Firstly, this session brought the moderates and extremists in Congress on common platform again after nearly a decade, particularly due to efforts of Annie Besant. The aims and objectives of Muslim League were hitherto unclear and confusing, except that it was started in by Muslim aristocrats and landlords to preserve Muslim interests and to support British. Till the singing of Lucknow Pact, it seemed to be a fringe organization though it had rapidly brought many Muslims into its fold in a decade. At this juncture, the Muslim League sought for a sort of joint platform with the congress to put constitutional pressure on the British Government towards making reforms.
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The Muslim League was outraged at what they viewed as British capitulation to Hindu demands in Bengal and the language issue. They had believed repeated British assurances that the partition of Bengal was final and there was no possibility of a reversal. Such serious and blatant backtracking by the British placed a question mark in Muslim minds over the credibility of future promises.
The Muslims, who had viewed the British as a friendly ruling power since the work of Sir Syed, realized that they could not rely fully on the British in the future.
Muslim League Role In the next session of the Muslim League , held from December to january , the role of the League was redefined from promoting loyalty to the government to a form of self-government suitable to India. Ironically, it was exactly this shift away from the British over the language question and Bengal , which moved the League closer to the Congress Party.
The Congress now accepted that the Muslim League was not just a British front but an organization designed to protect Muslim interests. It was this recognition , plus further Muslim disillusionment with the British, which led to more common ground with the Congress. At this time a new figure was appearing on the scene , Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Jinnah in his early career was a member of both the Congress and the Muslim League and was well-known as a man free of any religious prejudice , as well as a brilliant advocate and debater. In , the Muslim , party with the urging of Jinnah , had included the demand for self-rule in their programme for the first time.
This delighted the Congress and committees comprising the Congress and Muslim League were formed to try to reach some common grounds of understanding. Lucknow Pact There was a simultaneous recognition within the British government that a further set of reforms needed to be implemented before the political situation deteriorated.
In October , 19 elected members of the Councils addressed a memorandum to the viceroy on the question of reforms. Amongst the proposals put forward were that : The Executive Councils should have at least half their members popularly elected. The Legislative Council should have a majority of elected members. All Legislative Councils should have fiscal autonomy and the right to vote on the sending of supplies to the armed forces India should be given the same rights as a dominion.
These proposals were never published but were leaked to informed opinion in both the Muslim League and the Congress Party. There was a consensus amongst the two main parties that the proposals should be endorsed by them, subject to minor amendments. This feeling of cooperation led to the first major experiment : The two parties tried to find common political ground against the British.
This culminated in December with the Lucknow Pact , Jinnah managed to persuade both parties to meet again at the same place and at the same time , in Lucknow in December The Lucknow Pact is significant as it marked some major concessions the Congress Party made to the Muslim League , most notably the acknowledgement that the Muslim had the right to a separate electorate.
This was significant as the Congress had previously claimed that India was one indivisible nation and should be represented by whichever group could win the most votes. Muslims, it was agreed , had the right to be elected to the Imperial and Provincial Legislative Councils by separate electorates.
The Muslims were also to be given one-third of the seats, even though the Muslim community was one-forth of the population. The Congress Party even agreed to separate electorates in the provinces of Punjab and Bengal, where they did not exist at the time.
Another demand was for motions passed by large majorities in the Provincial Councils to become binding on the government. Provincial autonomy for all regions was agreed as a common aim , as was the promise of both sides to protect the minorities within their areas. Two Political Parties This was the first time that a set of political demands had been made by the two main political organizations in the subcontinent to the Britsh.
Unfortunately , they were also to be the last. Two points, however, regarding the Lucknow Pact are worth noting. First , the Muslim League realized for the first time that the Muslims, if they wished to safeguard their political rights , had to work with all parties. Secondly , some Hindus became convinced that Hindu - Muslim problems were so deep-rooted that some form of partition would be inevitable.
It was for this reason that some members of Congress agreed to the Lucknow Pact , as it increased their own chances of eventual independence.
The Lucknow session of the Congress is memorable for it marked the re-union of the Moderate and the Extremist parties after the Surat Split We welcome everyone for corrections and updates, Thank you.
NCERT Notes: The Lucknow Pact, 1916
Youm-e-Takbir No. However, due to the decision of the British Government to annul the partition of Bengal, the Muslim leadership decided to change its stance. In , a new group of Muslim leaders entered the folds of the Muslim League with the aim of bridging the gulf between the Muslims and the Hindus. The Muslim League changed its major objective and decided to join hands with the Congress in order to put pressure on the British government. As a result of the hard work of Mr. Jinnah, both the Muslim League and the Congress met for their annual sessions at Bombay in December
Self-rule for India brought the Muslim league and the Congress closer to each other. The leaders of the both parties agreed that they should cooperate with each other to make the British accept their demands. They acknowledged that the objectives can be achieved if the two major communities of India forget their differences on petty issues and come closer to each other to see eye to eye on the important national issues. The political vicinity had taken a happy turn and ground for cherished Hindu Muslim unity had been smoothed. Lucknow pact is considered as a significant event in the political constitutional history of India. It is regarded a high water marked of Hindu Muslim unity. It was the first and last pact signed between Congress and Muslim league.
Background[ edit ] The British had announced under immense pressure from Indians, in order to satisfy the Indians, that they will be considering a series of proposals that would lead to at least half of the members of the Executive Council being elected and the Legislative Council having a majority of elected members needed. Both the Congress and the Muslim League supported these. Both had realized that for further concessions to be gained, greater cooperation was required. The Congress also agreed to the idea of one-third seats for the Muslims in the Councils despite the fact that the Muslim population represented less than a third. After the signing of this pact the rivalry between moderates and extremists was reduced to some extent.
Lucknow Pact (History)
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, then a member of the Congress as well as the League, made both the parties reach an agreement to pressure the British government to adopt a more liberal approach to India and give Indians more authority to run their country, besides safeguarding basic Muslim demands. After the unpopular partition of Bengal, Jinnah approached the League to make it more popular among the Muslims. Reasons for the pact: When the All-India Muslim League came into existence, it was a moderate organization with its basic aim to establish friendly relations with the British Crown. However, due to the decision of the British government to annul the partition of Bengal, the Muslim leadership decided to change its stance. In , a new group of Muslim leaders entered the fold of the Muslim League with a much different view than their predecessors. The indifferent policy of England towards the Caliph of Turkey made the Muslims hostile to the British as Caliph was regarded as the religious head of Muslims all over world.