power he was always for a high
franchise. Mr. Jinnah was never known to be a very devout,
pious or a professing Muslim. Besides kissing the Holy Koran
as and when he was sworn in as an M.L.A., he does not
appear to have bothered much about its contents or its
special tenets. It is doubtful if he frequented any mosque
either out of curiosity or religious fervour. Mr. Jinnah was
never found in the midst of Muslim mass congregations,
religious or political.
Today one finds a complete change in Mr. Jinnah. He has
become a man of the masses. He is no longer above them.
He is among them. Now they have raised him above
themselves and call him their Qaid-e-Azam. He has not
only become a believer in Islam, but is prepared to die for
Islam. Today, he knows more of Islam than mere Kalama.
Today, he goes to the mosque to hear Khutba and takes
delight in joining the Id congregational prayers. Dongri and
Null Bazaar once knew Mr. Jinnah by name. Today they
know him by his presence. No Muslim meeting in Bombay
begins or ends without Allah-ho-Akbar and Long Live Qaid-
e-Azam. In this Mr. Jinnah has merely followed King Henry
IV of France-the unhappy father-in-law of the English
King Charles I. Henry IV was a Huguenot by faith. But he
did not hesitate to attend mass in a Catholic Church in
Paris. He believed that to change his Huguenot faith and
go to mass was an easy price to pay for the powerful
support of Paris. As Paris became worth a mass to Henry
IV, so have Dongri and Null Bazaar become worth a mass
to Mr. Jinnah and for similar reason. It is strategy; it is
mobilization. But even if it is viewed as the sinking of Mr.
Jinnah from reason to superstition, he is sinking with his
ideology which by his very sinking is spreading into all the
different strata of Muslim society and is becoming part and
parcel of its mental make-up. This is as clear as anything
could be. The only basis for Mr. Gandhi´s extraordinary view
is the existence of what are called Nationalist Musalmans.
It is difficult to see any real difference between the communal
Muslims who form the Muslim League and the Nationalist
Muslims. It is extremely doubtful whether the Nationalist
Musalmans have any real community of sentiment, aim and
policy with the Congress which marks them off from the
Muslim League. Indeed many Congressmen are alleged to
hold the view that there is no different between the two
and that the Nationalist Muslim inside the Congress are
only an outpost of the communal Muslims. This view does
not seem to be quite devoid of truth when one recalls that
the late Dr. Ansari, the leader of the Nationalist Musalmans,
refused to oppose the Communal Award although it gave
the Muslims separate electorates in teeth of the resolution
passed by the Congress and the Nationalist Musalmans.
Nay, so great has been the increase in the influence of the
League among the Musalmans that many Musalmans who
were opposed to the League have been compelled to seek
for a place in the League or make peace with it. Anyone
who takes account of the turns and twists of the late Sir
Sikandar Hyat Khan and Mr. Faziul Huq, the late Premier of
Bengal, must admit the truth of this fact. Both Sir Sikandar
and Mr. Fazlul Huq were opposed to the formation of branches
of the Muslim League in their Provinces when Mr. Jinnah
tried to revive it in 1937. Notwithstanding their opposition,
when the branches of the League were formed in the Punjab
and in Bengal within one year both were compelled to join
them. It is a case of those coming to scoff remaining to
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 267 268
pray. No more cogent proof seems to be necessary to
prove the victory of the League.
Notwithstanding this Mr. Gandhi instead of negotiating with
Mr. Jinnah and the Muslim League with a view to a
settlement, took a different turn. He got the Congress to
pass the famous Quit India Resolution on the 8th August
1942. This Quit India Resolution was primarily a challenge
to the British Government. But it was also an attempt to
do away with the intervention of the British Government in
the discussion of the Minority question and thereby securing
for the Congress a free hand to settle it on its own terms
and according to its own lights. It was in effect, if not in
intention, an attempt to win independence by bypassing
the Muslims and the other minorities. The Quit India
Campaign turned out to be a complete failure.
It was a mad venture and took the most diabolical form. It
was a scorched-earth campaign in which the victims of
looting, arson and murder were Indians and the perpetrators
were Congressmen. Beaten, he started a fast for twenty-
one days in March 1943 while he was in gaol with the
object of getting out of it. He failed. Thereafter he fell ill.
As he was reported to be sinking the British Government
released him for fear that he might die on their hand and
bring them ignominy. On coming out of gaol, he found that
he and the Congress had not only missed the bus but had
also lost the road. To retrieve the position and win for the
Congress the respect of the British Government as a premier
party in the country which it had lost by reason of the
failure of the campaign that followed up the Quit India
Resolution, and the violence which accompanied it, he
started negotiating with the Viceroy. Thwarted in that
attempt, Mr. Gandhi turned to Mr. Jinnah. On the 17th July
1944 Mr. Gandhi wrote to Mr. Jinnah expressing his desire
to meet him and discuss with him the communal question.
Mr. Jinnah agreed to receive Mr. Gandhi in his house in
Bombay. They met on the 9th September 1944. It was
good that at long last wisdom dawned on Mr. Gandhi and
he agreed to see the light which was staring him in the
face and which he had so far refused to see.
The basis of their talks was the offer made by Mr.
Rajagopalachariar to Mr. Jinnah in April 1944 which,
according to the somewhat incredible story told by Mr.
Rajagopalachariar, was discussed by him with Mr. Gandhi in
March 1943 when he (Mr. Gandhi) was fasting in gaol and
to which Mr. Gandhi had given his full approval. The following
is the text of Mr. Rajagopalachariar´s formula popularly spoken
of as the C. R. Formula:
(1) Subject to the terms set out below as regards the
constitution for Free India, the Muslim League
endorses the Indian demand for Independence and
will co-operate with the Congress in the formation
of a provisional interim government for the
transitional period.
(2) After the termination of the war, a commission
shall be appointed for demarcating contiguous
districts in the north-west and east of India, wherein
the Muslim population is in absolute majority. In
the areas thus demarcated, a plebiscite of all the
inhabitants held on the basis of adult suffrage or
other practicable franchise shall ultimately decide
the issue of separation from Hindustan. If the
majority decide in favour of forming a sovereign
State separate from Hindustan, such decision shall
be given effect to, without prejudice to the right of
districts on the border to choose to join either State.
(3) It will be open to all parties to advocate their points
of view before the plebiscite is held.
(4) In the event of separation, mutual agreements shall
be entered into for safeguarding defence, and
commerce and communications and for other
essential purposes.
(5) Any transfer of population shall only be on an
absolutely voluntary basis.
(6) These terms shall be binding only in case of transfer
by Britain of full power and responsibility for the
governance of India.
The talks which began on the 9th September were carried
on over a period of 18 days till 27th September when it
was announced that the talks had failed. The failure of the
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 269 270
talks produced different reactions in the minds of different
people. Some were glad, others were sorry. But as both
had been, just previous to the talks, worsted by their
opponents in their struggle for supremacy, Gandhi by the
British and Jinnah by the Unionist Party in the Punjab, and
had lost a good deal of their credit the majority of people
expected that they would put forth some constructive effort
to bring about a solution. The failure may have been due
to the defects of personalities. But it must however be
said that failure was inevitable having regard to certain
fundamental faults in the C. R. Formula. In the first place,
it tied up the communal question with the political question
in an indissoluble knot. No political settlement, no communal
settlement, is the strategy on which the formula proceeds.
The formula did not offer a solution. It invited Mr. Jinnah to
enter into a deal. It was a bargain: `If you help us in
getting independence, we shall be glad to consider your
proposal for Pakistan.´ I don´t know from where Mr.
Rajagopalachariar got the idea that this was the best means
of getting independence. It is possible that he borrowed it
from the old Hindu kings of India who built up alliance for
protecting their independence against foreign enemies by
giving their daughters to neighbouring princes. Mr.
Rajagopalachariar forgot that such alliances brought neither
a good husband nor a permanent ally. To make communal
settlement depend upon help rendered in winning freedom
is a very unwise way of proceeding in a matter of this kind.
It is a way of one party drawing another party into its net
by offering communal privileges as a bait. The C. R. Formula
made communal settlement an article for sale.
The second fault in the C. R. Formula relates to the
machinery for giving effect to any agreement that may be
arrived at. The agency suggested in the C. R. Formula is
the Provisional Government. In suggesting this Mr.
Rajagopalachariar obviously overlooked two difficulties. The
first thing he overlooked is that once the Provisional
Government was established, the promises of the
contracting parties, to use legal phraseology, did not remain
concurrent promises. The case became one of the executed
promise against an executory promise. By consenting to
the establishment of a Provisional Government, the League
would have executed its promise to help the Congress to
win independence. But the promise of the Congress to
bring about Pakistan would remain executory. Mr. Jinnah
who insists, and quite rightly, that the promises should be
concurrent could never be expected to agree to place
himself in such a position. The second difficulty which Mr.
Rajagopalachariar has overlooked is what would happen if
the Provisional Government failed to give effect to the
Congress part of the agreement. Who is to enforce it? The
Provisional Government is to be a sovereign government,
not subject to superior authority. If it was unwilling to give
effect to the agreement, the only sanction open to the
Muslims would be rebellion. To make the Provisional
Government the agency for forging a new Constitution, for
bringing about Pakistan, nobody will accept. It is a snare
and not a solution.
The only way of bringing about the constitutional changes
will be through an Act of Parliament embodying provisions
agreed upon by the important elements in the national life
of British India. There is no other way.
There is a third fault in the C. R. Formula. It relates to the
provision for a treaty between Pakistan and Hindustan to
safeguard what are called matters of common interests
such as Defence, Foreign Affairs, Customs, etc. Here again
Mr. Rajagopalachariar does not seem to be aware of obvious
difficulties. How are matters of common interest to be
safeguarded? I see only two ways. One is to have a Central
Government vested with Executive and Legislative authority
in respect of these matters. This means Pakistan and
Hindustan will not be sovereign States. Will Mr. Jinnah agree
to this? Obviously he does not. The other way is to make
Pakistan and Hindustan sovereign States and to bind them
by a treaty relating to matters of common interests. But
what is there to ensure that the terms of the treaty will be
observed? As a sovereign State Pakistan can always
repudiate it even if it was a Dominion. Mr. Rajagopalachariar
obviously drew his inspiration in drafting this clause from
the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922. But he forgot the fact that
the treaty lasted so long as Ireland was not a Dominion
and that as soon as it became a Dominion it repudiated
the treaty and the British Parliament stood silent and grinned,
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 271 272
for it knew that it could do nothing.
One does not mind very much that the talks failed. What
