The year 1906 was extremely important and eventful in the history of Indian nationalism. On 1st October, 1906, a deputation comprising of 35 Muslim leaders from all parts of India gathered in Simla to meet the new viceroy and place forth their appeal for help against the unconcerned attitude of the Hindus towards the needs and status of the Muslim majority in future political setup. They informed the viceroy about their hopes for the representation of Muslims in every branch of government. They further elaborated that the Muslims should not be regarded merely as a minority but a distinct community with strong historical and political background.
Group photo taken at the Annual Mohammaden Educational Conference in Dacca, 1906
The Viceroy was sympathetic to the demands of the group and applauded their loyal and articulate address. As a result of this meeting, the Muslims were promised separate electorates, which was a recognition of separate Muslim identity and proved a historical milestone in the making of Pakistan.
In the year 1906, a leading landlord of Dacca, Nawab Salimullah Khan invited the annual Mohammedan Educational Conference to be held in Dacca. The founding meeting of the All India Muslim League was held in Dacca’s Shahbagh on December 30th, 1906. It was presided over by Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk. The resolution was moved by the Nawab of Dacca, and was seconded by Hakim Ajmal Khan. Nawab Viqar-ul-mulk, who was the first president of the infant Muslim League, declared:
The musalmans are only a fifth in number as compared with the total population of the country, and it is manifest that if at any remote period the British government ceases to exist in India, then the rule of India would pass into the hands of that community which is nearly four times as large as ourselves our life, our property, our honour, and our faith will all be in great danger, when even now that a powerful British administration is protecting its subjects, we the Musalmans have to face most serious difficulties in safe-guarding our interests from the grasping hands of our neighbors.
Members of the All-India Muslim League Working committee; Muslims were not happy with the Communal Award
The main cause for the formation of the Muslim League was to safeguard and advanc the rights and the welfare of the Muslim community and to convey their needs and problems to the government. The Muslims had realized that it was important for them to have a platform to voice their demands; their meeting with the Viceroy at Simla had already proved productive and fruitful. Another reason for the formation of the Muslim League was to prevent the rise of any kind of hostility among the Muslims towards other communities. Aga Khan was appointed the first honorary president of the Muslim League. The London branch of the League was also founded by Syed Ameer Ali.