Quaid-i-Azam as an Ambassador of Unity: 1913-1916

Riaz Ahmed

Immediately after his return from England, Jinnah presided over the Anjuman-i-Islam meeting on the evening of Saturday, 20th December 1913. This was a “Public meeting of the Mahomendans of Bombay” to welcome Mr. Nazir Hasan and Mr. (late Maulana) Mahomed Ali on their return from England, this being the first public meeting presided over by him.

Earlier, Jinnah had been addressing the meetings as representative of the Mahomedans of Bombay, or in his individual capacity as a nationalist like other leaders of the time. In December 1910 he had even read an address on behalf of Bombay Muslims to congratulate Sir Currimbhoy Ibrahim on the conferment of baronetsy on him.

Though Jinnah had been pleading for the rights of Hindus and Muslims and for the projection of popular will of the Indian masses, still he could not make a comprehensive statement as he did in his address in December 1913. This was most probably because he had now almost succeeded in making the Indian National Congress (INC) and the All-India Muslim League (AIML) accept a common goal, and had also become member of both these organizations. All these factors were compelling him to take the initiative which he did from the platform of the association of the Muslims (Anjuman-i-Islam) with which he had been actively associated since 1897. A “Statement” issued on this day was a sort of manifesto of the man who was perceptibly giving a new direction to history.
Giving a clarion call to the Government, he said that “a stage” in the national politics had been reached when the Government was bound “to consult the people and to take them into their confidence before they adopted a particular measure or policy.

The Government was, however, requested by him to do this “on the lines of partnership between the England and Indians” on the basis of “intelligent agreement” between the two. For this reason he desired that the Government should give due-respect to and “consider the opinion of the people and tolerate their criticism.” The criticism of the people should not be termed as “sedition” or “disloyalty.” The Government approach must be based on “truth and reason.”

Under his leadership, the Muslims had become united. There was “no such thing” as “split” amongst them. “There is” he added, “no such thing as two parties of the young and the old.” Clarifying it further he said:

            I know that some people would like very much to see that there were such a thing as “Split” but let us hope that providence will disappoint them. I make bold to say that the Mussalman community was never more united or at one on all the fundamental questions of policy and principles than it is today. Difference of details there are and will be as you find all over the world amongst the most highly organized nations. Besides, it will be a very unique community indeed consisting of 70 millions of people if there were no such difference.

            These words about Muslim community reveal the existence of many things in the Quaid’s mind; most important of all was the dominating desire to unite the Muslims of the sub-continent on one platform so that he could accomplish their goal. As we see later in 1940s, it was after uniting the Muslims of the sub-continent belonging to different sects and regions that he was able to make them a force to be reckoned with. This Muslim unity under his unique leadership later became the basis for the creation of Pakistan.

            As to future policy of the INC and the AIML, Jinnah called upon the two “most representative organizations in the country” to consider jointly the issues of common concern like that of the Press Act.

But in their deliberations he advised that “moderation and sobriety “should be the guiding principles for “our public utterances.” It is sobriety that lends dignity and strength to a good cause; too strong a language and rashness spoils a really good cause.” He reminded “every right-minded citizen” of his “duty to criticise the Government if he was reasonably convinced that his stand was correct. Emphasizing more on the present and the future rather than the past, Jinnah said that “salvation of India lies in the true union of the people and her onward march of progress depends upon the constitutional and constructive methods.” This was the spirit that motivated him to create a “harmonious union” between the Muslims and the Hindus for the “common good of the country. “This is the problem,” he argued, “of all problems that India wants a statesman to solve and when that is solved, true advance or real progress can be achieved.”

            Jinnah advanced these views as a foremost representative of the progressive Moderate group.

He wanted to unite not only the Muslims and the Hindus, but also other sections of the Indian population. The basis of his national unity was equality without consideration of majority or minority. This was with the aim to create a united front against the Government. By creating a genuine opposition for healthy criticism of the Government he wanted to prepare his people for self-government, the ideal of both the INC and the AIML.

His goal was self-government suitable to India wherein the Muslim position could particularly be better adjusted without hampering the cause of other communities. Jinnah’s stand was accepted by both the parties. After acceptance of his common goal by the INC and AIML he struggled hard to achieve a constitutional agreement between the Muslims and the Hindus which he finally accomplished in December 1916 in the shape of Lucknow Pact. But it was not an easy task as he had to pass through many ordeals in his personal, legal and public life.

            The way Jinnah piloted his India Council Reform Resolution through the INC and AIML in December 1913 did suggest to him the idea of a farsighted “statesman.” May be he himself was trying to attain that distinction.

