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Political And Constitutional Struggle Of Quaid History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

The dynamic leadership and remarkable services of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the Pakistan Movement of freedom and independence is slave to no introduction. In this movement, the personality of Quaid-e-Azam; his tireless efforts and immense struggle made the crude and difficult path for the freedom of Pakistan very easy. The Muslims of India finally succeeded in achieving their destination for which they underwent a long, painful yet motivated journey led by the Quaid.


Jinnah’s arrival and stay in London was the sowing time. The first decade in Bombay, after his return from Britain, was the germinating period; the later decade (1906-1916) marked the vintage stage. It could also be called a period of idealism, as Jinnah was a romanticist both in personal and political life.

As Jinnah came out of his shell, the political limelight shone on him. He was budding as a lawyer and flowering as a political activist. A political child during the first decade of the century, Jinnah had become a political giant before Gandhi even returned to the Indian sub-continent from South Africa.


Mohammad Ali Jinnah differed with Gandhi on the means of achieving self-rule. The League session reassembled at Lahore under Jinnah’s presidency and was attended by a number of Congressmen and leaders of the Khilafat Movement. The Quaid, despite his differences with Mahatma Gandhi and the Khilafists, still enjoyed the trust and admiration of the Muslims of Bombay which can be seen from the fact that he won the Bombay Muslim seat for the Legislative Assembly that he had resigned in protest against the Rowlett Act.


Due to the deep distrust between the two communities as evidenced by the country-wide communal riots and because the Hindus failed to meet the genuine demands of the Muslims, his efforts came to naught. One such effort was the formulation of the Delhi Muslim Proposals in March, 1927. In order to bridge Hindu-Muslim differences on the constitutional plan, these proposals even waived the Muslims right to separate electorate, the most basic Muslim demand since 1906, which though recognized by the congress in the Luck now Pact, had again become a source of friction between the two communities.


In 1928, Pundit Moti Lal Nehru presented a report which turned down all the Muslims demand. On the reply of Nehru report, Mohammad Ali Jinnah presented his famous fourteen points on March 28, 1929 to the Muslim League Council at their Session in Delhi. Since all the Muslims opposed the Nehru Report, these points were to counter the proposals made in the Nehru Report. This was the certainly the right answer to the Nehru report. The points were to recommend the reforms that would defend the rights of the Muslims of the sub-continent.

The points are following:

1- The form of the future constitution should be federal, with the residuary powers to be 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 that would affect the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal and the NWFP.

7- Full religious liberty i.e. liberty of belief, 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 such a bill, resolution or part thereof on the ground that it would be injurious to that community or in the alternative, such other method is devised as may be found feasible practicable to deal with such cases.

9- Sindh should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.

10- Reforms should be introduced in the NWFP and Baluchistan 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 and personal laws and Muslim charitable institutions and for their due share in the grants-in-aid given by the State and by local self-governing bodies.

13- No cabinet, either Central or Provincial, should be formed without there being a proportion of at least one-third 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.


The Hindu Muslim dispute must be settled before the enforcement of system or constitution. Until you do not give guarantee for the safeguard for the Muslims interests, until you enforce shall not last for even 24 hours.


Jinnah’s disillusionment at the course of politics in the subcontinent prompted him to migrate and settle down in London in the early thirties. While in England, the Quaid had been watching the events that were happening in India and was saddened to see how Muslim interests were being sacrificed by the chaotic situation within the Muslim League. The Muslim League was in the hands of rich, landlords or some middle class intellectuals with limited horizons, while the All India Congress was emerging as the leading party for Indian Independence. He was, however, to return to India in December 1933, at the pleadings of his co-religionists, and assume their leadership.

Jinnah realized that organizing the Muslims of India into one powerful and dynamic organization was badly needed. He performed two important tasks after his return from England, the first was to unite and activate the Muslim League as the sole representative body of the Muslims of India. The second was to continue the struggle for freedom of India on constitutional lines.

