Muslim Nationalism In India

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Between the period of 1880s and 1930s, three most outstanding Muslim leaders were responsible for the formation of Muslim nationalism. It is interesting to note here that these leaders initially and enthusiastically treated themselves as staunch Indian nationalists but ended up finally at the threshold of Muslim nationalism. In fact, their paradigmatic shift in their political ideas and thoughts was responsible for the successful carving out of a separate and an independent state for the Muslims out of India 's body politic. These leaders namely were: Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898), Mohammad Iqbal (1876-1938), and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948).
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As their trade progressed and became successful, they started exploring the lands of India and started taking hold of those lands with exploitative measures for their motive of territorial expansion. Prior to their establishments, the Mughals were ruling the lands of India. But with the entry of the East India Company and under the new conditions of colonial society, these Muslim rulers were transformed into a status of religious minority. There was further a competition of the majority of Hindu community. All these factors led to the emergence of Muslim nationalism during the second half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. In other words, the backwardness of the Muslim community and the fear of the majority Hindu community led to the awakening of Muslim nationalism. The Muslims realized that in order to make their presence felt, they need to be included in the nationhood and to unite all the Indian Muslims, they need to organize themselves in a political manner to vent out their grievances and demand for their…show more content…
Syed Khan was known for regenerating the Muslim culture with the establishment of schools, colleges and university. He started the successful Aligarh movement which put great emphasize on the cause of Urdu. Bringing the cause of Urdu, he tried to formulate the political demands on behalf of all Indian Muslims thus creating a pan Islamic movement in India among the Muslim community. Besides, in order to foster communal consciousness and brotherhood, he founded the Muslim Educational Conference in 1886 as a platform for the Muslim intellectuals in Indian subcontinent, This platform gained momentum during that time period because it helped with the process and articulation of their demands and defend their interests and vent out their grievances, thus playing a role of the Congress for the Muslims. The Aligarh movement which Syed Khan had started became the source of modernist and rational thinking among the Muslim intellectuals. This movement further provided the thrust for the Muslims ' political separatism and also communalism. He had also been responsible as claimed by some historians the formulator of the "two nations" theory. He was therefore blamed for being the reason behind who helped carve out a separate nation for the Indian Muslims within the conditions of colonial rule and changing political discourse. But there is no denying a fact that all he wanted to do for the Indian Muslims was to uplift a demoralized, disparate and disunited 'Muslim community '. Syed
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