Results 1 to 18 of 34
Aug 12th, 2004 #1
1857 - 1905
Aligarh Movement [1858-98]
Deoband Movement [1866-1947]
Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam [1884-1947]
Establishment of Indian National Congress 
Nadva-tul-'Ulema of Lucknow [1894-1947]
During the last days of the Muslim rule, Urdu emerged as the most common language of the northwestern provinces of India. It was declared the official language, and all official records were written in this language. In 1867, some prominent Hindus started a movement in Banaras in which they demanded the replacement of Urdu with Hindi, and the Persian script with the Deva Nagri script, as the court language in the northwestern provinces. The reason for opposing Urdu was that the language was written in Persian script, which was similar to the Arabic script, and Arabic was the language of the Quran, the Holy Book of the Muslims. The movement grew quickly and within a few months spread throughout the Hindu population of the northwestern provinces of India. The headquarters of this movement were in Allahabad.
This situation provoked the Muslims to come out in order to protect the importance of the Urdu language. The opposition by the Hindus towards the Urdu language made it clear to the Muslims of the region that Hindus were not ready to tolerate the culture and traditions of the Muslims.
The Urdu-Hindi controversy had a great effect on the life of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Before this event he had been a great advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity and was of the opinion that the "two nations are like two eyes of the beautiful bride, India". But this movement completely altered his point of view. He put forward the Two-Nation Theory, predicting that the differences between the two groups would increase with the passage of time and the two communities would not join together in anything wholeheartedly.
Aligarh Movement [1858-98]
The War of Independence 1857 ended in disaster for the Muslims. The British chose to believe that the Muslims were responsible for the anti-British uprising; therefore they made them the subject of ruthless punishments and merciless vengeance. The British had always looked upon the Muslims as their adversaries because they had ousted them from power. With the rebellion of 1857, this feeling was intensified and every attempt was made to ruin and suppress the Muslims forever. Their efforts resulted in the liquidation of the Mughal rule and the Sub-continent came directly under the British crown.
After dislodging the Muslim rulers from the throne, the new rulers, the British, implemented a new educational policy with drastic changes. The policy banned Arabic, Persian and religious education in schools and made English not only the medium of instruction but also the official language in 1835. This spawned a negative attitude amongst the Muslims towards everything modern and western, and a disinclination to make use of the opportunities available under the new regime. This tendency, had it continued for long, would have proven disastrous for the Muslim community.
Seeing this atmosphere of despair and despondency, Sir Syed launched his attempts to revive the spirit of progress within the Muslim community of India. He was convinced that the Muslims in their attempt to regenerate themselves, had failed to realize the fact that mankind had entered a very important phase of its existence, i.e., an era of science and learning. He knew that the realization of the very fact was the source of progress and prosperity for the British. Therefore, modern education became the pivot of his movement for regeneration of the Indian Muslims. He tried to transform the Muslim outlook from a medieval one to a modern one.
Sir Syed's first and foremost objective was to acquaint the British with the Indian mind; his next goal was to open the minds of his countrymen to European literature, science and technology.
Therefore, in order to attain these goals, Sir Syed launched the Aligarh Movement of which Aligarh was the center. He had two immediate objectives in mind: to remove the state of misunderstanding and tension between the Muslims and the new British government, and to induce them to go after the opportunities available under the new regime without deviating in any way from the fundamentals of their faith.
Keeping education and social reform as the two planks of his program, he launched the Aligarh Movement with the following objectives:
1. To create an atmosphere of mutual understanding between the British government and the Muslims.
2. To persuade Muslims to learn English education.
3. To persuade Muslims to abstain from politics of agitation.
4. To produce an intellectual class from amongst the Muslim community.
Fortunately, Syed Ahmad Khan was able to attract into his orbit a number of sincere friends who shared his views and helped him. Among them were well-known figures like Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, Hali, Shibli, Maulvi Nazir Ahmad, Chiragh Ali, Mohammad Hayat, and Zakaullah. Above all, his gifted son Syed Mahmud, a renowned scholar, jurist and educationist, was a great source of help to him.
Syed Ahmad also succeeded in enlisting the services of a number of distinguished English professors like Bech, Morison, Raleigh and Arnold who gave their best in building up the Aligarh College into a first-rate institution.
A brief chronology of Syed Ahmad's efforts is given below:
1859: Built Gulshan School in Muradabad.
1863: Set up Victoria School in Ghazipur.
1864: Set up the Scientific Society in Aligarh. This society was involved in the translation of English works into the native language.
1866: Aligarh Institute Gazette. This imparted information on history; ancient and modern science of agriculture, natural and physical sciences and advanced mathematics.
1870: Committee Striving for the Educational Progress of Muslims.
1875: Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental School (M. A. O.), Aligarh, setup on the pattern of English public schools. Later raised to the level of college in 1877 and university in 1913.
1886: Muhammadan Educational Conference. This conference met every year to take stock of the educational problems of the Muslims and to persuade them to get modern education and abstain from politics. It later became the political mouthpiece of the Indian Muslims and was the forerunner of the Muslim League.
Besides his prominent role in the educational uplift of the Muslims, Syed Ahmad Khan's writings played an important role in popularizing the ideals for which the Aligarh stood. His essay on "The Causes of Indian Revolt in 1858", and other writings such as "Loyal Muhammadans of India", Tabyin-ul-Kalam and "A Series of Essays on the Life of Muhammad and Subjects Subsidiary Therein" helped to create cordial relations between the British Government and the Indian Muslims. They also helped to remove misunderstandings about Islam and Christianity.
It was from this platform that Syed Ahmad Khan strongly advised the Muslims against joining the Hindu dominated Congress. He was in favor of reserved seats for Muslims and also promoted the idea that Hindus and Muslims are two distinct nations. This idea led to the Two-Nation Theory.
Syed Ahmad Khan's Aligarh Movement played a significant role in bringing about an intellectual revolution among the Indian Muslims. Thus it succeeded in achieving its major objectives, i.e. educational progress and social reform. His efforts earned Sir Syed the title "Prophet of Education".
Aug 12th, 2004 #2
Deoband Movement [1866-1947]
Apart from the Aligarh Movement, there were many other forces working in the Sub-continent that contributed to national consolidation. These were in the form of institutions that grew up within the country. These institutions occasionally held views in opposition to the Aligarh leadership, but they all worked towards a common goal; national awakening and integrity.
Most important of these institutions was the seminary at Deoband. The original idea of establishing a madrasa for teaching religious subjects was that of a practicing sufi and a reputed saint, Haji Muhammad Abid of Deoband. He became the honorary patron and manager of the seminary, and when ample funds became available, Maulana Muhammad Yaqub, a leading educationist, was appointed as the headmaster. On April 14, 1866, the madrasa started functioning in a small mosque.
The madrasa at Deoband followed the Madrasa-i-Rahimiyah in its emphasis on Hadith, but it also incorporated many features of the new educational institutions established by the British, e.g., division of students in regular classes, attendance registers and written examinations. By 1931, 900 students were enrolled in the madrasa, including 43 foreign students.
Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi, who joined the madrasa few years after its establishment, was very active during the war of 1857, and for a period of time even established his own government in the area. On the suppression of the revolt by the British, Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, one of the Maulana's companions, had to spend several months in jail, while their spiritual teacher Haji Imdad Ullah had to seek refuge in Mecca.
Maulana Mahmud-ul-Hasan, who remained head of the institution for 23 years, encouraged contacts between Aligarh and Deoband. In 1920, the Maulana established the Jami'ah Milliyah for students who had discontinued studies at Aligarh during the Non-Cooperation Movement. The Jami'ah incorporated many features of Deoband.
Another personality associated with Deoband was Maulana Ubaid Ullah Sindhi. He figured in the "Raishmi Roomal Tehrik" launched by Maulana Mahmud-ul-Hasan and left India for Afghanistan during the World War I to organize actions against the British. He was appointed as Home Minister in the provisional government of India formed at Kabul. However, after the failure of the scheme, he proceeded to Moscow and then from Turkey to Mecca.
Deoband has invariably remained as the central institution catering to requirements of religious education of the Muslim community all over Sub-continent. To a certain extent, it also played the role of a unifying force for them, since apart from the opposition of the Deobandi teachers and students, so many ulema from the same institution supported Quaid-i-Azam, and took active part in the Pakistan Movement under the guidance of Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani.
Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam [1884-1947]
For a thousand years, Lahore had been a great cultural and intellectual center of the Muslims. Under the Mughals, Lahore boasted of rapid progress in the domains of education and learning. But towards the end of the Muslim rule in India, the Sikhs devastated large areas of Punjab. The annexation of Punjab brought peace to the region, but failed to create conditions conducive to the growth of intellectual and academic activities. The War of Independence of 1857 added to the woes and worries of the Indian Muslims. The Muslims refused to acquire modern education.
Towards the close of 19th century, the impact of Sir Syed's Aligarh Movement was felt all over the Sub-continent and Punjab was no exception. In March 1884, Maulana Qazi Hamid-ud-Din invited his pupil Maulvi Ghulam Ullah Qasuri and a number of other public-spirited persons to a small gathering and set up the Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam.
On September 22, 1884, the establishment of the Anjuman was formally announced and Qazi Hamid-ud-Din was elected its first president. The Anjuman decided to work towards the following aims and objectives:
1. To arrange for the religious and general education of Muslim boys and girls.
2. To propagate and defend Islam against the Christian missionaries and Hindu revivalists.
3. To counteract the propaganda against Islam through speeches and publications.
A team of selfless workers associated themselves to the cause of the Anjuman. Among them were Nawab Sir Fateh Ali Khan Qazilbash, Mian Sir Muhammad Shafi, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Sir Abdul Qadir, Dr. Khalifah Shuja-ud-Din and a host of others.
The Anjuman established educational institutions in arts, sciences and technology for men and women as well as orphanages for helpless Muslims, to which widows' homes were later added. The Moplah orphans, the victims of Bihar and Quetta earthquakes, and later the destitute children and widows of the 1947 holocaust, found shelter at these orphanages.
In 1885, the Risala-i-Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam made its appearance, publishing the principles of Islam. In 1892, the Anjuman established the Islamia College at Lahore. This was later elevated to degree level in 1903. The contribution of the college to the general Muslim awakening has been great. Its students played an important role in the Muslim national movement in Punjab. In 1939, the Anjuman established the Islamia College for Girls.
Of these services in the field of education, the Anjuman had the greatest impact on Muslim society and politics. In 1928, the Anjuman expanded its press and published standard works on religious and literary themes, and modern subjects like geography, physical sciences and economics. A landmark in the history of the Anjuman publication was the production of an absolutely correct text of the Holy Quran.
