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Q1).

Evaluate the impact of the services rendered by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan towards the
regeneration of the Muslims. [20]
Ans. Introduction:
In the darkest hour of their life in India, the Muslim community produced a great and courageous
leader in the person of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Sir Syed was a Muslim reformer, thinker,
educationist, intellectual, statesman and great visionary of the 19th century. He saw with clear
eyes the horrible state into which the Muslims had fallen and the long and difficult journey they
had to undertake for their rehabilitation.
Conditions of Muslims after war of independence (1857):
The war of independence ended in a disaster. The glorious Mughal Empire was liquidated and
the direct British rule was established over the whole of sub-continent. The British considered
Muslims to be responsible for the war of independence and unleashed a wave of vengeance
against the Muslims by subjecting them to all sorts of cruelties. Prominent Muslim leaders were
hanged or sent to jail and their properties were confiscated. All high government military and
civil positions were reserved for Hindus and non-Muslims. The dwindling ratio of Muslim
representation in government was highlighted by William Hunter in his book entitled “The
Indian Mussalmans” published in 1871. Ashok Mehta, an Indian socialist leader, threw light on
the misery of Muslims after the war in his book entitled “The communal Triangle” in these
words “Not only were the Muslims economically crushed but educationally and socially their
position was deliberately depressed by the government.”
Sir Syed’s services for the renaissance of Muslims:
1) Educational services:
Sir Syed’s greatest achievement was his Aligarh Movement, which was purely an educational
venture. Sir Syed felt it was important to equip Muslims with modern education so that they
could compete with Hindus and be able to get their due status in the society. Sir Syed was of the
opinion that the present deplorable condition of the Muslims was mainly because they lagged in
the field of modern education. Sir Syed elucidated that acquiring modern education and learning
English was not against the teachings of Islam.
Sir Syed took practical steps for the educational uplift of Muslims. In 1859, he setup a school in
Muradabad where Persian and English language was taught. In 1863, he established another
school at Ghazipur. In 1864, he established a Scientific Society at Ghazipur which aimed to
translate modern studies from English to Persian and Urdu for better understanding of Muslims.
The Scientific Society published a journal in 1866 known as Aligarh Institute Gazette. This
journal was published in both Urdu and English and the main objective of this journal was to
arouse sentiments of goodwill and friendship between Muslims and the British. Sir Syed went to
England in 1869 with his son Syed Mahmood. During his two years stay in England, Sir Syed
closely watched the educational system of Cambridge and Oxford Universities. He was
extremely impressed by the standard and quality of education and made up his mind to establish
an educational institution on the pattern of Cambridge and Oxford Universities in India. On his
return to India in 1870, Sir Syed set up a body named Anjuman-i-Taraqi-i-Mussalmanan-i-Hind
with the objective of imparting knowledge to Muslims of India. The establishment of M.A.O
High School in 1874 was the monumental achievement of Sir Syed regarding educational
services. Sir Syed worked diligently to raise the school to college level and in 1877, the school
was upgraded to the status of college. In 1886, Sir Syed founded the Muhammadan Educational
Conference which presented a twelve point program in western and religious education in
English and other languages. This conference held its meetings in various parts of the country to
discuss and find solutions for the educational problems faced by Muslims of India.
2) Political services:
Sir Syed rendered meritorious political services in order to defend the rights of Muslims. Sir
Syed advised the Muslims to stay away from politics until and unless they have acquired modern
education as he was of the view that Muslims couldn’t succeed in the field of western politics
without knowing the system.
In 1885, Lord A.O Hume formed an organization called Indian National Congress. The aim of
this party was to provide a political platform for the Indians so that they could point out to the
government in what respects the government was faulty and how it should be improved. Instead
of safeguarding the interests of all communities in India, the Congress turned into a pure Hindu
body and completely ignored the interests of Muslims. All the demands projected from the
Congress platform only served the interests of Hindus. Sir Syed warned Muslims of the sinister
aspirations of the Hindus and urged them not to join Congress.
Sir Syed suggested separate electorates for Muslims because the British parliamentary system of
democracy was based on the majority rule. Sir Syed realized that the British system was neither
feasible nor possible in a multinational country like India. The Muslims in India were in minority
while the Hindus were in majority, thus adopting the British system would make the Hindus
dominant over Muslims and Muslims will always be at the mercy of Hindus.
Sir Syed was a nationalist and considered all who lived in India as one nation and was a great
advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. However, the Hindi-Urdu controversy of 1867 compelled him
to give a second thought to his ideas. It was a deliberate effort on the part of Hindus to crush the
centuries old Muslim culture and establish their culture on Muslims as to them this was the most
effective way to eliminate the Muslims as a nation. The Hindi-Urdu controversy convinced Sir
Syed that Muslims and Hindus were two separate nations with diverging interests and distinct
religious, political, social and economic principles. This idea came to be known as Two-Nation
Theory.
3) Creating better understanding between Muslims and the British:
The war of Independence created a great deal of misunderstanding and suspicion among the
British about the Muslims. The British considered the Muslims as their deadliest enemies and
treated them as third class citizens of India. The Muslims also considered the British as their
enemies and avoided social interaction with them. Sir Syed believed that the first step towards
the betterment of Muslims was to restore mutual trust between the Muslims and British. He was
of the opinion that since the British were likely to stay in India as rulers, the Muslims should
adopt a more lenient attitude towards them in order to get their due rights. He also felt that the
Hindus would get an opportunity of getting closer to the British if the Muslims continued with
their policy of hatred for the British.
Sir Syed wrote a pamphlet “Risala-e-Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind” or Causes of The Indian Revolt
in order to remove the misunderstanding about the involvement and role of Muslims in the war
of independence on 1857. Sir Syed explained in the pamphlet that Hindus and other nations were
as much responsible for the war as Muslims. He also held the British administration and
government responsible for the war and declared that their dictatorial and oppressive policies
contributed a great deal towards the outbreak of the uprising in 1857. He argued that the armed
rebellion was the manifestation of the discontentment among the people which was created by
the tyrannical rule of the British so to hold Muslims responsible for the war was not justified as
the Muslims were dragged into the war by the sway of events along with other nations. Sir Syed
attributed the following reasons to the outbreak of the war of independence:
i) Non-representation of Indians in the legislative councils.
ii) Forced conversion of Indians to Christianity.
iii) Mismanagement of the Indian army.
iv) Wrong policies of the government which created large scale dissatisfaction.
In 1886 Sir Syed formed British India Association at Aligarh. The purpose of this organization
was to express the grievances and point of view of Indians to the British government. Sir Syed
wrote “Loyal Muhammadans of India” in which he gave a detailed account of the services
rendered by Muslims to the British government.
4) Religious services:
The Muslims of India were denied religious freedom because of the extremist and prejudicial
Hindu attitude. Christian missionaries were trying hard to convert Muslims to Christianity and
were propagating philosophies against the teachings of Islam in order to corrupt the faith of
Muslims and make them doubtful of Islam. A Christian writer, William Muir, wrote a book
entitle “Life of Muhammad”, in which he made objectionable remarks about Holy Prophet
(SAW). In response to William Muir, another Christian writer, John Davenport, wrote a book
entitled “An apology for Muhammad and Muhammadan”. Sir Syed translated the book into Urdu
and published it at his own expense. Sir Syed felt it wasn’t enough so he wrote an essay on the
life of Holy Prophet (SAW) called “Khutbat-e-Ahmadiya”. Sir Syed also wrote a commentary on
the Bible known as “Tabaeen-al-Kalam” to highlight the similarities between Islam and
Christianity.
5) Social services:
Sir Syed was very much worried about the social conditions of Muslims and desired to see the
revival of Muslims in their social life. He took several steps for the revival and betterment of
Muslims. He wrote the influential magazine “Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq” in which he outlined the ethical
aspects of a Muslim’s life. In this magazine he criticized the conservative lifestyle of Muslims
and advised them to adopt new trends and embrace modernity. In addition, he opened a number
of orphan houses where Muslim children were looked after and provided shelter because he
didn’t want them to go to Christian missionaries. He set himself to the task of protecting Urdu
language from being faded away and replaced by English. He worked laboriously for the
promotion of Urdu and gave a new colour to Urdu literature. For this purpose, he established
Anjuman-i-Tarik-i-Urdu which worked for the protection of Urdu. Sir Syed wrote a magazine by
the name of “Ahkam-i-Ta’am-i-Ahle Kitab” in which the principles of eating and dining in Islam
were discussed. In this magazine, Sir Syed wrote that it wasn’t un-Islamic to eat with Christians
on the same table and gave references from the Holy Quran and Sunnah to support his
arguments.
Impact of services rendered by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan:
Sir Syed’s efforts injected life in the dormant body of Muslim nation and helped them to regain
their lost position of eminence and glory. It revived hope and self-confidence among the
Muslims to fight for their economic, political and social rights. Muslims realized that an armed
rebellion against the British was pointless and instead of distancing themselves from the British,
the Muslims developed close friendly relations with the British. Sir Syed’s Aligarh movement
opened the doors to modern education and enlightenment for the Muslims and brought about an
intellectual revolution. The Aligarh movement produced many great minds who represented
Muslims in India and abroad and worked to improve the conditions of Muslims. The success of
Muhammadan Educational Conference inspired Muslim leaders to form the All India Muslim
League in 1906. Sir Syed’s Two Nation Theory laid the foundation for Pakistan Movement
which culminated in the creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947.
Conclusion:
Sir Syed came forward to guide the Muslims who were destined to be ruined and eliminated
from the Indian society as a result of Hindu and British domination. He rendered invaluable
services for the regeneration of Muslims in India which left a far-reaching impact on the social,
economic, religious, political and cultural aspects of Muslim society.

