Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Return to Politics (Episode 8)

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Return to Politics (Episode 8)

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In 1933, Indian Muslims, especially from the United Provinces, began to urge Jinnah to return to India. They wanted Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to take up again his leadership of the Muslim League, an organization which had fallen into inactivity. He remained titular president of the League but declined to travel to India to preside over its 1933 session in April, writing that he could not possibly return there until the end of the year.

among those who met with Jinnah to seek his return was Liaquat Ali Khan, who would be a major political associate of Jinnah in the years to come and the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. At Jinnah’s request, Liaquat discussed the return with a large number of Muslim politicians and confirmed his recommendation to Jinnah. In early 1934, Jinnah relocated to the subcontinent, though he shuttled between London and India on business for the next few years, selling his house in Hampstead and closing his legal practice in Britain.

Muslims of Bombay elected Jinnah, though then absent in London, as their representative to the Central Legislative Assembly in October 1934. The British Parliament’s Government of India Act 1935 gave considerable power to India’s provinces, with a weak central parliament in New Delhi, which had no authority over such matters as foreign policy, defense, and much of the budget. Full power remained in the hands of the Viceroy, however, who could dissolve legislatures and rule by decree. The League reluctantly accepted the scheme, though expressing reservations about the weak parliament. The Congress was much better prepared for the provincial elections in 1937, and the League failed to win a majority even of the Muslim seats in any of the provinces where members of that faith held a majority. It did win a majority of the Muslim seats in Delhi, but could not form a government anywhere, though it was part of the ruling coalition in Bengal. The Congress and its allies formed the government even in the North-West Frontier Province (N.W.F.P.), where the League won no seats despite the fact that almost all residents were Muslim.

In the next two years, Jinnah worked to build support among Muslims for the League. He secured the right to speak for the Muslim-led Bengali and Punjabi provincial governments in the central government in New Delhi (“the center”). He worked to expand the League, reducing the cost of membership to two annas (⅛ of a rupee), half of what it cost to join the Congress. He restructured the League along with the lines of the Congress, putting most power in a Working Committee, which he appointed. By December 1939, Liaquat estimated that the League had three million two-anna members.

Read Next: Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Background to independence (Episode 9)

Read Previous: Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Iqbal’s influence on Jinnah (Episode 7)

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Qaiser Rizwan Abbasi

The author is the student of bachelors in business administration. He has a keen passion for politics and current affairs and he loves to share his ideas, opinion, and understanding.

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