He was struggling to take concrete steps both for unity and for reforming the system of Government of India. After this, he went to England as a spokesman of the delegation.

Though his mission failed to achieve the desired result, he could yet galvanize the forces on his return to India on the start of World War I in August 1914.

The biggest hinderance to his unity efforts was the non-holding of the All India Muslim League session during the war on the initiative of some “wire-pullers” and “Jouhukams” of the Government.

When he learnt about this, he daringly took an initiative for calling the next League session at Bombay.

This was opposed by Cassim Mihta, Rafiuddin and some others on the prompting of provincial Government.

Almost all through 1915 Jinnah faced this challenge and it was by his skilful handling of the situation that he not only made the AIML Council agree to his proposal but the Bombay Governor was also compelled to arrange a peaceful patch-up between Jinnah and his opponents, making the AIML session possible in Bombay in December 1915, where Congress was also meeting.

At these simultaneous sessions of the two organizations for the first time since their inception some more challenges cropped up for Jinnah. There were three famous suits in 1916 at Bombay and Poona courts. The first case related to the Britions, a newspaper issued from Bombay,

The second to sedition charges against Tilak,

Tthe third was of alleged charges of rigging against Jinnah for his election to the Imperial Legislative Council in June 1916.

Jinnah successfully defended the popular cause and was able to convince the Court of his viewpoint that Opposition had the right to exist in India as it existed in England.

These cases, as will be seen presently, revealed some scintillating aspects of Jinnah’s personality.

            His involvement in politics did not force him to give up his legal practice. He was equally engaged in his law activities because of his popularity at the Bombay courts as an expert in constitutional and criminal laws. He was one of the busiest men in India struggling hard to maintain his independence of views so that he could criticize every unreasonable act of Government. As such he was behaving himself as an opposition leader in India, but within the bounds of constitutionalism.

            Gandhi’s arrival in Bombay on 9th January 191525 was duly welcomed by Jinnah who wanted to enlist his services for the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity.26 It was because of his popularity that Jinnah was invited to preside over a garden party given by the Gurjar Sabha “an association of Gurjar (Gujar) community, arranged to ‘welcome’ Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi on 13th January.”27 In his presidential address, Jinnah “welcomed” Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi not only on behalf of Bombay but on behalf of “the whole of India.” Jinnah was in deed qualified to say so. He impressed upon Gandhi that the problem of all problems was “how to bring about unanimity and cooperation between the two communities so that the demands of India may be made absolutely unanimously”. Before this he desired:

“It was that frame of mind, that state, that condition which they had to bring about between the two communities, when most of their problems, he had no doubt, would be easily solved.” Jinnah even said: “Undoubtedly he (Gandhi)28 would not only become a worthy ornament but also a real worker whose equals there were very few,” a remark widely hailed by the audience, which was largely Hindu.29 Gandhi, however, was more circuitic in his remarks. He took the plea that he would “study all the Indian questions – from “his own point of view,” because Gokhale had advised him to study the situation for at least one year before his entry into politics. Throughout his speech Gandhi remained noncommittal. However, he thanked Jinnah for presiding over “a Hindu gathering.”30 Although Gandhi was hesitant, yet he could see no other way to rise into eminence except by following Gokhale, Jinnah and other moderate leaders. This was also because Tilak had come round to the moderate line of action in politics. Gandhi co-operated with all of them until he attained prominence in 1920. By this time, Gandhi was able to win approbation from the British Government through the good offices of Gokhale, who “exerted the full weight of his prestige and influence upon the Viceroy, Lord Harding (1858-1944), to bring the Government of India solidly behind Gandhi.”31 This was the time when the British Government were feeling very much concerned about Jinnah and they were trying hard to keep the AIML away from the INC.

