14 Mar


In 1913, the Quaid-e-Azam’s inclusion in the Muslim League was a historic event which gave new dimensions to Muslim League’s struggle. He was a great advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity and was widely respected in Muslim League and the Congress. He succeeded in persuading both the Congress and the Muslim League parties to hold their annual sessions in Bombay in 1915. Both the parties set up Reform Committees for making a scheme for constitutional changes in consultation with other political parties.
The atmosphere of Lucknow in 1916, where the Muslim League and the Congress, for the first time in the history of India, held their joint sessions, was even more cordial. The scheme for constitutional reforms prepared by the Reform Committees of Congress and Muslim League, in which the Quaid-e-Azam played a major role, was placed before the joint session for approval. Finally the scheme was approved and an agreement on the scheme of constitutional reforms was reached between Congress and Muslim League known as Lucknow Pact. It was decided that both Congress and Muslim League would submit the jointly approved scheme to the Government for its introduction after the war in order to introduce self-Government in India.

Main Recommendations

Following were the main recommendations of the pact:

  1. One Third seats for Muslims in the Imperial Legislative Council.
  2. Separate Electorate.
  3. Half members of the Executive Council should be Indian to be elected by the Imperial Legislative Council.
  4. Commissioned ranks of the army for Indians.
  5. Expansion of Provincial Legislative Councils.
  6. Half members of the Governor’s Executive Council should be Indians to be elected by the elected members of the Legislative Council.
  7. Weightage to minorities in provinces.
  8. Unofficial bill, if opposed by three-fourth members of a community, it will not be passed.

Role of the Quaid-e-Azam :

Jinnah was the principal architect of the Lucknow Pact and was hailed as an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. He presided over the League session at Lucknow in December 1916. Jinnah said,

“To the Hindus our attitude should be of good-will and brotherly feelings. Co-operation in the cause of our motherland should be our guiding principle. India’s real progress can only be achieved by a true understanding and harmonious relations between the two great sister communities. With regard to our own affairs, we can depend upon nobody but ourselves”

Gains from Muslim Point-of-view :

1. Separate Electorate.

2. One Third Muslim seats in Central Legislature.

3. Unofficial bill, if opposed by three-fourth members of a community, it will not be passed.

Achievements of Lucknow Pact :

On August 20, 1917 the Secretary of State Montague promised for:

  1. Greater association of Indian in all branches of government.
  2. Responsible government.
  3. Induction of Indians in the commissioned ranks.

Importance of Lucknow Pact :

The Lucknow Pact was a bright chapter in the dark and gloomy environs of the Indian political history marred with communal strife and narrow-mindedness. It was a political agreement which set in a new path leading towards a happy and 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 to the unflinching and untiring efforts of the Quaid-e-Azam who was conferred with a proud title of Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity by the famous poet politician Mrs. Sarojini Naidu.
The historical struggle of the Muslims confirmed their identity. They organized their political party to address the demands. They also got recognition by the Hindus as a separate nation. The British accepted their role in the political domain.

Reaction of the Hindus and the Muslims

The Hindus of the United Provinces expressed their resentment because it granted separate electorates to the Muslims of India. All India Hindu Mahasbaha also did the same. Muslims belonging to the “Sir Syed School of Thought” in the Punjab and United Provinces went against the Lucknow Pact. Sir Muhammad Shafi led this group. In retaliation, Sir Muhammad Shaft’s Punjab Muslim League was disaffiliated from the Central Muslim League and the Muslim League under Sir Fazal Hussain was recognized. The Bengali Muslims also disapproved the Lucknow Pact because their majority was changed into minority in the Provincial Legislative Council. Newspaper of Aligarh i.e., “Al-Bashir”, “Al-Mizan”, “Zulqurnain”, “Mashriq” and “Aligarh Institute Gazette” were against the Lucknow Pact.

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