Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Foundation Of Muslim League (Continued: Pakistan Movement)

The Foundation Of Muslim League, 1906

The demand for separate electorate which was indeed a singular initiative of Mohsin ul Mulk was conceded. The acceptance of this demand for the Indian Muslims helped him to move a little ahead. He ventured to set up a political organization to safeguard the rights of the Indian Muslims, when political reforms were introduced under the Indian Councils Act of 1892.

In pursuance of this resolve, the Muslim leaders met at Dhaka in December 1906 on the occasion of the annual meeting of Muhammadan Educational Conference. In the meeting that took place at Shahbag (Dhaka) under the presidency of Nawab Vaqar ul Mulk, Sir Salimullah, the Nawab of Dhaka, moved a resolution for the establishing a Muslim organization to be called the All Indian Muslim League. Muhammad Ali Johar, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Maulana Zafar Ali Khan supported the resolution.
The league adopted as its objects:

  1. To promote among the Muslims of India feelings of loyalty to the British Government and to remove any misconceptions that may arise as to the intentions of government with regards to any of its measures.
  2. To protect and advance the political rights and interests of Muslims of India and respectfully to represent their needs and aspirations to government.
  3. to prevent the rise among Muslims of India of any feelings of hostility towards other communities without prejudice to other objects of the League.

The first objective of the Muslim League, viz "to promote among the Muslims of India feelings of loyalty to the British Government" was criticized by the Hindus on the basis that the Muslim League was created "not to safeguard interests by to strengthen the British rule in India". The critics, however, forgot that the Congress professed the same political aim. It should be appreciated that no better objective could be chosen in those circumstances. The Muslim League changed its creed after a few years and emerged as the sword - arm of the Indian Muslims in their political battle. At the birth of the Muslim League a propaganda campaign was launched by the Congress against the League because its leaders did not like the Muslims to organize themselves and threaten the Hindus concept of majority rule.

The origin of the Muslim League can be easily explained. Two factors went into its establishment:

  1. Hindu attitude towards Muslim interests; the Bengal agitation had exposed Hindu feelings beyond any doubt.
  2. To cope with the Minto - Morley Reforms.
The first session of All India Muslim League was held at Karachi, in December 1907 and was presided over by Sir Adamjee Pir Bhai. The constitution was adopted with some modifications in the draft. Sir Aga Khan was appointed the first president of the newly born organization.

On one hand the Hindu majority had alienated the Muslim minority. On the other hand, a representative system of government was soon to be introduced in India. It was not enough to keep away from the Congress. It was also important that a separate Muslim organization should be created to safeguard their interests. After Minto's acceptance of the demand for separate representation it was an act of ordinary common sense to have a political party to fight the elections.

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