All-India Muslim League
|Presiding Leader(s)||Muhammad Ali Jinnah|
A. K. Fazlul Huq
Aga Khan III
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Sir Feroz Khan Noon
Liaquat Ali Khan
Mohammad Ali Bogra
|Founder||Nawab Khwaja Salimullah|
|Founded||30 December 1906Dacca, British raj (now in Dhaka, Bangladesh)at|
|Dissolved||15 August 1947|
|Succeeded by||Muslim League in Pakistan, Awami League in Bangladesh and Indian Union Muslim League in India|
Civil rights for Muslims in India
|International affiliation||All–India Muslim League (London Chapter)|
|Crescent and Star|
The All-India Muslim League (popularised as Muslim League) was a political party established during the early years of the 20th century in the British Indian Empire. Its strong advocacy for the establishment of a separate Muslim-majority nation-state, Pakistan, successfully led to the partition of British India in 1947 by the British Empire.
The party arose out of a literary movement begun at The Aligarh Muslim University in which Syed Ahmad Khan was a central figure.[page needed] It remained an elitist organisation until 1937 when the leadership began mobilising the Muslim masses and the league then became a popular organisation.
In the 1930s, the idea of a separate nation-state and influential philosopher Sir Muhammad Iqbal's vision of uniting the four provinces in North-West British India further supported the rationale of the two-nation theory. With global events leading up to World War II and the Congress party's effective protest against the United Kingdom unilaterally involving India in the war without consulting the Indian people, the Muslim League went on to support the British war efforts. The Muslim League played a decisive role in the 1940s, becoming a driving force behind the division of India along religious lines and the creation of Pakistan as a Muslim state in 1947.
After the partition and subsequent establishment of Pakistan, the Muslim League continued as a minor party in India where it was often part of the government. In Bangladesh, the Muslim League was revived in 1976 but it was reduced in size, rendering it insignificant in the political arena. In India, the Indian Union Muslim League and in Pakistan the Pakistan Muslim League became the original successors of the All-India Muslim League.
In 1886, Sir Syed founded the Muhammadan Educational Conference, but a self-imposed ban prevented it from discussing politics. Its original goal was to advocate for British education, especially science and literature, among India's Muslims. The conference, in addition to generating funds for Sir Syed's Aligarh Muslim University, motivated the Muslim upper class to propose an expansion of educational uplift elsewhere, known as the Aligarh Movement. In turn, this new awareness of Muslim needs helped stimulate a political consciousness among Muslim elites, who went on to form the All-India Muslim League.
The formation of a Muslim political party on the national level was seen as essential by 1901. The first stage of its formation was the meeting held at Lucknow in September 1906, with the participation of representatives from all over India. The decision for re-consideration to form the all-Indian Muslim political party was taken and further proceedings were adjourned until the next meeting of the All India Muhammadan Educational Conference. The Simla Deputation reconsidered the issue in October 1906 and decided to frame the objectives of the party on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Educational Conference, which was scheduled to be held in Dhaka. Meanwhile, Nawab Salimullah Khan published a detailed scheme through which he suggested the party to be named All-India Muslim Confederacy.
Pursuant upon the decisions taken earlier at the Lucknow meeting and later in Simla, the annual meeting of the All-India Muhammadan Educational Conference was held in Dhaka from 27 December until 30 December 1906. Three thousand delegates attended, headed by both Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk and Nawab Muhasan-ul-Mulk (the Secretary of the Muhammaden Educational Conference), in which they explained its objectives and stressed the unity of Muslims under the banner of an association. It was formally proposed by Nawab Salimullah Khan and supported by Hakim Ajmal Khan, Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, Zafar Ali Khan, Syed Nabiullah, a barrister from Lucknow, and Syed Zahur Ahmad, an eminent lawyer, as well as several others.
Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah (Aga Khan III) was appointed the first honorary president of the Muslim League, though he did not attend the Dhaka inaugural session. There were also six vice-presidents, a secretary, and two joint secretaries initially appointed for a three-year term, proportionately from different provinces. The League's constitution was framed in 1907, espoused in the "Green Book," written by Maulana Mohammad Ali.
Aga Khan III shared Ahmad Khan's belief that Muslims should first build up their social capital through advanced education before engaging in politics, but would later boldly tell the British Raj that Muslims must be considered a separate nation within India. Even after he resigned as president of the AIML in 1912, he still exerted a major influence on its policies and agendas. In 1913, Mohammed Ali Jinnah joined the Muslim league.