one feels sorry for is that the talks failed giving us a clear
idea of some of the questions about which Mr. Jinnah has
been observing discreet silence in his public utterances,
though he has been quite outspoken about them in his
private talks. These questions are: (1) Is Pakistan to be
conceded because of the Resolution of the Muslim League?
(2) Are the Muslims, as distinguished from the Muslim
League, to have no say in the matter? (3) What will be the
boundaries of Pakistan? Whether the boundaries will be
the present administrative boundaries of the Punjab and
Bengal or whether the boundaries of Pakistan will be
ethnological boundaries? (4) What do the words `subject
to such territorial adjustments as may be necessary´, which
occur in the Lahore Resolution mean? What were the
territorial adjustments the League had in mind? (5) What
does the word `finally´ which occurs in the last part of the
Lahore Resolution mean? Did the League contemplate a
transition period in which Pakistan will not be an independent
and sovereign State? (6) If Mr. Jinnah´s proposal that the
boundaries of Eastern and Western Pakistan are to be the
present administrative boundaries, will he allow the
Scheduled Castes, or, if I may say so, the non-Muslims in
the Punjab and Bengal to determine by a plebiscite whether
they wish to be included in Mr. Jinnah´s Pakistan and
whether Mr. Jinnah would be prepared to abide by the
results of the plebiscite of the non-Muslim elements in the
Punjab and Bengal? (7) Does Mr. Jinnah want a corridor
running through U. P. and Bihar to connect up Eastern
Pakistan to Western Pakistan? It would have been a great
gain if straight questions had been put to Mr. Jinnah and
unequivocal answers obtained. But instead of coming to
grips with Mr. Jinnah on these questions, Mr. Gandhi spent
his whole time proving that the C. R. Formula is substantially
the same as the League´s Lahore Resolution - which was
ingenious if not nonsensical and thereby lost the best
opportunity he had of having these questions clarified.
After these talks Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Jinnah have retired to
their pavilions as players in a cricket match do after their
game is over, as though there is nothing further to be
done. There is no indication whether they will meet again
and if so when. What next? is not a question which seems
to worry them. Yet it is difficult to see how India can make
any political advance without a solution of the question
which one may refuse to discuss. It does not belong to
that class of questions about which people can agree to
differ. It is a question for which solution will have to be
found. How? It must be by agreement or by arbitration. If
it is to be by agreement, it must be the result of negotiations
- of give and take and not of surrender by one side to the
other. That is not agreement. It is dictation. Good sense
may in the end prevail and parties may come to an
agreement. But agreement may turn out to be a very
dilatory way. It may take long before good sense prevails.
How long one cannot say. The political freedom of India is
a most urgent necessity. It cannot be postponed and yet
without a solution of the communal problem it cannot be
hastened. To make it dependent on agreement is to
postpone its solution indefinitely. Another expeditious
method must be found. It seems to me that arbitration by
an International Board is the best way out. The disputed
points in the minorities problem including that of Pakistan
should be remitted to such a Board. The Board should be
constituted of persons drawn from countries outside the
British Empire. Each statutory minority in India - Muslims,
Scheduled Castes, Sikhs, Indian Christians - should be
asked to select its nominee to this Board of Arbitration.
These minorities as also the Hindus should appear before
the Board in support of their demands and should agree to
abide by the decision given by the Board. The British should
give the following undertakings:
(1) That they will have nothing to do with the communal
settlement. It will be left to agreement or to a Board of
Arbitration.
(2) They will implement the decision of the Board of
Arbitration on the communal question by embodying it in
the Government of India Act.
(3) That the award of the International Board of Arbitration
would be regarded by them as a sufficient discharge of
their obligations to the minorities in India and would agree
to give India Dominion Status.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 273 274
The procedure has many advantages. It eliminates the
fear of British interference in the communal settlement
which has been offered by the Congress as an excuse for
its not being able to settle the communal problem. It is
alleged that, as there is always the possibility of the
minorities getting from the British something more than
what the Congress thinks it proper to give, the minorities
do not wish to come to terms with the Congress. The
proposal has a second advantage. It removes the objection
of the Congress that by making the constitution subject
to the consent of the minorities, the British Government
has placed a veto in the hands, of the minorities over the
constitutional progress of India. It is complained that the
minorities can unreasonably withhold their consent or they
can be prevailed upon by the British Government to withhold
their consent as the minorities are suspected by the
Congress to be mere tools in the hands of the British
Government. International arbitration removes completely
every ground of complaint on this account. There should
be no objection on the part of the minorities. If their demands
are fair and just no minority need have any fear from a
Board of International Arbitration. There is nothing unfair
in the requirement of a submission to arbitration. It follows
the well-known rule of law, namely, that no man should be
allowed to be a judge in his own case. There is no reason
to make any exception in the case of a minority. Like an
individual it cannot claim to sit in judgement over its own
case. What about the British Government? I cannot see
any reason why the British Government should object to
any part of this scheme. The Communal Award has brought
great odium on the British. It has been a thankless task
and the British should be glad to be relieved of it. On the
question of the discharge of their responsibilities for making
adequate provision for the safety and security of certain
communities in respect of which they have regarded
themselves as trustees before they relinquish their
sovereignty what more can such communities ask than
the implantation in the constitution of safeguards in terms
of the award of an International Board of Arbitration? There
is only one contingency which may appear to create some
difficulty for the British Government in the matter of enforcing
the award of the Board of Arbitration. Such a contingency
can arise if any one of the parties to the dispute is not
prepared to submit its case to arbitration.
In that case the question will be: will the British Government
be justified in enforcing the award against such a party? I
see no difficulty in saying that the British Government can
with perfect justice proceed to enforce the award against
such a party. After all what is the status of a party which
refuses to submit its case to arbitration? The answer is
that such a party is an aggressor. How is an aggressor
dealt with? By subjecting him to sanctions. Implementing
the award of the Board of Arbitration in a constitution
against a party which refuses to go to arbitration is simply
another name for the process of applying sanctions against
an aggressor. The British Government need not feel
embarrassed in following this process if the contingency
should arise. For it is a well-recognized process of dealing
with such cases and has the imprimatur of the League of
Nations which evolved this formula when Mussolini refused
to submit to arbitration his dispute with Abyssinia. What I
have proposed may not be the answer to the question:
What next? I don´t know what else can be. All I know is
that there will be no freedom for India without an answer.
It must be decisive, it must be prompt and it must be
satisfactory to the parties concerned.
Source: ibid. Ambedkar, Pakistan, 385-416.
Document Forty-Six
Accusations of Partiality against Mountbatten
and the Radcliffe Boundary Award, 1947
As the last Viceroy of India, charged with presiding over
Partition, Earl Mountbatten of Burma has been accused of
partiality towards India and in particular of influencing the
boundary commission to alter the frontier in India´s favour.
Apart from general remarks to this effect, the claim of
partiality was attested in detail by the late Christopher
Beaumont, who was private secretary to Sir Cyril (later
Lord) Radcliffe, the chairman of the Indo-Pakistan Boundary
Commission. The commission´s deliberations were supposed
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 275 276
to be secret, impartial and impervious to political persuasion.
But Radcliffe was persuaded at a lunch with Mountbatten
to alter the line in the Punjab, transferring the sub-districts
of Ferozepur and Zira from Pakistan to India.
3
Radcliffe
denied the distinction between provisional and final awards:
`there could be no awards until I had decided to make a
report to the Viceroy, and only the document which
contained that report could be called an award. All the
earlier drafts - and there were quite a few - were drafts
and no more.´
4
Mountbatten claimed that `on numerous
occasions´ he had refused to pass on representations to
Radcliffe and that he `made a point of not looking at the
maps containing the Award until the day on which they
were shown to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan´.
He could not comment on whether any adjustments were
made to the boundary line in the Punjab between 8 August
and 13 August; but his assumption was that the original
line was `only tentative´ and that it was `amended
subsequently to "balance¨ the Bengal Boundary line.´
5
However, it is a matter of record that whereas the British
sources contain Sir George Abell´s memorandum to Stuart
Abbott of 8 August 1947, they do not contain the note
from H. C. Beaumont describing the map of the proposed
boundary by which Radcliffe proposed to demarcate his
award. The expectation, according to Abell, was that `there
will not be any great changes from this boundary´, but on
10 August or 11 August, Sir Evan Jenkins was informed by
secraphone message from the Viceroy´s house to `Eliminate
Salient´, by which was meant the Ferozepore salient from
the proposed Pakistan marked clearly on Beaumont´s map
dated 8 August.
6
There is thus clear evidence at least to
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 277 278
3 Obituary of His Honour Christopher Beaumont, The Times, 31
May 2002. Zaidi (ed.), Jinnah Papers, v. 431-4. Some of this has
been questioned by others such as Campbell-Johnson: V.
Schofield, Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the Unfinished
War (London and New York, 2000), 38. Other accusations of
partiality: P. Zeigler, Mountbatten. The Official Biography (London,
1985), 417-22. Most recently, Lucy Chester writes: `The two
most controversial elements of this line involved Gurdaspur and
Ferozepore. Pakistani critics interpreted Radcliffe´s decision to
grant most of Gurdaspur District to India as an attempt to
provide India with a land link to Kashmir. As one element of the
beginnings of the Kashmir conflict, this allegation remains
controversial. It is worth noting that no all-weather road linked
Kashmir and India in 1947; when the first Indo-Pakistani war
began in late 1947, India airlifted troops and supplies into
Kashmir rather than take an overland route. The other
controversy was over Ferozepore´s allocation to India; this
decision came as a surprise in the wake of early August leaks
indicating that Radcliffe would allocate a section of Ferozepore
to Pakistan.´
<www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/archives_roll/2002_01-03/
chester_partition/chester_partition.html>
Beaumont considered that Mountbatten was `"doubtless¨ told by
Nehru and Menon that to give Ferozepore to Pakistan would
result in a war between the two newly independent countries´;
moreover, Mountbatten was `in turn under pressure from Nehru
and almost certainly from the Maharaja of Bikaner whose State
would have been adversely affected if the canal headworks at
Ferozepore had gone to Pakistan and who is said to have told