Undismayed by this bleak situation, Jinnah devoted himself with singleness of purpose to organizing the Muslims on one platform. He embarked upon country-wide tours. He pleaded with provincial Muslim leaders to sink their differences and make common cause with the League. He exhorted the Muslim masses to organize themselves and joined the League He gave coherence and direction to Muslim sentiments on the Government of India Act, 1935. He also formulated a viable League manifesto for the election scheduled for early 1937. He was, it seemed, struggling against time to make Muslim India a power to be reckoned with. Despite all the manifold adds stacked against it, the Muslim League won 108 (about 22 percent) seats out of a total of 492 Muslim seats in the various legislatures. Though not very impressive in itself, the League’s partial success assumed added significance in view of the fact that the League won the largest number of Muslims and that it was the only All-India party of the Muslims in the country. Thus, the elections represented the first milestone on the long road to putting Muslim India on the map of the subcontinent.


Jinnah utilized all his energies on revitalizing the League. With the assistance of the Raja of Mahmudabad, a dedicated adherent of the Muslim League, the Lucknow Session was a grand demonstration of the will of the Muslims of India to stand up to the Congress challenge. It was the Lucknow Session that Jinnah persuaded Sir Sikander Hayat Khan to join the Muslim League along with his Muslim colleagues. That development later became famous as the Jinnah-Sikander Pact.

This Session marked a dramatic change not only in the League’s platform and political position, but also in Jinnah’s personal commitment and final goal. He changed his attire, shedding the Seville Row suit in which he had arrived for a black Punjabi sherwani long coat. It was for the first time he put on the compact cap, which would soon be known throughout the world as Jinnah Cap. Ti was at that session that the title of Quaid-e-Azam (the great leader) was used for Jinnah and which soon gained such currency and popularity that it almost became a substitute for his name.

The great success was achieved the organization front of the Muslim League. Within three months of the Lucknow session over 170 new branches of the League had been formed, 90 of them in the United Provinces, and it claimed to have enlisted 1,00,000 new members in the province alone.


The Second World War broke out in 1939 and the British Government was anxious to win the favor and co-operation of the major political parties and leaders in their war effort. The Viceroy made a declaration in October assuring the people of India that after the war, the constitutional problems of India would be re-examined and modifications made in the Act of 1935, according to the opinion of India Parties. The Congress reacted to that drastically, condemned the Viceroy’s policy statement and called upon the Congress ministries to resign by October 31, 1939. On the resignation of the Congress ministries, the Muslim League appealed to the Muslims and other minorities to observe December 22, 1939 as the Day of Deliverance.


Quaid-e-Azam said in the words;

We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral code, customs and calendar, history and tradition, aptitudes and ambitions, in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law, we are a nation.

The formulation of the Muslim demand for Pakistan in 1940 had a tremendous impact on the nature and course of Indian politics. On the one hand, it shattered forever the Hindu dreams of a pseudo-Indian, in fact, Hindu Empire exit from India: on the other, it heralded an era of Islamic renaissance and creativity in which the Indian Muslims were to be active participants. The Hindu reaction was quick, bitter and malicious.

Addressing on 23rd march 1940 he said that:

“The Mussalmans are not minority. They are a nation by any definition. By all canons of international law, we are nation”

He also said that:

“India is not a nation, nor a country. It is a sub-continent of nationalities. Hindus and Muslims being the two major nations. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious, philosophies, social customs and literature. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history”


Sir Stafford Cripps was sent by the British Government to India in March 1942, to discuss with Indian leaders, the future Indian Constitution. His proposal was rejected by both the Congress and the League. The Congress characterized them as a post-dated cheque on a failing bank. Jinnah in his presidential address to the Allahabad session of the League, analyzed the Cripps proposals and expressed the disappointment that if these were accepted Muslims could become a minority in their majority provinces as well.


