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Hindus And Moslems (Mr Jinnah's Speech)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 13 May 1943

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3o.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he has any statement to make respecting the recent speech of Mr. Jinnah, in which he appealed for joint action between Hindus and Moslems in antagonism to British Government in India; and whether the internment of Mr. Jinnah along with Congress leaders is contemplated?

We are all, I think, agreed that a lasting solution of the Hindu-Moslem question is indispensable to India's constitutional advance. The reports of Mr. Jinnah's speech do not, however, indicate that in stressing the need for unity he outlined any specific solution likely to be acceptable to Hindu opinion. In any case he did not associate himself with the kind of subversive activity for which it became necessary to intern the Congress Party leaders. On the contrary, in the same speech, he is reported to have said in reference to them:

"If it had been our own Government I would have put these people in gaol in order to prevent a powerful organisation from letting loose an anti-war campaign."
The last part of the Question, therefore, does not arise.

Would it not at least be equitable, since Mr. Jinnah used deplorably strong language against this country, that the Congress. leaders should be put into the same position as 'Mr. Jinnah and given their liberty?

Is it not the fact that Mr. Jinnah, in contradistinction to the Congress leaders, has constantly and persistently supported the war effort of the Government of India, however much disagreement he may have with them on other questions?