Nehru Bose Jinnah correspondence 1937 -38

Extra(4B) Nehru, Bose, Jinnah correspondence 1937-1938
Documents included:
  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on Development of Contact with Muslim Masses, 19 March 1937
  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's letter to Mr. M. A. Jinnah, 6 April 1938 (full text)
Controversy over the Muslim League Claim to act as the sole Representative of the Muslims:
  • Resolutions passed by the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League, 4-5 June 1938 (full text)
  • Letter from Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose to Mr. M. A. Jinnah, 25 July 1938 (excerpts)
  • Letter from Mr. M. A. Jinnah to Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose, 2 August 1938 (full text)

From 'Speeches and Documents on the Indian Constitution 1921-1947', Selected by Sir Maurice Gwyer and A. Appadorai, OUP, 1957 Vol. II.

(1) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on Development of Contact with Muslim Masses, 19 March 1937 

Only in regard to the Muslim seats did we lack success. But our very failure on this occasion has demonstrated that success is easily in our grasp and the Muslim masses are increasingly turning to the Congress. We failed because we had long neglected working among the Muslim masses and we could not reach them in time. But where we reached, especially in the rural areas, we found almost the same response, the same anti-imperialist spirit, as in others. The communal problem, of which we hear so much, seems to be utterly non-existent, when we talked to the peasant, whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh. We failed also among the Muslims because of their much smaller electorate, which could be easily manipulated and coerced by authority and vested interests. But I am convinced that, even so, we could have had a much large measure of success if we had paid more attention to the Muslim masses. They have been too long neglected and misled and they deserved special consideration. I have no manner of doubt that they are turning to the Congress to seek relief from their innumerable burdens and their future co-operation is assured, provided we approach them rightly and on the basis of economic questions.

We have too long thought in terms of pacts and compromises between communal leaders and neglected the people behind them. That is a discredited policy and I trust we will not revert to it. And yet some people still talk of the Muslims as a group, dealing with the Hindus or others as a group, a medieval conception which has no place in the modern world. We deal with economic groups today and the problems of poverty and unemployment and national freedom are common for the Hindu, the Muslim, the Sikh and the Christian. As soon as we leave the top fringe, which is continually talking of percentages of seats in the Legislatures and state jobs, and reach the masses, we come up against these problems. This way lies the ending of which has long been known as the communal problem.

One of the most remarkable signs of the times is the ferment amongst the Muslims of India, both the intelligensia and the masses. Without any effective leadership they have drifted aimlessly, and they resent this helpless position and feel that the communal leadership they have had has weakened them politically, in spite of the trivial and superficial gains which they are supposed to have got from an imperialism which seeks to wean them away from the national government. Muslim young men and old, and the Muslim press, are full of this self-analysis, and the desire to get out of the communal rut and line up with the forces of freedom and progress is strong within them. They see how the Congress has swept away Hindu communal organization, how it has captured the imaginations of the masses, and they feel a little desolate and left out. They want to share in the triumphs of today and tomorrow, and are prepared to take their share of the burdens also. And so this election and our campaign, though they resulted in the loss of Muslim seats as a rule, have been a triumph for us even in regard to the Muslims. They have gone some way to lay the ghost of communalism. It is for us now to go ahead and welcome the Muslim masses and intelligensia in our great organization and rid this country of communalism in every shape and form.

(2) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's letter to Mr. M. A. Jinnah, 6 April 1938 (full text)

I am glad that you have indicated in your last letter a number of points which you have in mind. The enclosures you have sent mention these and I take it that they represent your view-point. I was somewhat surprised to see this list as I had no idea that you wanted to discuss many of these matters with us. Some of these are wholly covered by previous decisions of the Congress, some others are hardly capable of discussion.