Q3). Critically evaluate the foundations of Allama Iqbal’s concept of Muslim separatism in
the context of Indo-Pak subcontinent. [20]
Ans.

Q4). Discuss the 3rd June Plan or Mountbatten Plan and also describe how it was
implemented? [20]
Ans. Background:
The British government sent Cabinet Mission to India in March 1946 to negotiate with Indian
leaders and make them agree to the terms of transfer of power. After difficult negotiations a
federal system for India was proposed but it was rejected by both Congress and Muslim League.
After this, an interim government with representatives of all Indian parties was proposed and
implemented. However, it soon collapsed because of lack of agreement. Furthermore, by the end
of 1946 communal violence was escalating and the British began to fear that India would
descend into a civil war. The British were finally convinced that the government and ruling
authority had to be passed on to Indian hands.
3rd June Plan:
Lord Mountbatten was sent by the British government mainly for transferring power to the
Indian leadership. He was required to find an agreed solution for a United India but very soon
Mountbatten realized that there was no prospect of an agreed solution. Congress and Muslim
League disagreed with each other’s demands and they couldn’t reach an agreement on all the
plans presented by Lord Mountbatten that would have preserved the unity of India. The only
option for resolving the Indian political deadlock was partition. Thus, the British government
decided to divide the country into two separate states after all the efforts of keeping Hindus and
Muslims together in a single state went in vain. On 3rd June 1947, Viceroy Lord Mountbatten
announced the partition plan in a joint conference of Congress and Muslim League leaders in
Delhi. The plan came to be known as 3rd June Plan. The Plan was unwillingly accepted by both
Congress and Muslim League. The main characteristics of the plan are as following:
1) The British Government would divide India into two separate states.
2) Dominion status would be given to the successor governments of the two states.
3) The interim constitution of the two states would be the Government of India Act 1935.
4) The legislatures of Punjab and Bengal shall decide whether the provinces should be
divided or not.
5) Indian people shall make the constitution of India. The constitution shall not be
applicable to those areas whose people reject it.
6) Referendum shall be held in NWFP.
7) Sindh and Balochistan shall be given freedom to decide its future.
8) Princely States are free to join any country.
9) A Boundary Commission would be established which will demarcate the boundaries of
the two countries.
10) Both countries shall have their own Governor Generals who will be the Executive Heads
of their respective countries.
11) Military assets shall be divided amongst the two countries after partition.

Implementation of the Plan:


The provinces of Bengal and Punjab had two decisions to make. Firstly, whether the provinces
should be partitioned into Muslim and non-Muslim majority areas or not and secondly, whether
to join Pakistan or India. The provincial legislative assemblies of Punjab and Bengal decided to
divide the provinces into Muslim and non-Muslim majority areas. Muslim members from the
predominantly Muslim East Bengal and West Punjab decided to join Pakistan. On the other
hand, Hindu members from the predominantly Hindu West Bengal and East Punjab decided to
join India. The Sindh Legislative Assembly decided by thirty votes to twenty to join Pakistan.
Similarly, the Shahi Jirga of Quetta opted for Pakistan. A referendum was held in NWFP which
voted in favour of Pakistan.
When Bengal and Punjab decided in favour of partition, a Partition Committee was set up for
dealing with matters involved in partition. It was composed of two Congress and two Muslim
League members of the Interim Government with the Viceroy as Chairman. It was a kind of fact-
finding body which was assigned the duty of making proposals regarding the division of assets,
liabilities, institutions and records between India and Pakistan.
The British government drafted the Indian Independence Bill on 5th July 1947, which was based
on the Mountbatten Plan. The Bill consisted of twenty clauses and three schedules. The Bill
basically announced the establishment of two sovereign states – India and Pakistan. It stated that
British rule in India will come to an end on 15th August, 1947, not June 1948, as was initially
planned. It also stated that the agreements and treaties between Princely States and the British
government would cease to exist with the end of British rule in India.
The choice of Governor General for India and Pakistan was part of the implementation of
Mountbatten Plan. There was a provision that Governor General should be common to both
Dominions and that the present Governor General should be re-appointed. Congress agreed to
this proposal knowing that Mountbatten had a soft corner for Hindus. The Congress approval to
Mountbatten’s appointment as Governor General was based on the desire to extract maximum
benefits with Mountbatten’s assistance in the division of assets and demarcation of boundaries.
Muslim League was aware of the pro-Hindu sentiments of Mountbatten and therefore rejected
the proposal. Muslim League appointed Quaid-i-Azam as the first Governor General of Pakistan.
Implementation of the Mountbatten Plan resulted in the division of Indian Armed Forces. Both
Congress and Muslim League insisted that they must have their own armed forces under their
control before 15th August. Discussions were held on whether the division of armed forces
should be on a communal or on a territorial basis. The division was finally decided to be on the
basis of citizenship.
In accordance with the 3rd June Plan, two Boundary Commissions were established. One would
deal with the partition of Bengal and the other would deal with the partition of Punjab. Each
Boundary Commission consisted of a Chairman and four members, two nominated by Congress
and two by the Muslim League. However, both the commissions were unable to reach an
agreement and it was decided that the Chairman, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, should give his own award
which came to be known as Radcliffe Award.
Conclusion:
The 3rd June Plan was a plan of partition of India. For the first time, the British government
publically acknowledged Muslim League’s demand for a separate homeland. After an extensive
and almost a century-long freedom movement, Muslims were now closer than ever before to
achieving their goal of a separate homeland. The 3rd June Plan was responsible for the creation of
Pakistan and India on 14th and 15th August, 1947 respectively.

