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Partition
Discussions Between Gandhi and Jinnah, Confirmed by Letters, at Marble House, Bombay, 1944
Nov 2009

Gandhiji to Rajaji

TALK WITH M.A. JINNAH BOMBAY, September 9, 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 (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 1. I said, "I endorse Rajaji's Formula and you can call it Pakistan if you like. " He talked of the Lahore Resolution!. I said, "1 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 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," 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?" 1 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 mc. 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 1 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."

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September 10, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

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 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, Iwanted 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 I : 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. Clausc 6: "These terms shall be binding, only in case of transfer by Britain of full power and responsibility for the Government of India." l would like to know to whom is this power to be transferred, through what machinery and agcncy, and when?

These arc 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.

Your sincerely,

JINNAH

 LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH

September 11, 1944

DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

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 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 contract�ing 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 peace�ful transfer by the British Government. So far as I am concerned I would like the transfer to take place as early as possible.

 

Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September 11, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

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 convcrt you to my point of view, if possible. I urged yon that the only solution of India's problem is to 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 forth with.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, thcrcfbre, like to know in what way or respcet 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 cxplained 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 assistancc 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 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 agrecment with me, but that is not enough in my judgement,although it wilI 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 the 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.

Your sincerely,

JINNAH

Gandhiji to Rajaji

TALK WITH  M. A. JINNAH

September 12, 1944

GANDHIJI: He drew a very alluring picture of the Government of Pakistan. It would be a perfect democracy. I asked him if he had not told me that democracy did not suit Indian condition. He did not remember it. He asked me to tell him what he had said. So I told him all that and said that I might have misunderstood him. In that case he should correct me. But when I repeated in detail what he had said, he could not say no. He said, yes, he had said that, but that was with regard to imposed  democracy.

Then he said, "Do you think it is a question of religious  minority with us?" I said, "Yes." If not, he should tell me what it was. He harangued. I won't repeat all that here. I asked him what would happen to the other minorities in Pakistan: Sikhs, Christians, Depressed Classes, etc. He said they would be part of Pakistan. I asked him if he meant joint electorates. He knew I was coming to it. He said, yes, he would like them to be a part of the whole. He would explain the advantages of joint electorates, but if they wanted separate electorates they would have it. Sikhs would have Gurumukhi if they wanted and the Pakistan Government would give them financial aid. I asked, "What about Jats?" At first he pooh-poohed the idea. Then he said, "If they want it, they will also have it. They will have separate existence if they want it." I said, "What about Christians? They also want some place where they are in a majority and where they can rule, as for instance in Travancore?" He said that was a problem for the Hindus. I said supposing Travancore was in Pakistan? He said he would give it to them. He cited the instance of Newfoundland. The rest of the talk was nothing. I am to continue exploring his mind.

LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH

September 14, 1944

DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

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 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 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 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.

Yours sincerely,

 M. K. GANDHI

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September 14, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I received your Ietter of September 14 at 4.45 p.m. today in reply to my letter of September 1I (and not of September 13 as you state, which seems to be a mistake) and I thank you for it.

1. Please let me have as soon as you can your promised letter indicating in what way or respect the Lahore Resolution is �indefinite�.

2. 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 I942 Resolution by the AIl-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 foumula, you should give me a rough idea of the 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 Septemer11, 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. Unlcss 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, 1 have noted the explanation, and I do not think I need press you further, although some of them are not quite satisfactory.

Yours sincerely,

JINNAH

LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH

September 15, 1944

DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

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 imnemonically 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 as a result of this scheme?

      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 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 disfranchised? (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.

                                                    

Yours sincerely,

              M. K GANDHI

LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH

September 15, 1944

 DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

I have yours of the 14th instant,1 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 can not 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 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.

 

Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September 17, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I have your Ietter of September 15, 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 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 thc footing that you are carrying on these talks in your representative character or capacity, and my difficulties remain until you are vasted with a representative status and authority in order to negotiate and reach agreement with you.

You have stated in September 11 that the Lahore Resolution is "indennite". 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 lette!' of September 15 under reply.

The third paragraph of your letter is not seeking clarification, but a dis-quisition 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 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 Resolution are accepted, the question 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.

12. "Muslims under the Princes" : The Lahore Resolution is only confined to British India. This question does not arise out of clarification of the Resolution.

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 judgment 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 alJ 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.

Yours sincerely,

JINNAH

LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH

September 19, 1944

DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

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) 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, 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.

Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September 21, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

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 vicw 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 correspondcnce, which arc entirely outside the matter requiring clarification, so I have perforce to deal with them. Let me first deal with your letter of September11.

1. 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 independenc 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 clements as can be brought together."

