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Modern History / National Movement

Lucknow Pact 1916

Lucknow Pact was an agreement signed between the Congress party and All India Muslim League party as both decided to fight against the British together. The agreement mainly dealth with two issues, one regarding the structure of the government of India and the other regarding the Hindu-Muslim relations. A joint session of Congress party and Muslim League was held in Lucknow in 1916. Here, both Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak mediated between these two parties. At this session, the Congress party president was A.C. Mazumdar. This session had considerable significance because of two events, (i) Lucknow Pact and (ii) Lucknow Merger.

Lucknow Pact

According to the Lucknow Pact, regarding the issue on the government of India, 4/5th members of the provincial as well as central legislatures should be elected on the basis of adult franchise.

Separate electorates are to be provided for all the communities until a consensus is reached by all for the joint electorate.

Half of the executive council members, both central as well as provincial, should be Indians and they must be elected by the councils themselves.

Salaries and other allowances of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs should not be paid from the Indian funds but should come from the British funds.

The term of the legislative councils should be increased to 5 years.

The executive should be separated from the judiciary.

Regarding the issue of Hindu-Muslim relations, the Congress party should not oppose separate electorate, which was given by the Minto-Morley Reforms Act, 1909. During the introduction of the Act of 1909, Morley said to Minto, "We are sowing Dragon's teeth, the harvest will be bitter. We don't know what the consequences are".

Earlier separate electorate was demanded by the Muslims because if any common seat is reserved for the Muslims, the elected Muslim member will be loyal to the majority population i.e. Hindu population.

Congress party has done a biggest blunder by accepting the separate electorate, which finally led to the formation of Pakistan.

Lucknow Merger

It was the merger of two rival groups of the Congress party, which was earlier split into two factions called Moderates and Extremists during the Surat Split.

This merger happened because, by this time, Tilak became a Moderate and both Gokhale and Pherozeshah Mehta were dead. Annie Besant and Tilak made efforts for this merger.