Leadership

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: A Visionary Leader, Great Statesman and Founder of Pakistan (Part-IV)

Viceroy’s Dialogue with Jinnah for the Inclusion of Muslim League Representatives in the War Cabinet
With regard to the War Council or War Cabinet, the Viceroy offered Jinnah on August 14, 1940 two seats in the expanded Executive Council intended to consist of 11 members for which a panel of four Muslim League representatives was required to be nominated by Jinnah. The strength and composition of the War Advisory Council was intended to be 20, of which 5 were to be Muslim League representatives.1 At the same time, the Viceroy made it clear to Jinnah that “the theory of unity of national life” was essential. This condition was not acceptable to Jinnah and the Muslim League. The Working Committee of the AIML met in Bombay on August 31-September 2, 1940 and observed that the Viceroy’s theory was “historically inaccurate and self-contradictory”.2 Therefore, Jinnah conveyed to the Viceroy that the Muslim League was committed to “Pakistan Resolution” of 23rd March, 1940. The joining of the Muslim League representatives did not mean that they had sacrificed the Pakistan Scheme. This position was not acceptable to the Viceroy who wanted Jinnah to submit the names of Muslim League nominees and it was the Viceroy who was to select people according to his choice. The Viceroy did not agree to this. On the other hand, following Gandhi’s “guidance”, the Congress’ response was not positive to the August Offer. The Congress Working Committee, in its meeting held on August 18, 1940, noted the offer “with deep regret,” and expressed that “they cannot associate themselves in any way with these proposals.”3 Jinnah addressed the public meeting in Bombay on December 8, 1940 in which he declared: “If the Congress wants to achieve independence there is no other way of doing it except by the two communities agreeing to live as separate entities. Pakistan is the only way to India’s freedom.”4 Expressing in this connection at a meeting in Karachi on December 15, 1940, Jinnah declared: “The failure of the Viceroy’s and Mr. Amery’s efforts is due to the weak, vacillating and indecisive policy of the British Government.”5 In this scenario, speaking at the annual meeting of the Muslim Educational Service League in Bombay on January 10, 1941, Jinnah urged upon the British to grant the Muslims their homeland as it was their united demand.6 This was said by Jinnah because Gandhi and Nehru were not ready to have any talk with Jinnah or any other Muslim League leader during 1940-1941. While the settlement with Jinnah could not be made, the Viceroy started nominating the War Cabinet members out of his own choice, to which Jinnah objected. While all these parleys were going on, the Japanese advanced towards India from the Eastern side by which the British Government felt further pressed to deal with the Indian leaders.
Jinnah’s Stance on the Cripps Proposals 1942 
On March 11, 1942, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared before the British Parliament (House of Commons) that “the crisis in the affairs of India arising out of the Japanese advance has made us wish to rally all the forces of Indian life”.7 A Draft Declaration was prepared by the British Cabinet by which “immediately following the war “an elected body” shall be constituted for the purpose of “framing a new constitution for India”.8 Sir Stafford Cripps, Leader of the House of Commons, “friend” of the Prime Minister as well as of the Congress leaders was deputed to carry the draft declaration to India, discuss with Indian leaders and report back to the British War Cabinet as well as the Parliament. Cripps arrived at Karachi by air on March 22 and reached New Delhi on March 23, 1942 — the day celebrated by All India Muslim League as the Pakistan Day — there he came directly into contact with the Indian leaders by personally meeting with them or writing them letters. On March 30, 1942 the draft declaration was published in the newspapers. Though he gave undue importance to the Congress leaders, yet he could not ignore the Quaid as leader of the Muslim League. On March 25, 1942 he had a meeting with Jinnah in which five clauses of the draft declaration were discussed. Jinnah suggested some changes in the last clause which were accepted with slight modifications. This was conveyed to Jinnah on March 26, 1942. Text of the draft declaration finalized as a result of discussions with Jinnah and other Indian leaders was published in the Indian newspapers on March 30, 1942.
Stafford Cripps remained in British India during March 22-April 12, 1942. Apart from active dialogues with Cripps, Jinnah kept up building political pressure on the Government by taking a number of political steps. On 23rd March 1942 Pakistan Day was celebrated in a befitting manner, a public meeting in New Delhi was held under the auspices of AIML, which Jinnah termed as “the only representative body for the ten crores of Muslims”. He was bold enough to declare:

