The Fourteen Points of Jinnah were proposed by Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India. In 1928, an All Parties Conference was convened to solve the constitutional problems for Muslims. A committee was set up under Moti Lal Nehru. That committee prepared a report which is known as "Nehru Report". This report demanded "Dominion Status" for India. Separate electorates were refused and the reservation of seats for the Muslims of Bengal and Punjab was rejected. In this report, not a single demand of the Muslims was upheld. Since Nehru Report was the last word from Hindus therefore Mr. Jinnah was authorized to draft in concise terms the basis of any future constitution that was to be devised for India Jinnah's aim was to get rights for Muslims. He, therefore, gave his 14 points. These points covered all of the interests of the Muslims at a heated time and in this Jinnah stated that it was the "parting of ways" and that he did not want and would not have anything to do with the Indian National Congress in the future. The League leaders motivated Jinnah to revive the Muslim League and give it direction. As a result, these points became the demands of the Muslims and greatly influenced the Muslims' thinking for the next two decades until the establishment of Pakistan in 1947.

Background

The report was given in a meeting of the council of the All India Muslim League on 9 March 1929. The Nehru Report was criticized by Muslim leaders Aga Khan and Muhammad Shafi. They considered it as a death warrant because it recommended joint electoral rolls for Hindus and Muslims.[1]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah left for England in May 1928 and returned after six months. In March 1929, the Muslim League session was held at Delhi under the presidency of Jinnah. In his address to his delegates, he consolidated Muslim viewpoints under fourteen items and these fourteen points became Jinnah's 14 points.[1][2]

14-Points

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 guaranteed 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 Punjab, Bengal and NWFP provinces.

7: Full religious liberty shall be guaranteed to all communities.

8: No bill or resolution shall be passed in any legislature if three fourths of the members of any community in that body oppose the bill.

9: Sindh should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.

10: Reforms should be introduced in the NWFP and Balochistan on the same footings as in the other provinces.

11: Muslims should be given an adequate share in all services, having due regard to the requirement of efficiency.

12: The Constitution should embody adequate safeguards for the protection of Muslim culture, education, language, religion and personal laws, as well as for Muslim charitable institutions.

13: One-third representation shall be given to Muslims in both central and provincial cabinets.

14: No change shall be made in the constitution without the consent of the provinces.

Reactions

Among the Hindus, Jinnah's points were highly disregarded and were rejected by the Congress Party and received a lukewarm response from the Muslim community. Jawaharlal Nehru referred to them as "Jinnah's ridiculous 14 points".[3]

Aftermath

After the fourteen points were publicized, Jinnah was invited to attend the round table conferences, where he forwarded the Muslim point of view. Later these points were accepted.[2][4]

References

  1. ^ a b Jayapalan, N. (2001). History of India(from National Movement To Present Day) – N. Jayapalan – Google Books. ISBN 9788171569175. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b Ahmed, Akbar S. (28 December 1928). Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic Identity: The Search for Saladin – Akbar S. Ahmed – Google Books. ISBN 9780415149662. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  3. ^ Sharma, Jai Narain (1998). Encyclopedia Eminent Thinkers (vol. 13 : The Political Thought of M.A. Jinnah) – Jai Narain Sharma – Google Books. ISBN 9788180694936. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  4. ^ Indian History – Google Books. 1988. ISBN 9788184245684. Retrieved 19 February 2013.