Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pakistan, Background of the formation of Muslim League

Background of the formation of Muslim League:Islamic rule was established across northern India between the 7th and 14th  centuries.The Muslim Mughol Empire ruled most of India from Delhi from the early 16th century until its power was broken by the British in the 19th century. This left a dis-empowered and discontented  Muslim Minority, afraid of being swamped by the Hindu majority. Muslims represented about 23 % of the population of British India, and constituted the majority of the population of Baluchistan, East Bengal, Kashmir valley, North West Frontier Province, Punjab region and the Sind region of the Bombay Presidency.
A turning point came in 1900 when the British administration in the largest Indian State, the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), acceded to Hindu demands and made HINDI ,written in Devanagari script, the official language. This seemed to aggravate Muslim fears that the Hindu majority would seek to suppress Muslim Culture and religion in an independent India. A British official, Sir Percival Griffiths , wrote of " the Muslim belief that their interest must be regarded as completely separate from those of the Hindus, and that no fusion of the two communities was possible."
In the late 19th century an Indian nationalist movement developed, with the Indian National Congress being founded in 1885.Although the Congress made efforts to enlist the Muslim community in its struggle for Indian Independence , most of the Muslims remained reluctant to join the party, though some Muslims were active in the Congress, the Majority of the Muslim Leaders did not trust the Hindu majority.
In the first meeting of the of the League, held on 30 Dec. 1906 at Shahbagh, Dhaka, presided over by Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, attended by 3,000 delegates, it was declared that
   "The Mussalmans (Muslims) are only a fifth in number as compared with the total population of the country, and it is manifest that if at any remote period the British Govt. ceases to exist in India, then the rule of India would pass into the hands of that community which is nearly four times as long as ourselves ....our life, our property, our honour, our faith will all be in great danger , when even now that a powerful British administration is protecting its subjects, we the Musalmans have to face most serious difficulties in safe-guarding our interests from grasping hands of our neighbors.