Sir Stafford Cripps is now here as representative of the British Government. We must wait and reserve our judgement on the proposals which he has brought with him.
We are prepared to face all the consequences if any scheme or solution, which is detrimental to the interests of the Muslims, is enforced and we, by all our might and resources at our disposal, shall oppose that. We shall resist any intrigue resorted to by Hindu leadership or British leadership until we are all dead.9


In his Urdu address to the open session of AIML at “Jinnah Chaman”, Allahabad on April 3, 1942, the Quaid said that the Working Committee of AIML is considering the Cripps proposals:

What the Committee will decide no one knows but one thing I want to announce in clear words. Rest assured that our aim is Pakistan and whatever the proposals might be. If they are such that we cannot achieve Pakistan we will never accept them. There may be shortcomings in the Proposals — and there are many — but our firm determination and our only goal is one — Pakistan — Pakistan — Pakistan.10


The Quaid also added with determination:

Now it is not a question of their giving it (Pakistan) but we will take it. This voice was being raised throughout India and in every language. In Bengal, in Bombay, in Madras whether it is a Tamil Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu or Pashto there is only one cry from every corner of India — ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. This is our decision and there can be no change in it.11
 
 

The ‘veiled’ recognition of Pakistan by the Cripps offer could not satisfy Jinnah who was vigorous for the demand for Pakistan. However, as part of his strategy, Jinnah wanted to continue dialogue with Cripps in the hope of convincing him for the cause of Pakistan. 
Cripps’ three-week stay in British India was most crucial for Jinnah who read a number of newspaper reports that British government was coming to terms with the Congress by which Jawaharlal Nehru would become Defence Minister in charge of the whole of defence of India. Even the Commander-in-Chief of British India, it was reported, would be placed under Nehru’s control. The reports were certainly alarming for Jinnah’s demand for Pakistan, because if this had happened, it would have sealed the fate of Pakistan. By rejecting the Congress demand to transfer defence to Congress Defence Minister, the British did not favour the Pakistan demand. As a matter of fact, the British Government had its own agenda and policies by which they were not ready to put Indian forces under the Indian Defence Minister because it would have affected their overall world war activities. Jinnah closely watched all these stages of dialogues between Cripps and the Congress leaders. When difference of opinion emerged between these ‘friends’, it was easy for Jinnah to relax. Otherwise, Jinnah was preparing the nation for acting on either side of the settlement. Even if a settlement between Congress and British Government had been reached, Jinnah would have called upon the Muslim nation to revolt against the Government. In this, the Muslim component of the British Indian Army, which was equal to those of the Hindus, would have deserted and sided with their Muslim Indian nation. This position was fully realized by the British War Cabinet. Therefore, they preferred to reject Congress’ demand to transfer defence to Indian minister. In this whole process, certainly the Quaid succeeded in further popularizing the Pakistan demand and preparing Muslim India for self-defense in the name of ‘Civil Defense’.
Congress’ Civil Disobedience Movement/Quit India Movement and Jinnah’s Response, 1942-1944
The Cripps Mission failed to get support from the Congress in war efforts and on April 12, 1942 left British India for England. On Gandhi’s guidance, the Congress Working Committee in its resolution of July 14, 1942, demanded that the British should leave India and hand over power to Congress representatives so that the Indian armed forces could be stationed in different parts of the world during the World War only with the approval of the Congress. Otherwise, the Resolution threatened, the Congress would start a non-violent movement “under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi” to achieve its goal of Indian freedom. Under this statement it was a clear message for All India Muslim League led by Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah that Congress does not give any kind of weightage to the Muslims as a separate entity or their concept of Pakistan. Quaid-i-Azam and other leaders of the Muslim League equally well understood this behavior of the Congress leaders and were not going to surrender before Congress.
