Maulana Azad and M A Jinnah on Two Nation Theory

Extra(7)  M.A.Jinnah and Maulana Azad on two nation theory.
Documents  included
  • Jinnah's speech at a Lunch given by Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Muslim University, Aligarh, March 8, 1944 (full text)
  • Jinnah's Presidential Address at the 27th Session of the All India Muslim League, Lahore, March 22, 1940(excerpt) [More excerpts from this speech in Extra(1B)]
  • Jinnah's speech at the meeting of the Muslim University Union, Aligarh, March 10, 1941(excerpt)
  • Maulana Azad in India Wins Freedom, Orient Longman, 1997, pp. 150-152
  • Viceroy Wavell's journal entry, April 3, 1946,  in Wavell, The Viceroy's Journal, ed. Penderel Moon.
Speeches of M. A Jinnah  from 'Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam', ed. Khurshid Yusufi, Pub.. Bazm-e-Iqbal, Lahore, Volumes II and III.

Jinnah's speech at a Lunch given by Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Muslim University, Aligarh, March 8, 1944(full text)

Responding to the toast, Mr. Jinnah who looked very happy in the midst of the members of the Muslim University referred to the rousing reception they had given him at the station which had almost crushed and suffocated him.

Proceeding, he remarked that it was a fact that there were two parties - Congress and the British Government - when they started their organizational activities. But, thank God, through the efforts of their workers, including the Vice-Chancellor they had made every Mussalman conscious of his position and the seven years' struggle of the Muslim League had raised the Mussalmans to the position of a nation whose voice was heard not only in India, but all over the world.

Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam remarked, was not the product of the conduct or misconduct of the Hindus. It had always been there; only they were not conscious of it. Hindus and Muslims, though living in the same towns and villages, had never been blended into one nation; they were always two separate entities.

Tracing the history of the beginning of Islam in India, he proved that Pakistan started the moment the first non-Muslim was converted to Islam in India long before the Muslims established their rule. As soon as a Hindu embraced Islam he was outcast not only religiously but also socially, culturally and economically.

As for the Muslim, it was a duty imposed on him by Islam not to merge his identity and individuality in any alien society. Throughout the ages Hindus had remained Hindus and Muslims had remained Muslims, and they had not merged their entities - that was the basis for Pakistan. In a gathering of European and American officials he was asked as to who was the author of Pakistan. Mr. Jinnah's reply was 'Every Mussalman.'

Now the question is how to get Pakistan? Raising his eye-brows and speaking in grim tones, Mr. Jinnah said, "not by asking, not by begging, not even by mere prayers but by working with trust in God. Inshallah! Pakistan is now in your hands."

The Dawn, March 10, 1944

Jinnah's Presidential Address at the 27th Session of the All India Muslim League, Lahore, March 22, 1940(excerpt)  [More excerpts from this speech in Extra(1B)]

..A leading journal like the London Times commenting on the Government of India Act 1935, wrote, " Undoubtedly the difference between the Hindus and Muslims is not of religion in the strict sense of the word but also of law and culture, that they may be said, indeed, to represent two entirely distinct and separate civilizations. However, in the course of time, the superstitions will die out and India will be molded into a single nation.'.

So, according to the London Times, the only difficulties are superstitions. These fundamental and deep-rooted differences, spiritual, economic, cultural, social and political, have been euphemised as mere 'superstitions.' But surely it is a flagrant disregard of the past history of the subcontinent of India as well as the fundamental Islamic conception of society vis-a-vis that of Hinduism to characterize them as mere 'superstitions.'

Notwithstanding a thousand years of close contact, nationalities, which are as divergent today as ever, cannot at any time be expected to transform themselves into one nation merely by means of subjecting them to a democratic constitution and holding them forcibly together by unnatural and artificial methods of British Parliamentary Statute. What the unitary government of India of 150 years had failed to achieve cannot be realized by the imposition of a central federal government. It is inconceivable that the fiat or the writ of a government so constituted can ever command a willing and loyal obedience throughout the subcontinent from various nationalities except by means of armed force behind it.

The problem in India is not of an inter-communal character but manifestly of an international one, and it must be treated as such..."

Jinnah's speech at the meeting of the Muslim University Union, Aligarh, March 10, 1941(excerpt)

... Hindus and Muslims differ fundamentally. But even amongst the Hindus themselves there are castes sub-castes and numerous other divisions exclusive of each other and 60 millions of depressed classes are considered untouchables. The irony of the situation is that the Hindu caste community which is not only least fitted but unfit for any experiment in the realm of democracy is clamouring for and is falling head over heels in love with democracy. The Hindu leaders are doing great harm to the interest of the country by ignoring realities and building on sand.