Q5). Give an account of the life and services of Shah Waliullah. How did he save the Indian
Muslims from political annihilation and religious degeneration? [20]
Ans. Birth and early life:
Shah Waliullah was born in a pious family of Delhi in 1703, four years before the death of
Emperor Aurangzeb. His real name was Qutub-ud-din and later came to be known was Waliullah
for his pious habits. His father Shah Abdur Raheem was well known for his piety and profound
knowledge of Islam. Shah Abdur Raheem died at the age of 77 when Shah Waliullah was 17
years old and transferred the Ba’ia (authority in Sufism) and Irshad (spiritual education) to Shah
Waliullah at his death bed. After the death of his father, Shah Waliullah began teaching at
Madrassa Rahimiya of Delhi where he taught for 12 years.
Education:
Shah Waliullah received his early education in mysticism and spiritualism from his father. He
memorized the Holy Quran when he was seven years old. He received education in Tafsir,
Hadith and Fiqh from his father. In 1730, he went to Arabia for higher studies and performing
Hajj. He received education under the most capable teachers of Makkah and Madina, the most
important one being Sheikh Abu Tahir bin Ibrahim of Madina. He also obtained the Sanad in
Hadith from Sheikh Abu Tahir. During his stay in Arabia, Shah Waliullah received reports of
unstable and chaotic conditions in India and decided to return to India. He came to Delhi in
1734.
Conditions of India at the time of Shah Waliullah:
1) Religious condition:
Un-Islamic trends and practices were flourishing and a general ignorance of Islam, Quran and
Hadith prevailed which created anguish amongst the religious saints. Muslims forgot the
teachings of Tauheed and began to imitate Hindu rituals to come to terms with the changing
times and to please their non-Muslim rulers. False Sufis began preaching the Muslims to believe
in fate and give up all struggle. The Ulemas were not united and had no control over the Muslim
masses. The time and situation was ripe for reformers to emerge and purge the Muslim society
from un-Islamic trends.
2) Social condition:
Political and social turmoil was rampant in the India. Life, property and honour were not secure
as there were a number of disruptive forces at work in the Muslim society. Due to the political
instability, the Muslim community suffered from worst economic conditions as well. Majority of
the Muslims became jobless and extremely poor.
3) Political condition:
The Mughal Empire after the death of Emperor Aurangzeb, was in the hands of incapable and
weak successors who were unable to run the affairs of the huge empire smoothly, as a result the
glorious Mughal Empire began to disintegrate and deteriorate. The Mughal throne had seen ten
kings succeeding one another within fifty years after the death of Emperor Aurangzeb. Taking
advantage of the weak Mughal Empire, in the north-eastern region of Delhi, the Rohilas
established their principality and in south-western region of Delhi, the rulers of Oudh declared
their sovereignty. The Jats revolted and took possession of the cities of Agra and Sikandria. They
opened the grave of Mughal Emperor, Jalal-ud-din Akbar and set his bones on fire. The
Marhatas gained a firm foothold and grew so powerful that they captured a large portion of the
Mughal territory.
Services of Shah Waliullah:
a) Efforts for revival of Islamic practices:
Shah Waliullah devoted his life to the mission of spreading the teachings of Holy Quran and
Sunnah in India. He prepared a few students and gave them knowledge in various branches of
Islamic teachings. He then told them to spread throughout India and impart their knowledge to
others. Shah Waliullah persuaded Muslims to strictly follow the footsteps of Holy Prophet
(SAW) and give up un-Islamic practices and rituals. He urged people to live a simple life and
avoid indulging in the luxuries of the world. Shah Waliullah got in touch with the rulers and
impressed upon them to enforce Islamic laws. He also urged them to mould their lives according
to the teachings of Islam. He educated the Muslim soldiers on the importance of Jihad and asked
them to do Jihad for the glorification of Islam.
b) Economic services:
Shah Waliullah was perhaps the only Muslim scholar of Mediaeval India who realized the
importance of economics in a social and political setup. He asked traders to adopt fair and just
principles as preached by Holy Prophet (SAW). He informed the people about the sins of
accumulation of wealth and how it leads to all sorts of evil in the world. Shah Waliullah advised
the people to satisfy their genuine needs in a moderate and prudent way and after that whatever
wealth remains, they shouldn’t hoard it but spend it in the path of Allah for the welfare of poor
and less fortunate people. He spoke against economic exploitation and educated Muslims on the
harmful effects of dealing in interest.
c) Efforts for Muslim unity:
In his time the Sunnis and Shias were aggressively hostile to each other and their rivalry was
damaging Muslim unity. Shah Waliullah wrote “Izalat-ul-Akhifa” and “Khilafat-ul-Khulafa” in
order to remove misunderstanding between Shias and Sunnis. He also wrote a book named
“Qurrat-ul-Ainain” for bridging the gap between Sunnis and Shias regarding the problem of
caliphate. Shah Waliullah argued in favour of the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar
and established their superiority over Hazrat Ali both logically and academically.
Shah Waliullah adopted an analytical and balanced approach towards religious matters. He
thoroughly studied the four schools of thought and expressed what was right and just in a
sophisticated manner without hurting the feelings of anyone. In order to create a balance and
unity between the followers of all four schools of thought, i.e., Hanafi, Hambali, Shafi and
Malaki, he wrote “Al Insaf fi Bayan Sahab al Ikhtilaf” in which he traced their historical
background and showed that the differences between the doctors of law were trivial and not
essential.
d) Translation of Holy Quran:
His outstanding work was his translation of the Holy Quran into Persian language which was the
literary language of his days. Shah Waliullah’s translation was an exceptional work as there had
never been a translation of the Holy Quran before in a foreign language. His translation brought
the Holy Quran within the reach of an average literate person who found it easier to read and
understand the Holy Quran in a language other than Arabic.
e) Literary services:
Shah Waliullah authored 51 books on mysticism and other branches of Islamic learning which
deal with religious, economic, social and political problems. 23 of the books were in Urdu and
28 were in Persian. His most famous work was “Hujjat-ullah-al-Baligah” in which he gave a
detailed account of the reasons for the social and religious decay of Muslims. In this book, he
also explained the teachings of Islam in the light of human reason and the inner meaning of
Islamic prayers and rituals. He also discussed the importance of application of Ijtihad and
mentioned the intellectual and scholastic qualifications of a Mujtahid.
f) Struggle against anarchy:
The rise of Marhatas posed serious security problems for the Mughals. The Mughals were no
longer in a position to withhold the supremacy of the Muslim rule which gravely jeopardized the
safety of the Muslim community. In these turbulent times, Shah Waliullah was greatly
instrumental in forging a united Muslim front against the Marhatas. He wrote letters to leading
Muslim nobles including Najib-ud-daula, Shuja-ud-daula, Rehmat Khan and finally invited
Ahmad Shah Abdali who inflicted a crushing defeat on the Marhatas in the third battle of Panipat
in 1761.
Conclusion:
Shah Waliullah was a great saint, scholar and reformer who, with his dedicated services brought
the Muslim community together on stable foundations. He rescued the Muslim community’s
conscience, belief and faith from destruction and inspired future Muslim leaders such as Sir Syed
Ahmad Khan, Allama Iqbal and Maulana Qasim Nanotvi, founder of Madrassa Deoband.
Q6). The Aligarh Movement was a pure educational venture but it had deep impacts on
Indian politics. Discuss. [20]
Ans. Aligarh Movement:
Aligarh Movement was a push to establish a modern system of education for Muslims of British
India, during the later decades of the 19th century. The chief architect of the Aligarh Movement
was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. The main focus of the movement was to equip Muslims with modern
education so that they could compete with Hindus and be able to get their due status in the
society. Sir Syed took practical steps for the educational uplift of Muslims. In 1859, he setup a
school in Muradabad where Persian and English language was taught. In 1863, he established
another school at Ghazipur. In 1864, he established a Scientific Society at Ghazipur which aimed
to translate modern studies from English to Persian and Urdu for better understanding of
Muslims. The Scientific Society published a journal in 1866 known as Aligarh Institute Gazette.
This journal was published in both Urdu and English and the main objective of this journal was
to arouse sentiments of goodwill and friendship between Muslims and the British. Sir Syed went
to England in 1869 with his son Syed Mahmood. During his two years stay in England, Sir Syed
closely watched the educational system of Cambridge and Oxford Universities. He was
extremely impressed by the standard and quality of education and made up his mind to establish
an educational institution on the pattern of Cambridge and Oxford Universities in India. On his
return to India in 1870, Sir Syed set up a body named Anjuman-i-Taraqi-i-Mussalmanan-i-Hind
with the objective of imparting knowledge to Muslims of India. The establishment of M.A.O
High School in 1874 was the monumental achievement of Sir Syed regarding educational
services. Sir Syed worked diligently to raise the school to college level and in 1877, the school
was upgraded to the status of college. In 1886, Sir Syed founded the Muhammadan Educational
Conference which presented a twelve point program in western and religious education in
English and other languages. This conference held its meetings in various parts of the country to
discuss and find solutions for the educational problems faced by Muslims of India.
Impacts on Indian politics:
1) Muslim-British reconciliation:
The Aligarh Movement bridged the gap between the Muslims and the British to a great extent
and brought them closer to each other. All the misunderstanding and suspicion that existed
between the British and the Muslims was successfully curbed. The British no longer considered
the Muslims as their deadliest enemies and stopped treating them as third class citizens of India.
The Muslims accepted the British as their masters and adopted a more lenient attitude towards
them. The Aligarh Movement brought about a shift in the government policy towards Muslims.
2) Created awareness amongst Muslims:
The Aligarh Movement created an awareness amongst the Muslims regarding the protection of
their rights. It brought forward a group of students who were very conscious of what was
happening in India and outside India. This educated class was instrumental in promoting Muslim
identity and advocating Muslim demands to the government as they could communicate with the
rulers because they knew the language and possessed the knowledge. Muslims realized that if
they don’t receive western education then the Hindus who have accepted it, would excel in every
field of life and dominate them in the society. Muslims also realized that an armed rebellion
against the British was pointless and instead of distancing themselves from the British, they
should establish cordial relationship with the British and take advantage of everything that the
British had to offer.
3) Supply of political leadership:
Sir Syed’s Aligarh movement opened the doors to modern education and enlightenment for the
Muslims and brought about an intellectual revolution. The Aligarh movement produced many
great minds who represented Muslims in India and abroad and worked to improve the conditions
of Muslims. The success of Muhammadan Educational Conference inspired Muslim leaders to
form the All India Muslim League in 1906.
4) Concept of separate electorates:
Aligarh Movement suggested separate electorates for Muslims because the British parliamentary
system of democracy was based on the majority rule. It made the Muslims realize that the British
system was neither feasible nor possible in a multinational country like India. The Muslims in
India were in minority while the Hindus were in majority, thus adopting the British system
would make the Hindus dominant over Muslims and Muslims will always be at the mercy of
Hindus.
5) Concept of separate nation:
After the Hindi-Urdu controversy in 1867, Aligarh Movement convinced Muslims that Hindus
and Muslims were two separate nations with diverging interests and distinct religious, political,
social and economic principles. This idea came to be known as Two-Nation Theory. Hindus and
Muslims, in spite of living together for centuries, were conscious about their religious, social,
political and cultural differences and couldn’t merge in each other’s way of life to become one
nation. The main reason for these differences was the religion of Islam which cannot be
assimilated in any other system. The Two-Nation Theory laid the foundation for Pakistan
Movement which culminated in the creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947.
Conclusion:
Aligarh Movement was a religio-political movement which contributed a lot towards the
regeneration and revival of the Muslims of sub-continent. The movement revolutionized the
economic, social, religious and political status of the Muslims. It injected life in the dormant
body of Muslim nation and helped them to regain their lost position of eminence and glory.
Q7). Critically analyze the elections of 1937 and the sufferings and grievances of the
Muslims under the Congress rule in the provinces (1937-1939). How much did it help in
popularizing the idea of a separate Muslim state in India? [20]
Ans. Introduction:
British government announced to hold elections to the provincial legislative assemblies in 1937
as mandated by the Government of India Act 1935. Elections were held in eleven provinces;
Madras, Central Provinces, United Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, Bombay, Assam, NWFP, Bengal,
Punjab and Sindh. Of the total 1,585 seats, Congress won 707 seats and of the total 485 reserved
Muslim seats, the Muslim League only captured 110 seats. Even in the Muslim majority
provinces of Punjab, NWFP, Bengal and Sindh the Muslim League was trounced by rival
Muslim parties. Congress got clear majority in five provinces; Madras, Bihar, Orissa, United
Provinces and Central Provinces and formed coalition governments with other parties in three
other provinces. In this way Congress formed ministries in eight provinces. On the other hand,
Muslim League which managed to get just a few seats, failed to form government in any
province.
Critical analysis of 1937 elections:
The elections accentuated Muslim league’s status among Muslims in India. The results of
election showed that Muslim League has failed to augment itself as India’s largest Muslim party.
Moreover, it struck a serious blow to Muslim League’s credibility as it had claimed to be the
exclusive representative of Indian Muslims. However, the election was not a complete failure as
it brought some benefits too. Muslim League learned a great deal about how to contest elections
and became aware of the strength of rival Muslim parties such as the Majlis-i-Ahrar and Jamiat-
i-Ulema-i-Hind. Muslim League realized that its support lay more in areas where Muslims were
in minority. Muslim League also realized that they had an image problem. Its leaders were seen
as aristocrats and princes whereas many Muslims at that time were poor and illiterate. The
success of provincial parties like the Krishak Lok Party in Bengal and the Unionist Party in
Punjab showed that Muslim electorates were still thinking along provincial and local lines and
were less interested in all-India issues. The Indian National Congress secured a sweeping victory
which revealed its efficiency and capability and proved its claim of being a ‘National Party’.
What was true of the Muslim League was also true of the Congress so far as Muslims were
concerned. The latter, too, was not able to win adequate number of seats in Muslim majority
provinces to demonstrate its popularity amongst Muslims.
Congress rule (1937-1939):
With the installation of Congress ministries, the Hindus began suppressing and persecuting the
Muslims. Muslims living under Congress rule were subjected to most inhuman treatment as the
Congress adopted every possible means to completely obliterate and exterminate Muslims from
the Indian society. The policies adopted by the Congress are explained hereunder:
1) Vande Matram:
Vande Matram was a song in which degrading verses were used against Muslims and their
religion Islam. The song was written by a Bengali novelist named Bankim Chatterjee in his novel
Ananda Matha. Vande Matram was adopted as the national anthem of India and the Congress
used it as a tool to strengthen Hindu nationalism. The verses of the song urged Hindus to take
arms and wage war against Muslims in order to expel them from Hindustan which was only
meant for Hindus. Congress leaders issued orders to commence each day’s proceedings in
Legislative Assemblies by the recitation of the song Vande Matram.
2) Wardha Scheme and Vidya-Mandhir Scheme :
Wardha Scheme was a new educational policy introduced by the Congress. The purpose of the
scheme was to obliterate cultural and religious traditions of Muslims and inculcate into the minds
of Muslim children the superiority of Hindu culture. It aimed to develop reverence among
Muslim children for Hindu heroes and religious leaders. It sought to isolate the young generation
of Muslims from their religion, culture and traditions. Another attempt to erase Muslim culture
and religion was made by introducing a second educational policy called Vidya-Mandhir
Scheme. The purpose of this scheme was to convert Muslims and other non-Hindus into
Hinduism. Under this scheme, it was made compulsory for students in all educational institutions
to worship the picture of Gandhi. Students were asked pay homage to Gandhi’s picture and sing
hymns in his praise.
3) Hoisting of three-coloured flag:
The Congress, after taking over the government in provinces, immediately ordered the hoisting
of the three-coloured Indian flag with the British Union Jack to prove that there were only two
powers in India; the British and the Congress.
4) Muslim mass contact campaign:
The Congress started a Muslim mass contact campaign with the objective of crushing the
popularity of Muslim League. It was Nehru’s idea to destroy and mutilate the image of Muslim
League in the eyes of Muslims. Congress started calling Muslim League “British agents” and
“fake Muslims” to undermine their popularity. In this campaign, Congress supporters would
argue with Muslims on the performance and role of Muslim League. Congress supporters spread
disinformation and painted an ugly picture of Muslim League so that Muslims desert it and join
Congress.
5) Hindu-Muslim riots:
Organized attempts were made on the honour, property and lives of Muslims. Hindus were given
a free hand to assault and molest Muslims anywhere and anytime. Government agencies offered
no protection to Muslims and made no attempts to save Muslims from the atrocities of Hindus.
In addition, if Muslims lodged complaints with the authorities, they would always give decisions
against Muslims.
6) Religious intolerance:
Religious intolerance was at its peak during Congress rule. Every effort was made to humble and
humiliate Islam. Muslims were not allowed to practice their religion freely and their actions were
scrutinized by the Hindus with a searching eye. Muslims were forbidden to eat beef and severe
punishments were awarded to those who slaughtered the Mother Cow. The Muslim call to
prayer, i.e., Azaan was banned along with construction of new mosques. Noisy processions were
organized to pass near mosques at prayer times and pigs were pushed inside mosques to disturb
Muslims while they were praying.
End of Congress rule:
At the outbreak of World War II, Viceroy Lord Linlithgow announced India’s involvement in the
war without prior consultations with the main political parties. Congress demanded immediate
transfer of power in return for cooperation in the war but the British government refused. In
response, the Congress ministries resigned in protest in 1939.
Muslim reaction to end of Congress rule:
With the resignation of Congress ministries, the Muslims took a sigh of relief and celebrated the
day with happiness. Quaid-i-Azam asked Muslims to observe 22nd December, 1939, as the Day
of Deliverance. Muslims offered thanksgiving prayers in token of relief from the tyranny,
oppression and high-handedness of the Congress regime.
Conclusion:
The two and a half years of Congress rule was a bitter and painful experience for the Muslims
which opened their eyes to the true Hindu mentality. Muslims realized that they will never be
able to live in peace and prosperity under Hindu domination. The atrocities of Congress
convinced Muslims of the need for a separate homeland so that they don’t have to live under
such conditions every again. In conclusion, the Congress rule greatly helped in popularizing the
idea of a separate homeland.

