On December 30 1906, the annual meeting of Muhammadan Educational Conference was held at Dhaka under the chairmanship of Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk. Almost 3,000 delegates attended the session making it the largest-ever representative gathering of Muslim India. For the first time the conference lifted its ban on political discussion, when Nawab Salim Ullah Khan presented a proposal for establish a political party to safeguard the interests of the Muslims; the All India Muslim League.
Three factors had kept Muslims away from the Congress, Sir Syed’s advice to the Muslims to give it a wide berth, Hindu agitation against the partition of Bengal and the Hindu religious revivalism’s hostility towards the Muslims. The Muslims remained loyal to Sir Syed’s advice but events were quickly changing the Indian scene and politics were being thrust on all sections of the population.
But the main motivating factor was that the Muslims’ intellectual class wanted representation; the masses needed a platform on which to unite. It was the dissemination of western thought by John Locke, Milton and Thomas Paine, etc. at the M. A. O. College that initiated the emergence of Muslim nationalism.