            On this occasion, the influential leaders were endeavoring to bring about a “compromise between Tilak and Gokhale so that the two extremists, now called ‘Nationalists’, could be united with the Moderates. As no final agreement could be achieved between the two, both did not participate in the Congress meeting. Correspondence between them, however, continued.”32 Although, no documentary evidence was available to the present writer, certain matters did nevertheless suggest that Jinnah played a role for rapprochement between Gokhale and Tilak. The very fact that he did not attend the Madras Congress suggests his involvement in Bombay because of these engagements. The failing health of Gokhale was another reason which, perhaps, compelled Jinnah, in his own words, to engage himself in “many discussions with Mr. Gokhale” on the point of evolving a common constitutional formula around which all the political forces in India could be united.33 Both Gokhale and Jinnah took “notes at the time” so that in their public utterances they could use the “same expressions and same language” for the “agreed” and “common formula.”34 It was after his discussion with Jinnah, the Aga Khan and Pherozeshah Mehta that Gokhale evolved his scheme of constitutional reforms, historically known as Gokhale’s Political Testament” which was finalized in a penciled draft towards the close of latter’s death’ on 19th February 1915.35 Naturally, the aga Khan and Mehta had its copies. Its copies were also sent to Lord Willingdon, the Bombay Governor. Lord Harding, the Viceroy, and Lord Crewe, the Secretary of State for India.36 After Mehta’s death on 5th November 1915, there were only two public leaders with the exception of Srinivasa Sastri, President of Servants of India Society-an organization founded by Gokhale in 1905 – who possessed this document.37 It was not made public until August 1917 when the Aga Khan released this document to the press from London with the official permission.38

            The “Gokhale Scheme,” as Jinnah used the phrase,39 was a scheme of “provincial autonomy” in its “internal administration” by which the Governor of each province was to be appointed from England from amongst men of public service. The Governor who to have a cabinet of six members (three Indians plus three Europeans) with the portfolios of (1) Home (including Law and Justice); (2) Finance; (3) Agriculture, Irrigation and Public Works; (4) Education; (5) Local Self_Government (including Sanitation and Medical Relief); and (6) Industries and Commerce. These executive councilors were to be men of ability on the basis of merit. The local legislative  councils were to consist of members between 75 and 100 with “special representation to Mahomedans.” Only experts were to be nominated, while four-fifths of members were to be elected by different constituencies. The relations between the executive Government and the legislative councils were proposed to be “similar to those between the Imperial Government and the Reichstag in Germany”, thus executive made responsible to the legislature. The services were to be provincialzed. The Council of the Secretary of State was to be abolished. With the grant of provincial autonomy, the Viceroy and his Executive Council were to have “nominal control exercised on very rare occasions”. In place of many executive councilors of the Viceroy, the “Testament” suggested that only one councilor with portfolio of Interior should also look after the matters of Home, Agriculture, Education, and Industries and Commerce. The other executive councilors were to look after Finance, Law, Defence, Communications and Foreign Relations. The Central legislature was to consist of at least 100 members with powers of budget and financial control being independent of the Secretary of State whose Council was to be abolished.40

            Having achieved a sort of constitutional agreement amongst the leaders of a group, Jinnah endeavored to unite all the forces around this formula, a fact least known to the vast majority of leaders before August 1917. Against this background alone, Gokhale’s death meant a great loss for Jinnah who, on 5th March 1915, moved a resolution for the construction of a Gokhale memorial at a meeting presided over by the Bombay Governor, Lord Willingdon,41 and addressed by Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, Sir Bhalchandra Krishna, Claude Hill, Sir John Heaton, Sir Fazulbhoy Currimbhoy, H.A. Wadia, N.M. Gokuldas.42 M. A. Jinnah in his speech mentioned a number of factors that brought him and Gokhale together. He considered Gokhale’s death as an “irreparable” loss. He said that he considered it a matter of “pride” and “pleasure” to “listen” to Gokhale in the Imperial Legislative Council and as a colleague he “often” followed “his lead.”43 It was to keep his memory alive that he moved a resolution for raising a “suitable memorial or memorials to commemorate the life and great work of Mr. Gokhale” for which a Committee “to collect subscriptions and to take all necessary measures in that behalf” was also proposed.44 His proposal was supported by Dr. Stanley Reed and J.B. Petit. It was carried unanimously.45 Jinnah’s “deep sorrow and grief’ was also recorded at Gokhale’s death anniversary. Jinnah was one of the early contributors to the memorial fund and paid (five hundred rupees).46 These expressions of devotion to Gokhale further strengthened the feeling of unity not only amongst the “Nationalists” and the “Moderates” but also among the Hindus and the Muslims.47

