This post is written for the topic “Communalism and Partition Tnpsc“.
In 1930, Md Iqbal for the first time suggested that the Frontier Province, Sind, Baluchistan, and Kashmir be made the Muslim state within the federation.
Chaudhary Rehmat Ali coined the term ‘Pakistan’ (later Pakistan).
The fear of Muslims being subjugated by Hindus in free India was realized by Jinnah and he demanded the creation of Pakistan.
Pakistan Resolution Muslim League first passed the proposal of separate Pakistan in its Lahore Session in 1940 (called Jinnah’s Two-Nation theory).
It was drafted by Sikandar Hayat Khan, moved by FazlulHaq, and seconded by Khaliquzzaman.
It rejected the federal scheme envisaged in the Government of India Act, 1935.
In the 1937 election, Congress won 7 out of 11 provinces and formed the largest party in three other. The Muslim league performance was dismal, it won only 4.8% of Muslim votes.
After the election, Congress has emerged as a mass secular party. Yet it is branded as a Hindu Organization by the Muslim League.
After seeing this dismal performance, the Muslim league was convinced that the only choice was to whip up emotion on communal lines in provinces like Bengal and Punjab.
Jinnah exploited the emotional campaign of ‘Islam in danger’ to gain mass Muslim support after the 1936-37 elections. A divisive cause in which Hindu Mahasabha came to their help through coalition ministries.
Observation of Day of Deliverance
The second World war broke out in 1939, India was announced as part of War by the Viceroy of India, Lord Linlithgow. Since this decision is made without any consultation with Congress.
The Congress Working Committee decided, that all congress ministries in the provinces would resign. After the resignation, the provincial governors took over the charge of provincial administration.
In December 1943, the Karachi Session of the Muslim League adopted the slogan-‘Divide and Quit’.
Muslim league celebrated the end of Congress rule as a day of deliverance on 22 December 1939. On the day the League passed resolutions in various places against Congress for its alleged atrocities against Muslims.
The demonstration of Nationalist Muslims was dubbed as Anti-Islamic by the Muslim league. Then the league passed its resolution on 26 March 1940 in Lahore demanding a separate nation for Muslims.
It was neither Jinnah nor Nawab Zafrullah Khan that considered the creation of a separate state for Muslims. But on March 23, 1940, the Muslim League formally adopted the idea by passing a resolution.
“Resolved that it is the concerted view of this session of the All India Muslim League that no constitutional scheme would be workable in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz. that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the area in which the Muslims are numerically in majority should be grouped to constitute Independent State.”
Muslim Leagues statement after passing the resolution
The Muslim league also resolved that the British government before leaving India should effect partition of the Indian Union, into India and Pakistan.
Direct Action Day
Throughout the early 1940s, Hindu Communalism and Muslim communalism fed on each other. The Muslim league openly boycotted the Quit India movement of 1942.
In 1946, General elections to the Constituent Assembly, Muslim League won all 30 seats reserved for Muslims in the Central Legislative Assembly and most of the reserved provincial seats as well.
The congress party was successful in gathering most of the general electorate seats but it is no longer effectively insisted that it spoke for the entire population of British India.
Congress-Muslim League Deadlock
In 1946, Pethick Lawrence, Secretary of State led a three-member Cabinet to New Delhi to resolve the deadlock between Congress and the Muslim League. And to transfer the British power to a single Indian administration.
Cripps was primarily responsible for drafting the Cabinet mission plan. This plan proposed a three-tier federation for India. It is integrated by a central government in Delhi, which is limited to handling foreign affairs, communications, defense, and finances of Union matters.
The subcontinent would be divided into three major groups of provinces: Group A includes Hindu majority provinces of Bombay Presidency, Madras Presidency, the United Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, and Central Provinces.
Group B contains the Muslim majority provinces of the Punjab, Sind, Northwest Frontier, and Baluchistan. Group C to include the Muslim majority Bengal and Hindu majority Assam.
The group government was Autonomous except in matters reserved to the centre.
Jinnah and Congress leaders accept the Cabinet Missions proposals. But on July 29, 1946, the Muslim League adopted a resolution rejecting the Cabinet Mission plan and called Muslims to observe a ‘Direct Action Day’ in protest on August 16.
The riots took place for four days in Calcutta that led to terrible violence resulting in several thousand deaths.
Gandhi who was until then resisting any effort to vivisect the country had to accede to the demand of the Muslim League for the creation of Pakistan.
Mountbatten who succeeded Wavell came to India as Viceroy to effect the partition plan and transfer of power.
Points to Remember
Communalism in British India is traced to the religious reform movements, Arya Samaj and Theosophical Society representing Hinduism, and Wahabi and Khilafat movements representing Islam.
„ Hindu nationalism, Muslim nationalism, and secular nationalism competed with each other to politicize the people in their fight against British colonialism.
„ Cow Protection Associations and their attempt to prevent the killing of cows led to riots and the spread of communalism.
„The use of religion in politics and its fallout in North India created an estrangement between Hindus and Muslims.
„The government’s encouragement of communalisation of politics resulted in the formation of the All India Muslim League.
The granting of a separate electorate to Muslims encouraged it further to demand a separate state for Muslims.
„Campaigns of Hindu Mahasabha for a Hindu Rashtra contributed to a total estrangement between Hindus and Muslims.
The latter celebrated the resignation of Congress ministries in provinces in the wake of the Second World War as a day of deliverance.
„ Jinnah’s obstinacy in arriving at a settlement based on Cabinet Mission Plan and his call for Direct Action Day in 1946 led to a civil war-like situation in Calcutta, ending in the partition of the country into India and Pakistan.