Movement of Separatist/Separate State

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  • Around middle of 19th Century when spirit of nationalism was becoming visible among western educated, Indian middle class. At the same time a separatist movement, also started raising his head in India.
  • Separatism as well as nationalism was work of middle class. Gradually this separatist movement based on cultural identity got transformed into movement for separate state.
  • In spite, the fact Hindus & Muslims fought together against British Rule during revolt of 1857, separatist tendencies had started becoming soon after. It was the movement separate state launched by these separatist forces that made India to bear the pain of partition along with joy for Independence.

Muslim Separatist Movement

  • Larger background of separatist movement of India could be traced to offers made by sections of Muslim intellectual like Abdul Latif, Sayyad Amit Ali, Sayyad Amit Hussain and Sayyad Ahmad Khan.
  • By the middle of 19th Century, the Hindu society had progressed quite significantly because of the effect of the Hindu Socio reform movements.
  • These reform movements laid by leaders like Raja Rammohan Roy, Debendranath Tagore Keshavchandra Sen were liberal & progressive. These reformers strongly supported spread of western education as a result of which Hindus could enter government services & they could absorb the liberal and progressive ideas of enlightenment.
  • While impact of Hindu socio reform movement was the, the impact of Muslim socio-reform movement was negative in Muslim society.
  • The Muslim socio-reform movement was background looking. These movements like “Wahabi Movement.” of Sayyad Ahmad of Raibareli, “Ahmadi Movement” of Mirza Gulam Ahmad emphasizing on restoring purify of Islam. They opposed western educations & western ideas.
  • As a result of background looking character of Muslims socio-religious reform movement, Muslim society couldn’t merge ahead on path of modernity and Muslims remained trapped in backwardness.
  • By middle of 19th Century, the socio-economic difference between Muslim-Hindu was quite contrasting & to bridge this difference, the leader like Abdul Latif & Sayyad Ahmad Khan made efforts.
  • Anjuman-i-Islamia was established as 1st organization by group of Muslim intellectuals in 1855 to spread western education among Muslim.
  • Mohammedan-literally & scientific society was established by Abdul Latif in 1863.
  • In 1864, Sayyad Ahmad Khan established Science Society also known as translation society so that English works could be translated into Urdu & Persian for use of Muslim.
  • In 1870, Sayyad Ahmad Khan started publications of “Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq” in Urdu to propagate his idea among Muslims.
  • Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College was established at Aligarh at 1875 to spread modern education among Muslim.
  • In 1877, National Mohammedan Association was established at Calcutta by Sayyad Amir Ali & Sayyad Amir Hussain.
  • There was nothing Anti-Hindu in act of Muslim intellectuals. Communal outlook was absent in their activities but since the Hindus were taken as reform to measure progress, spirit of competition entered into activities of Muslim intellectual gradually. This paved way for emergence & growth of Muslim separatist movement later on.


Emergency of Separation

Muslim League meeting

  • Foundation of Congress in Dec 1885 resulted in beginning of Indian National Movement.
  • By 1888, the real nationalist character of Congress came out in open. The nationalist pressure on British colonial rule forced British to give new orientation to their policy of divide and rule.
  • Muslim separatism & growth of communal outlook among Muslim were the outcome of same.
  • Muslim intellectuals like Sayyad Ahmad Khan were convinced that demands of Congress for a democratic political system were against Muslim interest because in democracy majority rules.
  • Since Muslim were in minority in India. It was emphasized that in democratic political system Muslims would be left on mercy of Hindu forever.
  • This British politics of “divide and rule” produced a desired effect. The leaders like Sayyad Ahmad Khan lost his faith in efficacy of Hindu-Muslim unity & they became communal.
  • By 1888, Sayyad Ahmad Khan had got transformed into a communal leaders, while speaking at Meerut at 1888 he commented that Hindu & Muslim were two varying communal & they can never live together peaceful.
  • United India Patriotic Association” was founded by Sayyad Ahmad Khan in 1888 to counter the growing influence of Congress.
  • In 1893, “Mohammedan Anglo Oriental defense Association” was founded by him to organize radical propaganda against Congress.
  • Partition of Bengal was carried out British to strengthen communal forces & widen gulf between Hindu & Muslim. By creating new Muslim majority province of East Bengal British wanted to convince that they were their true savior.
  • Partition of Bengal was welcomed by Muslim communal leaders like Nawab Wakar-ul-Mulk, Mohsin-u-Mulk, and Aga Khan.
  • They celebrated the implementation of partition & 1st anniversary of Partition of Bengal was celebrated by them as day of rejoicing.
  • Foundation of Muslim League was blessed by British Rule.
  • On 1st Oct 1906, a delegation of 35 Muslim leaders met government general Minto-II at Shimla to take his blessing.
  • The league came into existence in Dec 1906.
  • Grant of Separatist electorate to Muslim in 1909 through Minto-Morle reform was another British initiative to strengthen communal forces.
  • Condemnation to separatist of electorate by Congress also added fuel to fire of separatist.
  • Sudhi & sanghathan movement organized by radical Hindu elements added further fuel to separatist in India.

