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Letter from S. C. Kakati to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Congress House, Gauhati.—Invites him to contribute an article to a souvenir to be published in connection with the next session of the Indian National Congress.

(Letter-head of the Reception Committee, Indian National Congress, Sixty-third Session (Assam) 1958, Gauhati. Signed as Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee, Reception Committee.)

Text of an article by Lord Pethick-Lawrence, entitled ‘The Changing East’

Reviews the changes that have taken place since he attended the Indian National Congress at Gauhati in 1926, and reflects on the current problems facing India.

(Carbon copy of a typed original. The article was written for a Souvenir published in connection with the 63rd Indian National Congress. See 2/102–3.)

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Transcript

THE CHANGING EAST.
By Rt Hon Lord Pethick-Lawrence

In 1926 I attended the meeting of the Indian National Congress in Gauhati. I am most interested therefore to learn that it is being held there again this year.

What changes have taken place in the 31 intervening years! Then, Congress was still fighting an uphill battle for independence. Now, India ranks among the great nations of the world. Then the self-governing members of the Commonwealth consisted solely of peoples of European extraction. Now it includes peoples of Asia and Africa.

When I was a boy, India used to be spoken of as part of the “Unchanging East”. No one says that today. Everyone can see that India is changing very fast.

One of the reasons why I have come to India now in my 86th year is to try to find out how India is responding to the claims of the new age. During the few weeks that I have been here I have kept my eyes and ears open and I have learnt a great deal about your problems. I realise how great they are in number and intensity. Here are just a few of them:— Education, language, caste and custom, races, power, employment, population, finance, riches and poverty, social welfare, democratic institutions, international relationships.

I have stayed long enough to realise what a colossal task you have to tackle. But it has been much too short for me to come to any well-balanced conclusion as to the degree of your success. Indeed I doubt whether anyone even with far better knowledge than I is yet in a position to measure your all-round progress. In my view another ten or fifteen years will have to elapse before this can be done.

What I can tell you is that your efforts are being watched with the deepest and most friendly interest by the people of my country and by other members of the Commonwealth.

We want so much that you should succeed magnificently. We want so much that your people should increase their standard of life and their stature. We want to see India playing a noble part in the world.

May this Congress at Gauhati bring nearer these high ends!

Circular letter by F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

Hotel Cecil, Agra.—Describes his and his wife’s second visit to Calcutta, and their journey thence to Peshawar, Landikotal, Lahore, Delhi, and Agra. Records Emmeline’s impressions of the Taj Mahal.

(Mechanical copy of a typed original.)

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Transcript

Hotel Cecil,
Agra.
December 15, 1926.

The date at the top of this letter reminds me that a calendar month from to-day we are due to set sail for home. But although we have already travelled through India from West (Bombay) to East (Madras & Calcutta) and from South (Madura close to the tip) to the extreme North (in the frontier of Afghanistan) and are now due in the North centre our next journeyings will take us a long way further East (out of Bengal into Assam) before we turn finally westward and homeward.

My last letter described our sight of the Himalayan snows from Darjeeling. I have now to tell you of our journey over the Khyber Pass and of our visit to the historic monuments of India.

Before this however I must tell you that my second three days in Calcutta were packed as full of incident as the first. I spent a morning going over a jute mill, an afternoon meeting the liberal and other non-Swaraj politicians, and an evening dining with an Indian Judge and going on from there to an Indian theatre. Another night I dined with the Swarajists, all of the Directors of “Forward” newspaper being present together. I lunched with an interesting group of people and heard a vigorous case made out against the handling by the Bengal Government of the irrigation of the Province, I lunched another day with a group of the Council members of Bengal; and finally Emmeline and I spent a day in the little French town of Chandernagore and visited the home of Mr. Roy Chowdury one of the appointed Labour Members of the Bengal Legislative Assembly.

That night we started on a 60-hour journey to Peshawar. Many people detest train journeys here because of the heat and dust and monotony. We find them very pleasant and a considerable rest after the busy days in towns. Of course it is the “cold weather” period just now when the temperatures in the North of India correspond very much to the best September and October weather in England.

