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Provisional Government contemplated in the Formula or an authority specially set up by it after the British power is withdrawn.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 contracting parties. “Safeguarding defence, etc.,” means for me a central or joint board of control Safeguarding means safeguarding against all who may put the common interests in jeopardy.
6. The power is to be transferred to the nation, that is, to the Provisional Government. The Formula contemplates 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