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Jinnah and the leaders of the Punjab (1935-1947)

M. A. from Government College, Lahore
M. Phil. From university of the Punjab
Ph. D. Government College Lahore
and university of Southampton (continued)

Mavra Farooq 


      According to Jinnah, Punjab was the cornerstone of Pakistan. The Unionist Party's rule and Khzir Hayat Tiwana played a key role in the increase of Muslim League's influence in the Punjab from 1942-47. Jinnah had some clashes with the leaders of Punjab. Khzir Hayat Tiwana had a different mandate with his own vision of a United Punjab within a decentralised federal India. In 1944, Khizr frequently clashed with Jinnah. The Punjab Muslim League thereafter waged an ever more bitter campaign against him. Khizr labelled Jinnah as Kafir. Mock funerals were held outside Khizr's house and during the last weeks of his tenure he was received everywhere with black flags by protest demonstrations.

Jinnah had become the inspirational father, the first Governor General, the first President of Constituent Assembly and the first Head of the State of Pakistan. He worked as an "ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity" but ended his career as the unbending spirit and architect of the partition of sub- continent in 1947. The main purpose of this research article is to explore the relations of Jinnah with the leaders of Punjab. ' Mostly historians have neglected the relations between the leaders of Punjab and Jinnah. Jinnah had many clashes with the leaders of Punjab. The main question is why the leaders of Punjab had ideological clashes with Jinnah. Khizr Hayat had denounced him as 'Kafir. Moreover, why did Khzir not pragmatically ally himself with the League once it was clear that the British were leaving? Such 'progressive' Pakistani writers as Imran Ali and Tariq Ali find Khizr an equally unenticing figure. He represents the secular coalition between the feudalists and the colonial state which enlarged the chasm between the rural rich and poor. 'Khizr personifies the loyalism of a class, whose influence was shored up by the British who amply rewarded it with property and titles.'

Khizr Hayat's role in 1947 raises a number of questions for the Muslims of Continent. What cultural and political constraints lay behind his much flaunted cry of 'Punjab for the Punjabis?' Why did he not display the traditional Tiwana buccaneering and accommodate himself to the Muslim league advance? 'History of Tiwana and the culture of 'a moral familism' should have convinced him to unrestraint the unionist programme. The article contemplates on the clash between Khizer's vision of Punjab's future and that envisioned by the Two Nations Theory. Substantial consideration is devoted to the Jinnah- Khizr talks 1944 and their political upshot. There is also an attempt to explicate why Khizr sustained with an influence- partaking preparation, despite the crushing electoral defeat in the rural constituencies in 1946.

Jinnah's relation with Khizr Hayat Tiwana

Khizr was undoubtedly influenced by his times, his education and his social upbringing. He was opened up the possibility of political power and influence. Land ownership held the key to power in Punjab and Tiwana held the most land in its western regions. Punjab's communal conformation also decreed that only a Muslim could hold office as premier. That is why it was Khizr not Chhotu Ram who succeeded Sikander.

Khizr assumed that partition would split the stuff of Punjabi society and extinguish a whole way of life. He observed the Muslim League's demand as based on the hatred of the non- Muslim. He maintained that there was nothing in the Koran that made the creation of Pakistan a sacred act. On the contrary, the demand of the partition was profoundly un-Islamic in the true sense of words of Khizer's personal distaste for Jinnah arose from what he saw as the latter's hypocrisy in using religion for his own political interests, when he possessed only a fundamental knowledge of Islam himself and did not practice it in a sacramental wisdom.

Khizer's supplement to political lodging was inverted in the agitated days of the end of empire. But this approach remains highly noteworthy for the present-day Indian subcontinent which has perceived a recurrence of communal hatred and violence.

