• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Sir Sikandar Hayat’s Policy Statement on Constitutional Structure of India and All India Muslim League’s Lahore Resolution 1940 / 1st Part

Punjab Legislative Assembly 1941

Session of the Punjab Legislative Assembly: 11 March 1941

Prime Minister of Punjab: Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan

I now propose to deal with the important subject of the future constitution for India. My honourable friend Sardar Lal Singh referred to it in the course of his speech and specifically asked for my views on the subject. I am glad that he put me that question—and I avail of this opportunity to answer his question. He is not the only person who has put that question; other individuals in this House and outside—both friends and opponents—have evinced a desire that I should give expression to my views. A section of the press has been trying for the past several months to draw me by taunts and cajolery. I withstood their provocation  and have hitherto refrained from making a statement as I considered that it would be more appropriate to state my viewpoint on an important matter like this in the House rather than by a statement to the press. I was waiting for a suitable opportunity and my honourable friend Sardar Lal Singh by his remarks in the course of this debate and the direct question he has put to me, has provided it. The opponents of the present Government have often, for lack of any genuine ground of criticism, resorted to ludicrous misrepresentation and taunts to justify their existence.

Partition of India and Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan

We are sometimes described as a League Government and at others an oligarchy of Zamindars. Our action has on more than one occasion been described by the opposition as dhinga zori of the Kisan Government. Well, we are not ashamed of being called a Kisan Government, a majority of our members are kisans, but there are others also who may not be kisans but, unlike my honourable friends opposite they are friends of the peasants. We are proud to be representatives and friends of the kisans. It is, however, a patent and gross misstatement to describe us as a Muslim League Government. We have never claimed that we are a Muslim League Government; and it would be sheer dishonesty to call it a Muslim Government when no less than half its members are non-Muslims. We are purely a Punjabi Government and we will continue to be a purely Punjabi Government (hear, hear). Who can honestly describe it as anything but a Punjabi Government? It is no use trying to mislead anybody on this side of the House so far as I am concerned, I do not mind his provocative remarks, but I think it is time that my honourable friend Sardar Lal Singh and his associates, in their own interests should desist from such unnecessary provocation. Nobody on this side of the house will be affected by such childish effusions, but the press will take them up and ignorant people outside may be provoked. Such tactics cannot possibly do any good to him or to his community or to the province. So I would request him to be truthful and frankly admit that this is a truly Punjabi Government—a Government comprised of Unionists, who have an absolute majority in the House, with a member of the Khalsa National Party and one Hindu independent. That is the correct description of the present Ministry—a Ministry which as a whole constitutes in the truest sense of the word a really representative Punjabi Government–
a Government -which represents every community, class and section of the people in this province. (Cheers from ministerial benches).

My honourable friend then went on and asked, what was the Prime Minister’s view about Pakistan. He repeated that question several times and other members of the opposition who followed him also repeated it. My honourable friend, I take it, put that question to me in my personal capacity and not as a member of the Government. Obviously he is only anxious to ascertain my personal views on the subject and in any case Government as such, is not concerned with this controversy. I propose therefore to answer his question in my individual capacity and not as Premier. But before answering his question
I should like to put him a question to make sure that he understands his own question {laughter}. May I ask on which particular Pakistan scheme he wants my opinion? Does he even know how many schemes there are?

Sardar Agit Singh:

The one that you framed.

Premier:

I did not frame any Pakistan scheme. My honourable friend should not be impatient. I will presently give him the genesis of the various schemes. He will then know what colossal ignorance prevails about these schemes and will be sorry for his interruption. Now, which Pakistan scheme has my friend in mind? There is in the first place the Pakistan scheme of Maulana Jamal-ud-Din Afghani. Has he studied it? Does he want my views on it?

Sardar Lal Singh:

We want to know the views of the Premier about the one passed at Lahore.

Premier:

No Pakistan scheme was passed at Lahore. But I will deal with the Lahore resolution also, to which he is apparently referring in due course. As for Pakistan schemes Maulana Jamul-ad-Din’s is the earliest, but he does not want my views on that. Then there is the scheme which is attributed to the late Allama Iqbal of revered memory. He, however, never formulated any definite scheme, but his writings and poems have given some people ground to think that Allama Iqbal desired the establishment of some sort of Pakistan. But it is not difficult to explode this theory and to prove conclusively that his conception of Islamic solidarity and universal brotherhood is not in conflict with Indian patriotism and is in fact quite different from the ideology now sought to be attributed to him by-some enthusiasts.
I presume that my honourable friend opposite does not want my views on non-existent scheme attributed to the great poet-philosopher of the east, Dr. Iqbal. (Laughter)

Then there is Chaudhri Rahmat Ali’s scheme … Does, he want my opinion about that? This is how Mr. Rahmat Ali produced his Pakistan.

Mr. Rahmat Ali produced his Pakistan. P for Punjab, A for Afghanistan including Pathanistan, i.e., the North-West Frontier Province, K for Kashmir S for Sind and the last three letters ‘tan’ of Baluchistan. I am not sure if Iran is also included. This is Chaudhri Rabmat Ali’s scheme. He pint forward this scheme a few years ago, and it was widely circulated in this country and also published in the press. It was also given wide publicity at the time in a section of the British Press. But there is another scheme also which my honourable friend has probably never heard of; it was published in one of the British journals—I think the Round Table—and was conceived by an Englishman. Does he want my opinion about that scheme?

Ajit Singh:

No.

Premier:

Then my honourable friend probably wants my opinion on some Pakistan scheme which does not exist outside his imagination.

I will now try to satisfy the curiosity of my honourable friend Sardar Lal Singh by dealing with the Lahore resolution, which is now popularly known as Pakistan scheme. When that resolution was passed it was termed the Lahore resolution; the word Pakistan was not used at the League meeting and this term was not applied to the League resolution by anybody until the Hindu Press had a brain-wave and dubbed it Pakistan. They have sown the wind and must now reap the whirlwind. It has been said that I am the author of the Lahore resolution. I have no hesitation in admitting that I was responsible for drafting the original resolution. But let me make it clear that the resolution which I drafted was radically amended by the Working Committee, and there is a wide divergence in the resolution I drafted and the one that was finally passed. The main difference between the two resolutions is that the latter part of my resolution which related to the Centre and co-ordination of the activities of the various units, was eliminated. It is, therefore, a travesty of fact to describe the League resolution as it was finally passed as my resolution. It must be taken as the official resolution of the Muslim League which was ratified by the Muslim League.

Ref: https://www.pap.gov.pk/uploads/verbatim/text/en/pb-legis-assembly-debates-vol-xvi-1941.pdf

Urdu Virsion:

ہندوستان کے دستوری ڈھانچے اور آل انڈیا مسلم لیگ کی قراردادِ لاہور 1940ء پر سر سکندر حیات کا پالیسی بیان / پہلی قسط

Punjab-legislative-assembly-Prime Minister Sikandar Hayat Khan