Intellectual support and a cadre of young activists emerged from Aligarh Muslim University. Historian Mushirul Hasan writes that in the early 20th century, this Muslim institution, designed to prepare students for service to the British Raj, exploded into political activity. Until 1939, the faculty and students supported an all-India nationalist movement. After 1939, however, sentiment shifted dramatically toward a Muslim separatist movement, as students and faculty mobilised behind Jinnah and the Muslim League.
Politically, there was a degree of unity between Muslim and Hindu leaders after World War I, as typified by the Khilafat Movement. Relationships cooled sharply after that campaign ended in 1922. Communalism grew rapidly, forcing the two groups apart. Major riots broke out in numerous cities, including 91 between 1923 and 1927 in Uttar Pradesh alone. At the leadership level, the proportion of Muslims among delegates to the Congress party fell sharply, from 11% in 1921 to under 4% in 1923.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah became disillusioned with politics after the failure of his attempt to form a Hindu-Muslim alliance, and he spent most of the 1920s in Britain. The leadership of the League was taken over by Sir Muhammad Iqbal, who in 1930 first put forward the demand for a separate Muslim state in India. The "Two-Nation Theory", the belief that Hindus and Muslims were two different nations who could not live in one country, gained popularity among Muslims. The two-state solution was rejected by the Congress leaders, who favoured a united India based on composite national identity. Congress at all times rejected "communalism" — that is, basing politics on religious identity. Iqbal's policy of uniting the North-West Frontier Province, Baluchistan, Punjab, and Sindh into a new Muslim majority state became part of the League's political platform.
The League rejected the Committee report (the Nehru Report), arguing that it gave too little representation (only one quarter) to Muslims, established Devanagari as the official writing system of the colony, and demanded that India turn into a de facto unitary state, with residuary powers resting at the centre – the League had demanded at least one-third representation in the legislature and sizeable autonomy for the Muslim provinces. Jinnah reported a "parting of the ways" after his requests for minor amendments to the proposal were denied outright, and relations between the Congress and the League began to sour.
Conception of Pakistan
I would like to see Punjab, North-West Frontier Province [now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa], Sindh and Balochistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.
Sir Muhammad Iqbal did not use the word "Pakistan" in his address. According to some scholars, Iqbal had not presented the idea of a separate Muslim state; rather he wanted a large Muslim province by amalgamating Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, and Baluchistan into a big North-Western province within India. They argued that "Iqbal never pleaded for any kind of partition of the country. Rather he was an ardent proponent of a 'true' federal setup for India..., and wanted a consolidated Muslim majority within the Indian Federation".
Another Indian historian, Tara Chand, also held that Iqbal was not thinking in terms of partition of India, but in terms of a federation of autonomous states within India. Dr. Safdar Mehmood also asserted in a series of articles that in the Allahabad address, Iqbal proposed a Muslim majority province within an Indian federation and not an independent state outside an Indian Federation.
On 28 January 1933, Choudhary Rahmat Ali, founder of the Pakistan National Movement, voiced his ideas in the pamphlet entitled "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?" In a subsequent book, Rehmat Ali discussed the etymology in further detail.[page needed] "Pakistan' is both a Persian and an Urdu word. It is composed of letters taken from the names of all our South Asia homelands; that is, Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan. It means the land of the Pure".
The British and the Indian Press vehemently criticised these two different schemes and created confusion about the authorship of the word "Pakistan" to such an extent that even Jawaharlal Nehru had to write:
Iqbal was one of the early advocates of Pakistan and yet he appears to have realised its inherent danger and absurdity. Edward Thompson has written that in the course of a conversation, Iqbal told him that he had advocated Pakistan because of his position as President of Muslim League session, but he felt sure that it would be injurious to India as a whole and to Muslims especially.
Campaign for Pakistan
Until 1937, the Muslim League had remained an organisation of elite Indian Muslims. The Muslim League leadership then began mass mobilisation and it then became a popular party with the Muslim masses in the 1940s, especially after the Lahore Resolution. Under Jinnah's leadership, its membership grew to over two million and became more religious and even separatist in its outlook.
The Muslim League's earliest base was the United Provinces, where they successfully mobilised the religious community in the late 1930s. Jinnah worked closely with local politicians, however, there was a lack of uniform political voice by the League during the 1938–1939 Madhe Sahaba riots in Lucknow. From 1937 onwards, the Muslim League and Jinnah attracted large crowds throughout India in its processions and strikes.
At a League conference in Lahore in 1940, Jinnah said:
Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literature... It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes ... To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state.
