Nehru Report (1928)
- In the meanwhile, the secretary of state, Lord Birkenhead challenged the Indians to produce a constitution that would be acceptable to all.
- The challenge was accepted by the government, which convened an all party meeting on 28 February 1928.
- A committee consisting of eight was constituted to draw up a blueprint for the future constitution of India.
- It was headed by Motilal Nehru.
- The report published by this committee came to be known as the Nehru Report. The report favoured:
- Dominion status as the next immediate step.
- Full responsible government at the centre.
- Autonomy to the provinces.
- Clear cut division of power between the centre and the provinces.
- A bicameral legislature at the centre.
- Equal rights for men and women as citizens.
- No state religion.
- No separate electorates for any community. It did provide for reservation of minority seats. It provided for reservation for seats for Muslims at the centre and in provinces where they were in a minority and not in Bengal and Punjab. Similarly, it provided for reservation for non-Muslims in the NWFP.
- A federal form of government with residual powers with the centre. There would be a bicameral legislature at the centre. The ministry would be responsible to the legislature.
- Governor-General to be the constitutional head of India. He would be appointed by the British monarch.
- A proposal for the creation of a Supreme Court.
- The provinces would be created along linguistic lines.
- The language of the country would be Indian, written either in Devanagari (Sanskrit/Hindi), Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi or Gujarati in character. Usage of English to be permitted
- However, the leader of the Muslim league, Mohammad Ali Jinnah regarded it as detrimental to the interests of the Muslims.
- Jinnah convened an All India conference of the Muslims where he drew up a list of Fourteen Points as Muslim league demand.
Jinnah 14 Points :
Jinnah convened an All India conference of the Muslims where he drew up a list of Fourteen Points as Muslim league demand.
The fourteen points were ……
- Federal constitution with residual powers with the provinces.
- Provincial autonomy.
- No constitutional amendment without the agreement of the states.
- All legislatures and elected bodies to have adequate Muslim representation without reducing Muslim majority in a province to minority or equality.
- Adequate Muslim representation of Muslims in the services and in self-governing bodies.
- 1/3rd representation of Muslims in the Central Legislature.
- 1/3rd Muslim members in the central and state cabinets.
- Separate electorates.
- No bill to be passed in any legislature if 3/4th of a minority community considers it against its interests.
- Any reorganisation of territories not to affect the Muslim majority in Bengal, Punjab and the NWFP.
- Separation of Sindh from Bombay Presidency.
- Constitutional reforms in the NWFP and Baluchistan.
- Full religion freedom for all communities.
- Protection of the religious, cultural, educational and language rights of Muslims.