1916 -1940

1919 - Khilafat Movement

After World War I, the Ottoman Empire faced dismemberment. Under the leadership of Ali Brothers, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, the Muslims of South Asia launched historic Khilafat Movement to try and save it. Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi linked the issue of Swaraj with the Khilafat issue to associate Hindus with the movement. The ensuing movement was first countrywide popular movement.
The general impression among Muslims of India was that the western powers were waging a war against Islam throughout the world in order to rob it of all its power and influence. The Ottoman Empire was the only Muslim power that had maintained a semblance of authority and Muslims of India wanted to save Islamic political power from extinction.

1927 - Simon Commission

The British Government announced constitution of a commission under the supervision of Sir John Simon in November 1927. The commission having no Indian members was sent to investigate India's constitutional problems and make recommendations to the Government on future constitution of India. Congress boycotted the Commission and there was a clear split in Muslim League over this issue.

1928 - Nehru Report

After the failure of Simon Commission, there was no alternative for British Government but to ask the local people to frame a constitution for themselves. They knew that Congress and Muslim League were the two main parties and that they both had serious difference of opinions. When All Parties Conference met for the third time in Bombay on May 19, 1928, there was hardly any prospect of an agreed constitution. It was then decided that a small committee should be appointed to work out the details of the constitution. Motilal Nehru headed this committee.
The committee worked for three months at Allahabad and its memorandum was called the "Nehru Report". The chairman joined hands with Hindu Mahasabha and unceremoniously quashed recent Congress acceptance of the Delhi Proposals. The Nehru Report recommended that a Declaration of Rights should be inserted in the constitution assuring the fullest liberty of conscience and religion.
The recommendations of Nehru Report went against the interests of the Muslim community. It was an attempt to serve Hindu predominance over Muslims. The Nehru Committee's greatest blow was the rejection of separate electorates. If the report had taken into account the Delhi Proposals, the Muslims might have accepted it. But the Nehru Committee did not consider the Delhi Proposals at all while formulating their report.
The Muslims were asking for one third representation in the center while Nehru Committee gave them only one fourth representation. It is true that two demands of Muslims were considered in Nehru Report but both of them were incomplete. It was said that Sindh should be separated from Bombay but the condition of self-economy was also put forward. It demanded constitutional reforms in N.W.F.P, but Balochistan was overlooked in the report.

1929 - Fourteen Points

A positive aspect of Nehru Report was that it resulted in the unity of divided Muslim groups. In a meeting of the council of All India Muslim League on March 28, 1929 members of both the Shafi League and Jinnah League participated. Quaid-e-Azam termed Nehru Report as a Hindu document, but considered simply rejecting the report as insufficient. He decided to give an alternative Muslim agenda. It was in this meeting that Quaid-e-Azam presented his famous "Fourteen Points". The council of All India Muslim League accepted fourteen points of Quaid. A resolution was passed according to which no scheme for the future constitution of Government of India would be acceptable to Muslims unless and until it included the demands of Quaid presented in the fourteen points.

1930 - Allahabad Muslim League Annual Conference

Allama Muhammad Iqbal gave the most lucid explanation of the inner feelings of Muslim community in his address to All India Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930. Allama Muhammad Iqbal was a poet, philosopher and thinker who had gained countrywide fame and recognition by 1930. In his address, Allama Iqbal explained that Islam was the major formative factor in the life history of Indian Muslims. It furnished those basic emotions and loyalties, which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups and finally transform them into a well-defined people, possessing a moral consciousness of their own.

1930 to 1933 - Round Table Conferences

The first session of the conference opened in London on November 12, 1930. All parties were present except for Congress, whose leaders were in jail due to Civil Disobedience Movement. Congress leaders stated that they would have nothing to do with further constitutional discussion unless Nehru Report was enforced in its entirety as the constitution of India.
The Muslim-Hindu differences overcast the conference as Hindus were pushing for a powerful central government while Muslims stood for a loose federation of completely autonomous provinces. The Muslims demanded maintenance of weightage and separate electorates, Hindus their abolition. The Muslims claimed statutory majority in Punjab and Bengal, while Hindus resisted their imposition. In Punjab, the situation was complicated by inflated Sikh claims.
The conference broke up on January 19, 1931 and what emerged from it was a general agreement to write safeguards for minorities into constitution and a vague desire to devise a federal system for the country.

Gandhi - Irwin Pact

After the conclusion of the First Round Table Conference, British Government realized that cooperation of the Indian National Congress was necessary for further advancement in making of Indian constitution. Thus, Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, extended an invitation to Gandhi for talks. Gandhi agreed to end the Civil Disobedience Movement without laying down any preconditions.
The agreement between Gandhi and Irwin was signed on March 5, 1931. Following are the salient points of this agreement:
  • The Congress would discontinue the Civil Disobedience Movement
  • The Congress would participate in the Round Table Conference
  • The Government would withdraw all ordinances issued to curb the Congress
  • The Government would withdraw all prosecutions relating to offenses not involving ....violence
  • The Government would release all persons undergoing sentences of imprisonment for their activities in the civil disobedience movement. The second session of the conference opened in London on September 7, 1931. The main task of the conference was done through two committees on federal structure and minorities. Gandhi was a member of both but he adopted a very unreasonable attitude. He claimed that he represented all India and dismissed all other Indian delegates as non-representative because they did not belong to Congress.
The communal problem represented the most difficult issue for the delegates. Gandhi again tabled Congress scheme for a settlement, a mere reproduction of Nehru Report, but all the minorities rejected it. On the concluding day, British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald appealed to Indian leaders to reach a communal settlement. Failing to do so, he said, would force the British Government would take a unilateral decision.
Quaid-e-Azam did not participate in the session of the Second Round Table Conference as he had decided to keep himself aloof from Indian politics and to practice as a professional lawyer in England.
On his return to India, Gandhi once again started Civil Disobedience Movement and was duly arrested. The third session began on November 17, 1932. It was short and unimportant. Congress was once again absent, so was Labor opposition in the British Parliament. Reports of the various committees were scrutinized. The conference ended on December 25, 1932.
The recommendations of the Round Table Conferences were embodied in a White Paper. It was published in March 1933 and debated in parliament directly afterwards, analyzed by the Joint Select Committee and after the final reading and loyal assent, the bill reached the Statute Book on July 24, 1935.

1938 - Death of Allama Iqbal

Allama Iqbal died in 1938 and was buried in front of Badshahi Mosque Lahore.

1939 - Day of Deliverance

Muslim League celebrated Day of Deliverance (Yum-i-Nijat) on December 22, 1939.

1940 - Pakistan Resolution

The twenty seventh session of All India Muslim League was held at Lahore under presidentship of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The historic "Lahore Resolution, also known as "Pakistan Resolution", was presented by Moulvi Abul Kasim Fazlul Haq, Premier of Bengal. The resolution demanded that Muslim majority areas as in north-western and eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units should be autonomous and sovereign.