Mountbatten that unless Fereozepore was allotted to India he
would have to accede to Pakistan.´ Zaidi (ed.), Jinnah Papers, v.
433-4. `On news reaching the Maharaja that the Boundary
Commission was likely to award Ferozepur Tehsil to Western
Punjab, the Maharaja again telegraphed the Viceroy stressing
the importance of retaining the Headworks at Ferozepore in
India as the economic life of the State depended entirely upon
it urging that his Prime Minister and Chief Engineer Irrigation,
might be afforded an opportunity to place [the] facts before the
Viceroy. It must be said to the credit of Lord Mountbatten
especially, and to others concerned as well, that the efforts of
Bikaner were finally crowned with success and a just cause
upheld. Ferozepore remained in India.´ <www.realbikaner.com/
history/rulers/sadulsingh.html>
Evan Jenkins confirmed to Mountbatten on 7 April 1948 that
when he saw the printed map (required as advance warning for
military dispositions) on 8 August 1947, the whole of the
Ferozepore and Zira Tahsils were included in Pakistan. On 10 or
11 August he received a message to `eliminate salient´ (that is,
to transfer these districts to India): Zaidi (ed.), Jinnah Papers,
v. 426-7. Radcliffe claimed that this was the `result of his own
unfettered judgement´ and not the result of Mountbatten´s
influence: ibid. v. 430.
4 Ibid., v. 429-30.
5 Ibid., v. 423-4. The concept of balance or compensation between
the separate Bengal and Punjab awards was one reason why
Mountbatten had taken up Jinnah´s suggestion that Radcliffe
should chair the separate commissions: J. Chatterji, `The fashioning
of a frontier: the Radcliffe Line and Bengal´s border landscape,
1947-52´, Modern Asian Studies, 33 (1999), 192 n 19.
6 The Transfer of Power, 1942-47, xii. 579. NDC V-1, volume II
part II, `enclosure to no 198´. One of the two maps is reproduced
in Lamb, Incomplete Partition, 52.
demonstrate Beaumont´s contention that the map had been
changed and that the Viceroy was cognizant of the change
(though it should be noted that this does not necessary
prove that Mountbatten himself initiated the change:
Radcliffe was operating from his residence).
7
Document Forty-Seven
`M. R. T.´s´ Nationalism in Conflict (Bombay,
1943)
Foreword by Qaid-i-Azam Mr Mohammad Ali
Jinnah, 24 December 1942
India of modern conception with its so-called present
geographical unity is entirely the creation of the British
who hold it as one administrative system by a system of
bureaucratic government whose ultimate sanction is the
sword and not the will or sanction o the people behind the
government so established. This position is very much
exploited by the Hindu Congress and another Hindu
organization, the Hindu Mahasabha. India is a vast sub-
continent. It is neither a country nor a nation. It is composed
of nationalities and races, but the two major nations are
the Muslims and the Hindus. Talk of Indian unity as one
central constitutional government of this vast sub-continent
is simply a myth.
The difference in India between the two major nations,
the Hindus and the Muslims, are a thousand times greater
when compared with the continent of Europe. In fact the
diversity of its races, religions, cultures and languages has
no parallel in any other part of the world; but fortunately
the Muslim homelands are in the North Western and Eastern
zones of the sub-continent where they are in a solid majority
with a population of nearly 70 millions and they desire that
these parts should be separated from the rest of India and
constituted into independent sovereign states [sic].
8
The
Muslims stand unequivocally for their own freedom and
independence and also that of the Hindus and the Hindu
India in the sub-continent of India, whereas the Hindu
machinations and all proposals and schemes suggested by
them are intended and calculated to bring a hundred million
Muslims under the subjugation and hegemony of the Hindu
Raj over the whole sub-continent of India which means
that Muslims shall be merely transferring their bondage of
slavery from the British Raj to the Hindu Raj. In sheer
ignorance or with a view to misguide the foreign opinion
deliberately in their own favour, it is urged in these days
that India´s case has a parallel in China, Soviet Russia or
even in the United States of America and that its problems
can be successfully tackled in the light of experience gained
by the peoples of these countries. A cursory examination
of such a plea by any intelligent man will convince him that
it is completely misleading to compare India´s problems with
these countries.
The present books are a collection of articles which had
appeared in different newspapers and had thrown a great
deal of light on the Pakistan demand of Muslim India, and
hence I agreed to their being collected and published in
the form of two books as they explain the Muslim position
regarding many of the current political issues which have
been agitating the Muslim mind. The author, Mr. M. R. T.,
has given his consent that these books should be issued
on behalf of the Home Study Circle. He has marshalled
facts and figures which are very valuable and he has done
a great service already by periodically publishing them in
various newspapers. In the first book, entitled Pakistan
and Muslim India,
9
he has placed in a very impartial way
the exposition of many factors which clearly demonstrate
that the only solution of India´s constitutional problem is
by means of partition of India and by accepting the
fundamental principles of [the] Pakistan scheme laid down
in the Lahore Resolution of the All-India Muslim League
passed in March 1940.
7 Lamb, Incomplete Partition, 53.
8 Thus, apparently, Jinnah accepted a separation of West and East
Pakistan in December 1942.
9 This has not been identified with certainty. However, it is
probably: India´s Problem of Her Future Constitution. All-India
Muslim League´s Lahore Resolution popularly known as 'Pakistan´,
being a collection of essays by various authors [the preface
signed: M. A. Jinnah] (Bombay, 1940).
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 279 280
The second book, entitled Nationalism in Conflict
10
in India,
contains the collection of writings of the same author. This
will show that India is not a national state, that India is
not a country but a sub-conti nent composed of
nationalities, the two major nations being the Hindus and
the Muslims whose culture and civilization, language and
literature, art and architecture, name and nomenclature,
sense of value and proportion, laws and jurisprudence, social
and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and
traditions, aptitudes and ambitions, outlook on life and of
life are fundamentally different, nay in many respects
antagonistic.
Of course, the views expressed in these books are those
of the author and not the official views of the Muslim League
or myself. I have undertaken to write this foreword in order
to commend these two books to all readers who want to
understand the problem of India´s future constitution and
its solution and I feel confident that anyone who reads
them dispassionately and with an open mind will find by
the sheer facts and figures and historical and political
arguments advanced that partition of India is in the interests
of both the major nations, Hindus and Muslims.
M. R. T.: Chapter I. Two Nations In India
The Congress-League problem admits of a very easy
solution once it is conceded that Hindus and Muslims are
two separate nations. The Congress, however, claims that
it alone has the right to speak on behalf of all classes and
communities of this vast sub-continent as it represents
the Indian nation. This position of the Congress is challenged
by the Muslim League which is the only authoritative
representative organization of 90 millions of Muslims.
Of late, prominent Hindu leaders have been carrying on
whirlwind propaganda to prove that Muslims are an integral
part of the Indian nation and are identical with the Hindus
racially, culturally and economically. The Muslim demand
for Pakistan is considered as a negation of nationalism and
their right to apply the principle of self-determination to
predominantly Muslim areas is condemned in the strongest
terms.
Mr Munshi
11
says that the Pakistan movement is intended
to destroy the Indian nation. Mr Satyamurti
12
denies that
Hindus and Muslims have any racial or cultural differences.
They might, he says, worship different gods, but their
outlook and culture are the same fundamentally. Even a
staunch Hindu like Sir S[arvepalli] Radhakrishnan,
13
who
asserts in his essay on `the spirit of Hinduism´ that Hinduism
is not an idea but power, that Hindu culture has maintained
its tradition unbroken to the present day, reminds the
Muslims that India has been a nation from early times. To
repeat his actual words: `if a nation is a body of men and
women, with their roots in the past and shaped by long
historic processes, India is a nation from early times.´
I will prove herewith that these views of Hindu leaders are
absolutely wrong and are effectively contradicted by other
prominent Hindu leaders who recognize that Hindus and
Muslims are separate nations.
L. Hardyal [= Har Dayal (1884-1939)] wrote as early as
1925 in the Pratap of Lahore
14
that if the British left Indi,
the Hindu nation would be threatened by Afghanistan and
that if the Hindu wanted to protect themselves, they must
conquer Afghanistan and the frontiers.
I reproduce his actual statement: `I declare that the future
of the Hindu race, of Hindustan and the Punjab rests on
these four pillars: (1) Hindu Sangathan; (2) Hindu Raj; (3)
Shud[dh]i of Muslims; (4) and conquest and Shud[dh]i of
Aghanistan and the frontiers. So long as the Hindu nation
does not accomplish these four things, the safety of our
children and great-grandchildren will ever be in danger,
and the safety of the Hindu race will be impossible. The
Hindu race has but one history, and its institutions are
homogeneous. But the Mussalmans and Christians are far
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 281 282
10 That is, the book from which this foreword is extracted.
11 Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, Akhand Hindustan (Bombay, 1942).
12 Presumably the same author as S. Satyamurti, The Indo-Burma
Immigration Agreement. A Nation in Revolt (Delhi, 1941).
13 Sir S. Radhakrishnan, The Hindu View of Life (1927; repr. 1941).
14 This was an Urdu language newspaper. For Har Dayal: Thursby,
Hindu-Muslim Relations in British India, 178, quoting Emily C.
Brown, Har Dayal (Tucson, 1975), 233-4. This article has been
called the `political testament´ of the exiled Hindu revolutionary
Har Dayal, so it cannot be taken in any way as representative
of Hindu opinion.
removed from the confines of Hinduism, for their religions
are alien and they love Persian, Arabic and European
institutions. Thus, just as one removes foreign matter from
the eye, Shuddhi must be made of these two religions.´
15
This statement clearly proves that a community which
entertains such feelings of hatred and revenge against a
neighbouring Muslim state, and relies on violence for the
establishment of Hindu Raja and the conversion of Muslims,
cannot live on terms of amity with the latter. Such exclusive
sentiments can only be nurtured by a nation by a nation
bent on aggression against another. If the Hindu race has
one history and homogeneous institutions and Muslims have
an alien religion and alien institutions, then evidently both
represent separate nations.
Conclusive evidence on this point is further furnished by
the writings of Mr Savarkar, President, All-India Hindu
MahaSabha, who at present commands, equally with the
greatest Congress leaders, immense influence among the
Hindus. In a speech at the Hindu Maha Sabha session held
at Ahmedabad in 1937, he said:
16
`Several infantile politicians
commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already
welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded
thus for the mere wish to do so. These our well-meaning
but unthinking friends take their dreams for realities. That
is why they are impatient of communal tangles and attribute
them to communal organizations.´
`But the solid fact is that the so-called communal questions
are but a legacy handed down to us by centuries of a
cultural, religious and national antagonism between the
Hindus and the Muslims. When the time is ripe you can
solve them; but you cannot suppress them by merely
refusing recognition of them. It is safer to diagnose and
treat deep-seated disease than to ignore it. Let us bravely