We passed through Allahabad at midday, and in the afternoon reached Cawnpore where Ameer’s [Footnote: ‘Our Indian servant.’] two little girls were brought by his brother down to the station to see him, Delhi at midnight, Amballa at 5 a.m., Lahore at one o’clock in the afternoon, Pindi at 9 p.m., crossed the Indus about 4 a.m., and finally arrived at Peshawar at 6 p.m. It was quite dark, rather cold, the hotel was almost asleep, and our van luggage had got left behind at Amballa.

But the sun very soon shone and at 10 o’clock we were bowling along in a motor car over the Khyber Pass. First some eight miles along a dusty plain to Jamrud. Then 17 miles up a twisty mountain road to Landikotal. It was Tuesday—one of the biweekly caravan days—and we passed and met the full complement of camels and their drivers. We counted enough to enable us to realise that there were about a thousand gping† each way. This is an astonishingly large number and some idea of it may be gathered from these two computations. If they were all tethered head to tail with about a camel’s length between them they would stretch in all (as they did in fact) about three miles. If they each carried on an average 4 cwt of burden (and many of them carried more), they would bear between them a cargo of 200 tons the equivalent of the load of one train!

It was fairly simple on the outward journey to get by them for the road bifurcates in places and while fast vehicular traffic goes one way, ox waggons and pack animals go another, and we got by most of them during these stretches. But coming back we came up with them at places where one of the roads was under repair and we were all in a lump together—two thousand camels and a motor car on one road—no easy task either for camel drivers or chauffeur.

Landikotal is the last cantonment of any size in British India and is the top of the pass. We were taken three miles further with an escort on the front seat, beside Ameer and the chauffeur, to Michnikandar. A bend in the road and the whole Afghan landscape bursts into view—the frontier itself three miles away and beyond, plains and mountains and plains and mountains, and ranges and ranges until at last 200 miles to the North are the snows which lie beyond Kabul which itself is 155 miles away!

We clambered to the top of a mound to get the panoramic view, just above us is the tower fort with 2 Indian soldiers silhouetted against the radiant blue sky. A picnic lunch and the return to Peshawar past endless camels.

Peshawar is always liable to be looted by tribal robbers and is now surrounded by barbed wire and illuminated at night. That these marauding tribes are driven on by hunger is shown by the facts that 1) during the construction of the railway up the pass when there was a livelihood to be got by anyone who chose to work, marauding ceased; the rail built it has begun again. 2) A dam brought water to one tribe, it is now law-abiding. Unfortunately the same remedy cannot be applied elsewhere in other tribal valleys for there is no water available, and the tribesmen cannot be induced to leave their inhospitable mountain valleys for better irrigated regions.

Our friends the Jardines, whom we had met on board ship and expected to find at Peshawar had unfortunately been moved 2 hours journey away and could not come in, but they sent word to friends of theirs, Captain and Mrs. Galbraith, who were perfectly charming to us, showing us the sights of the city, getting up a game of tennis, giving us dinner, and letting us understand what they felt of the situation. It made our stay in Peshawar a delightful one.

A night’s journey and half a day brought us back to Lahore, where Lajpat Rai (now reckoned an Indian moderate) had arranged a public lecture for me and later a private dinner party. I was introduced to Punjab politics where there are three sections:—Mahommeddans 54% Hindus 33% Sikhs 13% (my figures are from memory only). Lajpat Rai has triumphed here over his Swarajist opponents, but the future is uncertain.

Next day after seeing some Labour men and visiting a famous mosque we lunched with some board-ship English friends and then were entertained at a big garden party where most of the leading Indians of Lahore came to see us.

A night’s journey brought us to Delhi. Of the three days there Emmeline spent the first two in bed with a cold, and I the last in bed with a slight fever. As a result we were Cox and Box in sight seeing. First I saw the new Delhi (five miles away) and made the acquaintance of several members of the secretariat; then next day I was taken by the Grahams to a picnic in the grounds of the Hanz Khas, an ancient Hindu College and tomb. The third day Emmeline did a round of Delhi’s† ancient and modern including the newest Delhi and visited the famous fort. We agreed on this that we liked the old Delhis best.

