New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) M.A. Jinnah never trusted Mahatma Gandhi even as the latter had proposed his name for the post of first Prime Minister of Independent India, according to a book and historical documents.
Gandhi had proposed many times that Jinnah should be lead the first interim government of Independent India. He proposed it to the Cabinet Mission as also to last Viceroy Mountbatten.
According to the Viceroy Diaries, which has been documented as Mountbatten papers, “Gandhi met the new Viceroy on 1st April 1947… Gandhi offered Prime Minister’s post to Jinnah.”
As per the papers, Gandhi said the solution was that “Mr. Jinnah should forthwith be asked to form the Central Interim Government with Members of the Muslim League”.
But Mountbatten said to Gandhi that he wants to discuss with Jawaharlal Nehru, as per the ‘Mountbatten Papers. When Nehru met Viceroy, he echoed the same line suggested by Mahatma Gandhi the same day, the documents say.
But Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, in one of his write ups, has argued that this offer was to head the interim government in pre-Independence era.
However, Gandhi had made this offer before also, according to Jinnah’s biography ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’ authored by Stanley Wolpert.
Gandhi wrote to the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, on August 8, 1942, one day before he launched ‘Quit India movement’: “Congress will have no objection to the British Government transferring all the powers it exercises to the Muslim League on behalf of the whole of India”.
In the letter, Gandhi added, “And the Congress will not only not obstruct any Government that the Muslim League may form on behalf of the people, but will even join the Government in running the machinery of the free State.”
He concluded his letter by writing, “This is meant in all seriousness and sincerity”.
But Jinnah rejected Gandhi’s offer as he always had mistrust in him.
The book “Jinnah of Pakistan” states that, “Such an offer might have tempted Jinnah if he believed in or trusted Gandhi”. He did not. Instead, as he told the press, “Mr. Gandhi’s conception of ‘Independent India’ is basically different from ours”, and he reiterated that “Mr. Gandhi by independence means Congress raj”.
Jinnah’s Muslim League, in Lahore resolution of March 23, 1940, had already ideated Pakistan. In September 1944, during the Jinnah-Gandhi talks, the matter of who will lead the government did not arise and the talks were focused on whether India would remain united or will be divided into two nations.