Monday, June 11, 2018

More on Jinnah's retirement plans

Jinnah Papers, First Series, Volume IV, No 77 (pages 136-137) record that on August 1, 1947,  Jinnah received a Rs 10,000 earnest money payment from Jaydayal Dalmia and executed an agreement with him for the sale of  Jinnah's property of No. 10 Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi.  The total sum was for Rs 300,000 to be paid on or before January 10, 1948.  Jinnah planned to transfer possession on or before August 31, 1947.

Jawed Naqvi, in The Dawn, November 7, 2017, "Two daughters and sons-in-law", borrows from Sheela Reddy, "Mr and Mrs Jinnah: the Marriage that Shook India":
When Jinnah was rumoured to be considering selling his Bombay home in 1941, Dina [Wadia] broke her long silence to pen a letter to ‘My darling Papa’.

Dated April 28, 1941, the letter is reproduced in Reddy’s book. It reads: “First of all I must congratulate you — on having got Pakistan, that is to say, the principle has been accepted. I am so proud and happy for you — how hard you have worked for it.”

Dina then comes to the subject of her primary interest. “I hear you have sold ‘South Court’ to Dalmia for 20 lakhs. It’s a very good price and you must be very pleased,” she writes. “If you have sold [it], I wanted to make one suggestion of you — if you are not moving your books, could I please have a few of Ruttie’s old poetry books — Byron, Shelley and a few others and the Oscar Wilde series?”
Jinnah’s reply was to summarily dismiss the purported house sale as a “wild rumour”.
So what to make of Dina Wadia's letter to her father on 2/5 June 1947, as reproduced in the Jinnah Papers, Volume I, Part II,  No. 525, pages 984-985?  Dina Wadia started the letter on June 2nd and continued it on June 5th.  Intervening was June 3rd, when the Mountbatten Partition plan was announced.  For now, just quoting the relevant sentences:
I am sorry that you didn't sell South Court [2] as I know you want to—I believed you had because I read about it in the Forum Magazine and didn't think they would print a complete falsehood.  As you say, people do indulge in wild rumours.  F.E. Dinshaw's house I believe has been sold to Mullaji for 19 lakhs fifty thousand.  I am not sure if this is certain.
[2] South Court was the name of Jinnah's residence at Mount Pleasant Road, Malabar Hill, Bombay.
We are told "On 9 August 1943, the first anniversary of Quit India Day, Joachim and Violet Alva founded FORUM, a weekly news magazine which became known for its championing of the cause of independence. " I wonder if this is the magazine mentioned above.

Regarding the meeting with the Muslim members of the Constituent Assembly of India, Choudhry Khaliquzzaman, in "Pathway to Pakistan" recounts:
Mr. Jinnah himself realized the grave dangers to Muslims who after the partition were to be left in India.  I remember that in 1 August 1947, a few days before his final departure for Karachi, Mr. Jinnah called the Muslim members of the Constituent Assembly of India to his house at 10 Aurangzeb Road to bid farewell to them.  Mr. Rizwanullah put some awkward questions concerning the position of Muslims who would be left over in India, their status and their future.
[My question: Mr. Rizwanullah = Maulvi Rizwanullah, Muslim Leaguer from Gorakhpur?]
I had never before found Mr. Jinnah so disconcerted as on that occasion, probably because he was realizing then quite vividly what was immediately in store for the Muslims.   Finding the situation awkward, I asked my friends and colleagues to end the discussion.  I believe as a result of our farewell meeting Mr. Jinnah took the earliest opportunity to bid goodbye to his two-nation theory in his speech on 11 September 1947 as the Governor-General designate of Pakistan and President of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan:
Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges, and obligations, there will be on end to the progress you will make....I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community— because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vaishyas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on—will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free people long ago. ..You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

The last meeting of the All-India Muslim League Council was held in Karachi on December 14-15, 1947. (I'm relying on "Encyclopedia of Political Parties Series, All India Muslim League, Volume 2" Editor-in-Chief O.P. Ralhan for this). Quote, emphasis added:
"A member interrupted and asked the Quaid-i-Azam if he would once again be prepared to take over the leadership of the Muslims of India in the present hour of trial.  The Quaid-i-Azam replied that he was quite willing to do so if the Council gave its verdict in favour of such proposal.  He recalled his statement at the time of the achievement of Pakistan that his job had been done, and with the achievement of Pakistan, the cherished goal of the Muslim nation, he wanted to lead a retired life.  But if called upon, he was quite ready to leave Pakistan and share the difficulties of the Muslim in the Indian Union and so lead them."
It would seem that Jinnah saw his retired life to be in Pakistan, not in Bombay, if this account is relied upon. (My problem with it is that O.P. Ralhan does not adequately identify the sources.)

In the July 30th 1947 story that Jinnah contradicted, we had this (emphasis added)
It is said that a large number of Muslim members felt sore and asked a series of questions as to their position and fate and the help that they should expect from the Pakistan Government.  Mr. Jinnah is reported to have said that they should not expect any help from the Pakistan State and must rely on themselves and fit in with the new conditions.
In the December 14-15th meeting, (emphasis added)
The Quaid-i-Azam recalled the charges that were being levelled against Pakistan and its leaders about the betrayal of the Muslim masses in the Indian Union.  He said, he was full of feelings for the Muslim masses in the Indian Union, who were, unfortunately, facing bad days. He advised the Indian Muslims to organize themselves so as to become powerful enough to safeguard their political rights.  A well-organized minority should be powerful enough to protect its own rights—political, cultural, economic and social.  On his part, he assured them of his full realization that the achievement of Pakistan was the outcome of the labour and toil of the Muslim in India as well as of those who were now enjoying its fruits.  Pakistan would help them in every possible way.

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