Historian and writer Ramachandra Guha in a recent interview has revealed that in 1897 Gandhi was looking for a partner.

He said the burden of representing all the Indians was too much.

He wrote to a Parsi called Talyarkhan to come out and join him. He said: I can’t come.

Then two letters were written from Jinnah to Gandhi at the same time. In Gandhi’s office log book, which I found in the Sabarmati Ashram, there are two letters received from M.A. Jinnah— letter received on: dated 21st January 1897 and 24th July 1897.

So here is the speculation: I know Gandhi is looking for a partner. I know Gandhi was looking for a partner. I know that Jinnah was a struggling lawyer in Bombay in 1897. I know that Jinnah is a Gujarati Muslim and Gandhi is a Gujarati Hindu. I can only draw the inference, I can’t conclusively demonstrate it.

It is a fascinating thought. In 1897, 50 years before Gandhi and Jinnah become the respective fathers of nations of divided India and Pakistan, they almost forged a legal partnership. It is a lovely thought.