Durga Das(5) 1945-1947 The Cabinet Mission to Divide and Quit
Durga Das writes:
In India[in post-war 1945], the feeling that the curtain was now up on the penultimate scene of the political drama released a flurry of activity and counter-activity. The main actors in the domestic power struggle were the Congress and the League. Both sensed the proximity of freedom. It was not Jinnah's superior tactics alone, however, that yielded him victory. There was a group of British civilians in Delhi to bolster the League at every step in this tortuous game of political chess.
In November 1945, the Commander-in-Chief took the fateful decision of committing to trial three officers of Subhas Bose's Indian National Army-a Hindu, a Muslim and a Sikh-before a military court at Red Fort, Delhi. In its unwisdom, this equaled Irwin's proposal for a all-white Simon Commission on reforms. The trial unleashed nationalist forces, Indian sympathies naturally being overwhelmingly on the side of these martyrs to the cause of freedom.
A dramatic turn was given to the proceedings when Nehru appeared before the court wearing the barrister's gown he had discarded twenty-five years earlier. It was a gesture, for the defence of the accused was largely conducted by Bhulabhai Desai.
Jinnah too attempted to figure in the affair. He sent word to Shah Nawaz Khan, the Muslim on trial, that he would defend him if he dissociated himself from the other accused. Shah Nawaz Khan flatly declined, remarking:"We stood shoulder to shoulder in the struggle for freedom. Many comrades died in the field of battle inspired by our leadership. We stand or fall together." An attempt to drive a communal wedge into the solidarity created by the I.N.A movement thus failed.
The authorities realised that they had made a blunder and that the men in the dock had become national heroes. Less than two months later, there came the strike in the Indian wing of the Royal Indian Air Force and the menacing mutiny in the ranks of the Royal Indian Navy-both portents of the rapidly mounting popular upheaval.
The prestige of the Congress shot up as a result of the I.N.A trial. This was reflected in the ensuing elections, in which the Congress captured practically all the general seats, while the League took most of the Muslim ones. Jinnah could claim with some justice that the League by and large represented Muslim interests and that his demand for Pakistan had popular sanction among the Muslim masses.
On the other hand, with the ouster of the Conservative Party from office in Britain, the prospect of getting Pakistan "on a platter" faded. Labour, he knew, would not countenance the demand in its prevailing state of mind, and he was now uncertain whether he would be able to get even a "moth-eaten" Pakistan. But he still had allies in the British and Muslim members of the Civil Service, and he told me he counted on Nehru to give him the opening he needed to attain his goal.
I accompanied Wavell and his wife to the Andamans in the last week of December 1945 together with a group of newsmen..In the relaxed atmosphere of the Andamans, I found Wavell inclined to be communicative. He said the separation of Burma from India was a mistake. Burma's defence from external foes was an integral part of the defence of India and the Andamans. He said the countries on India's periphery should have a common system of defence.
If India was partitioned, Pakistan would have no elbow-room to defend herself. He had tried to solve the deadlock between the Congress and the League, but politics was not his line. The Congress pulled in one direction and the League in the opposite, and the Civil Servants were too partisan to help find an acceptable solution within the framework of an undivided India. He expected Labour to make a fresh effort at a solution in the coming summer and hoped it would be fruitful.
The Cabinet Mission despatched by Attlee landed in Delhi towards the end of March 1946. The Cabinet Mission's plan envisaged a Union of India, embracing both British India and the States dealing with foreign affairs, defence and communications and having the power to raise the finances required for these subjects.
Any question raising a major communal issue in the legislature was to require for its decision a majority of the representatives of the two major communities as well as a majority of all the members voting. All the subjects other than the Union subjects and all residuary powers were to vest in the provinces and the states. Provinces were to be free to form groups.
The Constitution, to be drawn up by a constituent assembly, was to provide each province with the right to call for a reconsideration of the constitution at ten-year intervals. Briefly, the scheme was rooted in the unity and indivisibility of the country.
To Jinnah, therefore, its labours were anathema. As early as 10th April, he summoned in Delhi a convention of some 400 members of the provincial legislatures elected on the League ticket. The rallying cry at this convention was the demand for an independent Pakistan. The Muslims, Shaheed Suhrawardy declared were straining at the leash, and Noon said even the exploits of Halaku, the Mongol conqueror, would be put in the shade by a bloodbath should their right to a separate state be denied. (Both Suhrawardy and Noon had an inglorious political end as Prime Ministers of Pakistan.)
As I listened to the passionate and blood-curdling oratory at the session, I realised that the recent election, in which the League had scored a signal victory, had been a tactical mistake. The demon of communalism having been let loose, it was little wonder then that the first scheme formulated by the mission should have been repudiated as unacceptable on two grounds; one, that it did not go far enough to satisfy national aspirations; the other, that the concessions to the Muslim clamour went beyond the limits of justice and equity and were inimical to the concept of Indian integrity.
[Alas what a burden Muslims in India have been forced by many Indians and Pakistanis to carry since then-blogger].
Undaunted by this rebuff, Wavell convened a second conference at Simla. It was a triangular affair. On one side were Azad, the Congress President, Nehru, Patel and Khan Ghaffar Khan, representing the premier nationalist organisation; on the second were Jinnah, Mohammed Ismail Khan, Liaquat Ali Khan and Abdur Rab Nishtar, the spokesmen of the League; and on the third were the members of the British delegation striving valiantly to effect a compromise. But the seven-day talks early in May proved abortive.
Gandhi was present in Delhi as well as in Simla while the parleys with the Cabinet Mission proceeded. When I met him, he said there was too much deceit all round and added that Patel and Rajen(Rajendra Prasad) had ceased to be his "yes men." There was too much violence in the hearts of the people. The League Ministers were preaching violence as the final sanction for Pakistan.
