Rise of Separatist Trends and Origin of Muslim League

The seeds of Muslim communalism were sown by Syed Ahmed Khan, who remained loyal to the British in 1857 mutiny. He was suspicious of the Indian National Movement under Congress and called the Muslims to remain loyal to the British Raj.

He was of the belief that the Muslim share in administrative posts and in various professions could be increased if Muslims are imparted modern education. For this purpose he needed protection of the British and so he projected the British loyalty as safeguards to the interests of the Indian Muslims.

However, he did not create a political organization to counter the Indian National Congress and suggested the Indian Muslims to remain passive, politically.

It was Badruddin Tayyab Ji , third President of Congress, who brought many prominent Muslims of Bombay and Bengal under the banner of Congress. These leaders supported the idea of Swadeshi and Boycott. But the movement was later colored in Hindu color and British and Pro-British started using anti-congress propaganda to poison the minds of the Muslims.

  • In 1906, the All-India Muslim Leaguewas founded at Dhaka by a lobby of big Zamindars, ex-bureaucrats, and upper class Muslims.
  • Aga Khan IIIwas its first Honorary President.
  • This party supported the partition of Bengal, because Muslims in East Bengal were in majority.
  • Its Headquarters was later located at Lucknow.
  • The All-India Muslim League raised the slogan of separate Muslim interests, and demanded special protection for the Muslims in government services.
  • Under Lord Minto, a branch of Muslim League was established at London by Amir Ali.

Thus by 1910, this organization started convincing Muslim educated people to refrain from joining congress. They were against the congress and Hindus but not against the British. The provided a tool to the British to fight with the rising wave of Nationalism in India.

When the annulment of partition of Bengal in 1911 was announced, the Muslim lobby got a rude shock. The declaration of Delhi as capital of British India was also a shock to them. This disorientation was further added by British refusal to help Ottoman Empire in the Italian and Balkan War (1912).

The ruler of Turkey was the Caliph of all Muslims and all Muslim shrines were within the Ottoman Empire. Thus, by 1912-13, the Muslims did not have a firm ground neither in support of British nor in Congress. A body of young Muslims arose during that time which somewhat continued its militia activities parallel to the Congress. It was in 1913 when Mohammad Ali Jinnah joined the All India Muslim League and changed the course of History.

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  • vishal negi

    “When the partition of Bengal in 1911 was announced, the Muslim lobby got a rude shock.” Its not ‘partition announced’ its ‘annulment of the partition’. Bec partition of bengal was cancelled thats why Muslim lobby was shocked