In Lahore, the Muslim League formally recommitted itself to creating an independent Muslim state which would include Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, the North West Frontier Province, and Bengal, and which would be "wholly autonomous and sovereign". The resolution guaranteed protection for non-Muslim religions. The Lahore Resolution, moved by the sitting Chief Minister of Bengal A. K. Fazlul Huq, was adopted on 23 March 1940, and its principles formed the foundation for Pakistan's first constitution. In the Constituent Assembly of India's elections of 1946, the Muslim League won 425 out of 476 seats reserved for Muslims (and about 89.2% of Muslim votes) on a policy of creating the independent state of Pakistan, and with an implied threat of secession if this was not granted. Congress, led by Gandhi and Nehru, remained adamantly opposed to dividing India.
However, 1947 saw violent and bloody battles due to communal clashes between the two communities in India. Millions of people migrated from India to Pakistan and vice versa. The situation continued to be tense even after the governments of the two nations were formed.[page needed]
Impact on the future courses of the Subcontinent
After the partition of the British Indian Empire, the Muslim League played a major role in giving birth to modern conservatism in Pakistan and the introduction of the democratic process in the country.
The Pakistani incarnation was originally led by the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and later by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, but suffered from ill-fate following the military intervention in 1958. One of its factions remained supportive of President Ayub Khan until 1962, when all factions decided to reform into the Pakistan Muslim League led by Nurul Amin, and to support Fatima Jinnah in the presidential elections in 1965. Furthermore, it was the only party to have received votes from both East and West Pakistan during the elections held in 1970. During the successive periods of Pakistan, the Pakistan Muslim League went on to be one of the ruling parties holding alternating power within the nation.
With the partition of the British Indian Empire, the Muslim League lost all influence in the United Provinces and Indian states with a significant Muslim population. In 1948, the Indian Muslim League was formed as a breakaway faction of the Muslim League by those members who did not migrate to Pakistan. During its successive periods, the Indian Muslim League remained a part of the Kerala government; nonetheless, the League disintegrated after the general elections of 1980. Many of its leaders later joined Congress and some migrated to Pakistan. The party still has a stronghold in northern Kerala and is the second largest party within the present ruling coalition in the state.
Problems in East Pakistan for the Muslim League began to rise following the issue of the Constitution of Pakistan. Furthermore, the Bengali Language Movement proved to be the last event that led the Muslim League to lose its mandate in East Bengal. The Muslim League's national conservatism program also faced several setbacks and resistance from the Communist Party of Pakistan. In an interview given to print media, Nurul Amin stated that the communists had played an integral and major role in staging the massive protests, mass demonstrations, and strikes for the Bengali Language Movement.
All over the country, the political parties had favoured the general elections in Pakistan with the exception of the Muslim League. In 1954, legislative elections were to be held for the Parliament. Unlike in West Bengal, not all of the Hindu population migrated to India, instead a large number stayed in the state. The influence of the Communist Party deepened, and its goal of attaining power was finally realised during the elections. The United Front, the Communist Party, and the Awami League returned to power, inflicting a severe defeat to the Muslim League. Out of 309, the Muslim League only won 10 seats, whereas the Communist Party got 4 seats of the ten contested. The communists working with other parties had secured 22 additional seats, totalling 26. The right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami had completely failed in the elections.
In 1955, the United Front named Abu Hussain Sarkar as the Chief Minister of the State and he ruled the state in two non-consecutive terms until 1958, when martial law was imposed. The Muslim League remained as a minor party in East Pakistan but participated with full rigour during the Pakistan general elections in 1970. It won 10 seats from East Pakistan and 7 seats from other parts of Pakistan. After the independence of Bangladesh, the Muslim League was revived in 1976 but its size was reduced, rendering it insignificant in the political arena.
During the 1940s, the Muslim League had a United Kingdom chapter active in the British politics. After the establishment of Pakistan, the Pakistani community's leaders took over the UK branch, choosing Zubeida Habib Rahimtoola as president of the party to continue to serve its purpose in the United Kingdom. At present, the Muslim League's UK branch is led by the PML-N, with Zubair Gull as its president.
Historically, Pakistan Muslim League can also refer to any of the following political parties in Pakistan:
- Muslim League, the original successor of the All-India Muslim League, which was disbanded during the first martial law.
- Convention Muslim League, a political platform created by General Ayub Khan in 1962 when he became the president.
- Council Muslim League, a party created by political leaders who opposed General Ayub Khan.
- Muslim League, a party created by Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan when he split with the Council Muslim League to run for the 1970 general elections.