On 16th June, hoping against hope, the Cabinet Mission came out with specific proposals for the formation of an interim government at the centre and setting up a constituent assembly to devise a constitution for a self-governing India. That was the signal for another round of tortuous bargaining. The Congress asked for the right to appoint a Muslim of its choice to the interim Cabinet to establish its claim to represent all communities in the country. The Viceroy, however, assured Jinnah that he did not countenance the demand.
Predictably, the Congress Working Committee thereupon turned down the scheme for an interim government, while at the same time signifying its willingness to participate in the deliberations of the constitution-making body. Jinnah's response was not any the less surprising. He was wholly agreeable to the League's joining an interim cabinet; but he chose to be studiously non-committal in the plan for a constituent assembly.
The Congress-League tussle came to a head when Nehru took over the Congress presidentship from Azad on 6th July. In one of his first pronouncements on assuming office, he declared: "We are not bound by a single thing except that we have decided for the moment to go into the Constituent Assembly."
Nehru had for long been Jinnah's bete noire. At this particular moment, he was understandably more distasteful to the League champion than even before. It was Nehru, as Congress President, that the Viceroy would call upon to form an interim government, a prospect that Jinnah was bound to regard with annoyance and deep suspicion. He lost no time, therefore, in condemning Nehru's statement of 6th July as "a complete repudiation of the basic form upon which the long-term scheme rests."
From this posture of hostility it was but a short step to the startling volte face of some three weeks later when he prevailed upon the Council of the Muslim League in Bombay to withdraw acceptance of the Cabinet Mission plan in its entirety and to call for observance of 16th August as Direct Action Day.
In 1945, the Tories had prevented Wavell from honouring his commitment and forming a Cabinet of Congressmen because they did not wish to offend the League, which had served as their Crescent Card. Now, however, Wavell could not redeem his pledge to entrust the formation of an interim government to whichever party accepted the Cabinet Mission proposals. Jinnah got the Council to accept the proposals after learning from his British friends in the Government that the letter Wavell had written him, and which had not yet been delivered to him, withdrew the offer. Wavell had withdrawn it because this time Labour was unwilling to alienate the majority party, the Congress, and hand over power to the League.
In the League Council, Jinnah hit out violently both at the mission and the Congress. The former he accused of bad faith, and in his vituperation of the Congress he was even more unbridled. The League, he thundered, had "no alternative but to adhere once more to the national goal of Pakistan." The session witnessed an emotional outburst as the leading lights of the League, known for their traditional loyalty to the Raj, came to the platform and announced the renunciation of their British titles.
The country thus went to the polls to choose its representatives in the Constituent Assembly on a franchise limited to twenty-six per cent of the adult population in an atmosphere charged with intense communal antagonism. The results emphasised the cleavage between the Congress and the League, for the former won all but nine of the general seats and the latter all but five of the Muslim seats.
Durga Das writes:
Among the administrative changes which took place at this time was the transfer of H.V.R Iengar to Delhi from Bombay as Secretary to the newly created Department of Planning. The Department soon set up cells to draft plans for river valley projects, steel mills, cement factories, and machine tool plants. The attempt was to put the Government ahead of the economic planning of the Congress and of the Tata-Birla Plan, published with fanfare early in 1944.
But this satisfactory progress did not continue long. One morning, Iengar was stupefied to read in the newspapers that his department had been abolished. He asked his boss how this had happened so suddenly and who was to pay his salary. He was told that Jinnah had gone to Wavell and asked him whether the Department was planning for one country or two. If it was doing so on the assumption that India would stay united after independence, he objected.
Wavell did not want to show Jinnah that he opposed partition, and to placate him he ordered the immediate closure of the Department. Iengar was informed that he had been appointed Secretary of the new Department which would manage the affairs of the Constituent Assembly. In this capacity, he frequently called on V.P. Menon. One day, Menon showed him a secret cable Wavell had sent the Secretary of State saying that law and order had broken down in India and that the administration was on verge of collapse.
Wavell suggested two courses of action: that power be handed over to those who commanded the confidence of the people and could restore faith in the administration; or that large numbers of British troops be rushed in to maintain security and put down the unrest with a heavy hand. Wavell added that as a soldier he abhorred the second choice and preferred the first.
Iengar flew to Bombay, met Sardar Patel and advised him to take charge of the Government without insisting on a formal transfer of power with dominion status as such a move could not be effected technically. Patel told Iengar to see him the next day, when he said he agreed to the suggestion and would do his best to persuade the Working Committee to take the same line. Iengar returned to Delhi and Wavell sent a cable to the Secretary of State saying that he had learned on the most reliable information that the Congress would agree to an invitation to form a government. London gave Wavell the go ahead signal. Nehru, as the Congress President, was sent for and he accepted the proposal.
..The stage was now set for the denouement of two parallel conflicts. The larger struggle for freedom had reached its climax. The country was on the threshold of a national government at the Centre. Side by side, the fight for a breakaway Muslim state was forging ahead.
On 12th August, 1946, Wavell announced that he was inviting the Congress President to form a provisional government. Nehru thus inherited the responsibility of office.
..Jinnah, his sights trained on Pakistan, promptly spurned Nehru's offer to the League of five seats in his Cabinet of fourteen. Thwarted in his demand that all the Muslims in the Government should be League nominees, he carried his fight into the streets by ordering the observance of Direct Action Day on 16th August. This was the signal for the great killings in Calcutta(about 5,000 killed, 15,000 injured) and for sporadic outbursts of violence and incendiarism elsewhere.