As far as I can make out from your letter and the enclosures you have sent you wish to discuss the following matters:
1. The Fourteen Points formulated by the Muslim League in 1929.
2. The Congress should withdraw all opposition to the Communal Award and should not describe it as a negation of nationalism.
3. The share of the Muslims in the State Services should be definitely fixed in the Constitution by statutory enactment.
4. Muslim personal law and culture should be guaranteed by statute.
5. The Congress should take in hand the agitation in connexion with the Shahidganj mosque and should use its moral pressure to enable the Muslims to gain possession of the mosque.
6. The Muslims' right to call Azan and perform their religious ceremonies should not fettered in any way.
7. Muslims should have freedom to perform cow-slaughter.
8. Muslim majorities in the Provinces, where such majorities exist at present, must not be affected by any territorial redistribution or adjustments.
9. The Bande Matram song should be given up.
10. Muslims want Urdu to be the national language of India and they desire to have statutory guarantees that the use of Urdu shall not be curtailed or damaged.
11. Muslim representation in local bodies should be governed by the principles underlying the Communal Award, that is separate electorates and population strength.
12. The tri-colour flag should be changed or, alternatively, the flag of the Muslim League should be given equal importance.
13. Recognition of the Muslim League as the one authoritative and representative organization of Indian Muslims.
14. Coalition Ministries.

It is further stated that the formula evolved by you and Babu Rajendra Prasad in 1935 does not satisfy the Muslims now and nothing on those lines will satisfy them.

It is added that the list above is not a complete list and that it can be augmented by the addition of further 'demands'. Not knowing these possible and unlimited additions I can say nothing about them. But I should like to deal with the various matters specifically mentioned and to indicate what the Congress attitude has been in regard to them.

But before considering them, the political and economic background of the free India we are working for has to be kept in mind, for ultimately that is the controlling factor. Some of these matters do not arise in considering an independent India or take a particular shape or have little importance. We can discuss them in terms of Indian independence or in terms of the British dominance of India continuing. The Congress naturally thinks in terms of independence, though it adjusts itself occasionally to the present transitional and temporary phases. It is thus not interested in amendments to the present Constitution, but aims at its complete removal and its substitution by a Constitution framed by the Indian people through a Constituent Assembly.

Another matter has assumed an urgent and vital significance and this is the exceedingly critical international situation and the possibility of war. This must concern India greatly and affect her struggle for freedom. This must therefore be considered the governing factor of the situation and almost everything else becomes of secondary importance, for all our efforts and petty arguments will be of little avail if the very foundation is upset. The Congress has clearly and repeatedly laid down its policy in the event of such a crisis and stated that it will be no party to imperialist war. Peace, therefore, and Indian independence is its basic policy. The Congress will very gladly and willingly co-operate with the Muslim League and all other organizations and individuals in the furtherance of this policy.

I have carefully looked through the various matters to which you have drawn attention in your letter and its enclosures and I find that there is nothing in them which refers to or touches the economic demands of the masses or affects the all-important questions of poverty and unemployment. For all of us in India these are the vital issues and unless some solution is found for them, we function in vain. The question of State Services, howsoever important and worthy of consideration it might be, affects a very small number of people. The peasantry, industrial workers, artisans and petty shopkeepers form the vast majority of the population and they are not improved in any way by any of the demands listed above. Their interests should be paramount.

Many of the 'demands' involved changes of the Constitution which we are not in a position to bring about. Even if some such changes are desirable in themselves, it is not our policy to press for minor constitutional changes. We want to do away completely with the present Constitution and replace it by another for a free India.

In the same way the desire for statutory guarantees involves constitutional changes which we cannot give effect to. All we can do is to state that in a future Constitution for a free India we want certain guarantees to be incorporated.  We have done this in regard to religious, cultural, linguistic and other rights of Minorities in the Karachi resolution of Fundamental Rights. We would like these fundamental rights to be made a part of the Constitution.
I now deal with the various matters listed above.
1. The Fourteen Points, I had thought, were somewhat out of date. Many of their provisions have been given effect to by the Communal Award and in other ways; some others are entirely acceptable to the Congress; yet others require constitutional changes which, as I have mentioned above, are beyond our present competence. Apart from the matters covered by the Communal Award and those involving a change in the Constitution, one or two matters remain which give rise to difference of opinion and which are still likely to lead to considerable argument.

2. The Congress has clearly stated its attitude towards the Communal Award, and it comes to this that it seeks alterations only on the basis of mutual consent of the parties concerned. I do not understand how anyone can take objection to this attitude and policy. If we are asked to describe the Award as not being anti-national, that would be patently false. Even apart from what it gives to various groups, its whole basis and structure are anti-national and come in the way of the development of national unity. As you know it gives an overwhelming and wholly undeserving weightage to the European elements in certain parts of India. If we think in terms of an independent India we cannot possibly fit in this Award with it. It is true that under stress of circumstances we have sometimes to accept as a temporary measure something that is on the fact of it anti-national. It is also true that in the matters governed by the Communal Award we can only find a satisfactory and abiding solution by the consent and goodwill of the parties concerned. That is the Congress policy.

