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The All India Muslim Students Federation was an Indian Muslim students union affiliated with the All India Muslim League. Splitting off from the All India Students Federation in 1937, the body was organised under patronage of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and became an important part of the Pakistan movement.

Contents

Foundation

The All India Students Federation had been founded by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1936 to aid in the Indian struggle for independence. However, the rising popularity of the Muslim League and Muslim separatism prompted a portion of the AISF's Muslim members to split off from the organisation on the grounds that it was a Hindu-dominated organisation. Under the patronage of Jinnah and Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the All India Muslim Students Federation was founded in 1937. The new body absorped smaller Muslim student groups such as the All Bengal Muslim Students Association. Muslim politician Muhammad Nauman became the first president of the AIMSF, while Muhammad Waseeque served as its organising secretary. The first annual conference was organised under the presidency of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Activities

The Muslim Students Federation sought the introduction of compulsory religious education for children of Muslim parents and students in all schools across India. It resolved that the That-e-Mecca be observed as "Muslim Students Day." The ranks of the organisation grew across India, but especially in the campus of the Aligarh Muslim University. It launched an aggressive campaign against the alleged non-Islamic crests of the University of Calcutta and the University of Nagpur, the Vidya Mandir scheme in the Central Provinces, the vibrant slogan of Vande Mataram and the public veneration shown to the tri-colour flag of Congress, criticising them as insults to Islam. In its meeting on May 6, 1938 at the Islamia College, Lahore the AIMSF working committee controversially resolved to condemn the song of Vande Mataram as un-Islamic. The committee also resolved to change Iqbal's poem Saare Jahan Se Achcha by replacing the word "Hindi" with Muslim and "Hindostan" with "Sara Jahan" to read "Muslim Hain Ham Watan Hain Sara Jahan Hamara" (We are Muslim and the whole world is ours). The Muslim Students Federation endorsed the Pakistan Resolution adopted by the Muslim League on March 23, 1940. The organisation would aggressively promote the creation of the Muslim state of Pakistan and helped the League in organising election campaigns in 1946. During the Direct Action Day campaign, the federation organised major strikes and protest rallies. It was also believed to be involved in organising communal violence and riots across India, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

Legacy

During its existence, prominent members of the federation included the soon-to-become founders of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tajuddin Ahmad, Syed Nazrul Islam, Muhammad Mansur Ali and A. H. M. Qamaruzzaman. Following the partition of India on August 15, 1947 most of the organisation's members moved to Pakistan, as did the Muslim League itself. In Pakistan, the organisation was reborn as the Muslim Students Federation. The exit of the Muslim Students Federation created a void in Muslim student activity in India for many years, until the subsequent establishment of the Students Islamic Movement of India and the Students Islamic Organisation of India.

See also

References

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