Fourteen Points proposed by M. A. Jinnnah on behalf of the Muslim League (1929)

Introduction: An All-Parties Conference headed by Motilal Nehru had drafted a proposal for a Dominion consitution for India which was referred to as the „Nehru Report“. It relied on a bill of fundamental rights which would protect the interests of minorities. Many Muslims were prepared to accept this solution, others who were interested in preserving the group rights of the Muslim community raised objections. Jinnah had to try hard to find a common denominator of Muslim opinions and drafted the Fourteen Points. The League had split at that time into two wings, one was led by Iqbal and others and advocated cooperation with the Simon Commission, the other one by Jinnah and a few of his old colleagues who boycotted the Simon Commission. Jinnah himself stuck to his Fourteen Points and referred to them again and again. They were rejected by the Indian National Congress but – for different reasons – by many Muslims who felt that Jinnah’s demands did not go far enough in protecting Muslim interests.

1. The form of the future constitution should be federal with the residuary powers 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 Legislative, Muslim representation shall not be less than one-third.
5. Representation of communal groups shall continue to be by means of separate electorate as at present, provided it shall be open to any community at any time to abandon its separate electorate in favor of a joint electorate.
6. Any territorial distribution that might at any time be necessary shall not in any way affect the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal and the North West Frontier Province.
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 any resolution or any part thereof shall be passed in any legislature or any other elected body if three-fourth 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 the interests of that community or in the alternative, such other method is devised as may be found feasible and practicable to deal with such cases.
9. Sindh should be separated from the Bombay presidency.
10. Reforms should be introduced in the North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan on the same footing as in the 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, personal laws and Muslim charitable institution 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 State's contribution of the Indian Federation.

(phpBB Pakistan Forum, 2008)


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