Over the years, the British had strategically pitted the Muslims against the Hindus, supporting the All India Muslim League and encouraging the notion that the Muslims were a distinct political community. Throughout British India, separate electorates had been offered to Muslims, underscoring their separateness from Hindus and sowing the seeds of communalism. Teh Morley-Minto reforms in 1908 had allowed direct election for seats and separate or communal representation for Muslims. This was the harbinger for the formation of the Muslim League in 1906. In 1940, the Muslim League, representing one-fifth of the total population of India, became a unifying force. They were resentful that they were not sufficiently represented in Congress and feared for the safety of Islam.