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14 Points of M. A. Jinnah

M. A. Jinnah in the 1920'sThe 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 Federation.

Source: Struggle for Independence (1958) Pakistan Publications (Karachi).

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