Yesterday morning we came here to Agra and as soon as possible went to the Taj. It is nearly thirty years since I saw it first, and I have seen many other lovely things in between, but my view has not changed that of all human achievements in architecture it stands without a peer. As Emmeline sees it now for the first time I leave the description of it to her. She writes:—“No words, no pictures or models can give any idea of the beauty of the Taj Mahal. The first sight of it strikes one almost breathless, as would the appearance of some heavenly vision. As one approaches nearer, the wonderful effect deepens, for the Taj is not only perfect in its wholeness, but perfect in every detail. Under the blue dome of the Indian sky the shining vision stands, its white marble crystal-like dome gathering and shedding forth the light. The approach to it is by a long avenue of conventional cypresses, and a long stone and marble water garden; and on the further side of the Taj the river Jumna flows.

As you know the building is the commemoration of a beautiful and beloved woman, built by her royal lover and husband. It is the equivalent of a lovely statue, for all the architectural critics admit that this structure expresses in all its curves and lines the ideal beauty of womanhood. The building, the 4 minarets that guard it, and the very large terrace on which it is elevated are of shining white marble, spotless and flawless. Every square yard has been touched by the artist, beautiful carving in bas relief (of flowers) and wonderful carving, of screenwork (like Mushriabiah screenwork): passages from the Koran inlaid in black marble, and lovely floral design inlaid with gems and precious stones. Glowing colour in that crystal whiteness. Beautiful as are all the parts, it is the simplicity and purity of its wholeness that moves one most of all.

The king spent all his patrimony on its completion, and was taken prisoner by his son, who feared penury, and was held in prison for seven years. At the hour of his death, he was at his request, carried to a balcony where across the river he could gaze to the last on the shining dome. We stood on the same balcony and tried to imagine what his thoughts were then.

There are many beautiful buildings and monuments in Delhi and in Agra—but the Taj is supreme. It is to my mind the most beautiful form that the human imagination has ever achieved. There may be greater and grander structures, but nothing for sheer loveliness like it.”

We drove to-day 23 miles to Fatipur Sikri to see the great palace of Akbar, a wonderful work of carved redsandstone†, and the delicate marble tomb of the saint.

Then to-night we went again to the Taj in the moonlight and to-morrow we go there to see the rising sun.

After that we are away to Cawnpore, Sitapur, Benares and eastward through Calcutta to Gauhati in Assam for the Indian National Congress.

F. W. PETHICK-LAWRENCE.

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† Sic.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Reports on his health and daily routine. Has dined with Amrit Kaur. The mission are convincing many Indians that they mean business (with regard to independence) this time, but the mutual suspicion between Congress and Muslims presents a problem.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
April 5. 46

My dear

I think I have had two letters from you since I wrote last {1}. The lastest† was written Mch 30, 31, from Fways; so that it came in 5 days. I am delighted to hear you are having such glorious weather & are enjoying every minute of it.

Here it grows steadily warmer[,] 101º yesterday & I think even higher today. But I never felt better in my life. The doctor paid me an official visit the other day & gave me a clean bill of health. He said tht blood pressure should be rather below 100 + ones age & I guessed tht mine wd be 160. He took it & found it 150 which he said was just right. I knew it would be so because when I get into bed about midnight I never get out at all & sleep right through till about 6.45 when I get up. After exercises & bath I go out at 7.30 to walk to the Viceroys Garden. The flox† & stocks & other stalk-flowers are running to seed & the big shrubs including the red bougeinvillea & the blue Petria† are fading. But the big trees outside (? Jackoranda†) with blue flowers, & others with red & yellow are just coming out. I get back to breakfast at 8 on the verandah. I start with fruit—mangoes, papaya, banana, apple, then cornflakes with stewed fruit & raisins, then 2 weeny bits of toast with butter & jam. Then I walk to my office on the other side of the Viceroy’s house getting there about 9 o’c. I drive home to lunch about 1.15. I sleep a little & drive back about 3.15 & walk home about 7. Dinner is at 8 & generally political talks with Indians afterwards. Amrit Kaur came last night & said she had a lovely letter from you to which she was replying {2}.

