Sunday, January 2, 2011

Gauba's assessment

In Consequences of Pakistan, 1946, K.L. Gauba had the following assessment of the position of the Muslim League after World War II began, reproduced below.  It is of interest as a contemporary Punjabi view of the situation.

With the outbreak of the war and the changes it wrought in Indian politics, the League found itself in an extremely advantageous position.  The Indian National Congress withdrew its ministries from the Provinces where it had held sway for nearly two and a half years.  As a result of this the League came to be on a par with the Congress in that both were now out of office and without the power and influence which went with it.  Whereas the Congress lost through the resignation of its ministries such bargaining power as it had while in office, the League acquired some more power through the international complications that resulted from the war.

To spite the Congress, Mr. Jinnah was prepared to go to any lengths.  He was ready to keep India enslaved to the British for a thousand years than share a freedom won by Congress efforts.  Again, whereas the Congress had alienated the sympathies of the Indian Princes by sponsoring and encouraging agitation for responsible government for the State people, the League sought the friendship of the Princely Order by condemning such activities and upholding the rights and privileges of the Indian Princes in any revision of the Indian Constitutions.  

In yet another direction the League manÅ“uvred itself into a comfortable position; whereas, the Congress categorically withheld its co-operation from the war, the League abstained from taking any such attitude and merely insisted on the satisfaction of its claims prior to making up its mind.  Even this was only the official attitude of the League as an organisation.  Most of its individual members were in favour of whole-heartedly aiding the prosecution of the war.  And the League winked at this.

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