Amidst all the confusion over war and Congress’ dilemma of joining the war, Muslim League passed a resolution in its 1940 session declaring that ‘Muslims are not a minority, but a separate nation’. This gave rise to ‘Two nation Theory’. It called for the creation of ‘independent states’ for Muslims in British India. The constituent units of these states were to be autonomous and sovereign (The name ‘Pakistan’ had been suggested in 1933 by a Cambridge scholar Rehmat Ali, but was not formally announced in this resolution).
On March 23, A.K. Fazul Haq, the Chief Minister of Bengal, moved the historical Lahore Resolution. The Resolution consisted of five paragraphs and each paragraph was only one sentence long. Although clumsily worded, it delivered a clear message.
It further records its emphatic view that while the declaration dated the 18th of October, 1939, made by the Viceroy on behalf of His Majesty’s Government is reassuring in so far as it declares that the policy and plan on which the Government of India Act, 1935 is based will be reconsidered in consultation with the various parties, interests and communities in India, Muslim India will not be satisfied unless the whole constitutional plan is reconsidered de novo and that no revised plan would be acceptable to the Muslims unless it is framed with their approval and consent.
Resolved that it is the considered view of this session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principle, namely, that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority, as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India, should be grouped to constitute ‘Independent States’ in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.