Comments on Separate and Joint electorates

Extra(8)  Comments on Separate electorates, joint electorates and reserved constituencies
Documents  included:
  • The Montagu-Chelmford Reforms report(excerpt) from 'Speeches and Documents on the Indian Constitution 1921-1947', Selected by Sir Maurice Gwyer and A. Appadorai, OUP, 1957 Vol. I.[CMP(18)]
  • Nehru Report 1928 (excerpt) from 'Readings In the Constitutional History of India, 1757-1947', Desika Char, Oxford University Press, 1983.[Extra(4A)]
  • M. A. Jinnah's Fourteen Points 1929 (excerpt) from  Gwyer and Appadorai,  Vol. I.[Extra(4)]
  • Congress terms for communal settlement 1931 (excerpt) from  Gwyer and Appadorai Vol. I.[Extra(4)]
  • M.K. Gandhi on the stalemate in communal settlement (excerpt), Second Round Table Conference, 13 November 1931, from 'Readings In the Constitutional History of India, 1757-1947', Desika Char, Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • Jinnah and Nehru  correspondence  in 1938 (excerpt) from Gwyer and Appadorai,  Vol. II.[Extra(4B)]
  • B.R. Ambedkar on inequity in the matter of electorates between Muslim minority Provinces and Muslim majority Provinces, from  Pakistan or the Partition of India, Chapter VI (excerpt) at
  • B.R. Ambedkar on alternative to partition, from Pakistan or the Partition of India, Chapter XIII  (excerpt) at
  • Stafford Cripps to M.A. Jinnah during his meeting with the Cabinet Mission Delegation on April 4 1946(excerpt), from 'The Transfer of Power 1942-7', Volume VII The Cabinet Mission 23 March 29 June 1946, Eds., Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon. [CMP(5)]
  • Various speeches by M.A. Jinnah in 1937 (excerpts) from 'Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam', ed. Khurshid Yusufi, Pub.. Bazm-e-Iqbal, Lahore, Volume I.
  • Jinnah's post-independence interview to Robert Stimson, Correspondent of BBC, Karachi, Dec 19 1947(excerpt). From 'Speeches, Statements and Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam', ed. Khurshid Yusufi, Bazm-e-Iqbal, Lahore, Volume IV.


Separate electorates
In a separate electorate system, each recognized community  votes only for candidates of its own community. If the electorate is divided into recognized communities of Muslims, General, Sikhs, Christians, Dalits (as the Communal Award 1932[Extra(5)] did), then voters from each of these communities would vote only for candidates from their own community. The quota of seats on every legislature assigned to each community is pre-determined by prior agreement among the communities. 

What does this imply?

A. Discouragement of grassroots links between different communities.
If a Muslim and a Hindu are neighbours, the Muslim citizen's representatives in the local body, in the state legislature, in the national Parliament are Muslim and hence different from that of his neighbour the Hindu because the  religions they each claim adherence to are different. Though a Hindu and Muslim living next to each other might share the same concerns about say,  the road in front of their houses, about economic issues, employment, they cannot combine their votes in  common cause at grassroots level - only their legislators/local representatives can make common cause with each other. The Hindu's Hindu representative has nothing to do with the Muslim citizen, except in the matter of making deals with the Muslim's Muslim representative at the legislature level (if at all) and vice versa. 

If there are 10% Muslims and 90% Hindus in a region, the Muslim's legislator would need to represent  9 times the area that the Hindu's representative represents and there would be 9 Hindu representatives to every Muslim legislator from that region. The Hindu legislators would have nothing to do with the Muslims in their constituencies and the Muslim legislators would have nothing to do with the Hindus in their constituencies. 

Thus a serious pitfall of the separate electorate system is that citizens and elected representatives of one community have no  investedness in the other community even if they live cheek-by-jowl. Their political  separation is institutionalized. Each community can pursue a 'only me, myself and mine' politics at cost of the other communities as there is little incentive for communities to make compromises with each other except at  the upper or elite levels of governance.  

Separate electorates are thus insidiously communal. The state tries to manage diversity by chopping up the electorate and institutionalizing a situation where a local councillor/MP for Hindus does not need to seek the vote of local Muslims or Dalits and vice versa.

B. Group rights prevail over individual rights
The state,  government and polity view an  individual citizen's  group membership (his religious or community adherence) as the primary element of his citizenship and his political identity.  The fundamental underlying assumption is  that a person's adherence to his self-confessed community primarily defines and protects his interests.

C. Fixed representation
An advantage of the separate electorate system is that a given recognized community is assured of a fixed number of representatives from that community. But that also implies that  there cannot be more than that pre-determined fixed number of representatives from that community - a community's political power is limited by its pre-determined share of seats in legislature.

D. Ruling elite face less competition or challenges for power
Each community's politicians compete with each other only and are assured of a sort of niche or captive vote with  no danger of competition or challenge possible  ever from politicians of other communities.

E. Increasing fragmentation
As the system evolves,   electorates could get  more and more fragmented with sub communities touting their claims to separatism  and their own separate electorate and seats (such as if Shias claim  electorates  and quotas separate from  Sunnis among Muslims or various castes demand their own separate electorates and quotas among Hindus).

F. Previous agreements and frozen quotas are difficult to change
In a separate electorate system, the number of legislative seats assigned to a community are in general proportional to their population depending on the negotiations/adjustments between elites of different communities at a particular epoch in time, and this quota would remain frozen until the various communities'  reach a new agreement. Demographic changes thus become highly politically loaded issues because if  one community, A's population has increased relative to  another community B's population, any increase in relative number of seats for community A  can only come at the cost of community B's seats.  

Separate electorates thus in some sense represent a dead-end of inter community relations ('each community for itself') which remain stable as long as circumstances do not change.  Relative quotas remain a permanently open and inflammable issue sensitive to demographic changes.

(The difficulties in adjusting relative community representation in the face of  demographic changes has led to formation of militias and subsequent civil war in places like Lebanon. Lebanon has a system of fixed representation for each recognised community under joint electorates and while relative legislative quotas have been changed by mutual agreement after every spell of civil war, Lebanon hasn't held a population census since 1932).

G. Intriguing with and of foreign states/vulnerable sovereignty
Under separate electorates a recognized community A is not electorally accountable to another recognized community B except at the governance/elite level and vice versa. In such situations,  there is little cost to community A and much benefit in intriguing with a sympathetic foreign state  to gain leverage against its domestic opponent  community B.   This erodes the sovereignty of community B.  Community A also concedes sovereignty over its affairs to the foreign state as  the foreign state and its actors are not institutionally accountable to community A. There is thus  little cost  to the foreign state too, to intrigue in the internal affairs of another state through community A. 

This is a peril of fixed representation or frozen quotas as well. To some extent this is seen in interference of Syria and Iran in Lebanese internal affairs  through Lebanese Shias, for example and interference of Western powers through its Christian communities.

Joint electorates
Under joint electorates, voters of all communities select their representative from  the same set of candidates. The representative of a region is accountable to citizens of all communities. Thus citizens can make common cause across community lines at all levels.