3. The fixing of the Muslims' share in the State Services by statutory enactment necessarily involves the fixing of the shares of other groups and communities similarly. This would mean a rigid and compartmental State structure which will impede progress and development. At the same time it is generally admitted that State appointments should be fairly and adequately distributed and no community should have cause to complain. It is far better to do this by convention and agreement. The Congress is fully alive to this issue and desires to meet the wishes of various groups in the fullest measure, so as to give to all minority communities, as stated in No. 11 of the Fourteen Points, 'an adequate share in all the services of the State and in Local Self-Governing Bodies having due regard to the requirements of efficiency'. The State today is becoming more and more technical and demands expert knowledge in its various departments. It is right that, if a community is backward in this technical and expert knowledge, special efforts should be made to give it this education to bring it up to a higher level.

I understand that at the Unity Conference held at Allahabad in 1933 or thereabouts, a mutually satisfactory solution of this question of State services was arrived at.

4. As regards protection of culture the Congress has declared its willingness to embody this in the fundamental laws of the Constitution. It has also declared that it does not wish to interfere in any way with the personal law of any community.

5. I am considerably surprised at the suggestion that the Congress should take in hand the agitation in connexion with the Shahidganj mosque. That is a matter to be decided either legally or by mutual agreement. The Congress prefers in all such matters the way of mutual agreement and its services can always be utilized for this purpose where there is an opening for them and a desire to this effect on the part of the parties concerned. I am glad that the Premier of the Punjab has suggested that this is the only satisfactory way to a solution of the problem.

6. The right to perform religious ceremonies should certainly be guaranteed to all communities. The Congress resolution about this is quite clear. I know nothing about the particular incident relating to a Punjab village which has been referred to. No doubt many instances can be gathered together from various parts of India where petty interferences take place with Hindu, Muslim or Sikh ceremonies. These have to be tactfully dealt with wherever they arise. But the principle is quite clear and should be agreed to.

7. As regards cow-slaughter there has been a great deal of entirely false and unfounded propaganda against the Congress suggesting that the Congress was going to stop it forcibly by legislation. The Congress does not wish to undertake any legislative action in this matter to restrict the established rights of the Muslims.

8. The question of territorial redistribution has not arisen in any way. If and when it arises it must be dealt with on the basis of mutual agreement of the parties concerned.

9. Regarding the Bande Mataram song the Working Committee issued a long statement in October last to which I would invite your attention. First of all it has to be remembered that no formal national anthem has been adopted by the Congress at any time. It is true, however, that the Bande Mataram song has been intimately associated with Indian nationalism for more than thirty years and numerous associations of sentiment and sacrifice have gathered round it. Popular songs are not made to order, nor can they be successfully imposed. They grow out of public sentiment. During all these thirty or more years the Bande Mataram song was never considered as having any religious significance and was treated as a national song in praise of India. Nor, to my knowledge, was any objection taken to it except on political grounds by the Government. When, however, some objections were raised, the Working Committee carefully considered the matter and ultimately decided to recommend that certain stanzas, which contained certain allegorical references, might not be used on national platforms or occasions. The two stanzas that have been recommended by the Working Committee for use as a national song have not a word or  a phrase which can offend anybody from any point of view and I am surprised that anyone can object to them. They may appeal to some more than to others. Some may prefer another national song; they have full freedom to do so. But to compel large numbers of people to give up what they have long valued and grown attached to is to cause needless hurt to them and injure the national movement itself. It would be improper for a national organization to do this.

10. About Urdu and Hindi I have previously written to you and have also sent you my pamphlet on the Question of Language. The Congress has declared in favour of guarantees for languages and culture. It wants to encourage all the great provincial languages of India and at the same time to make Hindustani, as written both in the nagri and Urdu scripts, the national language. Both scripts should be officially recognized and the choice should be left to the people concerned. In fact this policy is being pursued by the Congress Ministries.

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

May I also point out that in the resolution passed by the Muslim League in 1929, at the time it adopted the Fourteen Points, it was stated that 'the Mussalmans will not consent to joint electorates unless Sind is actually constituted into a separate Province and reforms in fact are introduced in the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan on the same footing as in other provinces'. Since then Sind has been separated and the North-West Frontier Province has been placed on a level with other provinces. So far as Baluchistan is concerned the Congress is committed to a leveling up of this area in the same way.

