Round Table Conferences 1930-1932

India Bulletin


India Bulletin was the published organ of the Friends of India Society. It was initially published monthly. Its objective was to publish a detailed account of events in India to inform the British public and foster a better understanding of the Indian question. It sought to persuade the British that Indian self-governance could be the only resolution for India. It covered in great detail the Civil Disobedience Movement, and paid particular attention to Gandhi. Its February 1936 edition was devoted to Nehru’s visit to London and gave a detailed account of the speeches he made and meetings he attended among the Indian community. The journal also paid particular attention to the national press coverage of Indian events and attempted to redress the balance by informing its subscribers of the repressive measures of the Government in India.

It often reprinted articles, many in abridged form, that were previously published in Indian newspapers including The Hindu, The Indian Social Reformer, The Servant of India, The Maharatta, Harijan and Young India. It also featured articles on the women’s movement in India, the fight for national freedom in Spain, and the question of resistance through non-violent non-cooperation. The publication informed its audience of Gandhian philosophy, in line with the objectives of the Friends of India Society. The publication’s output became ever more sporadic as the Friends of India encountered financial difficulties in the late 1930s. India Bulletin was last published in August 1939 and ceased with the outbreak of the Second World War.

Date began: 
01 Feb 1932
Key Individuals' Details: 

Editors: Horace Alexander, Will Hayes, Atma S. Kamlani, Reginald Reynolds.


Contributors: Horace Alexander, Mulk Raj Anand, C. F. Andrews, Haidri Bhuttacharji, Reginald Bridgeman, Moti Chandra, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, John L. Clemence, Mahadev Desai, M. K. Gandhi, Agatha Harrison, Laurence Housman, Edith Hunter, Muriel Lester, Leonard W. Matters, Jawaharlal Nehru, V. J. Patel, S. L. Polak, Rajendra Prasad, T. A. Raman, Reginald Reynolds, Romain Rolland, J. T. Sunderland, Rabindranath Tagore, D. V. Tahmankar, Krishna Vir, Monica Whately (member of the India League delegation).

Date ended: 
01 Aug 1939
Archive source: 

British Library Newspapers, Colindale, London

Precise date ended unknown: 
Books Reviewed Include: 

Nehru, Jawaharlal, An Autobiography

Rolland, Romain, Mahatma Gandhi: A Study in Indian Nationalism


30 Fleet Street
London, EC4Y 1 AA
United Kingdom
210 Herne Hill Road
London, SE24 0AN
United Kingdom
46 Lancaster Gate
London, W2 3LX
United Kingdom

Lawrence John Lumley Dundas


Lawrence John Lumley Dundas, second Marquess of Zetland, was an administrator in India, politician, and author. Zetland was educated at Harrow School and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1900, he became aide-de camp to Lord Curzon, who was viceroy of India at the time. While in India, Zetland travelled widely through Asia. His experiences would later become the inspiration for a number of fictional and non-fictional works. From 1917 to 1922 he was appointed Governor of Bengal. He held the post at one of the most critical times, having to deal with the fall-out from the partition (1905) and re-unification (1911) of Bengal and rising political activism and unrest in the province. While his appointment initially provoked protests from Bengali nationalists because of his close association with Curzon, by the end of his governorship, he was widely respected even among initially critical nationalist politicians.

Zetland returned to Britain in 1922 and changed careers to become a writer. He was an active member of the Royal Central Asian, the India, and the Royal Asiatic societies. He was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1922. He published a travel book, Lands of the Thunderbolt: Sikhim, Chumbi and Bhutan (1923), followed by The Heart of Aryavarta (1925), for which he was elected to the British Academy in 1929. In the book Zetland explores Indian religion and philosophy, which he saw as closely connected to an understanding of Indian nationalism. Zetland admired many of Gandhi's ideas, but differed with him on the point of his rejection of Western civilization and British rule. In 1928 Zetland published the three-volume official biography of Lord Curzon to critical acclaim. 

During the 1930s, Zetland played an important role in the ongoing constitutional reform process of the Government of India. He was present at the Round Table conferences in the early 1930s and also served on the joint select committees of the House of Lords and House of Commons. Prime Minister Baldwin invited him to join his government in 1935 as Secretary of State for India, to help guide the 1935 Government of India Act through parliament. With his political skills he was able to by-pass conservative opposition and implement further steps towards future dominion status for India and a devolution of power, by granting complete provincial responsibility which he saw part of a new conceptualization of ‘cooperative imperialism’.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Zetland had to deal with the fall-out from the constitutional crisis triggered by Linlithgow’s unilateral declaration of war, without consulting Indian representatives. This led to Congress’s non-cooperation in the war effort. In March 1940, Zetland survived Udham Singh’s assassination of Michael O’Dwyer at Caxton Hall. Zetland was present at the lecture, when Singh shot at the podium from close range. Zetland was only grazed by a bullet, receiving bruises to his ribs. After Neville Chamberlain’s resignation as Prime Minister, Zetland also resigned from office, conscious that his approach to Indian affairs differed markedly with Winston Churchill, who succeeded Chamberlain as Prime Minister.

After leaving office, Zetland pursued his other interests. He was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter. He served as Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding, devoted more time to his long-standing role as provincial grand master of the freemasons of the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire and was Governor of the Bank of Scotland.

Published works: 

Sports and Politics under an Eastern Sky (Blackwood, 1902)

A Wandering Student in the Far East (Blackwood, 1908)

India: An Eastern Miscellany (Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood, 1911)

Tour of his Excellency The Right Honourable Lawrence John Lumley Dundas, Earl of Ronaldshay, Governor of Bengal (Dacca, 1917-1919)

Speeches Delivered by His Excellency the Right Honourable Lawrence John Lumley Dundas, Earl of Ronaldshay Governor of Bengal during 1919-20 (Calcutta: Private Secretary Press, 1920)

Lands of the Thunderbolt: Sikhim, Chimbi and Buthan (Constable & Co., 1923)

India: A Bird's Eye View (London: Constable and Co., 1924)

The Heart of Aryavarta: A study of the psychology of Indian Unrest (London: Constable & Co., 1925)

The Life of Lord Curzon: Being the Authorized Biography of George Nathaniel Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone KG, 3 Vols. (London: Ernest Benn, 1928)

Great Britain and India (Birmingham and Midland Institute: Presdiential Addresses, 1930)

Lord Cromer: Being the Authorized Life of Evelyn Baring First Earl of Cromer (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1932)

Steps towards Indian Home Rule (London: Hutchinson, 1935)

India: Retrospect and Prospect (Nottingham, 1935)

'Essayez': The Memoires of Lawrence, Second Marquess of Zetland (London: John Murray, 1956)

Date of birth: 
11 Jun 1876

Stanley Baldwin, Albion Rajkumar Banerji, Surendranath Banerjea, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Maharaja of Cooch Behar, Stafford Cripps, George Curzon, Bhalabhai Desai, Samuel Hoare, M. K. Gandhi, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Chaudry Khaliquzzaman, Lord Linlithgow, Jawaharlal Nehru, Firoz Khan Noon, Mr Siddiqi, Lord Templewood.

