All India Muslim League (AIML) came into being on 31st December 1906. It was the second day of the annual session of the Muhammad Educational Conference at the residence of Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk in Dhaka. On this day (30th December) Muslim leaders decided to set up a political platform for Indian Muslims. Sir Aga Khan III assumed the responsibility of the league’s first president, which he retained till 1913.
What were the aims and objectives of the All India Muslim League?
The establishment of the All Indian Muslim League was aimed to:
1. create a sense of loyalty among Muslims towards the British
2. represent the needs, rights, and interests of Muslims of the Indian subcontinent
3. prevent hatred and hostility in Muslims towards other communities.
4. clear any misunderstanding concerning administrative measures for the development.
What were the immediate reasons for the establishment of the All Inia Muslim League in 1906?
Many people ask:
1. Why was the All India Muslim League established in 1906?
2. Why not before or after 1906?
3. What were the reasons that brought about its foundation in 1906?
Following are the reasons for the formation of the All India Muslim League in India in 1906:
Partition of Bengal 1905
Muslims welcomed the Partition of Bengal in 1905. They were delighted with the establishment of a Muslim majority province of East Bengal. They felt emancipated from Hindu influence who dominated almost all departments of life providing little space for Muslims to develop.
Contrary to Muslims, Hindus were unhappy with the partition. They rejected and protested for the reversal of the Partition. According to them, the partition was an act of the British to divided locals on a communal basis to prolong their rule in India.
With this situation in the backdrop, Muslim leaders felt that it was the right time to set up a political platform to protect the interests and rights of Muslims. Moreover, in the face of fast-spreading Hindu agitation against the partition, the British needed political support from Muslims to maintain their decision of partition. An organized political party could have worked well for the protection of the rights and interests of Muslims.
Simla Deputation 1906
A delegation of 35 influential Muslims met the Indian Viceroy, Lord Minto in 1906 at his residence in Simla. The delegation, also known as Simla Deputation demanded to maintain Bengal Partition, provide separate electorates, and quota in government jobs.
The viceroy pledged Simla Deputation to fulfill the demands of the deputation. This promise of cooperation encouraged Muslims to establish a political platform of their own. Muslims would be part of councils in the future with the provision of separate electorates. But this was not enough, there also needed a political party to organize Muslims politically and represent them in the councils.
Politics of Indian National Congress
The politics of the Indian National Congress was another immediate reason for the creation of the League. Muslims saw the congress openly supporting Hindus in their protests against the Partition of Bengal. This reinforced the Muslim view of the Congress as a political party of Hindus. Consequently, Muslims also felt a need for a political party to lead an organized struggle for the safeguard of their rights and interests. Such an organized struggle would only be possible in the presence of a vibrant political platform representing Indian Muslims.
Thus the role of the Congress as a pro-Hindu party during its Swadeshi Movement in the first decade of the twentieth century was one of the immediate reasons for the formation of the league in 1906.