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




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


-       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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