face unpleasant facts as they are. India cannot be assumed
today to be a unitarian and homogeneous nation, but on
the contrary these are two nations in the main, the Hindus
and the Muslims in India.´
Defining the aims of the Hindu Mahasabha as representative
of the Hindu nation, Mr Savarkar says: `It has come to my
notice that a very large section of the English educated
Hindus hold back from joining the Hindu Maha Sabha under
the erroneous idea that it is an exclusively Religious
organization - something like a Christian Mission. It is not
a Hindu Dharma Mahasabha, but a Hindu National
Mahasabha. As a national Hindu body it will of course
propagate and defend the National Hindu Church comprising
each and all religions of Hindusthani origin against any non-
Hindu attack or encroachment. But the sphere of its activity
is far more comprehensive than that of an exclusively
religious body. The Hindu Mahasabha identifies itself with
the National life of Hindustan in all its entirety, in all its
social, economical, cultural and above all political aspects
and is pledged to protect and promote all that contributes
to the freedom, strength and glory of the Hindu nation.´
17
Mr Savarkar places the foundation of the Hindu nation on
two conditions: firstly the retention of the name Hindustan
as the proper name for India. This name is preferred by him,
as it signifies the land of the Hindu. His second condition is
that Sanskrit should be retained as a sacred language. Hindi
as a national language and Nagri as the script of Hindudom.
Clarifying the Hindu position further on the question of
Hindi or Hindustani, he writes: `This Sanskrit Nistha Hindi
has nothing to do with that hybrid, the so-called Hindustani
which is being hatched up by the Wardha scheme. It is
nothing short of a linguistic monstrosity and must be
ruthlessly suppressed. Not only that but it is our bounden
duty to oust as ruthlessly all unnecessary alien words
whether Arabic or English, from every Hindu tongue -
whether provincial or dialectical.´
18
Mr Savarkar insists on
these two conditions as he thinks that Hindus are a nation
by themselves.
In support of his theory of a separate Hindu nation, he
argues in the following words: `Only those Nations have
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 283 284
15 Also quoted by Thursby, loc. cit. Thursby concludes `a mental
partition of the united nation thus already existed´. Ambedkar,
Pakistan, 129, also quotes this statement.
16 These quotations from Savarkar were also analyzed by Dr
Ambedkar and there seems to be a reliance on his arguments
from this part of the chapter onwards. Ambedkar, Pakistan, 142.
17 Also quoted by Ambedkar, Pakistan, 133.
18 Also quoted by Ambedkar, Pakistan, 138.
persisted in maintaining their National unity and identity
during the last three to four centuries in Europe which had
developed racial, linguistic cultural and such other organic
affinities in addition to their Territorial unity or even at
times in spite of it and consequently willed to be
homogeneous national units - such as England, France,
Germany, Italy, Portugal, etc.
`Judged by any and all of these tests which go severally
and collectively to form such a homogeneous and organic
Nation, in India we Hindus are marked out as an abiding
Nation by ourselves. Not only do we own a common
Fatherland, a Territorial unity, but what is scarcely found
anywhere else in the world, we have a common Holy Land
which is identified with our common Fatherland. This Bharat
Bhumi, this Hindustan, India, is both our Fatherland
19
and
Holy Land. Our patriotism is therefore doubly sure.
`Then, we have common affinities, cultural, religious,
historical, linguistic, and racial which through the process
of countless centuries of association and assimilation moulded
us into a homogeneous and organic nation and above all
induced a will to lead a corporate and common national life.´
Mr Savarkar concludes his statement with clear words which
admit of no ambiguity in meaning. He says: `We Hindus, in
spite of a thousand and one differences within our fold, are
bound by such religious, cultural, historical, racial, linguistic
and other affinities in common as to stand out as a definitely
homogeneous people as soon as we are placed in contrast
with any other non-Hindu people - say the English or
Japanese or even the Indian Muslims. That is the reason
why today we the Hindus from Kashm[ir] to Madras and
Sindh to Assam will have to be a Nation by ourselves.´
20
In face of the above lucid and frank exposition of the
Hindu case as a separate nation, there is not the least
doubt to think that Muslims form a separate nation by
themselves. Indeed, in this respect both Mr Jinnah and Mr
Savarkar are in full agreement. Both insist that there are
two nations in India but they differ in regard to the
conditions on which the two nations should live.
Dr Ambedkar thus criticizes the attitude of Mr Savarkar in
regard to the Muslim demand for Pakistan: `Mr. Savarkar
admits that the Muslims are a separate nation. He concedes
that they have a right to cultural autonomy. He allows
them to have a national flag. Yet he opposes the demand
of the Muslim nation for a separate national home. If he
claims a national home for the Hindu nation, how can he
refuse the claim of the Muslim nation for a national home?´
Continuing his argument, Dr Ambedkar says:
21
`History
records two ways as being open to a major nation to deal
with a minor nation when they are citizens of the same
country and are subject to the same constitution. One
way is to destroy the nationality of the minor nation and
to assimilate and absorb it into the major nation, so as to
make one nation out of two. This is done by denying to
the minor nation any right to language, religion or culture
and by seeking to enforce upon it the language, religion
and culture of the major nation. The other way is to divide
the country and to allow the minor nation a separate,
autonomous and sovereign existence, independent of the
major nation. Both these ways were tried in Austria and
Turkey, the second after the failure of the first.´
Dr Ambedkar advises the second course and warns against
the dangers resulting from the scheme of the Hindu Maha
Sabha, as this will establish a swaraj in which there will be
two nations under the mantle of one single constitution in
which the major nation will be allowed to hold the minor
nation in subordination to itself. He cites the instances of
Austria, Czechoslovakia and Turkey which denied the right
of self-determination to important nationalities within their
state limits and hence fell an easy prey to foreign intrigues
and internal disintegration.
Congress leaders, in their desire to preserve what they
call India´s integrity, unity and indivisibility, emphasize the
necessity of Hindu-Muslim unity, but they forget that
`political unity is worth nothing if it is not the expression of
real union´. Muslims have no desire to give up their
individuality and merge into a common Indian nation.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 285 286
19 `Motherland´ was changed to `Fatherland´ to accord with Muslim
sensibilities. Ambedkar, Pakistan, 140, quotes the original.
20 Also quoted by Ambedkar, Pakistan, 141. 21 Ibid. 143-4.
Similarly the Hindus have no real desire for unity or fusion,
as they are not prepared to lose contact with their past
traditions and customs and to tolerate what they call alien
institutions. Where the will to unite is lacking, political union
under a single government cannot create it. As Dr Ambedkar
states: `I do not think that a permanent union can be
made to depend upon the satisfaction of mere material
interests.´ According to him, `pacts may produce unity. But
that unity can never ripen into union.´
M. Renan,
22
the famous French writer, supports the same
idea when he says: `Community of interests is assuredly a
powerful bond between men. But nevertheless can interests
suffice to make a nation? I do not believe it. Community of
interests make commercial treaties. There is a sentimental
side to nationality; it is at once body and soul; a Zollverein
is not a fatherland.´
James Bryce
23
expresses his views in these words. `The
permanence of an institution depends not merely on the
material interests that support it, but on its conformity to
the deep-rooted sentiment of the men for whom it has
been made.´ The strongest bond that alone can furnish a
permanent guarantee for the union of two peoples is Religion
and this bond is lacking in India. Professor Marvin,
24
emphasising the part that Religion has played in preserving
the unity of the Roman Empire, thus records his impressions:
`The unity of the Roman Empire was mainly political and
military. It lasted for between four and five hundred years.
The unity which supervened in the Catholic Church was
religious and moral and endured for a thousand years.´
Bryce
25
describes the unifying effect of Christianity as
common religion in these words: `It is on religion that the
inmost and deepest life of a nation rests... The first lesson
of Christianity was love, a love that was to join in one
body those whom suspicion and prejudice and pride of race
had hitherto kept apart. There was thus formed by the
new religion a community of the faithful, a Holy Empire,
designed to gather all men into its bosom.´
Source: `M. R. T.´s´ Nationalism in Conflict in India (Bombay,
1942; 2
nd
edn. 1943).
Appendix Three
Evidence of the Census Figures for the Muslim
Case for Self-Determination
Table One: Distribution of the Muslim population, Census of
1921, analysed by Hasan
Percentage of
Muslim
Province Population Population
within province
Madras 2,840,488 6.71
Bombay 3,820,153 19.74
Bengal 25,210,802 54.00
United Provinces 6,481,032 14.28
Punjab 11,444,321 55.33
Bihar and Orissa 3,690,182 10.85
Central Provinces 563,574 4.05
and Berar
Assam 2,202,460 28.96
North-West 2,062,786 91.62
Frontier Province
Source: Hasan (1979), 10.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 287 288
22 Also quoted by Ambedkar. Ernest Renan (1823-92) delivered a
public lecture at the Sorbonne on 11 March 1882 entitled `Qu´est-
ce qu´une nation?´ The lecture was published in 1882 and there
have been two modern editions in 1992 and 1996.
23 Also quoted by Ambedkar. James Bryce (1832-1922) wrote,
among other works, The Holy Roman Empire (3rd edn. 1871);
Russia and Turkey (1876); Handbook of home rule: being
articles on the Irish question by W. E. Gladstone...[et al.]; with
preface by Earl Spencer, ed. James Bryce (1887); The American
Commonwealth (1888) and Briton and Boer: both sides of the
South African question (1900).
24 Also quoted by Ambedkar. Francis Sydney Marvin (1863-1943)
published The Unity of Western Civilization (Oxford 1915). 25 Also quoted by Ambedkar.
Table 2 Ambedkar´s Proposed Redistribution of the Population
between Pakistan and India, 1945
Muslim Muslim
Population Population
in Pakistan in India
1. Punjab 13,332,460 1. Total 66,442,766
Muslim
Population in
British India
(Excluding
Burma and
Aden).
2. N.W.F.P. 2,227,303
3. Sind 2,830,800
4. 405,309 2. Muslim 47,897,301
Baluchistan Population
grouped in
Pakistan and
Eastern
Bengal State.
5. Eastern 27,497,624
Bengal
Muslim 3. Balance of 18,545,465
States Muslims in
British
Hindustan
(i) Eastern 27,497,624
Bengal
(ii) Sylhet 1,603,805
Total 47,897,301
Source: Ambedkar (1945), ch. 6, `Pakistan and communal peace´.
Table 3: Population of India by communities, 1941 Census,
as analysed by Ambedkar
Communities British India Indian States Total
and Agencies
1. Hindus 150,890,146 55,227,180 206,117,326
2. Muslims 79,398,503 12,659,593 92.058.096
3. Scheduled 39,920,807 8.892,373 48,813,180
Castes
4. Tribal 16,713,256 8.728,233 25,441,489
5. Sikhs 4,165,097 1,526,350 5,691,447
6. Christians
(i) Indian 1,655,982 1,413,808 3,069,790
Christians
(ii) Anglo-Indians 113,936 26,486 140,422
(iii) Others 75,751 7,708 83,459
7. Jains 578,372 870,914 1.449.286
8. Buddhists 167,413 64,590 232,003
9. Parsees 101,968 12,922 114,890
10. Jews 19.327 3,153 22,480
11. Others 371,403 38,474 409,877
Total 294,171,961 89,471,784 383,643,745
NOTE. The figures for the Scheduled Castes both for British
India and Indian States do not give the correct totals. The
figures for Ajmer-Merwara in British India and for Gwalior
State are not included in the totals. The Census Reports
for 1940 fail to give these figures. Source: Ambedkar
(1945).
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 289 290
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 291 292
1
1
.