Aug 12th, 2004 #3
Establishment of Indian National Congress 
Events like the passage of the Vernacular Press Act in 1878 and the Ilbert Bill of 1882, as well as the reduction of the age limit for the Civil Services Exams in 1876 resulted in a wave of opposition from the middle class Indians. Consequently some of them came together and formed a number of small political parties that came out in the streets for protests and rallies. The British foresaw the situation resulting in another rebellion on the pattern of the War of Independence of 1857. To avoid such a situation, the British decided to provide an outlet to the local people where they could discuss their political problems. In order to achieve this goal, Allan Octavian Hume, a retired British civil servant, had a series of meetings with Lord Dufferin, the Viceroy. He also visited England and met people like John Bright, Sir James Caird, Lord Ripon and some members of the British Parliament. Hume also had the support of a large number of Englishmen in India, including Sir William Wedderbun, George Yule and Charles Bradlaugh.
On his return from Britain, Hume consulted the local Indian leaders and started working towards the establishment of an Indian political organization. He invited the convention of the Indian National Union, an organization he had already formed in 1884, to Bombay in December 1885. Seventy delegates, most of whom were lawyers, educationalists and journalists, attended the convention in which the Indian National Congress was established. This first session of Congress was presided over by Womesh Chandra Banerjee and he was also elected as the first president of the organization.
1. To seek the cooperation of all the Indians in its efforts.
2. Eradicate the concepts of race, creed and provincial prejudices and try to form national unity.
3. Discuss and solve the social problems of the country.
4. To request the government, give more share to the locals in administrative affairs.
As time went by, the Congress changed its stance and apparently became the biggest opposition to the British government.
Muslims primarily opposed the creation of Congress and refused to participate in its activities. Out of the 70 delegates who attended the opening session of the Congress, only two were Muslims. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who was invited to attend the Bombay session, refused the offer. He also urged the Muslims to abstain from the Congress activities and predicted that the party would eventually become a Hindu party and would only look after the interests of the Hindus. Syed Ameer Ali, another important Muslim figure of the era, also refused to join Indian National Congress.
Nadva-tul-'Ulema of Lucknow [1894-1947]
This institution came into existence in 1894 as a result of the efforts of some religious minded government officials, ulema, and sufis, who wished to bring the ulema together and remove sectarian differences. The main work of the organization was the establishment of a Dar-ul-Uloom at Lucknow. For some time Shibli Nomani, Syed's co-worker for many years, was associated with the institution. Under his influence it gained importance, but in 1914 he was forced to resign.
Shibli Nomani wrote extensively on Islam, highlighting those periods and personalities that offered guidance, and provided inspiration to the Muslims, enabling them to take their proper place in the world. His writings include the series "Heroes of Islam". The first book of this series was "Al-Mamoon", a biography of Mamoon-ur-Rasheed. Other books in the series included the biographies of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ghazali and Maulana Roomi.
Through his writings, Shibli tried to refute western allegations against Islam and Muslims. His Tarajjum gave a fairly complete account of the steps taken by the Muslims in the heyday of their glory, and incorporated into Arabic, the fruits of the learning of Greece, Iran, and India etc. He took great pains to pick out and train promising youth to carry on his work and spread his message. His basic purpose remained to train and educate Muslim youth so that they could unite and lead their nation out of despondency.
A magnificent building was constructed for the Dar-ul-Uloom with a grant from the State of Bhawalpur. The tradition of training in literary craftsmanship and style of modern Arabic was inherited by the institution. The Dar-ul-Musannifin, or "Academy of Authors", at Azamgarh, manned by the former students of the Nadva, is a byproduct of the institution.
Aug 12th, 2004 #4
1905 - 1940
Partition of Bengal [1905-11]
Simla Deputation 
Establishment of All India Muslim League 
The Lucknow Pact 
Khilafat Movement [1919-1924]
Simon Commission 
Delhi Muslim Proposals 
All Parties Muslim Conference
Fourteen Points of M. A. Jinnah
Round Table Conferences
The Communal Award
Government of India Act 1935
Rule of Congress Ministries
The Ideology of Pakistan: Two-Nation Theory
Partition of Bengal [1905-11]
Finding the Bengal Presidency too large for one governor to administer, in 1905 the English decided to redraw its boundaries and divided it into two parts.
The provinces of Bengal and Assam were reconstituted so as to form the two provinces of manageable size. Western Bengal, with a population of 54 million (42 million Hindus and 9 million Muslims); and Eastern Bengal and Assam with a population of 31 million (12 million Hindus and 18 million Muslims). The territory to be transferred from Bengal to the new province consisted of the districts of Chittagong and Dhaka Divisions, Rajshahi Division excluding Darjeeling, and the District of Malda.
Curzon, the Viceroy of India, sent the proposal to London in February 1905. The Secretary of State for India St. John Brodrich sanctioned it in June, and the proclamation of the formation of the new province was issued in September. The province of Bengal and Assam came into being on October 16 1905.
Incidentally, the partition went in favor of the Muslims. Before the partition, Western Bengal, being the first area to come under western influence, was developed and industrialized. It was a striking contrast to the eastern part where the Muslim peasantry was crushed under the Hindu landlords, the river system was infested with pirates, and very few funds were allocated for education. It was dreaded as a place of banishment. The partition helped boost Bengali literature and language; efforts were also made towards the social, economic and educational uplift of the Muslims.
The Muslims outnumbered the Hindus in Eastern Bengal and this alleviated the Bengali Muslims politically and economically. This resulted in a series of unprecedented agitation by the Hindus. They alleged that Lord Curzon had deliberately tried to divide the Hindus and the Muslims by drawing a line between the Hindu and the Muslim halves of Bengal. And by favoring the Muslims by giving them a new province in which they were in a clear majority, had struck a deadly blow to Bengali nationality. They branded him as the upholder of the devilish policy of 'divide and rule'.
The Muslims of India welcomed the partition of Bengal, but the Hindu community strongly opposed it. They launched a mass movement, declaring October 16 as a day of mourning in Calcutta. Influenced by the Chinese boycott of American goods, the Hindus started the Swadeshi Movement against the British. In the meantime, the Hindus raised the Band-i-Mataram as the national cry protecting worship of Shivaji as a national hero. This organized anarchist movement took a terrorist turn resulting in political sabotage and communal riots.
Keeping in view the fluid political situation in India and the cult of Hindu revivalism, the British decided to undo their earlier decision to please the Hindus. The provinces were reunited in 1911. This act saddened the Muslims. It was a catalyst in making the Muslims of India realize the need for a separate homeland.
Simla Deputation 
When Lord Minto was appointed as the Viceroy on India in 1905, new reforms were indicated in which the elected principle would be extended. The anti-partition agitation had convinced the Muslims of the futility of expecting any fair-play from the Hindu majority. Therefore, to safeguard their interests, the Muslim leaders drew up a plan for separate electorates for their community, and presented it to the Viceroy Lord Minto at Simla, on October 1, 1906.
Mr. Bilgrami wrote the text of the plan. The Simla Deputation consisted of 70 representatives, representing all opinions of the Muslim community, and headed by Sir Aga Khan who read the address. The long address said, among other things, that the position of the Muslim community should not be estimated by its numerical strength alone, but in terms of its political importance and services rendered to the Empire. He also pointed out that the representative institutions of the West were inappropriate for India and that their application was raising difficult problems. He stressed the need of utmost care while introducing or extending the electoral system in whatever sphere, be it municipal or provincial. He stated that the Muslims should be represented as a community.
The Viceroy in his reply to the Simla Deputation address reassured the Muslims that their political rights and interests as a community would be safeguarded by any administrative reorganization under him.
The acceptance of the Deputation's demands proved to be a turning point in the history of the Sub-continent. For the first time, the Hindu-Muslim conflict was raised to the constitutional plane. The Muslims made it clear that they had no confidence in the Hindu majority and that they were not prepared to put their future in the hands of an assembly elected on the assumed basis of a homogenous Indian nation. It is in this sense that the beginning of separate electorate may be seen as the beginning of the realization of the Two-Nation Theory, its final and inevitable consequence being the partition of British India in 1947.
The Simla Deputation was successful because the Muslims were strongly urged to protect their separate identity, whereas the British responded to their demands, as Lord Minto was anxious to pull them out of their political discontent.
Separate electorates were given statutory recognition in the Indian Councils Act of 1909. Muslims were accorded not only the right to elect their representatives by separate electorates, but also the right to vote in general constituencies. In addition, they were also given weightage in representation.
Aug 12th, 2004 #5
Establishment of All India Muslim League 
On December 30 1906, the annual meeting of Muhammadan Educational Conference was held at Dhaka under the chairmanship of Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk. Almost 3,000 delegates attended the session making it the largest-ever representative gathering of Muslim India. For the first time the conference lifted its ban on political discussion, when Nawab Salim Ullah Khan presented a proposal for establish a political party to safeguard the interests of the Muslims; the All India Muslim League.
Three factors had kept Muslims away from the Congress, Sir Syed's advice to the Muslims to give it a wide berth, Hindu agitation against the partition of Bengal and the Hindu religious revivalism's hostility towards the Muslims. The Muslims remained loyal to Sir Syed's advice but events were quickly changing the Indian scene and politics were being thrust on all sections of the population.
But the main motivating factor was that the Muslims' intellectual class wanted representation; the masses needed a platform on which to unite. It was the dissemination of western thought by John Locke, Milton and Thomas Paine, etc. at the M. A. O. College that initiated the emergence of Muslim nationalism.
The headquarters of the All India Muslim League was established in Lucknow, and Sir Aga Khan was elected as its first president. Also elected were six vice-presidents, a secretary and two joint secretaries for a term of three years. The initial membership was 400, with members hailing proportionately from all provinces. Maulana Muhammad Ali Jouhar wrote the constitution of the League, known as the "Green Book". Branches were also setup in other provinces. Syed Ameer Ali established a branch of the League in London in 1908, supporting the same objectives.
Following were the objectives of the Muslim League:
1. To inculcate among Muslims a feeling of loyalty to the government and to disabuse their minds of misunderstandings and misconceptions of its actions and intentions.
2. To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Muslims of India and to represent their needs and aspirations to the government from time to time.
3. To prevent the growth of ill will between Muslims and other nationalities without compromising to it's own purposes.
Many Hindu historians and several British writers have alleged that the Muslim League was founded at official instigation. They argue that it was Lord Minto who inspired the establishment of a Muslim organization so as to divide the Congress and to minimize the strength of the Indian Freedom Movement. But these statements are not supported by evidence. Contrary to this, the widely accepted view is that the Muslim League was basically established to protect and advance the Muslim interests and to combat the growing influence of the Indian National Congress.
In 1906, Lord Morley, the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs, announced in the British parliament that his government wanted to introduce new reforms for India, in which the locals were to be given more powers in legislative affairs. With this, a series of correspondences started between him and Lord Minto, the then Governor General of India. A committee was appointed by the Government of India to propose a scheme of reforms. The committee submitted its report, and after the approval of Lord Minto and Lord Morley, the Act of 1909 was passed by the British parliament. The Act of 1909 is commonly known as the Minto-Morley Reforms.
