Q. 125.0( 1 Vote )

What events of early to mid-20th century led to the demand of autonomous arrangements for Muslims by the Muslim League?

Answer :

Muslim League passed a resolution demanding independent states constituted out of North western and eastern parts of the country in the 1940s. The demands for partition were not due to an immediate cause, but the seeds were sown long ago.


LUCKNOW PACT:


The Lucknow Session of 1916 was an important event in the history of freedom struggle as it marked the union of moderates and the extremists. Congress and Muslim League came together to sign the historic ‘Lucknow Pact.’ Some of the main clauses of this agreement were:


1. Separate electorates for all communities.


2. One-third representation to the Muslims in the central government.


These two clauses sowed seeds of communal politics, and in a bid to appease the Muslim League, Congress accepted that Hindus and Muslims were different and had their own interests.


PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS OF 1946:


Provincial elections of 1946 laid the foundation of a separate nation. Unlike the elections of 1937, Muslim League performed exceedingly well and won the overwhelming majority of Muslim seats. Apart from this, during the elections of 1937, Congress had rejected the League’s demand of joint Congress-League government in the United Provinces. These events created a sense of insecurity of being a minority among the Muslims.


FAILURE OF CONGRESS TO MOBILISE MUSLIMS:


Congress leaders failed to create a sense of belonging among the Muslims. Tilak's Ganapati and Shivaji festivals and anti-cow slaughter campaigns created much suspicion. Aurobindo's vision, of an Aryanised world, Swadeshi Movement with elements like dips in the Ganga and revolutionary terrorism with oath-taking before goddesses were not the correct ways to enthuse Muslims.


DIVIDE AND RULE:


Britishers effectively employed the policy of divide and rule in India. They tried to create a communal divide so that unity which was the greatest strength of the country could be broken. First such attempt was made by the announcement of the partition of Bengal. Later, they introduced separate electorates through the Government of India Act of 1909 signifying that the interests of Hindus and Muslims are very different from each other.


Though people demonstrated unity on several occasions, other factors mentioned above played a critical role in effecting the divide and rule policy.


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