2. The gist of yout' 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 �Independcncc 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 etiforcing it by resorting to mass civil disobediece in terms of the August 8, 1942, Resolution, and you have made it more clear again by stating in your letter of Septembcr 19 as follows: "As to your verdict on my policy and programme, we must agree to differ. For, I am wholly unrepcntant." 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. 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, thcrefore, proceeded in reply to ask you by my letter of September11 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 real1y 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 indefinitc," 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 c1arifications, informing you that you had introduced several matters which could hardly be discussed in a satisfactory manner by meam 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 entit1ed 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-a-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. 1 hope,1 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".

Yours sincerely,

JINNAH

LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH

September 22, 1944

DEAR QUID-E-AZAM,

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 somewhat 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 India. Mere assertion is no proof. The consequences of accepting such a proposition are dangerous in the extreme. Once the principle is admitted there would be no limit to claims for cutting up India into numerous divisions, which would spell India' 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 neutral 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.

 Yours sincerely,

    M. K. GANDHI

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September 23, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

1 am in receipt of your letter of September 22 and thank you-for it. I am sorry that you think 1 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 inimical to the ideals and demands of Muslim India. The Resolution in its essence is as follows:

(a) Immediate grant of Complete Independence [and] 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 Assemhly chosen will be composed of an overwhelming majority of the Hindus, nearly 75 percent.

(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 th.e 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 dear 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 efffort all these days and in the course of our prolonged talks and correspondence to convert you, but unfortunately it seems 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 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.

Yours sincerely

JINNAH

LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH

September 23, 1944

DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

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 time for the evening public prayer.

In order that all possibility of making any mistake in matter of this great importance may be removed I would like to give me in writing what precisely on your part you  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.

Yours sincerely,

M.K. Gandhi

LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH

September 24, 1944

DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

I have your two letters of September in reply to my letters of the 22nd and 23rd.

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 I 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 par 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:

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.

If the vote is in favour of separation, it shall be agreed that these areas shall form a separate State as soon as possible after India is free from foreign domination and can, therefore, be constituted into two sovereign independent States.

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.

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.

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.

Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

Gandhiji to Rajaji

TALK WITH M.A. JINNAH

September 24, 1944

 

[JINNAH:] "If you want defence and so many things in common, that means that you visualize a centre?"

 [GANDHI]1:] No, but I must say, in practice, there will have to be a body selected by both parties to regulate these things.

Then he came to the August (1942) Resolution. He said it was inimical to Muslims.

"But don't you see that it is absolutely a baseless charge. With all the legal acumen that is attributed to you, why cannot you see that it deals with only India and the British rule? It has nothing to do with the Muslims. You can refer the matter t a lawyer of eminence impersonally and take his opinion whether there is anything in it which could be considered inimical to thet Muslim League or the Muslims."

He said he did not need to do so. "Why should I want another's opinion when I know it for myself?" I broached the subject that I had fixed up to be at Sevagram on the 2nd October. I would like to leave on the 30th and would be back in four or five days. He said, "Why must we take so long? We had better close up now. I will have everything ready on Tuesday. You will examine the copies and I will do so." He had the introduction also ready and read it out. I said I had nothing to say against it, but if I had a copy I could examine it. He said 1 could do so on Tuesday. I said all right. He would not have a third party, nor would he produce his own scheme. He condemned the August Resolution. He suggested in so many words that amends should be made, i.e., it should be retracted.

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September 25, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

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, northwest 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.

. . . I asked 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. . . .

The terms clearly indicate that your basis is in vital conflict with and is opposed to the fundamental basis and principles of 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 selfdetermination 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 followed 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 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. . . 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?

Yours sincerely,

M. A. JINNAH

LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH

September 25, 1944

DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

Yesterday's talk leads me to inflict this 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 me 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.

Yours sincerely,

 M. K. GANDHI

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September26, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

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 Leagqe Working Committee thereon". It was entirely 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 July 24, 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.

Yours sincerery,

M. A. JINNAH

LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH

September 26, 1944

DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

In view of my letter to you of yesterday, left to myself, I would have refrained from dealing with your letter1 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, 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 1 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 1 possess for its acceptance by the Congress and the country. If you break, it cannot be because 1 have no representative capacity, or because I have been unwilling to give you satisfaction in regard to the claim embodied in the Lahore Resolution.

Yours sincerely,

 M. K. GANDHI

LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH

September 26, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

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 tpe 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 subtance nor the essence of the Lahore Resolution. On the contrary, both are calculated to completely 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 judgment and conscience.

Yours sincerelY,

M. A. JINNAH

M. A. JINNAH'S STATEMENT

September 27, 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 I also fully represented and vested with authority, in deference to Mr. Gandhi's I 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.

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