Explain any three factors that led to the formation of the League in India.
The three important factors that led to the formation of the Muslim League in India are:
British Policy of Divide and Rule:
The revolt of 1857 had made the British aware of how fragile their rule was in India if the Indians were allowed to unite against the foreign masters. In order to avoid this, the British devised a policy of ‘divide and rule’ to perpetuate their hold over India. In the pursuit of this policy, a strategy of appeasement was followed towards the zamindars and other power elite of the Indian peninsula.
At the same time, deliberate attempts were made through the State propaganda machinery to sow the seeds of disunity and communal hatred among the two major Religious communities the Hindus and the Muslims. Realizing that it was the resentment amongst the Muslims, formerly the chief ruling class in India that caused the 1857 rebellion to spread like wild fire, the Muslims were singled out for persecution.
Religious/Revivalist Orientation of Congress Leaders:
The radical Congress leaders like Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai did not shy away from using religious terminology and symbols in their political discourse. In fact many a times they drew inspiration from the traditional concepts of Hinduism.
Tilak, on his part, started celebrating public festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi and Shiva Jayanti in order to instill pride among the Indians for their ancient culture. This was also done in order to mobilize the masses on a large scale. Though this was not done with a communal agenda, it ultimately did alienate the Muslims from Congress politics.
The Hindi-Urdu Controversy:
For the longest time, Urdu had been the court language in Uttar Pradesh, then the United Provinces. All petitions to the court had to be written in Urdu. This caused a lot of resentment among the Hindus since the language chiefly spoken by them was Hindi or Hindustani of the devanagri script.
As a result of continued protests by the Hindus, the British government passed an order in 1900 that all petitions were to be submitted in Hindi in the devanagri script. Both Hindi and Urdu could be used for court summons and all official announcements. This led to insecurity among the orthodox ruling class Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. Since Muslims in these areas were relatively politically organised, the communal fervor among-st them played a pivotal role in the formation of the Muslim League.