British Academy, India Office, Royal Asiatic Society, Royal Central Asian Society, Royal Geographical Society (President).

Secondary works: 

Laithwaite, Gilbert, The Marquess of Zetland, 1876-1961 (London: Oxford University Press)

Rizvi, Gowher, Linlithgow and India: A Study of British Policy and the Political Impasse in India, 1936-1943 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1978)

‘Lord Zetland’, Obituary, The Guardian (7 February 1961), p. 13

Obituary of Marquess of Zetland, The Times (7 February 1961), p. 13
Archive source: 

Mss Eur D 609, Indian correspondence and papers, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Involved in events: 

Partition of Bengal, 1905

Round Table Conferences, 1930-2

Government of India Bill, 1935

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Second Marquess of Zetland and Earl of Zetland, Earl of Ronaldshay in the county of Orkney

Date of death: 
06 Feb 1961
Location of death: 
Aske, Yorkshire

Simon Report

07 Jun 1930
Event location: 

London, Bombay, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Calcutta, Rangoon, Madras, Nagpur


The Indian Statutory Commission, commonly referred to as the Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Allsebrook Simon, was sent to India in 1928 (February - March and October 1928 - April 1929) to study potential constitutional reform. In 1930, the Commission published its two-volume report, also known as the Simon Report.

The Simon Commission was dispatched to India in 1928 to review the the Government of India Act 1919. The Commission, appointed by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, did not include any Indian delegates. As a result, the Indian National Congress and a faction of the Muslim League, led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, decided to boycott the Commission. Upon arrival in Bombay on 3 February 1928, the Commission was met by protests. In London, the London Branch of the Indian National Congress planned a demonstration upon the return of the Commission.

The Simon Report was met with disappointment and condemnation throughout India. The Indian National Congress mistrusted the findings of the Commission and the Congress boycotted the Report. Gandhi subsequently started the Civil Disobedience Movement. Mohammed Ali Jinnah made it clear that the report was unacceptable to Hindus, Muslims and Indian nationalists. The Muslims considered the Report to be reactionary; the executive Board of the All-India Muslim Conference called the Report 'unacceptable'. Prominent members of the Legislative Assembly of India such as Mian Mohammed Shah Nawaz, Gaya Prasad Singh, Dr. Ziauddin and M. R. Jayakar criticized it as well. Even the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, made it clear that the Report stood no chance of public acceptance in India.

In London, the Workers' Welfare League of India and the London Branch of the Indian National Congress organized a demonstration against the Commission. Some 200 demonstrators marched from Trafalgar Square to Victoria Station; many of the demonstrators were removed by the police. Shapurji Saklatvala, who led the demonstration, raised the issue in Parliament but was informed that the Home Secretary, Joynson Hicks, had sanctioned this police operation.

In the wake of the Report, a series of Round Table Conferences were set up from 1930 to 1932. The outcome of the Commission and the Conferences was the Government of India Act 1935. The Act ended the dyarchy and direct elections were introduced for the first time. Sind was separated from Bombay, Orissa was separated from Bihar and Burma was separated from India. Provincial assemblies were to include more elected Indian representatives, who could lead majorities and form governments. However, governors retained discretionary powers regarding summoning of legislatures, giving assent to bills and administering certain special regions.

Sir John Simon
People involved: 

Clement Attlee, Edward Cadogan, George Lane-Fox, Vernon Hartshorn, Donald Howard, Harry Levy-Lawson, Sir John Allsebrook Simon.

Annie Besant, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, M. R. Jayakar, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Mohammed Shah Nawaz, Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru, Lala Rajpat Rai, Shapurji Saklatvala, Mian Gaya Prasad Singh, Dr. Ziauddin.

Published works: 

Documents Concerning the Origin and Purpose of the Indian Statutory Commission: Reprinted from a Statements Prepared for Presentation to Parliament, in Accordance with the Requirements of the 26th Section of the Government of India Act (5 and 6 Geo. V., chapter 61 (Worcester, MA; New York City: Carnegie Endownment for International Peace, Division of Intercourse and Education, 1930)

Indian Statutory Commission - Publications (1930)

Interim Report of the Indian Statutory Commission: Review of Growth of Education in British India (London: H. M. S. O., 1929)

Separation of Burma, Separation from Burma: Views of Burma's Future Through a British Report on the Constitutional Position of India, 1930 (Pekhon: Pekhon University Press, 2003)

Secondary works: 

Acharya, M. K., The Commission Boycott, or, Rights vs. Concessions: A Psychological Study (Madras: Sri Rama Press, 1928)

Ahmad, Waheed, 'Report of the Simon Commission: An Analysis of the Report and the Significance of Its Recommendations in the Constitutional Discussion Leading to the Enactment of the Government of India Act, 1935', Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, 11 (1974)

Andrews, C. F., India and the Simon Report (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1930)

Arora, K. C., Indian Nationalist Movement in Britain, 1930-1949 (New Delhi: Inter-India Publications, 1992)

Bakshi, S. R., Simon Commission and Indian Nationalism (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1977)

Banerji, Sir Albion Rajkumar and Menon, V. K. Krishna, The Report and the Conference: Being an Study of the Simon Report (1930)

Besant, Annie Wood, The Simon Report (London: India Bookshop, for the Commonwealth of India League, 1930)

Bose, Subhas Chandra, The Indian Struggle, 1920-1942 (Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau; Delhi; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997)

Bridge, Carl, Holding India to the Empire: The British Conservative Party and the 1935 Constitution (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1986)

British Indian Association (India), Statement on the Recommendation of the Indian Statutory Commission, by the Landholders of India (Calcutta, 1930)

Brock, R. W., The Simon Report on India: An Abridgement (London: Dent, 1930)

Cadogan, Edward Cecil George, The India We Saw (London: John Murray, 1933)

The Commission [i.e. The Simon Commssion on Indian Statutory Reform] and After. By a Liberal (Bombay: D. B. Tarapolevala, 1928)

(Constitutional Reform) Communal Decisions, Cmd. 4147 (1932)

Daily Mail (1917-35)

Dhawan, Thakur Datta, Memorandum Submitted to the Indian Statutory Commission on Reforms in the North West Frontier, Based on the Resolution Passed at a Special Meeting of the Provincial Hindu Conference at Peshawar, on 27th March 1928 (Peshawar, 1928)

Durkal, Jayendraray Bhagavanlal, Indian Education: Case for Indianization of Education, Religious Instruction, Therapeutic View of Education: Being the Statement (Part II) Submitted to the Education Committee, The Indian Statutory Commission (Jurat: J. B. Durkal, 1928)

Edwardes, Michael, The Last Years of British India (London: Cassell, 1963)

Gangulee, Nagendranath, Notes on Indian Constitutional Reform, Incorporating Memorandum Submitted to the Indian Statutory Commission (Calcutta, 1930)

Gopal, Sarvepalli, The Viceroyalty of Lord Irwin, 1926-1931 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957)

Government of India Acts, 1919 and 1935 

Husain, Azim, Fazl-i-Husain: A Political Biography (Bombay: Longmans, 1946)

