PESSIMISM SURROUNDING DR ALLAMA IQBAL IN 1932
STOPPED TRUSTING PEOPLE AS RAMPANT BETRAYAL
An inner glimpse of the mind of Dr Allama Iqbal
Letters are moments in time. Letters of great personalities talk of their state of mind, their inner revolutions and evolutions. I came across a letter of Dr Allama Iqbal. It is addressed to probably some Seth Talish. Who was this Seth Talish? I do not know. But the letter is very clear about the perceptions in the mind of our philosopher. He is not trusting people and not willing to share his views with Seth Talish. Is Seth Talish a Muslim or a Hindu? One does not know. Some Iqballian may tell us. Ours is to share this treasure with the public.
16th Jan, 1932
My dear Seth Talish
Thanks for your letter which I read a moment ago. I am sorry to tell you that I fret (feel) extremely pessimistic about Muslim demands in England and that that state of mind still continues. Experience has taught me that very few men should be trusted.
As to your proposed deputation I do not wish to say anything for the present. As you know I shall be presiding over the felicitations of the coming conference at Lahore. I must I think, reserve my views as to which the Muslims of India should do now that their demand has received practically no attention from the ‘Princes’.
Letters are reflection of personalities at one given time as one continuous time. This letter is important in understanding the frustration of Dr Allama Iqbal. Very simply it led him to think of Quaid e Azam and the rest everybody knows. Dr Iqbal’s letters brought the great Jinnah back home to wage the struggle for Pakistan.
Such are the examples:
20th March, 1937
My dear Mr. Jinnah,
I suppose you have read Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s address to the All-India National Convention and that you fully realize the policy underlying in it so far as Indian Muslims are concerned. I believe you are also aware that the new constitution has at least brought a unique opportunity to Indian Muslims for self-organisation in view of the future political developments both in India and Muslim Asia. While we are ready to co-operate with other Progressive Parties in the country, we must not ignore the fact that the whole future of Islam as a moral and political force in Asia rests very largely on a complete organisation of Indian Muslims. I therefore, suggest that an effective reply should be given to the All-India National Convention. You should immediately hold an All-India Muslim Convention in Delhi to which you should invite members of the new Provincial Assemblies as well as other prominent Muslim leaders. To this convention you must re-state as clearly and as strongly as possible the political objective of the Indian Muslims as a distinct political unit in the country. It is absolutely necessary to tell the world both inside and outside India that the economic problem is not the only problem in the country. From the Muslim point of view the cultural problem is of much greater consequence to most Indian Muslims. At any rate it is not less important than the economic problem. If you could hold this Convention, it would test the credentials of those Muslim Legislators who have formed parties contrary to the aims and aspirations of Indian Muslims. It would further make it clear to the Hindus that no political device, however subtle, can make the Indian Muslim lose sight of his cultural entity. I am coming to Delhi in a few days’ time and hope to have a talk with you on this important matter. I shall be staying in the Afghan Consulate. If you could spare a few moments, we should meet there. Please drop a line in reply to this letter as early as possible.
(Sd.) Muhammad Iqbal
P.S. Please excuse me. I have got this letter written by a friend as my eye-sight is getting bad.