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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pakistan Movement (Selected Articles)



1.   The course of First World War (1914 - 1918) changed the world political scene. Muslims and Hindus both felt the need for joint efforts for achievement of their political rights. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah after joining Muslim League started clearing the path for Hindu Muslim unity. In 1915, he succeeded in holding a joint meeting of Congress and Muslim League at Bombay. This meeting paved way for another famous meeting at Lucknow in 1916 where a written agreement was signed by both the parties. In the history of subcontinent this meeting is called the Lucknow Pact.
2.   On 30 and 31 October, 1916 the Muslim League and Congress held their joint session at Lucknow which concluded with an alliance between both the parties, known as Lucknow Pact. Under  this  historical  pact  the  Muslim League  and  Indian National Congress for the first time in history proposed to the Government,  a  joint  plan for  the  establishment    of  self-government on provincial basis. In order to settle the communal issues, both the parties agreed upon many agenda points.  The following are the main clauses of famous Lucknow Pact:-

a.  Approval of Separate Electorate. The Congress accepted the Muslims demand for reserved seats through separate electorate, to which the Hindus were opposed earlier.
b.  One   Third  Muslims  Representation.  The number of Muslim members in the central council will be the one-third of the elected strength.
c.  Nomination of Members.  The proportion of elected and nominated members of councils will be as follows:-

Elected ---    4/5 or  80%
Nominated-  1/5 or  20%

d.  Proportion of Muslim representation in the Provinces. In Muslim majority provinces i.e. Bengal, and Punjab; the number of Muslim representatives will be reduced to 40% and 50%, respectively. Where as, in Muslim minority provinces i.e Bombay, Madras, and UP; the Muslims seats will be increased up to 33%      (more than their population ratio).

e.  Provincial Autonomy.  Provincial autonomy will be given to the provinces with maximum powers to the provincial councils with full authority over budget.


3.  The most glaring feature the scheme was that it expressed the Hindus recognition of Muslims as a separate political entity. The Hindus for the first had acknowledged the Muslims as a separate nation and Muslim League as their sole political platform. It was an amazing outcome advocating for the self-rule.


4.  The Lucknow Pact was a bright chapter in the dark and gloomy environment of the Indian history marred with communal strife and narrow-mindedness. It guided towards political prosperous future. The Lucknow Pact created political homogeneity between the two separate political entities, Hindus and Muslims, who frankly and fairly admitted each others interests with sincerity. The credit for creating this harmonious situation undoubtedly went the untiring efforts of the Quaid-i-Azam who was conferred with a proud title of Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity by famous Hindu poet politician Mrs Sarojni Naidu.
5.   The Congress however could not remain friendly and cordial towards the Muslims for along time. It underwent a transformation with the prejudicial influence under its new leadership of Gandhi.  Consequently, this Hindu-Muslim Unity was not able to live for more than eight years, and collapsed after the development of differences between the two communities after the Khilafat Movement, yet it was an important event in the history of the Muslims of South Asia.  As Congress agreed to separate electorates, it in fact agreed to consider the Muslims as a separate nation. They thus accepted the concept of the Two-Nation Theory; a step forward towards the creation of Pakistan.

Researched & Compiled by:  Syeda Qasmina Ashraf

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