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Partition
Letter From M. A. Jinnah September 17, 1944
M. A. Jinnah
Aug 2013

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 “indefinite”. I, therefore, naturally asked you to please let me know in what way or respect the Lahore Resolution is indefinite, and now I have received your 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

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