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Impact of World War I on Indian Freedom Movement: Lucknow Pact

Provisions of the Lucknow Pact

i) Provinces should be freed as much as possible from Central control in administration and finance.

ii) Four-fifths of the Central and Provincial Legislative Councils should be elected, and one-fifth nominated.

iii) Four-fifths of the provincial and central legislatures were to be elected on as broad a franchise as possible.

iv) Half the executive council members, including those of the central executive council were to be Indians elected by the councils themselves.

v) The Congress also agreed to separate electorates for Muslims in provincial council elections and for preferences in their favour (beyond the proportions indicated by population) in all provinces except the Punjab and Bengal, where some ground was given to the Hindu and Sikh minorities. This pact paved the way for Hindu–Muslim cooperation in the Khilafat Movement and Gandhi’s Non–Cooperation Movement.

vi) The Governments, Central and Provincial, should be bound to act in accordance with resolutions passed by their Legislative Councils unless they were vetoed by the Governor-General or Governors–in– Council and, in that event, if the resolution was passed again after an interval of not less than one year, it should be put into effect.

vii) The relations of the Secretary of State with the Government of India should be similar to those of the Colonial Secretary with the Governments of the Dominions, and India should have an equal status with that of the Dominions in any body concerned with imperial affairs.

The Lucknow Pact paved the way for Hindu-Muslim Unity. Sarojini Ammaiyar called Jinnah, the chief architect of the Lucknow Pact, “the Ambassador of Hindu–Muslim Unity”.

The Lucknow Pact proved that the educated class both from the Congress and the League could work together with a common goal. This unity reached its climax during the Khilafat and the Non-Cooperation Movements.

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