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The elections of 1937 | An Immediate cause for the demand of a separate state by the Muslims of British India

The elections of 1937 | An Immediate cause for the demand of a separate state by the Muslims of British India

Written by Rukhsana Khalid

The elections of 1937 exposed the dichotomy in promises and practices of the Congress with the All India Muslim League (AIML) and other minorities. After assuming power, the congress pursued aggressive policies against the Muslims, as it tried to settle scores of the Hindus’ subjugation by the Muslims back in history. This attitude of the Hindus compelled the Muslims to depart their ways rather than working in a coalition with the Congress. The major causes of separating ways are discussed hereunder.

1) The problem of setting up the government:

In elections, the Muslim League (ML)  had to face defeat whereas the Congress got absolute majority placing unjust preconditions to establish a coalition government. The major conditions included the dissolution of the Muslim League’s parliamentary board, and the inclusion of existing ML’s members in the Congress binding them to abide by the Congress’ code of conduct. If the ML had accepted the conditions, this would have meant its virtual demise changing the political landscape of British India once and for all. Also, the Congress had demanded to curtail the governor’s powers and to limit the British government’s interference in the provincial affairs before the establishment of Congress Ministries; so, it made the picture further clear regarding the bleak future of the Muslims.

2) Bande Matram and Taranga – National song and flag respectively:

After assuming power, the congress started showing its bigoted moves. At first, it declared Taranga as the national flag of Hindustan posing the Hindus as the successors of the British. In addition, it stated that there was no third party in the Indian Sub- Continent other than the British and the Hindus neglecting the Muslims. Secondly, Nehru’s prejudiced move of declaring Bande Matram as the national song and to sing it before form a meetup was against the sentiments of Muslims. The song was nothing but propaganda against the Muslims in the backdrop of Sirajudal’s defeat in  Bengal. In response, Quaid-e-Azam, including some organizations, objected to Nehru’s assertion saying it as the declaration of war by the Hindus against the Muslims; however, Nehru remained firm to his stance. So, it made the Muslims aware of the Congress’s vicious intentions to subdue Muslims.

3) Wardha and Vidiya Mander Educational schemes:

 These schemes were started with the purpose to convert Muslims into Hindus. Under the scheme, the syllabus was changed in a way that it portrayed the Hindu religion supreme as compared to Islam, and compulsion was imposed to bow before goddess Saraswati in school hours. Also, it emphasized to fade the concept of the two-nation theory. These schemes were part of a bigger political plot to devoid the new generation of Muslims for their love of Islam, past glory, language, and cultural values. Also, It was an attempt to pale the importance of Islam before the Hindu religion. Therefore, Quaid-e-Azam outrightly rejected the scheme on 2 July, 1939. Besides, Moulana Ahmad Saeed- a supporter of the Congress- expressed disapproval and asked to launch a disobedient moment if the Congress went to implement the scheme further.

4) The Urdu language dispute and Pirpur and Shareef reports:

The Congress adopted the “kill Urdu policy” by declaring Hindi as the most common and national language of India. The idea was supported by Congress and refuted by the Muslim League. Moreover, in schools and official meetings, Hindi was posed as the sole medium of instruction. When the Muslims asked to keep everything in Urdu as well, Gandi said that it was a wastage of time and money to have a separate medium of instruction for minorities. It inflamed the Muslims’ sentiments. After the resignation of congress Ministries in 1939, two reports- Pirpur and Shareef- were drafted to highlight atrocities by Hindus.

Critical Analysis:

Although Congress promised to work for the betterment of the Indian Subcontinent, it failed to keep its promise. It was an awakening move for the Muslims to stand and speak up for their rights else they had to live with Hindus for the rest of their lives.  It Compelled the major political heads, like Quaid-e-Azam, to change their stance from living together to achieve a separate state for the Muslims. Therefore, the elections of 1937 proved to be a turning point in the life of the Muslims of the sub-continent.


To sum up, the elections of 1937 proved to be an immediate cause of separation for the Muslims of British India. The congress, due to its glaring victory in the elections, took itself as the successors of the Britishers leaving the Muslims and minorities rot in hell. Also, the adoption of discriminatory policies by the Congress and portraying Hinduism and Gandhi as a demigod for the Indian Sub-Continent enraged the Muslims and other minorities. All these circumstances had made the Muslims demand for a separate homeland.

About the writer:

Miss Rukhsana Khalid is one of the bonafide students of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. – one of the distinguished Grammarian in the world. Under his supervision, she is enrolled in course of Online Creative English Writing and learning Basic to Advanced Grammar. Primarily, she is an engineer and loves to write articles and blogs on various topics- Current Affairs, Pakistan Affairs, International Relations, and Beauty. In case of any query, please reach her at

Name of the Student: Miss Rukhsana Khalid
Qualifications: B.Sc Chemical Engineering
Total Articles/Blogs: 4
English Coach: Sir Syed Kazim Ali
Course Taken: Creative English Writing & Article Writing

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