Opposing this demand of the Congress, Quaid-i-Azam issued a press statement to the foreign press on July 31, 1942 by which he said: “The latest decision of the Congress Working Committee on July 14, 1942, resolving to launch a mass movement if the British do not withdraw immediately from India is the culminating point in the policy and programme of Mr. Gandhi and his Hindu Congress of blackmailing the British and coercing them to concede a system of Government and transfer power to that Government which would establish Hindu Raj immediately under the aegis of the British bayonet thereby throwing the Muslims and other minorities and interests at the mercy of the Congress Raj”.12 This statement of the Quaid upset the entire Hindu Congress leadership particularly C. Rajagopalachari, who was very close to Jinnah. Consoling Rajagopalachari, Gandhi wrote to him that this statement of Jinnah “should not upset” him. When the British did not accept the Congress demand, the Congress launched its civil disobedience movement in August 1942 by passing “Quit India” Resolution. The British Government acted swiftly and arrested Gandhi and other top leaders of the Congress and sent them to jail. Gandhi was arrested and shifted to Aga Khan Palace in Poona. Responding to these arrests of the Congress leaders, Jinnah issued a press statement on the evening of August 8, 1942 in which he said: “I deeply regret that the Congress has finally declared war and has launched a most dangerous mass movement in spite of numerous warnings and advice from various individuals, parties and organizations in this country”.13 L. S. Amery, Secretary of State for India, termed the Congress mass civil disobedience “a deliberate campaign to sabotage” the British “war effort”.14 In his statement of August 15, 1942, Rajagopalachari appealed to Jinnah for help at a time when the entire Congress leadership was in trouble. Jinnah called a meeting of the AIML Working Committee on August 16, 1942 at his Bombay residence and discussed the matter for two and a half hours, after which, Jinnah in a special interview said: “The Muslim League would join a provisional war-time Government if it had equal voice with Hindus and assurance of Pakistan after the war. It would also consider any suggestion for a solution from any authoritative source”.15
The British Government wanted to get support of Jinnah and his All-India Muslim League which had emerged as the most popular party after the Congress. On this basis Jinnah agreed to allow the provincial Muslim League leaders in the Muslim majority provinces to form their own ministries, if they were asked to do by the British Government. In this scenario the ministries in the provinces of Sindh, NWFP, Bengal and Assam were formed by the Muslim League leaders which did help promote the cause of Pakistan Movement during the war years.
Gandhi-Jinnah Talks, 1944
When the whole of Congress leadership including Gandhi and Nehru were in jail, Gandhi realized that the Pakistan Movement was advancing with much pace. He thought to have dialogue with Jinnah, which Gandhi himself had refused in 1942. Gandhi wrote a letter to Jinnah in 1943 from his confinement in jail, but it was delivered to Jinnah while the latter was in Kashmir. As a settlement, Gandhi became ready to meet Jinnah in September 1944 at Jinnah’s residence in Bombay. The British Government’s stance was that both the leaders should settle their difference regarding grant of freedom to India amongst themselves.  A number of meetings between the two leaders took place at Jinnah’s Bombay residence. They were also followed by lengthy correspondence requiring explanations of certain points of settlement. But by the end of September 1944 these talks failed to bring any settlement though Gandhi offered to settle the issue of Pakistan after the departure of the British, a ploy which Jinnah was not ready to believe.
Finally, having failed to satisfy Jinnah on the above points, in his letter of September 24, 1944, Gandhi tried to persuade Jinnah to accept the principle of not two nations, but of  two brothers, a principle to be worked out by a Congress-Muslim League Commission after the departure of the British when “India will be free from foreign domination”. Jinnah was not ready to accept such a ploy and in his letter of September 25 said: “As a result of your correspondence and discussions, I find that the question of the division of India as Pakistan and Hindustan is only on your lips and does not come from your heart. And now, suddenly, at the eleventh hour you put forward a new suggestion, consisting of two sentences, in your statements, ‘I have therefore suggested a way out. Let it be partition between two brothers, if a division there must be’. I naturally asked you what this new suggestion meant, and wanted you to give me rough outlines of this new idea in terms of as to how and when the division is to take place and in what way it is to be different from the division envisaged in the Lahore resolution, and now you have been good enough to give me your amplification, in your letter of September 24, it is clear that your terms are in vital conflict with the Lahore resolution.”16
After the failure of Jinnah-Gandhi talks it was agreed that both leaders would part as “friends” and not as “enemies”. But Gandhi was soon to divulge his real opposition to the Lahore Resolution when in his press conference on September 30, 1944 he made it clear that the type of partition proposed by the Lahore Resolution was an “unnatural division” which he was not ready to accept.  Jinnah termed such aspersions on the part of Gandhi against the very spirit of press communiqué issued towards the end of talks jointly by both the leaders.
Lord Wavell, the Viceroy, was depressed in the sense that the political atmosphere of the country had become very tense after the breakdown of the Gandhi-Jinnah talks. Reporting the matter to Amery, Secretary of State for India on October 2, the Viceroy wrote