The failure of the Cripps Mission, though unfortunate in many ways, resulted in strengthening of the Muslim League case of Pakistan. The Congress decided to launch its final assault on British imperialism in the movement that came to be known as the Quit India movement. Gandhi called upon the people to take initiative and to do or die in a last struggle for freedom, throwing of the initial pretences of non-violence. He did not consult the Muslim League or any other party and went ahead with his plans in the hope that the momentum of the mass movement would take violent forms and would involve all parties and sections of the people of India. To the Congress slogan of Quit India, the Quaid’s answer was Divide and Quit which meant Muslims do not only want freedom from British but also from Hindu Raj.


The two leaders also differed with regard to the boundaries of Pakistan and how the issue of whether India should be divided at all, was to be determined. Gandhi was adamant on the question of partition and although he appeared to be conceding the possibility of partition he did everything he could to persuade the Quaid to give up his demand of the establishment of two sovereign states.

The British had been watching with anxiety the progress of the Jinnah-Gandhi talks and were making plans to meet the situation if the Congress and the League arrived at an agreement. The failure of these talks spurred the Viceroy to make renewed efforts to break the political deadlock in India.

Though the Gandhi-Jinnah negotiations failed to achieve the avowed goal of the Hindu-Muslim unity, they brought to Jinnah and the Muslim League two important political gains. Firstly, the leadership of the Congress had now offered to discuss the questions of Pakistan seriously – before that, the Congress and Mahatma had kept the door to that subject uncompromisingly shut. Secondly, the Congress could no longer justifiably claim that it stood for all the communities in India including the Muslims.

Louis Feisher wrote:

The wall between Jinnah and Gandhi was the Two Nation Theory.


Quaid -e-Azam was a firm advocate of two nation theory which becomes the ideological basis Pakistan. He considered the Muslim as a separate nation. He said:

“Pakistan was created the day the first Indian nation entered the field of Islam”

He explained the two nation theory as:

“The Muslims are the nation by every right to establish their separate homeland. They can adopt any means to promote and protect their economic social political and cultural interests”


As per the provisions of the Wavell Plan, the Executive Council would be reorganized and Hindus and Muslims would equally represent in the Viceroy’s Executive Council and the Council would work as Interim Government till the end of war. Lord Wavell called a conference at Simla in June 1945 to give a practical shape to this plan. The Quaid-e-Azam insisted that the right to appoint five Muslim members in the Executive Council should entirely rest with the Muslim League. That was not acceptable to the Congress as the Congress claimed to represent both the Hindus and Muslims. The conference failed to achieve any purpose due to one-sided attitude of Lord Wavell. In this conference, Quaid-e-Azam made it crystal clear that only the Muslim League can represent Muslims of India.


Elections for the central and provincial assemblies were held in 1945-46. Muslim League managed to win all the 30 seats reserved for the Muslims in central legislative and 427 seats out of 495 Muslim seats in the provincial legislative. Election results were enough to prove that Muslim League, under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, was the sole representative of the Muslims of the region. Quaid-e-Azam said on this occasion

I have no doubt now in the achievement of Pakistan. The Muslims of India told the world what they want. No power of world can topple the opinion of 10 crore Muslims of India.


On 19th April 1946, soon after the elections, Jinnah called a convention at Delhi of all the newly elected. League members in the central and the provincial legislatures. In this convention the word States of 1940′s Lahore Resolution is transformed into the word State and the legislators signed pledges solemnly declaring their firm conviction that the safety, security, salvation and destiny of the Muslims lay only in the achievement of Pakistan.


The most delicate as well as the most tortuous negotiations began with the arrival, in March 1946, of a three-member British Cabinet Mission. The crucial task with which the Cabinet Mission was entrusted was that of devising in consultation with the various political parties, constitution-making machinery, and of setting up a popular interim government. But, because the Congress-League gulf could not be bridged, despite the Mission’s prolonged efforts, the Mission had to make its own proposals in May 1946.

The Muslim League accepted the plan on June 6, 1946. The Congress accepted the plan on June 25, 1946, though it rejected the interim setup. The Viceroy should now have invited the Muslim League to form Government as it had accepted the interim setup; but he did not do so because he did not want to make Congress angry. So in this situation Cabinet Mission went back to England on June 29 without deciding anything.


