What I want to point out is that they both had become so much attached in fighting with each other, that they were almost intimate friends. Jinnah felt, in Karachi, the capital of Pakistan, very lonely without Gandhi; he lost all interest. And here in New Delhi, Gandhi, who used to say that he was going to live to one hundred and twenty-five years, dropped the idea and said, “I want to die as soon as possible. There is no joy.”
On the surface, logic will say that these two persons were contradictory to each other, enemies to each other. But deep down there seems to be an intimacy. Jinnah was the head of his government in Pakistan. Gandhi was nobody; his disciples were running the government. Just one year after he was shot by a Hindu, which no one could have ever thought…. It was possible that he might be shot by a Mohammedan, but he was shot by a Hindu. Life has its own way.
It looks strange, but deep down there is a certain connectedness. With Gandhi being alive, the Hindus in India would not be the only power, because there were Mohammedans, there were Jews, there were Christians, there were Jainas, there were Buddhists. And Gandhi wanted to make an absolutely secular state. Jinnah did a good job; he got rid of almost all the Hindus in Pakistan and made a Mohammedan state, a religious state.
Gandhi could not do that. And if Gandhi was alive, then he would prevent anything along those lines. And the strangest thing is that India has the greatest Mohammedan population in the whole world. No other country has…even today, after the division of Pakistan on one side, Bangladesh on another side, India has the biggest Mohammedan population. It is the biggest Mohammedan nation.
So the fear of the Hindus was, “Soon these Mohammedans, who produce children more efficiently and are allowed by the constitution to have religious freedom – and each Mohammedan can marry four women…. Soon they will be the majority in the country. Again Hindus will be living under Mohammedan rule.”
Gandhi had to be removed. And the moment the news reached all over India that Gandhi had been shot, everybody, without any exception, thought that he must have been killed by a Mohammedan. I told my father, “I don’t think so, because Mohammedans have achieved what they wanted. They wanted a separate country – they have got a separate country. Whatever their demands were, they have been fulfilled. Why should they kill Mahatma Gandhi, who is not in their way at all? He was certainly killed by a Hindu.”
And unfortunately that Hindu came from Pune. But the day Gandhi was killed, and the news reached Karachi…. That whole year Muhammad Ali Jinnah had not had guards, security, because he could not think that any Mohammedan could kill him. He had given them a whole country which did not belong to them.
He was sitting in the garden talking to his secretary when the news came on the radio that Gandhi had been assassinated by a Hindu. Suddenly Muhammad Ali stood up, and his secretary had to support him because he was staggering. He was so much shocked by the very idea: a Hindu killing Mahatma Gandhi! Then what was possible became clear to him – he could also be killed by a Mohammedan.