Q8). Briefly describe the genuine factors which were responsible for the demand of a
separate homeland by the Muslims of sub-continent. [20]
Ans. Introduction:
Hindus and Muslims had lived peacefully in India for centuries but after the British invasion of
sub-continent and their undue support to Hindus, life became very difficult for Indian Muslims.
Muslims by all definitions were a separate nation who always adhered to their religious identity
and the British and Hindus, in spite of their best efforts couldn’t put a wedge into Muslim unity
and their love for national character. The creation of Pakistan owes much to this feeling of
adherence to their national image and religious identity.
Factors responsible for the demand of Pakistan:
The factors which were responsible for the demand of a separate homeland are discussed as
following:
1) Two-Nation Theory:
Quaid-i-Azam once said, “Pakistan was established the day when the first Indian national
embraced Islam.” Hindus and Muslims, in spite of living together for centuries, were conscious
about their religious, social, political and cultural differences and couldn’t merge in each other’s
way of life to become one nation. The main reason for these differences was the religion of Islam
which cannot be assimilated in any other system. These factors were responsible for giving rise
to Muslim feelings of separatism which compelled them to demand a separate homeland.
a) Religious differences:
Hindus and Muslims belong to different religions, Hinduism and Islam. Both religions differ
with each other in their basic philosophies. Islam is based on the concept of monotheism
(Tauheed) and to consider anyone equal to Allah in his Names, Attributes, Actions and right to
worship is the greatest sin in Islam. On the other hand, Hinduism is based on the concept of
multiple Gods or polytheism. Islam regards all human beings as Allah’s creation and considers
no man to be superior to another man on the basis of his colour, race, language or ethnicity and
the only criterion for superiority is piety. On the other hand, Hinduism doesn’t regard even its
own followers as equal and has divided the society into four classes as Brahmins, Kshatriya,
Vaishya and Shudra. Islam is a universal religion that deals with every aspect of life such as
social, economic, political and moral aspects of life whereas Hinduism only deals with a few
aspects of life and adopts a very narrow approach towards life.
b) Cultural and social differences:
Hindus and Muslims followed different social customs and traditions and their beliefs, thinking
and approach towards various aspects of life were easily distinguishable from each other. The
Hindus burnt dead bodies while Muslims buried them. Hindus followed the custom of Satti
wherein a widowed woman would immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. On the other
hand, the Muslims didn’t follow this custom and a Muslim widowed woman could live
peacefully after her husband’s death. Hindus considered cow as a sacred animal and worshipped
it while Muslims slaughtered it for eating and sacrificial purposes. Hindus believe that bathing in
River Ganges during festivals cleanses them of sins whereas Muslims don’t believe in any such
tradition. Hindus celebrate more than twenty religious festivals every year such as Diwali, Holi,
Yatra and Deepavali whereas Muslims only celebrate two religious festivals every year, Eid-ul-
Fittar and Eid-ul-Azha. Hindus and Muslims had different national languages, the national
language of Hindus was Hindi while that of Muslims was Urdu. Hindus and Muslims didn’t
intermarry nor did they interdine. The Hindus took themselves as a superior race and considered
Muslims to be inferior and impure, anything touched by a Muslim was extensively washed and
cleansed with the sacred water of River Ganges to shed away the impurity caused by a Muslim.
c) Economic and educational differences:
As the British had snatched power from the Muslims, they were very keen to ensure that
Muslims don’t regain their political and economic power. The British adopted harsh trade
policies to close all doors of economic prosperity on Muslims. In addition, Muslims were thrown
out of government service and their estates and properties were confiscated. Muslims lacked
economic resources and became dependent on Hindu money-lenders for conducting businesses.
The Hindus took this as an opportunity to exploit Muslims and make it even more difficult for
them to stabilize themselves economically. These policies aimed to crush the economic
conditions of Muslims who found themselves at the brink of economic disaster. On the other
hand, the British extended enormous favours to Hindus and allowed them to progress
economically. All high ranking jobs were reserved for Hindus. The Hindus monopolized trade
and economic activities which enabled them to flourish and prosper.
The Hindus readily accepted modern education and advanced in the field of education. Muslims,
on the other hand, didn’t acquire modern education as a result, they were not in a position to
compete with Hindus in the political and economic spheres.
d) Political differences:
In 1867, Hindu leaders organized an agitation against Urdu and demanded that Urdu, written in
Persian script should be replaced by Hindi written in Devanagri script as the court and official
language. It was a deliberate effort on the part of Hindus to crush the centuries old Muslim
culture and establish their culture on Muslims as to them this was the most effective way to
eliminate the Muslims as a nation.
The Indian National Congress instead of safeguarding the interests of all communities in India,
the Congress turned into a pure Hindu body and completely ignored the interests of Muslims. All
the demands projected from the Congress platform only served the interests of Hindus. Congress
leaders demanded that members to the Central and Provincial Legislative Councils should be
elected through general elections instead of by nomination. This demand was vehemently
criticized by Muslims because the British system of parliamentary government was based on the
majority rule. Such a system was neither feasible nor possible in a multinational country like
India. The Muslims in India were in minority while the Hindus were in majority, thus adopting
the British system would make the Hindus dominant over Muslims and Muslims will always be
at the mercy of Hindus. Congress made another demand that all appointments to high civil posts
should be conducted through competitive examinations. By making this demand the Congress
wanted to oust Muslims from government services. The acceptance of this demand would have
rendered the Muslims economically ruined and destroyed.
In 1905, the British divided Bengal into two provinces on purely administrative grounds.
Muslims welcomed the partition and expressed their utmost happiness over the partition. The
Hindus reacted to the partition in a violent and hostile manner. The Hindus launched an intensive
movement against the partition, calling it degrading and insulting. The day of 16th October, when
partition was enforced, was declared as a national tragedy and strikes were held throughout the
country on this day. Religious colour was given to the agitation and partition was termed as the
dissection of the Sacred Cow Mother in order to arouse deep public opposition against the
partition. The vigorous Hindu agitation rocked the government which finally succumbed to the
extreme pressure and annulled the partition of Bengal in 1911. The blatant Hindu opposition to
the partition of Bengal aroused feelings of insecurity among the Muslims and convinced Muslim
leaders of the need for a separate Muslim political organization which could safeguard Muslim
interests and counter Congress propaganda.
2) Congress rule (1937-1939):
The Indian National Congress secured a sweeping victory in the general elections held under
Government of India Act 1935. With the installation of Congress ministries, the Hindus began
suppressing and persecuting the Muslims. Muslims living under Congress rule were subjected to
most inhuman treatment as the Congress adopted every possible means to completely obliterate
and exterminate Muslims from the Indian society. Some of the policies adopted by the Congress
were recitation of Vande Matram, the introduction of two new educational schemes called
Wardha Scheme and Vidya-Mandhir Scheme, hoisting of three-coloured flag with the British
Union Jack, Muslim mass contact campaign and the religious intolerance aimed at humiliating
Islam. The two and a half years of Congress rule was a bitter and painful experience for the
Muslims which opened their eyes to the true Hindu mentality. Muslims realized that they will
never be able to live in peace and prosperity under Hindu domination. The atrocities of Congress
convinced Muslims of the need for a separate homeland so that they don’t have to live under
such conditions every again.
3) Hindu nationalism:
A number of Hindu nationalist movements emerged from time to time in the Indian history. The
two most influential of these movements were Brahmo Samaj and Arya Samaj which greatly
intensified Hindu nationalism and increased antagonism between the two communities. The main
objective of Brahmo Samaj was to strengthen the British rule so that Muslims could be
oppressed and persecuted with the blessings of the British. Arya Samaj launched two anti-
Muslim movements; Shuddhi and Sangathan. The Shuddhi movement aimed at the mass
conversion of certain backward groups of Muslims into Hinduism by use of force or incentives.
The Sangathan movement sought to organize the Hindus into a militant force in order to fight
and expel Muslims from Hindustan which was only meant for Hindus.
4) Fear of Hindu domination after the British leave sub-continent:
Muslims were afraid that if the British leave sub-continent in an integrated form, they will come
under Hindu domination and become their slaves. For Muslims it was possible to digest the idea
of living under British rule because at least they will have some rights and hope to live
peacefully but the mere thought of living under Hindu rule brings nothing but catastrophe and
disaster to mind, especially after the Congress rule. The British were the Muslims only hope of
getting a separate homeland because Muslims were absolutely sure that if the British left sub-
continent in an integrated form and let the Hindus and Muslims to decide their fate, the Hindus
would never agree to their demand of a separate homeland. Thus, Muslims demanded a separate
homeland to remove the possibility of Hindu domination after the British had left sub-continent.
Conclusion:
The above discussion shows that there was an unbridgeable gulf between the Hindus and
Muslims. The two communities were glaringly distinctive from each other ideologically,
culturally, politically, socially and economically. In the presence of such deep-rooted contrasts, it
was not possible for Hindus and Muslims to co-exist as one nation. In conclusion, Muslims
demanded a separate homeland in order to protect their religious, cultural, political and economic
distinctiveness which was precariously threatened in united India under the British and especially
Hindu hegemony.