India: The Commission and the Conference: A Reprint of Leading Articles from The Times on the Indian Question from the Return of the Statutory Commission from India to the Conclusion of the Round-Table Conference in London (London, 1931)

Indian Legislative Assembly Debates, 1921-35

Indian Round Table Conference, Proceedings, 1930-32

Joint Committee on Indian Constitutional Reform, Minutes of Evidence, 3 vols (London: 1934)

Joint Committee on Indian Constitutional Reform, Report (London: 1934)

Khaliquzzaman, Choudhry, Pathway to Pakistan (Lahore: Longmans, 1961)

Memoranda Submitted by the Government of India to the Indian Statutory Commission, Pts 6-7 (Rangoon, Burma: Superintendent, Govt. Print and Stationary, 1928)

Moghe, Krishnaji Balvant, The Indian States in Their Relations with the British Paramount Power and the Government of British India: The Butler Committee and the Statutory Commission on Indian Reforms (Bombay, 1928)

Nehru, Jawaharlal, An Autobiography: With Musings on Recent Events in India (London: John Lane, 1936)

Parliamentary Debates, 1917-35

Proposals for Indian Constitutional Reform, Cmd. 4268 (1933)

Ratcliffe, Samuel Kerkham, What the Simon Report Means (London: New Statesman, 1930)

Saklatvala, Sehri, The Fifth Commandment: A Biography of Shapurji Saklatvala (Salford: Miranda Press, 1991)

Setalvad, Chimanlal, Recollections & Reflections: An Autobiography (Bombay: Padma Publications, 1946)

Simon, Sir John Allsebrook, India and the Simon Report: A Talk (New York: Coward-MacCann, 1930)

Simon, Sir John Allsebrook, Retrospect: The Memoirs of Viscount Simon (London: Hutchinson, 1952)

Sitaramayya, B. Pattabhi, The History of The Indian National Congress, 1885-1935 (Madras, 1935)

Sivasvami Aiyar, Sir Paramanheri Sundaram, The Simon Commission Report Examined (1930)

Templewood, Samuel John Gurney Hoare, Nine Troubled Years (London: Collins, 1954)

Times (1917-1935)

Times of India, 20 June (1930)

Times of India, 25 June (1930)

Times of India, 26 June (1930)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto, 2001)

Wood, Edward Frederick Lindley (Earl of Halifax), Fulness of Days (London: Collins, 1957)

Wrench, Guy Theodore, In Defence of the Agrarian: A Criticism of the Simon Commission's Report and an Alternative Policy (Cawnpore: Country League, 1930)

Zetland, Lawrence John Lumley Dundas, Marquis of Zetland, 1876-1961, 'Essayez': The Memoirs of Lawrence, Second Marquess of Zetland (London: John Murray, 1956)

Archive source: 

Mss Eur C 152, Holifax Collection, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Mss Eur E 240, Templewood Collection, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Liaquat Ali Khan


Muhammad Liaquat Ali Khan was born on 1 October 1895 to father Nawab Rustam Ali Khan and mother Mahmuda Begum of Rajour in Karnal, Punjab. In 1910, he enrolled in the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, then went on to college, from which he graduated in 1918. Shortly thereafter he returned to Karnal to marry his cousin Jehangira Begum, with whom he had a son, Wilayat, in 1919. Later in September 1919, he sailed for England where he enrolled at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, in January 1920. 

It was in Oxford he started taking an interest in politics, and he participated in the Oxford Union and debated with the Oxford Majlis, of which he was elected treasurer. It was also in Oxford that he came into contact with other people who were to play a role in Indian politics: Shoaib Qureshi, M. C. Chagla and Abdur Rehman Siddiqui, and the future historian brothers, Muhammad Habib and Muhammad Mujib. Other acquaintances included P. N. Sapru, the son of Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, and K. P. S. Menon. He moved to Exeter College, Oxford, from where he attained a BA degree in Jurisprudence in June 1921, before he went to London to the Inner Temple and was called to the Bar in January 1922. He then toured several countries on the European continent before returning to India in late 1922.

Liaquat joined the All-India Muslim League in 1923. He was elected for the Legislative Council in 1926 and had a successful career in the next decade. In 1931, Liaquat became the Deputy President of the Legislative Council and gained more power. In 1933 in London, he testified before the Joint Statutory Commission which had come out of the Round Table Conferences. Liaquat had already met Mohammed Ali Jinnah in 1924 but they were to become close friends and political allies in the 1930s. Jinnah had spoken at the Round Table Conference in London and settled there afterwards. When Liaquat visited in 1933, he urged Jinnah to return to India and lead the Muslims there. Jinnah returned in 1935 and asked Liaquat to become the General-Secretary of the Muslim League in April 1936. In 1941 Liaquat was elected to the Legislative Assembly of India. In 1946, Jinnah nominated Liaquat to be the first Indian Finance Member and after independence in 1947, Jinnah appointed Liaquat the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.

On 16 October 1951, Liaquat was scheduled to address the public in the city of Rawalpindi. He said one sentence before he was shot in the chest by Said Akbar. His last words are said to have been: 'May God protect Pakistan'.

Published works: 

United Provinces Legislative Council Proceedings, 37 (1928)

Pakistan: The Heart of Asia ([S. I.]: Harvard University Press, 1950)

(with M. Rafique Afzal) Speeches and Statements of Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan (1941-51)  (Lahore: Lahore Research Society of Pakistan, 1967)


Menon, K. P. S., 'Days at Oxford', in Ziauddin Ahmad (ed.) Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan: Leader and Statesman (Karachi: the Oriental Academy, 1970), pp. 102-4 at p. 104.

Date of birth: 
01 Oct 1895

K. P. S. Menon recounts his memories of Liaquat Ali Khan as a student at Oxford in the 1920s.


N. B. Bonarjee (at Oxford), M. C. Chagla, Muhammad Habib, Muhammad Ismail, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Sardar Amir Azam Khan, K. P. S. Menon, Muhammad Mujib, Shoaib Qureshi, P. N. Sapru, Abdur Rehman Siddiqui, Lord Wavell.


He was a man who seemed to have reserves of strength, who was content to bide his time. He would not play to the gallery, whether at the Oxford Union or the Indian Majlis. He did attend both regularly and took part in the debates occasionally, but he did not pose as a super-patriot or indulge in violent and meaningless talk. In his own quiet way he took part in the multifarious activites of the University; he enjoyed punting and was an accomplished tennis player. Above all, he was a good host, and I retain pleasant memories of his parties, where good conversation flowed as gently and freely as good wine.

Secondary works: 

Ahmad, Ziauddin (ed.), Quaid-i-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan: Leader and Statesman (Karachi: the Oriental Academy, 1970) 

Ahmad, Ziauddin, Shaheed-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan: Builder of Pakistan (Karachi: Royal Book Company, 1990)

Akhtar, Jamna Das, Political Conspiracies in Pakistan: Liaquat Ali's Murder to Ayub Khan's Exit (Delhi: Punjabi Pustak Bhandar, 1969)

Allana, G., 'Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan', in Our Freedom Fighters, 1562-1947: Twenty-One Great Lives (Karachi: Paradise Subscription Agency, 1969), pp. 281-94.