Eight days later, despairing of a Congress-League rapprochement, Wavell proclaimed the installation of the new Government at the Centre, comprising Nehru, Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Rajagopalachari, Asaf Ali, Sarat Chandra Bose, John Matthai, Baldev Singh, Shafeay Ahmed Khan, Jagjivan Ram, Ali Zaheer, and C. H. Bhabha. Nehru's pleas for abandoning further attempts to appease Jinnah had prevailed.
Jinnah's riposte was immediate. Encouraged by the response to his call for "direct action" he repeated his demand for the division of the country. The Viceroy met Gandhi and Nehru in yet another bid to end the deadlock. He favoured coalition governments in Bengal as at the Centre and told the Congress representatives that he could not summon the Constituent Assembly until they submitted to the Cabinet Mission's interpretation of the formula or grouping provinces. This, Nehru replied, was unacceptable.
The storm clouds were thickening as the interim Government took office on 2nd September, 1946. Communal riots broke out afresh in Bombay and Ahmedabad. To the Viceroy this was a challenge to a further effort at bringing the Congress and the League round to a settlement.
Even as he pondered on the next move, Sir Sultan Ahmed and the Nawab of Chhatri called on Wavell at the inspiration of Jinnah. They told him that the League would join the Cabinet if the Viceroy directly sent for Jinnah to formalise the deal. Wavell approved of the proposal but felt awkward for he was treating Nehru as his Prime Minister. He, therefore, decided to have a word first with Nehru.
When Wavell consulted Nehru, the latter(according my informant, V.P. Menon) told him: "How can I stop you from seeing him if you wish to?" In English idiom, it meant that Nehru disfavoured the move. But Wavell took advantage of the political connotation of the remark that Nehru would not make an issue of it and resign. He now proceeded to talk to Jinnah directly and Nehru missed the opportunity of cutting the League leader down to size.(Had Nehru asserted himself as Prime Minister and firmly resisted this move, the events may have taken a different course with Labour in power in London.)
[Had Nehru not agreed, it could have been construed as Nehru's arrogance/intransigence instead. Damned if he did and damned if he did not-blogger]
The conventional impropriety having been condoned, Jinnah's ingenuity received all the latitude for manoeuvre and he extracted from Wavell the concessions he was seeking without yielding a single point in return. Wavell told Nehru that the League had agreed to join the Government, but he conveyed to him only vague verbal assurances that the League would participate in the Constituent Assembly.
Patel and some others felt that Nehru should insist on written commitments and leave Jinnah no scope for mischief. However, Nehru accepted Wavell's plea that "all will be well". A communiqué was issued on 15th October, announcing that the League would join the interim Cabinet.
Jinnah lost no time in revealing his hand. The ousting of the nationalist Muslims from Nehru's interim Cabinet was not enough. Jinnah himself would not stoop to accept office under one he considered a junior. But he fought dourly to secure Home Affairs for the League. In the torturous negotiations that followed, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, for the Congress, suggested that Finance be yielded to the League instead. No League representative, he told me, would have the competence to deal with Finance and failure would bring the League bad odour.
But Rafi had not bargained with the League rejoinder. Buttressed by able and experienced Muslim Secretaries like Ghulam Mohammed, Chaudhri Mohammed Ali and Mohammed Shoaib, all destined later to play distinguished roles in Pakistan, Liaquat Ali agreed to accept the challenge. This proved disastrous for the Congress.
More than the victory in bagging vital portfolios was Jinnah's volte face on the issue of the Constituent Assembly. The League, it was disclosed, was adamant on boycotting the constitution-making body. Exasperated by this obduracy, the Congress session at Meerut under Kripalani's presidency called upon the League either to accept the Cabinet Mission plan in its entirety and come into the Constituent Assembly or quit the interim Government.
The quarrel was pursued amidst mounting communal violence. In the middle of October rivers of blood flowed on Noakhali, in East Bengal. Gandhi went into this ravaged area as a lonely pilgrim of peace, to comfort the stricken, to heal wounds and to assuage the flames of communal passion with his message of love. A chain reaction occurred in Bihar and Calcutta causing terrible riots. Gandhi visited both places and brought peace through moral persuasion. Foreign observers noted that he achieved what many battalions of troops would have failed to in restoring amity.
The outlook at the close of 1946 was really grim.. Nevertheless, the reconstituted Cabinet took office on 26th November. In the early days of December, Wavell, accompanied by Nehru, Jinnah, Liaquat Ali and Baldev Singh, flew to London to resolve the deadlock over the differing interpretations of the Cabinet Mission plan relating to the setting up of the Constituent Assembly. But the effort proved unavailing. The Assembly met on 9th December without the League members and adjourned till 20th January.
The Cabinet, meanwhile, functioned uneasily. Nehru originally felt that all members of the Cabinet should first meet informally in his room and take decisions on the items of the agenda so that the Cabinet meeting under Wavell would become a mere formality. However, an unconscious act of Nehru disrupted this plan. Instead of writing personally to Liaquat Ali to attend the first informal meeting, he asked his personal secretary to send the invitation. This roused the League leader's ire and, in retaliation to this "affront", he called a separate meeting of the League members of the Cabinet and stuck to this practice to the end. The two thereafter met when Wavell presided and the Cabinet functioned only as a house divided.
The budget of March 1947 afforded Liaquat Ali the crowning opportunity to vent his spleen on the Congress. He raised a storm by his tax measures and, what is more, by proposing a commission to inquire into the affairs of about 150 big business houses on the charge of tax evasion. It was a "socialist budget," he contended blandly, but its true intent was barely concealed. It was designed calculatedly to hit the most powerful supporters of the Congress, namely, the Hindu industrialists and also to latently promote the cause of partition.
