Showing posts with label Nehru Report. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nehru Report. Show all posts

Quaid-e-Azam’s Fourteen Points (1929)

M.A Jinnah presented his famous fourteen points on March 28,1929 to the Muslim League Council at their session in Delhi. Since all the Muslims opposed the Nehru Report, these points were to counter the proposals made in the Nehru Report. The points were to recommend the reforms that would defend the rights of the Muslims of the sub-continent.

These points were as follows:

1- The form of the future constitution should be federal, with the residuary powers to be 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 Legislature, Muslim representation shall not be less than one third.

5- Representation of communal groups shall continue to be by separate electorates: provided that it shall be open to any community, at any time, to abandon its separate electorate in favor of joint electorate.

6- Any territorial redistribution that might at any time be necessary shall not in anyway affect the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal and the NWFP.

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 resolution or any part thereof shall be passed in any legislature or any other elected body if three fourths 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 that community or in the alternative, such other method is devised as may be found feasible practicable to deal with such cases.

9- Sind should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.

10- Reforms should be introduced in the NWFP and Balochistan on the same footing as in 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 and personal laws and Muslim charitable institutions 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 States constituting the Indian Federation.

Nehru Report (1928)

Lord Birkenhead had never disguised his poor opinion of Indian politicians. He felt that they were incapable of handling their own political affairs. His underestimation enraged the Congress which decided to form a committee that would represent the demands of united India. It extended invitations to twenty-nine organizations including the Muslim League, the Hindu Mahasabha, and the Central Sikh League.

At its second meeting in March there was disagreement between the Muslim League on the one hand and the Hindu Mahasabha and Sikhs on the other. In the third meeting of this committee that a ‘small committee viewing the communal problems as a whole…might succeed in finding a way out’.

A committee was formed with Motilal Nehru as chairman to consider and determine the principles of the Constitution for India. The report of this committee came to be known as the Nehru report. At the fourth meeting of the conference Motilal Nehru presented the report of his committee.

The report opted for the Dominion Status for India bearing in mind that it was what the majority of the parties in India would prefer. Fundamental rights were guaranteed, rationalizing that if religious and cultural freedom were given to the minority communities, it would resolve the communal problem. There were to be two houses of the Parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate would consist of 200 seats, each province to be represented in proportion to their population whereas the House of Representatives would contain 500 seats and be unicameral. Both the Houses were to be elected by universal suffrage. The Muslims’ demand for one-third of the seats in the Central Legislature was rejected. Separate electorates, which were the aspirations of the Muslims, were also eliminated. The report conceded the demand that Balochistan and NWFP should have the same status as any other province of India and also agreed to the separation of Sind from Bombay despite the protest of the Hindus of Sind.

The Muslim League held their 20th session in Calcutta on December 20, 1928. It was decided there that a delegation including Jinnah would attend the conference convened by the Indian National Congress to review the Nehru Report. The report was presented for final approval to an All- Parties National Convention which opened on December 22, 1928.

Jinnah proposed 4 amendments to the report on December 28:

1. There should be no less than one-third Muslim representation in the Central Legislature.

2. In event of the adult suffrage not being established, Punjab and Bengal should have seats reserved on population basis for the Mussalmans.

3. The form of the constitution should be federal with residuary powers vested in the provinces. This question is by far the most important from the constitutional point of view.

4. With regard to the question of separation of Sind and the NWFP, we cannot wait until the Nehru Constitution is established…The Mussalmans feel that it is shelving the issue and postponing their insistent demand till doomsday and they cannot agree to it.

M.R Sapru who was a leader of the Hindu Mahasabha said that Jinnah was “…a fearless and lucid advocate of the small minority of Muslims whose claim he has put forward in the course of his speech.”

Jinnah’s proposals were rejected when put to vote. The majority of the Muslims rejected the Nehru Report. Instead of uniting the Indian communities, the report had exposed their divisions. The Nehru Report unknowingly laid the groundwork for the making of Pakistan because it was so clearly against the intrest og Muslims. Muslim leaders like Jinnah and the Ali brothers who had till then supported the Congress to a certain degree were gravely disappointed and since they had great stature among on the Muslim masses, the Muslims in general also started distrusting the Congress and the Indian society was polarized further.

In the December 1929 session of the report one of the resolutions declared that the entire scheme of the Nehru report had lapsed.

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