Q9). Why did the Indian Muslims demand the right of ‘separate electorate’? Discuss in
detail. [20]
Ans. Introduction:
Separate electorates is a system of voting in which each recognized community only votes for
candidates of its own community, as opposed to joint electorates in which all communities select
their representative from the same set of candidates. Separate electorates are demanded by
minorities who fear that they would not get representation in state affairs and government. In
1906, a Muslim delegation comprising 35 Muslim leaders under the leadership of Sir Agha Khan
met Viceroy Lord Minto at Simla. The delegation expressed the need for protection of Muslim
interests and asked for separate electorates. The demand of separate electorates was accepted by
the government and included in the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909.
Reasons for demanding separate electorates:
There were many reasons that compelled Muslims to demand the right of separate electorate.
They are discussed as following:
1) Congress biased in favour of Hindus:
In 1885, Lord A.O Hume formed an organization called Indian National Congress. The aim of
this party was to provide a political platform for the Indians so that they could point out to the
government in what respects the government was faulty and how it should be improved. Instead
of safeguarding the interests of all communities in India, the Congress turned into a pure Hindu
body and completely ignored the interests of Muslims. All the demands projected from the
Congress platform only served the interests of Hindus. Muslims felt that the Congress has no
interest in protecting their rights and is only concerned about the rights of Hindus, as a result
they demanded separate electorates so that they could elect Muslim leaders from their
community who would raise voice for the protection of their rights.
2) British parliamentary system of democracy:
When the British implemented the parliamentary system of democracy in India in order to
strengthen their rule by involving local people in government, the Indian Muslims demanded
separate electorates. Muslims demanded separate electorates because the parliamentary system
of democracy was based on the majority rule. Such a system was neither feasible nor possible in
a multinational country like India. The Muslims in India were in minority while the Hindus were
in majority, thus adopting the British system would make the Hindus dominant over Muslims
and Muslims will always be at the mercy of Hindus.
3) Establishing the unique identity of Muslims:
The British regarded India as a single country inhabited by Indians who were a nation
collectively but the Muslims and Hindus were conscious about their religious differences and of
being two separate nations. The demand of separate electorates was a way of convincing the
British that Muslims are a separate nation with distinct religious, political, social and economic
principles. Muslims came to the conclusion that since Muslims and Hindus are two separate
nations, therefore they deserve the right to elect Muslims from their community to represent
them as opposed to a Hindu with whom they share nothing. Muslims realized that Hindu
representatives can only represent Hindus and Muslim representatives can only represent
Muslims. Therefore it is important that Muslims have representatives from their community who
are aware of the religious, social, moral, cultural and political problems of Muslims.
4) Beginning of self-government:
Muslims envisaged separate electorates as the first step to achieving self-government. Separate
electorates meant the removal of competition with Congress and increasing the chances of
success of Muslim representatives in elections. Muslims hoped that with separate electorates,
Muslim majority areas will come under their control and they will be able to govern their co-
religionists without any external political authority. Self-government will eventually provide
Muslims with an opportunity to rehabilitate their social, political and economic position.
5) Muslims involvement in government:
Separate electorates assured Muslims of a fixed number of representatives in government at
Central and Provincial levels. Separate electorates was the key to make Muslims part of the
government and counter the influence and hegemony of Hindus in British government. It gave
Muslims the opportunity to express their opinion on matters that were relevant to them so that
the British government is aware of the interests of Muslims before they make a decision.
Separate electorates will make it possible to safeguard Muslim interests in a multinational
country like India where they are in minority.
6) Promote loyalty to the British:
Accepting the demand of separate electorates would please Muslims and help promote feelings
of loyalty among the Muslims to the British. Muslims would realize that the British have not
forsaken them and is prepared to support and safeguard Muslim interests in the sub-continent.
Separate electorates is the right of Muslims and if granted, it will act as a bridge between the
British rulers and their Muslim subjects which will create better understanding between them and
prevent the rise of hostility and hatred.
Conclusion:
The demand for separate electorates stimulated the Muslims to make further demands and fight
for their political rights in India. It became the centerpiece of Muslims political struggle around
which all their pacts and resolutions revolved. The demand for separate electorates laid the
foundation for demanding a separate country for Muslims which was eventually achieved on 14th
August, 1947.