When the proposals came to light, there was a feeling of complete discomfiture. Nehru had, no doubt, asked Dr Matthai earlier to scrutinise the Finance Minister's budget speech. But Matthai was unable to discover anything objectionable in the absence of the offending tax proposals. Some in the Cabinet felt that the proposals should not be approved. But by then it was too late to apply the brakes. The Viceroy, moreover, would not permit any frantic last-minute revision and urged Nehru to let Liaquat Ali go ahead.
The crucial differences between the two wings in the interim Government had in truth come into the open much earlier. Both sides voted en bloc and Liaquat Ali, determined to disrupt the Government from within, adopted invariably an obstructive stance. What made matters worse was that Wavell, who had begun extremely well, was showing signs of partiality for the League and acting largely on the advice of pro-League officers. The Congress found this intolerable and discreetly conveyed to Whitehall the need for Wavell's recall..
The situation in the interim Government continued to deteriorate from day to day. By mid-February Nehru's patience gave way and he demanded the resignation of League members. Close on the heels of this came Patel's threat that the Congress members would withdraw from the Cabinet if the representatives of the League did not quit forthwith.
The provisional Government would indeed have broken up but for a momentous development. On 20th February, Attlee announced in London Britain's firm intention to leave India by June 1948. That was accompanied by the further announcement that Lord Mountbatten had been chosen to succeed Wavell as Viceroy.
The feeling that India's moment of destiny was within sight served to keep the Cabinet from falling apart. It was imperative to have a national government functioning in Delhi until the final transfer of power was accomplished.
Nationalists in the legislature
Before we move to the final scene in the drama of 'Divide and Quit', a salute is due to those who promoted a temper in the country and kept the pot boiling in the Central Legislative forum, which in a sense played as significant a part in transforming the Indian political scene as the non-violent mass struggle outside it..
Sir Nripendra Sircar, the Advocate-General of Bengal, succeeded Mitter as Law Member and proved the most effective Leader of the House. He disagreed with the politics of the Congress Party, but would not be a tool of bureaucracy. He explained his attitude to me thus : "The Hindus have been kept down for centuries. We need fifty years of association with the British to learn all they know. Let them raise industries. Everything will be ours one day."
His nationalist sentiments brought him into conflict with Finance Member Grigg over the revision of the insurance law to enable the Indian companies to get business worth Rs. 350 million a year, which was siphoned off by foreign companies. The idea of such a change germinated in Sapru's time, but every Law Member who followed him avoided implementing it. Sircar, however, decided to see it through and secured the support of Bhulabhai Desai, the Opposition Leader.
British insurance interests were lobbying feverishly against the Bill and Grigg exerted his influence to see that the Upper House did not endorse it. Sircar heard of Grigg's plans. He sent for me and showed me a copy of the letter of resignation he had sent the Viceroy. It said: "I understand my own colleague is working against me to get the Bill undone in the Council of State. My Lord, my self-respect does not permit me to remain in a minute longer in your Council. I request I may be relieved immediately." Willingdon asked Grigg to remove the misunderstanding. Sircar told me that Grigg had apologised and that he had withdrawn the letter of resignation.
Sir Mohammed Zafrullah Khan, who succeeded Sircar in 1939, was an effective speaker but was not his predecessor's equal in legal talent. In collaboration with some British bureaucrats, Zafrullah brought a band of Muslim Civil Servants into the Secretariat in New Delhi. These men proved useful to Jinnah at the time of partition because they were instrumental in setting up the administrative machinery for the new State of Pakistan.
Ambedkar was perhaps the most erudite member of the Executive Council and was a powerful speaker. But he was too embittered in his role of Harijan leader to build up a following in the legislature. He was a nationalist to the core. He narrated to me several instances when he had clashed with the superior powers in New Delhi but ultimately got his way. Once, an Indian colleague proposed a Bill to apply economic sanctions against South Africa because of the maltreatment of Indian settlers in that country. The European members opposed the measure. Ambedkar thumped the table in anger and said India's self-respect was at stake. His spirited intervention proved decisive and the Council approved the Bill.
A chief engineer was needed to head the commission to draw up plans for flood control in the Damodar Valley in Bihar. Wavell favored the choice of a British expert who had been adviser on the Aswan dam project in Egypt. Ambedkar, however, wanted an American who had experience of the development undertaken by the Tennessee Valley Authority. He argued in support of his demand that Britain had no big rivers and its engineers lacked experience in building big dams. He had his way.
For eleven years, the Speaker's seat was occupied by Sir Abdur Rahim. His tenure of office coincided with a period of acute political unrest, during which India passed from one crisis to another. The struggle between the Government and Congress intensified, to a large extent against the grim background of World War II. Elections to the Central Assembly were put off again and again, and the climate for the growth of India's infant parliamentary institutions was anything but healthy.
His rulings, concise and weighty, established sound Parliamentary practices. The most notable of these concerned the Speaker's competence to declare a Bill ultra vires. He took nearly two months to arrive at a decision. He felt that the tendency to convert the Assembly, dominated by lawyers, into a legal debating society had to be arrested. The courts, and not the Speaker, should pronounce on the validity of a measure. Mavalankar later reaffirmed this ruling, and it still holds good.
Where he sensed a threat to the supremacy of the Speaker in the House, Sir Abdur was uncompromising. He once told me: "This is a politician's job. I may give a wrong ruling, but, if I fail to maintain discipline, I fail completely. Orderliness is the essence of the parliamentary system." This was his guiding principle throughout his term of office. In his chamber, he would study issues in dispute deeply, and when he took the Chair, his mind was made up.
