Lahore Resolution (1940) : Background, Principle Clauses and Importance

This article contains background, statement, principle clauses and importance of Lahore resolution. After reading this article the reader may answer the following questions –

1.       Who passed the resolution of Lahore?

2.       Whose demand was said to be first demanding Pakistan?

3.       When was the name of country first coined?

4.       Who coined the term Pakistan for the first time?

5.       What is the background of Lahore resolution?

6.       What are the principal clauses of Lahore Resolution?

7.       What is the importance of Lahore Resolution?

During the British rule, in the undivided Indian sub-continent alongside the Hindus, consciousness about self-rights arose amongst the Muslims. In this respect, to represent the interests of Muslims, Muslim League was established in 1906. Muslim League leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah following a theory of his own declared Muslims a separate nation. The name of this theory is 'Two Nation Theory”. As a result, the thought of a separate homeland emerged amongst the Muslims.

In the light of this thinking, in the Muslim League Council's annual conference held on 23 March 1940, the Chief Minister of Bengal Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Haq put forward a proposal related to the interests of Muslims in this sub-continent. The proposal was adopted, with Muhammad Ali Jinnah as chair. That proposal is known as historic 'Lahore resolution' or 'Pakistan proposal'.

The main features of Lahore Resolution were:

1. The geographically contiguous areas should be regarded as separate regions;

2. These areas should be formed in such a way as to facilitate to constitute 'independent states' in the North-Western and Eastern zones for the Muslim majority;

3. The constituent 'units' or the regions of these states should be autonomous as well as sovereign;

4. Effective steps shall be taken to protect the cultural, political, administrative and other rights of the minorities in the newly independent muslim states;

5. The framing of the future constitution shall be based on the above principles.

The word 'Pakistan' was not mentioned in the proposal, although the proposal appeared to be known as 'Pakistan Proposal'. In the Lahore Resolution, the formation of two sovereign states of comprising two majority Muslim regions was thought of. In view of the geographical location, it should have been like that. In 1946, in the 'Delhi Muslim Legislators Convention', with Mr. Jinnah as chair, the plan of more than one states was dropped and One Pakistan plan was adopted. According to this plan, India was divided on August 14, 1947 and two independent states emerged. North- Western and Eastern Muslim majority regions of British India formed Pakistan and the rest formed Indian Union.

The 1940 Lahore Resolution and Jinnah's 'Two Nation Theory' were the basis of the creation of Pakistan. Though Pakistan was created on the basis of the said resolution, its structure was incongruous. The distance between East and West Pakistan was more than one thousand miles with Indian territory in between.The language-culture, history-tradition, clothings, food habits of the majority Bangalis in the state were different from those of West Pakistanis. West Pakistanis particularly the Punjabis thought that their ancestors came from outside India and aristocratic blood flowed into their nerves. Because of this mentality, West Pakistanis looked down upon Bangalis as an inferior nation.

As a matter of fact, West Pakistani rulers established a kind of intenal colonial rule from the birth of Pakistan. During this rule, the status of Bangalis was tantamount to somewhat aliens in their own countries. The first discriminatory attitude by the West Pakistani rulers manifested towards Bangalis in the question of language. Instead of the Bangla language of the majority Bangal is, West Pakistani rulers tried to impose Urdu as the only state language upon Bangalis.

Background of Lahore Resolution

1926: The prospect of Hindu-Muslim unity extinguished following the failure of the Bengal Pact.

1928: Nehru suggestion to make negotiations between the Hindus and the Muslims also failed on the issue of election for the minorities.

1929: Jinnah presented his famous 14 Points in Movement for Right to Self Determination in Bengal During British Period, where Muslim interests had special priority.

1930: All political parties refused the Symon Commission report. Three consecutive round-table conferences in London ended without any decision as no consensus was reached in those meetings regarding the reservation of seats for the minority communities.

1932: After Pressurized by leaders of different communities the British Prime Minister Ramsey Macdonald declared the 'Communal A ward' to solve the crisis.

1935: The British parliament accepted the India Act which included federal system of government and provincial autonomy. But Everyone criticize the act, Hindu Mohasova opposed the Act.

1937: Despite the adverse reactions of the political parties the proposed provincial autonomy became effective under Indian act.

