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Nehru Report 1928

Nehru Report 1928

Nehru Report was given in response of Simon Commission (1927) report. As Simon Commission excluded the Indians from the meditation and recommendations which outraged the Indians. To add more insult to injury, Lord Birkenhead (in 1925 and 1927) challenged the Indians to reach an agreed constitution if they were capable enough to do that. The Indian National Congress decided to find an indigenous solution of the problems through a constitution and formed a committee under Moti Lal Nehru on August 10 1927.

The Committee invited the Muslim League, Hindu Mahasbha, Sikh Central League and the other remarkable political parties to join hands in framing the constitution of the Sub-Continent. The Muslim League disagreed with the Congress in the points concluded by Nehru. At the fourth meeting, Moti Lal Nehru presented his report known as Nehru Report. The main features of the Nehru Report were as under:

  • “India should be given the status of a dominion.
  • There should be federal form of government with residuary powers vested in the center
  • India should have a parliamentary form of government headed by a Prime Minister and six ministers appointed by the Governor General.
  • There should be a bi-cameral legislature.
  • There should be no separate electorate for any community.
  • System of weightage for minorities was as bad as that of separate electorates.
  • Reservation of Muslim seats could be possible in the provinces where Muslim population was at least 10 percent, but this was to be in strict proportion to the size of the community.
  • Muslims should enjoy one/fourth representation in the Central Legislature
  • Sindh should be separated from Bombay only if the certified that it was financially self-sufficient.
  • The N.W.F.P should be given full provincial status.
  • A new Kanarese-speaking province Karnatik should be established in South India.
  • Hindi should be made the official language of India”.
nehru report

Jinnah and Nehru

The Nehru Report was an eye-opening episode for the Muslims of India as it totally bypassed them and the later could well imagine their future in case of the approval of these recommendations. The report denied the separate electorate for the Muslims which the Congress had agreed with earlier. It ignored even the Delhi Proposals while formulating the report. Nehru showed two Muslims participating in the Report (to justify the Muslim presence); one was Syed Ali Imam who could attend only one meeting out of four because of his illness while Shoaib Qureshi, the other member could not approve the Congress views. Therefore, Nehru Report stayed only a Hindu report ignoring other parties especially the Muslim League, the biggest Muslim entity. Consequently, the Muslim leaders rejected the Report.

“Any sensible person cannot Muslims will accept these insulting conditions, said Sir Agha Khan about the Nehru Report. Jinnah responded to the Nehru Report by saying that “From now the paths of Hindus and Muslims are separate.”

Jinnah's attempts

Jinnah suggested four amendments in the Report:

  1. “There should be no less than one/third representation in the Central Legislature.
  2. In event of the adult suffrage not being established, Punjab and Bengal should have seats reserved on population basis for the Musalmans.
  3. The form of the constitution should be federal with residuary powers vested in the provinces. This question is by far the most important from the constitutional point of view.

With regard to the separation of Sindh and NWFP, we cannot wait until the Nehru Report is established…The Musalmans feel that it is shelving the issue and postponing their insistent demand till doomsday and they cannot agree to it.”

About SAIMA ASHRAF

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