He showed me the vast amount of material he had gathered for the book which death prevented him from writing. He opposed partition as well as linguistic provinces. What mattered to him was the strength and unity of the nation in independence, and to sustain this concept of nationhood, he favoured the division of the country into four or five provinces or zones. He had planned to present Cripps with a memorandum embodying his views on these and allied subjects, but Jinnah manoeuvred to foil him. Of Jinnah, who he appeared to hold in contempt, he said to me : "He knows little of Shakespeare and Milton."
G.V. Mavalankar .. was the golden bridge between the Central Legislative Assembly of the British era and the Parliament of free India. The story of his election early in 1946 to succeed Sir Abdur is full of drama.
The Government backed by Jinnah put up Sir Cowasji Jehangir. Voting took place in a tense atmosphere. When the result was announced, the Treasury benches were shrouded in gloom. But most crestfallen of all was Jinnah, who left the Chamber immediately. Mavalankar soon proved that this hard-won victory was more than deserved. When the Congress decided to boycott the Viceroy's inaugural address to the Assembly, he as a non-party man received Wavell at the entrance and greeted him with utmost courtesy. Wavell then delivered what was to be the last viceregal address ever to the Assembly.
Mavalankar was the first holder of the office to discard the wig hitherto regarded as mandatory for formal occasions and to preside over the House wearing a Gandhi cap. "Your wig is unsuited to this warm climate," he would say to Britons who queried him on this point. But he confided in me that he had made the change because "the Gandhi cap is symbolic of the new political climate of the country." Yet, in every other respect, he proved himself a stout champion of parliamentary traditions.
Division of Punjab
Operation Quit India called for a change of Viceroyalty and the choice of Mountbatten was a happy one..But fresh political developments precipitated a crisis. The Punjab was the crux of the tussle for Pakistan. Although the League had captured seventy-nine seats in the provincial Legislative Assembly out of a total of 175 in the 1945 elections, it was still in a minority and Khizr Hayat Khan, the Unionist leader, formed a ministry with the support of the Congress and the Sikhs.
To intimidate the Government as well as the people of the province, the League organised "national guards" and the Hindus answered by joining the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh(Servants of the Nation) in large numbers. Khizr Hayat Khan outlawed both organisations. The supporters of the League defied the ban and whipped up mass hysteria against the Ministry. The Hindus avoided counter-demonstrations, thus creating the impression that the administration lacked popular backing.
Consequently, after Attlee's announcement on 20th February, 1947, Khizr Hayat Khan resigned. This was the signal for bloody riots in Lahore and Amritsar, where Hindu and Sikh life and property suffered severely. The police remained passive spectators of these happenings, a rehearsal for what was to follow in August.
[H.V. Hodson in "The Great Divide" quotes Sikander Hayat Khan, the Unionist leader in 1938-1939
"Mr. Moon suggested to the Punjab Premier that the Pakistan concept might after all be the best solution. Sir Sikander turned upon him, his eyes blazing with indignation, and exclaimed : "How can you talk like this? You have been long enough in Western Punjab to know the Muslims there. Surely you can see that Pakistan would be an invitation to them to cut the throat of every Hindu bania.. I do hope I won't hear you talk like this again. Pakistan would mean a massacre." Sir Sikander Hayat Khan died in 1942.]
The Congress Working Committee met on 8th March and charged "some people in high authority" with coercing and toppling the popular Ministry and responsibility for the violence that followed. The Committee said the situation in the province "would necessitate a division of the Punjab into two provinces, so that the predominantly Muslim part may be separated from the predominantly non-Muslim part."
This was the only major decision the Congress Working Committee ever took without consulting Gandhi and getting his prior approval. In a letter to Nehru dated 20th Match, Gandhi expressed his bitterness that the Committee had suggested the partition of the province on the basis of community and the two-nation theory. For him, this was an hour of great humiliation.
Gandhi arrived in Delhi in the last week of March to meet Mountbatten. He had six meetings with the new Viceroy covering fourteen hours. Devadas and I called on Gandhi twice, and he told us that his followers had let him down badly. Now that power was within their grasp, they seemed to have no further use for him. As neither Nehru nor Jinnah would consent to take second place in a government at the Centre, both had agreed to partition the country, he said.
Patel was directing all his energies towards saving India for the Hindus, and Azad was equally obsessed with the plight of the Muslims. Subhas Bose, Gandhi observed, had proved a true patriot by organising the I.N.A and showing how Hindus and Muslims could work in harmony. Gandhi said he would rather have a blood-bath in a united India after the British quit than agree to partition on a communal basis and give birth to two armed camps, perpetually in conflict.
The Congress, we suggested, had already conceded partition in principle. He replied that he would make one final bid to retrieve the situation. He would suggest that Jinnah be asked to form the national government of his choice. That, he said, would test the bona fides of Mountbatten, Nehru and Patel.
What if that failed? we asked. He replied he would summon all the moral authority he possessed to avert the inevitable holocaust and try to undo the evil effects of partition, if this should come about. Bapu was unusually pessimistic. But he had revealed his inmost thoughts for our guidance.
It was my practice to call on Patel at his residence every evening, often immediately after Gandhi's prayer meeting.. As usual, after Devadas and I had met Gandhi, I gave Patel the gist of our conversation, omitting, however, personal references. Patel commented at the end of my recital that Gandhi must bear part of the blame for the unhappy developments. Why did he listen to his samadhi(son's father-in-law, namely C.R.) and hold talks with Jinnah? This recognition had "made a hero of Jinnah in Muslim eyes." Had not Gandhi talked of self-determination for the Muslims? Why only for them? "He trusts only Jawahar to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity."
