Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jinnah on the Constituent Assembly

This is from "Pakistan & Constituent Assembly", by Iftikhar-ul-Haq (1946).   One objection to a Constituent Assembly elected by universal adult franchise is that the electorate is mostly illiterate.

Mr. Jinnah elucidated this point on 4th December, 1939, when in a statement in the New Chronicle he said,  "Mr. Gandhi is neither concerned with the size of the country, nor the illiteracy of the masses.  A truly representative assembly presupposes that in order faithfully to express the judgment of the people it can be o[nly?] be constituted if you have a fully developed public opinion, an electorate educated [ ] experienced, free from superstition and capable of judging the vital political issues affecting the country, and not as India stands today, composed of castes, creeds, superstitions, provincial jealousies, quite apart from the main division of British India and Indian States.  The assembly proposed by Mr. Gandhi at best, therefore, be a packed body manœuvred and managed by the Congress caucus".

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