Q10). It was over-reaction of Hindus to the partition of Bengal in 1905 that widened the
gulf between Muslims and Hindus. Comment. [20]
Ans. Introduction:
No doubt, the over-reaction of Hindus to the partition of Bengal was responsible for widening
the gulf between Muslims and Hindus but there were other important factors as well which
played a key role in widening the gulf between the two communities. The Hindus opposition to
partition of Bengal was not the first occasion at which the nefarious designs of Hindus were
revealed, instead the Hindus had adopted many measures in the past which aimed to exterminate
Muslims from the Indian society that ultimately widened the gulf between them.
Hindi-Urdu controversy:
Urdu was introduced as the official language of sub-continent in 1825. The Hindus, as a result of
their hatred and eternal jealousy of Muslims, were not in favour of any measure which promoted
Muslim culture in the sub-continent. In 1867, Hindu leaders organized an agitation against Urdu
and demanded that Urdu, written in Persian script should be replaced by Hindi written in
Devanagri script as the court and official language. It was a deliberate effort on the part of
Hindus to crush the centuries old Muslim culture and establish their culture on Muslims as to
them this was the most effective way to eliminate the Muslims as a nation. The Hindi-Urdu
controversy made it abundantly clear that Muslims and Hindus are separate nations with
diverging interests and distinct religious, political, social and economic principles.
Indian National Congress:
In 1885, Lord A.O Hume formed an organization called Indian National Congress. The aim of
this party was to provide a political platform for the Indians so that they could point out to the
government in what respects the government was faulty and how it should be improved. Instead
of safeguarding the interests of all communities in India, the Congress turned into a pure Hindu
body and completely ignored the interests of Muslims. All the demands projected from the
Congress platform only served the interests of Hindus. Congress leaders demanded that members
to the Central and Provincial Legislative Councils should be elected through general elections
instead of by nomination. This demand was vehemently criticized by Muslims because the
British system of parliamentary government was based on the majority rule. Such a system was
neither feasible nor possible in a multinational country like India. The Muslims in India were in
minority while the Hindus were in majority, thus adopting the British system would make the
Hindus dominant over Muslims and Muslims will always be at the mercy of Hindus. Congress
made another demand that all appointments to high civil posts should be conducted through
competitive examinations. By making this demand the Congress wanted to oust Muslims from
government services. The acceptance of this demand would have rendered the Muslims
economically ruined and destroyed.
Partition of Bengal:
Introduction:
Lord Curzon announced the partition of Bengal in 1905 along communal lines. The partition of
Bengal created two provinces; Eastern Bengal and Western Bengal. Eastern Bengal had a
population of 31 million, out of which 18 million were Muslims and 12 million were Hindus.
Western Bengal had a population of 54 million, out of which 9 million were Muslims and 42
million were Hindus. The administrative capital of British government was moved from Calcutta
to Delhi as well.
Circumstances leading to partition of Bengal:
Bengal was the biggest province of India, it had a vast area which made it impossible to be
governed and looked after by a single provincial government. Consequently a major portion of
the province remained neglected and underdeveloped. In view of its large size and enormous
population, it was felt that the province of Bengal should be partitioned in order to facilitate the
administration. Apart from administration purposes, Bengal was partitioned for political
purposes as well. The partition of Bengal was a part of the “Divide and Rule” strategy of the
British government to quell the growth of nationalism as Bengal had become the nerve center of
Indian nationalism. Bengal was at the forefront of a revolution and it was said “what Bengal
thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.” The British saw united Bengal as a threat to their rule in
sub-continent and wanted to dissipate the political instability which aroused as a result of Indian
nationalism.
The partition was engineered by the British to create a situation whereby Hindus and Muslims
would be forced to think in a way as if their religious, social and political identities were at peril.
This will make them aware of their own religious, social and political needs, consequently each
community will fight for its own rights and try to dominate the other which will break their unity
and power. The British thought that they will be able to suppress nationalism by dividing Bengal
into two provinces as it will create rivalry between Muslims and Hindus who will then not join
forces to fight against them.
Hindus reaction to partition of Bengal:
The Hindus reacted to the partition in a violent and hostile manner. The Hindus launched an
intensive movement against the partition, calling it degrading and insulting. The day of 16th
October, when partition was enforced, was declared as a national tragedy and strikes were held
throughout the country on this day. Religious colour was given to the agitation and partition was
termed as the dissection of the Sacred Cow Mother in order to arouse deep public opposition
against the partition. People disobeyed government orders to pay taxes and rentals. Bombs were
thrown and attacks were made on the lives of British people. Swadeshi movement was organized
wherein people started using only the goods produced in India and boycotted foreign goods. The
vigorous Hindu agitation rocked the government which finally succumbed to the extreme
pressure and annulled the partition of Bengal in 1911.
Effect on Hindu-Muslim relation:
Relations between Hindus and Muslims deteriorated after the partition of Bengal. Muslims
welcomed the partition and expressed their utmost happiness over the partition. They offered
their gratitude to the government and impressed upon it to maintain the partition. The partition of
Bengal provided Muslims with an opportunity to rehabilitate their social, political and economic
position. The Hindu agitation against the partition convinced the Muslims about the nefarious
designs of Hindus. They realized that Hindus can never be sincere towards Muslims and would
never allow them to live in peace and prosperity. The Hindu agitation furthered the Two-Nation
Theory and made it abundantly clear that Muslims and Hindus are separate nations with
diverging interests and distinct religious, political, social and economic principles. The blatant
Hindu opposition to the partition of Bengal aroused feelings of insecurity among the Muslims
and convinced Muslim leaders of the need for a separate Muslim political organization which
could safeguard Muslim interests and counter Congress propaganda.
Conclusion:
From the above discussion, we conclude that indeed it was the over-reaction of Hindus to the
partition of Bengal that effected Hindu-Muslim relations the most and widened the gulf between
them to a greater extent. Hindu-Muslim relation was already in a freefall and the Hindus
opposition to partition of Bengal proved to be the last nail in the coffin.

