Muslim League,The All-India Muslim League (popularized as Muslim League) political Party of India and Pakistan, established during the early years of the 20th century in the British Indian Empire. a political party founded in December 1906 in Dacca as the All-India Muslim League by Aga Khan III. Its original purpose was to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in India. Its strong advocacy for the establishment of a separate Muslim-majority nation-state, Pakistan, successfully led to the partition of British India in 1947 by the British Empire.An early leader in the League, Muhammad Iqbal , was one of the first to propose (1930) the creation of a separate Muslim India.Initially Aga Khan and the final stage, led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, played a key role in creating popular support for Muslim nationalism and finally in the form of Pakistan in 1947. The background of the establishment of the Muslim League in Dhaka on 30 December 1906 can be traced back to the establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885. Western-educated Hindu-dominated class Congress was established with the aim of promoting power with the government and motivating the government to establish a representative government in India. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the highest respected leader of the Muslim community, warned the Indian Muslims not to join Congress in the interest of the Muslim community. He started his movement by establishing a college in Aligarh. Sir Syed Ahmad and other Muslim leaders like him also believed that as a backward caste, Muslims could get more privileges through loyalty rather than oppose the British. To popularize English education among the Muslim population, he instructed his followers to employ all the powers. This perception and subsequent activation has been known as ‘Aligarh movement’
Following this thought, Nawab Abdul Latif, Syed Amir Ali and other respected Muslims established cultural organizations for the promotion of English education among the Muslims. Thus Mohammedan Literary Society (1863), Central Mohammedan Association (1877), the United Indian Patriotic Association (1888) and many other local Anjuman people were formed. These were more active in social renaissance than politics.
Indian Muslim leaders met informally about the educational problems of the Muslim community and once in a year informally organized to promote loyalty to the government. A meeting (All India Muslim Education Conference) was held in Dhaka in 1906 in the context of protests against the partition of Bengal (1905) and in the context of Swadeshi Movement sponsored by the Congress. Earlier, a delegation of Muslim leaders met Governor General Lord Minto in Simla to highlight the special problems of the Muslim community. Nawab Khwaja Salimullah of Dhaka, the supporters of the partition of Bengal, felt the necessity of forming a political party to face anti-partition demonstrations. In order to preserve the interest of Indian Muslims, he proposed to form a political platform in this meeting. The president of the meeting supported Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk’s proposal and thus created the All India Muslim League.
The objectives of the All India Muslim League were to preserve the interests of the Muslims, to increase the loyalty of the Muslims to the British government, and to develop the intimate relationships of Muslims with other Indian communities, especially Hindus. The immediate aim of nawab salimullah’s move for a Muslim political organization was to create unified resistance of the Muslims of the subcontinent against the strong protests of Hindus for the partition of Bengal.
Indian nationalist newspapers rejected the Muslim League as a weak organization. These newspapers spread the word that the Muslim League will be abolished soon. It is true that at the beginning there was lack of dynamic mobility as a political organization; Because it was founded by people who advised the Muslims of the subcontinent to stay away from politics in the late nineteenth century. After the formation of December 1906, the Muslim League was inactive for almost a year. But within a few years the Muslims from the middle class community and the young generation of radical thought came forward in the Muslim League politics. They also oppose the British colonial rulers, and also demanded the establishment of their own controlled government in India.
In the 1910s, the Muslim League adopted a political ideology on the basis of Indian National Congress. After the Lucknow Pact (1916) and Khelafat and Non-Cooperation Movement, the Muslim League became inert and stagnant when Hindu-Muslim relations improved. For a few years since 1920, the Khilafat organization has carried out all the activities of the Muslim community and virtually there was almost nothing to do at the time of the Muslim League.
Although established as a political organization, he did not create any significant political program in Muslim League from the loyalty structure to the British government. The organization was not politically meaningful until Mohammad Ali Jinnah took leadership in 1935. Jinnah returned to India from London after the request of many Muslim leaders and took the position of president of Muslim League. In the year 1935, in view of the upcoming elections under the Government of India Act, Jinnah reconstitched central and provincial branches of the Muslim League and gave new structures. New committees are asked to prepare for public relations and upcoming election politics.