12. The national tricolour flag was adopted originally in 1920 by the Congress after full and careful consultation with eminent Muslim, Sikh and other leaders. Obviously a country and a national movement must have a national flag representing the nation and all communities in it. No communal flag can represent the nation. If we did not possess a national flag now we would have to evolve one. The present national flag had its colours originally selected in order to represent the various communities, but we did not like to lay stress on this communal aspect of the colours. Artistically I think the combination of orange, white and green has resulted in a flag which is probably the most beautiful of all national flags. For these many years our flag has been used and it has spread to the remotest village and brought hope and courage and a sense of all-India unity to our masses. It has been associated with great sacrifices on the part of our people, including Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and many have suffered lathi blows and imprisonment and even death in defending it from insult or injury. Thus a powerful sentiment has grown up in its favour. On innumerable occasions Maulana Mohamad Ali, Maulana Shaukat Ali and many leaders of the Muslim League today have associated themselves with this flag and emphasized its virtues and significance as a symbol of Indian unity. It has spread outside the Congress ranks and been generally recognized as the flag of the nation. It is difficult to understand how anyone can reasonably object to it now.

Communal flags cannot obviously take its place for that can only mean a host of flags of various communities being used together and thus emphasizing our disunity and separateness. Communal flags might be used for religious functions but they have no place at any national function or over any public building meant for various communities.

May I add that during the past few months, on several occasions, the national flag has been insulted by some members or volunteers of the Muslim League. This has pained us greatly but we have deliberately avoided anything in the nature of conflict in order not to add to communal bitterness. We have also issued strict orders, and they have been obeyed, that no interference should take place with the Muslim League flag, even though it might be inappropriately displayed.

13. I do not understand what is meant by our recognition of the Muslim League as the one and only organization of Indian Muslims. Obviously the Muslim League is an important communal organization and we deal with it as such. But we have to deal with all organizations and individuals that come within our ken. We do not determine the measure of importance or distinction they possess. There are a large number, about a hundred thousand, of Muslims on the Congress rolls, many of whom have been our close companions, in prisons and outside, for many years and we value their comradeship highly. There are many organizations which contain Muslims and non-Muslims alike, such as Trades Unions, Peasant Unions, Kisan Sabhas, Debt Committees, Zamindar Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Employers' Associations, etc., and we have contacts with them. There are specials Muslim organizations such as Jamiat-ul-Ulema, the Proja Party, the Ahrars and others, which claim attention. Inevitably the more important the organization, the more the attention paid to it, but this importance does no come from outside recognition but from inherent strength. And the other organizations, even though they might be younger and smaller, cannot be ignored.

14. I should like to know what is mean by coalition Ministries. A Ministry must have a definite political and economic programme and policy. Any other kind of Ministry would be a disjointed and ineffective body, with no clear mind or direction. Given a common political and economic programme and policy, cooperation is easy. You know probably that some such co-operation was sought for and obtained by the Congress in the Frontier Province. In Bombay also repeated attempts were made on behalf of the Congress to obtain this co-operation on the basis of a common programme. The Congress has gone to the Assemblies with a definite programme and in furtherance of a clear policy. It will always gladly co-operated with other groups, whether it is in a majority or a minority in an Assembly, in furtherance of that programme and policy. On that basis I can conceive of even coalition Ministries being formed. Without that basis the Congress has no interest in a Ministry or in an Assembly.

I have dealt, I am afraid at exceeding length, with the various points raised in your letter and its enclosures. I am glad that I have had a glimpse into your mind through this correspondence as this enables me to understand a little better the problems that are before you and perhaps to understand a little better the problems that are before you and perhaps others. I agree entirely that it is the duty of every Indian to bring about harmonious joint effort of all of us for the achievement of India's freedom and the ending of the poverty of her people. For me, and I take it for most of us, the Congress has been a means to that end and not an end in itself. It has been a high privilege for us to work through the Congress because it has drawn to itself the love of millions of our countrymen, and through their sacrifice and united effort, taken us a long way to our goal. But much remains to be done and we have all to pull together to that end.