            At the three-day session of the AIML, which began on 3th December 1915, Jinnah established his position well. The session was presided over by Mazhar-ul-Haq, a close associate of Jinnah both in congress and League. Being held under the most difficult circumstances, a skilful handling of the situation by Jinnah saved the session from a major mishap. Some disturbances did, however, occur, yet the session could proceed to its goal of appointing a Committee on a resolution by Jinnah which was carried unanimously. Representatives from all the provinces were included in this Committee of 71 Muslim Leaders. It was constituted “to formulate and frame a scheme of reforms” and “to confer with political and other organizations or committees” on condition that in the formulation of scheme of reforms it shall give due “regard” to the “needs and interests of the Musalmans of India.48 The first day of the session passed peacefully and it was with rapt attention that the presidential address was heard by the audience which included both the Muslims and Hindus. On the second day after four resolutions had been passed, which also included on of the Muslims Loyalty to the British Crown, Jinnah was asked to move his resolution of appointment of a committee to confer with other political parties and for the aforesaid purpose. But it was objected to by Maulana Hasrat Mohani (1878-1951) who desired, with the backing of disgruntled elements in the League, that the speaker should deliver his speech in Urdu and not in English. They even charged: “This is not a meeting of Mahomedans. This is Congress. They want to join the Congress. Why should they speak in English.”49 When the situation went out of control president asked Jinnah to handle the situation. Jinnah first asked the Police Commissioner, who was already standing just ouside the pandal with a large police force, to control the situation, but the Commissioner showed his inability to help Jinnah. Seeing that the Police Commissioner was bent upon clearing the whole pandal on this pretext, Jinnah conceded. Thus the pandal was cleared of all the participants by the police.50 When the adjourned session was held next day on 1st January 1916 at the Taj Mahal Hote, Jinnah explained the whole situation to the participating delegates on the President’s request.51 On this day also Jinnah dominated the League proceedings. After he had moved his resolution, Mohani moved his “verbal amendment” substituting words “a scheme of self-government and steps leading to self-government” for “a scheme of reforms.” The second amendment moved by Nazimuddin required the committee to frame a scheme of reforms “keeping in view the objects of the League.” When Jinnah, who as a constitution expert was more qualified to speak, asked these two gentlement “not to press” their amendments, they agreed to withdraw them. Mohani said jokingly that “he had only moved his (amendment) to assert his right of moving amendment.” The remark was widely hailed by the delegates.52 As Jinnah desired, the resolution was carried “unanimously.”53 He was able to exert his position in another resolution (Resolution VI) moved by Syed Alay Nabi for the extension of “the principle of communal representation” to “all self-governing public bodies.” It was objected to by Mohani followed by A.M. Khawaja’s motion for “deferring consideration of this question” because, as they argued, the resolution was against the spirit of the agreement reached between the two parties in the presence of Bombay Governor. The way Jinnah came in support of this resolution, which was against his “personal views”, shows that Hinnah wanted to go to the Congress Committee with all the demands of the Muslim community. This was necessary, as he himself revealed, because “liberty should be preserved to discuss the question.” These two amendments were also “withdrawn” on Jinnah’s insistence and the resolution was “carried by a majority” vote.54 At the end of session it also openly recognized that it was with the assistance of Jinnah that this session could meet. The President personally expressed “a deep debt of gratitude” to Jinnah and declared that it was with the “exertions” of Jinnah that “they could” meet in Bombay.55 Addressing direct to Jinnah, the President said: “Mr. Jinnah, we the Mussalmans of India thank you” – a remark acclaimed by “loud” and “continued” cheers by the audience.56 This was duly complemented by the BC editorial entitled “the Unity of the League.”57

            The three-day Congress session, starting on 27th December 1915, and presided over by S.P. Sinha, also carried its business in accordance with the planning of Jinnah. On a motion by Banerjea, a friend of Jinnah, seconded by Mrs. Annie Besant and supported by six other leaders a resolution authorized the All-India Congress Committee (AICC):

            “To frame a scheme of reforms and a programme of continuous work, educative propaganda, having regard to the principles embodied in this resolution and further authorizes the said Committee to confer with the Committee that may be appointed by the All-India Muslim League for the same purpose and to take further measure as may be necessary.”58

Sinha in his presidential address termed self-government “a government of the people, for the people and by the people,” a definition in which Jinnah equally believed. The President demanded a “frank and full statement of government policy” in respect of self-government. Though Jinnah did not participate in the deliberations of the Congress, still the fact that he welcomed Sinha at the railway station as the Vice-Chairman of the Congress Reception Committee with Wacha, a Parsi, as the Chairman, and also that he was a member of the Subjects Committee59, does suggest that almost all the resolutions passed by the Congress were in line with Jinnah’s views which desired to promote genuine feelings of co-operation between the Hindus and the Muslims and other communities. To promote such feelings “the Congress volunteers and the Muslims League volunteers arrived at a joint session and worked shoulder to shoulder. A joint dinner was arranged by some of the younger men.”60 The weeklong activities of the League and the Congress were rightly termed as a “National Week.”61 Thus a stage was set for a “joint and concerted action.”62

            Jinnah had not only a close political relationship with Mazhar-ul-Haq, President of the Bombay League session, but was also associated with Sinha, President of the Bombay Congress. Both were given an ovatious welcome by Jinnah on their arrival at the Bombay railway station.

