Extra(2) Gandhi-Jinnah talks on defining Pakistan in September-October 1944.
[Also see Extra(1C)]
M.R. Jayakar's warning against the policy of appeasement, 9 August 1944 (full text)
I do not approve of your present attempt to settle with Mr Jinnah. I am not making any comments about Rajaji's formula favoured by you, for I feel certain that very little of that formula will survive your ensuing talks with Mr Jinnah.... He has already said publicly that he is not satisfied with your offer. He will demand many more things, of which I may mention a few below:
1. He will have no plebiscite at all. He may compromise, if you agree to confine the plebiscite to Muslims. A little distinction in this connection may be noted. The plebiscite in Cripp's offer was to be taken only in the event of the constitution (to be framed by the Constituent Assembly) not turning out favourable to Muslim wishes. In Rajaji's formula, the plebiscite is not dependent on any constitution proving favourable or unfavourable to the Muslims. It is not conditional as in Cripp's proposals. ...
2. He will not accept any arrangement of the boundaries for the purpose of the plebiscite. He will insist upon the present boundaries being kept intact. Any restriction of the present provincial boundaries, even for the purposes of a plebiscite, will eventually lead to a reduction of the area of Pakistan. The plebiscite you offer, being confined to predominantly Muhammadan areas, will not satisfy him, unless you confine it to Muslims. In Cripp's offer the plebiscite was provincial, with a fair chance of a majority being against severance. A plebiscite confined to Muslim areas can have only one result.
3. He will insist on 50/50 seats, both at the Centre and the Provinces, in some of which Muslims are only 5% to 6% at present. He will insist on his quota of 50 being taken out first and the Hindu quota of 50 (I will call it so for the moment) will have to bear the claims of other interests like the Scheduled Classes, Christians and other minorities and possibly of special interests also like labour, commerce, etc.
(portion missing from book)
removed by a few hundred miles. ...
6. Mr Jinnah will further demand, in the guise of economic self-sufficiency, some ports in the area of Pakistan. ...
7. He will further claim, when he has digested what he has bitten off and has realized that Pakistan cannot be self-supporting, that subventions like those at present enjoyed by Sind (one crore) and the North West Frontier Province (one crore and more) should be continued by Hindustan out of its superior resources. ..
There are some other points which he will demand in course of time and you will be powerless to resist his demands. It will be a down-hill process and its gathering momentum will sweep everything aside and it will be impossible to reverse the gear and turn back. I need not elaborate these other points. Mr Jinnah is a very astute person, as I said above, and recognizes no obligations of propriety, decency or loyalty. I will give you one of my experiences. At the first Round Table Conference, Dr Moonje, with characteristic generosity (which turned out in the end to be foolish), went on conceding one point after another to Mr Jinnah, on the latter's assurance that the price of these concessions would be joint electorates. After this parleying had gone on for five or six days, Prime Minister McDonald telephoned to me one evening enquiring who was carrying on these foolish negotiations. He asked me to stop them, adding that every evening, Mr Jinnah took to him the paper on which were noted the concessions made by Dr Moonje and the Prime Minister was asked : "The Hindus are giving me so much. How much more are His Majesty's Government willing to give me?" . The result was that these negotiations had to be stopped with what consequences you know.
Kindly forgive me for my frank comments, which are merely in response to your desire, reported in the Press, to have free criticism of your present proposals.
From 'Speeches and Documents on the Indian Constitution 1921-1947', Selected by Sir Maurice Gwyer and A. Appadorai, OUP, 1957 Vol. II.
Gandhiji's letter to Mr. M.A. Jinnah, 24 September 1944 (full text)
With your assistance, I am exploring the possibilities of reaching an agreement, so that the claim embodied in the Muslim League Resolution of Lahore may be reasonably satisfied. You must, therefore, have no apprehensions that the August Resolution will stand in the way of our settlement.
I proceed on the assumption that India is not to be regarded as two or more nations, but as one family consisting of many members of whom the Muslims living in the north-west zones, i.e, Baluchistan, Sind, North-West Frontier Province, and that part of the Punjab where they are in absolute majority over all the other elements, and in part of Bengal and Assam where they are in absolute majority, desire to live in separation from the rest of India.
Differing from you on the general basis, I can yet recommend to the Congress and the country the acceptance of the claim for separation contained in the Muslim League Resolution of Lahore 1940 on my basis and on the following terms:
(a) The areas should be demarcated by a commission approved by the Congress and the League. This wishes of the inhabitants of the areas demarcated should be ascertained through the votes of the adult population of the areas or through some equivalent method.
