Impact of the Muslim League on the Indian National Movement

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. In this article, you will learn about the Impact of the Muslim League on the Indian National Movement.

Aims and Objectives of the Muslim League

  • To promote the feeling of loyalty towards the British among the Muslims of India.
  • To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Muslims and to represent their needs and aspirations to the government.
  • To prevent the rise of the feeling of hostilities between the Muslims of India and other communities.

Impact of the Muslim League on National Movement

  • The British welcomed the formation of the Muslim League as they felt that it will counter the effects of the Congress. Agha Khan, the founder member of the Muslim League.
  • The Muslim League did not participate in the national movement in the beginning. It sought greater representation of the Muslims in all services. Its policies were much more directed against Congress than the British.
  • The government accepted the demands of separate electorates of the League for the Muslims in the Morley Minto reforms of 1909.
  • There was a change in the attitude of the Muslims from 1910 onwards. It became friendlier towards Congress. 
  • When the British fought against Ottoman Turkey, the Indian Muslims launched a Khilafat Movement against the British. The Lucknow Pact was signed between Congress and the League in 1916.
  • The communal policies of the League however continued. The League raised demands for the creation of a separate state of Pakistan in 1930. In 1940, Jinnah presented his two-nation theory in which he laid down that Congress and the League were two different nations.

Why did the Muslim League become friendlier towards Congress?

  • The hostility of the British against Turkey in the Turko–Italian Wars in 1911–12 and the Balkan wars in 1912–13 alienated the Muslims from the British.
  • The annulment of the Partition of Bengal was seen as hurting the economic interests of the Muslims.
  • The younger generation of Muslims disliked the loyalty of the Muslims toward the British.
  • Some young Muslims were inspired by Muslim studies at the Deoband School and were eager to participate in the national movement. Prominent Muslims among them were Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Hakim Ajmal khan and Habibur Rahman.

On the demands of the Muslim League and the communal unrest created by it, British India was partitioned into India and Pakistan in 1947.

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