Lucknow Pact UPSC

Today we are going to discuss the Lucknow Pact which is a very important topic for UPSC and other government exams.

The Muslim League had got disillusioned with British on the Khilafat issue and it was on account of this disillusionment that it came closer to the INC. It was in this context that the league and INC both decided to hold their session at the same time in Lucknow.


In this session an argument between league and INC was arrived at which is popularly known as the League – INC pact or Lucknow Pact on the basis of common political programmes. It was under the spirit of Lucknow Pact that league & INC cooperated with each other from 1916 to 1922.

This Lucknow session of INC was also a historic session from the fact that the nationalist expelled from INC at the Surat session, were admitted back to the INC and thereby the Lucknow session of INC was the first united session of INC after 9 years.


Terms of Lucknow Pact / Common Congress Political Programmes : –

1. Lucknow Pact called upon the British to grant self – government to India at an early date.
2. To expand the provincial legislature and central councils.
3. To give greater representation to elected members and expanded council.
4. To give power to make appointments to ICS and commissioned and non – commissioned ranks in British Indian army be also open to Indians.
5. To achieve so called bridge of Hindu-Muslim unity. The INC also accepted a separate electorate granted to Muslims by Act of 1919 which was a great progress for the League because the INC had so far opposed the grant of a separate electorate.


Critical Appraisal of Lucknow Pact : –

The INC concluded the Lucknow Pact so as to build the bridge of Hindu-Muslim unity. The League concluded because it had got temporarily disillusioned by the British on the Khilafat issue. The Lucknow Pact had been called “a truce”, “a temporary marriage”, “ a marriage of convenience”


This pact did not change the heart and communal outlook of League which maintained its separate identity, continued to talk of Muslim political interests as being different from that of other communities.


The issue of Khilafat on the account of which League has come closer to the INC, was communal and extra-territorial.


The INC which was so far opposed to grant of separate electorate to the Muslims, accepted the separate so as to build the bridge of Hindu-Muslim unity and compromised with it was its stand at the same time the INC which had remained scrupulously secular compromised with its secular credentials, supported the demand of Khilafat which was included as one of the demands of Non-Cooperation Movement.


The INC compromised with it the principles to achieve the Hindu-Muslim unity which was broken after the suspension of Non-Cooperation Movement after which the communal riots broke out in India. This riot was incited by the League which became a sworn enemy of the INC and again became a close ally of the British in India.


Thus the ground on which the Lucknow Pact had been concluded was too fragile and could not have lasted for long therefore it has been said rightly that “the Lucknow Pact did not and could not have succeeded”. R.C. Majumdar’s view – “the Lucknow Pact left the way open to future resurgence of communalism which led to the foundation of Pakistan 30 years later”.


Many critics are of the view that the INC became to accommodate or compromise to the League to achieve the so called Hindu-Muslim unity which was not based on principle or change of ideology or attitudes but had result on account of a particular circumstance.

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