Elite Politics in the States: A Study of Bahawalpur Muslim League (1925-1947)

Main Article Content

Muhammad Akbar Malik


Historically, geographically and politically, the former princely state of Bahawalpur has remained a unique administrative unit for about 227 years in the Indian Sub- Continent. It had not been only a vital part of the Sub-Continent as a prosperous and welfare state, but it also possessed a separate glorious history. At the time of partition of the Sub-Continent in 1947, it was enjoying the status of a sovereign State. It affiliated with the new born country of Pakistan in October, 1947. In 1951, it was given provincial autonomy and in 1955, when One-Unit came into existence, the State with its provincial autonomy was merged and dissolved into West Pakistan. In the 20th century the impact of political movements had been tremendous and this factor also influenced Bahawalpur State and the semi-political parties interacted politically with the local public. When the resolution of Pakistan was passed in Lahore on 23 March, 1940, the rising awareness of independence was quite evident among the Muslims of the Sub-Continent. This excitement and passion, with the passage of time, was converted into an overflow of freedom. The ideology of Pakistan was materialized at a terrific speed and within a short span of time through the untiring efforts of the students, who had graduated from Muslim University Aligarh or who incidentally sought their education from Lahore. Meanwhile a new leadership took over the reigns of the state in its hands. These semi-political parties were representing the Muslim League. The youth came forward through the platform of Muslim League to proceed further, but Muslim League had to face serious problems in Bahawalpur state to carry out its political activities. Some nationalist elements and powerful political leaders of that time tried to hamper the progress of Muslim League. They did not allow the re-organization of Muslim League and opposed the affiliation of Bahawalpur State with Pakistan. So, we can see how the Muslim League’s leaders managed all such issues. The solution of these issues has been critically mentioned in this article. An effort also has been made through this article to highlight the new political leadership who achieved all the objectives of this area for the new generation. No doubt these objectives were acquired through constant struggle, courage and concentration. Basic and secondary sources have been utilized for the preparation of this article

Article Details

Refereed Articles (Humanities)
Author Biography

Muhammad Akbar Malik, IUB, Pakistan

Associate Professor, Department of History & Pakistan studies.