In the previous post, we have read about the Surat Split of 1907. The Moderates and Extremists got splited due to the ideological differences. Britishers were successful in applying their formula of divide and rule in the case of Indian National Congress.
Now, they were having their evil eye on the Hindu-Muslim unity during Partition of Bengal. So, they also played their game of divide and rule in this case. In 1906, Muslim League came into existence. Here, in this post, we shall read the causes of its birth and impact of its birth.
Birth of Muslim League
“ism” means philosophy following by masses. So, all “ism” like Nationalism, Socialism, Communalism etc are modern concepts. According to communalism, the interest of person depends upon his race or religion. But somehow this is not true. India is the best example of this because,
Economic integration of different communities in India led to social integration in India. But the story of communalism in India started after 1857. Because after the 1857 revolt, the government adopted the policy of appeasement towards Muslims.
Britishers created a pseudo fear among the Muslims that Hindus being a majority in India exploiting the minorities Muslims. And it was very sad, that our brothers since a long time became the victim of the British trap. India was a tolerant nation, is the tolerant nation and will always be a tolerant nation.
This is the beauty of India, just because of this, from the ancient period to till now we have survived all the invasions and all the evil incidents.
Fear Among Muslims?? or Policy of Appeasement of Britishers??
In 1870, a book “Indian Musalman”, written by W.W. Hunter published. This book reflected the poor condition of Muslims in India. So, in this background, Britishers gave fear of Hindu Dominancy over India after the end of British Rule.
Therefore, Britishers appeased Muslims on the ground that if Muslims side with Britishers, they would be given a good share in government. So, this proposal, given by Britishers attracted the Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan. He was unhappy because of the bad condition of Muslims in India.
So, in 1875, with the British assistance, Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan established Anglo-Mohemmedan Oriental College, Aligarh (Aligarh Muslim University in present). The objective of the college was to provide modern education to the Muslim community.
As Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan sided with the government, Hindu community got irritated. This was the beginning of the rift between Hindus and Muslims. This rift got momentum with the birth of Congress in 1885.
Phase-II towards Muslim League
With the birth of Congress in 1885, it seems government asked Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan to oppose Indian National Congress on every front. So, this led to the birth of United Patriotic Association, 1887 by Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan and Raja Shiv Prasad of Benaras. The objective of this organisation was to oppose Congress.
So, in this way, Sayyid Ahmed Khan appeared as a supporter of the British government. Therefore, this saw the beginning of the direct clash between Hindus and Muslims.The first Hindu-Muslim communal riot took place in Kanpur. So, when Lord Curzon arrived in India, communalism had already got the foundation in India.
Partition of Bengal
Lord Curzon gave promotion to communalism through the partition of Bengal in which he took the advantage of social structure of Bengal. In spite of the appeal of Lord Curzon, Muslims were present in Swadeshi Movement.
So, in this situation, Lord Curzon took the help of Nawab Salimullah of Dacca, who with the help of Muslim Maulana’s stopped Muslims from participating in Swadeshi Movement. This gave birth to communal riots in Bengal.
Communal riots led to Shimla Delegation when a Muslim group under the leadership of Aga Khan went to meet viceroy Minto in Shimla. Here, they demanded protection and promotion from the government. So, it seems that Minto gave them the proposal to form a Constitutional body and then make the demand.
So, this led to the birth of Muslim League in 1906. With the Surat split and formation of Muslim League. The British government was successful in weakening nationalism in India. So, after this, they came out with the policy of a carrot and a stick to strengthen their position in India.
After the establishment of Muslim League in 1906, Britishers played their other trump card to divide India on the communal basis. It was their India Council Act of 1909, commonly known as Morley-Minto Reforms, 1909.