Separatism Among Muslim Indian

Topics: Syed Ahmed Khan, Indian independence movement, Muslim League Pages: 9 (3572 words) Published: May 3, 2013
Separate Electorates are that type of elections in which minorities select their own representatives separately, as opposed to Joint Electorates where people are selected collectively. When minorities fear that they would not get representation in state affairs and government then they demand separate electorates. Same was the case with the Indian Muslims. They were very large in number, but in case of combined elections they would not get due representation. When the British implemented the system of democracy in India in order to strength their rule, and to involve local people in government, the Muslims demanded separate electorates .These were not imposed by British, however were granted on the request of the Muslims. As all nations in Europe were Christians and there was no concept of a separate nation on the basis of religion. So they 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. In India, Hindus were in majority so Congress was in favour of combined elections. In a democratic government every bill or law is passed by a majority of 51% or more and in this situation the Hindus would get 100% legislative powers and Muslims would get no power to effect legislation in their own country. More in number than the population of any state in Europe, they would have no share in government. Thus they would become slaves and serfs having zero percent power in legislation, politics, and administration of their own country. When direct elections were introduced to increase the participation of Indians in government affairs, a deputation of Indian Muslims led by Sir Aga Khan presented an address to Viceroy and Governor General Lord Minto at Simla on 1st October 1906. They asked for separate representation at all levels of government, district boards, legislative councils, and municipalities. They mentioned that they were almost one-fifth and in some areas one-fourth of the whole population. So they must be given recognition as an important factor of the state machinery. The positions given to the Muslims should not only depend on their numerical strength, but also on their political importance and contributions as they had ruled over India for a long time. Under the Act of 1892 in United Province, where Muslims were fourteen percent of population, they had not secured a single seat by joint franchise. And if by chance they would get any seats they would have to agree with Hindus, and thus had to go against their own interests. So, Muslims should be given separate representation for both local bodies and legislative councils, through separate electorates. Viceroy listened to them and promised them that their demands would put forward to British Government. With this positive response Muslims established their own political party named as All India Muslim League in December, 1906. In 1909 the Morley-Minto Reforms granted separate electorates to Muslims. In these the numerical strength of legislature councils was increased. 27 out of total 60 members were to be elected and 5 seats were reserved for the Muslims. In provincial government, Muslims were to be represented by separate electorates. It gave constitutional recognition to Muslims. They would have not only elect their own representatives, but also had right to vote in general constituencies. Muslims were given fewer share than their numerical strength, but this was a land mark in the political history of Indian Muslims. In 1916 Lucknow Pact was passed with the collaboration of Congress and Muslim League. Congress conceded to the legitimate rights of Muslims. In this pact the right of separate electorates for Muslims was recognized. It was declared that Muslims would be given one third central legislature seats. And in provinces minorities were to have more seats than their numerical strength, this was known as the Weightage...
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