DEAR MR. JINNAH,
Pandit Nehru told me yesterday that you were complaining to Maulana
Sahib about the absence of any reply from me to your letter of the
5th November in reply to mine of the 19th October. The letter was
received by me when I was pronounced by the Doctors to be seriously
ill at Calcutta.
The letter was shown to me three days after its receipt. Had I thought
it necessarily called for a reply even though I was ill I would have
sent one. I read the letter and I still think there was nothing useful
that I could have said in reply. But in a way I am glad you awaited
a reply and here it is. Mr Kher told me definitely he had a private
message from you. He delivered it to me when I was alone. I could
have sent you a verbal message in reply but in order to give you a
true picture of my mental state I sent you a short note. There was
nothing to hide in it. But I did feel, as I still do, that the way
in which you used it came upon me as a painful surprise.
Your complain of my silence. The reason for my silence is literally
and truly in my note. Believe me, the moment I can do something that
can bring the two communities together nothing in the world can prevent
me from so doing. You seem to deny that your speech was declaration
of war, but your later pronouncements too confirmed my first impression.
How can I prove what is a matter of feeling? In your speech I miss
the old Nationalist when in 1915 I returned from my self- imposed
exile in South Africa. Everybody spoke of you as one of the staunchest
nationalists and the hope of both the Hindus and Mussalmans. Are you
still the same Mr Jinnah?
If you say you are, in spite of your speeches, I shall accept your
Lastly, you want me to come forward with some proposal. What proposal
can I make except to ask you on bended knees to be what I thought
you were ? But the proposals to form the basis of unity between the
two communities surely have got to come from you.
This again is not for publication but for your eyes; it is the one
of a friend, not of an opponent.