(b) If the vote is in favour of separation, it shall be agreed that these areas shall form a separate State as soon as possible after India is free from foreign domination and can, therefore, be constituted into two sovereign independent States.
(c) There shall be a Treaty of Separation which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce and the like, which must necessarily continue to be matters of common interest between the contracting parties.
(d) The Treaty shall also contain terms for safeguarding the rights of Minorities in the two States.
(e) Immediately on the acceptance of this agreement by the Congress and the League, the two shall decide upon a common course of action for the attainment of independence of India.
(f) The League will, however, be free to remain out of any direct action to which the Congress may resort and in which the League may not be willing to participate.
If you do not agree to these terms, could you let me know in precise terms what you would have me accept in terms of the Lahore Resolution and bind myself to recommend to the Congress? If you could kindly do this, I shall be able to see, apart from the difference in approach, what definite terms I can agree to.
M. A Jinnah's letter to Gandhiji, 25 September 1944 (full text)
You have already rejected the basis and fundamental principles of the Lahore Resolution.
You do not accept that the Mussulmans of India are a nation.
You do not accept that the Mussulmans have an inherent right of self-determination.
You do not accept that they alone are entitled to exercise this right of theirs for self-determination.
You do not accept that Pakistan is composed of two zones, north-west and north-east comprising six Provinces, namely Sind, Baluchistan, North-West Frontier Province, the Punjab, Bengal,and Assam, subject to territorial adjustments, that may be agreed upon, as indicated in the Lahore Resolution.
The matter of demarcating and defining the territories can be taken up after the fundamentals above-mentioned are accepted, and for that purpose machinery may be set up by agreement.
* * *
As a result of our correspondence and discussions, I find that the question of India as Pakistan and Hindustan is only on your lips and it does not come from your heart.
* * *
Now, let me take your main terms:
(a) 'I proceed on the assumption that India is not to be regarded as two or more nations but as one family consisting of many members, of whom the Muslims living in the north-west zone, i.e., Baluchistan, Sind, North-West Frontier Province and that part of the Punjab where they are in absolute majority, desire to live in separation from the rest of India.'
If this term were accepted and given effect to, the present boundaries of these Provinces would be maimed and mutilated beyond redemption and leave us only with the husk, and it is opposed to the Lahore Resolution.
(b) That even those mutilated areas so defined, the right of self-determination will not be exercised by the Muslims, but by the inhabitants of those areas so demarcated. This again is opposed to the fundamentals of the Lahore Resolution.
(c) That if the vote is in favor of separation, they shall be allowed to 'form a separate State a soon as possible after India is free from foreign domination', Whereas we propose that we should come to a complete settlement of our own immediately, and by our united front and efforts do everything in our power to secure the freedom and independence of the peoples of India on the basis of Pakistan and Hindustan.
(d) Next, you say : 'There shall be a Treaty of Separation which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce, and the like, which must necessarily continue to be matters of common interest between the contracting parties.'
If these vital matters are to be administered by some Central authority, you do not indicate what sort of authority or machinery will be set up to administer these matters, and how and to whom again that authority will be responsible.
According to the Lahore Resolution, as I have already explained to you, all these matters, which are the life-blood of any State, cannot be delegated to any Central authority or Government. The matter of security of the two States and the natural and mutual obligations that may arise out of physical contiguity will be for the constitution-making body of Pakistan and that of Hindustan, or other party concerned, to deal with on the footing of their being two independent States.
As regards the safeguarding the rights of Minorities, I have already explained that this question of safeguarding the Minorities is fully stated in the Lahore Resolution.
You will, therefore see that the entire basis of your new proposal is fundamentally opposed to the Lahore Resolution.
Statement by Mr. M. A Jinnah, 4 October 1944 (full text)
Let us examine at least the main points (of Gandhiji's own offer):
1. Immediate grant of independence to India as one single national unit.
2. Immediately setting up of a national provisional Interim Government of his conception...which is as follows: 'A provisional Interim Government which will be responsible to the elected members of the present Assembly or a newly elected one. It will have all the powers of the present Assembly or a newly elected one. It will have all the powers less those of the Commander-in-Chief during the war, and full powers thereafter. It will be the authority to give effect to the agreement that may be arrived at between the Congress and the League.'
By the by, it does not only recognize the existence of a third party, but hands over to him all the powers of the Commander-in-Chief during the war, and Defence, which is the most vital and overpowering Department. This clearly means the establishment immediately of a Central Unitary or federal Government in charge of the entire civil administration with an overwhelming majority of Hindus in the Legislature, which will be not less than 75 per cent, to which the Cabinet will be responsible.
3. That when such a Government is established, it will be for this Government, so established, to frame the Constitution of free India or it will set up an authority which will frame the Constitution after the British power is withdrawn.