Amin, Shahid M., Pakistan's Foreign Policy: A Reappraisal (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra, Indian National Congress and the Indian Bourgeoisie: Liaquat Ali Khan's Budget of 1947-48 (Calcutta: Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, 1986) 

Fazeel, Ali Ahmed, 'With Pakistan's First Prime Minister', Sun, Karachi, 16 October 1975

Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, Gandhi, Mahatma, and Rajagopalachari, C., Jinnah-Gandhi Talks, September, 1944: Text of Correspondence and Other Relevant Documents, foreword by Liaquat Ali Khan (Delhi: Central Office, All India Muslim League, 1944)

Kazmi, Muhammad Raza, Liaquat Ali Khan: His Life and Work (Karachi: Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi, 1997)

Khan, Liaquat Ali, Long, Roger D., and Wolpert, Stanley, 'Dear Mr Jinnah': Selected Correspondence and Speeches of Liaquat Ali Khan, 1937-1947 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

Kha, Sardar Amir Azam, 'Quaid-i-Millat', Pakistan Standard, Karachi, 16 October 1955 

Liaquat Ali Khan, Ra'ana, and Douglas, F. D., Challenge and Change: Speeches (Karachi: All Pakistan Women's Association, 1979)

Masroor, Mehr Nigar, Ra'ana Liaquat Ali Khan: A Biography (Karachi: All Pakistan Woman's Association, 1980)

Miles, Kay, Liaquat: The Man of Destiny (Karachi: All Pakistan Women's Association, c. 1953)

Omar, Kaleem, 'The American Press on Liaquat', The News, 22 October 2000

Pakistan, Pakistan Today: A Souvenir of the Visit to the United States of America of the Honourable Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Begum Liaquat Ali Khan, May, 1950 (Washington, D.C., 1950) .

Shushtari, Zayn Al-Abidin, Fath-ul-Mujahideen: A Treatise on the Rules and Regulations of Tipu Sultan's Army and His Principles of Strategy, with a foreword by Liaquat Ali Khan (Karachi: Urdu Academy Sind, 1950)

Archive source: 

National Archives of Pakistan, Islamabad

National Archives of India, Delhi

India Office Files, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Nawabzada Muhammad Liaquat Ali Khan

Liaqat Ali Khan


St Catherine's College Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom
51° 45' 20.7288" N, 1° 14' 39.0624" W
Exeter College Oxford, OX1 3DP
United Kingdom
51° 45' 13.5612" N, 1° 15' 22.626" W
Date of death: 
16 Oct 1951
Location of death: 
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Sep 1919
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1919-22, 1933

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy


Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was born to Justice Sir Zahid Suhrawardy and Khujesta Akhtar Banu in Midnapur, Bengal (now West Bengal), India, on 8 September 1892. He received his early education from his mother and his uncle, Sir Abdullah al-Mamun (who had studied at Oxford University and been a founder-member of the Pan Islamic Society in London), before he entered the Calcutta Aliya Madrasah and graduated with honours in science from St. Xavier's College. He obtained an MA degree in Arabic Calcutta University in 1913 before leaving for England later that year.

In England he enrolled at Oxford University, where he graduated in science with honours and received his BCL degree. His elder (and only) brother, Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy, graduated from Oxford as well, and both were involved with the Oxford Majlis. Huseyn was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1918 and returned to Calcutta in 1920 where he started practising as a barrister.

Soon after returning to India, Suhrawardy married Begum Naiz Fatima, the daughter of Sir Abdur Rahim, who was a judge of the Calcutta High Court, a member of the Governor's Executive Council and president of the Indian Legislative Assembly. Begum Naiz died in 1922. They had one son, Shahab Suhrawardy, who died in London in 1940 while pursuing his studies at Oxford, and one daughter, Akhter Jahan Suhrawardy, who married Shah Ahmed Sulaiman, the son of Sir Mohammad Sulaiman.

He joined the Swaraj Party, under the leadership of C. R. Das, in 1923 and became Deputy Mayor of Calcutta in 1924. After the death of Das, Suhrawardy turned to separatist policies and eventually joined the All India Muslim League. In 1946, Suhrawardy headed the Muslim League government, as Prime Minister, in Bengal. On 16 August 1946, mobs of Muslims attacked Hindus in their demand for a Pakistan. Suhrawardy is often held responsible for not intervening. In 1956, Iskander Mirza made Suhrawardy Prime Minister after Chaudhry Muhammad Ali had resigned. However, due to the political turmoil of Pakistan at that time, he resigned on 17 October 1957. After being disqualified from politics by Muhammad Ayub Khan, Suhrawardy relocated to Lebanon where he died in 1963.

Published works: 

Bartol'd, Vasily Vladimirovich, Mussulman Culture, translated from the Russian by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (Calcutta, 1934) 

World Religions: Their Contrasts and Resemblances: Islam (London, [1947])

Joint Electorate in Pakistan (Karachi: Department of Advertising, Films and Publications, [1957])

Statement on Foreign Relations and Defence (Text of the Statement made in the National Assembly by Prime Minister, Mr. H. S. Suhrawardy, on February 22 1957) (Karachi, 1957)

Winding up of Foreign Policy Debate (Text of the Speech delivered by Mr. H. S. Suhrawardy, Prime Minister of Pakistan, on 25 February 1957) (Karachi, 1957)

Nirbacita Baktrita o Patrabali (Dhaka: Akshara, 1987)

Date of birth: 
08 Sep 1892

Satya Ranjan Bakshi, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, Muhammad Ali Bogra, Sarat Chandra Bose, Chittaranjan Das, Abul Hashim,  A. K. Fazlul Huq, Iskander Mirza, Khawaja Nazimuddin, Sir Abdur Rahim, Kiran Shankar Roy, Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy.

Secondary works: 

Chatterji, Joya, Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932-1947 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) 

Ikramullah, Shaista Suhrawardy, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy: A Biography (Karachi; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991)

Kamal, Kazi Ahmed, Politicians and Inside Stories: A Glimpse Mainly into Lives of Fazlul Huq, Shaheed Shurawardy and Moulana Bhashani (Dacca: Kazi Giasuddin Ahmed, 1970)

Kha, Roedan, The British Papers: Secret and Confidential India - Pakistan - Bangladesh Documents, 1958-1969 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

Lyon, Peter, Conflict Between India and Pakistan: An Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2008)

Qayyum, Abdul, Three Presidents, Three Prime Ministers (Islamabad: Dost Publications, 1996)

Talukdar, Mohammad H. R. (ed.), Memoirs of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, with a brief account of his life and work (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1987)

Wolpert, Stanley, Gandhi's Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)

Involved in events: 

Direct Action Day, 16 August 1946

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 


Oxford, OX2 6QD
United Kingdom
51° 47' 13.6464" N, 1° 17' 24.6012" W
Date of death: 
05 Dec 1963
Location of death: 
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1913
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1913-20 (student)

1932 (Round Table Conference)

M. R. Jayakar


M. R. Jayakar was a barrister, Federal Court Judge (1937-9) and member of the Bombay Legislative Assembly. He had been called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in London in 1905. In the 1930s he sent his son, Jayapal, to study in Oxford, having failed to gain admission to Oxford in the early twentieth century himself.