- "Establishment of All India Muslim League". Story of Pakistan. June 2003. p. 1. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Sequeira, Dolly. Total History and Civics ICSE 10.New Delhi: MSB publishers,2016.Print.
- H. Rizvi (2000). Military, State and Society in Pakistan. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 69–. ISBN 978-0-230-59904-8.
The Muslim League maintained an elitist character until 1937 when its leadership began to engage in popular mobilisation. It functioned as a mass and popular party for 7-8 years after the Congress provincial ministries resigned in 1939, more so, after the passage of the Lahore Resolution in March 1940.
- Keay, John (2000). India: A History. Atlantic Monthly Press. p. 468. ISBN 978-0-8021-3797-5.
Heavily supported by mainly landed and commercial Muslim interests ... they duly consummated this distrust [of Congress] by forming the All India Muslim League.
- Ayesha Jalal (1994). The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League, and the Demand for Pakistan. Cambridge University Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-521-45850-4.
In 1940, ... [the A.I.M.L.] formally demanded independent Muslim states, repudiating the minority status which separate representation necessarily entailed, and instead asserted that Muslims were a nation ... The claim was built upon the demand for 'Pakistan'. But from first to last, Jinnah avoided giving the demand a precise definition.
- Rashid Kahn, Abdul (January–June 2007). "All India Muhammadan Educational Conference and the Foundation of the All India Muslim League". Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society. 55 (1/2): 65–83.
- Pakistan movement. Commencement and evolution, p. 167, 168, by Dr. Sikandar Hayat Khan and Shandana Zahid, published by Urdu Science Board, Lahore. ISBN 969-477-122-6
- "Establishment of All India Muslim League". Story of Pakistan. June 2003. p. 2. Retrieved 11 May 2007.
- Valliani, Amin (January–June 2007). "Aga Khan's Role in the Founding and Consolidation of the All India Muslim League". Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society. 55 (1/2): 85–95.
- Hasan, Mushirul (March 1985). "Nationalist and Separatist Trends in Aligarh, 1915–47". The Indian Economic and Social History Review. 22 (1): 1–33. doi:10.1177/001946468502200101.
- Markovits, Claude, ed. (2004) [First published 1994 as Histoire de l'Inde Moderne]. A History of Modern India, 1480–1950. London: Anthem Press. pp. 371–372. ISBN 978-1-84331-004-4.
Remarkable unity shown between Hindus and Muslims [during the Khilafat movement] ... the tension between the religious communities worsened ... the reforms of 1919 had encouraged Muslim separatism by maintaining constituencies reserved for Muslims: having to get only the votes of their coreligionists, Hindu and Muslim politicians tended to emphasise what divided rather than what united the two communities.
- Sumit Sarkar (1989) [First published 1983]. Modern India: 1885–1947. Macmillan. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-333-43805-3.
Three waves of riots in Calcutta ... disturbances the same year in Dacca, Patna, Rawalpindi and Delhi; and no less than 91 communal outbreaks in U.P., the worst-affected province, between 1923 and 1927.
- Brown, Judith M. (1985). Modern India: The Origins of an Asian Democracy. Oxford University Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-19-913124-2.
By 1923 only 3.6 per cent of Congress delegates were Muslims, compared with 10.9 per cent in 1921.
- David E. Ludden (1996). Contesting the nation: religion, community, and the politics of democracy in India. U. of Pennsylvania Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0812215854.
- Lyon, Peter (2008). Conflict between India and Pakistan: an encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-57607-712-2.
- P. M. Holt; Peter Malcolm Holt; Ann K. S. Lambton (1977). The Cambridge History of Islam. Cambridge University Press. p. 103ff. ISBN 978-0-521-29137-8.
- Tariq, Abdur-Rahman, ed. (1973). Speeches and Statements of Iqbal. Lahore. OCLC 652259138.
- Aziz, Khursheed Kamal (1967). The Making of Pakistan: A Study in Nationalism. London: Chatto & Windus. p. 81. OCLC 956570.
- Grover, Verinder, ed. (1995). Political Thinkers of Modern Muslim India. Vol. 26, Mohammad Iqbal. New Delhi: Deep & Deep Publications. pp. 666–67. ISBN 9788171005727.
- Chand, Tara (1972). History of the Freedom Movement in India. Volume Three. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. pp. 252–253. OCLC 80100683.