M
a
d
r
a
s
4
9
,
3
4
1
,
8
1
0
3
,
8
9
6
,
4
5
2
7
.
9
8
,
0
6
8
,
4
9
2
1
6
.
4
2
,
0
0
1
,
0
8
2
4
.
0
6
4
1
8
.
0
0
1
1
2
.

N
.
-
W
.
F
.
P
.
3
,
0
3
8
,
0
6
7
2
,
7
8
8
,
7
9
7
9
1
.
8
N
i
l
5
,
4
2
6
.
2
5
7
,
9
8
9
1
.
9
1
3
.

O
r
i
s
s
a
8
,
7
2
8
,
5
4
4
1
4
6
,
3
0
1
1
.
7
1
,
2
3
8
,
1
7
1
1
4
.
2
2
6
,
5
8
4
.
3
2
3
2
.
0
0
3
1
4
.

P
u
n
j
a
b
2
8
,
4
1
8
,
8
1
9
1
6
,
2
1
7
,
2
4
2
5
7
1
,
2
4
8
,
6
3
5
4
.
4
4
8
6
,
0
3
8
1
.
7
3
,
7
5
7
,
4
0
1
1
3
.
2
1
5
.

P
a
n
t
h
5
,
2
6
7
2
5
1
4
.
8
9
1
8
1
7
.
4
2
1
6
4
.
1
N
i
l
P
i
p
l
o
d
a
1
6
.

S
i
n
d
4
,
2
2
9
,
2
2
1
3
,
0
5
4
,
6
3
5
7
2
.
2
1
9
1
,
6
3
4
4
.
5
1
3
,
2
3
2
.
3
3
1
,
0
1
1
.
7
1
7
.

U
n
i
t
e
d
5
5
,
0
2
0
,
6
1
7
8
,
4
1
6
,
3
0
8
1
5
.
3
1
1
,
7
1
7
,
1
5
8
2
1
.
3
1
3
1
,
3
2
7
.
2
2
3
2
,
4
4
5
.
4
P
r
o
v
i
n
c
e
s
T
o
t
a
l
2
9
5
,
5
0
2
.
9
3
5
7
9
,
3
4
4
,
8
6
3
2
6
.
9
4
0
,
9
1
9
,
7
4
4
1
3
.
9
3
,
2
4
5
,
4
5
3
1
.
0
4
,
1
5
5
,
1
4
7
1
.
0
*

B
i
h
a
r
2
8
,
8
2
3
,
8
0
2
4
,
1
6
8
,
4
7
0
1
4
.
4
3
,
9
1
9
,
6
1
9
1
3
.
6
1
2
,
6
5
1
.
0
4
3
,
2
0
4
.
0
1
C
h
o
t
a
7
,
5
1
6
,
3
4
9
5
4
7
,
8
4
4
7
.
3
4
2
0
,
7
6
0
5
.
6
1
2
,
0
4
2
.
2
1
0
,
0
0
9
.
1
N
a
g
p
u
r
*

C
.
P
.
1
3
,
2
0
8
,
7
1
8
4
4
8
,
5
2
8
3
.
4
2
,
3
5
9
,
8
3
6
1
7
.
9
4
2
,
1
3
5
.
3
1
2
,
7
6
6
.
1
B
e
r
a
r
3
.
6
0
4
,
8
6
6
3
3
5
,
1
6
9
9
3
6
9
1
.
5
7
7
1
9
.
2
6
,
1
2
5
.
2
2
,
2
3
0
.
0
5
A
g
r
a
4
0
,
9
0
3
,
1
4
7
6
,
2
3
1
,
0
6
2
1
5
-
2
8
,
0
1
8
,
8
0
3
1
9
.
6
1
2
0
,
5
4
9
.
3
2
2
6
,
0
9
6
.
5
O
u
d
h
1
4
,
1
1
4
,
4
7
0
2
,
1
8
5
,
2
4
6
1
5
.
5
3
,
6
9
8
,
3
5
5
2
6
.
2
1
0
,
7
7
8
.
0
8
6
,
3
4
9
.
0
5
T
o
t
a
l
M
u
s
l
i
m
s
S
c
h
e
d
u
l
e
d
I
n
d
i
a
n
S
i
k
h
s
C
a
s
t
e
s
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s
P
r
o
v
i
n
c
e
s
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
1
.

A
j
m
e
r
e
-
5
8
3
,
6
9
3
8
9
,
8
9
9
1
5
.
4
N
i
l
3
,
8
9
5
.
8
8
6
7
.
1
5
M
e
r
w
a
r
a
2
.

A
n
d
a
m
a
n
3
3
,
7
6
8
8
,
0
0
5
2
3
.
7
N
i
l
7
7
9
2
.
3
7
4
4
2
.
2
N
i
c
o
b
a
r
3
.

A
s
s
a
m
1
0
,
2
0
4
,
7
3
3
3
,
4
4
2
,
4
7
9
3
3
.
7
6
7
6
,
2
9
1
6
.
6
3
7
,
7
5
0
.
4
3
,
4
6
4
.
0
3
4
.

B
r
i
t
i
s
h
5
0
1
,
6
3
1
4
3
8
,
9
3
0
8
7
.
5
5
,
1
0
2
1
.
0
2
,
6
3
3
.
5
1
1
,
9
1
8
2
.
3
5
.

B
e
n
g
a
l
6
0
,
3
0
6
,
5
2
5
3
3
,
0
0
5
,
4
3
4
5
4
.
7
7
,
8
7
8
,
9
7
0
1
3
.
0
1
1
0
,
9
2
3
.
2
1
6
,
2
8
1
.
0
3
6
.

B
i
h
a
r
3
6
,
3
4
0
,
1
5
1
4
,
7
1
6
,
3
1
4
1
2
.
9
4
,
8
4
0
,
3
7
9
1
3
.
3
2
4
,
6
9
3
.
0
7

1
3
,
2
1
3
.
0
4
7
.

B
o
m
b
a
y
2
0
,
8
4
9
,
8
4
0
1
,
9
2
0
,
3
6
8
9
.
2
1
,
8
5
5
,
1
4
8
8
.
9
3
3
8
,
8
1
2
1
.
6
8
,
0
1
1
.
0
4
8
.

C
e
n
t
r
a
l
1
6
,
8
1
3
,
5
8
4
7
8
3
,
6
9
7
4
.
7
3
,
0
5
1
,
4
1
3
1
8
.
1
4
8
,
2
6
0
.
3
1
4
,
9
9
6
.
0
9
P
r
o
v
i
n
c
e
s
&

B
e
r
a
r
9
.

C
o
o
r
g
1
6
8
,
7
2
6
1
4
,
7
8
0
8
.
8
2
5
,
7
4
0
1
5
.
3
3
,
3
0
9
2
.
0
N
i
l
1
0
.

D
e
l
h
i
9
1
7
,
9
3
9
3
0
4
,
9
7
1
3
3
.
2
1
2
1
,
6
9
3
1
3
.
3
1
0
,
4
9
4
1
.
1
1
6
,
1
5
7
1
.
8
T
a
b
l
e

4
:

C
o
m
m
u
n
a
l

d
i
s
t
r
i
b
u
t
i
o
n

o
f

p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

b
y

m
i
n
o
r
i
t
i
e
s

i
n

t
h
e

P
r
o
v
i
n
c
e
s

o
f

B
r
i
t
i
s
h

I
n
d
i
a
,

1
9
4
1
,

a
s
a
n
a
l
y
s
e
d

b
y

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r
.
S
o
u
r
c
e
:

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r

(
1
9
4
5
)
.
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 293 294
1
1
.

H
y
d
e
-
1
6
,
3
3
8
,
5
3
4
2
,
0
9
7
,
4
7
5
1
2
.
8
2
,
9
2
8
,
0
4
8
1
7
.
9
2
1
5
,
9
8
9
1
.
3
5
,
3
3
0
.
0
3





r
a
b
a
d
1
2
.

K
a
s
h
m
i
r
4
,
0
2
1
.
6
1
6
3
,
0
7
3
,
5
4
0
7
6
.
4
1
1
3
,
4
6
4
2
.
8
3
,
0
7
9
.
0
8
6
5
,
9
0
3
1
.
6





a
n
d
F
e
u
d
a
t
o
r
i
e
s
1
3
.

M
a
d
r
a
s
4
9
8
,
7
5
4
3
0
,
2
6
3
6
.
0
8
3
,
7
3
4
1
6
.
8
2
0
,
8
0
6
4
.
2
5
1
4
.

M
y
s
o
r
e
7
,
3
2
9
,
1
4
0
4
8
5
,
2
3
0
6
6
1
,
4
0
5
,
0
6
7
1
9
.
2
9
8
,
5
8
0
1
.
3
2
6
9
0
0
4
1
5
.

N
.
-
W
.
F
.
P
.
4
6
,
2
6
7
2
2
,
0
6
8
4
7
.
7
N
i
l
5
7
1
1
.
2
4
,
4
7
2
9
.
1
1
6
.

O
r
i
s
s
a
3
,
0
2
3
,
7
3
1
1
4
,
3
5
5
0
.
4
7
3
5
2
,
0
8
8
1
1
.
6
2
,
2
4
9
.
0
7
1
5
1
.
0
0
5
1
7
.

P
u
n
j
a
b
5
,
5
0
3
,
5
5
4
2
,
2
5
1
,
4
5
9
4
0
.
9
3
4
9
,
9
6
2
6
.
4
6
,
9
5
2
.
1
1
,
3
4
2
,
6
8
5
2
4
.
4
1
8
.

P
u
n
j
a
b

H
i
l
l
1
,
0
9
0
,
6
4
4
4
6
,
6
7
8
4
.
3
2
3
8
,
7
7
4
2
1
.
9
1
8
8
.
0
2
1
7
,
7
3
9
1
-
6
1
9
.

R
a
j
p
u
t
a
n
a
1
3
,
6
7
0
,
2
0
8
1
,
2
9
7
,
8
4
1
9
.
5
4
,
3
4
9
.
0
3
8
1
,
8
9
6
.
6
2
0
.

S
i
k
k
i
m
1
2
1
,
5
2
0
8
3
0
.
0
7
7
6
0
6
3
4
.
0
3
1
2
1
.
T
r
a
v
a
n
c
o
r
e
6
.
0
7
0
,
0
1
8
4
3
4
,
1
5
0
7
.
2
3
9
5
,
9
5
2
6
.
5
1
,
9
5
8
,
4
9
1
3
2
.
3
3
1
2
2
.

U
.
P
.
9
2
8
,
4
7
0
2
7
3
,
6
2
5
2
9
.
5
1
5
2
,
9
2
7
1
6
-
5
1
,
2
8
1
.
1
7
3
1
.
0
8
2
3
.