This implies:
A. The state keeps no track of religious or community adherence of voters or candidates or elected representatives.
All citizens are politically equal in the eyes of the state.

B. No fixed or minimum representation
A given community can have any number of legislators, less or more than its population proportion. One community's political voice can be co-opted by another community. The serious pitfall of joint electorates is that politically weaker or isolated communities will not get adequate representation especially if their populations are dispersed geographically. They can thus be effectively disenfranchised and their interests not represented in legislative bodies. 

The dynamics of joint electorates at the constituency level can be seen to be both unfavorable and favorable to the representation of minority interests. In a constituency with more Hindus and fewer Muslims,  a Muslim candidate would be at a disadvantage with respect to a Hindu candidate when voters choose to vote along lines of religious affiliation. The Muslim candidate would also need to give primacy to the interests of his Hindu majority constituents in preference to the interests of his Muslim minority constituents.

However, conversely, the Hindu candidate cannot afford to neglect his Muslim constituents' interests if that gives him a decisive electoral edge over his rivals competing for the same votes.  The situation  improves if the two communities are less monolithic in political affiliation and if the electorate votes along lines of common interests not religious affiliation. The situation worsens if candidates and parties choose to heighten religious or inter-community tensions in order to secure the 'community-as-monolith'  vote for themselves.

C. Increasing Fragmentation into 'vote banks'
The elected representative of a constituency can  discriminate against some communities which are in numerical minority because he and his competitors can all choose to patronize other communities which assure them  of a majority of votes. 

Reserved constituencies
In the run-up to independence, from the 1920s onward,  Congress offered Muslims reserved constituencies with joint electorates in proportion of population instead of separate electorates. In reserved constituencies for Muslims, only  Muslim candidates would stand for election; the voters,  however,  would be the entire adult electorate  in that constituency belonging to all communities. The British however always topped every Congress offer by granting Muslims separate electorates with weightages.  The Communal Award in 1932 also awarded separate electorates to another community, the Depressed Classes,   but subsequently, the Poona Pact exchanged that separate electorate provision for Depressed Classes with reserved constituencies[Extra(5)].

The implications are:
A. Fixed minimum representation without permanent political separatism
Reserved constituencies for Muslims would  assure a pre-defined minimum of Muslim representation in legislature, would not bar additional numbers of Muslims from standing for election in other (unreserved) constituencies and would avoid the  permanent political separation between communities which is decreed by separate electorates.

B.Disenfranchisement of other communities in reserved constituencies,  difficulty of  change
In constituencies reserved for say, Dalits, a citizen of any other community cannot stand for election and is in some sense disenfranchised. Hence reserved constituencies in India are theoretically time bound but practically, it proves  politically loaded to dispense with these in the specified time period. 

C. Gerrymandering/enclaving with possibility of isolating  local minorities and filching pre-rogative of other communities, both
As mentioned above in point F. under the heading 'Separate electorates', Lebanon has a system of fixed representation for all communities under joint electorates, namely  a particular version of reserved constituencies for each community with no right to contest additional seats.  The delimiting of constituencies is seen to become politically loaded in this system. When constituencies are freshly delimited, it is often done with the intention of creating majorities of certain communities at the cost to making a minority of another community, encouraging migration of minorities and 'enclaving'. Conversely, often a constituency reserved for election of one community's representatives (Maronites) is delimited such that it contains a majority of another community(Shias) as constituents.

Proportional Representation
In this system, political parties appoint a number of legislators from their ranks to Parliament or any representative body according to the proportion of votes  each party received.   This is different from  the first-past-the-post criteria, in which the candidate with highest votes wins in a given constituency irrespective of what proportion of the voting public voted for him or his party in that constituency or any larger defined geographical region.  The general  implications of a proportional representation system are:

A. All votes which are cast, count

A party can win very few votes in some constituencies and more votes in others and all votes in its favor get aggregated over a larger region to determine how many legislators that party will send to legislature, if any.  In the first-past-the-post system,  except the votes cast for the winning candidate,  all other votes cast do not count. In the first-past-the-post system, only a small percentage difference in total votes cast for the winning candidates compared to their rivals can get magnified into a very large difference in the total number of seats won by a  party compared to its rivals.

B. Disproportionate power with political parties and their leadership over local representation even after votes are cast
Since votes are cast in favor of a political party and not necessarily a particular candidate, political parties and its leadership have disproportionate power over representation even after the public votes. 

C. Geographical de-linking between seeking votes and ultimate candidate or unwieldy voting system
The goal of maximising overall party returns over a defined region would determine a party's election strategy, not necessarily local issues in a given constituency or the popularity of a given candidate.  Constituencies and legislators seeking votes thus lose the  explicit and immediate geographical connection existing between them in the first-past-the-post system. This de-linking can be avoided by holding a second round of 'run-off' elections between local candidates from parties which received the maximum votes, but multiple rounds of voting could translate to an electoral process too costly and unwieldly for a huge and primarily  impoverished electorate like India's.

Parties seeking to maximize overall party returns can exacerbate communal and ethnic tensions by appealing to  religious and ethnic sentiments of larger communities as a whole in preference to campaigning on local issues  to a smaller geographically defined multi-religious/multi-ethnic electorate.   In proportional representation system, polarising politics being a profitable strategy can thus become almost institutionalized from election to election. In the first-past-the-post system too, on occasion, exacerbating communal and ethnic tensions of even a small fraction of the electorate can deliver a small but decisive  percentage increase of votes to one party or candidate over  their rivals.

D. Small and regional political parties, independent candidates at heavy disadvantage or even infeasible

Small and regional political parties and independent candidatures over the long term are at heavy disadvantage or are even infeasible in competition with large party political machines in proportional representation systems.  This tendency of reducing the political players to a small number of powerful parties would be fundamentally undemocratic in tendency and ill-suited to fair representation of a geographically,  ethnically and socio-economically diverse and fragmented electorate.
E. Increased centralisation and domination by some regions or factions.
The above-listed factors can also lead to a more disproportionate political dominance of some regions or factions over others than in a first-past-the-post system. Again, such dominance is unsuited to fair representation of a geographically,  ethnically and socio-economically diverse and fragmented electorate.

(end comment)

The Montagu-Chelmford reforms Report in 1918 commented on separate electorates  [CMP(18)]:
"..that they perpetuated class division; that they stereotyped existing relations; that they constituted 'a very serious hindrance to the development of the self-governing principle'".

The Report also said, "A minority which is given special representation owing to its weak and backward state, is positively encouraged to settle down into a feeling of satisfied security; it is under no inducement to educate and qualify itself to make good the ground it has lost compared with the stronger majority. On the other hand, the latter will be tempted to feel that they have done all they need to do for their weaker fellow countrymen and that they are free to use their power for their own purposes. The give-and-take which is the essence of political life is lacking.