Personally the idea of pacts and the like does not appeal to me, though perhaps they might be necessary occasionally. What seems to me far more important is a more basic understanding of each other, bringing with it the desire and ability to co-operate together. That larger co-operation, if it is to include our millions, much necessarily be in the interests of those millions. My mind therefore is continually occupied with the problems of these unhappy masses of this country and I view all other problems in this light. I should like to view the communal problem also in this perspective for otherwise it has no great significance for me.


Controversy over the Muslim League Claim to act as the sole Representative of the Muslims:
(3) Resolutions passed by the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League, 4-5 June 1938 (full text)

RESOLUTION No.1

The Executive Council of the All-India Muslim League... find that it is not possible for the All-India Muslim League to treat or negotiate with the Congress the question of the Hindu-Muslim settlement except the basis that the Muslim League is the authoritative and representative organization of the Mussalmans of India.

RESOLUTION No.2

The Council have also considered the letter of Mr. Gandhi dated the 22nd May 1938 and are of opinion that it is not desirable to include any Muslim in the personnel of the proposed Committee that may be appointed by the Congress.

RESOLUTION No. 3
The Executive Council wish to make it clear that it is the declared policy of the All-India Muslim League that all other Minorities should have their rights and interests safeguarded so as to create a sense of security amongst them and win their confidence and the All-India Muslim League will consult the representatives of such Minorities and any other interest as may be involved, when necessary.


(4) Letter from Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose to Mr. M. A. Jinnah, 25 July 1938 (excerpts)

...The first resolution of the League Council defines the status of the League. If it means that, before we proceed to set up a machinery for considering the terms of settlement of the communal question, the Congress should recognize the status as defined in that resolution, there is an obvious difficulty. Though the resolution does not use the adjective 'only', the language of the resolution means that the adjective is understood. Already the Working Committee has received warnings against recognizing the exclusive status of the League. There are Muslim organizations which have been functioning independently of the Muslim League. Some of them are staunch supporters of the Congress. Moreover, there are individual Muslims who are Congressmen, some of whom exercise no inconsiderable influence in the country. Then there is the Frontier Province which is overwhelmingly Muslim and which is solidly with the Congress. You will see that in the face of these known facts it is not only impossible, but improper for the Congress to make the admission which the first resolution of the League Council apparently desires the Congress to make. It is suggested that the status of organizations does not accrue to them by any defining of it. It comes through the service to which a particular organization has dedicated itself. The Working Committee therefore hopes that the League Council will not ask the Congress to do the impossible. Is it not enough that the Congress is not only willing but eager to establish the friendliest relations with the League and to come to an honourable understanding over the much vexed Hindu-Muslim question?

At this state it may perhaps be as well to state the Congress claim. Though it is admitted that the largest number of persons to be found on the numerous Congress registers are Hindus, Congress has a fairly large number of Muslims and members of other communities professing different faiths. It has been an unbroken tradition with the Congress to represent all communities, all races, and classes to whom India is their home. From its inception it has often had distinguished Muslims and Presidents and General Secretaries who enjoyed the confidence of the Congress and of the country. The Congress tradition is that through a Congressman does not cease to belong to the faith in which he is born and bred up, no one comes to the Congress by virtue of his faith;  he is in and of the Congress by virtue of his endorsement of the political principles and policy of the Congress. The Congress therefore is in no sense a communal organization. In fact it has always fought the communal spirit because it is detrimental to the growth of pure and undefiled nationalism. But whilst the Congress makes this claim, and has sought, with more or less success, to live up to the claim, the Working Committee asks for no recognition from the League Council. The Committee would be glad if your Council would come to an understanding with the Congress in order that we might achieve national solidarity and whole-heartedly work for realizing our common destiny.

As to the second resolution of the Council, I am afraid that it is not possible for the Working Committee to conform to the desire expressed therein.

The third resolution, the Working Committee is unable to understand. So far as the Working Committee is aware, the Muslim League is purely a communal organization, in the sense that it seeks to serve Muslim interests and its membership too is open only to Muslims. The Working Committee also has all along understood that so far as the League is concerned, it desires, and rightly, a settlement with the Congress on the Hindu-Muslim question and not on questions affecting  all Minorities. So far as the Congress is concerned, if the other Minorities have a grievance against the Congress, it is always ready to deal with them as it is its bounden duty to do, being by its very constitution and organization representative of all India without distinction of caste or creed.

In view of the foregoing I hope that it will be possible for us to take up the next stage in our negotiations for reaching settlement.

