Formation of the Muslim League
The success of the Muslim deputation motivated the Muslims to set up their own separate organization. Nawab Salimullah of Dacca took the initiative when eminent Muslim personalities assembled at Dacca in 1906. The proposal to form a separate political organization for Muslims was accepted and an ‘All India Muslim League’ was established on 30 December 1906 under the Presidentship of Nawab Salimullah. Agha khan was elected as the permanent president of the Muslim League. Following events are responsible for to formation of the Muslim League.
The Hindi Urdu Controversy
- In the United Provinces, all petitions to the offices were filed and submitted in Urdu which was the court language.
- In 1900, the government instructed that all petitions were to be submitted in Hindi and the court summons and announcements would be made both in Hindi and Urdu. This move was resented by the Muslims.
Foundation of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental Association in 1893
- The British felt threatened by the growing popularity of the Congress. To counter the effects of the Congress, the British encouraged the formation of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental Defence Association in 1893.
- The principal aim of the British in setting this organization was to prevent the participation of Muslims in the Congress and to promote loyalty among the Muslims.
- The Aligarh Movement instilled a sense of loyalty among the Muslims towards the British. The movement was carried out by Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk after the death of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan.
- A great deal of resentment was expressed by the members of the Aligarh Movement when Hindi and Urdu were granted the same status in government courts. The Muslims began to feel the need to organize themselves.
- Also Read Non-Aligned Movement
Partition of Bengal
The partition of Bengal into East Bengal (Muslim majority region) and West Bengal (Hindu majority region) was an attempt by the British to create a rift between the two communities. The British were supported by the Muslims as they promised that the New Province of East Bengal would be dominated by the Muslims.
Muslim Deputation to Viceroy Minto
A Muslim deputation led by Agha Khan met the Viceroy on 1 October 1906 and presented their demands which included the following:
- Representation of Muslims in elected bodies should be made on the basis of their political importance and not on numerical strength.
- Separate electorate constituencies for the Muslims should be set up in the Provincial Council and the Imperial Legislative Assemblies.
- While nominating the members of the Viceroy’s Council, preference should be given to the Muslims.
- Seats for the Muslims should be preserved in the State Services.
- The state should grant more aid to new Muslim universities.
- Also Read The First War of Independence, 1857