The following were the main features of the Act of 1909:
1. The number of the members of the Legislative Council at the Center was increased from 16 to 60.
2. The number of the members of the Provincial Legislatives was also increased. It was fixed as 50 in the provinces of Bengal, Madras and Bombay, and for the rest of the provinces it was 30.
3. The member of the Legislative Councils, both at the Center and in the provinces, were to be of four categories i.e. ex-officio members (Governor General and the members of their Executive Councils), nominated official members (those nominated by the Governor General and were government officials), nominated non-official members (nominated by the Governor General but were not government officials) and elected members (elected by different categories of Indian people).
4. Right of separate electorate was given to the Muslims.
5. At the Center, official members were to form the majority but in provinces non-official members would be in majority.
6. The members of the Legislative Councils were permitted to discuss the budgets, suggest the amendments and even to vote on them; excluding those items that were included as non-vote items. They were also entitled to ask supplementary questions during the legislative proceedings.
7. The Secretary of State for India was empowered to increase the number of the Executive Councils of Madras and Bombay from two to four.
8. Two Indians were nominated to the Council of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs.
9. The Governor General was empowered to nominate one Indian member to his Executive Council.
The Lucknow Pact 
When All India Muslim League came into existence, it was a moderate organization with its basic aim to establish friendly relations with the 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 1913, 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 most prominent amongst them was Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was already a member of Indian National Congress. The Muslim League changed its major objective and decided to join hands with the Congress in order to put pressure on the British government. Lord Chelmsford's invitation for suggestions from the Indian politicians for the post World War I reforms further helped in the development of the situation.
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 1915. The principal leaders of the two political parties assembled at one place for the first time in the history of these organizations. The speeches made from the platform of the two groups were similar in tone and theme. Within a few months of the Bombay moot, 19 Muslim and Hindu elected members of the Imperial Legislative Council addressed a memorandum to the Viceroy on the subject of reforms in October 1916. Their suggestions did not become news in the British circle, but were discussed, amended and accepted at a subsequent meeting of the Congress and Muslim League leaders at Calcutta in November 1916. This meeting settled the details of an agreement about the composition of the legislatures and the quantum of representation to be allowed to the two communities. The agreement was confirmed by the annual sessions of the Congress and the League in their annual session held at Lucknow on December 29 and December 31, 1916 respectively. Sarojini Naidu gave Jinnah, the chief architect of the Lucknow Pact, the title of "the Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity".
1. There shall be self-government in India.
2. Muslims should be given one-third representation in the central government.
3. There should be separate electorates for all the communities until a community demanded for joint electorates.
4. System of weightage should be adopted.
5. The number of the members of Central Legislative Council should be increased to 150.
6. At the provincial level, four-fifth of the members of the Legislative Councils should be elected and one-fifth should be nominated.
7. The strength of Provincial legislative should not be less than 125 in the major provinces and from 50 to 75 in the minor provinces.
8. All members, except those nominated, were to be elected directly on the basis of adult franchise.
9. No bill concerning a community should be passed if the bill is opposed by three-fourth of the members of that community in the Legislative Council.
10. Term of the Legislative Council should be five years.
11. Members of Legislative Council should themselves elect their president.
12. Half of the members of Imperial Legislative Council should be Indians.
13. Indian Council must be abolished.
14. The salaries of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs should be paid by the British Government and not from Indian funds.
15. Out of two Under Secretaries, one should be Indian.
16. The Executive should be separated from the Judiciary.
Although 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. It was the first time when Congress recognized the Muslim League as the political party representing the Muslims of the region. 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.
Aug 12th, 2004 #6
In World War I, the British claimed that they stood for the protection of democracy around the world. Thus the Indians, who fought for them in this war, demanded that democracy should also be introduced in their country. In his famous August Declaration presented before the House of Commons on August 20 1917, Montague, the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs said that in order to satisfy the local demands, his government was interested in giving more representation to the natives in India. New reforms would be introduced in the country to meet this objective. He came to India and stayed here for six months. During this period he held meetings with different government and non-government people. Finally, in cooperation with the Governor General Lord Chelmsford, Montague presented a report on the constitutional reforms for India in 1918. The report was discussed and approved by the British Parliament and then became the Act of 1919. This Act is commonly known as Montague-Chelmsford Reforms.
The following were the main features of the Act of 1919:
1. The Council of the Secretary of State was to comprise of eight to twelve people. Three of them should be Indian, and at least half of them should have spent at least ten years in India.
2. The Secretary of State was supposed to follow the advice of his council.
3. Part of the expenses of the office of the Secretary of State was to be met by the British Government.
4. The Secretary of State was not allowed to interfere in administrative matters of the provinces concerning the 'Transferred Subjects' and also in the matters on which Governor General and his Legislative were in agreement.
5. The Governor General had the power to nominate as many members to his Executive Council as he wanted.
6. Members appointed to the Executive Council were to have served in India for at least 10 years.
7. The Central Legislature was to consist of two houses i.e. the Council of the State (Upper House) and the Legislative Assembly (Lower House).
8. Council of the State was to consist of 60 members out of which 33 were to be elected and 27 nominated by the Governor General.
9. The Legislative Assembly was to consist of 144 members out of which 103 were to be elected and 41 to be nominated by the Governor General.
10. The franchise was limited.
11. The tenure of the Upper House was five and of the Lower House was three years.
12. Both the houses had equal legislative powers. In case of a tie, the Governor General was to call a joint meeting where the matter was to be decided by majority vote.
13. The Executive Council was not responsible to the Legislature and the Governor General had the right to refuse its advice.
14. Provincial Legislatures were supposed to be unicameral.
15. Seventy percent members of the Provincial Legislative Councils were to be elected and thirty percent were to be nominated.
16. The Governors were given 'Instrument of Instructions' which guided them in carrying out their administrative affairs.
17. The System of Diarchy was introduced in the provinces.
18. Besides Muslims, other minorities including Sikhs, Anglo-Indians, Christians and Europeans were also given the right of separate electorate.
19. New reforms were to be introduced after ten years.
The Montague-Chelmsford reforms were not accepted by most quarters in India as they fell far short of the Indian natives' expectations.
Aug 12th, 2004 #7
Khilafat Movement [1919-1924]
The Lucknow pact showed that it was possible for middle-class, English-educated Muslims and Hindus to arrive at an amicable settlement on Hindu-Muslim constitutional and political problems. This unity reached its climax during the Khilafat and the Non-Cooperation Movements.
After World War I, the Ottoman Empire faced dismemberment. Under the leadership of the Ali Brothers, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, the Muslims of South Asia launched the historic Khilafat Movement to try and save it. Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi linked the issue of Swaraj with the Khilafat issue to associate Hindus with the movement. The ensuing movement was the first countrywide popular movement.
The Muslims of India had a strong feeling of identity with the world community of Islam. They had seen the decline in the political fortunes of Islam as the European powers conquered the Muslim lands one after the other. The Anglo-Russian convention of 1908 had reduced their next-door neighbor Iran to a mere dependency. Afghanistan also suffered as it was a bone of contention between Russia and Britain, and was now under the latter's sphere of influence.
The general impression among the Muslims of India was that the western powers were waging a war against Islam throughout the world in order to rob it of all its power and influence. The Ottoman Empire was the only Muslim power that had maintained a semblance of authority and the Muslims of India wanted to save the Islamic political power from extinction.
As an institution, the Khilafat had a checkered past. It had originally migrated from Medina to Damascus and from Damascus to Baghdad. For sometime it was located in Egypt, then it fell to the lot of Turkey, very much as a prize.
The Turkish Sultans had claimed to be the caliphs of the Muslim world. As long as the Mughal Empire had been in existence, the Muslims of India had not recognized their claim. At this critical juncture, when the Muslims of the Sub-continent had no sovereign ruler of their own, they began to see the necessity of recognizing the Sultan of Turkey as their caliph. Tipu Sultan was the first Indian Muslim who, having been frustrated in his attempts to gain recognition from the Mughals, had turned to the Sultan of Turkey to establish a legal right to his throne.
The European powers had played a leading role in reducing the might of Turkey in Europe to Eastern Thrace, Constantinople and the straits in the Balkan Wars (1912-13). To seek revenge, the Turks decided to side with the Germans against the Allied Forces. The Indian Muslims supported this decision.
Muhammad Ali argued that for Muslims to accept mandates over Iraq, Syria and Palestine would amount to a total disregard of the wishes of the Holy Prophet (S. A. W.). Thus the Muslims of India launched the Tehrik-i-Khilafat. The objectives were as follows:
1. To maintain the Turkish Caliphate.
2. To protect the holy places of the Muslims.
3. To maintain the unity of the Ottoman Empire.
There was absolute unanimity among the Indian Muslims. Though separated from Turkey by thousands of miles, they were determined to fight Turkey's battle from India.
Rioting started in Amritsar on April 10, 1919. On April 13, 1919, a crowd assembled at the Jalianwala Bagh. These protestors were unaware of a ban that had just been imposed by the martial law administrators on public meetings. Sir Michael O'Duiyer opened fire on the crowd, resulting in 379 dead and 1,200 wounded. This incident is known as the Jalianwala Bagh Tragedy.
When the terms of the Treaty of Serves were announced in 1920, it caused deep resentment among the Muslims. They felt betrayed. In June 1920, 90 influential Muslims wrote to Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy, informing him of their intent to start a non-cooperation movement against the government from August, until the terms of the treaty with Turkey were revised.
But this was to no avail as the British Prime Minister Lloyd George was an implacable enemy of Turkey and by association, of the Indian Khilafat Movement. When the Indian Khilafat deputation visited England in 1920 to put their views before the British Government, he ignored them and the deputation met with failure.
A tragic offshoot of the Khilafat Movement was the Hijrat Movement proposed by Jamiyat-al-Ulema-i-Hind. When a land is not safe for Islam, a Muslim has two options; Jihad or Hijrat. Around 925 eminent Muslims signed this fatwa. According to one version, the idea of Hijrat was originated from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
In the North West Frontier Province and Sindh, hundreds of families sold their land and property and departed in the direction of the Khyber Pass, to migrate to Afghanistan, a brotherly independent Muslim state. In the month of August alone, some 18,000 Indian Muslims migrated to Afghanistan. Afghanistan, a poor country, was unable to absorb so large an influx of population and sealed its borders. It is difficult to establish who was responsible for misleading such a large number of Muslims.
Another tragic event was the Moplah Uprising. In mid of August 1921, agrarian riots broke out in Nilambur. The Moplah peasants revolted against the Hindu landlord's oppressive policies, which are in alliance with the British. The Hindu landlords redistributed their lands and the Moplahs, who had been suffering, rose in revolt. A pitched battle between the British regiment and the Moplahs killed several Europeans. Four thousand Moplahs were killed in action and tens of thousands were injured.
Then there was the notorious Moplah Train Tragedy. Around a hundred prisoners, confined in a closed and almost airtight goods van, were transported by rail. When the door was opened, 66 Moplahs were found suffocated to death and the remaining 34 were on the verge of collapse.
