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23 August 2011

OPINION: Contribution of Muslims to India’s Independence

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By Habibulla Khan


We as a nation would be proudly celebrating the 64th Independence of our country during this month. On this historic occasion, Indians at every forum try to recall the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters from all walks of Life. But unfortunately, because of our narrow approach and a prejudiced view, not all people are equally highlighted in the history and even in today’s media. Our unfair historians have given an impression that Muslim community has not contributed much to the freedom struggle. Hence let us turn back to the pages of history to find out the truth, about sacrifices of our Muslim revolutionaries.


How many Indians today know “Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan” (Frontier Gandhi) a great nationalist who spent 45 years of his life in jail for the freedom of India. Let us also recall the sacrifice of Barkatullah of Bhopal, one of the founders of Ghadar party, who created a network of anti-British organizations and who died penniless in Germany in 1927.


Syed Rahmath Shah of Ghader party, who worked as an underground revolutionary in France was hanged for his part in the unsuccessful Ghadar uprising in 1915.


Ali Ahmed Siddiqui of Faizabad (Uttar Pradesh) who planned the “Indian Mutiny” in Malaya and Burma was hanged in 1917.


Umar Subhani an industrialist and a millionaire of Bombay who presented blank cheque to Gandhiji for congress expenses and who ultimately gave his life for the cause of independence.


Mohammed Basheer, Khuda Baksh, A Zakaria, Allah Nawaz, Abdul Aziz, and tens of thousands of such revolutionaries have been ignored, The History book “Qaiseral Tawarikh” mentions the number of Muslims executed in Delhi alone during 1857-58 was 27000, excluding those killed in general massacre.


Some of our historians have made allegations that Muslims in general have a tendency of “separatism” and do not love India as their mother land. The answer to this is our own “TIGER of Mysore” Tippu Sultan who died in the battle field defending his own country.


At a time when most of the Indian rulers were incapable of understanding the consequences of the rise of British, Tippu Sultan had developed a world consciousness. He had sent envoys to turkey in 1784-85 to France in1787-88, to Zaman shah of Afghanistan in 1876 and in 1799 which was intercepted by British.


Tippu Sultan was a champion of Hindu- Muslim unity. The archaeological Department of the Government of Mysore still preserves his thirty letters written to Shankarcharya of Shringeri Mutt, a great saint of his time, reverentially begging to him to return to his state and pray for his success in fighting against the foreigners.


Dr. R.C. Majundar says “of all the Indian ruling princess of this period, Hyder Ali and his son Tippu Sultan were the most uncompromising opponents of the growth of British Political power”


Gandhiji in one of his articles calls Tippu as a greatest martyr of Indian freedom.


Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in one of his foreword writes. “The revolt against British scarcely had any tinge of communalism, in their struggle for freedom both Hindus and Muslims stood shoulder to shoulder with the single object of liberating themselves from the British oppression.”


During the first independence revolt of 1857, in Kanpur region, it was Nana Sahib and Azimullah who raised the banner of revolt.


In Delhi, during the same period, Moulana Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi who was an influential Moulvi, had addressed a congregation of Muslims in Jamia Masjid and gave a Fatwa (religious decree) to fight the British. When the revolt against British in Delhi was defeated, one of the British officers wrote “Hundreds of Ulema were blown by cannons while thousands were hanged and others deported to Andaman Island. Among the first batch of persons to arrive at the Andaman were well-known Moulvis like Mufti Mazhar Kareem of Delhi and Munshi Inayat Ahamed of Lucknow.


These are just a few instances I have quoted which is just a “tip of the iceberg” from the pages of History. Now I would like to put forth a few questions to our learned critics, biased historians, and intellectuals the following.


a) Are these facts not enough to acknowledge that Muslims have equally contributed to the freedom struggle?
b) Just by closing the eyes, do they think, they can change the facts of history?
c) Are we really following the principles of secularism by ignoring a particular section whereas highlighting the other sections?
d) Is this not the path of “Divide & Rule” policy which was followed by British tyrants who in turn destroyed the original Indian culture of “mutual respect”?
e) Is this tendency of hatred not dangerous to the future of this country?
f) Are these so-called “Intellectuals” not interested to see this country progress and prosper as a single nation?
g) Have they forgotten our own mantra of “Unity in Diversity”?


Finally, let us all sit together with an unbiased mind and agree that all sections have equally contributed to the freedom of this country. Let good sense prevail and we appeal to all our like minded, right thinking citizens to come forward and prove these critics wrong. Let us finally pray that God give the right guidance and wisdom to all Indians and let this country progress and prosper to become one of the greatest nations of the world.


[Habibulla Khan is an Engineer and owner of Beacon Builders, Bangalore. He can be contacted via Email: info@beaconbuilders.in]

6 comments:

  1. jai ram rahim.........unity in diversity......

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  2. Wonderful. Proud to be an Indian muslim

    Syed Arif

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  3. great ..post ...nation cleared this sacrifice from textbooks and news

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  4. yes Tippu was a great fighter , he was fighting for his kingdom. don't forget the fact that he was one of the most in tolerant kings(he hated and prosecuted many Hindus, charged jijia tax ).

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  5. nic information bro... but mny of us don't know real history bcz we don't wanna accept the realty

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