Patel said his principal anxiety was to save India from chaos by countering the Anglo-Muslim moves in the opposite direction. Maulana Azad was only worried about the Muslims. "Jawahar is the only nationalist Muslim today," he remarked. (This is how Patel jocularly described Nehru time and again.) Patel added that Nehru was unduly amenable to Mountbatten's influence. Nehru had "always leaned on someone." He was under Bapu's protective wing and "now he leans on Mountbatten." Patel concluded by saying that he counted on the Hindus and Sikhs and patriotic Civil Servants and Princes to support him.
In his last desperate gamble to snatch the country from the edge of the precipice, Gandhi appealed to the Viceroy to dismiss the interim Cabinet and summon Jinnah to form an alternate government. Gandhi, who alone among the Congress leaders stood firm as a rock against what he believed was the ultimate disaster, was slowly finding himself isolated from the mainstream of the party. To him, it was a moment of profound mental anguish, and he saw no other way out.
Had his counsel, fantastic as it appeared, been accepted, perhaps Jinnah would have abandoned his insistence on a separate Muslim state. The setback to the Congress, in Gandhi's eyes, was a small price to pay for Indian solidarity. But Gandhi's was a voice crying in the wilderness. Already both in India and Britain, plans were being discussed for the division of Bengal and the Punjab.
The Princely states
V.P. Menon gave me details of these prolonged talks. Mountbatten was just flattering the old man, he said:"He is doing business with Sardar and has Nehru in his pocket. Sardar is playing a deep game.
He, in turn, is flattering Mountbatten and using him to net the Princes. We must have all of them in the bag before 15th August, with three exceptions-Hyderabad, Kashmir and Junagadh. Sardar is more than a match for the plan of Corfield, Bhopal and C.P. (Ramaswami Aiyer) to carve out independent states which will split up and encircle the Indian Union.
You see, Baroda has defied the Princes Chamber and joined the Constituent Assembly. Patiala, Bikaner and Gwalior are coming in. The rest will follow. Our only worry is that Mountbatten is very soft towards the Nizam. We cannot have this cancer in our belly. Jinnah is encouraging the Corfield-Bhopal move to weaken India."
The following letter Mitter, the Dewan(Prime Minister) of Baroda wrote me on 8th March, 1947, throws a revealing light on the currents and cross-currents at work at the time:
My dear Durga Das,
I congratulate you on your ruthless exposures of the dirty tactics in the Princes Chamber. It is a matter of deep regret to me that Sir C.P.(Ramaswami Aiyar) should lend his great talent to destructive instead of constructive endeavour at this critical time of India's destiny.
I should like you to pay a deserved compliment to Patiala, Bikaner and Gwalior. It will hearten them to frustrate further attempts at sabotage. Bhopal, with his political adviser and director, both miserable creatures, has been shown up. C.P.'s cloven feet have been exposed.
Jam Saheb(the ruler of Nawanagar), Durgapur and Bilaspur have been silenced. From what I gather from the Resident here, Jam Saheb is about to turn his attention to Kathiawar, where the Resident anticipates a dog fight.
It would be a good thing if you could make an open appeal to Pattani of Bhavnagar, to the sagacious Ruler of Morvi and the enlightened rulers of Porbander and Dhrangadhra and Palitana, warning them against the wiles of the Jam Saheb under the protective wings of the political Department.
I will give you an idea which you can use with good effect on a suitable occasion. Corfield (the Political Secretary) and his minions have been pressing on the Rulers the urgent necessity of "a united front." The answer is that the phrase is used in relation to "enemies." Why should Indian Rulers look upon British Indian leaders as enemies? They should meet not to fight but to discuss and negotiate for the good of the people and the freedom of India from bondage.
British India is importing democracy from the West. The Rulers can claim to have preserved, to a large extent, the distinctive and essential culture of India. The two currents should meet and go forward as a mighty stream for the good of humanity.
God bless you, Yours sincerely, B.L. Mitter
Mountbatten advised the Princes to accede to the Dominion of India or to Pakistan according to geographical compulsion, and he warned them that after 15th August, they would not get any protection from the Crown. ( A member of a family which provided hereditary Prime Ministers to a ruling house in Central India, who recently retired from the Indian Foreign Service, explained that the Princes gave in and the princely order finally disappeared for three reasons: "Firstly, the Princes were nationalists; secondly, they were chicken-hearted; thirdly, the majority of them were fools and lost in vice.")
The plan for a "united front" did not succeed because the rulers feared Patel, and because of Mountbatten's pressure. The Bhopal camp envisaged a block of states from Bhopal to Karachi, splitting India into two. Jinnah promised the Princes the use of Karachi as a free port.
But a slice of territory of the ruler of Udaipur cut through this arc. The old Maharana refused to join the conspiracy, remarking: "If my ancestors had joined the Mughals, I would have had today a bigger state than Jaipur or Jodhpur." This action of the oldest ruling dynasty of India upheld the honour of the house of Maharana Pratap and helped fulfill his ancestor's dream of freeing his motherland from the foreign yoke. It was the Maharana of Udaipur who had whispered into the ear of Sir Narasimha Sarma in the twenties that he wished to see the country rid of the foreign "devils." [Durga Das(1)]
Mountbatten paid little attention to Gandhi's advice, confident that neither Nehru nor Patel would back it. He was confirmed in this belief when Nehru declared in a public speech on 20th April that the League could have Pakistan "on the condition that they do not take away other parts of India which do not wish to join Pakistan."
When I asked Nehru whether he had taken into account the effect his statement would have on Gandhi, he said Gandhi had fully supported the objection raised by Gopinath Bardoloi, the Congress Chief Minister of Assam, to the state's inclusion in the eastern Zone envisaged in the plan of the Cabinet Mission. That was the major difference, Nehru explained, in the Congress and League interpretations of the plan.
