Sify columnist releases book on Indian Muslim freedom fighters

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 22, 2017 15:05 hrs
Muslim Freedom Fighters: Contribution of Indian Muslims in the Independence Movement

Patna: In a glittering ceremony, two books on the Muslim community's contribution to the Indian freedom movement were launched in Patna last week. The function was presided over by Harsh Mander, former IAS officer and human rights activist.

The books 'Muslim Freedom Fighters: Contribution of Indian Muslims in the Independence Movement’ and its Urdu version ‘Muslim Mujahideen-e-Azadi aur Tehrik-e-Azadi Mein Unki Khidmat’ have been authored by well-known Delhi based author and journalist Syed Ubaidur Rahman.

The two books try to fight the oft-repeated allegations that Muslims are anti-national and have not contributed for the freedom of the nation. The books nail the lie and prove that Muslims not just participated in the freedom movement, they went on to lead the freedom struggle for a long time. The first war of Independence or Mutiny of 1857 was led by Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in Delhi and Begum Hazrat Mahal in Lucknow.

The Independence Movement in the first two decades of the twentieth century was led by Mahmud Hasan and ulama of Deoband and they had respect and support of everyone including Hindus and Muslims.

If anyone has any doubt about the Muslim contribution in the freedom movement, the fact that the Indian National Congress had as many as nine Muslims as its president till the year 1947 will remove such doubts.

While speaking on the occasion, Harsh Mander said that the divisive forces in the country are trying to divide the nation on the basis of religion and faith. He said that the danger from such forces for the national fabric and its unity has become grave. 

Mander added that the threat to the communal amity in the country was never so high as is today as divisive forces are doing every thing to pit one community against the other and create a fear psychosis among the majority community prompting it to turn it against minorities.

Khursheed Mallick, a Chicago based urologist, philanthropist and director of IMEFNA said that the book is a timely reminder to the nation that Muslims and Hindus both sacrificed for the nation and this fact must be clearly told to our young generation. He said Muslims sacrificed heavily for the cause of the freedom of the nation and efforts must be made to tell the history.

Syed Ubaidur Rahman, the author of the two books, while speaking on the occasion said Muslims have been rather loath to write about the sacrifices they have made for the cause of the Independence and freedom. He said Muslims suffered badly throughout the freedom movement. They were the worst suffers in the wake of the mutiny of 1857 and its aftermath when Muslims were hounded across North India and beyond. Tens of thousands of Muslims lost their lives for the freedom.

Syed added that ulama of Deoband played a stellar role in the freedom movement. Unlike the common perception, they were secular to the core and when they established a government in exile in Kabul in 1915, they appointed Raja Mahendra Pratap as its President and Maulana Barkatullah Bhopali as its Prime Minister.

The book documents the lives of forty renowned Muslim freedom fighters including, Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmud al-Hasan, Maulana Barkatullah Bhopali, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Dr Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, Ashfaqulla Khan, Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Maulana Muhammad Mian Mansoor Ansari, Asaf Ali, Husain Ahmad Madani, Aruna Asaf Ali (Kulsum Zamani), Peer Ali Khan, Saifuddin Kitchlew, Mohammed Abdur Rahiman, Captain Abbas Ali, Abdul Qaiyum Ansari, Prof. Abdul Bari, Moulvi Abdul Rasul, Nawab Syed Mohammed Bahadur, Rahimtulla Mahomed Sayani, Syed Hasan Imam, Sir Syed Ali Imam, M.C. Chagla, Yusuf Meherally, Justice Fazal Ali, General Shah Nawaz Khan, Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Syed Mahmud, Maulana Mazharul Haque, Badruddin Tyabji, Col Mehboob Ahmed, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Maulana Shafi Daudi, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Syed Mohammad Sharfuddin Quadri, Batak Mian

The book launch function was organized at Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu and was presided over by Abdul Qaiyum Ansari, chairman of Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu Bihar.

More columns by Syed Ubaidur Rahman:

Assembly elections: Politically marginalized Gujarati Muslims refuse to be provoked

Are madrasas anti-national? A historic perspective

Mainstreaming terrorist outfits in Pakistani politics

Indian Muslim leadership: Why the blinders need to be removed

Has startup culture left Indian Muslims untouched?

Instant talaq: Supreme Court majority judgment not enough

Jamiat Ulama's meet with Modi a welcome beginning

Syed Ubaidur Rahman is a New Delhi based writer and commentator. He has written several books on Muslims and Islam in India including Understanding Muslim Leadership in India.

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