Legislative representatives of the Indian National Congress, the Muslim League and the Sikh community agreed with Lord Mountbatten on what became known as the June 3 or Mountbatten Plan. This plan was the last plan for independence. As a pragmatist, Jinnah, who suffers from tuberculosis and lung cancer, accepted the cabinet mission proposal, as did the leaders of the Congress Party. The early summer of 1946 thus saw the beginning of hope for India`s future prospects, but this quickly proved false when Nehru, as the re-elected president of the Congress, announced, at his first press conference, that no constituent assembly could be «bound» by a previously agreed constitutional formula. Jinnah read Nehrus` remarks as a «total rejection» of the plan, which had to be accepted as a whole to work. Jinnah then convened the League`s working committee, which withdrew its prior agreement to the Federation`s program and instead invited the «Muslim nation» to launch «direct actions» in mid-August 1946. This is the beginning of India`s bloodiest year of civil war since the mutiny nearly a century earlier. The Hindu and Muslim riots and assassinations that began in Calcutta sent deadly sparks of anger, frenzy and fear to every corner of the subcontinent, as all civilized reluctance seemed to disappear. I do not want to give up the Indulgence of the House, but we must finally ask ourselves from the outset whether, after the evolution of things – and my opinions are well known on this – we can find a better way to save India from the bloodshed that could be so close. I have no doubt that at first glance, and subject to the unknown factors that seem favourable, it seems that regulation along these lines could offer India some prospect of fleeing one of the most abominable disasters that have ever devastated the vast expanses of Asia. Of course, we cannot form an opinion on the very large outlines and complex details that have been given; Nor can we form firm opinions without knowing how the real facts of what is expected of them are hoped for by the government, the viceroy and other officials of India. However, I will say right away, as far as the good hon.
. . .