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ESTABLISHMENT OF ALL INDIA MUSLIM LEAUGUE

On December 30 1906, the annual meeting of Muhammadan Educational Conference was held at
Dhaka under the chairmanship of Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk. Almost 3,000 delegates attended the
session making it the largest-ever representative gathering of Muslim India. For the first time the
conference lifted its ban on political discussion, when Nawab Salim Ullah Khan presented a
proposal for establish a political party to safeguard the interests of the Muslims; the All India
Muslim League.
Three factors had kept Muslims away from the Congress, Sir Syeds advice to the Muslims to
give it a wide berth, Hindu agitation against the partition of Bengal and the Hindu religious
revivalisms hostility towards the Muslims. The Muslims remained loyal to Sir Syeds advice but
events were quickly changing the Indian scene and politics were being thrust on all sections of
the population.
But the main motivating factor was that the Muslims intellectual class wanted representation;
the masses needed a platform on which to unite. It was the dissemination of western thought by
John Locke, Milton and Thomas Paine, etc. at the M. A. O. College that initiated the emergence
of Muslim nationalism.
The headquarters of the All India Muslim League was established in Lucknow, and Sir Aga
Khan was elected as its first president. Also elected were six vice-presidents, a secretary and two
joint secretaries for a term of three years. The initial membership was 400, with members hailing
proportionately from all provinces. Maulana Muhammad Ali Jouhar wrote the constitution of the
League, known as the Green Book. Branches were also setup in other provinces. Syed Ameer
Ali established a branch of the League in London in 1908, supporting the same objectives.

Following were the objectives of the Muslim League:


To inculcate among Muslims a feeling of loyalty to the government and to disabuse their minds
of misunderstandings and misconceptions of its actions and intentions.
To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Muslims of India and to represent
their needs and aspirations to the government from time to time.
To prevent the growth of ill will between Muslims and other nationalities without compromising
to its own purposes.
Many Hindu historians and several British writers have alleged that the Muslim League was
founded at official instigation. They argue that it was Lord Minto who inspired the establishment
of a Muslim organization so as to divide the Congress and to minimize the strength of the Indian
Freedom Movement. But these statements are not supported by evidence. Contrary to this, the
widely accepted view is that the Muslim League was basically established to protect and advance
the Muslim interests and to combat the growing influence of the Indian National Congress.