Breakdown reveals complete absence of common ground between Gandhi and Jinnah even on broadest general principles. Gandhi wants transfer of full power to some nebulous national official [?interim] government and later settlement of Hindu-Moslem differences. His belief in unity of India is sincere but he is also profoundly Hindu, and if his interim government materialized he would hope for Hindu domination subject to some degree of self-determination for Moslem provinces. Jinnah is determined to get division of India into Pakistan and Hindustan cut and dried before the British leave.17


To this assessment of the Viceroy, the Secretary of State wrote back in the following words:

 

The breakdown of the Jinnah-Gandhi conversations does not give much encouragement to any hope of an early solution of the communal difficulty. It strikes me that on the issue of the definition of Pakistan both sides ask too much, even from their own point of view. If there are really to be two separate Nations with no relationship to each other than the ordinary international one, which is Jinnah’s demand, then clearly Gandhi was entitled to ask for such a definition of the boundaries of these nations as would not include large numbers of unwilling subjects in Pakistan. On the other hand, if there is still to be something in the nature of a common Indian system of government, however limited, then it would not be unreasonable to concede Jinnah’s claim that the existing Provinces should form the basis.  All this, of course, makes it more difficult to foresee any useful outcome of any Indian gathering that you might advise calling together in the near future.18

 


Amery was so disappointed that he further wrote to Wavell on October 19 that the failure of Gandhi-Jinnah discussions has “killed all interest in this country”. This was multiplied by Beverley Nichols’ book, Verdict on India, in which Jinnah’s case of Pakistan was successfully pleaded as it considerably influenced the British public opinion and official circles in the United Kingdom. Despite these opinions at the top level of British hierarchy, M. G. Hallett, Governor of the United Provinces, in his report of  October 3, 1944, reported: “The Gandhi-Jinnah talks have made the position clearer; they have shown that neither of these leaders have abandoned any of their former ideas; Jinnah emphasizes the two-nation theory and Pakistan more strongly than before, and clearly wants this question finally decided before the British leave; Gandhi, though he camouflages his position as usual, aims at a Hindu Raj and adheres to the view that independence must come before a settlement”.19 He proposed the conference of the leaders to settle this issue under the auspices of the Viceroy.
Simla Conference, June-July 1945
The British Government started thinking on the issue of calling the conference of the Indian leaders from June 3, 1945. As planned by the British Government, the Simla Conference of Indian leaders started on June 25, 1945 at the Viceregal Lodge attended by twenty-two leaders. Political leaders, belonging to different parties, who participated in this conference were: M. A. Jinnah, M. K. Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. P. N. Banerjee, Bhulabhai Desai, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Hussain Imam, Dr. Khan Sahib, B. G. Kher, Khizar Hyat Khan Tiwana, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, G. S. Motilal, Khawaja  Nazimuddin, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, Maharaja of Parlakimedi, C. Rajagopalachari, Sir Henry Richardson, Sir Saiyid Muhammad Saadullah, Shiva Raj, Pandit R. S. Shukla, Sri Krishna Sinha, and Master Tara Singh.  While Gandhi remained in the Manor Villa in Simla where he was staying, all the others attended and participated in the conference. Lord Wavell presided over the proceedings, and Sir Ivon Jenkins, PS to Viceroy, and Rao Bahadur V. P. Menon acted as the Secretaries of the conference.
There were four items of the agenda [popularly known as Wavell Plan] for discussion and settlement by the leaders in this conference: 1) Strength  of the Executive Council of the Viceroy; 2)  Composition of personnel of Viceroy’s Executive Council; 3) Restoration of ministries in the provinces under Section 93 of the Government of India Act 1935, and 4) Timing of federal elections – central and provincial.
On the evening of June 27, Jinnah met the Viceroy and made clear to him that he was not prepared to agree to admission of Muslims to the Executive Council who were not members of the Muslim League. There was no meeting of the conference on June 28 and the conference met on June 29 at 11:00 a.m. in which soon it became clear that Congress and the Muslim League delegates had “failed to agree”. The Viceroy asked Jinnah and Azad to send him lists of the nominees of their respective parties ranging between 8-12 from each party. Opposing this idea, Jinnah said that he could not approach AIML’s Working Committee in this connection unless the whole scheme of the composition of the Executive Council was not clear to him. The Viceroy said he would later finalize the proposal and promised to send Jinnah a written statement of the procedure in this connection. Then, the conference postponed to July 14, 1945.
When the leaders met again on July 14, the failure of the conference was already publicized because of refusal of Muslim League not to surrender its right of being the sole representative body of the Muslims of the subcontinent. According to official minutes of the Simla Conference on July 14, the Viceroy, who presided over the conference, “hoped that the conference would accept that he had done his best for the success of the conference”. It was also reported: “The Congress stood for a united India whereas the Muslim League stood for Pakistan and these two were entirely incompatible”. Thus, the conference ended with the thanks of the Viceroy for all the delegates who attended this conference. On this, the Viceroy was very much disappointed to the extent that there was a rumour in the press that Lord Wavell was “contemplating resignation”.