All this was followed by Hindu-Muslim communal clashes, particularly in Multan and Bengal in September 1922. The Sanghattan and Shuddi movements were offshoots of these communal rioting, which were anti-Muslim and aimed at Hindu revivalism.
Besides other events, the arrest of the Ali brothers in September 1921 gave a severe blow to the Khilafat Movement. Gandhi, who was using this movement to accelerate India's advance towards Swaraj, also withdrew his support for the Muslim cause in the aftermath of the Chauri Chaura incident in February 1922. Using the excuse that the national volunteers were responsible for the murder of 21 policemen, thus leading to violence, he called off the whole movement.
In 1924, Turks under Mustafa Kamal were consolidating their position in Turkey. They announced an end to the Khilafat. It was a great blow to Indian Khilafatists who had been campaigning on behalf of Turkey and Khilafat. Gradually the enthusiasm of the people died down and the Khilafat Conference and Committee developed new interests and in a short time nothing but their name remained.
Although the Khilafat Movement failed to achieve its declared objectives, it carried political awakening to large masses of Muslims. It was during the Khilafat days that representatives of Indian Muslims came into contact with eminent personages from other Muslims countries to save the semblance of unity in the world of Islam.
The Khilafat Movement was an asset for the struggle of Pakistan. It made clear to the Indian Muslims to trust neither the British nor the Hindus, but to look to their own strengths for self-preservation.
Simon Commission 
The Government of India Act of 1919 was essentially transitional in character. Under Section 84 of the said Act, a statutory commission was to be appointed at the end of ten years, to determine the next stage in the realization of self-rule in India.
The British government appointed a commission under Sir John Simon in November 1927. The commission, which had no Indian members, was being sent to investigate India's constitutional problems and make recommendations to the government on the future constitution of India.
The Congress decided to boycott the Simon Commission and challenged Lord Birkenhead, Secretary of State for India, to produce a constitution acceptable to the various elements in India.
There was a clear split in the Muslim League. Sir Muhammad Shafi, who wanted to cooperate with the commission, decided to convene a Muslim League session in Lahore in December 1927.
The other faction led by Jinnah stood for the boycott of the commission. This faction held a Muslim League session at Calcutta, and decided to form a subcommittee to confer with the working committee of the Indian National Congress and other organizations, with a view to draft a constitution for India.
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Delhi Muslim Proposals 
Considering separate electorates to be the main hindrance in improving Hindu-Muslim relations, Quaid-i-Azam proposed that if the Hindus agreed to provide certain safeguards, the Muslims would give up this demand. Consequently, the proposals were formally approved at a conference held by the Muslims in 1927 at Delhi, and are now called "The Delhi-Muslim Proposals". Following are the safeguards that were proposed:
1. The formation of a separate province of Sindh.
2. Introduction of reforms in the North West Frontier Province and in Baluchistan on the same footing as in other provinces.
Unless and until the above proposals were implemented, the Muslims would never surrender the right of their representation through separate electorates. Muslims would be willing to abandon separate electorates in favor of joint electorates with the reservation of seats fixed in proportion to the population of different communities, if the above two proposals were implemented to the full satisfaction of Muslims and also if the following proposals were accepted.
4. Hindu minorities in Sindh, Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province be accorded the same concessions in the form of reservation of seats over and above the proportion of their population as Muslims would get in Hindu majority provinces.
5. Muslim representation in the Central Legislature would not be less than one-third.
6. In addition to provisions like religious freedom, there was to be a further guarantee in the constitution that on communal matters no bill or resolution would be considered or passed if three-fourth of the members of the community concerned were opposed to it.
These proposals were to be accepted or rejected in toto. So, in effect, the Muslims agreed to give up the separate electorates in form of the reservation of seats. Unfortunately, the Congress first accepted but later rejected the proposals.
The Government of India Act 1919 was essentially transitional in character. Under Section 84 of the said Act, a statutory Commission was to be appointed at the end of ten years to determine the next stage in the realization of self-rule in India. Accordingly, the Simon Commission was sent to the Sub-continent under the command of Sir John Simon. All members of the commission were British. This was regarded as highly insulting to the Indians and immediate protest was raised from all the important political parties. When the Simon Commission arrived, the local masses welcomed it by with slogans of "Go back Simon!". All the major political parties of Sub-continent, except the Shafi League of Punjab, boycotted the Simon Commission.
After the failure of Simon Commission, there was no alternative for the British government but to ask the local people to frame a constitution for themselves. They knew that the Congress and Muslim League were the two main parties and that they both had serious difference of opinions. Birkenhead, Secretary of Sate for Indian Affairs, threw the ball in the Indian politicians' court, and asked them to draw a draft of the forthcoming Act on which both Hindus and Muslims could agree. The Indian leaders accepted the challenge and for this purpose, the All Parties Conference was held at Delhi in January 1928. More than a hundred delegates of almost all the parties of the Sub-continent assembled and participated in the conference. Unfortunately, the leaders were not able to come to any conclusion. The biggest hindrance was the issue of the rights of minorities. The second meeting of the All Parties Conference was held in March the same year, but the leaders still had their differences and again were not able to reach a conclusion. The only work done in this conference was the appointment of two subcommittees. But due to the mutual differences between Muslims and Hindus, the committees failed to produce any positive result.
When the All Parties Conference met for the third time in Bombay on May 19 1928, there was hardly any prospect of an agreed constitution. It was then decided that a small committee should be appointed to work out the details of the constitution. Motilal Nehru headed this committee. There were nine other members in this committee including two Muslims, Syed Ali Imam and Shoaib Qureshi.
The committee worked for three months at Allahabad and its memorandum was called the "Nehru Report". The chairman joined hands with the Hindu Mahasabha and unceremoniously quashed the recent Congress acceptance of the Delhi Proposals. The Nehru Report recommended that a Declaration of Rights should be inserted in the constitution assuring the fullest liberty of conscience and religion.
The following were the recommendations advanced by the Nehru Report:
1. India should be given the status of a dominion.
2. There should be federal form of government with residuary powers vested in the center.
3. India should have a parliamentary form of government headed by a Prime Minister and six ministers appointed by the Governor General.
4. There should be bi-cameral legislature.
5. There should be no separate electorate for any community.
6. System of weightage for minorities was as bad as that of separate electorates.
7. Reservation of Muslim seats could be possible in the provinces where Muslim population was at least ten percent, but this was to be in strict proportion to the size of the community.
8. Muslims should enjoy one-fourth representation in the Central Legislature.
9. Sindh should be separated from Bombay only if the Committee certified that it was financially self-sufficient.
10. The N. W. F. P. should be given full provincial status.
11. A new Kanarese-speaking province Karnatic should be established in South India.
12. Hindi should be made the official language of India.
The recommendations of the Nehru Report went against the interests of the Muslim community. It was an attempt to serve Hindu predominance over Muslims. The Nehru Committee's greatest blow was the rejection of separate electorates. If the report had taken into account the Delhi Proposals, the Muslims might have accepted it. But the Nehru Committee did not consider the Delhi Proposals at all while formulating their report. The Muslims were asking for one-third representation in the center while Nehru Committee gave them only one-fourth representation. It is true that two demands of Muslims were considered in the Nehru Report but both of them incomplete. It was said that Sindh should be separated from Bombay but the condition of self-economy was also put forward. It demanded constitutional reforms in N. W. F. P. but Baluchistan was overlooked in the report.
Of the two Muslim members of the Nehru Committee, Syed Ali Imam could attend only one meeting due to his illness and Shoaib Qureshi did not endorse views of the Committee on the issue of Muslim representation in legislature. Thus the Nehru Report was nothing else than a Congress document and thus totally opposed by Muslims of the Sub-continent. The Hindus under Congress threatened the government with a disobedience movement if the Nehru report was not implemented into the Act by December 31, 1929. This Hindu attitude proved to be a milestone in the freedom movement of the Muslims. It also proved to be a turning point in the life of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. After reading the Nehru Report, Jinnah announced a 'parting of the ways'. The Nehru Report reflected the inner prejudice and narrow-minded approach of the Hindus.
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All Parties Muslim Conference
The immediate result of the publication of the Nehru Report was that Muslims of all shades of opinion united in opposition to it. The two wings of the Muslim League that had been split since 1924 came closer. On January 21, 1929, the All Parties Muslim Conference convened in Delhi under Aga Khan. Nearly every shade of opinion was represented. The Conference laid down the Muslims demands in the clearest possible terms:
1. The only form of government suitable to Indian conditions was a federal system with complete autonomy and residuary powers vested in the constituent states.
2. Muslims should not be deprived of the right to elect their representatives through separate electorates without their consent.
3. Muslims should continue to have weightage in the Hindu majority provinces and they were willing to accord the same privilege to non-Muslim minorities in Sindh, the N. W. F. P. and Baluchistan.
4. Muslims should have their due share in the central and provincial cabinets.
5. Muslim majority in all Muslim majority provinces (with particular reference to Bengal and Punjab) should in no way be disturbed.
This resolution was the Muslims' reply to the Nehru Report. The rejection of the Congress-inspired constitution was completely unanimous and clear. On two points the Muslims were adamant: separate electorates must continue and India must have a federal form of government. The Nehru Report was primarily repudiated because it denied these conditions. At this critical juncture, Jinnah made the last attempt to unite the Hindus and the Muslims. At All Parties Convention at Calcutta in 1929, he suggested certain modifications to be made in the recommendations of the Nehru Report. These were as follows:
1. One-third of the elected representatives of both the houses of the central legislature should be Muslim.
2. In the event of adult suffrage not being established in Punjab and Bengal, there should be reservations of seats for the Muslims on the basis of population for ten years; subject to a re-examination after that period, but they shall have no right to contest additional seats.
3. Residuary powers should be left to the provinces and should not rest with the central legislature.
The committee rejected these suggestions. In March 1929, Quaid-i-Azam compiled a set of recommendations that greatly influenced Muslim thinking for the better part of the next decade.
Fourteen Points of M. A. Jinnah
A positive aspect of Nehru Report was that it resulted in the unity of divided Muslim groups. In a meeting of the council of All India Muslim League on March 28, 1929, members of both the Shafi League and Jinnah League participated. Quaid-i-Azam termed the Nehru Report as a Hindu document, but considered simply rejecting the report as insufficient. He decided to give an alternative Muslim agenda. It was in this meeting that Quaid-i-Azam presented his famous Fourteen Points. These points were as follows:
1. The form of the future constitution should be federal with the residuary powers vested in the provinces.
2. A uniform measure of autonomy shall be granted to all provinces.
3. All legislatures in the country and other elected bodies shall be constituted on the definite principle of adequate and effective representation of minorities in every province without reducing the majority in any province to a minority or even equality.
4. In the Central Legislative, Muslim representation shall not be less than one-third.
5. Representation of communal groups shall continue to be by means of separate electorate as at present, provided it shall be open to any community at any time to abandon its separate electorate in favor of a joint electorate.