(5) Letter from Mr. M. A. Jinnah to Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose, 2 August 1938 (full text)

The Council (of the League) is fully convinced that the Muslim League is the only authoritative and representative political organization of the Mussalmans of India. This position was accepted when the Congress-League Pact was arrived at in 1916 at Lucknow and ever since, till 1935 when Jinnah-Rajendra Prasad conversations took place, it has not been questioned. The All-India Muslim League, therefore, does not require any admission or recognition from the Congress nor did the resolution of the Executive Council passed at Bombay. But in view of the fact that the position-in fact the very existence-of the League had been questioned by the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the President of the Congress, in one of his statements wherein he asserted that there were only two parties in the country, viz. the British Government and the Congress, it was considered necessary by the Executive Council to inform the Congress of the basis on which the negotiations between the two organizations could proceed.

Besides, the very fact that Congress approached the Muslim League to enter into negotiations for a settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question presupposed the authoritative and representative character of the League and as such its right to come to an agreement on behalf of the Mussalmans of India.

The Council are aware of the fact that there is a Congress coalition Government in the North-West Frontier Province and also that there are some Muslims in the Congress organization in other Provinces. But the Council is of the opinion that these Muslims in the Congress do not and cannot represent the Mussalmans of India, for the simple reason that their number is very insignificant and that as members of the Congress they have disabled themselves from representing or speaking on behalf of the Muslim community. Were it not so, the whole claim of the Congress alleged in your letter regarding its national character would fall to the ground.

As regards 'the other Muslim organizations' to which reference has been made in your letter, but whom you have not even named, the Council considers that it would have been more proper if no reference had been made to them. If they collectively or individually had been in a position to speak on behalf of the Mussalmans of India, the negotiations with the Muslim League for a settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question would not have been initiated by the Presidents of the Congress and Mr. Gandhi. However, so far as the Muslim League is concerned it is not aware that any Muslim political organization has ever made a claim that it can speak or negotiate on behalf of the Muslims of India. It is, therefore, very much to be regretted that you should have referred to 'other Muslim organizations' in this connexion.

The Council is equally anxious to bring about a settlement of 'the much vexed Hindu-Muslim question' and thus hasten the realization of the common goal, but it is painful to find that subtle arguments are being introduced to cloud the issue and retard the progress of the negotiations.

In view of the facts stated above the Council still hopes that the representative character of the Muslim League will not be questioned and that the Congress will proceed to appoint a committee on that basis. (Footnote 1 by Ed)

With reference to the second resolution the Council wishes to point out that it considered undesirable the inclusion of Mussalmans in the Committee that might be appointed by the Congress because it would meet to solve and settle the Hindu-Muslim question and so in the very nature of the issue involved they would not command the confidence of either Hindus or the Mussalmans and their position indeed would be most embarrassing. The Council, therefore, request you to consider the question in the light of the above observations.

With reference to the third resolution it was the memorandum of the Congress referred to in your letter dated the 15th of March 1938 in which mention of other Minorities was made and the Muslim League expressed its willingness to consult them, if and when it was necessary in consonance with its declared policy.


(Footnote 1 by Ed.) The Jinnah-Bose talks for a communal settlement ended in failure as the Congress refused to recognize the claim of the Muslim League that it was the one and only representative organization of Muslim interests and no other organization should be allowed to enter the picture and, by implication, admit that the Congress was a Hindu organization. This stand of Mr. Jinnah, consistently maintained by him throughout his negotiations with the Congress in the coming years, prevented all talks for a communal settlement from proceeding beyond the preliminary states. For instance, referring to his attempts to bring Mr. Jinnah and Gandhiji together Bose observed : 'In his statement Mr. Jinnah says that he showed his willingness to meet Mr. Gandhi, or any other Hindu leader to have a heart to heart conversation. He would have been more accurate if he had drawn attention to the following sentence in his own letter to me : "I have always been ready and willing to see Mr. Gandhi, or any other Hindu leader, on behalf of the Hindu community and do all I can to help the solution of the Hindu-Muslim problem." .. Mr. Gandhi as will appear from his letter was not in a position to agree in this condition. There the matter ended, and it was no use carrying the matter further with Mr. Jinnah.'[Ed.]
   (Also see Extra(8) for excerpts from speeches by Jinnah  in 1937 and Extra(1B) for speeches by Jinnah and his correspondence with J.Nehru in the period 1938-40)

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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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