In a meeting of the Muslim League Working Committee held in Simla on July 15, 1945, it was demanded that fresh general elections both at the Centre and in the Provinces should be held at the earliest possible. On July 16, Jinnah explained his sentiments as well as his programme for the future: “I am leaving Simla within a few days and I do not wish to announce the exact date of my departure. I have already received telegrams and telephonic requests from the people on the way wishing to give me receptions. I am very grateful to them, but my health does not permit me to go through this ordeal, especially I have gone through very strenuous work during the last three weeks, which has been a very great strain on me. In these circumstances, while I am very thankful for the support, encouragement, regard, and affection in which Mussalmans hold me, request them not to arrange receptions and demonstrations, en route. I take this opportunity of thanking the thousands who have sent me their telegrams and letters of encouragement and support. I advise them to concentrate all their might and main in organising our people and getting ready to face the elections which are bound to come sooner than many people think. Every province and every district must be thoroughly and systematically organized and the results of the elections would be the acid test and verdict given at the polling booths will be the main criterion by which the solidarity and unity of the Mussalmans will be judged both in India and abroad all over the world.”20
Further analysing the Simla Conference in his speech in Bombay on August 6, 1945, Jinnah said: “The first question is why did Mr. Gandhi, as one of the leaders of the recognised parties go to Simla? Having gone there, why did he not attend the Conference?  The reason is simple. It was to play the role of a wire-puller.  He was not merely content with being an adviser to the Congress and its Working Committee but he constituted himself as an adviser to the Viceroy and through him, the British nation. Mornings and evenings, the Working Committee meetings took place and he was the guiding spirit behind. When it suits Mr. Gandhi, he represents nobody, he can talk only in his individual capacity, he is not even a four-anna member of the Congress; he undertakes a fast to decide the political issue; he reduces himself to zero and consults his inner voice. Yet, when it suits him again, he is the supreme dictator of the Congress.  He thinks he represents the whole of India. Gandhi is an enigma. How can we come to a settlement with him?”21
Wavell reported to Pethick-Lawrence in October 1945 that “violent tone of the Congress politicians” against the idea of Pakistan and the Muslim League has been noted.22 It was also noted that the attitude of the Muslim League was also of the same kind.23 Tense tone of the speeches was particularly in Punjab and NWFP. In Punjab the Muslim League leaders were giving the impression that the whole of the Punjab would also be included in Pakistan, a viewpoint much disliked by the Sikh leaders.24 About Jinnah, it was specifically reported: “Jinnah claims, as you know, that the decision of a Muslim majority province to secede from the rest of India should be taken on a Muslim vote only, and I think that we can make it clear that this is unacceptable without appearing to modify the Draft Declaration of 1942”.25 Master Tara Singh was particularly perturbed by the claims of Muslim League leaders. He wrote to Attlee, the British Prime Minister, on October 23, 1945: “The cry of Pakistan is being raised more and more loudly by Muslim Leaguers who openly assert that, in accordance with the Cripps Offer, the whole of the Punjab as constituted today will be liable to separation from the Indian Union if there is a bare majority in favour of such separation”.26 This was an alarming situation for him for which he asked the British Government to do something by “elucidating the Cripps Offer”. If Sikhs’ fears were not cleared, he informed Attlee, “widespread bloodshed” would follow.  
Wavell reported to Pethick-Lawrence in early November 1945 that “communal bitterness is increasing” and advised the Secretary of State that the Cabinet may be informed of the “dangers ahead” so that it is well prepared to take steps in the light of election results. The Viceroy again informed the Secretary of State that Congress leaders are very “nervous” on the issue of Pakistan and Jinnah. In their nervousness “the speeches of the Congress leaders do not make very pleasant reading and that if the temperature continues to rise it may get higher than they themselves desire and they may feel bound to make an attempt to force our hand by another mass movement which may even be less non-violent that when Gandhi was in full control”. The Congress leaders desired the Government to bypass the Muslim League and form the new Executive Council before the elections which should be dominated by the Congressmen.  Jenkins advised the Government not to do so because if the Muslim League was “bypassed”, it “might refuse to take part in the long-term discussion at all”.27 Therefore, Jenkins advised the Viceroy to consider formation of the new Executive Council after the elections.
Jinnah’s activities were also continuously reported by the Viceroy to the Secretary of State for India. In a report on November 13, he wrote: “Jinnah came out on 8th November with a definition of Pakistan which adds nothing to what we already knew of his ideas. Pakistan is to consist of the Muslim majority Provinces as they stand, and the problem of the non-Muslim minorities is dealt with very superficially. Jinnah’s definition does not seem to have been taken very seriously by the Congress, though in a speech in Bombay Nehru condemned it”.28
Elections of 1945-1946
In this scenario there was no choice for the Government except going for elections. The elections for the Central Assembly were held in November-December 1945 and for the provincial assemblies during January-March 1946.