6. Any territorial distribution that might at any time be necessary shall not in any way affect the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal and the North West Frontier Province.
7. Full religious liberty, i.e. liberty of belief, worship and observance, propaganda, association and education, shall be guaranteed to all communities.
8. No bill or any resolution or any part thereof shall be passed in any legislature or any other elected body if three-fourth of the members of any community in that particular body oppose such a bill resolution or part thereof on the ground that it would be injurious to the interests of that community or in the alternative, such other method is devised as may be found feasible and practicable to deal with such cases.
9. Sindh should be separated from the Bombay presidency.
10. Reforms should be introduced in the North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan on the same footing as in the other provinces.
11. Provision should be made in the constitution giving Muslims an adequate share, along with the other Indians, in all the services of the state and in local self-governing bodies having due regard to the requirements of efficiency.
12. The constitution should embody adequate safeguards for the protection of Muslim culture and for the protection and promotion of Muslim education, language, religion, personal laws and Muslim charitable institution and for their due share in the grants-in-aid given by the state and by local self-governing bodies.
13. No cabinet, either central or provincial, should be formed without there being a proportion of at least one-third Muslim ministers.
14. No change shall be made in the constitution by the Central Legislature except with the concurrence of the State's contribution of the Indian Federation.
The council of the All India Muslim League accepted fourteen points of the Quaid. A resolution was passed according to which no scheme for the future constitution of the Government of India would be acceptable to the Muslims unless and until it included the demands of the Quaid presented in the fourteen points.
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Several Muslim leaders and thinkers having insight into the Muslim-Hindu situation proposed the separation of Muslim India.
However, Allama Muhammad Iqbal gave the most lucid explanation of the inner feelings of Muslim community in his presidential address to the All India Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930. Allama Muhammad Iqbal was a poet, philosopher and thinker who had gained countrywide fame and recognition by 1930.
Political events had taken an ominous turn. There was a two-pronged attack on the Muslim interests. On one hand, the Hindus offered a tough opposition by proposing the Nehru Report as the ultimate constitution for India. On the other, the British government in India had totally ignored the Muslim demands in the Simon Commission report.
At this critical juncture, Iqbal realized that the peculiar problems of the Muslims in North-West India could only be understood by people belonging to this region and that in order to survive they would have to chalk out their own line of action.
In his address, Allama Iqbal explained that Islam was the major formative factor in the life history of Indian Muslims. It furnished those basic emotions and loyalties, which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups and finally transform them into a well-defined people, possessing a moral consciousness of their own.
He defined the Muslims of India as a nation and suggested that there could be no possibility of peace in the country unless and until they were recognized as a nation. He claimed that the only way for the Muslims and Hindus to prosper in accordance with their respective cultural values was under a federal system where Muslim majority units were given the same privileges that were to be given to the Hindu majority units.
As a permanent solution to the Muslim-Hindu problem, Iqbal proposed that Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Baluchistan and Sindh should be converted into one province. He declared that the northwestern part of the country was destined to unite as a self-governed unit, within the British Empire or without it. This, he suggested, was the only way to do away with communal riots and bring peace in the Sub-continent.
The greatest historical significance of Allama Iqbal's Allahabad address was that it cleared all political confusion from the minds of the Muslims, thus enabling them to determine their new destination.
The national spirit that Iqbal fused amongst the Muslims of India later on developed into the ideological basis of Pakistan.
Round Table Conferences
The Indian political community received the Simon Commission Report issued in June 1930 with great resentment. Different political parties gave vent to their feelings in different ways.
The Congress started a Civil Disobedience Movement under Gandhi's command. The Muslims reserved their opinion on the Simon Report declaring that the report was not final and the matters should decided after consultations with the leaders representing all communities in India.
The Indian political situation seemed deadlocked. The British government refused to contemplate any form of self-government for the people of India. This caused frustration amongst the masses, who often expressed their anger in violent clashes.
The Labor Government returned to power in Britain in 1931, and a glimmer of hope ran through Indian hearts. Labor leaders had always been sympathetic to the Indian cause. The government decided to hold a Round Table Conference in London to consider new constitutional reforms. All Indian politicians; Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians were summoned to London for the conference.
Gandhi immediately insisted at the conference that he alone spoke for all Indians, and that the Congress was the party of the people of India. He argued that the other parties only represented sectarian viewpoints, with little or no significant following.
First Round Table Conference:
The first session of the conference opened in London on November 12, 1930. All parties were present except for the Congress, whose leaders were in jail due to the Civil Disobedience Movement. Congress leaders stated that they would have nothing to do with further constitutional discussion unless the Nehru Report was enforced in its entirety as the constitution of India.
Almost 89 members attended the conference, out of which 58 were chosen from various communities and interests in British India, and the rest from princely states and other political parties. The prominent among the Muslim delegates invited by the British government were Sir Aga Khan, Quaid-i-Azam, Maulana Muhammad Ali Jouhar, Sir Muhammad Shafi and Maulvi Fazl-i-Haq. Sir Taj Bahadur Sapru, Mr. Jaikar and Dr. Moonje were outstanding amongst the Hindu leaders.
The Muslim-Hindu differences overcastted the conference as the Hindus were pushing for a powerful central government while the Muslims stood for a loose federation of completely autonomous provinces. The Muslims demanded maintenance of weightage and separate electorates, the Hindus their abolition. The Muslims claimed statutory majority in Punjab and Bengal, while Hindus resisted their imposition. In Punjab, the situation was complicated by inflated Sikh claims.
Eight subcommittees were set up to deal with the details. These committees dealt with the federal structure, provincial constitution, franchise, Sindh, the North West Frontier Province, defense services and minorities.
The conference broke up on January 19, 1931, and what emerged from it was a general agreement to write safeguards for minorities into the constitution and a vague desire to devise a federal system for the country.
After the conclusion of the First Round Table Conference, the British government realized that the cooperation of the Indian National Congress was necessary for further advancement in the making of the Indian constitution. Thus, Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, extended an invitation to Gandhi for talks. Gandhi agreed to end the Civil Disobedience Movement without laying down any preconditions.
The agreement between Gandhi and Irwin was signed on March 5, 1931. Following are the salient points of this agreement:
1. The Congress would discontinue the Civil Disobedience Movement.
2. The Congress would participate in the Round Table Conference.
3. The Government would withdraw all ordinances issued to curb the Congress.
4. The Government would withdraw all prosecutions relating to offenses not involving violence.
5. The Government would release all persons undergoing sentences of imprisonment for their activities in the civil disobedience movement.
The pact shows that the British Government was anxious to bring the Congress to the conference table.
Second Round Table Conference :
The second session of the conference opened in London on September 7, 1931. The main task of the conference was done through the two committees on federal structure and minorities. Gandhi was a member of both but he adopted a very unreasonable attitude. He claimed that he represented all India and dismissed all other Indian delegates as non-representative because they did not belong to the Congress.
The communal problem represented the most difficult issue for the delegates. Gandhi again tabled the Congress scheme for a settlement, a mere reproduction of the Nehru Report, but all the minorities rejected it.
As a counter to the Congress scheme, the Muslims, the depressed classes, the Indian Christians, the Anglo-Indians, and the Europeans presented a joint statement of claims which they said must stand as an interdependent whole. As their main demands were not acceptable to Gandhi, the communal issue was postponed for future discussion.
Three important committees drafted their reports; the Franchise Committee, the Federal Finance Committee and States Inquiry Committee.
On the concluding day, the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald appealed to the Indian leaders to reach a communal settlement. Failing to do so, he said, would force the British government would take a unilateral decision.
Quaid-i-Azam did not participate in the session of the Second Round Table Conference as he had decided to keep himself aloof from the Indian politics and to practice as a professional lawyer in England.
On his return to India, Gandhi once again started Civil Disobedience Movement and was duly arrested.
Third Round Table Conference:
The third session began on November 17, 1932. It was short and unimportant. The Congress was once again absent, so was the Labor opposition in the British Parliament. Reports of the various committees were scrutinized. The conference ended on December 25, 1932.
The recommendations of the Round Table Conferences were embodied in a White Paper. It was published in March 1933, and debated in parliament directly afterwards, analyzed by the Joint Select Committee and after the final reading and loyal assent, the bill reached the Statute Book on July 24, 1935.
Aug 12th, 2004 #11
The Communal Award
When the Indian leadership failed to come up with a constitutional solution of the communal issue, the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald announced his own formula for solving the problem. He said that he was not only a Prime Minister of Britain but was also a friend of the Indians and thus wanted to solve the problems of his friends.
After the failure of the Second Round Table conference, Mr. MacDonald announced the 'Communal Award' on August 16, 1932. According to the Award, the right of separate electorate was not only given to the Muslims of India but also to all the minority communities in the country. The Award also declared untouchables as a minority and thus the Hindu depressed classes were given a number of special seats, to be filled from special depressed class electorates in the area where their voters were concentrated. Under the Communal Award, the principle of weightage was also maintained with some modifications in the Muslim minority provinces. Principle of weightage was also applied for Europeans in Bengal and Assam, Sikhs in the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, and Hindus in Sindh and North West Frontier Province.
Though the Muslims constituted almost 56 percent of the total population of Punjab, they were given only 86 out of 175 seats in the Punjab Assembly. The Muslim majority of 54.8 percent in Punjab was thus reduced to a minority. The formula favored the Sikhs of Punjab, and the Europeans of Bengal the most.
The Award was not popular with any Indian party. Muslims were not happy with the Communal Award, as it has reduced their majority in Punjab and Bengal to a minority. Yet they were prepared to accept it. In its annual session held in November 1933, the All India Muslim League passed a resolution that reads; "Though the decision falls far short of the Muslim demands, the Muslims have accepted it in the best interest of the country, reserving to themselves the right to press for the acceptance of all their demands."
On the other hand, the Hindus refused to accept the awards and decided to launch a campaign against it. For them it was not possible to accept the Untouchables as a minority. They organized the Allahabad Unity Conference in which they demanded for the replacement of separate electorates by joint electorates. Many nationalist Muslims and Sikhs also participated in the conference. The Congress also rejected the Award in Toto. Gandhi protested against the declaration of Untouchables as a minority and undertook a fast unto death. He also held meetings with the Untouchable leadership for the first time and try to convince them that they were very much part of the mainstream Hindu society. He managed to sign the Poona Pact with Dr. B. R. Ambedker, the leader of Untouchables in which the Congress met many of the Untouchables' demands.
Government of India Act 1935
After the failure of the Third Round Table Conference, the British government gave the Joint Select Committee the task of formulating the new Act for India. The Committee comprised of 16 members each from the House of Commons and House of Lords, 20 representatives from British India and seven from the princely states. Lord Linlithgow was appointed as the president of the Committee. After a year and a half of deliberations, the Committee finally came out with a draft Bill on February 5, 1935. The Bill was discussed in the House of Commons for 43 days and in the House of Lords for 13 days and finally, after being signed by the King, was enforced as the Government of India Act, 1935, in July 1935.