W
e
s
t
e
r
n
4
,
9
0
4
,
1
5
6
6
0
0
,
4
4
0
1
2
.
2
3
5
8
,
0
3
8
7
.
3
3
,
1
0
5
.
0
6
2
3
9
.
0
0
5





I
n
d
i
a
T
o
t
a
l
9
1
,
8
1
0
,
5
7
1
1
5
,
7
3
3
,
1
3
3
1
6
.
5
9
8
,
8
9
2
,
3
7
3
9
.
7
2
,
7
9
4
,
9
5
9
3
.
1
1
,
5
2
6
,
3
5
0
1
.
7
S
t
a
t
e
s

a
n
d
T
o
t
a
l
M
u
s
l
i
m
s
S
c
h
e
d
u
l
e
d
I
n
d
i
a
n
S
i
k
h
s
A
g
e
n
c
i
e
s
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
C
a
s
t
e
s
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
1
.

A
s
s
a
m
7
2
5
,
6
5
5
3
1
,
6
6
2
4
.
4
2
6
5
.
0
4
2
5
9
1
3
3
.
6
3
8
1
.
0
5
2
.

B
a
l
u
c
h
i
s
t
a
n
3
5
6
,
2
0
4
3
4
6
,
2
5
1
9
7
.
2
6
5
.
0
2
4
0
.
0
1
1
2
6
.
0
4
3
.

B
a
r
o
d
a
2
,
8
5
5
,
0
1
0
2
2
3
,
6
1
0
7
.
8
2
3
0
,
7
9
4
8
.
1
9
1
8
2
.
3
5
6
6
.
0
2
4
.

B
e
n
g
a
l
2
,
1
4
4
,
8
2
9
3
7
2
,
1
1
3
1
7
.
3
2
6
9
,
7
2
9
1
2
.
6
5
6
4
.
0
3
2
8
.
0
0
1
5
.

C
e
n
t
r
a
l
7
,
5
0
6
,
4
2
7
4
3
9
,
8
5
0
5
.
9
1
,
0
2
7
,
0
0
9
1
3
.
7
7
,
5
8
2
.
1
2
7
3
1
.
0
4



I
n
d
i
a
6
.

C
h
a
t
t
i
s
-
4
,
0
5
0
,
0
0
0
2
8
,
7
7
3
0
.
7
4
8
3
,
1
3
2
1
1
.
9
1
1
,
8
2
0
.
3
5
0
7
.
0
1




g
a
r
h
7
.

C
o
c
h
i
n
1
,
4
2
2
,
8
7
5
1
0
9
,
1
8
8
7
.
7
1
4
1
,
1
5
4
9
.
9
3
9
9
,
3
9
4
2
8
.
1
9
8
.

D
e
c
c
a
n
2
,
7
8
5
,
4
2
8
1
8
2
,
0
3
6
6
.
5
3
0
6
,
8
9
8
1
1
.
0
1
7
,
2
3
6
.
6
2
2
.
0
0
1
(
a
n
d
K
o
l
h
a
p
u
r
)
9
.

G
u
j
a
r
a
t
1
,
4
5
8
,
7
0
2
5
8
,
0
0
0
3
.
9
5
5
,
2
0
4
3
-
8
4
,
2
1
5
.
3
1
8
2
.
0
1
1
0
.

G
w
a
l
i
o
r
4
,
0
0
6
,
1
5
9
2
4
0
,
9
0
3
6
.
0
1
,
3
5
2
.
0
3
2
,
3
4
2
.
0
6
T
a
b
l
e

5
:

C
o
m
m
u
n
a
l

d
i
s
t
r
i
b
u
t
i
o
n

o
f

p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

b
y

m
i
n
o
r
i
t
i
e
s

i
n

I
n
d
i
a
n

S
t
a
t
e
s
,

C
e
n
s
u
s

o
f

1
9
4
1
,

a
n
a
l
y
s
e
d
b
y

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r
S
o
u
r
c
e
:

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r

(
1
9
4
5
)
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 295 296
M
u
s
l
i
m
s
S
c
h
e
d
u
l
e
d
I
n
d
i
a
n
S
i
k
h
s
H
i
n
d
u
s
C
a
s
t
e
s
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s
D
i
s
t
r
i
c
t
s
T
o
t
a
l
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
1
.

H
i
s
s
a
r
1
,
0
0
6
,
7
0
9
2
8
5
,
2
0
8
2
8
.
3
1
2
8
,
2
4
0
1
2
.
7
1
,
2
3
5
.
1
6
0
,
7
3
1
6
.
0
5
2
4
,
6
0
2
5
2
.
1
2
.

R
o
h
t
a
k
9
5
6
,
3
9
9
1
6
6
,
5
6
9
1
7
.
4
1
3
5
,
1
0
3
1
4
.
1
1
,
0
2
6
.
1
1
,
4
6
6
.
2
6
4
5
,
3
7
1
5
7
.
5
3
.

G
u
r
g
a
o
n
8
5
1
,
4
5
8
2
8
5
,
9
9
2
3
3
.
6
1
1
9
,
2
5
0
1
4
.
0
1
,
4
5
7
.
2
6
3
7
.
0
7
4
4
1
,
2
8
7
5
1
.
8
4
.

K
a
r
n
a
l
9
9
4
,
5
7
5
3
0
4
,
3
4
6
3
0
.
6
1
3
6
,
7
1
3
1
3
.
7
1
,
2
2
3
.
1
1
9
,
8
8
7
2
.
0
5
2
9
,
5
8
8
5
3
.
2
5
.

A
m
b
a
l
a
8
4
7
,
7
4
5
2
6
8
,
9
9
9
3
1
.
7
1
2
4
,
0
0
6
1
4
.
6
4
,
8
9
2
.
6
1
5
3
,
5
4
3
1
8
.
1
2
8
8
,
6
5
2
3
4
.
0
6
.

S
i
m
l
a
3
8
,
5
7
6
7
,
0
2
2
1
8
.
2
7
,
0
9
2
1
8
.
4
5
0
8
1
.
3
1
,
0
3
2
2
.
7
2
2
,
3
7
4
5
8
.
-
0
7
.

K
a
n
g
r
a
8
9
9
,
3
7
7
4
3
,
2
4
9
4
.
8
1
2
1
,
6
2
2
1
3
.
5
5
9
0
.
0
7
4
,
8
0
9
.
5
7
2
5
,
9
0
9
8
0
.
7
8
.

H
o
s
h
i
-
1
,
1
7
0
,
3
2
3
3
8
0
,
7
5
9
3
2
.
5
1
7
0
,
8
5
5
1
4
.
6
6
,
0
6
0
.
5
1
9
8
,
1
9
4
1
6
.
9
4
1
3
,
8
3
7
3
5
.
4




y
a
r
p
u
r
9
.

J
u
l
l
u
n
d
a
r
1
.
1
2
7
,
1
9
0
5
0
9
,
8
0
4
4
5
.
2
1
5
4
,
4
3
1
1
3
.
7
5
,
9
7
1
.
5
2
9
8
,
7
4
4
2
6
.
5
1
5
6
,
5
7
9
1
3
.
9
1
0
.

L
u
d
h
i
-
8
1
8
,
6
1
5
3
0
2
,
4
8
2
3
6
.
9
6
8
,
4
6
9
8
.
4
1
,
6
3
2
.
2
3
4
1
,
1
7
5
4
1
.
7
1
0
6
,
2
4
6
1
2
.
9





a
n
a
.
1
1
.

F
e
r
o
-
1
.
4
2
3
,
0
7
6
6
4
1
,
4
4
8
4
5
.
1
7
3
,
5
0
4
5
.
1
1
1
,
0
3
1
.
8
4
7
9
,
4
8
6
3
3
.
7
2
1
6
,
2
2
9
1
5
.
2





z
p
o
r
e
.
1
2
.

L
a
h
o
r
e
1
,
6
9
5
,
3
7
5
1
,
0
2
7
,
7
7
2
6
0
.
6
3
2
,
7
3
5
1
.
9
6
7
,
6
8
6
4
.
0
3
1
0
,
6
4
8
1
8
.
3
2
5
2
,
0
0
4
1
4
.
9
1
3
.

A
m
r
i
-
1
,
4
1
3
,
8
7
6
6
5
7
,
6
9
5
4
6
.
5
2
2
,
7
5
0
1
.
6
2
5
,
3
3
0
1
.
8
5
1
0
,
8
4
5
3
6
.
1
1
9
4
,
7
2
7
1
3
.
8





t
s
a
r
1
4
.

G
u
r
d
a
-
1
,
1
5
3
,
5
1
1
5
8
9
,
9
2
3
5
1
.
1
4
5
,
8
3
9
4
.
0
4
0
,
2
6
2
4
.
4
2
2
1
,
2
5
1
1
9
.
2
2
4
4
,
9
3
5
2
1
.
2





s
p
u
r
.
1
5
.

S
i
a
l
k
o
t
1
,
1
9
0
,
4
9
7
7
3
9
,
2
1
8
6
2
.
1
6
5
,
3
5
4
5
.
5
7
3
,
8
4
6
6
.
2
1
3
9
,
4
0
9
1
1
.
7
1
6
5
,
9
6
5
1
3
.
9
1
6
.

G
u
j
r
a
-
9
1
2
,
2
3
5
6
4
2
,
7
0
6
7
0
.
5
7
,
4
8
5
.
8
6
0
,
3
8
0
6
.
6
9
9
,
1
3
9
1
0
.
9
1
0
0
,
6
3
0
1
1
.
0





n
w
a
l
l
a
1
7
.

S
h
a
k
-
8
5
2
,
5
0
8
5
4
2
,
3
4
4
6
3
.
6
2
2
,
4
3
8
2
.
6
5
9
,
9
8
5
7
.
0
1
6
0
,
7
0
6
1
8
.
9
6
6
,
7
4
4
7
.
8




h
u
p
u
r
a
1
8
.

G
u
j
a
r
a
t
1
,
1
0
4
,
5
2
9
4
5
,
6
0
9
8
5
.
6
4
,
6
2
1
.
4
4
,
3
9
1
.
4
7
0
.
2
3
3
6
.
3
8
0
,
0
2
2
7
.
2
1
9
.

S
h
a
h
-
9
9
8
,
9
2
1
8
3
5
,
9
1
8
8
3
.
7
9
,
6
9
3
1
.
0
1
2
,
6
9
0
1
.
3
4
8
.
0
4
6
4
.
8
9
2
,
4
7
9
9
.
2





a
p
u
r
2
0
.

J
h
e
a
-
6
2
9
,
6
5
8
5
6
3
,
0
3
3
8
9
.
4
7
7
1
.
1
7
3
0
.
1
2
4
,
6
8
0
3
.
9
4
0
,
1
1
7
6
.
4





l
a
m
.
T
a
b
l
e

6
:

C
o
m
m
u
n
a
l

d
i
s
t
r
i
b
u
t
i
o
n

o
f

p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

i
n

t
h
e

P
u
n
j
a
b

b
y

d
i
s
t
r
i
c
t
s
,

C
e
n
s
u
s

o
f

1
9
4
1
,

a
n
a
l
y
s
e
d
b
y

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 297 298
M
u
s
l
i
m
s
S
c
h
e
d
u
l
e
d
I
n
d
i
a
n
S
i
k
h
s
H
i
n
d
u
s
C
a
s
t
e
s
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
2
1
.

