The Lahore Resolution: Context & Significance

  1. Start of WW2: The start of World War 2 made the British desperate to get the support of the Indians for war efforts. Muslim League thought it an appropriate time to take advantage of this desperation of the British Government
  2. WWI Experience: The experience of WW1 had taught the Indian Muslims a lesson; how the British capitulated in the face of organized agitation of Congress to annul the partition of Bengal
  3. Dissatisfaction of Indian Muslim Elite: Dissatisfaction of Indian Muslim elite with the way Congress treated them while forming governments in the provinces after the 1937 elections. None of the prominent Muslims was inducted as ministers in these governments
  4. Agitational Politics: Aligarh Movement had by then created a critical mass of not only educated leaders but also workers in the form of students. Both, Muslim leaders and students, had got the experience of agitational politics during the Khilafat Movement. Muslim league had been reorganized after the return of Quaid from the UK and was getting a strong foothold even in the villages
  5. Division of Subcontinent Proposals: After Allama Iqbal’s 1930 Allahabad address proposing the disunion of the Subcontinent on a religious basis, Ch Rehmat Ali’s proposal of Pakistan was in the field. Both these proposals had gained widespread acceptance among the Indian Muslims-elite, street, and intellectuals. Therefore, by 1938–39, the idea of separation was strongly gaining ground. The Sindh Provincial Muslim League Conference held its first session in Karachi in October 1938 and adopted a resolution that recommended devising a scheme of the constitution under which Muslims may attain full independence. AK Fazal ul Haque from Bengal who was not in the Muslim League was quite convinced in favour of separation. The idea was more vividly expressed by Quaid himself in his various articles and speeches.
  6. Congress Rule: Congress rule from 1937–39 was a blessing in disguise as the Muslim masses in general and the Muslim League, in particular, had a taste of things to come if Congress got powers after the British left India. They realized what lay ahead for the Muslim majority provinces once it came to dominate the centre; the heightened activity of Hindu Mahasabha, the hoisting of Congress tricolour, the singing of Bande Mataram, the Vidya Mandir scheme in the Central Provinces, and the Wardha scheme of education, all were clear proof of Congress’s bent of mind.
  1. Name Pakistan goes Viral: The name Pakistan was not used in the resolution and the official name of the resolution was Lahore Resolution. It was the Hindu newspapers including Partap, Bande Matram, Milap, Tribune, etc., who ironically coined the name Pakistan Resolution. However, the idea was appreciated by the Muslim masses and the Resolution is more known as Pakistan Resolution.
  2. Legitimacy of Demand: It was the first formal demand of the Indian Muslims, politically articulated by a representative party and presented in a formal platform-of-two nation theory. It was now an official demand of the Indian Muslims presented by their representative organisation to counter the demand of the Indian National Congress of a united India after the British left India. Muslim League was thus able to win the 1945 elections based onthis Resolution
  3. Leadership Transformation: Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s address to the Lahore conference was, according to Stanley Wolpert, the moment when Jinnah, a former proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity, irrevocably transformed himself into the leader of the fight for an independent Pakistan. He becomes from Mohammed Ali Jinnah to Quaid-e- Azam
  4. Vision and Roadmap: Lahore Resolution not only gave a vision to the Indian Muslims but also provided them with a roadmap for achieving this vision. It gave new energy and courage to the Muslims of the region who gathered around Quaid-i-Azam from the platform of the Muslim League to struggle for their freedom. The dynamic leadership of the Quaid and the commitment and devotion of the followers made it possible for them to achieve an independent state within seven years of their struggle, and that too when the odds were against them.
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