Central Legislative Assembly Elections
According to the programme of Central Legislative Assembly elections, the candidates were to file their nominations, though dates differed in various provinces, between October 25-November 10, 1945 and the polling was to be held during November 23-December 5, 1945, depending upon convenience of each province.
There were 142 seats of the Central Legislative Assembly. Of these 102 seats were to be filled by election and 40 by nomination. Of the 102 elective seats 48 were allotted to the non-Muhammadans and 30 to Muhammadans. The remaining seats were distributed amongst Sikhs, European and special interests, according to the results announced on December 5, 1945. 
This election was a great challenge for the Muslim League. From the start of election campaign, the Indian National Congress was showing their stiff opposition to the Muslim League and Pakistan. Addressing the first election meeting of the Congress at Lucknow on October 5, 1945, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant and Purushottam Das Tandon, “fired their first shots of the election campaign” when they addressed a public meeting at Amiruddaula Fort. Pandit Nehru believed that the Muslim League did not represent the whole of Muslim opinion in India as there were other Muslim organizations different from the League. He was sure that in the coming elections the Muslim League would be miserably defeated and its “Cry of Pakistan” would prove only “an imaginary slogan”.29 In his speech Pandit Pant said that in the coming elections the Congress would win with overwhelming majority and it would result in the defeat of Muslim League because “the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Hind — the premier religious institution of the Muslims – was with the Congress”. Babu Tandon also was confident of the Congress’ victory. Therefore, he pleaded that there was no need for pleading settlement with the League. All these expressions were termed by the Dawn, in its editorial as “hysterics”.
Despite all these challenges, the Muslim League won all the 30 Muslim seats reserved for the Muslims in the Central Assembly. Thus, the Muslim League secured hundred percent victory in these elections. After the declaration of results, Jinnah in a statement, called upon the new Labour Government in London to know more about the ground realities in British India because “establishment of Pakistan” was the core issue of the freedom of India. But, instead of solving the problem of Pakistan, certain parliamentarians in the British Parliament suggested to the British Government as to how to tackle the victory of Muslim League in the coming provincial legislative elections. 
In a statement, Jinnah termed the Muslim League victory in the Central Assembly elections signaled a great warning in the annals of British circles. This matter was even discussed in the British Parliament. In the debate held in the House of Commons on December 6, 1945 great concerns were voiced in this regard. Major Wyatt, British M. P., speaking in the House of Commons on December 6, 1945 expressed his deep concern. According to him, “It is in the Punjab that the issue of whether or not the Muslim League can press their claim to Pakistan is to be decided. If the Muslim League can obtain the greater majority of the Muslim seats, they have got a clear case to go forward in India for saying, ‘we have the support of the majority of Muslims. If they do not it will be another matter. Their case for Pakistan will not be so strong’.”30 He called upon the Government of India to be very careful in holding elections in the Punjab. The officials were required to be instructed in this matter. After Muslim League’s overwhelming victory in the Central Assembly elections, the Muslim League President M. A. Jinnah was even more forceful in pressing the demand for Pakistan. In his interview to the special correspondent of the Associated Press of India on December 10, 1945 Jinnah said: “We could settle the Indian problem in ten minutes if Mr. Gandhi would say: ‘I agree that there should be Pakistan. I agree that one-fourth of India, composed of six provinces, Sindh, Balochistan, the Punjab, NWFP, Bengal and Assam, with their present boundaries, should constitute Pakistan State. After that it would be a simple matter to sit down as friends and work out the details of a friendly and neighbourly life between the two great nations of the subcontinent… The deadlock in this country is not so much between India and the British. It is between the Hindu Congress and the Muslim League. I think more and more Congress members are beginning to realize that this is the crux of the matter and that, furthermore, nothing can or will be solved, until Pakistan is granted.”31 He also expressed that “Lord Wavell knows that the Congress and the Muslim League are the two main political organisations which represent the overwhelming majority of the Hindus and the Musalmans, respectively, in this subcontinent.”32 Speaking at the reception given by the Memon Merchants Associations in Bombay on December 27, 1945 Jinnah said that the Muslims were struggling for the freedom of both the communities and if they could not forge a united front, the Muslims would march alone and establish Pakistan.33 In order to celebrate the overwhelming victory of the Muslim League, Jinnah declared that January 11, 1946 should be celebrated as “our glorious victory in the first round”.34 This victory of the Muslim League was termed by Jinnah as the victory for Pakistan cause.
Celebration of January 11, 1946 as Victory Day
Addressing the Victory Day in Delhi on January 11, 1946 to a gathering of about 50,000 people Jinnah said, “Muslims were a powerful well organized and determined nation and were prepared even to shed their blood for Pakistan”.35 Then Jinnah directed his campaign to various provinces so that Muslim League candidates could win with overwhelming majority and the case of Pakistan is better explained to the voters. 

