The partition of Bengal and the formation of the Muslim League were two important events that had an impact on the national struggle for independence. In this context, explain the following:
Any three factors relating to the formation of the Muslim League.
The reasons for the formation of the Muslim League were many. In this context, explain:
Any three factors that led to the formation of the League in India.
The following three factors were responsible for the formation of the Muslim League:
Loss of Sovereignty by Mughal Rulers: The British established their absolute rule over the Indian peninsula when they dethroned the Mughal rulers. Because the Mughal throne had a symbolic importance and emotional value for the common Muslims in India, it was seen as an attack on the Muslim identity itself. As a result, Muslims became bitter critics of British rule and vigorously participated in the 1857 rebellion. The British in response persecuted the Muslims after quelling the
rebellion. However, after 1870, there was a sea change in their attitude as there was
a realisation that dividing the Hindus and Muslims was necessary to quell the rising tide of nationalism. As a result, the colonial government adopted a policy of appeasement towards the Muslims and encouraged them to form their own political associations.
British Policy of Divide and Rule: To maintain their hold over India, the British government began to follow their infamous policy of ‘Divide and Rule’. In 1871, the government adopted a resolution which made Urdu the medium of instruction for Muslims in primary and secondary schools and increased the government aid to Muslim education institutions. Muslim rulers were portrayed as plunderers and
Hindu rulers as cruel to their Muslim subjects. The partition of Bengal was also publicised as a move in the interest of Muslims. Caste and religion fault lines were magnified on purpose through the press, posters and literature, and communal leaders were accepted as authentic representatives of their communities.
Relative Backwardness of Muslim Community: The communal and separatist trend of thinking grew among the Muslims because of their then relative backwardness in education, trade and industry. Because of the hostility of upper-class Muslim zamindars and aristocrats towards the British, Muslims largely remained aloof from modern western education. Because the British also regarded
them as responsible for the 1857 rebellion, they were discriminated against. Muslims were not involved in the growth of any organised industry and did not take advantage of western education to enter government services. As a result, they did not get influenced by liberalism as the Hindus of that time did.