In the 1910s the League adopted a creed similar to that of the Indian National Congress. When the Hindu-Muslim relation improved considerably, for instance during the period of Lucknow Agreement (1916) and the period of Khilafat and Noncooperation Movement AIML became almost a dead organization. For several years since 1920, the Muslim League was in a state of suspended animation as the Khilafat organization had taken up all the work of the community at the time, and the League had practically nothing to do.
Many Hindu historians and several British writers have alleged that the Muslim League was founded at official instigation. They argue that it was Lord Minto who inspired the establishment of a Muslim organization so as to divide the Congress and to minimize the strength of the Indian Freedom Movement. But these statements are not supported by evidence. Contrary to this, the widely accepted view is that the Muslim League was basically esta6lished to protect and advance the, ‘Muslim interests and to combat the growing influence of the, Indian National Congress. The Muslim League did not develop any noticeable political program me even within the framework of loyalty to the raj. It was never a meaningful organization politically until Muhammad Au Jinnah took up its leadership in 1935. Implored by, many Muslim leaders, Jinnah returned from London ‘to India and took up the presidency of the Muslim League. In view of the ensuing general elections under’ the ‘India Act of 1935, Jinnah reorganized and restructured the central and provincial branches of the Muslim ‘League and asked the new committees to get ready for electoral politics ahead.
In the elections held in 1937, the Muslim League had an astounding performance in Bengal. Of the total 482 seats reserved for the Muslims in all nine provinces, the League could secure only 104. As high as 36 seats, more than one third of the total, were bagged from Bengal alone. Party-wise, the Muslim League emerged as the second largest group in the legislature the first being the Congress. The Bengal victory of the League was said to have been scored on account of the combined support of the Western educated Bengal Muslim professionals and the Muslim landed gentry. The Ulama class, it may be noted, tended to remain aloof from the Muslim League activities.
In 1937, a Faziul-Huq, Chief Minister of Bengal, joined the Muslim League and with that his ministry had, become virtually a Muslim League one. Using the immense personal popularity of Huq, Bengal was made the fortress for the League. Fazlul-Huq as the leader of the Bengal Muslims moved the Lahore resolution for independent ‘homelands’ for the Indian Muslims from the platform of the Muslim League. The Lahore Resolution of 1940 had a tremendous effect on the Bengal Muslim public opinion.
Muslim League had formed the ministry under the leadership of khwaja nazimuddin in 1943 when Fazlul Huq tendered his resignation on he advice of the Governor, John Herbert. The period from 1943 to 1946 was the period for making the Muslim League a real national organization. Under the leadership of ‘Huseyn shaheed suhrawardy and abul hashim, the League became so popular that in the elections of 1946 it bagged 110 seats out of 117 reserved for the Muslims of Bengal. ‘It established the fact that the Muslim League was the sole spokesman of the Bengal Muslim community.
The League performance in other Muslim dominated provinces of India was equally enthusiastic besides the North West Frontier Province which was still under the Congress influence. The performance of the League in the elections of 1946 made its leader Muhammad All Jinnah the undisputed leader of the Indian Muslims. So far as the Muslim community was concerned, Jinnah was now inevitably to be consulted with mall negotiations and agreements concerning the ‘transfer of power by the British. Six years after the Lahore Resolution, HS Suhrahardy moved the resolution for ‘a Muslim state’ at the Delhi Convention of the Muslim Legislators. The Muslim League became the organization for almost every Indian Muslim when the independence came’ on 14 August 1947. [Sirajul Islam]