There is no inducement to one side to forbear, or to the other to exert itself. The communal system stereotypes existing relations."
(end excerpt)

The Congress position in Nehru Report 1928 [Extra(4A)]

We cannot have one community domineering over another. We may not be able to prevent this entirely but the object we should aim at is not to give dominion to one over another but to prevent the harassment and exploitation of any individual or group by another.  If the fullest religious liberty is given, and cultural autonomy provided for, the communal problem is in effect solved, although people may not realize it.

The communal problem, so far as its political aspect is concerned, resolves itself now into the question of electorates, the reservation of seats, the separation of Sind, and the form of government in the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan.

It is admitted by most people now that separate electorates are thoroughly bad and must be done away with. We find however that there has been a tendency amongst the Muslims to consider them as a 'valued privilege', although a considerable section are prepared to given them up in consideration for some other things. Everybody knows that separate electorates are bad for the growth of a national spirit, but everybody perhaps does not realize equally well that separate electorates are still worse for a minority community. They make the majority wholly independent of the minority and its votes and usually hostile to it. Under separate electorates therefore the chances are that the minority will always have to face a hostile majority, which can always by sheer force of numbers, override the wishes of the minority. This effect of having separate electorates has already becomes obvious, although the presence of the third party confuses the issue.  Separate electorates thus benefit the majority community. Extreme communalists flourish thereunder and the majority community, far from suffering, actually benefits by them. Separate electorates must therefore be discarded completely as a condition precedent to any rational system of representation. We can only have joint or mixed electorates.
(end excerpt)

The Nehru Report 1928 recommended reserved constituencies proportional to population for Muslims in Muslim-minority provinces and unfettered joint electorates elsewhere:

There shall be joint mixed electorates throughout India for the House of Representatives and the Provincial Legislatures.

There shall be no reservation of seats for the House of Representatives except for Muslims in Provinces where they are in a minority and non Muslims in the North-West Frontier Province. Such reservation will be in strict proportion to the Muslim population in every Province where they are in a minority and in proportion to the non Muslim population in the North-West Frontier Province. The Muslims or non Muslims where reservation is allowed to them shall have the right to contest additional seats.

In the Provinces, (a) there shall be no reservation of seats for any community in the Punjab and Bengal; (Provided that the franchise is based on adult suffrage);    further  that the question of communal representation will be open for reconsideration if so desired by any community after working the recommended system for 10 years; (b) in Provinces other than the Punjab and Bengal there will be reservation of seats for Muslim minorities on population basis with the right to contest additional seats; (c) for the North-West Frontier Province there shall be similar reservation of seats for non Muslims with the right to contest other seats.

Reservation of seats, where allowed, shall be for a fixed period of 10 years; provided that the question will be open for reconsideration after the expiration of that period if so desired by any community.

Jinnah's Fourteen Points in 1929 included the  demands for separate electorates, 1/3 rd share in Central Legislature and all Cabinets[Extra(4)]:
(4) In the Central Legislature, Mussulman representation shall not be less than one third.
(5) Representation of communal groups shall continue to be by means of separate electorates as at present: provided it shall be open to any community, at any time, to abandon its separate electorate in favour of joint electorate.
(13) No Cabinet, either Central or Provincial, should be formed without there being a proportion of at least one-third Muslim Ministers.
The draft resolution also mentions an alternative to the above provision in the following terms:
That, in the present circumstances, representation of Mussulman in the different Legislatures of the country and other elected bodies through separate electorates is inevitable and further, the Government being pledged over and over again not to disturb this franchise so granted to the Muslim community since 1909 till such time as the Mussulman chose to abandon it, the Mussulman will not consent to joint electorates unless Sind is actually constituted into a separate Province and reforms in fact are introduced in the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan on the same footing as in other Provinces.

Further, it is provided that there shall be reservation of seats according to the Muslim population in the various Provinces; but where Mussulman are in a majority they shall not contest more seats than their population warrants.

The question of excess representation of Mussulmans over and above their population in Provinces where they are in minority is to be considered hereafter.
(end excerpt)

In 1931 the Congress offered its solution to the communal issue extending reserved constituencies to Sikhs in Punjab and Hindus in Sind [Extra(4)]:

3. (a) Joint electorates shall form the basis of representation in the future Constitution of India.

(NOTE B. Wherever possible the electoral circles shall be so determined as to enable every community, if it so desires, to secure its proportionate share in the Legislatures.)

(b) That for Hindus in Sind, the Muslims in Assam and the Sikhs in the Punjab and the North-West Frontier Province and for Hindus and Muslims in any Province where they are less than 25 per cent of the population, seats shall be reserved in the Federal and Provincial Legislatures on the basis of population with the right to contest additional seats.
(end excerpt)

[As an aside, India's pre independence issues with separate electorates were compounded by the limited and selective franchise awarded to different religious communities and economic classes, which then developed a stake in perpetuation of the system. ]

Gandhiji on the stalemate in communal settlement, Second Round Table Conference, 13 November 1931

I have not been able to read, with the care and attention that it deserves, the memorandum sent to the delegates on behalf of certain Minorities and received this morning. Before I offer a few remarks on that memorandum, with your permission and with all the deference and respect that are your due, I would express my dissent from the view that you put before this Committee-that the inability to solve the communal question was hampering the progress of Constitution-building, and that it was an indispensable condition prior to the building of any such Constitutions. I did not share that view. The experience that I have since gained has confirmed me in that view and, if you will pardon me for saying so, it was because of the emphasis that was laid last year and repeated this year upon this difficulty, that the different communities were encouraged to press with all the vehemence at their command their own respective views. It would have been against human nature if they had done otherwise. All of them thought that this was the time to press forward their claims for all they were worth, and I venture to suggest again that this very emphasis has defeated the purpose which I have no doubt it had in view. This is the reason why we have failed to arrive at an agreement.

As representing the predominant political organization in India, I have no hesitation in saying to His Majesty's Government and to those friends who seek to represent the Minorities mentioned against their names, and indeed to the whole world, that this scheme is not one designed to achieve responsible government, though undoubtedly, it is designed to share power with the bureaucracy.

If that is the intention- and it is the intention running through the whole of that document-I wish them well, and Congress is entirely out of it. The Congress will wander, no matter how many years, in the wilderness rather than lend itself to a proposal under which the hardy tree of freedom and responsible government can never grow.

I am astonished that Sir Hubert Carr should tell us that they have evolved a scheme which, being designed only for a temporary period, would not damage the cause of nationalism, but at the end of ten years we would all find ourselves hugging one another and throwing ourselves into one another's laps. My political experience teaches me a wholly different lesson. If this responsible government whenever it comes, is to be inaugurated under happy auspices, the nation should not undergo the process of vivisection to which this scheme subjects it: it is a strain which no national Government can easily bear.                                                                                              

In my humble opinion the proposition enunciated by Sir Hubert Carr is the very negation of responsible government, the very negation of nationalism. If he says that if you want a live European on the Legislature then he must be elected by the Europeans themselves, well, heaven help India if India has to have representatives elected by these several, special, cut-up groups. That European will serve India as a whole, and that European only, who commands the approval of the common electorate and not the mere Europeans. This very idea suggests that the responsible government will always have to contend against these interests which will always be in conflict against the national spirit-against this body of 85 per cent of agricultural population. To me it is an unthinkable thing. If we are going to bring into being responsible government and if we are going to get real freedom, then I venture to suggest that it should be the proud privilege and the duty of every one of these so-called special classes to seek entry into the Legislatures through this open door, through the election and approval of the common body of electorates. You know that Congress is wedded to adult suffrage, and under adult suffrage it will be open to all to be placed on the voters' list. More than that nobody can ask.

