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Appeal to Muslim leaders to assemble largely at the Bombay Session of the All-India Muslim League, 11th November, 1915

Sir,

Now that the Council of the All-India Muslim [02] League has decided to hold the Session of the League in Bombay, [03] may I appeal to the Mohammedan [03] leaders of the community in general to close our ranks? We are bound by our constitution. Reverence for and obedience to the constitution and discipline are absolutely necessary qualities to enable us to say that we are fir for real political franchise, freedom and self-government.

At this juncture we are watched not only by India but by the whole of the British Empire of which we aspire to be an independent, free and equal member along with the dominions who already enjoy freedom and self-government. No consideration of any kind or nature whatsoever should weigh with us or influence us except the best interest of the country and the community. The Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League both have for their goal the attainment of self-government for India. The recognition of this claim will have to be judged by, and depend greatly upon, how the Congress and the League organise control and conduct themselves this year and in the near future.

I wish to state with the greatest emphasis that there is no truth in the baseless statements made in some quarters that any responsible Mohammedan leader thinks that the League should be merged into the Indian National Congress. But conference in collaboration, if possible, is the object, and what objection is there to this course?

Now that the majority of the leading representatives of the Council have decided on holding the Session in Bombay, can we not bury our differences, show a united front and acquit ourselves with credit and honour?

What will the success of the Sessions of the League this year mean?

1. It will show the power of organisation, the clarity of Musalman opinions and their true worth. This will entitle them to claim the rights and privileges of a free people.

2. It will make our Hindu friends value us all the more and will make them feel more than ever that we are worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with them for the cause of the Motherland.

3. It will prove to British politicians and statesmen, to Parliament and the British nation generally, that we are not crying for the moon when we ask for self-government but that we are determined and are in earnest about it and that we shall pursue our course steadfastly and unitedly [sic] till the goal is realised.

4. It will convince the Government here and in England and the British Empire at large that Mohammedans of India, notwithstanding their religious sentiments and feelings at this juncture of the greatest crisis that the Empire has to face, can show due control, restraint and moderation in their deliberations and can exercise judgment and pursue a course which is worthy of the highest statesmanship.

In conclusion, I urge all the Mohammedans to rally round the flag of the All-India Muslim League and, as true patriots, stand by its constitution and thus make the community feel proud of the only political organisation it possesses at present.

Bombay, Nov. 11.

Yours etc.,
Sd. M.A. Jinnah

 

Source: R. Ahmad 1997 (Vol II) p.419-421 (Original: Bombay Chronicle, 11th November 1915)

 (archived from http://jinnaharchive.com/docs/doc/1915/01151111.htm)

ANNOTATIONS:

[1] Letter to the Editor of Bombay Chronicle, 11 November 1915.

[2] Spelt ‘Moslem’ in original throughout.

[3] The Bombay Session of the All-India Muslim League was held on 30-31 December 1915 and 1 January 1916.

[4] Spelt ‘Mahomedan(s)’ in original throughout.

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