Jayakar became heavily involved in nationalist politics in India. He was known for his sympathies with the Hindu Mahasabha, clashing with Mohammed Ali Jinnah. He was a member of the Hindu Missionary Society in Bombay and leader of the Swaraj Party for a short time, resigning in 1925. In 1930, Jayakar and Tej Bahadur Sapru were involved in negotiations between Congress and the Government when Motilal Nehru and other Congress members were imprisoned. These negotiations are said to have led to the Gandhi-Irwin Pact of March 1931 whereby Congress members were released from prison in return for the discontinuation of non-cooperation; the salt tax was removed and Congress members would be represented at the next Round Table Conference. Jayakar was a member of the Judicial Privy Council in London and attended the Round Table Conference in London in 1931.

Jayakar was known for his educationist and philanthropist work. He received an honorary DCL from Oxford University in 1938, upon the recommendation of E. J. Thompson. He was Vice-Chancellor of Poona University from 1948 upon its foundation, until his retirement in 1955.

Published works: 

Social Reform and Social Service (Madras: Theosophical Society, 1917)

(ed.) Kirtikar, V. J., Studies in Vedanta (Bombay: Taraporevala, 1924)

The Story of My Life (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1958)

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1873

Isaac Foot, M. K. Gandhi, Lord Irwin, Jayapal Jayakar (son), M. A. Jinnah, George Lansbury, Sir Francis Low, Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai, Tej Bahadur Sapru, E. J. Thompson, Sir Evelyn Wrench.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Letter to Times of India, 22 May 1931, criticising India Society and promotion of Bengal school of art

Precise DOB unknown: 
Secondary works: 

Bakshi, S. R. (ed.), M. R. Jayakar (New Delhi: Anmol, 1994)

Brown, Judith M., Gandhi’s Rise to Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972)

Dhanki, Joginder Singh (ed.), Perspectives on Indian National Movement: Selected Correspondence of Lala Lajpat Rai (New Delhi: National Book Organisation, 1998)

Israel, Milton, Communications and Power: Propaganda and the Press in the Indian Nationalist Struggle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

Kulkarni, V. B., M. R. Jayakar (New Delhi: Government of India, 1970)

Lahiri, Shompa, Indians in Britain: Anglo-Indian Encounters, Race and Identity, 1880-1939 (London: Frank Cass, 2000)

Mitter, Partha, The Triumph of Modernism (London: Reaktion, 2007)

Nehru, Jawaharlal, An Autobiography: With Musings on Recent Events in India (London: Bodley Head, 1936)

Archive source: 

Portrait (taken 8 September 1931 by Bassano) and portrait of son (1939-40), National Portrait Gallery, London

Letter to Attlee, Attlee Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Correspondence with E. J. Thompson, Thompson Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Correspondence with George Lansbury, LSE Archives, London

Letter to Friends House, Mss Eur C170, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Files relating to conversations with Congress leaders, and relating to the Round Table Conference, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Papers, National Archives of India, Delhi

Involved in events: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Mukund Ramrao Jayakar


Dorchester Hotel W1K 1QA
United Kingdom
51° 30' 40.6872" N, 0° 8' 49.9128" W
Date of death: 
10 Mar 1959
Location of death: 
Bombay, India
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1903
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1903-5, 1931, 1932, 1938


London – Carlton Hotel and Dorchester Hotel (1931)

Mohammad Iqbal


Mohammad Iqbal was born in 1877 in Sialkot, Punjab, to father Sheikh Nuruddin Mohammad, a tailor by profession and of Kashmiri background, and mother Imam Bibi. He was educated at the Scotch Mission College, where he also took up poetry, and later, in 1895, at Government College, Lahore, where he would come into contact with Sir Thomas Arnold. In 1903, he published a treatise on economics entitled Ilmul-Iqtesad, and in 1904 he wrote the Indian patriotic song Sare Jahan se Achccha Hindostan Hamara. He would once again work with Thomas Arnold when he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, as a student of Philosophy in 1905. He obtained his degree at Cambridge and went on to Munich University where he obtained a doctorate; his thesis was entitled The Development of Metaphysics in Persia. He later qualified as a barrister. In London, he delivered a series of lectures; his lecture at Caxton Hall was widely reported in the papers. While in Europe, Iqbal became influenced by Kant, Bergson and especially Nietzsche.

In August 1908 he returned to Lahore where he joined the Government College as a part-time professor of philosophy and English literature while also practising as a lawyer in Lahore Chief Court. After a while, he resigned from the College and focused on law. Besides law he found time to develop his poetry in the 1920s, but he was also drawn into politics by his friends, Jogendra Singh, Zulfikar Ali Khan and Khawaja Shahabuddin. His Persian masnavi sequence Asrar-i Khudi (1915; Secrets of the Self (1920)) and Rumuz-i Bekhudi (1918; 'The Mysteries of Selflessness') were the foundation of Iqbal's philosophical poetry. In them he combined his ideas of the ego striving to achieve freedom and to develop a fuller personality with the moral, spiritual and intellectual values of Islam. He continued to develop these ideas in his poetry for the rest of his life. It is on the basis of these that he is know as the poet-philosopher of Pakistan.

From 1926 to 1930 he served on the Punjab Legislative Council and was President of the All-India Muslim League in 1930. That same year, he gave evidence before the Simon Commission and in 1931-2 he was a delegate to the Second and Third Round Table Conferences, visiting London again. He dissociated himself from the idea of Pakistan as a country carved out of Muslim majority states of the Indian sub-continent. By the mid-1930s, his health had deteriorated so much that he had to decline to give a series of Rhodes lectures at Oxford in 1935. He continued to write poetry but died on 21 April 1938. He is buried near the Shahi Mosque in Lahore.

Published works: 

Ilmul-Iqtesad (1903) 

Armaqhan-i Hijaz (Lahaur: Javid Iqbal, [19--])

The Development of Metaphysics in Persia: A Contributon to the History of Muslim Philosophy (London: Luzac & Co., 1908) 

Asrar-i Khudi (1915)

Rumuz-e-Bekhudi (1917)

Secrets of the Self: A Philosophical Poem, translated from the original Persian, with introduction and notes by Reynold A. Nicholson (1920)

Bang-e-Dara (1924)

Payam-e-Mashriq (1924)

Pas Chih Bayad Kard, ay Aqram-i Sharq (1926)

Zabur-e-Ajam (1927)

Javed Nama (1932)

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (London: Oxford University Press, 1934)

Bal-i Jibril (Lahaur: Taj Kampani, 1935)

Darb-i-Kalim (1936)

Pa Cheh Bayad Kard ay Aqwam-i-Sharq (1936)

Armughan-e-Hijaz (1938)

The Tulip of Sinai (London: Royal India Society, 1947)

The Mysteries of Selflessness: A Philosophical Poem, translated with introduction and notes by Arthur J. Arberry (London: J. Murray, 1953)

(with S. Y. Hashimy) Islam as an Ethical and a Political Ideal (Lahore: Orientalia, [1908] 1955)

Poems from Iqbal, translated by V. B. Kiernan (London: John Murray, 1955)

Persian Psalms, translated into English verse by A. J. Arberry (1961)

Javid-Nama, translated from the Persian with introduction and notes by Arthur J. Arberry (London: Allen & Unwin, 1966)

A Message from the East (Karachi: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1971)

Islam and Ahmadism (Lucknow: Academy of Islamic Research and Publications, 1974)

Mission of Islam (New Delhi: Vikas, 1977)

Letters and Writings of Iqbal, compiled and edited by B. A. Dar (Karachi: Iqbal Academy, 1967)

Date of birth: 
09 Nov 1877

B. R. Ambedkar, Syed Ameer Ali, Maulana Mohammad Ali, Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, T. W. Arnold, Abul Kalam Azad, Syed Hassan Bilgrami, Atiya Fyzee, Sayyid Mir Hassan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Aga Khan, John McTaggart, William Rothenstein, Edward John Thompson, James Ward.