Emergency of Movement

  • The outcome of general election of 1937 and developments that followed transformed Muslim cultural movement into a movement for separate state revolving idea around “Pakistan”.
  • The idea of separate state was put forward for 1st time by two brothers named Abdul Sattar and Abdul Jabbar. They were communist leaders, they went to Moscow to attained 2nd CI (Communist International), WWGC (World Wide gathering of communist) (1916) and here they demanded Separate State for Muslim.
  • In 1924, Lala Lajpat Rai put forward the view that Muslims should be divided into separate state on religious line.
  • In 1930, at Allahabad session of Muslim League, Md. Iqbal put forward view that creation of an autonomous unit in North Western Region of Indian Subcontinent would be in larger interest of Muslim League.
  • In 1933, Choudhry Rahmat Ali as undergraduate student in Cambridge belonging to Punjab coined term “PAKISTAN”. It was following Iqbal
  • He was expecting that Iqbal would raise demand of separate state in RT conference and where Iqbal was failed to do so, Rahmat Ali felt hurted.
  • He published a pamphlet titled as “now or never” and in this he used termed Pakistan for 1st
  • The word Pakistan made by letter of taken from Muslim majority provinces.
  • He started Pakistan National Movement to provogate the idea. Munistan (Bengal), Usministan (Hyderabad).
  • Before 1937, idea of separate state was not supported by any prominent leader or party in India.
  • When Md. Ali Jinnah heard that Pakistan was demanded by Rahmat Ali, he had commented that Rahmat Ali was kid and he was not aware of realities of India.

General Election of 1937 and Emergence of Demand of Separate State

  • The emergence of separate state was response & reaction to the development that followed general election of 1937.
  • In this election, Congress was highly successful as it could win majority in six provinces. It was a big party in North West Frontier Province & Assam. In these provinces, Congress formed coalition government (8/11).
  • On other hand, Muslim League was a miserable failure. It couldn’t win majority in any of provinces. The league couldn’t even open its account in Bihar, Central Province, Sindh, and Odisha.
  • Other Muslim parties such as “Unionist Party” of Sikander Hayat Khan (Formed Government in Punjab), “United Sindh Party” of Allahabad and “Krishak Praja Party” of Fazal-ul-Haq (Bengal) were highly successful.
  • In the election of 1937, Congress and Muslim League enjoyed a secrete understanding, their manifestos were similar & leaders were conscious not to attack each other during elections.
  • Both the parties reached to an understanding that irrespective of outcome of election, they will form government together.
  • The outcome of election turned these parities away. As politics of Muslim League was badly rejected by people, Congress didn’t invite Muslim League to join the ministries because such an invitation would have been an insult to electorates.
  • Muhammad Ali Jinnah wrote number of letters to Congress leaders and Gandhiji but they stacked to ground and refused to invite Muslim league for joining ministries.
  • Analysis of outcome of elections revealed that Congress didn’t receive much support from poor section of Muslim peasantry. To overcome this limitation, Congress decided to launch mass contact program. This was step in right direction but it antagonized Muslim League as comparatively poor Muslim peasantry was base of Muslim League.
  • These developments turned Muslim League into a corner league realized that its political existence come to end very soon.
  • This struggle for survival pushed Muslim League into extremely radical politics based on religious polarization.
  • Muslim League abounded the old slogan, “Muslim interest are in danger”. It adopted a new slogan that “Islam is in danger under Hindu majority rule in Congress”.
  • To support this radical propaganda, a number of fabricated reports were published in the form of Pirpur report (1938), Sharif report (1939) and Fazal-ul-Haq’s report (1939). These reports highlighted the destruction of Mosque, burning of holy Quran dishonoring of Muslim women & killing of Muslim children in Congress ruled state.
  • This radical propaganda of Muslim League of was highly successful. Within short period, thousands of branches of Muslim League energized all over India.
  • Other Muslim parties pressurized to either merge in Muslim League or join hands with it. “Sikander-Jinnah pact” signed in 1937 through which members of Unionist party could become members of Muslim League.
  • When Congress provincial ministries resigned on 27th Oct 1939, their resignation was celebrated as deliverance from Hindu exploitative rule. 22nd Dec 1939 organized as day of deliverance.
  • In March 1940, Muslim League adopted Lahore resolution in which 1st time it demanded separate state.
  • In response to Quit India resolution of Congress, the league adopted Karachi resolution in Dec 1943 in which it demanded that British should divide and Quit India.
  • All these post 1937 developments had transformed Congress and Muslim League into hardcore political opponents. Serious political deadlock had development in India as two main Indian parties were busy in entirely different types of politics while Congress was string hard to win Independence from British Rule, the league was busy in widening its mass base by using radical colonizing politics.
Sikander-Jinnah pact- Elections in early 1937, the Congress winning in six out of total eleven provinces of British India changed the tone and tenor of the Congress leadership. It started behaving as if it were the political masters of South Asia. The minorities particularly the Muslims, whether they belonged to All India Muslim League or others, were deeply hurt with this behavior of the Congress, wanted the Muslims to pack up their positions. Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, Chief Minister of the Punjab, and head of the Unionist Party in the Punjab, joined Lucknow gatherings of the Muslims League in October 1937 and concluded a pact with Jinnah by which he became member of the Muslim League Council. This paved the way for other Muslim leaders different from the Muslim League to cooperate with Jinnah as President of the All India Muslim League in the interest of the Muslims at South Asia level. Thus this pact affected All India Muslim politics.

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