One word more as to the so-called Untouchables.
I can understand the claims advanced by other Minorities, but the claims advanced on behalf of the Untouchables, that to me is the 'unkindest cut of all'. It means the perpetual bar sinister. I would not sell the vital interests of the Untouchables even for the sake of winning the freedom of India. I claim myself in my own person to represent the vast mass of the Untouchables.

Let this Committee and let the whole world know that today there is a body of Hindu reformers who are pledged to remove this blot of Untouchability. We do not want on our register and our census Untouchables classified as a separate class. Sikhs may remain such in perpetuity, so may Muhammadans,  so may Europeans. Will Untouchables remain in perpetuity? I would rather that Hinduism died than that Untouchability lived...I am speaking with a due sense of responsibility, and I say that it is not a proper claim which is registered by Dr. Ambedkar when he seeks to speak for the whole of the Untouchables of India. It will create a division in Hinduism which I cannot possible look forward to with any satisfaction whatsoever. I do not mind Untouchables, if they so desire, being converted to Islam or Christianity. I should tolerate that, but I cannot possibly tolerate what is in store for Hinduism if there are two political divisions set forth in the villages. Those who speak of the political rights of Untouchables do not know their India, do not know how Indian society is today constructed, and therefore I want to say with all the emphasis that I can command that if I was the only person to resist this thing I would resist it with my life.
In 1938, Jinnah put forward further demands which included[Extra(4B)]:

1. The Fourteen Points formulated by the Muslim League in 1929.
2.The Congress should withdraw all opposition to the Communal Award and should not describe it as a negation of nationalism.
11. Muslim representation in local bodies should be governed by the principles underlying the Communal Award, that is separate electorates and population strength.
13. Recognition of the Muslim League as the one authoritative and representative organization of Indian Muslims.
Jawaharlal Nehru replied to Jinnah

11. The Congress has long been of the opinion that joint electorates are preferable to separate electorates from the point of view of national unity and harmonious co-operation between the different communities. But joint electorates, in order to have real value, must not be imposed on unwilling groups. Hence the Congress is quite clear that their introduction should depend on their acceptance by the people concerned. This is the policy that is being pursued by the Congress Ministries in regard to local bodies. Recently in a bill dealing with Local Bodies introduced in the Bombay Assembly, separate electorates were maintained by  an option was given to the people concerned to adopt a joint electorate, if they so chose. This principle seems to be in exact accordance with No.5 of the Fourteen Points, which lays down that 'Representation of communal groups shall continue to be by means of separate electorate as at present, provided that it shall be open to any community at any time, to abandon its separate electorate in favour of joint electorate'. It surprises me that the Muslim League group in the Bombay Assembly should have opposed the Bill with its optional clause although this carried out the very policy of the Muslim League.

May I also point out that in the resolution passed by the Muslim League in 1929, at the time it adopted the Fourteen Points, it was stated that 'the Mussulmans will not consent to joint electorates unless Sind is actually constituted into a separate Province and reforms in fact are introduced in the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan on the same footing as in other provinces'. Since then Sind has been separated and the North-West Frontier Province has been placed on a level with other provinces. So far as Baluchistan is concerned the Congress is committed to a leveling up of this area in the same way.
13. I do not understand what is meant by our recognition of the Muslim League as the one and only organization of Indian Muslims. Obviously the Muslim League is an important communal organization and we deal with it as such. But we have to deal with all organizations and individuals that come within our ken. We do not determine the measure of importance or distinction they possess. There are a large number, about a hundred thousand, of Muslims on the Congress rolls, many of whom have been our close companions, in prisons and outside, for many years and we value their comradeship highly. There are many organizations which contain Muslims and non Muslims alike, such as Trades Unions, Peasant Unions, Kisan Sabhas, Debt Committees, Zamindar Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Employers' Associations, etc., and we have contacts with them. There are specials Muslim organizations such as Jamiat-ul-Ulema, the Proja Party, the Ahrars and others, which claim attention. Inevitably the more important the organization, the more the attention paid to it, but this importance does no come from outside recognition but from inherent strength. And the other organizations, even though they might be younger and smaller, cannot be ignored.
(end excerpt)

Jinnah  always held out the prospect of agreeing to joint electorates  as a bargaining position but also demanded that Congress first accept  separate electorates and agree to the maintenance of representation in excess of Muslim population which had characterized most Indian legislatures from 1909 onward [Extra (5)]. Until 1939 Jinnah demanded also 1/3 rd seats in the Central legislature for 25% Muslims. 

After 1939 Jinnah demanded first 50% for Muslims [Extra(5)], then acceptance of the two nation theory,  along with communal voting and  Congress acceptance of the Muslim League's claim to be the sole representative of  Muslims. These demands were essentially meant to ensure  that even at 25% of the population and with whatever effect on the rights of other communities, the Muslim electorate would remain sovereign in itself and Muslims could never be outvoted by non Muslims, on every legislative body - local bodies,  provincial legislatures,  or the central Cabinet and central Assembly (-after passage of the Lahore Resolution in March 1940 calling for sovereign states in the two Muslim majority regions, Jinnah repudiated any central Cabinet or Assembly in the future).

Separate electorates and permanent minorities
Another point worth pointing out is that under separate electorates, Muslims/the Muslim League would be a permanent minority and Hindus  a permanent majority at the national level. 

In Muslim-minority provinces, due to separate electorates, the Hindus would be a permanent majority and Muslims a permanent minority, but that was by choice of the Muslim minority not of the Hindu majority, since the Congress and Hindu Mahasabha urged the adoption of joint electorates. In Muslim-majority provinces, the Muslims were a permanant majority and Hindus and Sikhs were permanent minorities, but by choice of the Muslim majority parties:

From B.R. Ambedkar's  Pakistan or the Partition of India, Chapter VI
...To  sum up this discussion of the Communal Award, it may be said that, as a solution of the Communal Question in its " lesser intent", there is no inequity in the Award on the ground that it gives weightage to the Muslim minorities in the Hindu Provinces. For, it gives weightage also to Hindu minorities in Muslim Provinces. Similarly, it may be said that there is no inequity in the Award, on the ground that it gives a statutory majority to the Muslims in Muslim Provinces in which they are a majority. If there is any, the statutory limitation put upon the Muslim number of seats, also gives to the Hindus in Hindu Provinces a statutory majority. But the same cannot be said of the Award in the matter of the electorates. The Communal Award is iniquitous inasmuch as it accords unequal treatment to the Hindu and Muslim minorities in the matter of electorates. It grants the Muslim minorities in the Hindu Provinces the right of self-determination in the matter of electorates, but it does not grant the same right to the Hindu minorities in the Muslim Provinces. In the Hindu Provinces, the Muslim minority is allowed to choose the kind of electorates it wants and the Hindu majority is not permitted to have any say in the matter. But in the Muslim Provinces, it is the  Muslim majority which is allowed to choose the kind of electorates it prefers and the Hindu minority is not permitted to have any say in the matter. Thus, the Muslims in the Muslim Provinces having been given both statutory majority and separate electorates, the Communal Award must be said to impose upon the Hindu minorities Muslim rule, which they can neither alter nor influence.

