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Iqbal to Jinnah - June 21, 1937





Private and Confidential,

Lahore

June 2lst, 1937

My dear Mr. Jinnah,

Allama Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Thank you so much for your letter which I received yesterday. I know yan are a busy man; but I do hope you won't mind my writing to you so often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to Whom the community has a right to look up for safe guidance through the storm which is coming to North-West India, and perhaps to the Whole of India. I tell you that we are actually living in a state of civil war which, but for the police and military, would, become universal in no time. During the last few months there has been a series of Hindu-Muslim riots In India. In North-West India alone there have been at least three riots during the last three months and at least four cases of vilification of the Prophet by Hindus and Sikhs. In each of the four cases the vilifier has been murdered. There have also been cases of burning of the Quran in Sind. I have carefully studied the whole situation and believe that the real cause of these event is neither religious nor economic. It is purely political, i.e., the desire of the Sikhs and Hindus to intermediate Muslims even in the Muslim majority provinces. And the new constitution is such that even in the Muslim majority provinces, the Muslims are made entirely dependent on non-Muslims. The result is that the Muslim Ministry can take no proper action and are even driven to do injustice to Muslims partly to please those on whom they depend and partly to show that they are absolutely impartial. Thus it is clear that we have our specific reasons to reject this constitution. It seems to me that the new constitution is devised only to placate the Hindus. In the Hindu majority provinces, the Hindus have of course absolute majorities, and can ignore Muslims, altogether. In Muslim majority provinces, the Muslims are made entirely dependent on Hindus. I have no doubt in my mind that this constitution is calculated to do infinite harm to the Indian Muslims. Apart from this it is no solution of the economic problem which is so acute among Muslims. The only thing that the communal award grants to Muslims is the recognition of their political existence in India. But such a recognition granted to a people whom this constitution does not and cannot help in solving their problem of poverty can be of no value to them. The Congress President has denied the political existence of Muslims in no unmistakable terms. The other Hindu political body, i.e., the Mahasabha, whom I regard as the real representative of the masses of the Hindus, has declared more than once that a united Hindu-Muslim nation is impossible in India. In these circumstances it is obvious that the only way to a peaceful India is redistribution of the country on the lines of racial, religious and linguistic affinities. Many British statesmen also realise this, and the Hindu-Muslim riots which are rapidly coming in the wake of this constitution are sure further to open their eyes to the real situation in the country. I remember Lord Lothain told me before I left England that my scheme as the only possible solution of the troubles of India, but that it would take 25 years to come. Some Muslims in the Punjab are already suggesting the holding of a North-West Indian Muslim Conference, and the idea is rapidly spreading. I agree with you, however, that our community is not yet sufficiently organised and disciplined and perhaps the time for holding such a conference is not yet ripe. But I feel that it would be highly advisable for you to indicate in your address at least the line of action that the Muslims of North-West India would be finally driven to take.

To my mind the new constitution with its ides o a single Indian federation is completely hopeless. A separate federation of Muslim provinces reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nation entitled to Self-determination just as other nation as in India and outside India are?

Personally I think that the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal ought are present to ignore Muslim minority provinces. This is th best course to adopt in the interest of both Muslim majority and minority provinces It will therefore be better to hold the coming session of the League in the Punjab, and not in a Muslim minority province. The monhth of August is bad in, Lahore. I think you should seriously consider the advisability of holding the coming session at Lahore in the middle of October when the weather is quite good in Lahore. The interest in the All-India Muslim League is rapidly growing in the Punjab, and the holding of the coming session in Lahore is likely to give a fresh political awakening to the Punjab Muslims.

Yours sincerely,

(Sd.) Mohammad Iqbal

Bar-at-Law

 
 
   
   
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