LUCKNOW SESSION AND LUCKNOW PACT: REMARKABLE DECISIONS TAKEN AT LUCKNOW IN 1916

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LET’S UNDERSTAND “LUCKNOW SESSION OF INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS” AND “LUCKNOW PACT BETWEEN INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS AND MUSLIM LEAGUE” IN 1916

Lucknow Pact and Lucknow Sssion 1916
Lucknow Pact and Lucknow Session, 1916

Geographically, the city of Lucknow is located in the middle of Indus-Gangetic Plains and covers an area of approximately 402 square km in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Culturally, it is recognized for its elegant and heart-touching Muslim poetry and poets like Mir Babar Ali Anis and Mirza Dabeer; and economically, it is ranked among top 15 cities of India in terms of GDP and sixth in a list of the ten fastest growing job-creating cities in India, according to a study conducted by Assocham Placement Pattern. Historically, Lucknow played a crucial role in strong re-consolidation of relationships between Moderates and Extremists in Indian National Congress; and Hindus and Muslims through the pact between Indian National Congress and Muslim League.

Through this article, I intend to look into the two historical decisions taken at Lucknow in ” Lucknow Session of Indian National Congress” and in form of “Lucknow Pact between Indian National Congress and Muslim League.”

LUCKNOW SESSION OF INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS:

Lucknow Session, 1916
Lucknow Session, 1916

“After nearly ten years of painful separation and wandering through wilderness of misunderstanding and mazes of unpleasant controversies… both wings of Indian Nationalist Party have come to realize the fact that united they stand but divided they fall.” [A.C. Majumdar in Lucknow Session of INC, 1916]

Presided byAmbika Charan Majumdar, the Lucknow Session of Indian National Congress, 1916 is crucially historic for the reason that it marked the reconciliation of moderates and extremists together in one national fold. Two nationalist leaders, Tilak and Bessant, contributed for making this re-union possible. Majumdar, the President of this session, asserts-“If the Congress was buried at Surat, it is reborn in Lucknow in the garden of Wajid Ali Shah”.

CONDITIONS THAT FACILITATED MODERATE-EXTREMIST RAPROCHMENT IN LUCKNOW SESSION OF INC, 1916:

  • Both moderates and extremists came to understand that their internal ideological disparities and separation is entrenching political inaction. For strong re-union between them, Tilak ensured them that no extremists will adopt any agitational strategy or politics for overthrowing colonial government.
  • The older leaders- G.K. Gokhle and Pherozshah Mehtawere completely reluctant to facilitate the reconciliation but their excruciating demise in 1915 allowed the passage of extremists in Indian National Congress.

LUCKNOW PACT BETWEEN INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS AND MUSLIM LEAGUE:

Lucknow Pact, 1916
Lucknow Pact,1916

Lucknow Pact, officially called Congress-League Scheme 1916, was the CONSOCIATIONAL DOCUMENT, jointly drafted by Indian National Congress and All-India Muslim League in December 1916 that functioned to build a junction between these two political parties and therefore consolidated HINDU-MUSLIM INTEGRITY. Under this Pact, Congress agreed to “accept separate electorates for Muslims in Central and Provincial Legislative Council, conferred on Muslims 1/3rd proportion of seats in the all-India and Provincial Council” and Muslim League agreed to jointly put forward the nationalist demands to the colonial government, that are underlined below:

  1. Self-Government for India
  2. Separation of judicial and executive organs
  3. Expansion of Provincial and Central Legislative Council
  4. Demand for charging salary of Secretary of State on British treasury rather than Indian exchequer.

CONDITIONS THAT FACILITATED LUCKNOW PACT:

  • British insensitivity towards Muslim sentiments was the foremost condition that facilitated Lucknow Pact. Britishers didn’t help Turkey and  Calliph, the religio-political head of Muslims in wars with Balkans and Italy. Also, they fought against him in First World War
  • Annulment of Partition of Bengal in 1911 annoyed those sections who supported it during 1905.
  • British rejection to establishment of University at Aligarh further catalyzed Muslim agony.
  • Both Indian National Congress and Muslim League were politically seeking Home-Rule but Muslims didn’t want to be insecure about Muslims safeguards and this Pact facilitated it.
  •  Younger Militant Muslims like Ali Brothers and Maulana Azad who were terribly repressed during First World War favored this pact.

From the above analysis, it can be observed that Lucknow Session, 1916 and Lucknow Pact, 1916 were significant events in which historic decisions were taken that ultimately changed the entire course of Freedom Struggle for Indian Independence since pre-1916, Hindus and Muslims were scattered on religious and communal parameters and Moderates and Extremists were almost invisible and politically inactive. These two steps reconsolidated Hindus and Muslims, Moderates and Extremists and they began to collectively and synergistically demand “home-rule for India” 

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Gaurav Rathi

An enthusiastic Delhiite, Gaurav Rathi is pursuing B.A. English Hons. in Delhi University. Rather than reading history, he likes re-inventing and re-approaching history and while not researching and writing blogs, he is reading novels or celebrating life with family and friends.

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