14 Points of Quaid e Azam were proposed by Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India. The report was given in a meeting of the council of the All India Muslim League on March 28, 1929. The seven out of fourteen points of Quaid-e-Azam was directly in support of constitutional reforms and indirectly were supportive of the Muslims’ interest, while five points were unswervingly insisting for the Muslim rights. The keen observers and seasoned analysts of that era drew an impartial comparison between Mr. Jinnah’s fourteen points and Nehru’s report of 1928 and considered them as a political gap between the Muslims and the Hindus in India. Jinnah’s aim was to get more rights for Muslims. While giving his 14 points 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. These points became the demands of the Muslims and greatly influenced the Muslims thinking for the next two decades till the establishment of Pakistan in 1947.
|Date:||28 March 1929|
|Proposed By:||Muhammad Ali Jinnah|
|Drafted By:||C Rajagopalchari|
|Appreciated By:||Muslim Community|
|Disregarded By:||Hindu Community|
|Point 1:||Federal System|
|Point 2:||Provincial Autonomy|
|Point 3:||Representation of Minorities|
|Point 4:||Number of Muslim Representative|
|Point 5:||Separate Electorates|
|Point 6:||Muslim Majority Provinces|
|Point 7:||Religious Liberty|
|Point 8:||Three-Fourth Representation|
|Point 9:||Separation of Sindh|
|Point 10:||Introduction of Reforms in N.W.F.P and Baluchistan|
|Point 11:||Government Services|
|Point 12:||Protection of Muslim’s culture and Language|
|Point 13:||One-Third Muslim Ministers|
|Aim:||To get more rights for Muslims|
|Presented At:||All India Muslim League Meeting|
|President of the Congress:||Jawaharlal (1929)|
In 1928, All Parties Conference was convened to solve the constitutional problems of India. A committee was set up under Pandit 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 the concise term the basis of any future constitution that was to be devised for India.Originally these demands were Fourteen in number and so they popularly came to be known as “Jinnah’s Fourteen Points”.
In March 1929, at the annual session of All India Muslim League, he declared his famous fourteen points.
M.A. Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League, did not accept the Nehru Report on the ground that it discarded separate electorates for the minorities. The League wanted more safeguards for Muslims. Jinnah thereafter drew up a list of demands, the so-called Fourteen Points, which represented the minimum demands of the Muslims. The essence of Jinnah’s Fourteen Points was to strike a profitable bargain with the Congress or to reject the Nehru Report.
The Fourteen Points
- Federal System
The form of the future constitution should be federal with the residuary powers rested in the provinces.
- Provincial Autonomy
A uniform measure of autonomy shall be granted to all provinces.
- Representation of Minorities
All legislative in the country and other elected bodies shall be constituted on the definite principles of adequate and effective representation of minorities in every province without reducing the majority in any province to a minority or even equality.
- Number of Muslim Representative
In the central legislative, Muslims representative shall be not less than one-third.
- Separate Electorates
A representative of communal groups shall continue to be by means of separate electorates as at present provided it shall be open to any community, at any time to abandon its separate electorate in favor of joint electorate.
- Muslim Majority Provinces
Any territorial re-distribution that might at any time be necessary shall not in any way, affect the Muslim majority in Punjab, Bengal, and N.W.F.P.
- Religious Liberty
Full religious Liberty, liberty of belief, worship and observance, association and education shall be guaranteed to all the communication.
- Three-Fourth Representation
No bill or resolution shall be passed in any legislative or any other elected body if three-fourths of the members of any community in that particular body oppose such a bill.
- Separation of Sindh
Sindh should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.
- Introduction of Reforms in N.W.F.P and Baluchistan
Reforms should be introduced in the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan on the same footing as in other provinces.
- Government Services
Muslims should be given adequate share along with other Indians in the services of State.
- Protection of Muslim’s culture and Language
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.
- One-Third Muslim Ministers
No cabinet, either central or provincial be formed without being a proportion of at least one-third Muslim Ministers.
No change shall be made in the constitution of the state except with the concurrence of State constituting the Indian Federation.
14 Points of Quaid e Azam advocated by Jinnah received a lukewarm reception from the Muslim community and were only elevated in status when Jinnah’s star began to rise again in the late 1930s. Consequently, his position as a representative of the Muslim community remained uncertain to the end of the 1920s. Only a few close friends and Legislative Assembly colleagues welcomed his scheme, with the majority of these Muslim politicians also having limited support in the community. Among the Hindus, the Fourteen Points were scorned, with Jawaharlal Nehru referring to them as “Jinnah’s ridiculous 14 points”. In 1929 Jawaharlal was president of the Congress and his ongoing hostility towards Jinnah was reflective of the attitude of younger Congressmen.
Importance of Jinnahs Fourteen Points
- A comparison of the Nehru Report with the Quaid-e-Azam’s Fourteen Points shows that the political gap between the Muslims and the Hindus had really widened.
- The importance of these points can be judged by the fact that these points were presented in the Round Table Conference of 1930.
- Those points made it clear to Hindus and British Government that Muslims wanted their own identity without influence by Hindus.
- Fourteen points of Quaid-e-Azam became principles for Muslims of India.
- These points made it clear to Hindus and British Government that Muslims of India will not bear any influence from Hindus or British Government.
- Fourteen Points not only revived Muslim League but also directed them on a new way.
- These points prepared the Muslims of India for a bold step to struggle for freedom.
- These points became the demands of the Muslims and greatly influenced the Muslims thinking for the next two decades till the establishment of Pakistan in 1947.