Jinnah and The Muslim League

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Why did Hindus and Muslims clash?

Hindu beliefs:

-       Many recognise one God, Brahman

-       Made up of thousands of deities

-       3 important aspects

o   often included in paintings and images

-       Several holy books

-       Caste system intra-separates Hindus

-       Tolerant of other religions as they lead to the same path

Muslim beliefs:

-       Believe in one God, Allah

-       One holy book

-       Faith centred on five pillars of Islam

-       Framework to religion

-       Belief that Allah wants no other gods

o   Images of living things banned to prevent them from becoming idols

Conflicts:

Hindu

Muslim

Several deities

One God

Several holy books

One holy book

Images of living things

No images of living things

Caste system

All Muslims in a community (ummah)

N.B. ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ are general terms not accommodating factions within religions eg Shi’Ah and Sunni Muslims

Coexistence Possible?

-       Late 19th Century seemed possible

-       20th Century seems to become more and more impossible

-       Raj’s fault for being neutral?

-       Less frictions in Princely States as princes took sides and ‘policed’ religious behaviour

Flashpoints:

-       Hindus like gongs, bells and cymbals for loud music while worshipping whereas Muslims prefer silent prayer

-       Sometimes Hindus stopped their music for Muslim prayer, other times they did not

o   This lead to violence and abuse

-       Festivals also caused friction

o   Muslim festival, Bakr’Id involved slaughter of cows (sacred to Hindus)

o   Hindu festival, Holi, is noisy and troublesome for Muslims

Tension from Hindu Organisations:

-       Hindu organisation, Arya Samj was proactive in northern India (Muslim majority) and sought converts to Hinduism

o   Open conflict when campaigning for protection of cows

o   Attempted replacing Urdu with Hindi as language of administration

-       Cow Protection Society

Tensions from Muslim Organisations (to counter Hindu dominance?):

-       To counter a perceived Hindu dominance

-       Aligarh College where Muslims were educated and taught English to give them a better relationship with the Raj

-       Lahore, 1885, educational establishment for orphans so that they retained Islam and were good Muslims

-       1894, organisation to preserve Urdu

-       1906, All-Indian Muslim League

-       Early 1920s, Tanzeem and Tabligh Movements to strengthen Muslim community by removing practices that encouraged Muslims and Hindus being peaceful together

-       Less…

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