The All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress agreed to the Lucknow Pact in Lucknow in December 1916. What was the background for such a pact? what was its nature? What were the results of the pact? Read further to know more about the Lucknow Pact.
The All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress agreed to the Lucknow Pact in Lucknow in December 1916. The agreement was made at the yearly meetings of both parties to lay out the shared political principles, including the demands for India’s “Self-Governance” after the war.
A participant from both parties, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, urged that pressure be applied to the British government to liberalize the nation and give its residents more autonomy.
The All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress developed cordial relations as a result, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah was awarded the title of “Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity” by the nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu.
Background of the Lucknow Pact
- By 1906, a League had been formed with the primary goal of forging good ties with the British. This League was then known as the “All India Muslim League” in a moderate sense.
- The League, however, chose to shift its support towards the British due to the British decision to divide Bengal.
- At the time, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a member of the All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress, decided to take advantage of the situation to push for British reforms on behalf of both parties.
- For the first time during a combined session, both parties sat silently.
- The Hindu Muslim Unity idea originated when the extremists led by Tilak and the moderates led by Gokhale decided to meet in Bombay. There, they were joined by the Muslim League and developed their constitutional demands through mutual debate.
- The leaders of the two parties subsequently assembled in one location with identical ideas and arguments in support of their demands.
- A total of 19 elected members from both parties sent a message to the Viceroy for discussion of the constitutional revisions in October 1916, just a few months after the Bombay meeting.
- The ideas from the earlier meeting were considered and adopted in the subsequent meeting in Calcutta in November 1916.
- The Lucknow Pact, 1916, as it was then known, was finally reaffirmed by the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress in their respective annual sessions held in Lucknow in December 1916.
The Lucknow Pact’s nature
- “Self-government” will be available to Indian citizens.
- The Indian Council shall cease to exist.
- Instead of using Indian finances, the British government will be responsible for paying the Secretary of State’s salary for any Indian concerns.
- The Legislative Assembly’s members will choose the president from among themselves.
- The Legislative Assembly’s term will be for a period of five years.
- A distinct electorate shall be established for each community until needed.
- 150 people will make up the Central Legislative Council.
- Indian citizens must make up at least half of the Council’s membership.
- The remaining 4/5 of the members will be elected once around 1/5 of them are nominated.
- With an average weighting of roughly one-third of the total members, Muslims should be granted representation in the Central Council.
- All candidates, save those nominated, will be chosen using the adult franchise.
- In proportion to their population, minorities must be represented.
- The proportion of Muslims in provincial legislatures will be determined by the provinces.
- Congress endorsed the Muslim League’s position on separate electorates, which would be maintained until any one community wanted joint electorates, even though the League committed to present the government with common constitutional proposals.
- Additionally, a set percentage of members in both the national and provincial legislatures were allocated to Muslims.
Understanding the Lucknow Pact
- The Muslim League and the Indian National Congress both agreed on the idea of a separate electorate, demonstrating that both parties were aware of the importance of local politics and how the selfish interests of various communities living in India contributed to the partition of the country in 1947.
- The importance of the Muslim community’s representation was acknowledged, but this left the door open for future increases in communal politics.
- Prior to the Lucknow Pact in 1916, the League had no political presence.
- When it became apparent that there was ongoing discord between the people and their leaders, riots for communalism broke out in Bihar, the United Provinces, and Bengal.
- If the 3/4th of members of any religion disagreed, the legislature could not pass the decision. As a result, the Indian legislature adopted a communalism veto.
- The most significant error was approving one-third of Muslim representations on the grounds that they were a minority, even if the Muslims earned it on the one hand and communal politics on the other.
- The agreement made it explicit that each of India’s diverse communities had its own interests.
- Province by province, the legislative representation of Muslims was determined. One of the most perilous pacifist initiatives of Congress was this one. It acknowledged both collective term and collective privileges.
- Nevertheless, the Lucknow Pact was hailed as a sign of Hindu-Muslim harmony at the time. The togetherness only lasted a short time.
Results of the Pact
- The Congress accepted the idea of separate electorates, which suggested that the Congress and the Muslim League joined together as different political entities, despite the fact that both organizations made a deliberate effort to show a united front.
- In the Muslim League’s development of the two-nation thesis, this was a turning point.
- Attempts to unite the masses of the two communities were ignored when the leaders of the two factions met.
- On the other hand, the difficult choice by Congress to embrace the idea of two electorates was a real attempt to ease minority concerns about majority dominance.
- In addition, the individuals were really excited about this reunion.
- Even the government made the decision to placate nationalists by stating in Montagu’s August 1917 declaration that it would eventually allow Indians to self-rule.
A turning point in the nationalist movement for liberation might be seen in the Lucknow Pact between Congress and the Muslim League. The Lucknow Pact created the appearance of Hindu and Muslim political harmony in the country. However, it was simply a fleeting impression. The parties’ agreement formally established the establishment of a separate communal electorate.
Article Written By: Atheena Fathima Riyas