Jinnah’s stance in World War II

Jinnah was opposed to the Nazis and the Axis powers. His persistent stance throughout the Second World War was that he did not want the Nazis to win. Therefore, he would not embarrass the British government when Britain’s own survival was at stake as long as they guaranteed that India would be completely free after the war (the demand for Pakistan was a part of this bigger picture).

It is important for us to know this, because the Indian Nazism of today happens to be the leftover business from the same World War (Gandhi and the Indian nationalists had flirted with the Axis powers quite openly). A detailed discussion will be offered in a separate post but the following few quotes might suffice for now to show the position of Jinnah and his nation on this issue.

We feel that it is not only Great Britain alone but also India, which is in danger. Situated as we are, we feel that if Great Britain goes under and the machinery of Government of India breaks down, there is real danger to all of us.

Apart from other reasons, we do not want the Nazis to win this war. We want Great Britain to win this war. There is no question of our changing our masters. We want to take our freedom from Great Britain. For that reason, we, from the beginning, did not place any obstacles in the way of Great Britain.

Jinnah, inaugural speech at the 1st Conference of the Delhi Muslim Students’ Federation, Delhi, 23 November 1940

Returning to the point as to why they did not demand Pakistan here and now, Mr. Jinnah said that it was due to one and one reason only, namely, we did not wish to embarrass the British Government when they were engaged in this struggle of life and death, and their own existence. That is why we said that as soon as the circumstances may permit or soon after the war, the whole problem of India’s constitution must be examined de novo.

Report of Jinnah’s presidential address to the 28th Session of the All-India Muslim League, Madras, April 14, 1941

We do not want to embarrass the British Government because we know the real situation. But we are not going to give help as camp-followers to the Government. We do not want that after they have won the war, they should sit on our chest. We have not accepted that position and we will not accept it.

Jinnah, Speech at a public meeting on Pakistan Day, 23 March 1942

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