What was the significance of the Lucknow Pact?
The Lucknow Pact played an important role in:
- Improving cooperation between the British and the society in India
- Improving relations between the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress
- Reducing conflict between the extremist faction of Congress and the moderate faction of Congress
The Lucknow Pact was a resolution reached between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League to create a more liberal approach to the governance of the country. The pact also addressed issues related to Hindu-Muslim relations in the country. Additionally, the resolutions were shared with the British as part of the society's proposal.
Among some of the changes made included:
- Half the executive council members were to be elected by the councils
- The Legislative Council was also to have most members elected
- One-third positions were allocated to Muslims in the Councils despite population proportions
- Changes made to the law that affected sections of the society had to get majority support from those affected by the changes
The agreement also helped India in organizing unified movements towards the achievement of the country's independence.
The Indian National Congress and the Muslim League met in a joint conference for the first time in 1916 at Lucknow. The greatest significance of the Lucknow Pact is that it brought together these two groups: the Indian National Congress that claimed to represent all of India, and the Muslim League that was formed to counter the Congress's overarching claim.
At that joint conference, the Hindu and Muslim leaders were able to resolve their own differences and agreed to jointly pressure the British government to allow India more home rule. At the time, the two groups fully expected the constitutional reforms they jointly presented to their British colonial rulers to be enacted after World War I ended.
The pact was an important move toward Indian independence during the nationalist movement in Indian, but the unity between Hindus and Muslims was short-lived. Most of the Congress leaders who voted for the Lucknow Pact rescinded their support not long after it was passed. In 1918, the INC joined the Indian Franchise Committee (also know as the Southborough Committee), one of three committees led by British representatives, that worked out the details of post-World War I constitutional reforms for India.