This is what constitutes the fundamental wrong in the Communal Award. That this is a grave wrong must be admitted. For, it offends against certain political principles, which have now become axiomatic. First is, not to trust any one with unlimited political power. As has been well said,

 "If in any state there  is a body of men who possess unlimited political power, those over whom they rule can never be free. For, the one assured result of historical investigation is the lesson that uncontrolled power is invariably poisonous to those who possess it. They are always tempted to impose their canon of good upon others, and in the end, they assume that the good of the community depends upon the continuance of their power. Liberty always demands a limitation of political authority..."

The second principle is that, as a King has no Divine Right to rule, so also a majority has no Divine Right to rule. Majority Rule is tolerated only because it is for a limited period and subject to the right to have it changed, and secondly because it is a rule of a political majority, i.e., majority which has submitted itself to the suffrage of a minority and not a communal majority. If such is the limited scope of authority permissible to a political majority over a political minority, how can a minority of one community be placed under the perpetual subjection of a majority of another community?  To allow a majority of one community to rule a minority of another community without requiring the majority to submit itself to the suffrage of the minority, especially when the minority demands it, is to enact a perversion of democratic principles and to show a callous disregard for the safety and security of the Hindu minorities.

(end quote)

Under joint electorates, it would have been possible for a  Muslim leader like Jinnah to challenge the Congress on its own electoral turf. B.R. Ambedkar and M.C. Chagla did each separately suggest in the late 1930's that  Jinnah do so, even under the then-existing separate electorate system:

BR Ambedkar in Pakistan or the Partition of India, CHAPTER XIII
" Are not the safeguards given to the Mussalmans of India wider and better than the safeguards which have been given to the French in Canada, to the English in South Africa and to the French and the Italians in Switzerland? To take only one item from the list of safeguards, haven't the Mussalmans got an enormous degree of weightage in representation in the Legislature? Is weightage known in Canada, South Africa or Switzerland? And what is the effect of this weightage to Muslims? Is it not to reduce the Hindu majority in the Legislature? What is the degree of reduction? Confining ourselves to British India and taking account only of the representation granted to the territorial constituencies, Hindu and Muslim, in the Lower House in the Central Legislature under the Government of India Act, 1935, it is clear that out of a total of 187, the Hindus have 105 seats and the Muslims have 82 seats. Given these figures one is forced to ask, where is [any cause for] the fear of the Hindu Raj?"

"What makes communal Raj possible is a marked disproportion in the relative strength of the various communities living in a country. As pointed out above, this disproportion is not more marked in India than it is in Canada, South Africa and Switzerland. Nonetheless there is no British Raj in Canada, no Dutch Raj in South Africa, and no German Raj in Switzerland. How have the French, the English and the Italians succeeded in preventing the Raj of the majority community being established in their country? Surely not by partition. What is their method? Their method is to put a ban on communal parties in politics. No community in Canada, South Africa or Switzerland ever thinks of starting a separate communal party. What is important to note is that it is the minority nations which have taken the lead in opposing the formation of a communal party. For they know that if they form a communal political party the major community will also form a communal party and the majority community will thereby find it easy to establish its communal Raj. It is a vicious method of self-protection. It is because the minority nations are fully aware how they will be hoisted on their own petard that they have opposed the formation of communal political parties."

"Not partition, but the abolition of the Muslim League and the formation of a mixed party of Hindus and Muslims is the only effective way of burying the ghost of Hindu Raj. It is, of course, not possible for Muslims and other minority parties to join the Congress or the Hindu Maha Sabha so long as the disagreement on the question of constitutional safeguards continues.

But this question will be settled, is bound to be settled, and there is every hope that the settlement will result in securing to the Muslims and other minorities the safeguards they need. Once this consummation, which we so devoutly wish, takes place, nothing can stand in the way of a party re-alignment, of the Congress and the Maha Sabha breaking up, and of Hindus and Mussalmans forming mixed political parties based on an agreed programme of social and economic regeneration, and thereby avoid[ing] the danger of both Hindu Raj or Muslim Raj becoming a fact. Nor should the formation of a mixed party of Hindus and Muslims be difficult in India. There are many lower orders in the Hindu society whose economic, political and social needs are the same as those of the majority of the Muslims, and they would be far more ready to make a common cause with the Muslims for achieving common ends than they would with the high caste of Hindus who have denied and deprived them of ordinary human rights for centuries.

To pursue such a course cannot be called an adventure. The path along that line is a well trodden path. Is it not a fact that under the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms in most Provinces, if not in all, the Muslims, the Non-Brahmins, and the Depressed Classes united together and worked the reforms as members of one team from 1920 to 1937? Herein lay the most fruitful method of achieving communal harmony among Hindus and Muslims, and of destroying the danger of a Hindu Raj. Mr. Jinnah could have easily pursued this line. Nor was it [=would it have been] difficult for Mr. Jinnah to succeed in it. Indeed Mr. Jinnah is the one person who [would have] had all the chances of success on his side if he had tried to form such a united non-communal party. He has the ability to organize. He had the reputation of a nationalist. Even many Hindus who were opposed to the Congress would have flocked to him, if he had only sent out a call for a united party of like-minded Hindus and Muslims."
(end excerpt)
That a minority can prevail by casting deciding votes between contending factions of the majority was pointed out to  Jinnah by Sir Stafford Cripps during the Cabinet Mission discussions in 1946.

Stafford Cripps during the Cabinet Mission discussions in April 1946[CMP(5)]:

Sir S. Cripps pointed to the danger that if there were large Hindu elements [in Pakistan] they would form a dominant political element making for instability because the Muslims would be divided amongst themselves on social and economic  questions and the Hindus might secure the balance.
(end excerpt)

This above described situation did arise, for instance,  in the 1970-71 Pakistan elections, when elections in Pakistan were held under joint electorates and an East Pakistani party Awami League won a majority of the seats in the Pakistan National Assembly. East Pakistan had a substantial minority of Hindus, whose contribution to the Awami League legislative majority became a matter of contention between West and East Pakistan. After 3 months of military action against East Pakistanis, including targeted attacks on Hindus, in June 1971, military President Yahya Khan offered to reach agreement with East Pakistanis if the Awami League agreed that East Pakistani Hindus would henceforth vote in separate electorates.
"Refugee reception  centres were set  up  and  a  general amnesty announced on June 10, 1971.   The shift  in Pakistani policy eased tensions in East Pakistan.   Many  influential  members  of  the Awami League signed a declaration accepting the concept of national unity and supporting the reintroduction  of  separate  electorates for Hindus  and  Moslems. "
(end excerpt)

Present day India
The Indian Constitution grants only Scheduled Castes (Dalits) and Scheduled Tribes reserved constituencies proportional to their population in national Parliament, state legislatures and local bodies. So a minimum assured number of legislators from each of these historically suppressed communities sits in legislatures. Additional candidates of these communities  have, of course, the right as citizens to stand  for election in other (general) constituencies also. 