Q11). What circumstances led to the partition of Bengal in 1905. How it affected the
Hindu-British and Hindu-Muslim relations? Discuss.
Ans. Introduction:
Lord Curzon announced the partition of Bengal in 1905 along communal lines. The partition of
Bengal created two provinces; Eastern Bengal and Western Bengal. Eastern Bengal had a
population of 31 million, out of which 18 million were Muslims and 12 million were Hindus.
Western Bengal had a population of 54 million, out of which 9 million were Muslims and 42
million were Hindus. The administrative capital of British government was moved from Calcutta
to Delhi as well.
Circumstances leading to partition of Bengal:
Bengal was the biggest province of India, it had a vast area which made it impossible to be
governed and looked after by a single provincial government. Consequently a major portion of
the province remained neglected and underdeveloped. In view of its large size and enormous
population, it was felt that the province of Bengal should be partitioned in order to facilitate the
administration. Apart from administration purposes, Bengal was partitioned for political
purposes as well. The partition of Bengal was a part of the “Divide and Rule” strategy of the
British government to quell the growth of nationalism as Bengal had become the nerve center of
Indian nationalism. Bengal was at the forefront of a revolution and it was said “what Bengal
thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.” The British saw united Bengal as a threat to their rule in
sub-continent and wanted to dissipate the political instability which aroused as a result of Indian
nationalism.
The partition was engineered by the British to create a situation whereby Hindus and Muslims
would be forced to think in a way as if their religious, social and political identities were at peril.
This will make them aware of their own religious, social and political needs, consequently each
community will fight for its own rights and try to dominate the other which will break their unity
and power. The British thought that they will be able to suppress nationalism by dividing Bengal
into two provinces as it will create rivalry between Muslims and Hindus who will then not join
forces to fight against them.
Effect on Hindu-British relation:
Relations between Hindus and the British soured after the partition of Bengal. The Hindus
reacted to the partition in a violent and hostile manner. The reasons for Hindu opposition to the
partition were as following:
1) The Hindus considered the partition as an attempt to sow the seeds of hatred and
discontentment among the Indian people to weaken the national movements for
independence.

2) The Hindus feared that they would be dominated by Muslims in Eastern Bengal which
will put an end to the superior political position that they enjoyed before the partition.

3) As the provincial High Court and other judicial bodies were to be shifted to Dhaka,
capital of East Bengal, the Hindu lawyers feared that their legal practice would be
affected.

4) Since Dhaka was to become the center of journalistic and other academic activities, the
Hindu Press and media believed that from now on, the Muslim point of view would be
projected in the newspapers and magazines. They also feared that their income would be
diminished.

5) The Hindu landlords, capitalists and traders opposed the partition because it put an end to
their exploitation of the poor Muslims.

The Hindus launched an intensive movement against the partition, calling it degrading and
insulting. The day of 16th October, when partition was enforced, was declared as a national
tragedy and strikes were held throughout the country on this day. Religious colour was given to
the agitation and partition was termed as the dissection of the Sacred Cow Mother in order to
arouse deep public opposition against the partition. People disobeyed government orders to pay
taxes and rentals. Bombs were thrown and attacks were made on the lives of British people.
Swadeshi movement was organized wherein people started using only the goods produced in
India and boycotted foreign goods. The vigorous Hindu agitation rocked the government which
finally succumbed to the extreme pressure and annulled the partition of Bengal in 1911.
Effect on Hindu-Muslim relation:
Relations between Hindus and Muslims deteriorated after the partition of Bengal. Muslims
welcomed the partition and expressed their utmost happiness over the partition. They offered
their gratitude to the government and impressed upon it to maintain the partition. The partition of
Bengal provided Muslims with an opportunity to rehabilitate their social, political and economic
position. The Hindu agitation against the partition convinced the Muslims about the nefarious
designs of Hindus. They realized that Hindus can never be sincere towards Muslims and would
never allow them to live in peace and prosperity. The Hindu agitation furthered the Two-Nation
Theory and made it abundantly clear that Muslims and Hindus are separate nations with
diverging interests and distinct religious, political, social and economic principles. The agitation
also convinced Muslim leaders of the need for a separate Muslim political organization which
could safeguard Muslim interests and counter Congress propaganda.
Conclusion:
From the above discussion, we conclude that the partition of Bengal widened the gulf between
Muslims and Hindus and created an even greater communal dissonance between the two
communities. Hindu-Muslim relation was already in a freefall and the Hindus opposition to
partition of Bengal proved to be the last nail in the coffin.

Q12). Lucknow Pact 1916 is considered the culmination of Hindu-Muslim unity. What
circumstances led to this historic pact? [20]
Ans. Introduction:
In 1916, the Muslim League and Congress, for the first time in history of India, held their joint
sessions in Lucknow and reached an agreement which is known as Lucknow Pact. Muhammad
Ali Jinnah, then a member of Congress as well as Muslim League, made both the parties reach
an agreement to put pressure on the British government to adopt a more liberal approach towards
India and give Indians more authority to run their country, besides safeguarding basic Muslim
demands. The Lucknow Pact established a stable ground for political advancement of Muslims
who were desperately looking for the constitutional safeguard of their interests which were
openly opposed by the Hindu majority.
Lucknow Pact – culmination of Hindu-Muslim unity:
The main clauses of the Lucknow Pact were:
1) There shall be self-government in India.
2) Muslims should be given one-third representation in the central government.
3) Muslims shall be elected through separate electorates.
4) System of weightage should be adopted in provinces where Muslims are in minority.
5) The number of members in Central Legislative Council should be increased to 150.
6) The strength of Provincial Legislative Council should not be less than 125 in major
provinces and from 50 to 75 in minor provinces.
7) The Provincial and Central Legislative Council will have fourth-fifth as elected members
and one-fifth as nominated members and their term of office shall be five years.
8) No bill concerning a community should be passed if the bill is opposed by three-fourth of
the members of that community.
9) Protection shall be given to Hindus in Muslim majority provinces.
The Lucknow Pact was a great achievement of the Hindu and Muslim leaders who were
successful in offering for the first time, a mutually acceptable solution of the Hindu-Muslim
problems. It was the outcome of the sincere efforts of Quaid-i-Azam who had always been a
staunch advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. This Pact in essence recognized that Hindu and
Muslim interests were so diverse that Congress and Muslim League alone couldn’t represent
both of them. Congress officially recognized the Muslim League as sole representative of
Muslims in India. Congress, for the first time acknowledged that Muslims were a separate nation
and accepted their right to separate electorates. Muslim League reciprocated by agreeing to work
with Congress towards the establishment of self-rule. Both Congress and Muslim League
rejected all objections raised by the British against India’s suitability to have a system of self-
rule and declared that the Indians were capable enough to run the Government’s affairs and
possessed all qualities of head and heart to deal with matters of national importance. The
Lucknow Pact established cordial relations between the Muslim League and Congress, who until
then were viewed as rivals and worked in their own interests. The Lucknow Pact also established
cordial relations between the two prominent groups within the Congress, the extremist faction
led by Tilak and the moderate faction led by Gopal Gokhale.
Circumstances leading to Lucknow Pact:
Some developments on the national and international political scene took place which compelled
the Muslim League to reshape its political strategy and adopt a new approach towards Hindu-
Muslim unity.
From its inception, the Muslim League aimed to establish cordial relations with the British
Crown by adopting a humble and courteous stance while presenting its demands to the British.
However, the government’s decision to annul the partition of Bengal and make English the
official language of sub-continent, extremely disappointed Muslims. In addition, the
Government’s hesitant policy with regard to the establishment of Aligarh Muslim University, the
demolition of Kanpur Mosque and the failure of British to grant more rights to Muslims in the
Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909 brought the Muslim League closer to Congress.
The British, in order to satisfy Indians, invited suggestions from Indians for post-World War I
reforms that would lead to greater representation of Indians in Executive and Legislative
Councils. Both Congress and Muslim League welcomed the announcement and realized that for
further concessions to be gained, greater cooperation was required.
The situation on international level wasn’t so good as well. The war between Italy and Turkey in
Tripoli and the Balkan War resulted in the Ottoman Empire losing a bulk of its territory in
Europe. The defeat of Ottoman Empire in these wars sent a wave of shock and sorrow
throughout the Muslim world. In 1911, the Russian Empire in collusion with the British invaded
the city of Tabriz in Iran and executed thousands of revolutionists. The Indian Muslims held
protests against the invasion and expressed their unhappiness at the British. The declaration of
war by Britain against the Khalifa of Turkey in the First World War infuriated the Muslims as
the Khalifa was regarded the religious head of Muslims all over the world.
In view of the above developments, Muslim League changed its policy and included self-rule for
India in its demand in order to gain the confidence and support of Congress. Muslim League
hoped that unity between Hindus and Muslims would compel the government to accept their
demands as it always responded to violence and public pressure.
Conclusion:
The Lucknow Pact was a bright chapter in the dark and gloomy environment of Indian political
history which was marred with communal strife and narrow-mindedness. It created political
homogeneity between Muslim League and Congress who agreed to forget past mistakes and
accepted each other’s interests with sincerity. The Khilafat Movement was the culmination of
Lucknow Pact which saw Hindus and Muslims striving together for restoring the seat of
Khilafat.