In cross Communal Punjab Unionist Party was dominated. In 1923 Hindu Jat and Muslim Rajputs founded it. Khizr Hayat was its last leader. The political characteristic of Khizer was his loyalty to the Raj. He relieved nationalist politician as manipulators who were out of touch with the 'real India'. His out looked was rooted in is family history. By the end of his career such loyalty neither was nor reciprocated. Throughout 1945-46, he depended on heavily on the advice of the British Governor Sir Bertrand Glancy. An honest and highly upright man himself, Khizr never considered that the British might recklessness their Unionist allies. He was shocked by Wavell's 'capitulation' to Jinnah at the time of the 1945 Simla Conference and later believed that Attlee had deliberately deluded him concerning British intentions regarding the timing of the British withdrawal. It may have been wishful thinking, but he had hoped for the smack of firm government, not miserable surrender with the following chaos of partition. Khizr typically did not; however allow a sense of infidelity to spoil his friendship with former officials. Khizr's loyalism was not based on self- interest, but rather on the belief that the imperial connection ensured the Punjab's progress. After the 1946 provincial elections, he brought together the feuding Congress and Akali parties in a final unsuccessful attempt to shore up Punjab's communal harmony. In short he was a realistic practitioner of consociation democracy.

From October 1937 onwards, Sikander had exacted high price for his upholding Jinnah at the centre. This was nothing less than the complete subordination of the Muslim League within Punjab. A pact had been concluded between Sikander and Jinnah at the historic Lucknow session. Its conflicting interpretation later caused much trouble between Khizr and Jinnah. In 1930s, the Unionists however held all the cards. Jinnah therefore did not challenge their views at the same time as Muslim unionists could join the Muslim League; this was not to affect the continuation of the existing coalition ministry in Punjab. This would still be called the unionist party. In return of Punjabi Muslims much needed support in Indian politics; Jinnah consented in an essential take-over of the province of Muslim League by Sikander and his supports.

Jinnah and Khizr Hayat Tiwana relations troubled had been disinfecting between the unionist party and the Muslim League ever since the Delhi Council session of March 1943. It had put Khizr on audition to begin a dynamic Muslim League assembly party even if it jeopardised the running of his ministry. The storm finally broke in April 1944. Jinnah and Khizr resonated at each other through the columns of the press following the collapse of their consultations. The conflict became so intense that Punjab premier was unprecedently disqualified from the AIML.

The suppositions appeared to stalk from an outwardly in offensive disagreement over the detail of the pact which Jinnah had signed with Khizr's successor, Sikander in 1937. The Muslim League grouped was established under its own terms, in Punjab assembly, should in future adopt the Muslim League tag with the result that the government should be named the Muslim League alliance ministry. Instead of Unionist ministry.

In 1943, the Governor of Punjab warned that 'the main threat to our political tranquillity comes from Jinnah and the Muslim League.' The Muslim League's view was the religious community was the basic source of political identity. The Unionist party however, viewed communal cooperation. Contradiction over Sikander Jinnah Pact became inevitable. The stakes were so high for Khizr. He was personally committed to the Unionist vision. He knew that anxiety about the imperial war effort and awarded the consequences of the Muslim League rocking the boat in the sword of arms of India. British already shared these worries. The Viceroy Lord Wavell noted to Glancy in 1944, 'the dissolution of the Unionist Ministry and the substitution of a Muslim league ministry such as Jinnah wants will be a disaster. I very much hope that Khizr will look at the matter from this point of view and rally the Unionists.' Lord Wavell and Mountbatten found Khizr personally charming more than Jinnah's personality.

The beliefs and up bring of Khizr were crucial at this point. He has lack of political ambition; cross communal family relationships all inclined him towards a 'fool hardy' course of opposing Jinnah. Jinnah ordered to his Secretary that every member of the Muslim League Party in Punjab assembly should declare that he owes his allegiance solely to the Muslim League in the Assembly and not to the Unionist party or any other party, whilst Punjab premier refused to renounce the Unionist party name. Jinnah declared Khizr that he was a 'mad man' and you will regret this rest of your life.