Instances of failure  of joint electorates

The failures  of joint electorates to deliver  just and fair representation in India have also come to the forefront. Muslims do not have reserved constituencies and vote with other communities in joint electorates, and their representation in legislatures is much less than their proportion of population.   While they constitute a substantial "vote bank" in some regions, the co-opting of the Muslim minority voice by the Hindu majority voice in joint electorates was very visible in behaviour of the Congress on at least two key  occasions - the Babri Masjid demolition episode in 1992 and the post-riot Gujarat elections in 2002.

In the first instance,  Congress catered to purported 'majority' sentiment in winking at the mosque's illegal demolition and in the second instance, failed to raise the wide scale killing, looting and raping of Muslims as an election issue against the incumbent BJP government in the 2002 Gujarat elections. Despite being 9% of the population, Gujarati Muslims were effectively disenfranchised during the 2002 post-riot elections by the politics of the mainstream parties, none of which spoke on their behalf nor even openly sought their votes.

Possibly worse situation under separate electorates?
Under a separate electorate system,   Gujarat would have had a minimum 9% Muslim legislators, but the situation might have been worse because the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in catering to only  majority Hindu voters would care even less what Muslims in Gujarat or anywhere in India thought (or what its allies who were dependent on Muslim votes did). There would be no institutionalized accountability of any majority community politician on any Muslim question except to Hindu voters or coalition partners.

Today the BJP is forced to confront the fact that it needs Muslim votes or it needs support of other parties dependent on Muslim votes. In my opinion, a BJP-like party would be more unfettered in a separate electorate environment than presently especially since under separate electorates, the Hindu-Muslim divide would be institutionalized by the state to run right through the middle of any political party which had both Muslim and Hindu members.  The Unionist Party in pre-Partition Punjab is an example of a  Muslim-Hindu-Sikh party which had remained united under the separate electorate system while British patronage lasted but whose cross-religious alliances at the leadership level broke down under pressure from the top-to-bottom, elite-to-grassroots communal agenda of the Muslim League's Pakistan movement which appealed only to Muslims.

Foreign interference under separate electorates
Again, under separate electorates, Gujarati Muslims would have had 9 percent of the seats in the Gujarat legislature and Indian Muslims would have 14% of the seats in the Lok Sabha but due to separate electorates,  the leaders of the remaining 86% Indians would not be seeking any Indian Muslim votes and could afford to neglect Indian Muslims' concerns entirely and completely (and vice versa) unlike now.  Indian Muslims would be a permanent (because  isolated)  political minority.

In that situation Indian Muslims would lose nothing and gain much if Pakistan  armed/intrigued with them against their fellow Indians of other communities exactly like Syria and Iran currently arm/intrigue with   Lebanese Shia groups  against other Lebanese communities. Consequently there could be not one Gujarat 2002 but many such.

Pakistanis' direct interference in India's and Indian Muslims' internal affairs without accepting any Pakistani accountability to Indian Muslims would then be exactly as Jinnah envisaged under the two nation theory. Not only would this erode Indian sovereignty over India's affairs, it would also erode Indian Muslim sovereignty over  their  affairs. This is because Pakistan would  wield power over Indian Muslims without being  accountable to Indian Muslims for anything which affects them, whether their right to change their governments or their fair share of amenities, resources, education, economic opportunities, etc.

I believe it is much better for Indian Muslims not to become isolated from other Indians and reduced to being instruments of Pakistani interests through a separate electorate or separate enclaves system. It is much better for Indian Muslims to instead hold Indian Hindus accountable under joint electorates for upholding of their rights and for their fair share of amenities, resources, education, economic opportunities, etc.

Potential for political power through joint electorates
The potential of joint electorates versus separate electorates can be seen, for example, in the case of present-day Uttar Pradesh (U.P.). Under separate electorates, the maximum seats that Dalit leader and former Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati and her Bahujan Samaj Party could win would be proportional to the Dalit population in U.P. which is  approximately 21%. Under joint electorates, Ms. Mayawati can seek votes from all communities and can win a majority in U.P.

Similarly the Indian system offers Indian Muslims  a deciding vote in many parts of India and they potentially have much more influence than that merely arising from the proportion of their population. The system offers the possibility for a Muslim to be Prime Minister of India with the support of majority Hindus.

Joint electorates thus offer the open-ended scope that Muslims, Hindus, Dalits and others would get more and more involved and empowered in pursuing common aims.  That scope is  currently to a large extent  unrealized, however.

The Congress-Jinnah tussle during the 1937 elections
Elections in India from 1909-1946 were mostly held under separate electorates. After 1936 Jinnah sought an agreement with the Congress whereby Congress would recognize the Muslim League as the sole representative of all Muslims, designate itself a caste Hindu party and then reach an agreement with him on communal terms. The Congress did not  agree to his demand and also,  in the 1937 elections  put up Muslims candidates for Muslim seats.

Jinnah then campaigned for the Muslim League saying that as a 'Hindu' party the Congress was only trying to usurp the political prerogative of Muslims by claiming to espouse composite nationalism and putting up Muslim candidates. He made this accusation though the elections were held under separate electorates specified by the Government of India Act 1935[Extra(5)].
(end comment)

Jinnah's  selected speeches in 1937(excerpts)
Calcutta, January 3 1937
"I regret the Congress interfering in the affairs of Muslims by putting up Muslim candidates in opposition to the League candidates", declared Mr. M.A. Jinnah when he inaugurated the election campaign..."

The Muslim League is the only Muslim political organization that counts. I appeal to Muslims to join and make it a strong and really representative Parliament of Muslim India, a body that may speak with unchallenged authority on behalf of the 80 million Muslims of this subcontinent.

Do not be led away by the cries of "Hunger" and Dal Bhat. You must remember that nobody in the world can solve the fundamental economic, financial and social problems of a country overnight.

Gentlemen, I find in this province too much interference of the Hindu and the Congress in Muslim affairs. I warn the Hindus, I warn the Congress. Leave the Muslims of Bengal alone..."

Public meeting, Dacca, January 7, 1937
"..He said that at present there was a fundamental difference between the Muslims and the Congress and he felt that the Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the League stood out as a landmark in the political history of India and if Muslims had been able to settle their differences once, Mr. Jinnah saw no reason why the same could not be achieved again. It was for that reason that the League was endeavouring by systematic organization to produce the best materials among the Muslims..."

Dacca, January 7, 1937
"..The Muslim League programme, he said, contains cent per cent national principles. Mr. Jinnah yet longed for separate electorate because it would bring out the best minds of the Muslim community for co-operating with those of the sister community if the latter would consent to co-operate.