In the elections of 1937, the Muslim League achieved astonishing success in Bengal. The League won 104 seats in 482 seats reserved for Muslims in nine provinces. More than a third of the seats received (36) were acquired only in Bangla. The Muslim League emerged as the second largest party after the Congress in the legislative assembly. It is believed that the victory of the league in Bengal was the result of the joint support of the Muslim educated Muslim community and the Muslim landowner community. It is to be noted that the scholars were interested in staying away from the activities of the Muslim League.
In 1937 Bengal Chief Minister AK Fazlul Huq joined the Muslim League, and as a result his cabinet was virtually turned into a Muslim League cabinet. Using the wide popularity of Huq, Bengal was turned into a Muslim League fort. As leader of the Muslims of Bengal, Fazlul Huq raised a proposal from the Muslim League platform, demanding an independent homestead for the Muslims of the subcontinent. The Lahore Resolution of 1940 on the Muslim public opinion of Bengal had tremendous effect.
When Fazlul Huq resigned on the advice of the governor John Herbat, Khwaja Nazimuddin formed the cabinet. Between 1943 and 1946, the Muslim League became a proper national organization. The Muslim League under the leadership of Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardy and Abul Hashim became so popular that in the elections of 1946, the party secured 110 seats out of the 117 seats reserved for the Muslims of Bengal. As a result, it was proved that the Muslim League was the sole organization of the Muslim community of Bengal. Until then, the success of the League was encouraging in the other provinces of India, except for the only North-West Frontier Province under Congress exposure. In the elections of 1946, the League’s successor turned Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of success, the undisputed leader of Indian Muslims. All discussions and agreements relating to power transfer by British were necessary to accept Jinnah’s views on matters related to the Muslim community. Six years after the Lahore Resolution, HS Suhrawardy raises the proposal of a ‘Muslim’ state in the Delhi Convention of Muslim members at the law meeting. When the independence was achieved on 14 August 1947, the Muslim League became almost all the organizations of Indian Muslims.
Formation of Muslim League and its Objectives
- To promote loyalty of Indian Muslims towards the British government.
- To protect the political and other rights of the Indian Muslims and to place their needs and aspirations before the Government.
- To overcome on the feeling of hostility among Muslims towards other communities.
Factor promoting the Muslim league
- British Plan- Dividing Indian on communal lines and adhered separatist attitude in Indian politics. For example- Separate electorate, Played caste politics between non- Brahmins and Brahmins.
- Lacks of Education- Muslims were isolated from western and technical education.
- Loss Sovereignty by Muslims- 1857 revolt makes British to think that Muslims are dangerous for their colonial policy. As they were established their rule after dethroning the Mughal rule.
- Expression of Religious Colour–Most of the historians and radical nationalists glorified India’s one side of our composite culture. They praises were biased because Shivaji, Rana Pratap etc were paraises but they remained silent on Akbar, Sher Shah Suri, Allauddin Khalji, Tipu Sultan etc.
- Economic backwardness of India- Lack of Industrialisation causes acute unemployment and British attitude towards cottage industry was pathetic.
Impact on the future courses of Subcontinent
Bengal Provincial Muslim League With the partition of 1905, two branches of Muslim League were formed separately in the provinces of Eastern Bengal and Assam and West Bengal. In order to facilitate the formation of East Bengal and Assam Muslim League, a temporary committee was formed in early July 1908 by Chowdhury Kazemuddin Ahmed Siddiqui, president and Nawab Salimullah. Organizational structure of East Bengal and Assam Muslim League was formed on 17 March 1911 at a meeting held in Ahsan Manzil, by the president and editor of Nawab Salimullah and Khan Bahadur Nawab Ali Chaudhary respectively. Eleven of the prominent Muslims of East Bengal were elected vice-president and Khalilur Rahman and Maulvi Amiruddin Ahmed were elected joint collectors.
In the face of extreme opposition of Congress, the leaders of East Bengal and Assam Muslim League have been able to keep the newly created East Bengal and Assam Province
In order to preserve the newly created East Bengal and Assam Province in the face of extreme opposition of Congress, the leaders of East Bengal and Assam Muslim League worked hard to get the support of the All India Muslim League. They tried to transform some of the district and sub-division of Anjuman into a Muslim League branch and by sending memorandums and delegation, the British authorities asked for the development of separate electoral areas and Muslim education.