The main features of the Act of 1935 were:
1. A Federation of India was promised for, comprising both provinces and states. The provisions of the Act establishing the federal central government were not to go into operation until a specified number of rulers of states had signed Instruments of Accession. Since, this did not happen, the central government continued to function in accordance with the 1919 Act and only the part of the 1935 Act dealing with the provincial governments went into operation.
2. The Governor General remained the head of the central administration and enjoyed wide powers concerning administration, legislation and finance.
3. No finance bill could be placed in the Central Legislature without the consent of the Governor General.
4. The Federal Legislature was to consist of two houses, the Council of State (Upper House) and the Federal Assembly (Lower House).
5. The Council of State was to consist of 260 members, out of whom 156 were to be elected from the British India and 104 to be nominated by the rulers of princely states.
6. The Federal Assembly was to consist of 375 members; out of which 250 were to be elected by the Legislative Assemblies of the British Indian provinces while 125 were to be nominated by the rulers of princely states.
7. The Central Legislature had the right to pass any bill, but the bill required the approval of the Governor General before it became Law. On the other hand Governor General had the power to frame ordinances.
8. The Indian Council was abolished. In its place, few advisers were nominated to help the Secretary of State for India.
9. The Secretary of State was not expected to interfere in matters that the Governor dealt with, with the help of Indian Ministers.
10. The provinces were given autonomy with respect to subjects delegated to them.
11. Diarchy, which had been established in the provinces by the Act of 1919, was to be established at the Center. However it came to an end in the provinces.
12. Two new provinces Sindh and Orissa were created.
13. Reforms were introduced in N. W. F. P. as were in the other provinces.
14. Separate electorates were continued as before.
15. One-third Muslim representation in the Central Legislature was guaranteed.
16. Autonomous provincial governments in 11 provinces, under ministries responsible to legislatures, would be setup.
17. Burma and Aden were separated from India.
18. The Federal Court was established in the Center.
19. The Reserve Bank of India was established.
Both the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League opposed the Act, but participated in the provincial elections of winter 1936-37, conducted under stipulations of the Act. At the time of independence, the two dominions of India and Pakistan accepted the Act of 1935, with few amendments, as their provisional constitution.
Aug 12th, 2004 #12
Rule of Congress Ministries
The Government of India Act of 1935 was practically implemented in 1937. The provincial elections were held in the winter of 1936-37. There were two major political parties in the Sub-continent at that time, the Congress and the Muslim League. Both parties did their best to persuade the masses before these elections and put before them their manifesto. The political manifestos of both parties were almost identical, although there were two major differences. Congress stood for joint electorate and the League for separate electorates; Congress wanted Hindi as official language with Deva Nagri script of writing while the League wanted Urdu with Persian script.
According to the results of the elections, Congress, as the oldest, richest and best-organized political party, emerged as the single largest representative in the Legislative Assembles. Yet it failed to secure even 40 percent of the total number of seats. Out of the 1,771 total seats in the 11 provinces, Congress was only able to win slightly more then 750. Thus the results clearly disapproved Gandhi's claim that his party represented 95 percent of the population of India. Its success, moreover, was mainly confined to the Hindu constituencies. Out of the 491 Muslim seats, Congress could only capture 26. Muslim Leagues' condition was also bad as it could only win 106 Muslim seats. The party only managed to win two seats from the Muslim majority province of Punjab.
The final results of the elections were declared in February 1937. The Indian National Congress had a clear majority in Madras, U. P., C. P., Bihar and Orrisa. It was also able to form a coalition government in Bombay and N. W. F. P. Congress was also able to secure political importance in Sindh and Assam, where they joined the ruling coalition. Thus directly or indirectly, Congress was in power in nine out of eleven provinces. The Unionist Party of Sir Fazl-i-Hussain and Praja Krishak Party of Maulvi Fazl-i-Haq were able to form governments in Punjab and Bengal respectively, without the interference of Congress. Muslim League failed to form government in any province. Quaid-i-Azam offered Congress to form a coalition government with the League but the Congress rejected his offer.
The Congress refused to set up its government until the British agreed to their demand that the Governor would not use his powers in legislative affairs. Many discussions took place between the Congress and the British Government and at last the British Government consented, although it was only a verbal commitment and no amendment was made in the Act of 1935. Eventually, after a four-month delay, Congress formed their ministries in July 1937.
The Congress proved to be a pure Hindu party and worked during its reign only for the betterment of the Hindus. Twenty-seven months of the Congress rule were like a nightmare for the Muslims of South Asia. Some of the Congress leaders even stated that they would take revenge from the Muslims for the last 700 years of their slavery. Even before the formation of government, the Congress started a Muslim Mass Contact Movement, with the aim to convince Muslims that there were only two political parties in India, i.e. the British and the Congress. The aim was to decrease the importance of the Muslim League for the Muslims. After taking charge in July 1937, Congress declared Hindi as the national language and Deva Nagri as the official script. The Congress flag was given the status of national flag, slaughtering of cows was prohibited and it was made compulsory for the children to worship the picture of Gandhi at school. Band-i-Mataram, an anti-Muslim song taken from Bankim Chandra Chatterji's novel Ananda Math, was made the national anthem of the country. Religious intolerance was the order of the day. Muslims were not allowed to construct new mosques. Hindus would play drums in front of mosques when Muslims were praying.
The Congress government introduced a new educational policy in the provinces under their rule known as the Warda Taleemi Scheme. The main plan was to sway Muslim children against their ideology and to tell them that all the people living in India were Indian and thus belonged to one nation. In Bihar and C. P. the Vidya Mandar Scheme was introduced according to which Mandar education was made compulsory at elementary level. The purpose of the scheme was to obliterate the cultural traditions of the Muslims and to inculcate into the minds of Muslim children the superiority of the Hindu culture.
The Congress ministries did their best to weaken the economy of Muslims. They closed the doors of government offices for them, which was one of the main sources of income for the Muslims in the region. They also harmed Muslim trade and agriculture. When Hindu-Muslim riots broke out due to these biased policies of the Congress ministries, the government pressured the judges; decisions were made in favor of Hindus and Muslims were sent behind bars.
To investigate Muslim grievances, the Muslim League formulated the "Pirpur Report" under the chairmanship of Raja Syed Muhammad Mehdi of Pirpur. Other reports concerning Muslim grievances in Congress run provinces were A. K. Fazl-ul-Haq's "Muslim Sufferings Under Congress Rule", and "The Sharif Report".
The allegation that Congress was representing Hindus only was voiced also by eminent British personalities. The Marquees of Lothian in April 1938 termed the Congress rule as a "rising tide of Hindu rule". Sir William Barton writing in the "National Review" in June 1939 also termed the Congress rule as "the rising tide of political Hinduism".
At the outbreak of the World War II, the Viceroy proclaimed India's involvement without prior consultations with the main political parties. When Congress demanded an immediate transfer of power in return for cooperation of the war efforts, the British government refused. As a result Congress resigned from power. Quaid-i-Azam asked the Muslims to celebrate December 22, 1939 as a day of deliverance and thanksgiving in token of relief from the tyranny and oppression of the Congress rule.
Aug 12th, 2004 #13
The Ideology of Pakistan: Two-Nation Theory
The ideology of Pakistan stems from the instinct of the Muslim community of South Asia to maintain their individuality by resisting all attempts by the Hindu society to absorb it. Muslims of South Asia believe that Islam and Hinduism are not only two religions, but also two social orders that have given birth to two distinct cultures with no similarities. A deep study of the history of this land proves that the differences between Hindus and Muslims were not confined to the struggle for political supremacy, but were also manifested in the clash of two social orders. Despite living together for more than a thousand years, they continued to develop different cultures and traditions. Their eating habits, music, architecture and script, are all poles apart. Even the language they speak and the dresses they wear are entirely different.
The ideology of Pakistan took shape through an evolutionary process. Historical experience provided the base; with Sir Syed Ahmad Khan began the period of Muslim self-awakening; Allama Iqbal provided the philosophical explanation; Quaid-i-Azam translated it into a political reality; and the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, by passing Objectives Resolution in March 1949, gave it legal sanction. It was due to the realization of Muslims of South Asia that they are different from the Hindus that they demanded separate electorates. When they realized that their future in a 'Democratic India' dominated by Hindu majority was not safe; they put forward their demand for a separate state.
The Muslims of South Asia believe that they are a nation in the modern sense of the word. The basis of their nationhood is neither territorial, racial, linguistic nor ethnic; rather they are a nation because they belong to the same faith, Islam. On this basis they consider it their fundamental right to be entitled to self-determination. They demanded that areas where they were in majority should be constituted into a sovereign state, wherein they would be enabled to order their lives in individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings of Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S. A. W.). They further want their state to strengthen the bonds of unity among Muslim countries.
As early as in the beginning of the 11th century, Al-Biruni observed that Hindus differed from the Muslims in all matters and habits. He further elaborated his argument by writing that the Hindus considered Muslims "Mlachha", or impure. And they forbid having any connection with them, be it intermarriage or any other bond of relationship. They even avoid sitting, eating and drinking with them, because they feel "polluted". The speech made by Quaid-i-Azam at Minto Park, Lahore on March 22, 1940 was very similar to Al-Biruni's thesis in theme and tone. In this speech, he stated that Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, with different social customs and literature. They neither intermarry, nor eat together, and indeed belong to two different civilizations whose very foundations are based on conflicting ideas and concepts. Their outlook on life and of life is different. He emphasized that in spite of the passage of about 1,000 years the relations between the Hindus and Muslims could not attain the level of cordiality. The only difference between the writing of Al-Biruni and the speech of Quaid-i-Azam was that Al-Biruni made calculated predictions, while Quaid-i-Azam had history behind him to support his argument.
The Ideology of Pakistan has its roots deep in history. The history of South Asia is largely a history of rivalry and conflict between the Hindus and Muslims of the region. Both communities have been living together in the same area since the early 8th century, since the advent of Islam in India. Yet, the two have failed to develop harmonious relations. In the beginning, one could find the Muslims and Hindus struggling for supremacy in the battlefield. Starting with the war between Muhammad bin Qasim and Raja Dahir in 712, armed conflicts between Hindus and Muslims run in thousands. Clashes between Mahmud of Ghazni and Jaypal, Muhammad Ghuri and Prithvi Raj, Babur and Rana Sanga and Aurangzeb and Shivaji are cases in point.
When the Hindus of South Asia failed to establish Hindu Padshahi through force, they opted for back door conspiracies. Bhakti Movement with the desire to merge Islam and Hinduism was one of the biggest attacks on the ideology of the Muslims of the region. Akbar's diversion from the main stream Islamic ideology was one of the Hindus' greatest success stories. However, due to the immediate counterattack by Mujaddid Alf Sani and his pupils, this era proved to be a short one. Muslims once again proved their separate identity during the regimes of Jehangir, Shah Jehan and particularly Aurangzeb. The attempts to bring the two communities close could not succeed because the differences between the two are fundamental and have no meeting point. At the root of the problem lies the difference between the two religions. So long as the two people want to lead their lives according to their respective faith, they cannot be one.
