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History of Islam in India

Indian Muslims: Past and Present (Part II)

Click here to read part I

The Congress was founded in 1885 with the support of the British governor who saw it can be a unifying force for Indians regardless their religions, and thought they can understand and know the Indian public through it to suppress any chance for violent uprisings against them.

However, the rise of Hindu nationalism was a main factor in the crystallization of the idea of a separate state for Muslims.

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The 1920s was the peak of cohesion between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. Gandhi had succeeded in convincing the Khilafat society of India to join the Congress, and other Muslim parties followed.

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The first conference took place in 1920, and the society put forward its vision for an independent India.

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However, with fears of Hindu domination, the Muslim League parted ways with the Congress along with some Muslim Congress members, leaving Abul Kalam Azad, and his group, as the main Muslim figure remaining.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah assumed leadership of the League in 1936, adopting the idea of a separate Muslim state, and with the Congress dominating after elections in 1937, having a separate state became inevitable for the League.

On March 21, 1940, the declaration of Lahore was issued calling for a Muslim state, and it became the basic doctrine of the League.

Indian Muslims: Past and Present (Part II) - About Islam

Partition and the Rise of the Hindu Right

The partition of India was a paramount event in the history of India’s Muslims, as Hindus blamed the League for the partition, and the rest of Indian Muslims left suffering through communal clashes, killings, and discrimination at the hands of Hindu extremists like the Mahasabha.

Deaths from both sides reached 1 million according to some accounts, with Delhi witnessing the largest share in violence against Muslims. Gandhi himself mentioned attacks on 137 mosques in Delhi from Hindu and Sikh extremists, and putting idols inside them.

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