It was after mature consideration that the Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution popularly known as Pakistan. Pakistan has been there for centuries. It is there today and it will remain till the end of the world. They are our homelands. They were taken from us and we want them back. What title have Hindus to it? I maintain that it is more in the interests of Hindus themselves. The League advocates independent states for the Mussalmans where they are in a majority and as well for Hindus where they are in a majority that is the Hindu zones. Surely they ought to be contented with that. Their dream to rule over the whole of India will never materialize.

Archives of Freedom Movement, Vol. 237

From Jinnah's speech in March 1941
"Pakistan has been there for centuries. It is there today and it will remain till the end of the world. They are our homelands. They were taken from us and we want them back. What title have Hindus to it?"

To understand the proper implications of this statement, one must ask, in the regions that Jinnah was referring to as "Pakistan", what was the non Muslim population?

From the Cabinet Mission Plan [CMP(3)]:

North-Western Area
Muslims: 22.6 million Non Muslims: 13.8 million, percentages 62:38

North-Eastern Area
Muslims: 36.4 million Non Muslims: 34 million, percentages 52:48

Muslims: 59 million Non Muslims: 47.9 million, percentages 55:45

What Jinnah was saying was that the 45% non Muslims whose forefathers had lived in the "Pakistan" that Jinnah demanded for 1000s of years before the birth of Prophet Mohammed,  lost their "titles" to their homelands because Muslims became a majority.

Maulana Azad in India Wins Freedom, Orient Longman, 1997, pp. 150-152

... on 15 April 1946, I issued a statement dealing with the demands of Muslims and other minorities. Now that the division of India is a fact and ten years have passed, I again look at the statement and find that everything I had then said has come to happen. As this statement contains my considered views on the solution of the Indian problem, I feel I should quote it in full. This is what I then said, and would still say:

I have considered from every possible point of view the scheme of Pakistan as formulated by the Muslim League. As an Indian I have examined its implications for the future of India as a whole. As a Muslim I have examined its likely effects upon the fortunes of Muslims of India.

Considering the scheme in all its aspects I have come to the conclusion that it is harmful not only for India as a whole but for Muslims in particular. And in fact it creates more problems than it solves.

I must confess that the very term Pakistan goes against my grain. It suggests that some portions of the world are pure while others are impure. Such a division of territories into pure and impure is un-Islamic and is more in keeping with orthodox Brahmanism which divides men and countries into holy and unholy - a division which is a repudiation of the very spirit of Islam. Islam recognizes no such division and the prophet says, 'God has made the whole world a mosque for me.'

Further, it seems that the scheme of Pakistan is a symbol of defeatism and has been built up on the analogy of the Jewish demand for a national home. It is a confession that Indian Muslims cannot hold their own in India as a whole and would be content to withdraw to a corner specially reserved for them.

One can sympathize with the aspiration of the Jews for such a national home, as they are scattered all over the world and cannot in any region have any effective voice in the  administration. The conditions of Indian Muslims is quite otherwise. Over 90 million in number, they are in quantity and quality a sufficiently important element in Indian life to Influence decisively all questions of administration and policy. Nature has further helped them by concentrating them in certain areas.

In such a context, the demand for Pakistan loses all force. As a Muslim, I for one am not prepared for a moment to give up my right to treat the whole of India as my domain and to share in the shaping of its political and economic life. To me it seems a sure sign of cowardice to give up what is my patrimony and content myself with a mere fragment of it.

As is well known, Mr. Jinnah's Pakistan scheme is based on his two nation theory. His thesis is that India contains many nationalities based on religious differences. Of them the two major nations, the Hindus and Muslims, must as separate nations have separate states. When Dr Edward Thompson once pointed out to Mr. Jinnah that Hindus and Muslims live side by side in thousands of Indian towns, villages and hamlets, Mr. Jinnah replied that this in no way affected their separate nationality. Two nations according to Mr. Jinnah confront one another in every hamlet, village and town, and he, therefore, desires that they should be separated into two states.

I am prepared to overlook all other aspects of the problem and judge it from the point of view of Muslim interests alone. I shall go still further and say that if it can be shown that the scheme of Pakistan can in any way benefit Muslims I would be prepared to accept it myself and also to work for its acceptance by others. But the truth is that even if I examine the scheme from the point of view of the communal interests of the Muslims themselves, I am forced to the conclusion that it can in no way benefit them or allay their legitimate fears.

Let us consider dispassionately the consequences which will follow if we give effect to the Pakistan scheme. India will be divided into two States, one with a majority of Muslims and the other of Hindus.

In the Hindustan State there will remain three and a half crores of Muslims scattered in small minorities all over the land. With 17 per cent in U.P, 12 per cent in Bihar and 9 per cent in Madras, they will be weaker than they are today in the Hindu majority provinces. They have had their homelands in these regions for almost a thousand years and built up well known centres of Muslim culture and civilization there.  They will awaken overnight and discover that they have become alien and foreigners. Backward industrially, educationally and economically, they will be left to the mercies to what would become an unadulterated Hindu raj. 