            Although the stage for unity had been set by making the two “most representative organizations, in the words of Jinnah, meet at one place and appointment of their respective committees to frame a joint scheme of reforms, yet the year to come was to pose a bigger challenge. Amongst the galaxy of leaders working for the “common” objective. Jinnah’s part was almost decisive. He had to withstand the pressures with much more determination than many of his contemporaries. He had not only to face the Government in political battles as before, his legal acumen in defence of India’s joint struggle for freedom was to be repeatedly tested. This year he pleaded three important political cases. The first was the “Briton Defamation Case” heard by the Chief Presidency Magistrate from 31st March to 9th May 1916. Jinnah pleaded the cause of B.G. Horniman who being editor of Bombay Chronicle had sued the proprietor, printer, publisher and editor of the European Daily Briton(Bombay) for publishing defamatory remarks against him and his paper. Jinnah impressively established the difference between personal and political allegations.63 The second related to Sedition Case against Tilak which was first heard by the District Magistrate (Poona) from 7th to 12th August and then by the High Court of Bombay from 8th to 9th November 1916.64 In both these suits Jinnah succeeded in further projecting the popular case of Home Rule. The wide publicity given to the proceedings of these cases was a matter of concern for the Government.  The third case of political importance related to Jinnah’s election to the Imperial Legislative Council in June 1916. On a plea by Rafiuddin, his old opponent, the Viceroy ordered an enquiry. The enquiry was conducted by the District Judge (Poona) from 5th October to 3rd November 1916. The strategy misfired: “Jinnah was exonerated”. British Government’s backing of the anti-Home Rule elements was thus exposed. The enquiry received wide publicity which was again a point of added concern for the Government and of strength to the Home Rule movement and Jinnah. He was now a powerful leader of India-a position which make Tilak and other Congress leaders accept his pleadings about unity and the recognition of Muslim interests in the shape of the Lucknow Pact.

            Jinnah’s talent was needed in diverse fields. He was not a leader who, according to Latif Ahmed Sherwani, considered the Muslims as “backwards”66 nor was he merely a leader of Hindus and Muslims as shown by Saiyid. He was a leader who appreciated the needs of all the communities and projected them with equal interest. If he was found piloting the Mussalman Wakf Validating Bill in the Imperial Legislative Council, he was never lacking in extending his support to Basu’s Special Marriages’ Bill or Hindu Wakf Property Bill moved by Malaviya. This was because he was a humanist with strong faith in human values.

            He was not as H.V. Hodson has tried to say about him, “Politics apart, they (British Viceroys and Administrators) had less common ground of human intercourse with him than they had, for instance, with Mahatma Gandhi.”Hodson cannot be blamed for such an aspersion on Jinnah because the material collected by the present author was not available to him. Such observations are actually based on the writings on Jinnah done mainly during and after 1940s when the main problem in India was the tussle between the Hindus and the Muslims-an issue that dominated all other matters. But this was not the case upto 1920 When historical developments were definitely different to what emerged after the Khilafat movement. Jinnah is also not to be understood as a politician who was merely “associated” which Lucknow Pact or a person who “had reached the first peak of his ambitions…, had become a leader of united India-after the conclusion of the Pact, as shown by Bolitho.69 Actually Jinnah was on the national political scene since 1906 and had already emerged a “leader of united India.” Obviously Bolitho has erred in his observation. In fact non-availability of material had been the bane of many a writers who made such irresponsible statements on Jinnah.

            Jinnah’s dominant position in public life was further recognized before the Lucknow Pact when he was elected President of the Bombay Provincial Conference, a non-communal organization, for the year 1916. This was a great honour conferred on a person of national repute who had done some creditable work for the cause of his nation. Gokhale, Mehta, and Tilak had already had the honour of becoming presidents of this conference. They were all non-Muslims. Only one Muslim, M.R. Sayani, had presided over the conference in 1883. Jinnah was the second. But these two Muslims were to preside over the conference under different circumstances: whereas Sayani was to attract the Muslims to Congress politics’ Jinnah was to re-unite not only the Muslims, Parsis, and Hindus but also the “Moderates” and the Nationalists. Even Gandhi, who attended the conference, termed Jinnah’s presidentship   as “right man for the right post.”70 This three-day conference was held on 22nd-24th October 1916 at Ahmadnagar. In his Presidential address, Jinnah, touching upon the “uppermost” issue of accommodating the “new spirit” of the Home Rule Movement coherently explained the idea of provincial autonomy as well as the structure of the Central Government. The changes in the administrative structure and in the local self-government also formed topic of the comment. In a voice charged with “emotion” which “stirred” the audience, he spoke against the application of the press laws and the Defence of India Act. He also spoke on the issues of compulsory education, Hindu-Muslim cooperation, separate representation for the Muslims. He even added that the words of “Moderates” and “Extremists” should be dropped “under one single and true name of Nationalists.”71 Thus, as a “true” leader, and statesman, he touched upon all the burning issues of the time and made far-sighted suggestions towards a new line of action for the united political forces of the country.

