What is the Lucknow Pact (1916)? CSS Pakistan Affairs Notes

The Lucknow Pact 1916

What is the Lucknow Pact (1916)?


The Lucknow Pact was signed in 1916 between the All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress. At that time, the Britishers took part in World War 1 and the Muslims and Congress wanted to utilise this opportunity for their own interests. 

Therefore, they both signed an agreement in order to get their interests and this agreement is called the Lucknow pact. Hence, the Britishers had no option but to fulfil the demands of both parties. 

Salient Features 

Self-Government in India:

In the Lucknow pact of 1916, both parties agreed that there should be self-government in India. 

A Separate Electorate for Muslims:

The Lucknow pact was considered a success for the Indian Muslims because it was the first time in history that the Indian National Congress agreed to give a separate electorate for the Muslims of India. 

Muslims Got 1/3rd Representation in the Imperial Legislation:

The another major development for the Muslims was that the Hindus conceded that the Muslims would have 1/3rd representation in the imperial legislative council. 

Weightage Formula:

A weightage formula was proposed by the British Government under which the Muslims of India would get less representation than their population in the legislative council in those provinces where they were in the minority. Therefore, it was a kind of concession for the Indian National Congress because accepted the two major demands of the Muslims. 

Causes of The Lucknow Pact

The Britishers Involvement in World War 1:

All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress felt to press the demands of the British together as British involvement in World War 1. Therefore they presented an opportunity to gain maximum concessions from the British Government. 

Members of the Executive and Legislative Council:

The British had announced under immense pressure from the Indian masses, in order to satisfy the Indians, they would consider a series of proposals that would lead to at least half of the members of the Executive Council being elected and the Legislative Council having a majority of elected members was needed. 

Reversal of the Partition of Bengal:

The reversal of the partition of Bengal hurt the Muslims and the All India Muslim League changed its aim from loyalty to the British to form self-government which is suitable to India. 


The Government of India Act of 1909:

These proposals were largely embodied in the Government of India Act of 1909

The Hindu-Muslim Unity:

The Lucknow pact was considered a high watermark of Hindu-Muslim unity. The pact paved the way for Hindu-Muslim cooperation in the Khilafat Movement and Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement in 1920. 

Congress recognized the Muslims as a nation:

The Lucknow Pact was the first agreement in which the Indian National Congress recognized the Muslims as a nation.

MA Johar and Iqbal Were Against This Idea:

Instead of all the good impact of the Lucknow Pact, the two big leaders of the Muslims Muhammad Ali Johar and Allama Muhammad Iqbal were against the idea because they considered the Muslims and Hindus different nations with different religions, norms and traditions. Therefore, these two leaders opposed this idea. 

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