On the other hand, their position within the Pakistan State will be vulnerable and weak. Nowhere in Pakistan will their majority be comparable to the Hindu majority in the Hindustan States. In fact, their majority will be so slight that it will be offset by the economical, educational and political lead enjoyed by non Muslims in these areas. Even if this were not so and Pakistan were overwhelmingly Muslim in population, it still could hardly solve the problem of Muslims in Hindustan.

Two states confronting one another, offer no solution of the problem of one another's minorities, but only lead to retribution and reprisals by introducing a system of mutual hostages. The scheme of Pakistan therefore solves no problem for the Muslims. It cannot safeguard their rights where they are in a minority nor as citizens of Pakistan secure them a position in Indian or world affairs which they would enjoy as citizens of a major State like the Indian Union.

It may be argued that if Pakistan is so much against the interests of the Muslims themselves, why should such a large section of Muslims be swept away by its lure? The answer is to be found in the attitude of certain communal extremists among the Hindus. When the Muslim League began to speak of Pakistan, they read into the scheme a sinister pan-Islamic conspiracy and began to oppose it out of fear that it foreshadowed a combination of Indian Muslim with trans-Indian Muslims States.

The opposition acted as an incentive to the adherents of the League. With simple though  untenable logic they argued that if Hindus were so opposed to Pakistan, surely it must be of benefit to Muslims. An atmosphere of emotional frenzy was created which made reasonable appraisement impossible and swept away, especially the younger and more impressionable among the Muslims. I have, however, no doubt that when the present frenzy has died down and the question can be considered dispassionately, those who now support Pakistan will themselves repudiate it as harmful for Muslim Interests.

The formula which I have succeeded in making the Congress accept secures whatever merit the Pakistan scheme contains while all its defects and drawbacks are avoided. The basis of Pakistan is the fear of interference by the Centre in Muslim majority areas as the Hindus will be in a majority in the Centre. The Congress meets this fear by granting full autonomy to the provincial units and vesting all residuary power in the provinces. It also has provided for two lists of Central subjects, one compulsory and one optional, so that if any provincial unit so wants, it can administer all subjects itself except a minimum delegated to the Centre. The Congress scheme therefore ensures that Muslim majority provinces are internally free to develop as they will, but can at the same time influence the Centre on all issues which affect India as a whole.

The situation in India is such that all attempts to establish a centralized and unitary government are bound to fail. Equally doomed to failure is the attempt to divide India into two States. After considering all aspects of the question, I have come to the conclusion that the only solution can be on the lines embodied in the Congress formula which allows room for development both to the provinces and to India as a whole. The Congress formula meets the fear of the Muslim majority areas to allay which the scheme of Pakistan was formed. On the other hand, it avoids the defects of the Pakistan scheme which would bring the Muslims where they are in a minority under a purely Hindu government.

I am one of those who considers the present chapter of communal bitterness and differences as a transient phase in Indian life. I firmly hold that they will disappear when India assumes the responsibility of her own destiny. I am reminded of a saying of Mr. Gladstone that the best cure for a man's fear of the water was to throw him into it. Similarly India must assume responsibilities and administer her own affairs before fears and suspicions can be fully allayed.

When India attains her destiny, she will forget the chapter of communal suspicion and conflict and face the problems of modern life from a modern point of view. Differences will no doubt persist, but they will be economic, not communal. Opposition among political parties will continue, but it will be based, not on religion but on economic and political issues. Class and not community will be the basis of future alignments, and policies will be shaped accordingly.

If it be argued that this is only a faith which events may not justify I would say that in any case the nine crores of Muslims constitute a factor which nobody can ignore and whatever the  circumstances they are strong enough to safeguard their own destiny.

Viceroy Wavell and Stafford Cripps dismissed the implications of Jinnah's advocacy of the two nation theory, Wavell  terming it 'some rather foolish remark about separate nationalities'.

Viceroy Wavell's journal entry, April 3, 1946 (excerpt)
Maulana Azad was less suave and well-mannered than on the other occasions I have met him, and frequently walked up and down the room in obvious tension. Asaf Ali interpreted.
Azad put out a scheme for Indian Federation, in which there were two lists of Federal subjects-compulsory and optional. He also admitted the right of a Province or Area to stand out altogether under certain conditions. He produced a novel theory that if there were a division, Muslims domiciled in Hindustan and Hindus in Pakistan would be 'aliens', which Cripps said was juridically impossible. I am sure Azad only meant it as a debating point against Jinnah-towards whom he showed great animosity-because Jinnah had made some rather foolish remark about separate nationalities.


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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