Contributions to periodicals: 



Secondary works: 

There are over 800 secondary works on Iqbal. Below we have included a selection of those: 

Abbas, Syed Ghulam, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal: The Humanist: A Reassesment of the Poetry and Personality of the Poet-Philosopher of the East (Lahore: Iqbal Academy, 1997) 

Ahmad, Absar, Concept of Self and Self-Identity in Contemporary Philosophy: An Affirmation of Iqbal's Doctrine (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1986)

Ahmad, Aziz, Islamic Modernism in India and Pakistan, 1857-1964 (London: Oxford University Press, 1967)

Ahmad, Doris, Iqbal as I Knew Him (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1986)

Ahmad, S. Aasan, Iqbal: His Political Ideas at the Crossroads: A Commentary on Unpublished Letters to Professor Thompson with Photographic Reproductions of the Original Letters (Aligarh: Print vol Publications, 1979)

Ahsan, A. Shakoor, An Appeciation of Iqbal's Thought and Art (Lahore: Research Society of Pakistan, University of the Punjab, 1985)

Ali, Parveen Shaukat, The Political Philosophy of Iqbal (Lahore: Publishers United, 1970)

Aqeel, Moinuddin, Iqbal: From Finite to Infinite: Evolution of the Concept of Islamic Nationalism in India
(Karachi: Abul Kalam Azad Research Instititute, 1986)

Ashraf, S. E., A Critical Exposition of Iqbal's Philosophy (Patna: Associated Book Agency, 1978)

Azad, Jagan Nath, Iqbal: His Poetry and Philosophy (Mysore: Prasaranga, 1981)

Bilgrami, Hamid Hasan, Glimpses of Iqbal's Mind and Thought: Brief Lectures on Iqbal Delivered at London, Cambridge and Oxford (Lahore: Orientalia, 1954)

Biswas, Lakshmi, Tagore and Iqbal: A Study in Philosophical Perspective (Delhi: Capital Publishing House, 1991)

Burney, Sayed Muzaffar Husain, Iqbal and National Integration (Chandigarh: Haryana Sahitya Akademi, 1986)

Chaghatai, Muhammad Ikram, Iqbal and Goethe (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2000)

Cughtai, Muhammad Ikram, Goethe, Iqbal and the Orient (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1999)

Dar, Bashir Ahmad, A Study in Iqbal's Philosophy (Lahore: Ghulam Ali and Sons, 1971)

Dhawan, Madan Lal, Iqbal and His Equals (Delhi: Bhavna Prakashan, 1986)

Enver, Ishrat Hasan, The Metaphysics of Iqbal (Lahore: Muhammad Ashraf, 1944)

Ghani, Abdul, The English Translations of Iqbal's Poetry: A Critical and Evaluative Study  (Lahore: Bazm-i Iqbal, 2004)

Gibb, H. A. R., 'Iqbal, Sir Muhammad (1877-1938)', rev. Francis Robinson, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Grover, Verinder, Mohammad Iqbal: A Biography of His Vision and Ideas (New Delhi: Deep & Deep, 1998)

Hamid, Muhammad, The Poet Philosopher of Fifteenth Century Hijrah (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 1980)

Haq, Q. M., and Waley,  M. I., Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of the East (London: British Museum Publications Ltd for the British Library, 1977)

Hasan, Masudul, Life of Iqbal: General Account of His life (Lahore: Ferozsons, 1978) 

Hasan, Mohammad, A New Approach to Iqbal (New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1987)

Hassan, Parveen Feroze, The Political Philosophy of Iqbal (Lahore: Publishers United, 1970)

Hassan, Riffat, The Sword and the Sceptre: A Collection of Writings on Iqbal, Dealing Mainly with his Life and Political Works (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1977)

Iqbal, Javid, Stray Reflections: Allama Iqbal's Note-Book (Lahore: Iqbal Academy, 1992)

Iqbal, Saeeda, Islamic Rationalism in the Subcontinent: With Special Refernce to Shah Waliullah, Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Allama Muhammad Iqbal (Lahore: Islamic Book Service, 1984)

Jawed, Mohammad Aslam, The Unknown Iqbal (New Delhi: Kitab Publishing House, 1996)

Kazmi, Syed Latif Hussain, Philosophy of Iqbal: Iqbal and Existentialism (New Delhi: A. P. H., 1997)

Khan, Asif Iqbal, Some Aspects of Iqbal's Thought (Lahore: Islamic Book Service, 1977)

Khan, Zulfiqar Ali, A Voice from the East: The Poetry of Iqbal (Lahore: Mercantile Electric Press, 1922)

Khanum, Sajida Adeeb, Iqbal as a Philosopher (Hyderabad: Abul Kalam Azad Oriental Research Institute, 1982)

Khatana, Manzoor H., Iqbal and Foundations of Pakistani Nationalism, 1857-1947 (Lahore: Book Traders, 1992)

Majeed, Javed, Autobiography, Travel and Postnational Identity: Gandhi, Nehru and Iqbal (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Majeed, Javed, Iqbal: Islam and Postcolonialism in South Asia (London: Taylor & Francis, 2007)

Malik, Ghulam Rasool, Iqbal and the English Romantics (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 1988)

Malik, Hafeez, Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of Pakistan (New York; London: Columbia University Press, 1971)

Malik, Nadeem Shafiq, The Political Segacity of Iqbal (Islamabad: National Book Foundation, 1998)

Malik, Rashida, Iqbal: The Spiritual Father of Pakistan (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2003)

Maruf, Mohammed, Iqbal and His Contemporary Western Religious Thought (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1987)

May, Lini S., Iqbal: His Life and Times, 1877-1938 (Lahore: Ashraf, 1974)

Mir, Mustansir, Iqbal: Makers of Islamic Civilization (London: I. B. Tauris, 2005)

Mujadir, Sharif, Allama Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of the East (Karachi: Quaid-i-Azam Academy, 1986)

Munawwar, Muhammad, Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of Islam (Lahore: Islamic Book Foundation, 1982)

Naim, C. M., Iqbal, Jinnah and Pakistan: The Vision and the Reality (Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1984)