R
a
w
a
l
-
7
8
5
,
2
3
1
6
2
8
,
1
9
3
8
0
.
0
4
.
2
3
3
.
5
4
,
2
1
2
.
5
6
4
,
1
2
7
8
.
2
7
8
,
2
4
5
1
0
.
0






p
i
n
d
i
2
2
.

A
t
t
o
c
k
6
7
5
,
8
7
5
6
1
1
,
1
2
8
9
0
.
4
1
,
0
1
5
.
1
5
0
4
.
0
9
2
0
,
1
0
2
3
0
4
2
,
1
9
4
6
.
2
2
3
.

M
i
a
n
w
a
l
i
5
0
6
,
3
2
1
4
3
6
,
2
6
0
8
6
.
2
1
,
0
0
8
.
2
3
2
4
.
0
6
6
,
8
6
5
1
.
3
6
1
,
8
0
6
1
2
.
2
2
4
.

M
o
n
t
g
-
1
,
3
2
9
,
1
0
3
9
1
8
,
5
6
4
6
9
.
1
4
3
,
4
5
6
3
.
2
2
4
,
1
0
1
1
.
9
1
7
5
.
0
6
4
1
3
.
2
1
6
7
,
5
1
0
1
2
.
6





o
m
e
r
y
2
5
.

L
y
a
l
l
p
o
r
e
1
,
3
9
6
,
3
0
5
8
7
7
,
5
1
8
6
2
.
8
6
8
,
2
2
2
4
.
9
5
1
,
6
9
4
3
.
7
2
6
2
,
7
3
7
1
8
.
8
1
3
5
,
6
3
7
9
.
7
2
6
.

J
h
a
n
g
.
8
2
1
,
6
3
1
6
7
8
,
7
3
6
8
2
.
6
1
,
9
4
3
.
2
7
4
4
.
1
1
2
,
2
3
8
1
.
-
5
1
2
7
,
9
4
6
1
5
.
6
2
7
.

M
u
l
t
a
n
1
,
4
8
4
,
3
3
3
1
,
1
5
7
,
9
1
1
7
8
.
0
2
4
.
5
3
0
1
.
7
1
3
,
2
7
0
.
9
6
1
,
6
2
8
4
.
1
2
2
5
,
3
4
2
1
5
.
2
2
8
.

M
u
z
a
-
7
1
2
,
8
4
9
6
1
6
,
0
7
4
8
6
.
4
2
,
6
9
1
.
4
2
1
8
.
0
3
5
.
8
8
2
.
8
8
7
,
9
5
2
1
2
.
3



f
f
a
r
g
a
r
h
2
9
.

D
e
r
a
-
5
8
1
,
3
5
0
5
1
2
,
6
7
8
8
8
.
1
1
,
0
5
9
.
2
4
6
.
0
1
1
.
0
7
2
.
2
6
6
,
3
4
8
1
1
4
G
a
z
i

K
h
a
n
3
0
.
T
r
a
n
s
f
r
o
-
4
0
,
2
4
6
4
0
,
0
8
4
9
9
.
6
N
i
l
N
i
l
2
1
6
0
.
4


n
t
i
e
r

T
r
a
c
t
T
o
t
a
l

.
2
8
.
4
1
8
,
8
2
0
1
6
,
2
1
7
,
2
4
2
5
7
.
1
1
,
5
9
2
,
3
2
0
5
.
6
4
8
6
,
0
3
8
1
.
7
3
,
7
5
7
,
4
0
1
1
3
.
2
6
,
3
0
1
,
7
3
7
2
2
.
2
M
u
s
l
i
m
s
S
c
h
e
d
u
l
e
d

C
a
s
t
e
s
H
i
n
d
u
s
I
n
d
i
a
n

C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s
D
i
s
t
r
i
c
t
s
T
o
t
a
l
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
1
.

B
u
r
d
w
a
n
1
,
8
9
0
,
7
3
2
3
3
6
,
6
6
5
1
7
.
8
4
3
0
,
3
0
0
2
2
.
8
9
6
3
,
5
2
0
5
1
.
0
3
,
2
8
0
.
2
2
.

B
i
r
b
h
u
m
1
,
0
4
8
,
3
1
7
2
8
7
,
3
1
0
2
7
.
4
2
8
0
,
2
5
4
.
2
6
.
7
4
0
6
,
1
8
2
3
8
.
8
3
4
4
.
0
3
3
.

B
a
n
k
n
r
a
1
,
2
8
9
,
6
4
0
5
5
,
5
6
4
4
.
3
3
5
5
,
2
9
0
9
7
.
5
7
2
3
,
2
6
9
5
6
.
1
1
,
2
1
6
.
1
4
.

M
i
d
n
a
p
o
r
e
3
,
1
9
0
,
6
4
7
2
4
6
,
5
5
9
7
.
7
3
3
9
,
0
6
6
1
0
.
6
2
.
3
4
2
,
8
9
7
7
3
.
4
3
,
8
3
4
.
1
5
.

H
o
o
g
h
l
y
1
,
3
7
7
,
7
2
9
2
0
7
,
0
7
7
1
5
.
0
2
4
5
,
8
1
0
1
7
.
8
8
5
3
.
7
3
4
6
1
.
9
5
4
3
.
0
4
6
.

H
o
w
r
a
h
1
4
9
0
,
3
0
4
2
9
6
,
3
2
5
1
9
.
9
1
8
4
,
3
1
8
1
2
.
4
1
,
0
0
0
,
5
4
8
6
7
.
1

9
9
4
.
0
6
7
.

2
4
-
3
,
5
3
6
,
3
8
6
1
,
1
4
8
,
1
8
0
3
2
.
5
7
4
3
,
3
9
7
2
1
.
0
1
.
5
6
6
,
5
9
9
4
4
.
3
2
0
,
8
2
3
.
6




P
a
r
g
a
n
a
s
8
.

C
a
l
c
u
t
t
a
2
,
1
0
8
,
8
9
1
4
9
7
,
5
3
5
2
3
.
6
5
5
,
2
2
8
2
.
6
1
,
4
7
6
,
2
8
4
7
0
.
0
1
6
,
4
3
1
.
8
9
.

N
a
d
i
a
1
,
7
5
9
,
8
4
6
1
,
0
7
8
,
0
0
7
6
1
.
3
1
4
3
,
6
8
2
8
.
2
5
1
4
,
2
6
8
2
9
.
2
1
0
,
7
4
9
.
6
1
0
.

M
u
r
s
h
i
-
1
,
6
4
0
,
5
3
0
9
2
7
,
7
4
7
5
6
.
6
1
6
7
,
1
8
4
1
0
.
2
5
1
7
,
8
0
3
3
1
.
6
3
9
4
.
0
2





d
a
b
a
d
1
1
.

K
h
u
l
n
a
1
,
9
4
3
,
2
1
8
9
5
9
,
1
7
2
4
9
.
4
4
7
0
,
5
5
0
2
4
.
2
5
0
7
,
1
4
3
2
6
.
1
3
,
5
3
8
.
2
1
2
.

R
a
j
a
s
h
a
h
i
1
,
5
7
1
,
7
5
0
1
,
1
7
3
.
2
8
5
7
4
.
6
7
5
,
6
5
0
4
.
8
2
5
3
,
5
8
0
1
6
.
1
1
,
1
6
6
.
0
7
S
o
u
r
c
e
:

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r

(
1
9
4
5
)
.
T
a
b
l
e

7
:

C
o
m
m
u
n
a
l

d
i
s
t
r
i
b
u
t
i
o
n

o
f

p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

i
n

B
e
n
g
a
l

b
y

d
i
s
t
r
i
c
t
s
,

C
e
n
s
u
s

o
f

1
9
4
1
,

a
n
a
l
y
s
e
d

b
y
A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 299 300
1
3
.

D
i
n
a
j
p
u
r
1
,
9
2
6
,
8
3
3
9
6
7
,
2
4
6
5
0
.
2
3
9
9
,
4
1
0
2
0
.
7
3
7
5
,
2
1
2
1
9
.
5
1
,
4
4
8
.
0
7
1
4
.

J
a
l
p
a
i
g
u
r
i
1
,
0
8
9
,
5
1
3
2
5
1
,
4
6
0
2
3
.
4
3
2
5
,
5
0
4
2
9
.
9
2
2
6
,
1
4
3
2
0
.
8
2
,
5
8
9
.
2
1
5
.

D
a
r
j
e
e
l
i
n
g
3
7
6
,
3
6
9
9
,
1
2
5
2
.
4
2
8
,
9
2
2
7
.
7
1
4
9
,
5
7
4
3
9
.
7
2
,
5
9
9
.
7
1
6
.

R
a
n
g
p
u
r
2
,
8
7
7
,
8
4
7
2
,
0
5
5
,
1
8
6
7
1
.
4
4
9
5
,
4
6
2
1
7
.
2
3
0
7
,
3
8
7
1
0
.
7
3
8
9
.
0
1
1
7
.

B
o
g
r
a
1
,
2
6
0
.
4
6
3
1
,
0
5
7
,
9
0
2
8
3
.
9
6
1
,
3
0
3
4
.
9
1
2
6
,
2
2
9
1
0
.
0
2
8
6
.
0
2
1
8
.

P
a
b
n
a
1
7
0
5
,
0
7
2
1
,
3
1
3
,
9
6
8
7
7
.
1
1
1
4
,
7
3
8
6
.
7
2
6
9
,
0
1
7
1
5
.
8
2
8
5
.
0
2
1
9
.

M
a
l
d
a

.
1
,
2
3
2
,
6
1
8
6
9
9
,
9
4
5
5
6
.
7
7
5
,
5
3
5
6
.
1
3
9
0
,
1
4
3
3
1
.
6
4
6
6
.
0
4
2
0
.

D
a
c
c
a
4
,
2
2
2
,
1
4
3
2
,
8
4
1
,
2
6
1
6
7
.
3
4
0
9
,
9
0
5
9
.
7
9
5
0
,
2
2
7
2
2
.
5
1
5
,
8
4
6
.
4
2
1
.

M
y
r
n
e
n
s
i
a
g
h
6
,
0
2
3
,
7
5
8
4
,
6
6
4
.
5
4
8
7
7
.
4
3
4
0
,
6
7
6
5
.
7
9
5
5
,
9
6
2
1
5
.
9
2
,
3
2
2
.
0
4
2
2
.

F
a
r
i
d
p
u
r
2
,
8
8
8
,
8
0
3
1
,
8
7
1
,
3
3
6
6
4
.
4
5
2
7
,
4
9
6
1
8
.
3
4
7
8
,
7
4
2
1
6
.
6
9
,
5
4
9
.
3
2
3
.

