historians described the medieval period as Muslim period and the ancient
period as the Hindu period. This communal approach of history came to
generate divisive tendencies.
    Extremism and revolutionary terrorism were a great step forward in
almost every respect except in that of the growth of national unity. The
speeches and writings of extremists and revolutionaries had a strong religious
and Hindu fervour. They emphasized ancient Indian culture to the exclusion
of medieval Indian culture. This does not mean that militant nationalists were
anti-Muslim or even wholly communal. Most of them, favoured Hindu-
Muslim unity. Still there is no denying the fact that there was a certain Hindu
tinge in their political works and ideas.
Course and Nature
The separatist tendency among a section of the Muslims reached a climax in
1906 when the all-India Muslim League was founded. The League supported
the partition of Bengal and demanded special safeguards for the Muslims.
Later it secured the acceptance of the demand for separate electorates. The
League soon became one of the main instruments with which the British
hoped to fight the rising national movement.
    Though no organized party of Hindu communalists was formed alongside
the Muslim League, there was a rise in communal ideas. Many Hindu writers
and political workers talked of Hindu nationalism and declared that Muslims
were foreigners in India. Hindu communalism came to acquire an organized
form in 1915 with the formation of the Hindu Mahasabha by Madan Mohan
Malaviya. Again, in 1925, Hindu communalism found another organized
expression in the foundation of the RSS. Hindu communalists echoed the
Muslim communalists and accepted the two-nation theory of the League.
    The two communities, thus, developed a narrow self-centred mentality in
matters relating to material welfare and social and political status, which was
accentuated by the British policy of Divide and Rule. British statesmen were
apprehensive about the safety and stability of their empire in India. To check
the growth of a united national feeling in the country, they decided to divide
the people along religious lines. The partition of Bengal (1905) and the grant
of communal electorates by the Reforms of 1909 fully exemplify the British