The Council of the All-India Muslim League met in Bombay and on July 27, 1946 it finally sealed its rejection of the Cabinet Mission Plan, and decided to launch its famous Direct Action for the achievement of Pakistan, which it could not achieve by peaceful means due to the intransigence of Congress on the one hand and the breach of faith with the Muslim by the British Government on the other.

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said

“Never have we in the whole history of the League done anything except by constitutional methods. But now we are forced into this position. Today we bid good-bye to constitutional methods. Today we have forged a pistol and are in a position to use it. We mean every word of it. We do not believe in equivocation.”

Direct Action Day was celebrated on 16th August 1946. There was a strike in all over the country that they. Direct Action Day was observed peacefully throughout India, except in Calcutta, where riots broke out.


By the close of 1946, the communal riots had flared up to murderous heights, engulfing almost the entire subcontinent. The two people, it seemed, were engaged in a fight to the finish. The time for a peaceful transfer of power was fast running out. Realizing the gravity of the situation, His Majesty’s Government sent down to India a new Viceroy Lord Mountbatten. His protracted negotiations with the various political leaders resulted in 3 June (1947) Plan by which the British decided to partition the subcontinent, and hand over power to two successor States on 15 August, 1947. The plan was duly accepted by the three Indian Parties to the dispute the Congress, the League and the Akali dal (representing the Sikhs). However Pakistan became constitionally independent at midnight between 14th and 15th August 1947.


The Pakistan Resolution explains the ideology of Pakistan, establishment of homeland in the north-western and eastern zone of India where the Muslims should be free to lead their lives according to the tenets of Islam. This Resolution implied the independence of these two states from India but it did not imply independence of one another, for the subsequent league Resolution of April 1946 spoke of east and west Pakistan as one sovereign state.


On march 26, 1939, it was announced that the working committee of the All-India Muslim league had set up a committee to examine the various constitutional proposals which had already been made regarding the future constitution of India. This committee was also to consider constitutions of other countries and was then to report its conclusions at an already date to the working committee. Several schemes had been put forward by Muslim leaders: some suggested two or three separate federations while other recommended an all-India federation of the regions comprising Muslim, Hindu, and other areas.


The constitutional assembly started functioning in January 1947. The Muslim league demanded its dissolution on the basis that the British Government’s interpretation of the plan was not accepted by the Sikh and the Scheduled Castes and that the session and proceedings of the assembly were invalid.


The first Cabinet of Pakistan was the creation of the Quaid-e-Azam. Liaqat Ali Khan was named by him as the prime minister, a position to which he was entitled by virtue of his position in the Muslim league party which had an over-whelming majority in the assembly. Since he owed the leadership of the legislature also to the Quaid-e-Azam, Liaqat had no say in the selection of his colleagues, whose name and the portfolios they were to hold, were simultaneously announced along with his own appointment. More than one minister subsequently made public declaration to the effect that he was a nominee of the Quaid-e-Azam. The Cabinet was broadly representative of the provinces as also of the refuges from India and minorities


In recognition of his singular contribution, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was nominated by the Muslim League as the Governor-General of Pakistan, while the Congress appointed Mountbatten as India’s first Governor-General. Pakistan, it has been truly said, was born in virtual chaos.

The problems which the Quaid-e-Azam had to face as Governor General of Pakistan were not only due to the happenings in East Punjab, and to provide shelter for the millions of refugees. What immensely increased the difficulties of the new state was the fact that it had yet to organize itself.


After the tireless and undying efforts and struggles of our great Quaid and others leaders, finally Pakistan emerged on the map of the world as an independently existing nation. We live freely in our nation, as individuals of a distinctive identity and enjoy our social, political and economic interests regardless of the fears and traumas our fore fathers have faced. The peaceful sleep at night which we get now has undoubtedly emerged as a result of the great vision of Iqbal and the remarkable and tremendous leadership and guiding light of none other than the father of our nation; Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah; Quaid e Azam.

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