Popp, Stephan, Muhammad Iqbal's Romanticism of Power: A Post-Structural Approach to his Persian Lyrical Poetry (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2004)

Qaiser, Nazir, Iqbal and the Western Philosophers: A Comparative Study (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2001)

Rafique, M., Sri Aurobindo and Iqbal: A Comparative Study of Their Philosophy (Aligarh: Alogarh Muslim University, 1974)

Rahim, Khawaja Abdur, Iqbal: The Poet of Tomorrow (Lahore: Ferozsons, 1968)

Rahman, Mujibur, Iqbal: The Great Poet Philosopher of the Muslim World (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2004)

Raina, Chaman Lal, Iqbal and the Indian Heritage (Srinagar: Iqbal Institute, University of Kashmir, 1988)

Raja, Tasadduq Husain, and Siddique, Qazi Muhammad, Iqbal: A Cosmopolitan Poet (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1996)

Rashis, Khwaja Abdur, Iqbal, Quran and the Western World (Lahore: Progressive Books, 1978)

Rastogi, Tara Charan, Western Influence in Iqbal (New Delhi: Ashish Publ. House, 1987)

Rehman, S. A., andBrohi,  A. K., Iqbal and Socialism (Karachi: Hamdard National Foundation, 1974)

Saiyidain, Khwaja Ghulam, Iqbal's Educational Philosophy (Lahore: Arafat Publications, 1938)

Schimmel, Annemarie, Gabriel's Wing: A Study into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1963)

Siddiqi, Mazheruddin, The Image of the West in Iqbal (Lahore: Bazm-i-Iqbal, 1956)

Siddiqi, Nazir, Iqbal and Radhakrishnan: A Comparative Study (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1989)

Singh, Iqbal, The Ardent Pilgrim: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Muhammad Iqbal (London: Longmans, 1951)

Singh, Khushwant, Shikwa and Jawab-i-Shikwa: Complaint and Answer: Iqbal's Dialogue with Allah (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1981)

Sinha, Sachchidananda, Iqbal: The Poet and His Message (Allahabad: Ram Narain Lal, 1947)

Taseer, Muhammad Din, Iqbal: The Universal Poet (Lahore: Munib, 1977)

Vahid, Syed Abdul, Glimpses of Iqbal (Karachi: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1974) 

Waheeduddin, Faqir Syed, Iqbal in Pictures: A Pictorial Biography of the Famous Poet (Karachi: Lion Art Press, 1965)

Zakaria, Rafiq, Iqbal: The Poet and the Politician (New Delhi: Viking, 1993)

Archive source: 

Iqbal Academy, Lahore

Letters to E. J. Thompson, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Letters to William Rothenstein, Houghton Library, Harvard

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Other names: 

Allamah Iqbal


Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ
United Kingdom
52° 10' 21.3528" N, 0° 6' 40.3992" E
Date of death: 
21 Apr 1938
Location of death: 
Lahore, Pakistan
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1904
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1904-7, 1931-2

Friends of India Society


The Friends of India Association was founded by Reginald Reynolds in 1930, shortly after his return from India. It adhered to Gandhian principles and attempted to make known to the wider British public Gandhi’s work in the Indian independence struggle. The object of the association was ‘to create and organize public opinion in Britain in favour of India’s right to self-determination, and to promote the significance of Mahatma Gandhi’s non violent movement as a moral equivalent of war’. The Friends of India Society was a pacifist, Quaker-associated organization. Like many Indian organizations in Britain at the time, it sought the Indian National Congress’s endorsement to become its spokesperson in London, and as such entered into direct rivalry with other organizations. Through its publication India Bulletin it sought to enlighten the British public about atrocities committed in India by the British. Furthermore, it tried to raise public awareness by holding regular rallies in Trafalgar Square. The Society was particularly active during the Second Round Table Conference, and Gandhi spoke to the Society on 6 October 1931.

The Society had its offices at 46 Lancaster Gate, next to the Fellowship Club, with which Atma S. Kamlani, its Secretary, was associated, and the Theosophical Society offices. It consisted of an information bureau, which collected information on India and distributed it among the British public to generate publicity through pamphlets, leaflets and a lending library. Furthermore, it organized platforms at which speakers addressed the public and held smaller group meetings not only in London but across the UK. The organization was reliant on donations from the public, subscriptions to Indian Bulletin and membership fees, and suffered serious financial difficulties from 1933 onwards. In 1931, the Society organized a tour titled ‘The Indian Caravan’, where Indian and British speakers would address meetings across the UK, speaking on Indian topics. The tour held thirty-one meetings in eighteen towns, travelling as far north as Carlisle and York.

From 1932 to 1939, the organization published India Bulletin which the India Office saw as containing ‘a mass of unscrupulous propaganda against methods employed by Government to quell the Civil Disobedience Movement’. It gave detailed accounts of atrocities committed in India which were later found in reports in the mainstream press in Britain. In 1933, it formed a Women’s Council. Because of the organization’s financial difficulties and some overlap with the India League in relation to its objectives, talk about potential cooperation between the two organizations started as early as 1933; however these never came off the ground. Atma S. Kamlani suffered a nervous breakdown in 1934 and left Britain. Gladys V. Coughin replaced him as Secretary.

The Society’s financial difficulties continued and it had to move in 1937 to 47 Victoria Street, London, SW1. According to the India Office, the organization ceased to function with the outbreak of the Second World War; however there is the suggestion that D. Tahmankar was still dealing with Friends of India Society correspondence in 1942. 

Published works: 

India Bulletin (1932-9 )

Other names: 

Friends of India Association

Secondary works: 

Owen, Nicholas, The British Left and India: Metropolitan Anti-Imperialism, 1885-1947 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Date began: 
01 Oct 1930
Key Individuals' Details: 

Presidents: Laurence Housman, Reginald Reynolds.

Executive Committee: Miss Bertha Bracey, Atma S. Kamlani, J. D. Moos, Miss Frances E. Morgan, Bisheshwar Prasad Sinha, Miss Richienda C. Payne.



Horace Alexander, Shivabjai Gordhanbhai Amin, Mrs Bhattacharji, W. J. Borwon, Fenner Brockway, Miss Chesley, Gladys V. Coughin, Madam Faruki, Laurence Houseman, Atma S. Kamlani, Netta Koutane, Krishna Datta Kumria, Niarendu Datta Mazumdar, J. D. Moos, Miss Frances E. Morgan, Sylvia Pankhurst, Hormasji Rustomji Pardiwalla, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Miss Richienda C. Payne, H. S. N. Polak, Professor G. S. Ranga, Reginald Reynolds, Adrian Kolu Rienzi, Bertrand Russell, R. Rutnam, Shapurji Saklatvala, B. P.Sinha, Tarini Prasad Sinha, Reginald Stamp, Shridhar Nadharai Telkar, Wilfred Wellock, Miss Dorothy Woodman.

