Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Muslims Role in Indian Independence Movement

The contribution of Muslim revolutionaries, poets and writers is documented in India's struggle against the British. Titu Mir raised a revolt against British. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai are Muslims who engaged in this purpose. Muhammad Ashfaq Ullah Khan of Shahjehanpur conspired to loot the British treasury at Kakori (Lucknow). Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan (popularly known as Frontier Gandhi), was a great nationalist who spent 45 of his 95 years of life in jail; Barakatullah of Bhopal was one of the founders of the Ghadar party which created a network of anti-British organizations; Syed Rahmat Shah of the Ghadar party worked as an underground revolutionary in France and was hanged for his part in the unsuccessful Ghadar (mutiny) uprising in 1915; Ali Ahmad Siddiqui of Faizabad (UP) planned the Indian Mutiny in Malaya and Burma along with Syed Mujtaba Hussain of Jaunpur and was hanged in 1917; Vakkom Abdul Khadir of Kerala participated in the "Quit India" struggle in 1942 and was hanged; Umar Subhani, an industrialist and millionaire of Bombay provided Gandhi with congress expenses and ultimately died for the cause of independence. Among Muslim women, Hazrat Mahal, Asghari Begum, Bi Amma contributed in the struggle of freedom from the British.

Maulana Azad was a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement and a strong advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. Shown here is Azad (left) with Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi in 1940.
The first ever Indian rebellion against the British saw itself in the Vellore Mutiny of 10th July, 1806 which left around 200 British Officers and troops dead or injured. But it was subdued by the British and the mutineers and the family of Tippu Sultan who were incarcerated in the Vellore Fort at that time had to pay a heavy price. It predates the First war of Independence, which is British imperialists called the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. And as a result of the Sepoy Mutiny, mostly the upper class Muslims were targeted by the Britishers, as under their leadership the war was mostly fought in and around Delhi. Thousands of kith and kins were shot or hanged near the gate of Red Fort, Delhi, which is now known as 'Khooni Darwaza'(the bloody gate). The renowned Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib(1797–1869) has given a vivid description of such massacre in his letters now published by the Oxford University Press 'Ghalib his life and letters'compiled and translated by Ralph Russel and Khurshidul Islam(1994).

As the Muslim power waned with the gradual demise of the Mughal Empire, the Muslims of India faced a new challenge - that of protecting their culture and interests, yet interacting with the alien, technologically advantaged power. In this period, the Ulama of Firangi Mahal, based first at Sehali in District Barabanki, and since 1690s based in Lucknow, educated and guided the Muslims. The Firangi Mahal led and steered the Muslims of India. The moulanas and moulvis (religious teachers) of Darul-uloom, Deoband (UP) also played significant role in freedom struggle of India declaring subjugation of an unjust rule is against Islamic tenets.

Other famous Muslims who fought for freedom against the British rule: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Mehmud Hasan of Darul Uloom Deoband who was implicated in the famous Silk Letter Conspiracy to overthrow the British through an armed struggle, Husain Ahmed Madani, former Shaikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, Hakeem Ajmal Khan, Hasrat Mohani, Dr. Syed Mahmud, Professor Maulavi Barkatullah, Dr. Zakir Husain, Saifuddin Kichlu, Vakkom Abdul Khadir, Dr. Manzoor Abdul Wahab, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Hakeem Nusrat Husain, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, Colonel Shahnawaz, Dr. M.A.Ansari, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, Ansar Harwani, Tak Sherwani, Nawab Viqarul Mulk, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk, Mustsafa Husain, VM Ubaidullah, SR Rahim, Badaruddin Taiyabji, and Moulvi Abdul Hamid.

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan with Gandhi in 1930. Also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khan led the non-violent opposition against the British Raj and strongly opposed the partition of India.
Until the 1930s, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a member of the Indian National Congress and was part of the freedom struggle. Dr. Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal, poet and philosopher, was a strong proponent of Hindu - Muslim unity and an undivdided India until the 1920s.Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was also active in Indian National Congress in Bengal during his early political career. Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar and Maulana Shaukat Ali struggled for the emancipation of the Muslims in the overall Indian context, and struggled for freedom alongside Mahatama Gandhi and Maulana Abdul Bari of Firangi Mahal. Until the 1930s, the Muslims of India broadly conducted their politics alongside their countrymen, in the overall context of an undivided India.



    Choose :
  • OR
  • To comment
No comments:
Write comments