The Hindu opposition of Urdu and partition of Bengal revealed it to the Muslims that the Hindus would never allow the Muslims a respectable position in the Indian society. The political scene of India, at that time, was dominated by the vigorous activities of the Congress who had no rival in the political arena. The Muslims believed that only as organized endeavour would lead them to success.
The political awakening of the Muslims of the Sub-Continent found its meaningful and effective expression on October 1st, 1906, when a delegation of 35 Muslim leaders met Lord Minto to present the demands of the Muslim community. The Muslims of Indo-Pak were in minority and were not satisfied with the system of joint electorates because under this system they did not get a due representation in the presence of Hindu majority.
Members Of The Deputation:
The delegation consisted of 35 members representing all parts of the country. It was led by His Excellency Sir Agha Khan who was his way to China and broke his journey at Colombo to render this valuable national service.
Demands Of The Muslims:
Main demands put forwarded by the delegation were as under:
i) The Muhammadans may be granted the right of a separate electorate to choose their representatives.
ii) Muslim judges may be appointed more frequently.
iii) The Muslims may be given due representation in the imperial legislative council.
iv) At least one Muslim may be appointed in Viceroy’s Executive council.
v) Muslims may be given due representation in Gazetted and Sub-ordinated Ministerial Services.
Lord Minto’s Response To The Muslim Leaders:
Lord Minto gave a patient hearing to the demands of the Muslims presented by Simla Deputation. He expressed his complete agreement with the principles of the separate electorates. He promised to give a sympathetic consideration to the demands and assured the deputation that he would do all what was possible to meet the demands.
Importance Of The Simla Deputation:
Simla Deputation enjoys great importance in the history of Pakistan Movement. It was through this deputation that the Muslims of India for the first time highlighted their demands as a community on national level. According to I.H. Qureshi:
"The Simla Deputation occupies a crucially important place in the history of Muslim-India. For the first time the Hindu-Muslim conflict was lifted to the constitutional plane. The rift in the society was now to be reflected in legal and political institutions. The Muslims made it clear that they had no confidence in the Hindu majority that they were not prepared to put their future in the hands of assemblies elected on the assumed basis of a homogenous Indian nation. By implication the Muslims rejected the idea of a single Indian nation on the ground of that the Muslim majority had an entity and could not be merged into Hindu majority."
After the Simla Deputation the Muslims decided to continue the spirit of Muslim coordination and cooperation in the political field. Nawab Mohsin-ul-Malik took a step forward in this connection and wrote to Agha Khan, "The deputation which went to Simla should be kept alive, and I suggest that a committee of members of deputation should be appointed to correspond with the Government for the realization of the representation made. This is the work of All-India Conference and if you agree, I should make detailed proposals." Agha Khan agreed with the Proposals in December 1906 and the leaders who took part in the Muhammadan Educational Conference at Dacca in December in 1906 founded All-India Muslim League.