Date ended: 
01 Jan 1939
Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/428, L/PJ/12/411, L/I/1/50, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras


46 Lancaster Gate
London, W2 3NA
United Kingdom

Harold Laski


Harold Joseph Laski was a political theorist and university professor at the London School of Economics. He is remembered as an important political thinker, intellectual and activist, in particular during the 1930s. Through meeting Winifred (Frida) Kerry, Laski became fascinated with eugenics and he published his first article on the topic, ‘The scope of eugenics’, in the Westminster Review (July 1910). Laski began reading history at New College Oxford, before transferring to study eugenics in London under Karl Pearson. On 1 August 1911, he and Frida eloped to Scotland to get married. Laski soon returned to Oxford and took up the study of history again after losing interest in eugenics.

Through Frida, he became a supporter of the Suffragette movement and also developed close links with the labour movement. He graduated from Oxford in 1914 and took up temporary employment at the Daily Herald, for which he wrote editorials. His attempt to join the army during the First World War was rejected on medical grounds. He accepted a junior lectureship at McGill University where he remained until 1916, before moving to Harvard, where in 1917 he became editor of the Harvard Law Review. While in the USA, Laski developed his pluralist theory to refute the notion of the moral superiority of the state. He argued that the state needed to win its citizens' support by acting in a reasonable way. Laski was a keen supporter of decentralization and encouraging political participation at grass-roots level through work-based organizations. His works on pluralist theory established his reputation as a political theorist. He left the US in 1920 and took up a lectureship at the London School of Economics. Back in England he became closely associated and involved with the Labour Party and the Fabian Society, whose executive committee he joined in 1921. In 1926 Laski was promoted to the Graham Wallas Chair of Political Science at the London School of Economics.

In 1926 he met Krishna Menon who studied with him at LSE. Through his friendship with Menon Laski became closely involved with the India League. Laski was a staunch supporter of India’s move towards independence and argued for India’s right to self-determination. After his return from the US, he and Bertrand Russell spoke at election rallies for Shapurji Saklatvala. Laski’s commitment to India is derived from the case O’Dwyer v. Nair, a libel case O’Dwyer brought against Sankaran Nair, where he sat on the jury.

Laski’s influence on Menon was huge. Indeed heprobably learnt his socialism from his professor. Their relationship went beyond the teacher-student connection, as Laski and his wife took an interest in the welfare of Menon who was prone to depression. Laski met Gandhi and Nehru through Menon and the India League. In turn, Menon could always count on Laski’s support, and he would often give speeches in front of students, or speak at rallies or lobbied the Labour Party. In spring 1930, Laski was asked by Sankey to help with the planning for the Round Table Conference which would deal with the principles of a federal constitution. During the 1931 second Round Table Conference, Laski was closely involved in negotiations, especially on constitutional questions relating to political control of a possible federal Indian army; he also worked on a criminal code and its implementation. Sankey also asked Laski to negotiate with Gandhi and the Agha Khan on the future constitutional status of religion. Yet these efforts failed. Gandhi admired Laski’s commitment to Indian freedom and he often recommended students to study with him. Together with Victor Gollancz and John Strachey he launched the Left Book Club, with which many South Asian writers and activists, such as Mulk Raj Anand, Indira Nehru (Gandhi), and Jawaharlal Nehru also became involved. Laski was elected to the constituency section of the Labour Party national executive committee in 1937, on which he served for 12 consecutive years. He died in 1950.

Published works: 

Authority in the Modern State (London: Oxford University Press, 1919)

Political Thought in England: Locke to Bentham (London: Oxford University Press, 1920)

The Foundations of Sovereignty, and Other Essays (London: Allen and Unwin, 1922)

A Grammar of Politics (London: Allen and Unwin,1925)

Communism (Williams and Norgate, 1927)

Democracy in Crisis (London: Allen and Unwin, 1933)

The State in Theory and Practice (London: Allen and Unwin,1935)

The Rise of European Liberalism: An Essay in Interpretation (London: Allen and Unwin, 1936)

Parliamentary Government in England: A Commentary (London: Allen and Unwin, 1938)

The Danger of Being a Gentleman, and Other Essays (London: Allen and Unwin, 1939)

The American Presidency: An Interpretation (London: Allen and Unwin, 1940)

Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (London: Allen and Unwin,1943)

Faith, Reason, and Civilization: An Essay in Historical Analysis (London: Gollancz, 1944)

The Secret Battalion: An Examination of the Communist Attitude to the Labour Party (London: Labour Publications Department, 1946)

American Democracy: A Commentary and Interpretation (London: Allen and Unwin, 1948)



Laski’s speech to the Indian independence anniversary celebration in London in 1949.

Date of birth: 
30 Jun 1893
Contributions to periodicals: 

‘The India Report’, Nation 140 (2 January 1935)

‘India at the Crossroads’, Yale Review (21 March 1932)

‘The Labour Party and the Left Book Club’, Left News (August 1937)

The Listener


I do not know how many times I have gone to meetings that I did not want to attend, have made speeches that I did not want to make, have written articles that I had no time to write, because I was under the grim control of the irrepressible embodiment of the will of India to be free, and I look back and what I owe Krishna Menon for having made me attend as a member of his army is a debt that I can never repay.

Secondary works: 

Deane, Herbert A., The Political Ideas of Harold J. Laski (New York: Columbia Uiversty Press, 1955)

Kramnick, Isaac and Sheerman, Barry, Harold Laski: A Life on the Left (New York: Allen Lane/Penguin, 1993)

Newman, Michael, Harold Laski: A Political Biography (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1993)

Martin, Kingsley, Harold Laski, 1893–1950: A Biographical Memoir (London: Gollancz, 1953)

Archive source: 

General correspondence and sundry materials, papers presented by Granville Eastwood in 1978 and 1981, correspondence between Harold and Frida Laski, University of Hull

3 Folders of Laski correspondence, drafts of manuscripts by Laski, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam 

File of correspondence between Laski and the Labour Party, 1938-50, file on India, 1935-41, National Executive Committee Minutes and association papers, 1937-49, National Museum of Labour History, Manchester

L/I/1/1439, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
24 Mar 1950
Location of death: 
St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London

Atma Kamlani


Atma S. Kamlani was a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of India Society, a rival organization to Krishna Menon's India League. He also edited the society's organ India Bulletin.


Horace Alexander, Shivabjai Gordhanbhai Amin, Mrs Bhattacharji, W. J. Borwon, Fenner Brockway, Miss Chesley, Gladys V. Coughin, Madam Faruki, Laurence Housman, Netta Koutane, Krishna Datta Kumria, Niarendu Datta Mazumdar, J. D. Moos, Miss Frances E. Morgan, Sylvia Pankhurst, Hormasji Rustomji Pardiwalla, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Miss Richienda C. Payne, H. S. N. Polak, Professor G. S. Ranga, Reginald Reynolds, Adrian Kolu Rienzi, Bertrand Russell, R. Rutnam, Shapurji Saklatvala, B. P. Sinha, Tarini Prasad Sinha, Reginald Stamp, Shridhar Nadharai Telkar, Wilfred Wellock, Miss Dorothy Woodman.

Secondary works: 

Owen, Nicholas, The British Left and India: Metropolitan Anti-Imperialism, 1885-1947 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/428, L/PJ/12/411, L/I/1/50, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Other names: 

Atma S. Kamlani




Subscribe to RSS - Round Table Conferences 1930-1932