Essay on the ‘Fourteen-Point’ demands of Jinnah

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a. Introduction:

Muhammad Ali Jinnah after having left the Muslim League once again assumed the leadership of the Muslim community in India.

The Muslim League under his leadership welcomed the Congress decision to boycot the Simon Commission.

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But in 1928 the Muslim politics took altogether a different turn when Muhammad Ali Jinnah refused to accept the Nehru Report in an All parties’ Conference.

Jinnah rejected the Nehru Report as he considered non-acceptance of his proposal by the Conference an insult to the entire Muslim community of the country.

But the fact was that Jinnah’s proposals were outvoted in the conference. The Muslim League, then under the leadership of Jinnah, thereupon raised the famous ‘Fourteen points’ embodying the minimum demands of the Muslim community in India.

b. The ‘Fourteen Points”:

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In a meeting of the Muslim League held in 1929 in Delhi Jinnah repudiating the Nehru Report emphasized the need of a vigorous movement for the protection of the security and interests of the Muslim community.

Jinnah also put forward his famous “Fourteen Points”, which embodied among other things demand for a separate electorate, reservation of seats for the Muslims in the Provincial Assemblies, etc.

Jinnah’s Fourteen Points are as follows : (1) The future constitution of India should be federal in form.

(2) A uniform measure of autonomy should be enforced in all the Provinces.

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(3) There should be adequate and effective representation of Minorities in every Province.

(4) In the Central Legislature the Muslim representation should not be less than one- third.

(5) Communal groups should be represented by means of separate electorates as at present.

(6) The territorial redistribution should not in any way affect the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal and North-West Frontier Province.

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(7) Full religious and political liberty should be guaranteed to all communities.

(8) No Bill or resolution should be passed that might be injurious to any of the Minority communities. (9) 3ind should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.

(10) Reforms should be introduced; in the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan on the same line as in other Provinces.

(11) The ‘Muslims should get an adequate share in the governmental services and local self-governing bodies.

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(12) The Constitution should include provisions adequately safeguarding the Muslim culture and learning.

(13) In all the Provincial and Central Cabinets Muslim Ministers should be taken in at least in the proportion of one-third, and (14) Any change in the Constitution should have the concurrence of the Provincial Assemblies.

c. Impact of the Demands Raised by Jinnah:

The Fourteen-Point demands raised by Jinnah were, obviously, opposed to the national unity and it may be said that the British could extend their rule in India taking advantage of the disunity among the Indian people.

However, the communal approach of the Muslim League under the leadership of Jinnah affected the contemporary Indian politics in two ways: a. From this time onwards communal riots broke out all over the country, b. The Indian Muslim community came to be divided into two distinct groups, namely, the nationalist and communal.

The few nationalist Muslims who were still associated with the Muslim League now came out to form the ‘Nationalist Muslim Party’.

The Nationalist Muslims actively participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement begun by Gandhiji in 1930.

Indeed, the Nationalist Muslim organizations like Ahrar Party, Momin Conference, the Khudai Khidmudgar of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, etc. played an important role in the national struggle. In this regard the contributions of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan deserve special mention.

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