We are [making] good progress with our programme of interviewing people but that of course is quite a different matter from saying tht we are making political progress. One thing is making progress, I think we are convincing most of the Congress & a large part of the press & some of the Moslems tht we mean business this time. But how to abate the mutual suspicion between Congress & Moslems is the question.

All my love
Boy

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There are a few characteristically abbreviated words, including ‘tht’ for ‘that’.

{1} These letters do not survive.

{2} Amrit Kaur’s letter is PETH 1/33.

† Sic.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Refers to his forthcoming visits to Kashmir and the Taj. The mission has gained much goodwill, but their visitors do not expect that it will be able to resolve the impasse between Congress and the Muslim League.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
Saty April 13. 46

My beloved.

I may as well confess tht what I would love most wd be to spend Easter with my darling at Fways. But since tht is out of the question a few days recess in Cashmir has its charms. So many people have chanted the praises of Cashmir tht I shall be most interested to see how far their eulogies are justified. Then there will be also the relaxation from the heat here. Latterly we have been rather mercifully treated in tht respect. After rising day by day to a maximum of 105º (in the shade of course) the dust & rain storms brought it down with a run to a maximum of 85º & of course a minimum much below tht at night—almost cold. Now I expect it will creep up again & the flowers will gradually wither away. But the Jacaranda trees are in full bloom with their gorgeous blue flowers.

Meanwhile the political scene continues to run its course. None of our visitors seem to expect tht we shall be able to resolve the Congress-Moslem League impasse; on the other hand the Mission itself seems to have been accepted as sincere & to have won a fair measure of goodwill. After we come back from Cashmir all this remains to be put to the test.

Alexander & I plan to go to Agra tomorrow, starting fairly early, to see the Taj. We propose to be back here for lunch. Our intention is to leave here for Cashmir on Friday next April 19 returning Wednesday morning April 24.

A great budget of letters has just arrived—two from you dated 7th & 9th, two from E K 8th & 9th, one fm Kathleen Wilkinson & one from Arthur Henderson. I have only had time to glance at them as I want this letter to go by the bag. But I shall have leisure to read them all with enjoyment this Saturday afternoon.

My fond love to my darling
Boy

We had a party for all the Congress Working Committee last night. They all came. Presently we are doing the same for the Moslem League.

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There are a few characteristically abbreviated words, including ‘tht’ for ‘that’.

{1} 21 April.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

[Viceregal Lodge, Simla.]—Meetings with members of Congress and the Muslim League have begun. They will probably return to Delhi in about nine or ten days. Describes an excursion into the country and other activities. Refers to her letter in The Times.

(Letter-head of the Office of Cabinet Delegation at New Delhi, but evidently written at Simla.)

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Transcript

May 5 46

My dear.

Motor cars, rickshaws, ponies have brought the members of Congress & Muslim league to join us in discussion here, & one day I will tell you all the behind-the-scene details of the Alice-in-Wonderland’s croquet party which it involves. However the first day has gone off fairly well & if we are no nearer agreement at least we know more accurately where they all stand & wht we have to do about it.

I am still clinging to the hope tht I may be back for 26 May but it will be a near thing at best & it may well be tht I have to stay in India right on into June. We shall probably return to Delhi in about 9 or 10 days fm now. I expect you will hear all about it on the wireless. I went for a little walk from here a few minutes after the meeting dispersed & heard as I passed in a cottage a wireless report of it on the 6 o’c news.

We had a real holiday the first day after we got here & drove through Simla on the road when the milestone read 190 miles to Thibet! About 4 miles the other side of Simla we turned off the main road & then walked to a fascinating cottage facing the mountains & out on the lawn we had a picnic lunch. Walking back part of the way we encountered a troop of monkeys in the tree tops jumping from branch to branch. One, a young mother, had a baby tucked under one arm but jumped with the rest. Our bedroom windows are covered with wire netting so tht monkeys cant get in when the window is open, but I havent seen many in these grounds.

