Before asking for partition Muslims claimed a higher degree of protection than was conceded to the other minorities on the ground of their political importance

Absolutely must-read excerpts from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s book titled “Pakistan or the Partition of India“.


In the controversy that went on between Mr. Jinnah and the Congress in the year 1938, Mr. Jinnah was asked to disclose his demands which he refused to do. But these demands have come to the surface in the correspondence that passed between Pandit Nehru and Mr. Jinnah in the course of the controversy and they have been tabulated by Pandit Nehru in one of his letters to Mr. Jinnah. His tabulation gives the following items as being matters of disputes and requiring settlement :–

( 1 ) The fourteen points formulated by the Muslim League in 1929.

(2) The Congress should withdraw all opposition to the Communal Award and should not describe it as a negation of nationalism.

(3) The share of the Muslims in the state services should be definitely fixed in the constitution by statutory enactment.

(4) Muslim personal law and culture should be guaranteed by statute.

(5) The Congress should take in hand the agitation in connection with the Sahidganj Mosque and should use its moral pressure to enable the Muslims to gain possession of the Mosque.

(6) The Muslims’ right to call Azan and perform their religious ceremonies should not be fettered in any way.

(7)  Muslims should have freedom to perform cow-slaughter.

(8) Muslim majorities in the Provinces,  where such majorities exist at present, must not be affected by any territorial re-distribution or adjustments.

(9) The ‘ Bande Mataram’ song should be given up.

(10) Muslims want Urdu to be the national language of India and they desire to have statutory guarantees that the use of Urdu shall not be curtailed or damaged.

(11)  Muslim representation in the local bodies should be governed by the principles underlying the Communal Award, that is, separate electorates and population strength.

(12) The tricolour flag should be changed or alternately the flag of the Muslim League should be given equal importance.

(13) Recognition of the Muslim League as the one authoritative and representative organization of Indian Muslims.

(14)  Coalition Ministries should be formed.

With this new list, there is no knowing where the Muslims are going to stop in their demands. Within one year, that is, between 1938 and 1939, one more demand and that too of a substantial character, namely 50 per cent. share in every thing, has been added to it.

In this catalogue of new demands there are some which on the face of them are extravagant and impossible, if not irresponsible. As an instance, one may refer to the demand for fifty-fifty and the demand for the recognition of Urdu as the national language of India.

In 1929, the Muslims insisted that in allotting seats in Legislatures, a majority shall not be reduced to a minority or equality.  This principle, enunciated by themselves, it is now demanded, shall be abandoned and a majority shall be reduced to equality.

The Muslims in 1929 admitted that the other minorities required protection and that they must have it in the same manner as the Muslims.  The only distinction made between the Muslims and other minorities was as to the extent of the protection. The Muslims claimed a higher degree of protection than was conceded to the other minorities on the ground of their political importance. The necessity and adequacy of protection for the other minorities the Muslims never denied. But with this new demand of 50 per cent. the Muslims are not only seeking to reduce the Hindu majority to a minority but they are also cutting into the political rights of the other minorities.

The Muslims are now speaking the language of Hitler and claiming a place in the sun as Hitler has been doing for Germany. For their demand for 50 per cent. is nothing but a counterpart of the German claims for Deutschland Uber Alles and Lebenuraum for themselves, irrespective of what happens to other minorities.

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