Bombay, January 13 1937
"..League's Aims
The Muslim League is willing and ready and in fact it is part of our programme and policy to co-operate with any other responsible party, provided a common policy and programme can be agreed upon and which will create a really united front. The League does not believe in assuming a non-communal label, with a few adventurers or credulous persons belonging to other communities thrown in and who have no backing of their people and thus pass off as the only party entitled to speak and act or behalf of the whole of India..."

New Delhi, March 21, 1937
".. It was not possible for Muslims and Hindus to merge their identities because of the fundamentally different social heritage and culture of the two communities, but it was at the same time feasible for them to join hands and march together to the goal of freedom..."

Statement on Congress Programme of 'Muslim Mass Contact Programme' Bombay, April 19 1937

In his[Nehru's] circular letter which he issued recently to the various Provincial Congress Committees, he urges upon them to work amongst the Muslim masses. He suggests formation of Provincial Muslim mass contact committees, under the provincial committees, to enroll Muslim members and generally rouse the interest of Muslims in the affairs of the Congress.

For this purpose he wants them to publish their notices, meetings, etc. in Urdu as well. The All India Muslim League and every Muslim who can read and write, except those who obey the Congress implicitly, are to be ignored.

We are told by another Congress leader, which is no less an authority that the President himself, viz., Mr. Sarat Chandra Bose, "That the problem before us is that of dal-bhat, and fundamentally there is no difference between Hindus and Muslims. What is needed at present is a bit of propaganda on economic lines amongst the Muslim masses.'. I suppose he had forgotten the insistence of the Hindus recently in Bengal for a fifty-fifty share in the Ministry.

Does he know that besides the poor masses there are others whose problem of dal-bhat also requires to be settled on economic lines, and will he, instead of carrying on a bit of propaganda amongst the poor Muslim masses, formulate a programme which will give immediate and real relief to the masses. I assure him that if he does that the Muslims will readily join with him for the achievement of any such programme without any further 'bit of propaganda'.."
"..they now think they will persuade the Muslim masses to disown every Muslim leader or representative of theirs, and these few men, supra-nationalists of the Congress, expect the Muslim masses to follow their lead. Their interests, they say, will be more and better looked after by them because the problem of protection of minorities in a representative Government will be better understood by the masses because you can always talk to them in terms of dal-bhat and thrown in a bait of Urdu notices; otherwise Hindi is to be the official language of Muslims.."

Bombay, May 5 1937
"...Discussing the latest statement of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr. M.A.Jinnah..says that he is glad that the Congress President has now accepted that the Muslim League is a political organization and often acts on a political plan, but, he add, Pandit Nehru hastened to say that because League was confined to a religious group he objected to it. Mr Jinnah thinks that if, instead of the word religious, Pandit Nehru had said that it was a minority group he would have been more correct. The League's entire programme, says Mr. Jinnah, is political, economic and social.

He has often explained, he states, that the Muslim League party is a corollary to the existence of separate electorates, but this, he adds, does not prevent the Muslim League from coalescing with any other group or party, if a common policy and programme are, agreed upon. ... So long as the minorities question remains unsettled and so long as there is no agreement on policy and programme with other parties it is essential that the solidarity of Muslims should be maintained, the attitude taken up by Pandit Nehru is calculated to create disruption among Muslims and break that solidarity.

Mr. Jinnah agrees that the Congress has a few Muslims in its fold, but maintains that one swallow does not make a summer. He is averse to having a party which, in fact and in reality, is a Muslim party with a few men belonging to other communities thrown in, passing itself as a noncommunal party. Mr. Jinnah is glad that the President of the Congress has now admitted the need for the protection of the religious, cultural and linguistic rights for minorities, but adds that a unilateral Congress declaration is not worth any consideration.."

Bombay, July 1, 1937
"..In my opinion this policy of mass contact with Mussalmans by Congress is fraught with very serious consequences. There is plenty of scope for Pandit Nehru to improve his own people, the Hindus as there are a lot of undesirable elements amongst them. Similarly the Muslim League should do the same thing as there are plenty of undesirable elements among the Mussalmans..."

Bombay, July 25,1937
"..Surely if a substitute for the Communal Award which the Mussalmans have already accepted is to be proposed, it can only come from the Hindu and Sikh leaders who are opposed to it and the two communities directly concerned. I can repeat now what I said when we commenced our talks at Delhi in January 1935, that if Babu Rajendra Prasad is so sure of getting the Congress to adopt his formula[based on joint electorates] as a substitute for the Communal Award, and informs to that effect with the authority and sanction of the Congress, I will place it before the All-India Muslim League without delay.."

Simla, September 18, 1937
"..There cannot be any self-respecting Indian who favours foreign domination or does not desire complete freedom and self-government for his country. The question to consider said Mr. Jinnah, was how to achieve this ideal...There can be no solution if people continue to believe in the principle of acquisition first and distribution afterwards in the latest dictum, 'possession first and partition afterwards.'. ..
'I may add that our country is not alone in this problem. Other countries had to face similar problems. England had its Roman Catholics and Protestants and Canada its British and French. But they ultimately solved their problems and I make bold to say that we can also solve this problem. I, therefore, appeal to every patriotic Indian that, instead of fighting for a distant ideal to mould the whole of India into mere citizens when the Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Mussalmans, Mussalmans politically, let us first solve the problem of the minorities.

Why the League?

I have repeatedly been asked why there should be a Muslim League. My answer is that those who question the existence of the League should read its constitution and ideal. They will honestly find that there is no difference between the ideal of the League and that of the Congress or any other political organization. The election manifesto, speeches of prominent Muslim League members would test the testimony that we wanted to send in the legislatures men who were patriotic nationalists and independent.

It will be conceded that there is an undesirable element in the Muslim community just as there is an undesirable element in any other community in India. Our aim and purpose has been to weed out this undesirable element from the public life of the country and only have a body of men who will be independent, self-less and think and act in terms of nationalism. With this view I also hold that Hindu leaders and Muslim leaders can exercise greater influence over members of their community and this is possible under the present conditions by means of separate organizations.

This to my mind is the best and quickest road to advance and the realization of our goal. Because when we have hammered out the best of the Hindus and the Mussalmans it will and must lead more quickly toward unity and a united front which is essential for our struggle. This is reality and the shortest road, while the other is ruin and will lead us to the longest road...
..If I make my community strong, independent and patriotic during my life-time I will feel that the purpose of life has been achieved and I have not lived in vain, and if Mr. Bhulabhai Desai can achieve the same for his community he would have done his part.

Separate electorates or no separate electorates, we then both will first work for the freedom of our country. But the freedom of our country does not mean freedom of the majority and the rule of the majority. I may assert that even the ordinary majority can be extremely oppressive and tyrannical. It, therefore, stands to reason that the majority, with a fundamentally different culture, traditions, social life and outlook always tries to force its ideals on the minorities.."
 (end excerpts of Jinnah's speeches in 1937)

Post-independence, with Muslims in majority, nonMuslims still out in the cold.

