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JINNAH IN KASHMIR: 1935

Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s address to Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir, during his visit in 1935
As I said at the moment I reached Jammu, it is not the policy of the Muslim League to interfere with the internal administration of this State or the grave and serious issues that face the Maharaja and his Government, as between him and his people, but we are certainly very deeply concerned with the welfare of the Mussalmans in the State, and I must say that even a casual visitor cannot but be shocked to see the condition of the people in this State, even in matters of their elementary needs and necessities. Sir B.N. Rao has just taken charge as the Prime Minister of the State, and now the people are looking up to him and expecting that he will take effective measures for their betterment.
As regards the Mussalmans, as I said, we are vitally concerned with their welfare, but I regret that although Sheikh Abdullah and his party and the Muslim Conference discussed matters with me in Delhi and in Lahore before my arrival here and were good enough to accord me a great reception, and were anxious that I should hear both sides and bring about a settlement, when I, after careful consideration, suggested that the Mussalmans should organize themselves under one flag and on one platform, not only my advice was not acceptable to Sheikh Abdullah but, as is his habit, which has become a second nature with him, he indulged in all sorts of language of a most offensive and vituperative character in attacking me. My advice to the Mussalmans is that the differences can only be resolved by argument, discussion, exchange of views, and reason and not by goondaism and one thing that I must draw the attention of Kashmir Government about is that goondaism must be put down at any cost, and there should be constitutional liberty of speech and freedom of thought, which is the elementary right of every citizen under any civilized form of Government.

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