History, Political

Nehru Report

Background:-

  • When Simon commission was opposed by Indians, British challenged the Indian leaders to draft a constitution for India. Indians accepted this by forming a committee appointed with the task of drafting a constitution headed by Motilal Nehru. The draft constitution prepared by the committee was called the Nehru Committee Report or Nehru Report.

Nehru report :-

  • The main points of the Nehru report were as follows:
    • India would be given Dominion status. This means independence within the British Commonwealth.
    • India will be a federation which shall have a bicameral legislature at the centre and Ministry would be responsible to the legislature.
    • Governor General of India would be the constitutional head of India and will have the same powers as that of British Crown.
    • There will be no separate electorate.
    • The draft report also defined the citizenship and fundamental rights.
    • Equal rights for men and women as citizens.
    • No state religion.
    • The provinces would be created along linguistic lines.

How it cemented the gulf between Congress and Muslim league :-

  • The Motilal Nehru Committee Report, published in 1928 recommended reservation of seats for Muslims only in provinces where they were in a minority.
  • The report proposed to abolish separate electorates, to discard reservation of seats for Muslim majorities in the Punjab and Bengal and to reject the principle of weightage for Muslim minorities. This was a reversal of the Lucknow Pact. 
  • It asked for a similar reservation for Hindus in North western frontier province. The provinces of Sindh and Karnataka shall be separate any further reorganization of proposed report was good but not practical.The joint and mixed concept was practically unacceptable for the Muslim league.
  • With few exceptions League leaders rejected the Nehru proposals.
  • Jinnah made three amendments to the report:
    • 1/3rd representation of Muslims in the Central Legislature.
    • Reservation to Muslims in Punjab and Bengal in proportion to their populations until adult suffrage was established.
    • Residual powers to be vested with the provinces and not the centre.
    • But these were not accepted by Congress
  • In reaction Mohammad Ali Jinnahdrafted his Fourteen Points in 1929 which became the core demands the Muslim community put forward as the price of their participating in an independent united India.
  • A. Jinnah who supported Gandhian Ideology decided to Join Mohd. Shafi’s Faction in Muslim League

Conclusion:-

  • Even though it could not entirely satisfy the Muslim factions it became the first major attempt by Indians to draft a constitution for themselves.

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