With the advent of the British rule in India in 1858, Hindu-Muslim relations entered a new phase. The British brought with them a new political philosophy commonly known as 'territorial nationalism'. Before the coming of the British, there was no concept of a 'nation' in South Asia and the region had never been a single political unit. The British attempt to weld the two communities in to a 'nation' failed. The British concept of a nation did not fit the religious-social system of South Asia. Similarly, the British political system did not suite the political culture of South Asia. The British political system, commonly known as 'democracy', gave majority the right to rule. But unlike Britain, the basis of majority and minority in South Asia was not political but religious and ethnic. The attempt to enforce the British political model in South Asia, instead of solving the political problems, only served to make the situation more complex. The Hindus supported the idea while it was strongly opposed by the Muslims. The Muslims knew that implementation of the new order would mean the end of their separate identity and endless rule of the Hindu majority in the name of nationalism and democracy. The Muslims refused to go the British way. They claimed that they were a separate nation and the basis of their nation was the common religion Islam. They refused to accept a political system that would reduce them to a permanent minority. They first demanded separate electorates and later a separate state. Religious and cultural differences between Hindus and Muslims increased due to political rivalry under the British rule.
On March 24, 1940, the Muslims finally abandoned the idea of federalism and defined a separate homeland as their target. Quaid-i-Azam considered the creation of Pakistan a means to an end and not the end in itself. He wanted Pakistan to be an Islamic and democratic state. According to his wishes and in accordance with the inspirations of the people of Pakistan, the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan passed the Objectives Resolution. The adoption of Objectives Resolution removed all doubts, if there were any, about the ideology of Pakistan. The Muslims of Pakistan decided once and for all to make Pakistan a state wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in their individual and collective spheres, in accordance to the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
Aug 12th, 2004 #14
1940 - 1947
Pakistan Resolution 
Cripps Mission 
Gandhi-Jinnah Talks 
Wavell Plan and Simla Conference 
Provincial and General Elections [1945-1946]
Cabinet Mission Plan 
June 3rd Plan 
The Birth o Pakistan [August 14, 1947]
Pakistan Resolution 
From March 22 to March 24, 1940, the All India Muslim League held its annual session at Minto Park, Lahore. This session proved to be historical.
On the first day of the session, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah narrated the events of the last few months. In an extempore speech he presented his own solution of the Muslim problem. He said that the problem of India was not of an inter-communal nature, but manifestly an international one and must be treated as such. To him the differences between Hindus and the Muslims were so great and so sharp that their union under one central government was full of serious risks. They belonged to two separate and distinct nations and therefore the only chance open was to allow them to have separate states.
In the words of Quaid-i-Azam: "Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations that are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other, and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state".
He further said, "Mussalmans are a nation according to any definition of nation. We wish our people to develop to the fullest spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life in a way that we think best and in consonance with our own ideals and according to the genius of our people".
On the basis of the above mentioned ideas of the Quaid, A. K. Fazl-ul-Haq, the then Chief Minister of Bengal, moved the historical resolution which has since come to be known as Lahore Resolution or Pakistan Resolution.
The Resolution declared: "No constitutional plan would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary. That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign".
It further reads, "That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in the units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights of the minorities, with their consultation. Arrangements thus should be made for the security of Muslims where they were in a minority".
The Resolution repudiated the concept of United India and recommended the creation of an independent Muslim state consisting of Punjab, N. W. F. P., Sindh and Baluchistan in the northwest, and Bengal and Assam in the northeast. The Resolution was seconded by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan from Punjab, Sardar Aurangzeb from the N. W. F. P., Sir Abdullah Haroon from Sindh, and Qazi Esa from Baluchistan, along with many others.
The Resolution was passed on March 24. It laid down only the principles, with the details left to be worked out at a future date. It was made a part of the All India Muslim League's constitution in 1941. It was on the basis of this resolution that in 1946 the Muslim League decided to go for one state for the Muslims, instead of two.
Having passed the Pakistan Resolution, the Muslims of India changed their ultimate goal. Instead of seeking alliance with the Hindu community, they set out on a path whose destination was a separate homeland for the Muslims of India.
Aug 12th, 2004 #15
Cripps Mission 
The British government wanted to get the cooperation of the Indian people in order to deal with the war situation. The divergence between the two major representative parties of the country harassed the British government. It found it difficult to make the war a success without the cooperation of both the Hindus and the Muslims.
On March 22, 1942, Britain sent Sir Stafford Cripps with constitutional proposals.
The important points of the declaration were as follows:
a) General elections in the provinces would be arranged as soon as the war ended.
b) A new Indian dominion, associated with the United Kingdom would be created.
c) Those provinces not joining the dominion could form their own separate union.
d) Minorities were to be protected.
However, both the Congress and the Muslim League rejected these proposals. Jinnah opposed the plan, as it did not concede Pakistan. Thus the plan came to nothing.
Gandhi-Jinnah Talks 
The Gandhi-Jinnah Talks have eminent significance with regard to the political problems of India and the Pakistan Movement. The talks between the two great leaders of the Sub-continent began in response to the general public's desire for a settlement of Hindu-Muslim differences.
On July 17, 1944, Gandhi wrote a letter to Quaid-i-Azam in which he expressed his desire to meet him. Quaid-i-Azam asked the Muslim League for permission for this meeting. The League readily acquiesced.
The Gandhi-Jinnah talks began in Bombay on September 19, 1944, and lasted till the 24th of the month. The talks were held directly and via correspondence. Gandhi told Quaid-i-Azam that he had come in his personal capacity and was representing neither the Hindus nor the Congress.
Gandhi's real purpose behind these talks was to extract from Jinnah an admission that the whole proposition of Pakistan was absurd.
Quaid-i-Azam painstakingly explained the basis of the demand of Pakistan. "We maintain", he wrote to Gandhi, "that Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a nation. We are a nation of a 100 million. We have our distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all the cannons of international law, we are a nation". He added that he was "convinced that the true welfare not only of the Muslims but of the rest of India lies in the division of India as proposed in the Lahore Resolution".
Gandhi on the other hand maintained that India was one nation and saw in the Pakistan Resolution "Nothing but ruin for the whole of India". "If, however, Pakistan had to be conceded, the areas in which the Muslims are in an absolute majority should be demarcated by a commission approved by both the Congress and the Muslim League. The wishes of the people of these areas will be obtained through referendum. These areas shall form a separate state as soon as possible after India is free from foreign domination. There shall be a treaty of separation which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration of foreign affairs, defense, internal communication, custom and the like which must necessarily continue to be the matters of common interest between the contracting countries".
This meant, in effect, that power over the whole of India should first be transferred to Congress, which thereafter would allow Muslim majority areas that voted for separation to be constituted, not as independent sovereign state but as part of an Indian federation.
Gandhi contended that his offer gave the substance of the Lahore Resolution. Quaid-i-Azam did not agree to the proposal and the talks ended.
Wavell Plan and Simla Conference 
In May 1945, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, went to London and discussed his ideas about the future of India with the British administration. The talks resulted in the formulation of a plan of action that was made public in June 1945. The plan is known as Wavell Plan.
The Plan suggested reconstitution of the Viceroy's Executive Council in which the Viceroy was to select persons nominated by the political parties. Different communities were also to get their due share in the Council and parity was reserved for Cast-Hindus and Muslims. While declaring the plan, the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs made it clear that the British Government wanted to listen to the ideas of all major Indian communities. Yet he said that it was only possible if the leadership of the leading Indian political parties agreed with the suggestions of the British Government.
To discuss these proposals with the leadership of major Indian parties, Wavell called for a conference at Simla on June 25, 1945. Leaders of both the Congress and the Muslim League attended the conference, which is known as the Simla Conference. However, differences arose between the leadership of the two parties on the issue of representation of the Muslim community. The Muslim League claimed that it was the only representative party of the Muslims in India and thus all the Muslim representatives in the Viceroy's Executive Council should be the nominees of the party. Congress, which had sent Maulana Azad as the leader of their delegation, tried to prove that their party represented all the communities living in India and thus should be allowed to nominate Muslim representative as well. Congress also opposed the idea of parity between the Cast-Hindus and the Muslims. All this resulted in a deadlock. Finally, Wavell announced the failure of his efforts on July 14. Thus the Simla Conference couldn't provide any hope of proceeding further.
Aug 12th, 2004 #16
Provincial and General Elections [1945-1946]
With the failure of the Simla Conference, Lord Wavell announced that the Central and Provincial Legislature elections would be held in the winter of 1945, after which a constitution-making body would be set up. He also announced that after the elections, the Viceroy would set an Executive Council that would have the support of the main Indian political parties. Both the Muslim League and the Congress opposed the proposal.
Quaid-i-Azam declared that Muslims were not ready to accept any settlement less than a separate homeland for them and the All India Congress Committee characterized the proposal as vague, inadequate and unsatisfactory because it had not addressed the issue of independence. Despite this, the two parties launched huge election campaigns. They knew that the elections would be crucial for the future of India, as the results were to play an important role in determining their standing. The League wanted to sweep the Muslim constituencies so as to prove that they were the sole representatives of the Muslims of Sub-continent, while Congress wanted to prove that, irrespective of religion, they represent all the Indians.
Both the Muslim League and the Congress promulgated opposite slogans during their campaigns. The Muslim League presented a one-point manifesto "if you want Pakistan, vote for the Muslim League". Quaid-i-Azam himself toured the length and breadth of India and tried to unite the Muslim community under the banner of the Muslim League.
The Congress on the other hand stood for United India. To counter the Muslim League, the Congress press abused the Quaid and termed his demand for Pakistan as the "vivisection of Mother India", "reactionary primitivism" and "religious barbarism". Congress tried to brand Muslim League as an ultra-conservative clique of knights, Khan Bahadurs, toadies and government pensioners. The Congress also tried to get the support of all the provincial and central Muslim parties who had some differences with the League, and backed them in the elections.
Elections for the Central Legislature were held in December 1945. Though the franchise was limited, the turnover was extraordinary.
The Congress was able to sweep the polls for the non-Muslim seats. They managed to win more then 80 percent of the general seats and about 91.3 percent of the total general votes. The Leagues performance, however, was even more impressive: it managed to win all the 30 seats reserved for the Muslims. The results of the provincial election held in early 1946 were not different. Congress won most of the non-Muslim seats while Muslim League captured approximately 95 percent of the Muslim seats.
In a bulletin issued on January 6, 1946, the Central Election Board of the Congress claimed that the election results had vindicated the party as the biggest, strongest and the most representative organization in the country. On the other hand, the League celebrated January 11, 1946, as the Day of Victory and declared that the election results were enough to prove that Muslim League, under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam, was the sole representative of the Muslims of the region.