B
a
k
a
r
g
u
n
j
3
,
5
4
9
,
0
1
0
2
,
5
6
7
,
0
2
7
7
2
.
3
4
2
7
,
6
6
7
1
2
.
1
4
8
0
,
9
6
2
1
3
.
6
9
,
3
5
7
.
2
2
4
.

T
i
p
p
e
r
a
3
,
8
6
0
,
1
3
9
2
,
9
7
5
,
9
0
1
7
7
.
1
2
2
7
,
6
4
3
5
.
9
6
5
2
,
3
1
8
1
6
.
9
4
2
8
.
0
1
2
5
.

N
a
o
k
h
a
l
i
2
,
2
1
7
,
4
0
2
1
,
8
0
3
,
9
3
7
8
1
.
3
8
1
,
8
1
7
3
.
7
3
3
0
.
4
9
4
1
4
.
9
5
3
5
.
0
2
2
6
.

C
h
i
t
t
a
g
o
n
g
2
,
1
5
3
,
2
9
6
1
,
6
0
5
,
1
8
3
7
4
.
5
5
7
,
0
2
4
2
.
6
4
0
1
,
0
5
0
1
8
.
6
3
9
5
.
0
2
2
7
.

C
h
i
t
t
a
g
o
n
g
2
4
7
,
0
5
3
7
,
2
7
0
2
.
9
2
8
3
.
1
4
,
5
9
8
1
.
9
6
0
.
0
2




H
i
l
l

T
r
a
c
t
s
.
2
8
.

J
e
s
s
o
r
e
1
,
8
2
8
,
2
1
6
1
,
1
0
0
,
7
1
3
6
0
.
2
3
1
4
,
8
5
6
1
7
.
2
4
0
6
,
2
2
3
2
2
.
2
1
0
5
7
.
0
6
T
o
t
a
l
6
0
,
3
0
6
,
5
2
5
3
3
,
0
0
5
,
4
3
4
5
4
.
7
7
,
3
7
8
,
.
9
7
0
1
2
.
2
1
7
,
6
3
0
,
0
5
4
2
9
.
3
1
1
0
,
9
2
3
.
2
S
o
u
r
c
e
:

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r

(
1
9
4
5
)
M
u
s
l
i
m
s
S
c
h
e
d
u
l
e
d
I
n
d
i
a
n
S
i
k
h
s
H
i
n
d
u
s
C
a
s
t
e
s
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s
D
i
s
t
r
i
c
t
s
T
o
t
a
l
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
%
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
S
u
r
m
a
V
a
l
l
e
y
1
.

K
a
c
h
a
h
a
r
6
4
1
,
1
8
1
2
3
2
,
9
5
0
3
6
.
3
5
1
,
9
6
1
8
.
1
3
,
7
4
4
.
6
-
-
-
-
1
7
3
,
8
5
5
2
7
.
1
2
.

S
y
l
h
e
t
3
,
1
1
6
,
6
0
2
1
,
8
9
2
,
1
1
7
6
0
.
7
3
6
4
,
5
1
0
1
1
.
7
2
,
5
9
0
.
0
8
-
-
-
-
7
8
5
,
0
0
4
2
5
.
2
3
.

K
h
a
s
i

a
n
d
1
1
8
,
6
6
5
1
,
5
5
5
1
.
3
6
3
.
0
5
1
2
0
.
1
-
-
-
-
1
2
,
6
7
6
1
0
.
7

J
a
n
t
i
a

H
i
l
l
s
4
.

N
a
g
a

H
i
l
l
s
1
8
9
,
6
4
1
5
3
1
.
2
4
5
.
0
2
9
-
-
-
-
4
,
1
5
3
2
.
2
5
.

L
u
s
h
a
i

H
i
l
l
s
1
5
2
,
7
8
6
1
0
1
.
0
6
2
2
.
0
1
N
i
l
-
-
-
-
2
,
4
2
5
1
.
6
A
s
s
a
m
V
a
l
l
e
y
-
-
-
-
6
.

G
o
a
l
p
a
r
a
1
,
0
1
4
,
2
8
5
4
6
8
,
9
2
4
4
6
.
2
2
3
,
4
3
4
2
.
3
2
6
9
.
0
3
-
-
-
-
2
8
2
,
7
8
9
2
7
.
9
7
.

K
a
m
r
u
p
1
,
2
6
4
,
2
0
0
3
6
1
,
5
2
2
3
9
1
5
9
,
0
9
2
4
.
7
1
,
0
3
8
.
0
8
-
-
-
-
6
3
7
,
4
5
7
5
0
.
4
8
.

D
a
r
a
n
g
7
3
6
,
7
9
1
1
2
0
,
9
9
5
1
6
.
4
1
9
.
4
7
5
2
.
6
6
,
3
6
7
.
8
-
-
-
-
3
2
8
,
2
8
3
4
4
.
6
9
.

N
o
w
g
o
n
g
7
1
0
,
8
0
0
2
5
0
,
1
1
3
3
5
.
2
5
9
,
2
1
4
8
.
3
4
,
0
4
9
.
6
-
-
-
-
2
2
9
,
1
3
7
3
2
.
2
T
a
b
l
e

8
:

C
o
m
m
u
n
a
l

d
i
s
t
r
i
b
u
t
i
o
n

o
f

p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

i
n

A
s
s
a
m

b
y

d
i
s
t
r
i
c
t
s
,

C
e
n
s
u
s

o
f

1
9
4
1
,

a
n
a
l
y
s
e
d

b
y
A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r
Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jinnah on Self-Determination Documents 301 302
1
0
.

S
i
b
s
a
g
a
r
1
.
0
7
4
.
7
4
1
5
1
.
7
6
9
4
.
8
5
0
,
1
8
4
4
.
7
1
5
,
2
6
8
1
.
4
-
-
-
-
5
9
3
,
0
0
7
5
5
.
2
1
1
.

L
a
k
m
i
p
u
r
8
9
4
,
8
4
2
4
4
.
5
7
9
5
.
0
4
3
,
5
2
7
4
.
9
.
3
,
7
8
6
.
4
-
-
-
-

4
5
7
,
5
0
9
5
1
.
1
1
2
.

G
a
r
o

H
i
l
l
s
2
3
3
,
5
6
9
1
0
,
3
9
8
4
.
5
7
8
9
.
3
1
-
-
-
-
1
3
,
5
1
8
5
.
8
1
3
.

S
a
d
i
y
a
6
0
,
1
1
8
8
6
4
1
.
4
3
,
9
9
1
6
.
6

4
8
6
.
8
-
-
-
-
1
4
.
6
0
5
2
4
.
3
F
r
o
n
t
i
e
r

T
r
a
c
t
1
4
.

B
a
l
i
p
a
r
a
6
,
5
1
2
6
1
.
9
7
4
1
.
1
2
3
.
4
-
-
-
-
2
.
5
1
4
3
8
.
6
F
r
o
n
t
i
e
r

T
r
a
c
t
T
o
t
a
l
1
0
.
2
0
4
,
7
3
3
3
,
4
4
2
,
4
7
9
3
3
.
7
6
7
6
,
2
9
1
6
.
6
3
7
,
7
5
0
.
4
3
,
4
6
4
.
0
3
3
,
5
3
6
,
9
3
2
3
4
.
6
D
i
s
t
r
i
c
t
s
T
o
t
a
l
T
o
t
a
l
P
.

C
.

o
f
T
o
t
a
l
P
.

C
.

o
f
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
M
u
s
l
i
m
M
u
s
l
i
m
N
o
n
-

M
u
s
l
i
m
N
o
n
-
M
u
s
l
i
m
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
t
o

T
o
t
a
l
t
o

T
o
t
a
l
H
a
z
a
r
a
7
9
6
,
2
3
0
7
5
6
,
0
0
4
9
4
.
9
4
0
,
2
2
6
5
.
1
M
a
r
d
a
n
5
0
6
,
5
3
9
4
8
3
,
5
7
5
9
6
5
2
2
,
9
6
4
4
.
5
P
e
s
h
a
w
a
r
8
5
1
,
8
3
3
7
6
9
,
5
8
9
9
0
.
4
8
2
,
2
4
4
9
.
6
K
o
h
a
t
2
8
9
,
4
0
4
2
6
6
,
2
2
4
9
2
.
0
2
3
,
1
8
0
8
.
0
B
a
n
n
u
2
9
5
,
9
3
0
2
5
7
,
6
4
8
8
7
1
3
8
,
2
8
2
1
2
.
9
D
.
I
.

K
h
a
n
.
2
9
8
,
1
3
1
2
5
5
,
7
5
7
8
5
.
8
4
2
,
3
7
4
1
4
.
2
S
o
u
r
c
e
:

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r

(
1
9
4
5
)
S
o
u
r
c
e
:

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r

(
1
9
4
5
)
T
a
b
l
e

9
:

N
-
W
.
F
.

P
r
o
v
i
n
c
e

p
r
o
p
o
r
t
i
o
n

o
f

M
u
s
l
i
m

p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

b
y

d
i
s
t
r
i
c
t
s
,

C
e
n
s
u
s

o
f

1
9
4
1
,

a
n
a
l
y
s
e
d
b
y

A
m
b
e
d
k
a
r
South Asian History Academic Papers
ISSN 1475-178X
The Institute for the Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations
(INPAREL) was established in 2001 in the Centre for the
Study of the History of Religious and Political Pluralism,
University of Leicester. Its objective is to study the relations
of India and Pakistan in South Asia. The two countries
have been hostile to each other since their birth in 1947
when British rule ended.
It is hoped that the 21st century will bring about peace in
South Asia. INPAREL´s contribution will be to seek peaceful
coexistence between these hostile powers. This will be
facilitated through the production of knowledge from an
academic, `pressure-free´, platform located at the University
of Leicester. Such knowledge will be widely disseminated
through lectures, conferences, books and academic papers.
The South Asian History Academic Papers series (SAHAPS)
is an INPAREL initiative. Papers may be written from a
multidisciplinary point of view and are encouraged to discuss
and analyze issues from both the Indian and Pakistan
viewpoints. All papers should be analytical rather than
narrative and well-documented. Once published, the copyright
will rest with the author and INPAREL.
Pakistan, Indian and non-South Asian academics are en-
couraged to write for the South Asian Academic Paper
series. Proposals for papers should be sent first to the
Director of INPAREL. Once approved, the papers should be
formatted in house style and sent in an agreed WORD for-
mat via a file attached to an e-mail.
The views expressed in these papers are those of the
authors and not necessarily those of the Director, or those
of the Institute.
304
Enquiries should be sent to:
Professor Richard Bonney
Director
Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism
Institute for the Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations (INPAREL)
University of Leicester
Leicester LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful