SEPARATIST TRENDS IN INDIAN
The primary cause for separatist trends in Indian nationalist politics was the
grievances of the Muslim minority against the Hindu majority, due to the
latter’s domination of trade, industry, government service, education and
professions. When the company supplanted the Muslims, they suffered loss
of wealth and social status along with that of political power. The Revolt of
1857 dealt a heavy blow to the aspirations of the Muslims and made their
position still worse. Western education as a pre-condition for government
office also resulted in a gradual decrease in the percentage of Muslim
government employees. Their avoidance of western education, keeping away
from trade and industry and adherence to feudal ways were also responsible
for their backwardness in the field of politics and economics.
The economic backwardness of the country in general also contributed to
the rise of separatist trends. Unemployment was an acute problem. There
was, in consequence, an intense competition for the few available jobs. Many
thought of such shortsighted and short-term remedies as communal,
provincial, or caste reservations in jobs.
The educational movement of Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan added fuel to the
fire by arousing Muslims to a sense of degradation as a community.
Politically conscious Hindu intellectuals began to claim India for Indians
which, in effect, meant for the majority community. The majority of the
Muslims did not accept this nationalistic future of Indian democracy which
did not include adequate safeguards for them. As a result, a new phase of
anti-national, rather anti Hindu, activity commenced.