Iqbal’s Letter To The Editor Of The Times in 1931

JK Bank

IqbalSir, writing in your issue of October 3 last, Dr. E. Thompson has torn the following passage from its context in my presidentialaddress to the All-India Moslem League of last December, in order to serve as eveidence of “Pan-Islamic plotting”:-

I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind, and Baluchistan amalgated into a single State. Self-government within British empire or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West IndianMoslem State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Moslems, at least of North-West India.


May I tell Dr. Thompson that in this passage I don’t put forward a “demand” for Moslem state outside the British Empire, but onlyguess at the possible outcome in the dim future of the mighty forces now shaping the destiny of the Indian Sub-continent. No Indian Moslem with any pretence to sanity contemplates a Moslem state or series of states in North-West India outside the BritishCommonwealth of Nations as a plan of practical politics.

Although I would oppose the creation of another cockpit of communal strife in the Central Punjab, as suggested by some enthusiasts, I am for a redistribution of India into provinces with effective majorities of one community or another on lines advocated both by the Nehru and the Simon reports. Indeed, my suggestion regarding Moslem provinces merely carries forward this idea. A series of contended and well-organised Moslem provinces on the North-West Frontier of India would be the bulwark of India and of the British Empire against the hungry generations of the Asiatic highlands.

Yours Faithfully, Muhammed Iqbal, St. James’s Court S.W.l, 10-Oct

Published in The Times, London, on 12 October 1931, page 8