The Calcutta-based West Bengal Muslim League was formed on 21 January 1909 by President Jalaluddin Mirza and Syed Shamsul Huda as its editor. Non-Bengali Muslims were included among its officials as any educated British Indian Muslim from twenty years of age or older could be a member of the West Bengal Muslim League. The leaders of the West Bengal Muslim League often used to send delegations to the government and appealed to the individual electorate, appointment of Muslims in the government executive council and extended facilities for Muslim education. But they did not have much attention to adjusting the partition of Bengal or organizing the league outside of Kolkata.
After the partition of Bengal, on 2 March 1912, the East Bengal and the Assam Muslim League and the West Bengal Muslim League were unified and became the provincial branch of the All India Muslim League, known as the Bengal Provincial Muslim League. Nawab Salimullah President and Nawab Ali Chowdhury and Zahid Suhrawardy were elected as editors of the two. Barrister Abdur Rasul was the treasurer and Abul Kashem was elected joint secretary. After the integration of East Bengal and the Assam Muslim League and the West Bengal Muslim League in the Bengal Provincial Muslim League, the organization’s councils are often held in a separate party office.
Since November 1943, several new and effective steps were taken to reform the Bengal Provincial Muslim League led by party’s new general secretary Abul Hashim. By 1946, the Bengal Provincial Muslim League was able to make it a mass group, and in 97 seats of Muslim seats in the elections of 1946, it was won.
Muslim League leaders of Bengal took the leading role in raising important proposals related to determining the fate of Indian Muslims. They were looking forward to implementing the Lahore Resolution in hopes of creating two Muslim states in the north-west and northeast regions of the subcontinent. The Bengal Provincial Muslim League leader Abul Hashim considered the proposal of ‘a Muslim country’ adopted in the Convention of Muslim Councils in New Delhi as a betrayal of the interests of Muslims in the northeast region of India.
In the two years of independence, the League began to lose popular support. In 1949, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and other leading Muslim League leaders formed Awami Muslim League in Dhaka. Continuous labor strikes, sectarian riots, deadly deterioration of law and order situation, peasant revolt in some districts, police rebellion, price rise of essential commodities, language problems, and many other problems of the new state have destroyed the hopes and aspirations of the people. They became hopeful of alternate leadership and the hopes of the Awami Muslim League and AK Fazlul Huq of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani were fulfilled immediately. These groups, together with several small groups, formed a election fund named United Front, which won 223 seats in the elections held in March 1954. The Muslim League got only 8 seats.
This type of defeat of the ruling party is not very unusual. But what was unusual was that the Muslim League was never able to raise its head in East Pakistan even though it was a people-oriented and oldest party. Sometimes the League proved its existence by winning four or four seats, but the existence of this party was most understood when both the countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh were issued martial law in the country.
With the partition of British Indian Empire, the Muslim League lost all influence in the United Provinces and Indian states with significant Muslim population. In 1948, the Indian Muslim League was formed as breakaway faction of the Muslim League by those members who did not migrate to Pakistan. During its successive periods, the Indian Muslim League remained a part of the Kerala government; nonetheless, the Indian Muslim League disintegrated after the general elections of 1980. Many of its leaders later joined Congress and the BJP. The party has still has a stronghold in northern Kerala and is the second largest party within the present ruling coalition in the state.
After the partition of British Indian Empire, the Muslim League played a major role in giving the birth of modern conservatism and the introduction of the democratic process in the country.
From 1947–51, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan spearheaded the Muslim League’s government until 1955 when Awami League came to power with Huseyn Suhrawardy becoming the Prime Minister. After Jinnah and Ali Khan, Nazimuddin struggled to lead the party, primarily due to lack of its social programmes. During this time, the Republican Party, led by Iskander Mirza, had taken over the credibility and prestige of Muslim League in all over the country. In 1958, the Muslim League nearly lost its influence when General Ayub Khan, army chief at that time, imposed martial law to with the support of Republican President Iskander Mirza against Prime Minister Feroz Khan Noon, a leader of Muslim League.
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