4. That this National Government will draft the treaty and agreements as regards the administration of matters of common interest as now made clear in what he calls his own offer, namely, in matters such as Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce and the like which he maintains must necessarily continue to be matters of common interest under an efficient and satisfactory administration of a Central authority or Government.
This can only mean that all these vital matters which constitute the life-blood of a state will remain vested in the National Federal Government proposed by him, to which finally full powers and responsibility for the Government of India will be transferred. It is therefore clear that the National Government will be brought into full being, established, and well in the saddle according to these terms, with an overwhelming and solid majority of Hindus, which virtually would be a Hindu raj.
5. Then we are asked to agree to the most tortuous terms and accept the principle upon which areas are to be demarcated, namely district-wise wherein the Muslim population is in absolute majority, which according to Mr. Gandhi means that only that district will be recognized in which the Muslims have a majority of 75 per cent, for he says that by absolute majority he means as in Sind, Baluchistan or the North-West Frontier Province, but according to Mr Rajagopalachari, absolute majority means as understood in legal parlance. Apart from the fact that the joint authors already differ, I find from the dictionary that it means 'a majority of all members of a body (including those voting and those not voting)'.
6. That in areas thus demarcated, there will be promiscuous plebiscite on the basis of adult suffrage or other practicable franchise, and the form and the franchise will be decided again by the National Government referred to above, unless we can agree upon it beforehand.
It is when we have agreed to all these terms then alone comes the question of separation of those mutilated broken areas again subject to further conditions : (1) this matter can only be considered after the termination of the war and (2) after the transfer of full power and responsibility for the Government of India to this National Government, and it will be then that this National Government will set up a Commission for demarcating contiguous districts as stated above, and complete its work of sheer vandalism, especially in the Punjab, Bengal and Assam and then its findings will be given effect to by this National Government and if these poor areas so paralysed desire to severe or separate from the all-India united, federal Government, fully and firmly established, then they must submit to and go through a promiscuous plebiscite, and if the verdict is in favour of the Muslims, even then all matters of vital importance, such as Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce and the like shall remain vested in and continue to be administeredby a Central authority or Government.
This is what Mr Gandhi calls a partition or division between two brothers, and it is really amazing that he should repeat ad nauseam that he has by his offer satisfied the essence or the substance of the Lahore Resolution. It would be difficult to conceive of a more disingenuous, tortuous and crooked assertion, which he keeps on repeating naively.
What is the use of misleading people and making confusion worse confounded? If we accept these terms, which present us with a veritable trap and a slough of death, it means the burial of Pakistan. . .
Mr Jinnah was asked whether he had any scheme for the constitution of Pakistan. Mr Jinnah said that the principle of Pakistan should be first accepted and the scheme would be formulated thereafter.
Further explaining the point Mr Jinnah referred to a previous question, namely, the absence of two contracting Governments on behalf of Hindustan and Pakistan and said that it was true there were no de jure Governments. If the principle of division was accepted then it followed that both Hindustan and Pakistan would have to choose their own constitution-making bodies. Those bodies as representing two sovereign States would deal with questions of mutual and natural relations and obligations by virtue of physical contiguity of the States and they would then as two independent sovereign States-two nations-come to an agreement on various matters.
'Take the case of America,' he said, 'There are 23 independent sovereign States in America. They have their treaties and agreements with regard to their mutual interest. Even so the States in Europe have their own agreements with each other for inter-trade and commerce and even alliances. These are things that can be adjusted. Agreements and treaties are entered into even between two countries which have no physical contiguity. Here the two nations are neighbours and have physical contiguity."
Gandhiji's reply to Sapru Committee questionnaire regarding regarding his talks with Mr M.A. Jinnah ( full text)
Q. In his letter of the 17th of September, Mr Jinnah says that 'the word (Pakistan) has now become synonymous with the Lahore Resolution'. Did you ask him whether in accordance with the Lahore Resolution of the All-India Muslim League a scheme of Constitution in accordance with the basic principles providing for the assumption finally by the respective regions of all powers such as Defence, External Affairs, Communications, Customs and such other matters as may be necessary had been prepared? Was your attention drawn to any such scheme by Mr Jinnah?
A. No. Qaid-e-Azam's[Mr Jinnah's] position unfortunately was that while he could come as far as seeing me and trying to convince me of his position, he, the President of the League, could not discuss details with me, a mere individual.
But so far as I could gather from our conversations, he had no prepared scheme. As the correspondence shows, he had referred me to two books both of which I read, but neither of which could help me understand Qaid-e-Azam's[Mr Jinnah's] exact position. One thing he insisted upon was that if I first accepted the Pakistan of his conception, he could then discuss other things with me even though I was but an individual.
