Politics of Separatism

Muslim League

Muslim league was a political organisation founded by Aga Khan in 1906. It is popularly known as the All India Muslim League. Its main motive was to protect and safeguard the rights of Muslims which were basically political in nature. It was Muhammad Iqbal who aimed at creating a separate League which only worked in favour of the Muslim population in India.

In 1940, when there was a lot of turmoil between the Hindu and Muslim population, it was then that under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Muslim got more representation. The Muslim population in India then demanded of a separate state despite the opposition of the Indian National Congress. During the World War

 When the Congress was banned, Muslim league still got a lot of support from the British government because they supported the British war effort. The support that they provided gave a lot of strength to the British. In fact, in the British won a majority of the votes in 1946 elections from Muslim Population only.

The same year, the Indian Subcontinent witnessed a division of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan. Muslim league was the major political party which was formed after the division of India into the two dominions. Yet in 1953, as the dissensions grew mire and more, there was a growth in the different political parties.

Yet in the era of 1953-1962 the Muslim league had gone defunct and two separate fractions of political parties emerged by the name of Convention Muslim League which was under the leadership of General Ayub and The Council Muslim League. Although after 1969, when General Ayub ceased to exist, the party fell. By 1970, the other party which was known by the name of Council Muslim League also ceased to exist and was virtually eliminated from the political election scene.

By 1985, there was a state of despair and several restrictions were lifted from the political parties which had formed. A lot of parties came up with the name Pakistan Muslim League. It was assumed that these political parties would create a difference the same way Muslim League had, but it was a disappointment since none of the principles of original Muslim league did not match the principles of those parties which formed after 1970s.

Background

The main motive behind setting up of the Muslim League was a greater and separate representation of the Muslim Society. This ideology was first sown by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who believed that with a separate nation there would be stronger representation of the Muslim Community.

Sir Syed Ahmed unlike the different reformist though in favour of the Muslim Society. He believed that staying loyal to the British sector would help the Muslims get educated and think in scientific temper. In 1886, he also founded the Muhammedan Educational Conference. This organisation worked towards staying away from political agendas and focussing on the upliftment of the whole society.

In 30th December 1906, there was a conference organised by Muhammedan Educational Conference. This took place in Dhaka and was attended by almost 3000 delegates. Earlier it was decided that the Muhammedan Educational Conference wouldn’t entertain Politics. But after this meeting, there was a removal on the ban of politics and a motion was moved to form AIML. This name of All India Muslim League was proposed by Nawab Khawaja Sir Salimullah Bahadur.

Before this incident, there was never a Muslim political party formed. Earlier it was such that the Indian National Congress Party only worked in favour of the Hindus and did not consider working with the Muslims. This idea was of erroneous nature since the party aimed at including all the communities of the country and also giving Muslim leaders their desired representation in the party. When the Muslim community was neglected, the leaders though that it was a sheer injustice to their part. They said that the negligible to no representation also hurt their sentiments and they demanded for a position in the Indian National Congress Party. It was after that that leaders, namely, Khawja Salimullah, Vikar-ul-Mulk, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Mustafa Chowdhury and Khan Bahadur Ghulam demanded for a separate nation which only had a majority of the Muslim population. The league which formed out of this resulted in the formation of Muslim League.

The league which was formed aimed at promoting and securing the rights of the civil citizens which followed Islam. They mainly were loyal to the British government because they intended to achieve more political and civil rights.

The league also came up with various objectives. They were:

1. to imbibe a sense of loyalty towards the British government from the Muslim’s end.

2. safeguard the rights of the Muslims and demand the same from the Muslim Government.

3. To prevent the rise of prejudice against any other communities by the Muslim people.

In 1913, Muhammad Ali Jinnah joined the Muslim League. It was the same time, i.e. in 1913, that the Congress were withdrawing themselves from the rule of the British government and at the same time, the Muslims were getting more loyal to the government. In and around 1930, the Muslims were not really willing to set up their own country and have a separate representation. All they demanded was an equal representation and position in the congress as well India. But in 1913, the seed was sown and they demanded that the Muslims were to get a separate state with their own ruling party. This was a very nice proposition for the British government who intended to divide and rule the Indian territory. They actually intended to segregate the Muslim and Hindu population. The unity persisting between these two communities was very string which somewhere was the reason that in spite of British ruling India, they could not get a control on the dominion fully. To get the result which they desired they started gicing more attention to tye Hindus and outcasted the Muslim population. The Muslims felt neglected and were looked down. Not only the Brtish population, but even Hindu people started to point fingers on their customs and traditions. They were mocked at. This made the Muslims furious enough. On the other hand, the Muslims were not given the equal representation needed in the Indian National Congress after repeated appeals. It was then that on the decisions of all the Muslim leaders, Muslim League was formed.

 So, when the Muslims started demanding for the separate state, the British were really happy and started believing that their conspiracy to divide the Indians worked out.

In 1940, Jinnah addressed in one of his speech that is was practically impossible to leave in a s single nation together. There was a reaction to this too. Many leaders opposed the entire theory of Two-Nation Theory and formed a different association away from the Muslim League.

In 1937, The Muslim League failed to form the government in the provisional elections held as per Government of India Act. Out of 125 seats, 59 were reserved for the Muslims. 25 were won by the Congress and 15 came from the Muslim dominated North West Frontier Province.

Later on, in 1939, when the Congress withdrew itself after British declared India to be a party under the Second World War. When the congress withdrew the leadership, the Muslims were overjoyed since they had a lot of control under themselves. This day came to be celebrated as Deliverance Day by the Muslim Majority.

During this phase also, Jinnah did not lose their hopes with the campaign. In 1940, the campaign went on for the mission seeking division of India. Along the communal lune, the country partitioned in 1947.

The league lost its consistency from 14th August 1947. The party though existed in various forms in Pakistan, Bangladesh and in parts of India.

A segment of population, have their base set up in Kerala, which also functions keeping in mind the objectives of the Muslim league. Hence, it can be concluded, that although the League lost its physical entity, the functions and objectives were still followed by masses across and around Indian Subcontinent.

Aftermaths

After the Muslim league lost its physical entity, the Hindus gained a lot of power. An assembly was formed which went by the name of Hindu Mahasabha. This Assembly mainly was the form undertaken by the leftover remnants of the Indian National Congress after their breakdown in 1939. This assembly mainly aimed at protecting the rights of the Hindu Community after the All India Muslim League was formed in 1906. In fact, back then, there were separate electorates set up for both Hindus and Muslims, which was a popular strategy of the Minto Morley Reform. It was after the setting up of separate electorates that the Hindus turned conscious of their rights and started fearing of their position and hold in the society.

There was an active initiative taken by the people to build up communalism. The communal hatred between the two parties were already sown in the Indian minds. They began to hate the different communities, that is, Hindus began hating Muslims and vice versa. Different organisations started to form and as a result, the differences which existed between the two parties started showing up more prominently. As days passed by, this hatred led to a far fledged violence where thousands lost their life and property. The British took the full advantage of the scenario by oppressing them with one or the other decision. There was a constant tension between the two communities and often there was a demonstration resulting in strikes and rampage from one community to other. Policy of non-violence was not at all taken into consideration and not only affected the masses but also the young ones, the children, women and aged people of the society.

When the division took place in 14th August 1947, Pakistan was formed which had a majority of the Muslim population. They were given their own independence. A long brotherhood which all the Indians hence bifurcated into Hindus and Muslims, the differences which are still seen in today’s dates.

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