 


The writer is Ex-Director, National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, and Professor at Quaid-i-Azam Chair (NIPS), Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad.
E-mail: [email protected]


1.     Linlithgow to Jinnah, 14 August 1940, in Linlithgow Papers, Eur. Mss. F. 125/122, British Library (OIOC), London.
2.     H. N. Mitra, Indian Annual Register 1940, Vol. II, New Delhi, Gian Publishing House, 1990, p. 243.
3.     Indian Annual Register 1940, Vol. II, p. 201.
4.     Ibid., p. 51.
5.     Ibid., p. 52.
6.     Indian Annual Register 1941, Vol. I, p. 28.
7.   “India (Lord Privy Seal’s Mission): Statement and Draft Declaration by His Majesty’s Government with Correspondence and Resolutions Connected Therewith, London: April 1942”, British Library (OIOC), London L/PJ/10/2, and Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), p.197.
8.   “Draft Declaration for Discussion with Indian Leaders” in India (Lord Privy Seal’s Mission), London, 1942, British Library (OIOC), London, L/PJ/10/2.
9.     Star of India, 24 March 1942.
10.   Ibid., 4 April 1942.
11.   Ibid.
12.   Ibid., p. 368.
13.   Indian Annual Register 1942, Vol. II, p. 17.
14.   Ibid., pp. 19-20.
15.   Ibid., p. 20.
16.   Ibid., pp. 147-149.
17.  Wavell to Amery [telegram], 2 October 1944 in Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon, Constitutional Relations between Britain and India: The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. V, London, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1974, pp-62-63.
18.  Amery to Wavell, 3 October 1944, in ibid., p.81.
19.  Note by His Excellency the Governor of the United Provinces on the Present Political Situation, 3 October 1944, in Zetland Papers, Eur. Mss. British Library (OIOC), London.
20.  Times of India, 17 July 1945.
21.  Indian Annual Register July-December 1945, Vol. V, p. 158.
22.  Wavell to Pethick-Lawrence, 29 October 1945, in ibid., p. 420.
23.  Ibid.
24.  Ibid., pp. 421-422.
25.  Ibid., p. 422.
26.  Tara Singh to Attlee, Amritsar, 23 October 1945, in ibid., p. 424.
27.  Jenkins to Wavell, 10 November 1945, in ibid., pp. 469-471.
28.  Wavell to Pethick-Lawrence, 13 November 1945, in ibid., pp. 476-477.
29.  Ibid.
30.  Ibid. See Parliamentary Debates, (House of Commons), 6 December 1945.
31.  Times of India, 11 December 1945.
32.  Times of India, 12 December 1945.
33.  Times of India, 28 December 1945.
34.  Times of India, 31 December 1945.
35.  Times of India, 12 January 1946.
 

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