The issue was clinched when Prasad, as the President of the Constituent Assembly, read out on 28th April an authoritative statement of the Congress stand, that no constitution would be forced on any part of the country that was unwilling to accept it. "This may mean," the statement ended, "not only a division of India but a division of some provinces. For this, we must be prepared, and the Assembly may have to draw up a constitution based on such division."
The Frontier Province and Defence
Patel issued a statement on 26th April declaring that fresh elections would not be held in the Frontier because only a year before one had been fought on the clear issue of Hindustan or Pakistan and the League had been routed. The Congress ministry would not be intimidated by rowdyism, he added.
Meanwhile the Constituent Assembly, minus the representatives of the League, met and defined the rights of citizens and drew up a Charter of Equality. Outside the Assembly, Shaheed Suhrawardy, the League Chief Minister of Bengal, created a little diversion by declaring that he wanted an "undivided sovereign Bengal" instead of Pakistan. But his demand made no impact on the Hindus of Bengal and Punjab because they had been frightened by the riots into accepting the division of their provinces on communal lines. Tension continued to mount as Leaguers worked up popular sentiment in favour of partition...
A letter from Krishna Menon to Katial from Simla, dated 12th May 1947 shed light on the intense drama taking place there at the time. The letter was from Viceregal Lodge, and Menon, who had accompanied Nehru, was staying at the Lodge with the rest of Nehru's entourage...
"In spite of the very good personal impressions created by the Mountbattens, we are yet no nearer solution. The only big change is that people are beginning to realise that the British are quitting, though often people wonder! The Viceroy has been successful in impressing on some of the Governors the hard fact of the change in British policy though on all of them the effect is not the same..
The Frontier and the Punjab are in an awful state. The Punjab atrocities are reported to have even made an impression on Jenkins, though one does not know how long it will last. He is not the worst of Governors, they say. Caroe is hated by our people and is said to be at the bottom of the Frontier mischief. It is not possible to draw any conclusion except that the League, by pursuing Hitler's tactics, hope to win the whole of India for Pakistan. Jinnah will agree to nothing, he has agreed to nothing and what is more is trying the lead the Viceroy up the garden path.
What we have to ask, and our friends here have to ask, is even if we agreed to a Pakistan by partitioning Punjab and Bengal, will Jinnah abide by it or will it be only the beginning of fresh demands for 'minorities' inside the rest of India? The same business will go on all over again. Arms are being smuggled in here and the Leaguers mean to create chaos. They don't care what happens to India. Some of the minorities are also playing a tricky game and there is talk of uneasiness, etc.
The Viceroy has made contacts with all people, but we can't say whether all that helps him to appreciate or to get more nonplused. He works very hard and makes everybody do the same..I think he keeps the Cabinet together better and gets along with people better, but that would not be independence. Would it? The British have to make up their mind to make Jinnah agree to what at the very outside he can have, and if he does not, they must stick to the Cabinet plan of dominion status and interim government and let the government settle down to business. There is no other way. But instead they are trying to perform major operations in quick time.
Actual partition in twelve months is an impossibility, which means you must have a common Centre, which, if accepted, means Cabinet [Mission] plan and all the evils of partition without its benefits. Our people are in no mood to let the League meddle in our defence, if partition is granted.
However, situations change. Gandhiji alone stands out with definite views on India's division. But he does not have to deal with practical affairs just now. But it is notable the way he stands out. Panditji is worn out and alone thinks of these things. Sardar Patel has a clear mind and sees all the dangers, but in the present situation he is helpless, as we are not in a fight and the third party is still here.."
Durga Das writes:
While reconciled to the transfer of power, many Britons in India were keen on salvaging whatever they could from the wreck of the Empire. They genuinely felt that Pakistan would give them a foothold on the subcontinent and support British presence in the Near and Middle East.
Sir Olaf Caroe, a brilliant I.C.S officer, whom I had often met at weekly briefings he had given the Press when he was Foreign Secretary, was now Governor of the N.W.F.P.. Congress leaders suspected that he wanted to dislodge the Congress Ministry in the province which was backed by the Red Shirts.
As soon as Nehru assumed office on 2nd September, 1946, the Frontier authorities started bombing and other reprisals against tribesmen. This seemed like deferred action of a routine nature for tribal raids on the settled areas of the province, but the Red Shirt leaders immediately informed Nehru that it had been deliberately synchronised with his installation in office to discredit his Government and that the Government's agents throughout the province were representing it as the first fruits of Hindu Raj.
Nehru told Wavell that this action must stop immediately and that he would visit the Frontier. The provincial authorities in turn warned the Viceroy that they would not be responsible for Nehru's safety as pro-League and anti-Congress feelings were strong in the province. Nehru would not, however, be deflected from his resolve, and when he flew into the airfield at Peshawar he was met by large numbers of Leaguers waving black flags. On his tour of the tribal area, sniper's bullets ploughed the air round the car he traveled in and stones struck it, the intention being that, while he should be convinced that he and the Congress lacked popular support, his life should not be endangered. Jinnah seized on the opportunity to demand fresh elections in the province.
Divide and Quit
The Viceroy's plan was unfolded on 2nd June 1947. All the provinces were empowered under it to decide on whether their constitution was to be framed by the existing Constituent Assembly or by a new and separate Constituent Assembly.
Members of Punjab and Bengal Assemblies were given the rights to decide whether their provinces were also to be partitioned on a communal basis. The N.W.F.P. was treated as a special case because of geographical consideration and although two of its three representatives were already attending the existing Constituent Assembly it was decided to give the province an opportunity to reconsider its position. This proposal for a referendum in the Frontier was the most distasteful aspect of the plan.