He considered that the attitude of the people belonging to different communities and groups should be changed in the light of the “new spirit” in India,, for which he himself had contributed so much. This was necessary before the transfer of “power from bureaucracy to democracy.” This change was required with a spirit of “sacrifice.” Emphasizing it further he said that this was “a sacrifice that God would love”- at a time when “the soul of young India has been roused and it yearns for political freedom.” He wanted to bring India to the “status” of “respect” amongst the “nations of the world.” It was with these purposes and aims that Jinnah desired to “refashion and reconstruct the constitution of the Government of India.”

            Jinnah’s position as “the President of the first United Bombay Provincial Conference” and as “one of the most representative of Indian leaders” occupying “a commanding position as a leader of political thought” was recognized.73 He was not the leader with only “oratorical flourishes,” but a “trusty” exponent of “public opinion” and a “builder” of “future constitution of India.” Jinnah attained this position through his own “exertions,” though his eminence in politics was not liked by the Government of India.74 He tactfully handled the situation, particularly the official opposition. Before he was to preside over the League session at Lucknow in December 1916, he had to see both the committees of the two political parties to come to a sort of settlement. This settlement was necessary, making unity possible at the AIML and INC sessions. His efforts had, however, been greatly strengthened by the Provincial Conference held at Ahmedabad in October 1916.”

            As planned, the AICC, being the senior organization, was to take step first. Accordingly, a three-day meeting was held at Allahabad on 22nd- 24th April 1916, which was presided over by Pandit M.M. Malaviya.76 It framed “tentative” proposals, which were circulated amongst its provincial committees. It was further to finalize its deliberations by August 1916.77 The proposals of the provincial Congress committees were received by the AICC by the end of July. Jinnah played an “important role” in the deliberations of the AIML committee which met on 16th August and “he modified the draft which Syed Wazir Hasan had prepared as a basis for discussion.”78 The “amended draft” was circulated amongst the members of the AIML “for eliciting their opinion and comments.”79 The suggestions of the individual member were discussed by the League committee on 16th November 1916 when the recommendations on behalf of the AIML were finalized. After this a joint meeting of the Congress and League committees was held on 17th November at Calcutta, presided over by Surendranath Banerjea, a leader from Bengal.80 Jinnah had to work hard in both the committees to achieve a consensus of opinion. There was an agreement on most of the points but a sharp debate took place over the “question of the strength of Muslims representation in various councils” on which the committees ultimately “agreed” to place “them for settlement” before the sessions of the Congress and the League.81 Jinnah’s contribution towards unity was duly recognized by the Muslim League Council which decided in October to appoint him the President of the next League session to be held in December at Lucknow. The choice was much hailed in the Congress circles.82 The able handling of the situation by Jinnah as President of the Muslim League with the support of Tilak in the Congress, a joint scheme of reforms was evolved by both the parties. This came to be known as “Congress-League Joint Scheme of Reforms” of the “Lucknow Pact,” which was made possible by the “signal service” of Jinnah to the cause of unity.83 The Muslim League and the Congress speakers at the Lucknow sessions considered this scheme “as the first necessary step towards the establishment of complete self-government in India.”

            This joint scheme of reforms was a sort of an agreement on certain principles of fundamental importance at the national level under which both the parties were to share power in executive and legislative functions. This was, however, more specified than what was contained in “Gokhale’s Testament” or what Jinnah had suggested in his Bombay Conference presidential address. It, however, contained what was already suggested by Jinnah in both these documents or in the Memorandum of the Nineteen Members of the Imperial Legislative Council with which Jinnah was deeply associated. According to the Lucknow Pact, the Congress was to have two-thirds representation at the Central Executive and Legislature, while the Muslim League was to get one-third representation. In matters of religious, however, certain safeguards were agreed upon. All such matters required for their passage the support of three-fourth members of the concerning community. Separate electorate for the Muslims was recognized as the principle of cardinal necessity which was adopted after a lot of assurances by Jinnah who was backed by Tilak. Thus by uniting the two chief communities, Jinnah as an “arch culprit” as he himself used the terminology, had paved the way for unity amongst all the communities of India, giving “a new 223 wave” to the country’s political life.