It is, however, doubtful whether he [Iqbal] contemplated the partition of India and the establishment of a sovereign Muslim state ... at Allahabad, in December 1930 ... It was certainly not a scheme for the partition of India into two independent sovereign states ... his plan of amalgamating Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan in one autonomous region ... There is no reference here to the two-nation theory and to the incompatibility of Hindu and Muslim cultures.
- lang, 23, 24 & 25 March 2003;[full citation needed] Also see, Mahmood, Safdar (2004). Iqbal, Jinnah aur Pakistan (in Urdu). Lahore: Khazina Ilm-wa-Adab. p. 52–69.
- Full text of the pamphlet "Now or Never", published by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00islamlinks/txt_rahmatali_1933.html
- Ali, Choudhary Rahmat (1947). Pakistan: the fatherland of the Pak nation. Cambridge: The Pakistan National Liberation Movement. OCLC 12241695.
- Nehru, Jawaharlal (1946). Discovery of India. New York: John Day Company. p. 353. OCLC 370700.
- Venkat Dhulipala (2015). Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-1-316-25838-5.
During this growth spurt, the ML itself was transformed from an elite moribund organization into a mass-based party that gave itself a new constitution, a more radical ideology and a revamped organizational structure.
- Victor Sebestyen (2014). 1946: The Making of the Modern World. Pan Macmillan UK. pp. 247–. ISBN 978-1-74353-456-4.
That, too, had begun life as a cosy club of upper-class Indians, seeking a limited range of extra privileges for Indian Muslims. However, under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the League grew rapidly to a membership of more than two million and its message became increasingly religious and separatist in tone.
- Khan, Yasmin (2017) [First published in 2007]. The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (New ed.). Yale University Press. p. 18–. ISBN 978-0-300-23364-3.
Although it was founded in 1909 the League had only caught on among South Asian Muslims during the Second World War. The party had expanded astonishingly rapidly and was claiming over two million members by the early 1940s, an unimaginable result for what had been previously thought of as just one of the numerous pressure groups and small but insignificant parties.
- Talbot, Ian (1982). "The growth of the Muslim League in the Punjab, 1937–1946". Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics. 20 (1): 5–24.
Despite their different viewpoints all these theories have tended either to concentrate on the All-India struggle between the Muslim League and the Congress in the pre-partition period, or to turn their interest to the Muslim cultural heartland of the UP where the League gained its earliest foothold and where the demand for Pakistan was strongest.
- Venkat Dhulipala (2010). "Rallying the Qaum: The Muslim League in the United Provinces, 1937–1939". Modern Asian Studies. 44 (3): 603–640. doi:10.1017/s0026749x09004016. JSTOR 40664926.
- Talbot, Ian (1993). "The role of the crowd in the Muslim League struggle for Pakistan". The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. 21 (2): 307–333.
Huge crowds attended Muslim League meetings and flocked to glimpse Jinnah as he journeyed about India from 1937 onwards. They also joined in processions, strikes, and riots.
- Hay, Stephen (1988) [First published 1958]. Sources of Indian Tradition. Volume Two: Modern India and Pakistan (Second ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-231-06650-1.
- Lyon, Peter (2008). Conflict between India and Pakistan: an encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-57607-712-2.
- Khan, Yasmin (2017) [First published in 2007]. The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (New ed.). Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-23364-3.
- M S, Amogh (20 May 2011). "A history project on the impact of the AIMD on the future courses of India and Pakistan". Online Daily.
- Masood, Alauddin (25 January 2008). "PML Perpetually Multiplying Leagues". The Weekly.
- Nair, M. Bhaskaran (1990). Politics in Bangladesh: A Study of Awami League, 1949-58. New Delhi, India: Northern Book Centre. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-81-85119-79-3.
- Ali, Tariq (2002). The Clash of Fundamentalism. United Kingdom: New Left Book plc. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-85984-457-1.
- "Muslim League in UK". PMLN Muslim League in UK. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- Ashraf Mumtaz. Dawn Newspaper, 14 May 2006
- Cohen, Stephen Philip (2004). The Idea of Pakistan. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8157-1503-0.
- Graham, George Farquhar Irving (1974). The Life and Work of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. Karachi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-636069-0.
- Malik, Iftikar H. (2008). The History of Pakistan. The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-34137-3.
- Moore, R. J. (1983). "Jinnah and the Pakistan Demand". Modern Asian Studies. 17 (4): 529–561. doi:10.1017/s0026749x00011069. JSTOR 312235.
- al Mujahid, Shairf (January–June 2007). "Reconstructing the Saga of the All India Muslim League (1906–47)". Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society. 55 (1/2): 15–26.
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