Nevertheless, the A.I.C.C. approved the Mountbatten Plan at its meeting on Sunday, 15th June by 157 votes to twenty-nine. Gandhi attended the session by special request and spoke in favour of the resolution for acceptance. I wondered how he would reconcile the conflict between his head and heart. He put the issue in a nutshell. "The fact is," he said, "there are three parties to the settlement-the British, the Congress and the Muslim League. The Congress leaders have signed on your behalf. You can disown them but you should do so only if you can start a big revolution. I do not think you can do it." As a sop to those who opposed the resolution in spite of Gandhi's speech, Azad said: "There will be reunion before long."
Among the topmost leaders, only Purshotamdas Tandon stood out against partition. He was prepared to suffer British rule a little longer rather than pay this heavy price. He said the Nehru Government had been intimidated by the League. "Let us fight both the British and the League," he ended amidst applause.
But Gandhi had sensed the feelings of his followers more accurately. Had the audience roared back that they would follow him to resist partition he might have reflected on his duty to the nation. In advocating approval of the plan, he rose to a great moral height. While accepting defeat at the hands of his lieutenants he used his personal authority to get them a vote of confidence for the new adventure.
Having secured the A.I.C.C.'s favourable verdict for his plan, Mountbatten now tried to blunt the opposition of the Red Shirts to a referendum. He brought Jinnah and Badshah Khan together and, although no agreement resulted from this meeting, the Frontier leader declared he would not oppose joining Pakistan provided the areas inhabited by Pathans were merged to a form on autonomous Pakhtoonistan and had the right to opt out of the dominion if they wished. This statement seemed to ease the conscience of the Congress leaders, for they were not prepared to cause a deadlock over the Frontier's future.
To help matters further, Mountbatten asked Caroe to go on leave when the referendum was held. In the highly charged atmosphere in the province, the Red Shirts decided not to put up candidates for election, and the League notched a victory with 50.49 per cent of the electorate voting in favour of Pakistan. The pro-League Britons' objective, to keep the Frontier out of the Indian Union or from being reborn after partition as an independent Pakhtoonistan, was thus fulfilled. Azad blamed Nehru for his impetuosity in visiting the Frontier and playing into the hands of the anti-Congress forces. For once Patel agreed with Azad.
Now that partition was a settled fact, tension between the Hindus and Muslims increased and riots erupted in Lahore and Amritsar. In an editorial on 24th June, I said: "Governor Jenkins is almost earning the title of a modern Nero. Nothing short of martial law can save Lahore and Amritsar from total destruction."
B.L. Sharma, who was for years Special Officer on Kashmir and represented India in that capacity at the U.N., told me he had seen a letter written by a high British official to Jinnah suggesting that Pakistan's security be ensured by not permitting any Hindu or Sikh to live west of Lyallpur in the Punjab. Anyway, the wholesale murder and arson which occurred drove people of these communities out of the region at the time of partition and set off a chain reaction equally brutal in its intensity, in India..
The provisional Governments of India and Pakistan were formed on 20th July and proceeded with the task of partitioning the services and financial assets and demarcating boundaries. The Partition Council achieved the extraordinary feat of dividing the services and assets so speedily that on 15th August both dominions could function as separate sovereign states..
On 14th August, Sir Claude Auchinleck, who had been appointed Supreme Commander of the armed forces of India and Pakistan, gave a farewell party at his official residence, which Nehru later turned into Prime Minister's House, and I shared a table with General Sir Arthur Smith, the outgoing Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.
I asked Smith how he visualised India's future, especially that of its armed forces. He replied bluntly: "I do not give your army six months. It will crack up before that. You see, the jawans are like bricks and the officer provides the mortar that holds them together. The Indian officer will not provide the mortar because his leadership has not been tested and the jawan has no respect for him."
I felt some apprehension at this statement in my heart, but replied confidently: "General, patriotism is a great force. It will provide the mortar." Smith snapped back: "No, not with the jawans. They have loved their British officers because they took care of them. Your boys are too selfish and snobs." This statement too had an element of truth and I replied:"I thought the army had iron discipline and moulded character." "It does, " Smith said, "but it can be tested only on the battlefield. Life in the barracks, too, matters a lot and the atmosphere."
In a way, I believe the war in Kashmir with Pakistan-led tribal raiders soon after independence was a godsend. It provided the mortar to build a cohesive army and it gave the opportunity to the officers belonging to the so-called non-martial races to provide inspiring leadership to their comrades by offering their lives at the altar of patriotism.
I also learned at the party of the pulls behind the scene on the Radclyffe Award.. In offering [Lahore] to Jinnah Radclyffe seems to have felt it balanced the award of Calcutta, which the League demanded for East Pakistan, to India. I gathered that British officials advised Jinnah to pick Lahore in preference to part of Gurdaspur district which would have cut off India from direct overland communication with Kashmir. They are said to have explained to Jinnah that the League leaders had in any event made plans to occupy Kashmir by force. This story sounded rather odd, but I mentioned it to Patel that evening. His reaction was: "This is Nehru's charge. We will wait and watch."
Neither the Congress leaders had visualised the possibility of two sovereign nations existing within the sub-continent, nor had Muslims of the U.P. and Bombay, who had clamoured for a homeland, realised that the creation of an independent Pakistan, separate in all respects, from the Indian Union, would reduce the Muslims of India from a politically significant force to an ineffectual minority and cut them off from their kith and kin across the border.
When the holocaust occurred, Gandhi alone stood steadfast while other leaders fumbled and quailed before the storm. But for his superior moral force and martyrdom, which he seemed to have foreseen with his prophetic vision, the whole subcontinent of India would have perished in flames.
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
1899-1947: British Forward Policy(2)