I would like to choose four main apprehensions. Firstly, the Punjab Muslim League, between the years 1943-1947, developed as the actual figure of the Muslims of Punjab. The Punjab Muslim League was supported from under and its strength simply demoted the Unionist Party, urban elite, rural landed aristocracy, Pirs and eroded their social bases. Secondly, the diplomacy, the tactics, leadership and planning of M. A. Jinnah provided strength and motivation to Punjab Provincial Muslim League and the Muslims of Punjab and guided them towards the goal of Pakistan. The political climate of the Muslim Punjab and its association with the diplomacy and politics of Jinnah, thirdly, elevated Jinnah to the position of an icon. The Imperialist and Cambridge historians, Marxist and Nationalist historians of India and even the nationalist historians of Pakistan are of the opinion that Jinnah and Punjab Muslim League at first organized the strong support of the urban elite, rural landed aristocracy, Pirs and Sajjada-Nashins who subsequently won over the Muslims of Punjab for the cause of the Muslim League and Pakistan. It has been suggested by these scholars that the demand of Pakistan in the Muslim Punjab was based on the vertical mobilization and it was not a mass movement. It has been further argues by these scholars that the Muslims of the Punjab entered to the ranks of the Muslim League either because of total factional rivalries or the changes brought about by the Second World War but not to support the popular demand of Pakistan. Fourthly Iqbal was the Idealist of Pakistan and Jinnah its Architect. Apart from this wider link between these two, it attempts to study a little known area of their concrete cooperation. In late 1920, political interaction began between M.A. Jinnah and Iqbal which flourished into a working partnership in revitalising the Muslim Organization in the vital province of Punjab. On 20 March, 1927 a "Unity Conference was held at Delhi at which M. A. Jinnah as President of the League and Srinivasa lynger as President of Congress "concluded an agreement which came to be known as "Delhi Proposals." The Congress refusal to do so trembled M. A. Jinnah's confidence in that organization once for all. Meanwhile the British Government set up the Simon Commission "to make recommendations for future constitutional reforms in India". The Commission visited India from February to March 1928 and again from October 1928 to April 1929. The Muslim League split into two divisions on the question of the approach to be assumed towards the commission.
One section of the League led M. A. Jinnah as President and Dr. Kitchlew as Secretary. The other was led by Muhammad Shafi (President) and Iqbal (Secretary). The Shafi unit of the league met in Lahore (1928). It vetoed the "Delhi Proposals" and offered cooperation to the Simon Commission. Meeting in Calcutta (1928) the Jinnah League disclaimed the Shafi faction, adopted the "Delhi Proposals" and declared its non-cooperation with the Simon Commission. The "Delhi Proposals" thus contained the germ of Pakistan. The All-India Congress Committee "Substantially accepted the 'Muslim proposals" in a resolution passed in May 1927.

In December 1927, Sub-Committees were appointed both by the League and the Congress to prepare an agreed draft based on the "Delhi Proposals" of the constitution of a self-governing India. The Punjab Muslim League, under the leadership of Mian Muhammad Shafi, Mian Fazl-i-Husain and Iqbal elevated a voice of discord from the "Delhi Proposals".

The, Congress, too, betrayed the Delhi Agreement by adopting the Nehru Committee Report. The Shafi League convened a meeting in Lahore in May 1928 and proceeded to draft a memorandum for the Simon Commission. Iqbal urged the imperative necessity of provincial autonomy.

Nevertheless, the Shamsul Hasan Collection tells that 'Jinnah and Punjab Muslim League, simply provoked the common Punjabi Muslims, rural and urban, to participate in a powerful mass movement for the demand of Pakistan.

' To substantiate my opinion I would like to denote a letter of Nawab Iftikhar Hussain Khan of Mamdot to Mr. Jinnah dated July 19, 1944 stating that, "we are having very great success in our public meetings. You must have read about two big meetings, one in the Skeikhupura district and the other at Montgomery. I attach more importance to the Montgomery meeting because it was exactly ten days after an official meeting, which was attended by Khizar Hayat Khan and Chhotu Ram. The attendance in their meeting was 492 while in spite of all official resistance the gathering in our meeting was decidedly more than ten thousands. Even the big zamindars have discarded the fear and have started attending the meetings freely." This letter is the obvious indication to propose that the Punjab Muslim League began to begin as the Muslim mass movement as early as by the middle of 1944. The language of this letter further suggest that such meeting were attended by the common Punjabi Muslims and only a handful of rural landed nobility may have appeared these meetings.

