Nehru Report (1928) heralded the Hindu designs towards the Muslims as it proved to be a Hindu document concerned only with the interests of the Hindus. It overtly countered the interests, concerns, and safeguards of the Muslims of the Sub-Continent rejecting the separate electorate. It also disregarded the Delhi Proposals. Consequently, the Muslims felt themselves adrift and looked into the scenario from their perspective.
M.A. Jinnah came forward to safeguard the Muslims and worked out his famous Fourteen Points on March 28, 1928 in a meeting of the Muslim League attended by Shafi League and Jinnah League both. To quote the Fourteen Points:
- “The form of the future constitution should be federal with the residuary powers vested in the provinces.
- A uniform measure of autonomy shall be granted to all provinces.
- All legislatures in the country and other elected bodies shall be constituted on the definite principle of adequate and effective representation of minorities in every province without reducing the majority in any province to a minority or even equality.
- In the Central Legislative, Muslim representation shall not be less than one-third.
- Representation of the communal groups shall continue to be by means of separate electorate as at present, provided it shall be open to any community at any time to abandon its separate electorate in favor of a joint electorate.
- Any territorial distribution that might at any time be necessary shall not in any way affect the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal and the North West Frontier Province.
- Full religious liberty, i.e. belief, worship, and observance, propaganda, association and education, shall be granted to all communities.
- No bill or any resolution or any part thereof shall be passed in any legislature or any other elected body if three-fourth of the members of any community in that particular body oppose such a bill resolution or part thereof on the ground that it would be injurious to the interests of that community or in the alternatives, such other method is devised as may be found feasible and practicable to deal with such cases.
- Sindh should be separated from the Bombay presidency.
- Reforms should be introduced in the North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan on the same footing as in the other provinces.
- Provision should be made in the constitution giving Muslims an adequate share, along with other Indians, in all the services of the state and in local self-government bodies having due to the requirements of efficiency.
- The constitution should embody adequate safeguards for the protection of Muslim culture and for the protection and promotion of Muslim education, language, religion, personal laws and Muslim charitable institution and for their due share in grants-in-aid given by the state and by local self-governing bodies.
- No cabinet, either central or provincial, shall be formed without there being a proportion of at least one-third Muslim ministers.
- No change shall be made the constitution in the Central Legislature except with the concurrence of the State’s contribution of the Indian Federation.
Fourteen Points canopied the Muslims of the Sub-Continent from the injustices and anticipated atrocities of the Hindus in the years to come. Jinnah tried to make amendments in the Nehru Report but could not succeed. Consequently, he framed the Fourteen Points providing protection to the Muslims. Both factions of the Muslim League agreed to these points which gave the message of the unity of the Muslims under his leadership. These Points, in the long run, paved the way to the achievement of separate homeland.