Since Thursday {1} I have been very busy but I have arranged to get some walks & some games of golf. There are shots over walls & all sorts of hazards which the Viceroy & his one-armed son {2} negotiate to perfection; & nearly every night I play a game of billiards on a rather ancient table with uncertain balls & rather crooked cues. Sometimes the whole company looks on. It is the Viceroys birthday today & I proposed his health.

I have had 2 letters from you full of good things {3}. I had missed your excellent letter in th Times {4}. You shd have received my letter about Kashmir {5} the day after your second one was written.

We had a thunderstorm on Friday afternoon & evening all over the ranges & ranges of hills that ring this place. It was really very wonderful & brought down the air temperature to a moderately wam English summer day.

All my love to my own darling & if 12th May hasnt actually passed when you get this my special love for tht.

Just Your own
Little Boy

I am very well & sleeping well.

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The address printed on the writing-paper is ‘Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi’, but the letter was clearly written at Simla. There are a number of characteristically abbreviated words, including ‘tht’ for ‘that’.

{1} 2nd.

{2} Archibald, later the 2nd Earl.

{3} These letters have not survived.

{4} The reference is to a letter published in The Times on 25 April (p. 5), appealing for donations to provide personnel to assist in famine relief in India. The letter was subscribed by Lady Pethick-Lawrence, Elizabeth M. Cadbury, T. Edmund Harvey, Lord Lindsay of Birker, and Carl Heath, and contributions were to be sent to the Friends Service Council.

{5} PETH 6/162, dated 19–24 April.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Is unlikely to return to England before she goes to the Isle of Wight. Gandhi is being awkward, but the Congress High Command is resisting his suggestion that the interim scheme should be rejected.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 19. 46.

My dear One.

I am afraid it is quite clear by now tht I shall not be home before you go to I W. I may be able to get off by the middle of next week or it may be the end of the month.

At the moment Gandhi is being very awkward. He suffers from high blood pressure & when he gets an idea he cant let go of it even if it goes contrary to wht he has been urging up to the day before. He prefers theoretical perfection as he sees it & is not really interested in the practical considerations of Governt which involve mutual accommodation. At the moment, almost for the first time in its history the Congress High Command {1} having been converted by him to sup-port our interim scheme are refusing to “right about face” at his suggestion & wreck it. Whether they will stand firm on this remains to be seen. But Nehru has chosen this moment to go to Kashmir about some internal trouble & may get himself into trouble there. In any case he is likely to be away for 2 or 3 days. It is Alice’s croquet party all over again. But we still remain hopeful.

The weather here is both hot & humid. The monsoon is expected soon. It looks like rain to-day.

I do so hope tht you will enjoy I W & that your holiday will not be spoilt by my non-arrival. You may be sure I will come as soon as even I can. Give my dear love to Tom. And for yourself old darling arms round tight.

Your very own
Boy.

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This letter includes the abbreviated forms ‘tht’ for ‘that’ and ‘wht’ for ‘what’.

{1} ‘The term “High Command” refers to the members of the Working Committee, the Con-gress president, and the general secretaries of the Congress appointed by the president.’ Marcus F. Franda, ‘The Organizational Development of India’s Congress Party’, Pacific Affairs, xxxv (1962). 249 n.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Congress will probably reject the plans for an interim Government, though it is doubtful what they will do about the constituent assembly. The date of his departure is likely to be deferred again. Lady Cripps has been recalled to England because her daughter is ill.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 24. 46

My dearly Beloved.

I have your letter of June 19 {1} before me as I write. It is indeed for both of us a trial of pa-tience. These people talk & deliberate with a sense of all eternity in front of them. Their promise of a decision are postponed from day to day & the chance of a satisfactory one ebbs & ebbs. It is now as certain as anything can be in this uncertain land tht Congress will reject the plans for an interim Governt. What they will do about the Constituent Assembly is at the moment of writing still in doubt. But my hopes are not very high. Some time I will tell you much about it. But people start coming to interview us at 7 AM, & the last doesnt leave much before midnight. And nothing whatever comes of it! And the heat is stifling.

In my last letter to EK I told her tht I expected to be leaving here on Thursday or Friday. But delays & delays & delays make this now unlikely. Nevertheless I still hope to get away within a few days from now. But it may be again a case of hope deferred.

