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Muslim League

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Political party founded in 1905 to represent the separate interests of the Indian Muslims, who felt threatened by the prospects of a Hindu majority in any future democratic system. The radical nationalist elements in the League forged a pact with the Congress in 1916 on the basis of separate electorates and reserved seats in Muslim minority provinces. A section of the League allied itself to the Congress in the non-cooperation movement. In the provincial elections (1937), the League captured very few Muslim seats, but it succeeded in convincing the Muslim masses that the elected Congress ministries were oppressing Muslims. In 1940 it put forward the demand for an autonomous Muslim homeland, Pakistan, interpreted by its leader, M. A. Jinnah, as an independent state during the transfer of power negotiations between the UK and India. He called for a Direct Action Day in August 1946. Mass rioting followed, whereupon the British and the Congress agreed to partition. The League was virtually wiped out at the first elections in Pakistan.

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