            While Jinnah was making this tremendous contribution to the cause of unity, he was correspondingly giving a new sense of direction to the Muslims of the sub-continent whose “loyalty” to the British Crown was considered by him not a “small asset.” In his presidential address at the Lucknow League session, Jinnah induced the Muslims “to learn to have self-respect,” “infuse greater spirit of solidarity into our society” by “cooperation with each other” which could be possible only if we “sink personal differences and subordinate personal ambition to the well-being of the community.” Thus, he added, we must show by our words and deeds that we sincerely and earnestly desire a healthy national unity. For the rest, the 70 millions of Mussalmans need not fear.”85 All this was necessary because, in the words of Jinnah:

            “Renaissance of India really lies in our own hands. Let us work and trust in God so that we may leave a richer heritage to our children than all the gold of the world, namely, freedom for which no sacrifice is too great.”

            Thus, Jinnah, alongwith his associates, was able to accomplish the task of unity despite a sense of alarm in official circles and hindrances from dissenters within the Bombay and the Punjab branches of the AIML. All these had but only an insignificant effect on his endavours towards the unity of Muslims and Hindus of India. It was, however, later that the Government could prompt and make those dissenting elements gain ground and become a threat to the cause of unity and freedom of the country. By this time however, Quaid-i-Azam had made for himself a permanent niche in the Indian politics as an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity.

Reference:     Pakistan Vision (Quaid-i-Azam Number) Vol. II, Nos. 1 & 2, Jan-Jul 2001
Publisher:      Pakistan Study Centre, University of the Punjab, Lahore. 2001 