Cabinet Mission Plan 
All of the British Government's attempts to establish peace between the Congress and the Muslim League had failed. The results of the general elections held in 1945-46 served to underline the urgency to find a solution to the political deadlock, which was the result of non-cooperation between the two major parties. To end this, the British government sent a special mission of cabinet ministers to India.
The mission consisted of Lord Pethic Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, and A. V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty.
The purpose of the mission was:
1. Preparatory discussions with elected representatives of British India and the Indian states in order to secure agreement as to the method of framing the constitution.
2. Setting up of a constitution body.
3. Setting up an Executive Council with the support of the main Indian parties.
The mission arrived on March 24, 1946. After extensive discussions with Congress and the Muslim League, the Cabinet Mission put forward its own proposals on May 16, 1946.
The main points of the plan were:
1. There would be a union of India comprising both British India and the Indian States that would deal with foreign affairs, defense and communications. The union would have an Executive and a Legislature.
2. All residuary powers would belong to the provinces.
3. All provinces would be divided into three sections. Provinces could opt out of any group after the first general elections.
4. There would also be an interim government having the support of the major political parties.
The Muslim League accepted the plan on June 6 1946. Earlier, the Congress had accepted the plan on May 24, 1946, though it rejected the interim setup.
The Viceroy should now have invited the Muslim League to form Government as it had accepted the interim setup; but he did not do so.
Meanwhile Jawaharlal Nehru, addressing a press conference on July 10, said that the Congress had agreed to join the constituent assembly, but saying it would be free to make changes in the Cabinet Mission Plan.
Under these circumstances, the Muslim League disassociated itself from the Cabinet Plan and resorted to "Direct Action" to achieve Pakistan. As a result, Viceroy Wavell invited the Congress to join the interim government, although it had practically rejected the plan.
However, the Viceroy soon realized the futility of the scheme without the participation of the League. Therefore, on October 14, 1946, he extended an invitation to them as well.
Jinnah nominated Liaquat Ali Khan, I. I. Chundrigar, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Ghazanfar Ali Khan and Jogandra Nath Mandal to the cabinet.
Congress allocated the Finance Ministry to the League. This in effect placed the whole governmental setup under the Muslim League. As Minister of Finance, the budget Liaquat Ali Khan presented was called a "poor man's budget" as it adversely affected the Hindu capitalists.
The deadlock between the Congress and the League further worsened in this setup.
On March 22, 1947, Lord Mountbatten arrived as the last Viceroy. It was announced that power would be transferred from British to Indian hands by June 1948.
Lord Mountbatten entered into a series of talks with the Congress and the Muslim League leaders. Quaid-i-Azam made it clear that the demand for Pakistan had the support of all the Muslims of India and that he could not withdraw from it. With staunch extremists as Patel agreeing to the Muslim demand for a separate homeland, Mountbatten now prepared for the partition of the Sub-continent and announced it on June 3, 1947.
June 3rd Plan 
When all of Mountbatten's efforts to keep India united failed, he asked Ismay to chalk out a plan for the transfer of power and the division of the country. It was decided that none of the Indian parties would view it before the plan was finalized.
The plan was finalized in the Governor's Conference in April 1947, and was then sent to Britain in May where the British Government approved it.
However, before the announcement of the plan, Nehru who was staying with Mountbatten as a guest in his residence at Simla, had a look at the plan and rejected it. Mountbatten then asked V. P. Menon, the only Indian in his personal staff, to present a new plan for the transfer of power. Nehru edited Menon's formula and then Mountbatten himself took the new plan to London, where he got it approved without any alteration. Attlee and his cabinet gave the approval in a meeting that lasted not more than five minutes. In this way, the plan that was to decide the future of the Indo-Pak Sub-continent was actually authored by a Congress-minded Hindu and was approved by Nehru himself.
Mountbatten came back from London on May 31, and on June 2 met seven Indian leaders. These were Nehru, Patel, Kriplalani, Quaid-i-Azam, Liaquat, Nishtar and Baldev Singh. After these leaders approved the plan, Mountbatten discussed it with Gandhi and convinced him that it was the best plan under the circumstances. The plan was made public on June 3, and is thus known as the June 3rd Plan.
The following were the main clauses of this Plan:
1. The Provincial Legislative Assemblies of Punjab and Bengal were to meet in two groups, i.e., Muslim majority districts and non-Muslim majority districts. If any of the two decided in favor of the division of the province, then the Governor General would appoint a boundary commission to demarcate the boundaries of the province on the basis of ascertaining the contiguous majority areas of Muslims and non-Muslims.
2. The Legislative Assembly of Sindh (excluding its European Members) was to decide either to join the existing Constituent Assembly or the New Constituent Assembly.
3. In order to decide the future of the North West Frontier Province, a referendum was proposed. The Electoral College for the referendum was to be the same as the Electoral College for the provincial legislative assembly in 1946.
4. Baluchistan was also to be given the option to express its opinion on the issue.
5. If Bengal decided in favor of partition, a referendum was to be held in the Sylhet District of Assam to decide whether it would continue as a part of Assam, or be merged with the new province of East Bengal.
Aug 12th, 2004 #17
The Birth o Pakistan [August 14, 1947]
The British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act on July 18, 1947. The Act created two dominions, Indian Union and Pakistan. It also provided for the complete end of British control over Indian affairs from August 15, 1947. The Muslims of the Sub-continent had finally achieved their goal to have an independent state for themselves, but only after a long and relentless struggle under the single-minded guidance of the Quaid.
The Muslims faced a gamut of problems immediately after independence. However, keeping true to their traditions, they overcame them after a while. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was appointed the first Governor General of Pakistan and Liaquat Ali Khan became its first Prime Minister. Pakistan became a dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations.
The boundaries of Pakistan emerged on the map of the world in 1947. This was accomplished on the basis of the Two-Nation Theory. This theory held that there were two nations, Hindus and Muslims living in the territory of the Sub-continent. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the first exponent of the Two-Nation Theory in the modern era. He believed that India was a continent and not a country, and that among the vast population of different races and different creeds, Hindus and Muslims were the two major nations on the basis of nationality, religion, way-of-life, customs, traditions, culture and historical conditions.
The politicization of the Muslim community came about as a consequence of three developments:
1. Various efforts towards Islamic reform and revival during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
2. The impact of Hindu-based nationalism.
3. The democratization of the government of British India.
While the antecedents of Muslim nationalism in India go back to the early Islamic conquests of the Sub-continent, organizationally it stems from the demands presented by the Simla Deputation to Lord Minto, the Governor General of India, in October 1906, proposing separate electorates for the Indian Muslims. The principal reason behind this demand was the maintenance of a separate identity of the Muslim nationhood.
In the same year, the founding of the All India Muslim League, a separate political organization for Muslims, elucidated the fact that the Muslims of India had lost trust in the Hindu-dominated Indian National Congress. Besides being a Hindu-dominated body, the Congress leaders in order to win grass-root support for their political movements, used Hindu religious symbols and slogans, thereby arousing Muslim suspicions regarding the secular character of the Congress.
Events like the Urdu-Hindi controversy (1867), the partition of Bengal (1905), and Hindu revivalism, set the two nations, the Hindus and the Muslims, further apart. Re-annulment of the partition of Bengal in 1911 by the British government brought the Congress and the Muslim League on one platform. Starting with the constitutional cooperation in the Lucknow Pact (1916), they launched the Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movements to press upon the British government the demand for constitutional reforms in India in the post-World War I era.
But after the collapse of the Khilafat Movement, Hindu-Muslim antagonism was revived once again. The Muslim League rejected the proposals forwarded by the Nehru Report and they chose a separate path for themselves. The idea of a separate homeland for the Muslims of Northern India as proposed by Allama Iqbal in his famous Allahabad Address showed that the creation of two separate states for the Muslims and Hindus was the only solution. The idea was reiterated during the Sindh provincial meeting of the League, and finally adopted as the official League position in the Lahore Declaration of March 23, 1940.
Thus these historical, cultural, religious and social differences between the two nations accelerated the pace of political developments, finally leading to the division of British India into two separate, independent states, Pakistan and India, on August 14 & 15, 1947, respectively.
Aug 12th, 2004 #18
Jinnah's Independence Day Message
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah took oath as the first Governor-General of pakistan on 15 August 1947. The same day he Inaugurated the Pakistan Broadcasting Service by delivering the following address to the nation -- his first in the capacity of the Governor-General. Although the Last British Viceroy Lord Mounbatten had transfered power a day earlier, the Indian Independence Act 1947 recognized 15 August as the day of independence, and it was on this day that the nation celebrated its Independence (the celebration of 14 August as the Independence day wasn't introduced until a couple of years later).
Liaquat signs as PM while Jinnah watches, 15 Aug 1947
Message to the Nation
On the occasion of the inauguration of the Pakistan Broadcasting Service: August 15, 1947
It is with feelings of greatest happiness and emotion that I send you my greetings. August 15 is the birthday of the independent and sovereign State of Pakistan. It marks the fulfillment of the destiny of the Muslim nation which made great sacrifices in the past few years to have its homeland.
At this supreme moment my thoughts are with those valiant fighters in our cause. Pakistan will remain grateful to them and cherish the memory of those who are no more.
The creation of the new State has placed a tremendous responsibility on the citizens of Pakistan. It gives them an opportunity to demonstrate to the world how can a nation, containing many elements, live in peace and amity and work for the betterment of all its citizens, irrespective of caste or creed.
Our object should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbors and with the world at large. We have no aggressive designs against any one. We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our full contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world.
Muslims of India have shown to the world that they are a united nation, their cause is just and righteous which cannot be denied. Let us, on this day, humbly thank God for His bounty and pray that we might be able to prove that we are worthy of it.
This day marks the end of a poignant phase in our national history and it should also be the beginning of a new and a noble era. Let us impress the minorities by word, deed and thought that as long as they fulfill their duties and obligations as loyal citizens of Pakistan, they have nothing to fear.
To the freedom loving tribes on our borders and the States beyond our borders, we send our greetings and assure that Pakistan will respect their status and will extend to them its most friendly co-operation in preserving peace. We have no ambition beyond the desire to live honorably and let others live honorably.
Today is Jummat-ul-Wida, last Friday of the holy month of Ramazan, a day of rejoicing for all of us wherever we may be in this vast sub-continent and for the matter of that throughout the world. Let the Muslim congregations in their thousands, in all the mosques, bow in all humility before the Almighty and thank Him for His eternal kindness and generosity, seeking His guidance and assistance in the task of making Pakistan into a great State and themselves into its worthy citizens.
Finally, let me tell you, fellow citizens, Pakistan is a land of great potential resources. But to build it up into a country worthy of the Muslim nation, we shall require every ounce of energy that we possess and I am confident that it will come from all whole-heartedly."
Source: Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Speeches and Statements as Governor General of Pakistan 1947 - 48. Published by Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Directorate of Films & Publications, Islamabad
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