Factor Leading To Muslim Separatism
There are a huge number of factors to take into consideration when it comes to Muslim separatism – there are the obvious differences of religion and culture, but also political and societal differences which would have had a huge impact on the lives of the people who were involved in separatism.
The biggest factor was of course the difference in religions that were practiced, and how they affected day to day life. Islam and Hinduism are very different religions, with one major point of contention being that where Hinduism still adheres to a more-or-less strict caste system where different people have different laws applying to them, while Islam believes in the equality of everyone before the law. Another huge point of contention is the status of Hinduism as a polytheistic religion, versus Islam being monotheistic in nature.
This has naturally had an effect on the culture which surrounds the two religions – for example, it is customary for Hindus (and therefore Indians in general) to burn their dead, while in Islam it is customary to bury them. Similarly, their choice of food and their choice of clothing is often determined, if not by religion itself, then by the choices and fashions which are followed by those around them, rather than from the country as a whole.
From a social point of view, separatism was perhaps helped along by the periodic existence of Hindu nationalist groups, ones which championed the rights of Hindus over Muslims and other religious groups in the country. These groups would naturally cause tension and friction between the two communities, and help to pave the way for them to leave rather than face having to live in a country where such pressures existed. These nationalist groups ignore the contributions made to the whole country by certain communities, and make it seem as though they have no natural place there.
After 1857, Muslims economy was crushed and all the trade policies were formed in such a way so as to destroy the Muslims ambition. They were thrown out of Government services and their estate and properties were confiscated. However the Hindus were provided ample opportunities to make program.
The ideas of the Hindu nationalists with regards to the Islamic community never actively helping was helped along by the economic changes which took place in the mid-nineteenth century. Part of this was to remove economic power from the Islamic community as a whole, and it was also to create a future situation where trades and economics laws could be made in such a way as to deliberately exclude Muslims.
During the rule of the British Raj, Muslims as a whole saw that, when the British left the country, the power vacuum would be filled by the Hindus of the subcontinent, all of whom would be eager to then control their own country and remove all communities which they saw as being against Hinduism. This motivated separatism as a way for them to leave before too many reprisals could take place.
Finally, there has always been antipathy between Islam and Hinduism; to live in peace was often something which was assumed to be impossible. Separatism gave them a way to separate the communities without there being bloodshed or worse, which is something that might have otherwise happened, had nothing been done.