Q. Is it true that the real breakdown between you and Mr Jinnah came about on the question of central authority or Government? Please refer in this connexion to Mr Jinnah's letter of 25th of September, clause (d) in which he says: 'If these vital matters (suggested in the quotation from your letter with which clause (d) begins) are to be administrated by some central authority, you do not indicate what sort of authority or machinery will be set up to administer these matters, and how and to whom again that authority will be responsible.' Did you, at any state, indicate to him that you wanted a Central Government or a Central Legislature to deal with a limited number of subjects, such as, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce and the like?
A. It can be said that the breakdown took place because we would not come to agreement on the 'two-nations' theory of Qaid-e-Azam's [Mr Jinnah's]. As the correspondence will show, I wanted to avoid a Central Government. I suggested an authority acceptable to both the parties, but he would insist first on the complete partition as between two nations, and then an agreement between them as on Foreign Affairs, etc. He would not agree to anything simultaneous.
Q. In that clause(clause (d)) Mr Jinnah says : 'According to the Lahore Resolution, as I have already explained to you, all these matters, which are the life-blood of any state, cannot be delegated to any Central authority or Government.' Then, he says that 'the matter of security of the two States and the natural and mutual obligations that may arise out of physical contiguity will be for the constitution-making body of Pakistan and that of Hindustan, or other party concerned, to deal with on the footing of their being two independent states'. Did you understand Mr Jinnah's position to be that he intended that Pakistan and Hindustan should be completely independent sovereign States with no connexion between them except by treaty? If so, did he tell you what was to happen if either party broke the treaty and what was the authority which could enforce the provisions of such a treaty?
A. Of course, he wanted two independent sovereign States with no connexion between them except by treaty. If any party broke the treaty, the consequence would be what has happened throughout the world until now, i.e. war. Therefore, I did not ask and he did not tell me as to what would happen if either party broke the treaty.
Q. As regards the C.R.Formula [Mr C. Rajagopalachari's Formula], can you explain why Mr Jinnah was opposed to clause 2 of that Formula which demanded a plebiscite of all the inhabitants on the basis of adult suffrage or other practical franchise? Did you understand him to say that in the areas demarcated for Pakistan, the Minorities shall be given chance of expressing their choice of staying in Pakistan or not being separated from the rest of the country?
A. Qaid-e-Azam [Mr Jinnah] would not have the plebiscite of the Muslims because he thought the League represented the Muslims of India, and that other communities should have no voice as to Pakistan which was Muslims' exclusive right wherever they were in a majority.
Q. Please refer to your proposals contained in the letter of the 24th of September, in which you said : 'There shall be a Treaty of Separation which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce and the like, which must necessarily contine to be matters of common interest between the contracting parties.' Please explain how that treaty would provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration of these matters, and whether you contemplated any machinery which could give effect to the decisions embodied in that treaty. If so, what is the nature of that machinery which you had in mind?
A. I suggested a Board of Representatives of both the States. It was to be an Arbitration Board with administration powers. For the due carrying out of its decisions, it would largely or solely depend upon the goodwill of the parties or States. But I should not object to a machinery jointly devised by the two States.
Q. Have you any objection to the Provinces or States enjoying the fullest autonomy with residuary powers vested in them?
A. None whatsoever.
Q. In your press statement dated 28th of September, 1944, you said : 'I urged that apart from the "two-nations" theory, if I could accept the principle of division of India in accordance with the demand of the League, he should accept it. But, unfortunately, it was there just we split. ' Please explain this more clearly.
A. I think I am explicit enough. I meant that apart from conceding the 'two-nations' theory, I accepted the concrete suggestions of division of India as between members of the same family and, therefore, reserving for partnership things of common interest. But Qaid-e-Azam[Mr Jinnah] would have nothing short of the 'two-nations' theory and, therefore, complete dissolution amounting to full sovereignty in the first instance. It was just there that we split, as I have said before.
Q. Are you prepared to admit the Muslims in India are a separate nation? If so, then why do you deny the Muslims the right of having a separate independent State? If you are not prepared to admit that Muslims are a separate nation, then on what principle do you agree to a division of India to the limited extent to which you seem to have agreed in the course of your conversation and correspondence with Mr Jinnah? In this connexion, please refer to your interview to the News Chronicle on the 29th of September, 1944.
A. Although I could not agree to the 'two-nations' theory, I agreed on the basis of members of a family desiring severance of the family tie in matters of conflict, but not in all matters so as to become enemies one of the other, as if there was nothing common between the two except enmity.
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)