Lady Cripps having been called out here to a sick husband is being recalled to a still more sick daughter. So her case is far far worse than ours. I am terribly sorry for her.

I am glad tht Doty continues to go from triumph to triumph. It is good tht life contains these days of exuberant satisfaction.

I kiss you my beloved. I love you & adore you.

Your very own
Boy.

You may care to see the enclosed from Lord Halifax to whom I wrote about his OM. Keep it among my letters to you.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs a few times.

{1} PETH 8/85.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Congress has rejected the plan for an interim Government but accepted a long-term plan for constitution-making. They plan to leave on Friday.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 25. 46

My darling.

Congress today turned down the plan for interim Govt but accepted a long-term plan for Constitution Making.

The result though nt as good as at one time seemed possible is a considerable achievement for which I am profoundly thankful.

Our present idea is to start from here on Friday & if tht is adhered to we should be in London on Monday Afternoon July 1. In tht case this will probably be the last letter tht I shall write to you before I start.

If it all works out as I have said, my joy at the prospect of seeing you again is overwhelming.

Kisses & love

From your very own
Boy.

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This letter includes the abbreviated forms ‘tht’ for ‘that’ and ‘nt’ for ‘not’.

Carbon copy of a letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to J. M. Keynes

Has returned from India. Encloses a letter summarising his views of the situation in that country (see 6/135), and two others describing the Indian National Congress (wanting) and his meeting with Gandhi, Tagore, and Bose (see 6/133). His wife is recovering from the illness she suffered on board ship. Refers to adverse reactions to his recent pronouncements on the subject of free trade.

Letter from Humayun Kabir to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

2 York Place, New Delhi.—Asks him to contribute an article to a volume to be presented to Maulana Azad on the occasion of his seventieth birthday.

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Transcript

2, York Place,
New Delhi,
22 NOV 1957

Dear Lord Pethick Lawrence

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a great national leader of India, will be completing his 70th year in November 1958. It is proposed that on this occasion, an Abhinandan Granth (Birthday Volume) be presented to him as a mark of our appreciation of his services to the nation for nearly fifty years.

Maulana Azad attained eminence as a brilliant writer and theologian in his early youth. The spirit of free enquiry and search for truth which characterised him from those days soon led him into the political movement as he realised that man cannot attain a true and full development except in an atmosphere of freedom. From his early twenties, he has been a fighter for Indian freedom and his contribution to the cause of Indian nationalism has been widely acknowledged. The Indian nation did him the honour of electing him the President of the Indian National Congress when he was 35. Later during the most critical period of the struggle for freedom, he guided the destinies of the Congress for six momentous years and conducted the negotiations with Sir Stafford Cripps, Lord Wavell and the British Cabinet Mission which resulted in the attainment of Indian independence in 1947.

Apart from his contribution to the Indian national struggle, Maulana Azad has also been an outspoken champion of rationalism and progressiveness in all spheres of Indian life. He has sought to approach religious, moral, social, economic and political questions from a detailed and dispassionate point of view and worked for securing justice and fairplay for all sections of the Indian people.

It is proposed that the Abhinandan Granth should include assessments of his contribution to different aspects of Indian life or studies in various fields in which he has taken a keen interest. On behalf of the Committee, I have great pleasure in requesting you to be so kind as to make a contribution either on some aspect of Maulana Azad’s life and personality or in a subject of your special study. The articles should ordinarily be from 2000 to 3000 words and should reach the undersigned by the 31st March 1958 at the latest.

I shall be grateful for a line in reply indicating your consent and the title of the subject on which you would like to write.

Yours sincerely {1}
Humayun Kabir
(HUMAYUN KABIR)

Lord Pethick-Lawrence,
C/o Rashtrapati Bhavan,
NEW DELHI.

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Letter-head of the Maulana Azad 70th Birthday Committee. The letter is typed, except the opening and closing greetings, which are handwritten, and the date, which is stamped. Presumably the same message was sent to other potential contributors to the projected volume. At the foot has been added ‘Ld P will send a short message of tribute.’ (‘Ld P’ is a conjectural reading; what is written is indistinct.)

{1} These two words are indistinct.