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|All India Muslim League|
|Founded||30 December 1906
Dacca, Bengal Presidency, British India
|Dissolved||14 August 1947, became: Muslim League|
|Headquarters||Lucknow (first headquarters)|
|Ideology||Political rights for Muslims, Two-Nation Theory|
The All-India Muslim League (Urdu: آل انڈیا مسلم لیگ) was a political party which in the 1940s advocated the creation of a separate Muslim-majority nation, Pakistan. It emerged from the Aligarh Movement, formed originally to promote a modern education for Muslims. It was founded at the All India Muhammadan Educational Conference at Dhaka (now Bangladesh), in 1906, in the midst of the protests over the Partition of Bengal in 1905. The goal was to define and advance Muslim agendas & protect the position of upper class Muslims in India. The League until the late 1930s was not a mass organisation but represented the landed and commercial Muslim interests of the United Provinces (today's Uttar Pradesh). The Muslim League played a decisive role during the 1940s as the driving force behind the division of India along religious lines and the creation of Pakistan as a Muslim state in 1947.Having a dubious and divisive history, having resorted to violence at various stages, they pushed their communal propaganda of partition of India and formation of Pakistan. After the independence of India and Pakistan, the League continued as a minor party in India, especially in Kerala, where it is often in government within a coalition with others. In Pakistan, the League formed the country's first government, but disintegrated during the 1950s following an army coup. One or more factions of the Muslim League have been in power in most of the civilian governments of Pakistan since 1947. In Bangladesh, the party was revived in 1976 and won 14 seats in 1979 parliamentary election. Since then its importance has reduced, rendering it insignificant in the political arena.
By 1946, under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it had gained sufficient mass support to demanded the autonomy and sovereignty of Muslim-majority states (collectively called Pakistan) in the event of independence, despite the opposition of the Indian National Congress. During World War II, when the Congress governments across the country resigned in protest against Britain unilaterally involving India in the War without consulting with Indians, the League which supported the British war effort, was allowed to actively propagandize against the Congress with the cry of "Islam in Danger" and gained strength. It won nearly all of the Muslim vote in the elections of 1946. The following year saw the division of the Indian subcontinent and the Muslim League became the major political party of newly formed Pakistan. By 1953, however, dissensions within the League had led to the formation of several different political parties.
Between 1958 and 1962, while martial law was in force under Muhammad Ayub Khan, the League was officially defunct. Later, the League reformed into two separate factions: the Convention Muslim League (under Ayub) and the Council Muslim League. This latter group joined a united front with other political parties in 1967 in opposition to the group led by Ayub. The Convention Muslim League ceased to exist when Ayub Khan resigned in 1969. The Council Muslim League, which had brought about the founding of Pakistan, was virtually eliminated from the political scene in the elections of 1970.
Since the lifting of restrictions on political parties in 1985 a number of parties have used the name Pakistan Muslim League, but they have little real connection with the original Muslim League. The Muslim League survived as a minor party in India after partition, and since 1988 has splintered into several groups, the most important of which are the Indian Union Muslim League and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817–98) helped form the All-India Muslim League (AIML). His educational proposals and political activism inspired Muslim elites to support the AIML. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan originally founded the All India Muhammadan Educational Conference in 1886 in order to uplift Western education, especially science and literature, among India's Muslims. The conference, in addition to generating funds for Ahmad Khan's Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, motivated Muslim elites to propose 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 that went on to form the AIML.
The formation of a Muslim political party on national level was seen as essential by 1901. The first stage of its formation was the meeting held at Lucknow in September 1906, with 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 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 Educational Conference; that was later, scheduled to be held at 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 in Lukhnow meeting and later in Simla; the annual meeting of All India Muhammadan Educational Conference was held at Dhaka that continued from 27 December, uptil 30 December 1906. that was headed by both Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk and Nawab Muhasan-ul-Mulk (the Secretary of the Muhammaden Educational Conference); in which he explained its objectives and stressed the unity of the Muslims under the banner of an association. It was formally proposed by Nawab Salimullah Khan and supported by Hakim Ajmal Khan, Maulana Muhammed Ali Jauhar, Zafar Ali Khan and several others. The Founding meeting was hosted by Nawab Sir Khwaja Salimullah and attended by three thousand delegates, while Ameer Ali, Sir Mian Muhammad Shafi were also the founding fathers who attended this meeting. The name "All India Muslim League" was proposed by Sir Agha Khan III who was appointed its first president. The League's constitution was framed in 1907 in Karachi."
Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah(Aga Khan III) was appointed the first Honorary President of the Muslim League. The headquarters were established at Lucknow. There were also six vice-presidents, a secretary and two joint secretaries initially appointed for a three-years term, proportionately from different provinces. The principles of the League were espoused in the "Green Book," which included the organisation's constitution, written by Maulana Mohammad Ali. Its goals at this stage did not include establishing an independent Muslim state, but rather concentrated on protecting Muslim liberties and rights, promoting understanding between the Muslim community and other Indians, educating the Muslim and Indian community at large on the actions of the government, and discouraging violence.
Aga Khan III's (1877–1957) played a leading role in founding AIML; his goal was the advancement of Muslim agendas and protection of Muslim rights in India. He shared Ahmad Khan's belief that Muslims should first build up their social capital through advanced education before engaging in politics. Aga Khan boldly told 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 major influence on its policies and agendas.
Intellectual support and a cadre of young activists emerged from Aligarh Muslim University. Hasan reports 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 the war, as typified by the Khilafat Movement. The relationships cooled sharply after 1922, as communalism grew rapidly forcing the two groups of leaders apart. Major riots broke out in numerous cities, including 91 in U.P. alone. At the leadership level, the proportion of Muslims among delegates to Congress 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 united the many factions of the League.
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 language of the colony, and demanded that India turn into a de facto unitary state, with residuary powers resting at the center – 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.
The Muslim League successfully mobilised the religious community in the United Provinces 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 of Lucknow.
On 29 December 1930 Sir Muhammad Iqbal delivered his monumental presidential address to the All India Muslim League annual session. He said:
|“||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 Pakistan National Movement voiced his ideas in the pamphlet entitled "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?" The word 'P In a subsequent book Rehmat Ali discussed the etymology in further detail. "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 criticized these two different schemes and created a confusion about the authorship of the word "Pakistan" to such an extent that even Jawahur Lal 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 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.||”|
At a League conference in Lahore in 1940, Jinnah said: "Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature.... It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims 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.",'ALL INDIA JAMHUR MUSLIM LEAGUE' was formed to counter the move of Md. Ali Jinnah on two Nation theory and creation of separate Pakistan. Raja of Mahmoodabad was elected its President and Dr.Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi General Secretary. Perhaps it was the first split of Muslim League on ideological ground. This party however merged with Congress latter on to strengthen its views on partition.
At Lahore the League formally recommitted itself to creating an independent Muslim state, including Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, the North West Frontier Province and Bengal, that would be "wholly autonomous and sovereign". The resolution guaranteed protection for non-Muslim religions. The Lahore Resolution was adopted on 23 March 1940, and its principles formed the foundation for Pakistan's first constitution. Talks between Jinnah and Gandhi in 1944 in Bombay failed to achieve agreement. This was the last attempt to reach a single-state solution.
In the 1940s, Jinnah emerged as a leader of the Indian Muslims and was popularly known as Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader). In the Constituent Assembly elections of 1946, the League won 425 out of 496 seats reserved for Muslims (and about 89.2% of Muslim votes) on a policy of creating an 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 caused due to the 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.
The partition seems to have been inevitable after all, one of the examples being Lord Mountbatten's statement on Jinnah: "There was no argument that could move him from his consuming determination to realize the impossible dream of Pakistan."
The Muslim League not only played a major role in the National Movement, but also after India obtained freedom and Pakistan seceded from the former. We could see that the struggle for a separate Islamic state did not end up in anticlimax after all. On 18 July 1947, the British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act that finalised the partition agreement. The 562 princely states were given a choice to choose between Hindustan and Pakistan.
The Pakistan Muslim League was founded in 1962, as a successor to the previously disbanded Muslim League in Pakistan. Unlike the original PML which ended in 1958 when General Ayub Khan banned all political parties, each subsequent Muslim League was in some way propped by the military dictators of the time: Ayub Khan, General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf. Every time the pro-establishment political leaders were put together, who splintered apart when the general's blessings faded away. Hence, Pakistan Muslim League refers to several political parties in Pakistan.
Muttahida Muslim League led by Pir Pagara is the "assimilation" of majority of the factions of the Pakistan Muslim League, in a bid to mount a strong opposition to the Pakistan Peoples Party led ruling government. It may be noted that all factions will continue to hold their individual identities, as the MML is treated as a platform for parties to come together. "Muttahida" in Urdu means "united". It consists of the following parties:
PML-N, the Nawaz Sharif group, ordinarily not recognised as original Muslim League was named so after separartion of PML(Q). Formed as PML (Fida Mohammad Khan) in 1988 when it split from Junejo's PML in 1988 after Zia's demise. The new party had Fida Khan as its president and Nawaz Sharif as general secretary. PML-N represents a group within Muslim League headed by shareef brothers.
Historically, Pakistan Muslim League can also refer to any of the following political parties in Pakistan:
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