Indian Union Muslim League was formed in March, 1948 at the south Indian city of Madras (now Chennai). The party is a major member of the opposition United Democratic Front, the Indian National Congress lead pre-poll state level alliance in Kerala. Whenever the United Democratic Front rules in Kerala, the party leaders are chosen as important Cabinet Ministers. The party is a part of the United Progressive Alliance in national level. The League first gained a ministry (Minister of State for External Affairs) in Indian Government in 2004. The party currently has four members in Parliament - P. K. Kunhalikutty, E. T. Mohammed Basheer, and K. Navas Kani in the Lower House and P. V. Abdul Wahab in the Upper House and nineteen members in State Legislative Assemblies (Kerala and Tamil Nadu). Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is a political party recognized by the Election Commission of India which has prominent presence in the state of Kerala. The IUML operates on the political ideology of a strong emphasis on pro-Muslim community interests in India, while at the same time maintaining harmony, mutual cooperation and unity between the Muslims and other communities..
The Muslim League Kerala State Committee, is the only Muslim community-catering organization that has maintained a steady presence in the Indian Parliament since its inception.
From as early as 1952, the IUML has had representation in the Indian Parliament. Under the leadership of the late C.H. Mohammad koya, the IUML won the elections to Kerala Assembly in 1979, thus, forming the government. It has bagged increasing number of seats in the Kerala Legislative Assembly numbering 14 seats in 1982 to 20 seats in 2011.
At present the Muslim League Kerala State Committee is the second largest political outfit in Kerala. It is in alliance with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). The President of the party is Panakkad Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, after his brother Panakkad Sayed Mohammadali Shihab Thangal, former president of the IUML died in 2009.
Election Symbol of IMUL
The Election Symbol of the Muslim League Kerala State Committee, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is “Ladder”. A ladder is a simple wooden tool, which is used to climb up heights, facilitating easy movement. The MLKSC, in its political ideology, operates like a ladder which helps in carrying forward the cause of the Muslim community and other backward sections of the society. By upholding the Constitution of India, the League ensures that it bridges the gap between the past and the present, in order to achieve peace, prosperity and dignity in the lives of Muslims. This, the party achieves to do without, however, interfering in the lives of the people. In the famous words of the League's first President Mohammad Ismail Sahib, “Now the right to follow personal law is part of the way of life of those people who are following such laws; it is part of their religion and part of their culture. If anything is done affecting the personal laws, it will be tantamount to interference with the way of life of those people who have been observing these laws for generations and ages.”
In other words, the IUML ensures easy growth and rise of the people of Kerala, just as a ladder does, in its role. In working together with the Indian government, the IUML guards against any form of encroachment on the principles of federalism guaranteed by the Constitution and therefore guarantees individual liberty to the Muslim community, which is primarily needed for the growth of the community. Thus, the use of the 'ladder' symbol by the IUML is significant as it depicts what the party truly stands for and propagates in its political existence.
Achievements of the Party
The IUML fought a successful battle for the preservation of the Muslim Personal Law. The protests were so impactful that the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru assured the first President of the League that no change in the Muslim Personal Law would be made in any constitutional manner whatsoever, unless of course, the Muslim community themselves wanted to bring in certain amendments to the Law and the Sharia.
The League achieved enormous success in its agitations for the recognition of the minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University.
The League achieved success in its agitation for removing inroads into the 'Sharia', following the Shahbanu case.
The League continues its fights for the economic and educational interests of the minorities, including the status given to Urdu as a language, establishments of the Minority Financial Corporation, reservation for the Muslims as a minority in the various educational institutions and work places.
Retaining the unique Muslim character of the Jamia Millia University as well as strong support for the cause of the Babri Masjid in the Supreme Court.
Fighting all forms of terrorism and communal violence in the country, by upholding the principles of peace, prosperity and mutual harmony between all sections of the society.
The IUML has a number of frontal organizations under its banner. The foremost among them are its youth wing called the Muslim Youth League (MYL), its student wing called Muslim Students' Federation (MSF), its women's wing called Muslim Women's League (MWL), Swathanthra Thozhilali Union or Independent Workers Union (STU), Kerala School Teachers Union (KSTU), Kerala Higher Secondary Teachers Union (KHSTU) and a separate peasants union called Swathanthra Karshaka Sangam or Independent Peasants' Unions. It also has a prominent forum called Lawyers Forum for Advocates. The League has an international affiliation called Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), for upholding the cultural aspects of the League's supporters.