Q13). “Khilafat Movement was an emotional movement”. Discuss. [20]


Ans. Background:
When First World War broke out in 1914, circumstances compelled the Ottoman Empire to fight
against the Allies. The war ended in 1918 with the Allies emerging victorious. A peace treaty
was made through the Treaty of Sevres in 1920. The terms of this treaty were harsh and
humiliating for Turkey which was divided and distributed amongst the victorious allies as the
war bounty. The Turkish army was disintegrated, all Turkish vessels were captured and the
railways income was fixed for the Allies.
Khilafat Movement - emotional movement:
The Khilafat Movement was a religio-political movement launched by Indian Muslims to
influence the British government not to abolish the seat of Khilafat, restore the Khalifa’s position
and not hand over control of Muslim holy places to non-Muslims. The institution of Khilafat was
held in highest esteem and veneration by Indian Muslims who considered it a symbol of the
political power of Islam and unity of Muslim Ummah. As Muslims, the Indian Muslims realized
that it was their religious duty to extend maximum support to their Turkish brothers in this hour
of need and this extra territorial attachment based on Islam, provoked them to launch Khilafat
Movement for the preservation of Khilafat. It was an emotional protest fueled by religious
sentiments against the humiliating sanctions placed on the Khalifa and Ottoman Empire after the
First World War by the Treaty of Serves.
Khilafat Conference:
In order to put pressure on the British government for the protection of Khilafat, the Muslims
organized themselves under the leadership of Hakim Ajmal Khan and Dr. M.A. Ansari and
formed the Khilafat Conference. The Khilafat Conference in its meeting declared that Muslims
wouldn’t take part victory celebrations if their demands were not conceded by the government. A
Khilafat Committee was set up with Maulana Shaukat Ali as its secretary. A delegation headed
by Dr. M.A. Ansari called on the Viceroy in 1920 and made it clear that Muslims wouldn’t
tolerate the dismemberment of Turkey and any disrespect shown to the holy places in Turkey.
The deputation required from the government an assurance that the institution of Khilafat
wouldn’t be abolished and no portion of Jazirat-ul-Arab would be chopped off. The Khilafat
Committee sent a delegation under the leadership of Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar to England
to apprise the British government about the sentiments of Muslims.
Non-cooperation movement:
The Hindus, under the leadership of Gandhi came forward with their full support for the Khilafat
Movement. Gandhi visualized to use the Khilafat agitation as a tool to achieve Swaraj – self-rule
and therefore outlined a program of non-cooperation for the achievement of dual objectives of
Indian independence and restoration of Khilafat. The plan was to paralyze the administration by
a complete boycott of British institutions and goods. Indians were asked to give government
services, renounce titles, boycott courts of law, walk out of educational institutions and take no
part in elections which were to be held under Montague-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919. Hindus
and Muslims forgot their long-standing animosities and worked together with zeal and zest.
Moplah uprising:
Moplahs were the descendants of Arab Muslims who settled in sub-continent even before the
arrival of Muhammad bin Qasim. They invited government’s annoyance by actively taking part
in the Khilafat Movement. The government adopted repressive measures in order to quell their
activities. The government also arrested many of their leaders which inflamed the sentiments of
Moplahs. The Moplahs rose in rebellion against the government after the police opened fire on a
mob killing four hundred people. The agitation took an ugly turn when the Moplahs raided a
prison to release their leaders.
Rowlatt Act 1919:
In 1919, the Rowlatt Act was passed by the British government to give themselves more power
over the Indian people. This new Act allowed the British to arrest and imprison anyone they
wished without trial, if they were suspected of plotting against the government. The Rowlatt Act
sparked anger among the people who saw it as an attempt to keep them under control and
prevent them from raising voice in support of the Khalifa.
Jallianwala Bagh incident:
In April 1919, a crowd gathered in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar for a peaceful protest. They
were unaware of a ban that had just been imposed on public gatherings. General Dyer ordered
his troops to open fire on the unarmed civilians which resulted in the death of more than five
hundred people including men, women and children. The massacre stunned the entire nation and
ignited widespread anger among the Indians for the British.
Hijrat Movement:
Maulana Abu-al-Kalam and Maulana Abdul Bari the two prominent Khilafat leaders issued
Fatwa that India was a Dar-ul-Harb (home of war) where the religion of Muslims was not safe.
They urged Muslims to migrate to a place where their image and religion was not jeopardized
and they could live according to Islam. With the issuance of Fatwa, nearly eighteen thousand
Muslims left their homes and migrated to Afghanistan in religious protest. The Afghan
government initially welcomed the migrants but as the influx of the refugees increased beyond
control, they refused to accept the migrants and turned them away. When the migrants came
back to India, they found themselves homeless and jobless which caused enormous hardships for
them.
Chaura Churi incident:
Chaura Churi was a small town in Gorakhpur district whose inhabitants actively participated in
the non-cooperation movement. In 1922, protestors assembled and began marching in the town
and started shouting anti-government slogans. The police, in an attempt to frighten and disperse
the crowd, fired warning shots into the air which further agitated the crowd. The hostile mob set
fire to the police station which burned twenty two policemen alive. This violent incident shocked
Gandhi and he immediately called off the non-cooperation movement without consulting other
leaders. The sudden decision created confusion and anxiety among the Muslims who felt
betrayed. Muslims believed that if the non-cooperation movement was allowed to continue
despite the Chaura Churi incident, the British government would have been compelled to make
major concessions.
End of Khilafat Movement:
The Khilafat Movement was eventually brought to an abrupt end in the most unexpected and
distressing way for Indian Muslims. The institution of Khilafat for which the Muslims had
struggled so sincerely, was abolished by Mustafa Kamal Ataturk in November 1924, who
established a nationalist government in Turkey. There was no point in continuing the movement
as it had been ended by the Turks themselves, as a result the Khilafat Movement ended without
achieving its goal and the sacrifices made by Muslims appeared to have been in vain.
Conclusion:
The Khilafat Movement was indeed an emotional movement. The Indian Muslims naturally
attached their sympathies with their Turkish brothers and left no stone unturned in saving the
seat of Khilafat and the Ottoman Empire from disintegration. Despite its failure, the Khilafat
Movement left a far-reaching impact on the Indian politics. It created political awareness
amongst the Muslims and taught them the ways and means to protect and project their interests.
The failure of Khilafat Movement convinced Muslims that if they wanted to survive in the sub-
continent, they must rely upon their own strength and work out their own strategy instead of
depending on Hindus who can never be sincere in their feelings for Muslims.