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GokhaleThe Indian Moderates and the British Raj$
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B. R. Nanda

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195647518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195647518.001.0001

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Origins of Muslim Separatism

Origins of Muslim Separatism

Chapter:
(p.320) 28 Origins of Muslim Separatism
Source:
Gokhale
Author(s):

B. R. Nanda

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195647518.003.0028

This chapter focuses on the Muslim opposition to the Indian National Congress. Muslim separatism was represented by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and other Muslim leaders. Sir Syed ridiculed the idea that a man of ‘low caste or insignificant origin’, who had taken a university degree and had the necessary ability, should have a seat in a legislative council. He was also afraid that political agitation would lead to turmoil and Muslims would incur the wrath of their British rulers. His innate conservatism, his isolation from the progressive political thought of the day, and his conviction of the backwardness of his own community led him to lean increasingly on British support. He was not alone in propounding this parochial philosophy—other influential Muslim leaders in Bengal rejected the proferred hand of Surendranath Banerjea, and decided to organize educated Muslims on a separate platform.

Keywords:   Muslim separatism, Indian National Congress, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Indian nationalism, political agitation, Surendranath Banerjea

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