In this connection I refer one document of the years 1945 and 1946 respectively. On January 19, 1945, Mian Mumtaz Daulatana has stated to Jinnah that, "work in the Punjab is going on very satisfactorily. Every day the League is getting stronger and closer to our people. We hope to be invincible by the end of the year." M. A. Jinnah has stayed Punjab on the eve of the Provincial Legislative Assembly elections and on January 18, 1946, Jinnah issued a press statement as beneath, "I was very glad to see with my own eyes that there is a tremendous upsurge and complete solidarity among the Muslims of the Punjab. I have notices a remarkable and revolutionary change. First the Musalman do not suffer any longer from fear complex or dread of the tin Gods of the Punjab…. They have secured a freedom of thought and speech and now these elections have given them an opportunity to act as free men and I am confident of our success in the Punjab."

The overhead explanations made by Mumtaz Daulatana and Jinnah suggested that Punjab Muslim League throughout the years of 1944-1946 had truly began as the real mass body of the Muslims of Punjab. The correspondence between the leaders of Punjab Muslim League and Jinnah of this period clearly expose that the impulsive reaction of the Muslims of Punjab to the demand of Pakistan led to the emergence of the Muslim mass movement. On this issue the Shamsul Hasan Collection covers the communication of all the Provincial leaders of the Muslim League, prominent among them were: Iftikhar Hussain Mamdot, Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan, Malik Barkat Ali, Mian Mumtaz Daultana, Mian Bashir Ahmad, Raja Ghaznafar Ali Khan, Sir Syed Maratib Ali, Nawabzada Rashid Ali Khan, Jahan Ara Shah Nawaz, Lady Vicky Noon, Fatima Begum, M. Zafraullah, Khan Bahadur Nazir Ahmad Khan, Ghulam Bhik Nairang,M. Rafi Butt and Malik Firoz Khan Moon,
The historians and researchers like Penderl Moon, Peter Hardy, David Page, Anita Inder Singh, Ayesha Jalal, Stanley Wolpert, Hector Bolitho, Ian B. Wells and Ajeet Jawed gave views that Jinnah as such a leader who followed cross political agenda. However, the Shamsul Hasan Collection exposes such an opinion about Jinnah, the Quaid-i-Azam, particularly in standings of his part in the politics of Punjab. These documents propose that Jinnah and leaders of the Punjab Muslim League were dealing with matters like culture, society, religion, economy, finance, industry, scientific development, press, education and the position of women, thus, adding meaning to the Muslim Nationalism. Jinnah and a few leaders of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League frequently exchanged their views and observations regarding the industrial and scientific development for the Muslims of Punjab and for the uplift of the common economic and fiscal conditions of the Muslim Punjab. Prominent among those who were concerned with the economic and industrial development of the Muslim Punjab were M. Rafi Butt, Syed Maratib Ali, M.M. Khan, Mohammad Ismail Khan and Adbur Samad Khan." The Shamsul Hasan Collection undertakes massive significance in case the scholars may make an attempt to know the views, observations and efforts of the Punjab Muslim League's leaders and of M.A. Jinnah concerning the modern educational development for the Muslims of Punjab. In addition to the schemes about the educational development the leaders like M. Rafi Butt, Ahmad Shafi, Professor Abdul Haye and Lady Vicky Noon used to debate the issues like language, literature and the growth of the exclusive Muslim press in the Punjab. A glimpse into these documents reveals to the readers that issues like political affairs. External matters and the relations of the Muslim India with the outside world were thoroughly discussed between M. A. Jinnah and the leaders like M. Rafi Butt, Ashiq Hussain Batalvi, M. H. Humayun, Sheikh Gul Muhammad, Mrs. K. L. Rallia Ram, Begum Jahan Ara Shah Mawaz and Lady Vicky Moon.

The Shamsul Hasan Collection enlightens that the problems like formulating of the constitution and constitutional relations between the Muslim India and Britain also attracted the consideration of Jinnah and the leaders of the Punjab Muslim League.

