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
"If you are in majority," I said, "you will have your
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
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
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
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
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
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.
TO M.A. JINNAH
September 11, 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
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.
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
4. �All parties�
means, the parties interested.
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.
M. K. GANDHI
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
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
LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
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.
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
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?
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
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
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?
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.
M. K GANDHI
LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH
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.
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
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
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
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
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.
LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH
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
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
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.
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
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
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".
LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH
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
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
M. K. GANDHI
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
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.
LETTER TO M.A. JINNAH
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.
TO M.A. JINNAH
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
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.
TALK WITH M.A. JINNAH
[JINNAH:] "If you
want defence and so many things in common, that means that you visualize a
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
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
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
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
. . . 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
(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
(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?
TO M. A. JINNAH
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.
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
However, I regret I have failed to convince you and convert you, as I
was hopeful of doing.
LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
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.
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.
LETTER FROM M. A.
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
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.
M. A. JINNAH'S
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.
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.