India Uncut

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

The rise of the Muslim League

... was the fault of the Congress. Mukul Kesavan writes in the Telegraph:
In the decade before de-colonization, it was the first five years, from the provincial elections of 1937 to the Quit India movement of 1942, that saw the creation and consolidation of a separatist Muslim politics at an all-India level. At the end of these five years, the Congress could no longer seek political consolation in the thought that if the Congress didn’t represent the Muslims no Muslim party could plausibly claim to represent them either. A re-invented, populist All-India Muslim League, ruthlessly stewarded by Jinnah, stood centre-stage in Indian politics, its claim to represent India’s Muslims increasingly seconded by the raj.

How did this come to pass?
Read the rest here.

This is part of an ongoing series of historical essays by Kesavan, an essayist I enjoy reading more than any other Indian. His previous essay, that I'd linked to here, spoke about how the Congress monopolized the Indian political space in the 1920s and early 1930s. Before complacence set in.
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