Lucknow Pact refers to an agreement reached between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League at the joint session of both the parties, held in Lucknow, in the year 1916.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, then a member of the Congress as well as the League, made both the parties reach an agreement to pressure the British government to adopt a more liberal approach to India and give Indians more authority to run their country, besides safeguarding basic Muslim demands.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself was the mastermind and architect of this pact.
Due to the reconciliation brought about by Muhammad Ali Jinnah between the Congress and the League, the Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu, gave him the title of “the Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity”.
The Lucknow Pact also established cordial relations between the two prominent groups of the Indian National Congress – the “hot faction” Extremist led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and the moderates or the “soft faction”, the Moderates led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
As a result of the hard work of Mr. Jinnah and Mahajan from congress, both the Muslim League and the Congress met for their annual sessions at Bombay in December 1915.
The principal leaders of the two political parties assembled in one place for the first time in the history of these organizations.
Main features of the pact
The Indian Council must be abolished.
There should be separate electorates for all communities until they ask for a joint electorate.
There shall be self-government in India.
Muslims should be given 1/3 representation in Central Govt.
The salaries of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs should be paid by the British government and not from Indian funds.
Half of the members of the Imperial Legislative Council must be Indians.