  1. Bombay Chornicle, 22nd December 1913. This unrecorded speech” has so for been utilized only by Muhammad Hasan Siddiqui in his paper “Jinnah’s Emergence to Mulsim Leadership. In Professor A.H. Dani (ed.), World Scholars on Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Islamabad 1979, pp 90-101.
  2. Bombay Gazette Summary, 24th December 1910.
  3. Bombay Chronicle, 22nd December 1913.
  4. Siddiqi has not mentioned these aspects of the Quaid’s speech.
  5. Bombay Chronicle, 22nd December 1913.
  6. Khalid bin Sayeed, Pakistan: the Formative Phase 1857-1948, Karachi, 1978 pp 102-175.
  7. Bombay Chronicle, 22nd December 1913.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid., 29th December 1913 and Meston to Chelmsford, 11th January, 1917, Chelmsford Papers. IOL.MSS Eur. E246-17.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Discussed later in the Chapter.
  12. Bombay Chronicle, 22nd December 1913.
  13. India (London) 25th September 1914.
  14. Discussed later in the Chapter.
  15. Bombay Chronicle, 1st Jine 1915.
  16. Bombay Chronicle, 2nd November 1915.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Bombay Chronicle, 11th November 1915.
  19. Bombay Chronicle, 1st April 1916.
  20. Bombay Chronicle, 8th August 1916.
  21. Bombay Chronicle, 6th October 1916.
  22. Bombay Chronicle, 10th November 1916.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Bombay Chronicle, 9th – 10th November 1916.
  25. Bombay Chronicle, 9th – 10th January 1915.
  26. Bombay Chronicle, 11th – 13th January 1915.
  27. Bombay Chronicle, 14th – 15th January 1915.
  28. Author’s parenthesis
  29. Bombay Chronicle, 15th January 1915.
  30. Ibid.
  31. Wolpert, op, cit.,p.255
  32. Ibid., pp.265-270
  33. Jinnah’s letter published in Bombay Chronicle, 10th December, 1918.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Ibid, and Wolpert. Op. cit., p.271
  36. Bombay Chronicle, 17th August 1917.
  37. Hindu (Madras), 19 August 1917, Bombay Chronicle.
  38. Ibid and Willdon to Chelmsford, 6 August 1917, Chelmsford papers. E.264/19.
  39. Bombay Chronicle, 10th December 1918.
  40. Text published in Bombay Chronicle, 18th August 1917.
  41. Bombay Chronicle, 6th March 1915.
  42. Ibid.
  43. Ibid.
  44. Ibid.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Bombay Chronicle, 21st April 1915.
  47. Bombay Chronicle, 21 March 1915, Sarojini Naidu, “Gokhale the Man”. Bombay Chronicle, 9th March 1915.
  48. Pirzada, 1, op, cit, pp 352-554.
  49. Bombay Chronicle, 1 January 1915.
  50. Ibid.
  51. Bombay Chronicle, 3 January 1916. By this small incident Judith M. Brown has erroneously come to conclusion that the Muslims were “divided” in the whole of India. Judith M. Brown, Gandhi’s Rise to Power Indian Politics 1915-1922. Cambridge 1974, p. 31. Brown has also erred in mentioning Jinnah as “Secretary of the Muslim League”. Ibid. Actually in 1915 Jinnah was member of the AIML Council and its President in 1916, as discussed in this Study.
  52. Pirzada, 1, op, cit, p.357.
  53. Ibid, p. 378
  54. Ibid., p. 358-359
  55. Bombay Chronicle, 3 January 1916.
  56. Pirzada I, op, cit., p. 360-361; and Bombay Chronicle, 3 January 1916.
  57. Bombay Chronicle, 3 January 1916.
  58. Bombay Chronicle, 30 December 1915. “Congress Supplement.”
  59. Bombay Chronicle, 27-28 December 1915. Bombandehari Majumdar and Bhakat Prasad Mazumdar, Congress and Congressman in the Pre-Gandhian Era 1885 – 1915, Calcutta 1965, pp. 98-99 and Report of the Thirtienth Indian National Congress held at Bombay on the 27th and 29th December 1915, pp.2, 172, and 182.
  60. M.R Jayakar, The Story of My Life, Bombay 1959 p 139
  61. Bombay Chronicle, 27 January 1916.
  62. Ibid.
  63. Jinnah’s Evidence before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Government of India Bill 1919, 13 August 1919, IOR, L Parl. 2-405.
  64. Bombay Chronicle, 8-14 August and 9-10 November 1916.
  65. Bombay Chronicle, 6 October and 4 November 1916.
  66. Latif Ahmed Sherwani “Jinnah and Hindu-Muslim Unity,” Dani, op, cit., p. 117
  67. Saiyid, op, cit., pp. 64-69
  68. H.V. Hodson, “Quaid-i-Azam and British,” Dani, op, cit, p. 117
  69. Bolitho, op, cit., p. 66.
  70. Bombay Chronicle, 23 October 1916. These words or expressions have, however, not have been included in Gandhi’s speeches compiled as the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol.XIII, January 1915-October 1917.
  71. Ahmedabad 1964, pp. 303-304.
  72. Bombay Chronicle, 25 October 1916.
  73. Bombay Chronicle, 23-25 October 1916.
  74. Bombay Chronicle, 23 October 1916.
  75. Moral and Material Progress and Condition of India, A Report of the Government of India cited in Tendulkar I, op cit., p231.
  76. Bombay Chronicle, 24-26 April 1916.
  77. Sitaramaya, op. cit., p. 213 and Robb, op cit., p. 12.
  78. Syed Shamsul Hasan, Plain Mr. Jinnah, Karachi 1976, pp. 12-13
  79. Ibid., p. 13
  80. Ibid,
  81. Bombay Chronicle, 20 November 1916.
  82. Bombay Chronicle, 14 October 1916.
  83. Bombay Chronicle 1 January 1916. Akbar Bhai Pir Bhai. “Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” Muhammad Hanif Shahid(ed.)” Tributes to Quaid-i-Azam, Lahore, 1976, p.15; Khalid Bin Sayeed, Pakistan the Formative Phase 1857-1948, (a reprint), pp. 40-41.
  84. Bombay Chronicle, 1 January 1917: Report of the Thrity-first Indian National Congress held at Lacknow on the 26th 28th 29th and 30th December 1916, Lucknow 1917, p.7, and Abdul Lateef, “From Community to Nation: the Development of the Idea of Pakistan,” Ph.D. Dissertation Southern Illinois University, 1965 pp. 88-89.
  85. Bombay Chronicle, 1 January 1917.
  86. Ibid. for Partial text of Jinnah’s address, Pirzada, I, op cit., pp. 370-377, but for better text see M. Rafique Afzal (ed.), Select Speeches and Statements of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1911-34 and 1947-48), Lahore, 1976, pp. 45-46.
  87. Robb, op, cit., p. 70 and Nawab Murtaza Husain Abdi’s tape recorded interview, 12 march 1970, South Asian Institute. University of Cambridge, S. 26. In this session he acted as Jinnah’s “body guard”.