Congress formed provincial governments in the Muslim majority provinces without any dialogue with Muslim League. Later Congress President Jawharlal Nehru in his post electoral comments told that “In India the existence of two powers were obvious-one was Congress and the other was the government.”

1938: In a meeting of the provincial Muslim League in Sindh, Jinnah termed the Muslims and the Hindus two different nations.

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Lahore Resolution

The ‘Lahore Resolution’ (Urdu: Qarardad i Lahore, Bengali: Lahor Prostab) and later became better known as the ‘Pakistan Resolution’

The Resolution was passed at the annual session of the All India Muslim League at its 1940 meeting (22-24 March) at Minto Park (now called Iqbal Park) for the creation of ‘Independent State’ of Muslims in British India.

The Resolution was written and prepared by  Muhammad Zafarullah Khan and was presented by Sher-e-Bangla A. K. Fazlul Huq, the Prime Minister of Bengal. This political statement was adopted by the All-India Muslim League.

Muhammad Zafarullah Khan & Sher-e-Bangla A.K. Fazlul Huq of Lahore Resolution

Statement

Lahore resolution stated that no constitutional plan could function unless that was based upon the basic principles of the Lahore Resolution.

The Principle Clauses of the Lahore Resolution

a)       Independent states to be formed with the Muslim majority regions in the North­-Westem and Eastern India.

b)      These independent states will be autonomous and sovereign.

c)       Sufficient measures must be taken in the constitution to ensure the rights and interests of the minority groups after discussing with them.

d)      Powers of defense, foreign affairs, communication would be bestowed upon the concerned subsidiary states.

Facts about Lahore Resolution

v  In the above mentioned clauses, there is no mention of Pakistan. But, in that time, Newspaper published Lahore Resolution as "the Pakistan resolution" therefore, it became popular as the Pakistan reslution.

v  In the Lahore Resolution it was suggested to form states with the Muslim majority regions. For this the Bengalee Muslims dreamt of an ‘Independent Bengal state’. But on April 9, 1946 in Delhi Mr Jinnah presented a different proposal.”There he made some amendments to the “Lahore Resolution”. In this proposal suggestion came for forming a single state with the muslim majority provinces. Therefore, it can be said that Pakistan was born not on the basis of the Lahore Resolution of 1940.


Importance of Lahore Resolution

       The Pakistan Resolution is a landmark in the history of Muslim India as it eventually decide the future of the sub-continent.

       Muslims were convinced that their future as a nation was not secure in the united India and, therefore decided to demand a separate homeland.

       A new stream in Indian politico-constitutional movement began to flow because of this proposal.

       Mohammad Ali Jinnah began to identify the Muslims as a different nation

       The Muslims were convinced that there was no other solution of the Indian problems except the creation of two separate and sovereign states of Hindustan and Pakistan.

       The acceptance of Lahore Resolution strengthened the Two-nation theory which was the basis of Muslim struggle for independence. The demand for Pakistan was based on Muslim nationalism which meant the Muslim cultural, religious and national freedom.

       The word and contents of the subcontinent was on theory that there were two major and distinct nations in the subcontinent.

Conclusion

The passage of the Lahore Resolution gave impetus to the freedom movement. From this time the politics of Jinnah and Muslim League ran towards the establishment of an independent state, which had its ultimate result in the division of the country in August in 1947. As a practical consequence of the two nations theory two countries called Pakistan and India were born respectively on August 14 and on August 15.

Reference:

§  NCTB book – “History” – Class 9 (Bangladesh)

§  Wikipedia

(Author - Hasan Rayhan Alvee) 

10 Lines On Lahore Resolution 1940

  1. The Lahore resolution was an old part of history for the Muslims, which created their independent country.
  2. On 23rd March, in 1940, the Lahore session was announced.
  3. It was for the cause of the partition of India arranged by the Muslim league.
  4. Muslims demanded equal rights, democracy, and freedom for themselves.
  5. They explained the differences between the mental differences of views between Hindu and Muslims.
  6. They Explained about future disturbances if the new state is not created.
  7. Indian National Congress was never in support of the partition of India.
  8. The failure of meeting the demands of congress led to this situation.
  9. After the partition, Lahore resolution considered a significant day.
  10. People of Pakistan celebrate that day as a national holiday.

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