Penderel Moon, Peter Hardy, Hector Bolitho, Stanley Wolpert, Ayesha Jalal and Asim Roy have all depicted that Jinnah as a shrewd bargainer of the high politics of the partition of India. These scholars have projected Jinnah as a leader with aristocratic and taciturn personality who always moved and interacted within the elite corridors and sometimes would avoid even trembling hands with the people, especially with the common man. Jinnah has been anticipated by these scholars such a masterful leader who would always marshal his powers while tightening his hold on the sword arm of his primary nation Pakistan. He has been viewed as claiming sole spokesman of the All India Muslim League who was always worried to strife his customary prattle of tongues. These historians have perceived Jinnah as an obstinate, self-interested and ambitious politician and for-sighted statesman who was always concern with his personal political achievements and victories and was less concern with the real interests and ambitions of the Muslim masses.
However, the Shamsul Hasan Collection has challenged such charges against Jinnah and these documents brings to our knowledge that Jinnah was always collaborating with all the sections of the Muslim Punjab and was always responding to the masses which improves new dimensions to his already and otherwise projected reticent and aristocratic personality. Jinnah was communicating not only with the leaders and workers of the Punjab Muslim League but also with the students, school teachers, College and University professors, scientists, doctors, people from the press, men of the religious affairs, any Punjabi Muslim either with urban or rural background including a motor mechanic from Lahore. These documents suggest that Jinnah virtually emerged as an able organizer of Punjab Provincial Muslim League and if required would like to answer even a small query from any section of the Muslim Punjab. The procedure of institutionalization of the Muslim League and Jinnah moved towards realistically in this highly valuable Collection.
After a careful inspection of the Shamsul Hasan Collection it appears to me that during the years 1943-1947, Jinnah became necessary part of the Muslim Punjab and its political climate. During this period Jinnah was regularly associated with the each and every level of the Muslim politics and society. He directed the Muslims of Punjab on the political, social, economic, cultural, literary and constitutional matters raised his position to the status of an image in the eyes of the Punjabi Muslims. In order to authenticate my view point I would like to refer two documents from this Collection. On November 20, 1944, M. A. Hussain wrote to Jinnah that, "I write to you as an obedient and dutiful son to a loving father. After all, you are indeed the 'Father of the Muslim Nation' and I think that every Muslim should look upon you as his father". On June 15, 1945, Mian Mumtaz Daultana wrote to Jinnah in the similar vein that, "There is no question, Sir, that what you will decide should be best for the Muslims of India. You, Sir, have never made a mistake. Every Muslamans knows that and, if it is for struggle you decide, and if need be against all the powers of the world, then struggle is right and we are prepared as one man." It can be asserted on the bases of the Shamsul Hasan Collection that the love, affection, devotion and concern of Jinnah towards the Muslim Punjab raised his status to such a position which hitherto had not been enjoyed by anyone else.

It has been suggested by Penderel Moon and Peter Hardy that the position and strength of the All India Muslim League helped the Punjab Provincial Muslim League to consolidate its position and demand of Pakistan in the Punjab. It has been suggested by these historians that on the eve of the Provincial Legislative Assembly elections of 1946, the Muslim Unionists of Punjab were undermined by the revelation of the strength of the All India Muslim League and thus they found themselves not to match with the Punjab Provincial Muslim League.
The Shamsul Hasan Collection exposes that the correspondence of Lady Vicky Noon always assisted Jinnah to formulate his tactics, strategies and plots towards the Muslim politics of Punjab. Jinnah, on September 10, 1946, wrote to Lady Vicky Noon that, 'Of course, you will appreciate my difficulties in not dealing with the several matters that you have brought to my notice by means of correspondence, nor do you expect me to do so, but I am looking forward to meet you very soon, when I may be able to discuss all the points that you have brought to my notice".