Jinnah's Interview to Robert Stimson, Correspondent of BBC, Karachi, Dec 19 1947 (excerpt)

Pakistan League

Asked whether the Muslim League of Pakistan would eventually transform itself into a national organization open to members of all religious communities, the Quaid-i-Azam said the time had not yet come for a national organization of that kind. Public opinion among Muslims of Pakistan is not yet ready for it. We must not be dazzled by democratic slogans that have no foundation in reality.

The Muslims have only just won their own Muslim homeland, and they still have to build a structure that will suit conditions and developments that will take place. But the decision to form a purely Muslim organization in Pakistan is not irrevocable. It may be altered as and when necessary to suit changing conditions. Nothing is static in politics. It all depends upon what progress we make and further developments that may take place..
(end quote)

Post-independence, "paradoxically", for better representation of Muslim interests,  the majority Hindu communities need to reach out more to  Muslim communities and vice versa,  not less.

Last edited April 4, 2012


CMP(1) -  From Ayesha Jalal's 'The Sole Spokesman'

CMP(2) -  Congress and Muslim League positions on 12 May 1946

CMP(3) -  The Cabinet Mission Plan 16 May 1946

CMP(4) - Jinnah  and ML  responses to the CMP 22 May  and June 6 1946

CMP(5) -  Jinnah's meeting with Mission Delegation on 4 April 1946

CMP(6) -  Jinnah's meeting with Missiion Delegation on 16 April 1946

CMP(7A) - Maulana Azad's meeting with Mission Delegation on 17 April 1946

CMP(7) -  The Congress unease with parity  8-9 May 1946

CMP(7B) - Jinnah and Azad responses to preliminary proposals 8-9 May 1946

CMP(8A) - Simla Conference meetings on 5 May 1946 on the powers of the Union

CMP(8) -  More exchanges on parity, Simla Conference meeting  11 May 1946

CMP(9) -  Jinnah and Wyatt(1) on Pakistan and CMP, 8 Jan. and 25 May 1946

CMP(10) -  Jinnah and Wyatt(2) on the interim government, 11 June 1946

CMP(11) -   Congress opposition to grouping. Gandhi, Patel and Azad, May 1946

CMP(12) - Congress Working Committee resolutions, May-June 1946

CMP(12A) - Arguments over inclusion of a Congress Muslim, June 1946

CMP(12B) - Behind the scenes-Gandhi, June-July 1946

CMP(12C) - Behind the scenes-Jinnah, June-July 1946

CMP(13) - Jawaharlal Nehru's press conference on the Plan, 10 July 1946

CMP(14) - League rejected Plan, called Direct Action,  July-August 1946

CMP(15) - Viceroy strong-arming Nehru, Gandhi on compulsory grouping, Pethick-Lawrence to Attlee, Aug -Sept 1946

CMP(16) - Intelligence assessment on Jinnah's options and threat of civil war, Sept. 1946

CMP(17) - League Boycott of the Constituent Assembly Dec. 1946

CMP(17A) - Congress "climbdown" on grouping and Jinnah's rejection, January 1947

CMP (A1) - Plain speaking from Sir Khizr Hayat, Abell on the Breakdown plan, Wavell

CMP(A2) - North West Frontier Province, Oct-Nov 1946 and Feb-March 1947

CMP(A3) - Bengal and Bihar, August - November 1946

CMP(A4) - Punjab, February - March 1947

CMP (18) - My take

CMP (19) - What did parity and communal veto mean in numbers?

CMP(20) - Another take -with links to reference material

CMP(21) - Mountbatten discussing CMP with Patel and Jinnah, 24-26 Apr 1947

CMP(22) - A reply on the Cabinet Mission Plan

Extra(1) - Jinnah's speech in March 1941 on independent sovereign Pakistan

Extra(1A) - Jinnah's Speeches and Statements from 1941-1942

Extra(1B) - Jinnah's Speeches and Statements from 1938-1940

Extra(1C) - Jinnah's speeches and Statements from 1943-45

Extra(2) - Gandhi-Jinnah talks in 1944 on defining Pakistan

Extra(3) - BR Ambedkar quoted from his book 'Pakistan or the Partition of India'

Extra(4) - Congress and Muslim parties' on the Communal question 1927-1931

Extra(4A) - Excerpts of Motilal Nehru Committee Report 1928

Extra(4B) - Nehru, Bose, Jinnah Correspondence 1937-38

Extra(5) -  BR Ambedkar on Communal Representation 1909-1947

Extra(6) - Gandhiji's scheme of offering the Prime Ministership to Jinnah in 1947

Extra(6A) - Jinnah on Congress's offers of Prime Ministership 1940-43

Extra (6B) - Apr-Jul 1947 Negotiations on Pakistan between Mountbatten and Jinnah

Extra(7) - M.A.Jinnah and Maulana Azad on two nation theory

Extra(8) - On Separate electorates, Joint electorates and Reserved constituencies

Extra(9) - Links to cartoons on Indian constitutional parleys from the Daily Mail, UK, 1942 and 1946-1947, by L.G. Illingworth

Extra(10) -Nehru Report 1928 (10 MB pdf)
Extra(11) -Iqbal's letters to Jinnah, May-June 1937

Extra(12) -Jinnah, Linlithgow, Sikander Hayat, Pakistan rumblings 1942-43

Durga Das (1) 1919-1931, Jallianwala Bagh to Bhagat Singh

Durga Das (2) 1931-1936, Crescent Card: Jinnah in London to Fazli Husain in Punjab

Durga Das(3) 1937-1940, Provincial Autonomy to Jinnah gets the veto

Durga Das(4) 1940-1945, The War Years: India's War Effort-Pakistan on a platter

Durga Das(5) 1945-1947, The Cabinet Mission to Divide and Quit

1937-1940(2)  Congress and Jinnah fall out in U.P., Jinnah's anti-Congress campaign and the Viceroy gives Jinnah a Veto: Ayesha Jalal, Sarvepalli Gopal and Stanley Wolpert

1937: Congress-Jinnah tussle over coalition government in U. P., M.J. Akbar

1937: Nehru, Jinnah and Coalition Governments, Bimal Prasad

1939-1940: India and the War, Anita Inder Singh

1945-1946: The Elections of 1945-46, Anita Inder Singh

1857-1938 Glimpses of British policy in Punjab: Ian Talbot and David Page

1930-1939 Congress Decline in Bengal, John Gallagher

Glendevon (1) 1937: Congress's Office Acceptance Saga over Governor's Powers

Glendevon (2) 1937-1940: Federation, Jinnah, Congress activism in Princely States

Glendevon (3) 1939-1942: Linlithgow, Congress, Jinnah,War-time Realignments

1939-1947: Jinnah and the Anglo-Muslim League Alliance, Narendra Singh Sarila

1944: Gandhi-Jinnah talks, Jaswant Singh

1830s-1898: British Forward Policy(1)

1899-1947: British Forward Policy(2)

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