After the Revolt of 1857, the British government followed a policy of ‘divide and rule’. In the beginning, Muslims were discriminated against. They were kept out of the army and the services. However, when the nationalist movement started, the policy of the government underwent a change. The government branded the Congress as a Hindu dominated Party and encouraged the upper class Muslims to start their own organization against the Congress. The partition of Bengal led to a united protest movement.
At the Calcutta session of the congress in 1906, a large number of Muslim delegates participated. Mohammad Ali Jinnah moved an amendment opposing reservation of seats, which was accepted. Any-how the influence of the communal elements among Muslims became strong. The Muslim leadership feared that, by opposing the British government, the Muslim middle and upper class’s economic interests would suffer. The encouragement given to upper class’s Muslims led to the formation of the Muslim League. On 30th December 1906, the Muslim League was formed,
The main objects of the Muslim League were:
(i) To create feeling of loyalty to the British government.
(ii) To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Muslims of India.
(iii) To prevent the rise among Muslims of India of any feelings of hostility towards other communities.