Points of M. A. Jinnah
wave of communal harmony between the Muslims and the Hindus in India,
created in the early 1920's by the symbiosis of the Khilafat Movement
with M. K. Gandhi's non-cooperation program, faded away by the later
years of the decade. It was replaced by an atmosphere of grave mistrust
between the two communities. M. A. Jinnah's celebrated Fourteen
Points, presented on 30 March 1929, were one passionate attempt
to make sense of the situation and reach upon a solution through
parliamentary means within the framework of a United India. Some
of these recommendations found place in the subsequent Government
of India Act, 1935.
14 Points of M. A. Jinnah
Whereas the basic idea on which the All-Parties
Conference was called in being and a Convention summoned at Calcutta
during the Christmas week 1928, was that a scheme of reforms should
be formulated and accepted and ratified by the foremost political
organization in the country as a National Pact; and whereas the
Report was adopted by the Indian National Congress only constitutionally
for one year ending 31st December 1929, and in the event of the
British Parliament not accepting it within the time limit, the Congress
stands committed to the policy and programme of complete independence
by resort to civil disobedience and non-payment of taxes; and whereas
the attitude taken up by the Hindu Mahasabha from the commencement
through their representatives at the Convention was nothing short
of an ultimatum that, if a single word in the Nehru Report in respect
of the communal settlement was changed they would immediately withdraw
their support to it; and whereas the National Liberal Federation
delegates at the Convention took up an attitude of benevolent neutrality
and subsequently, at their open session at Allahabad, adopted a
non-committal policy, the Non-Brahmin and depressed classes are
entirely opposed to it; and whereas the reasonable and moderate
proposals put forward by the delegates of the All-India Muslim League
at the Convention in modification were not accepted, the Muslim
League is unable to accept the Nehru Report.
The League, after anxious and careful
consideration, most earnestly and emphatically lays down that no
scheme for the future constitution of the Government of India will
be acceptable to Mussalmans of India until and unless the following
basic principles are given effect to and provisions are embodied
therein to safeguard their rights and interests:
1. The form of future constitution should
be federal, with the residuary power 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 any way affect the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal
and the North-West Frontier Province.
7. Full religious liberty, that is, liberty of believe, 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 it as being
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. Sind should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.
10. Reforms should be introduced in the North-West Frontier Province
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, personal laws, and Muslim charitable
institutions and for their due share in the grants-in-aid given
by the State and by self-governing bodies.
13. No cabinet, either Central or Provincial, should be formed without
there being at least one-third of 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
Source: Struggle for Independence (1958)
Pakistan Publications (Karachi).
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