To put some context to the “Presidential address by Mohammad Ali Jinnah to the Muslim League Lucknow, December 1916” let me begin by giving you a brief summary of the conditions that faced the Muslims pre-partition. The Muslims of the subcontinent were divided by ethnic background, language and sect; to the extent that there was even no common Muslim language in India and Muslims shared the main regional languages. Many Muslims also shared economic interests with their Hindu counterparts. However, when the British introduced elected councils and assemblies in the twentieth century, a division of political priorities and interests emerged between the Muslims who lived in Punjab and Bengal, where they formed a majority of the population, and those who inhabited areas such as the U.P , where they were outnumbered by the Hindus. In these circumstances Jinnah's uniting the Muslims behind the demand for Pakistan in the 1940s was an outstanding achievement. He began his career as a respected leader of the Indian National Congress and ended it as its most implacable opponent. Although he was not a devout Muslim, he urged for the creation of Pakistan in the name of Islam. Jinnah’s first political appearance was at the 1906 Calcutta session of the Congress; There he established links with several Congress leaders and was soon known as the one of the leading Muslims figures. The Muslim league was founded in 1906 in order to protect Muslims political .However Its outlook was confined to those of well read Muslim elite and was loyal to the British .However by April 1913 Jinnah agreed to lead the Muslim League in the hope of bringing its views in line with the Congress. He played a vital role in the negotiations which followed. They resulted in the famous Lucknow Pact of 1916, the only occasion in modern lndian history in which the Muslim League and the Congress came to an agreement about the political future of India. The Pact granted the Muslims many of...
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