The Shamsul Hasan Collection also brings to our knowledge that the statistical strength of the women leadership of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League and their number of participation during the movement for the demand of Pakistan was not as large as was of the men. However, in the given socio-cultural environment of the Muslim society, even such participation was a significant aspect in the historical perspective. For all practical purposes the Muslim women of the Punjab were the most backward among all the communities and under the given circumstances it was no doubt a creditable development that the Muslim women, rural or urban, were not only politicized but they were made to take active part for the demand of Pakistan. The Shamsul Hasan Collection discloses that it was largely under the leadership and inspiration of Jinnah that the Muslim women of the Punjab were politicized.
Mrs. K. L. Rallia Ram was the most frantic non- Leaguer communicator to Jinnah. The Collections contains 27 letters of Mrs. K. L. Rallia Ram to M. A. Jinnah. Mrs. Rallia Ram, an Indian Christian and General-Secretary of the Indian Social Congress was the mother-in-law of Mohammad Younus, Secretary of Abdul Gaffar Khan, the Frontier Gandhi. She wrote to Jinnah on May 29, 1946 that, "Mr. Jinnah should not give up the demand for an equal sovereign state. The oppressed and disgraced of the Hindus must have placed to run to and take shelter. Pakistan will be a refuge for such people." Mrs. K. L. Rallia Ram considered the Indian National Congress as the body of the Caste Hindus intending to establish the Caste Hindu rule in India. The correspondence of Mrs. K. L. Rallia Ram immensely assisted M. A. Jinnah to know the latest political developments in the Punjab and also to formulate his strategies regarding the growth of the Pakistan movement in the Punjab. M. A. Jinnah always appreciated this gesture and wrote to Mrs. K. L. Rallia Ram on November 1946 that, "Many thanks for your letter of the November 18, 1946 and the previous one which I have been receiving. They are very encouraging and full of information, and I thank you for all the trouble that you are taking, and the press cutting sent by you, are very instructive indeed. I shall always welcome your communication." However, the case of Mrs. K. L. Rallia Ram is worth searching especially her retaliation towards the Hindus. Historians and scholars may corroborate other sources in order to probe the case of Mrs. K. L. Rallia Ram.

The recent historians and scholars have debated the issue of Jinnah's address to the first session of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, where he has stated that, "you may belong to any religion or caste or creed….. That has nothing to do with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of the one State….. And you will find in course of time, Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims not in the religions sense, because that is the personal faith of the each individual but in the political sense of the citizens of the State."

The Shamsul Hasan Collection informs that it was not only after the foundation of the Pakistan that Jinnah began to talk about the model and modern State concept but it was even before the foundation of the Pakistan that Jinnah declared that all the minorities along with the Muslim majority will be treated equal in the new found State of Pakistan. According to my viewpoint, Jinnah was building a Muslim majority state but not the Islamic State. Islamic symbols and religious requirements were supported by the Punjab Muslim League during the operation for Pakistan, however, all these were only the tactical move suggested by Jinnah and these Islamic Symbols were not the bases of the movement.

Whatever occurred between February 13, 1947 to August 151947, the Shamsul Hasan Collection sustains an implicit silence and there is only one letter of this period dated April, 30, 1947. Such gaps are glaring and raised a number of questions especially keeping in view the most disgraceful public situation in the Punjab during this period. Perhaps the events had overtaken the Muslim League and the leaders and the League as a body now found itself unable to check the increasing amount of communal resentment. The Punjab Provincial Muslim League broke its silence only on the eve of the foundation of Pakistan and on August 14, 1947, Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan as a spokesman of the League issued a statement at Lahore that, "The Punjab Provincial Muslim League has decided that there will be no celebrations and rejoicing on the occasion of the Transfer of Power on August 15, 1947, anywhere in the West Punjab. The day will be dedicated to prayer meetings particularly after the Juma congregational prayers, for the greatness and glory of the Punjab and safety and well-being of the Muslims in the minority areas."

No doubt, the Shamsul Hasan Collection undertakes immense significance in terms of the study of the growth and strength of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League, consolidation of the relationship which existed between M.A. Jinnah and the Punjab Muslim League and the emergence of Jinnah as an Image in the eyes of the Muslim Punjab. However, the information provided by this valuable Collection may not be considered as an all-time gospel truth by the historians and researchers. A critical mind and the applications of the modern tackles of research in history may be adopted by the historians while rebuilding the history of this phase, which was the most turbulent period of the colonial Punjab, on the basis of this brilliant Collection. I would like to compile an article on the same words; "Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation State. M. Ali Jinnah did all three."

Notes and references:

Ian Talbot, Khizr Tiwana: the Punjab Unionist party and the partition of India. Surrey: Curzon press,1996.

S.Q. Hussain Jafri (ed.), Quaid-i-Azam's Correspondence with Punjab Muslim Leaders, Lahore, 1977.

Lionel Carter (ed.), Punjab Politics, January 1944-3 March 1947: Governor's Fortnightly Reports and other Key Documents, New Delhi, 2006.

Jamil-ud-Din Ahmad (ed.), Speeches and Writings of Mr. Jinnah, 2 Volumes, Lahore, 1970.