Skip to main content

Muslims must follow Maulana Azad, who opposed the idea of separate homeland, and not Haseeb, Owaisi, Azam & Co

By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
As far as Muslims of India are concerned, two recent incidents not only alarmed and hurt the nation but let this patriotic community down. The most recent is the diatribe of Maulana Haseeb Siddiqui of Deoband’s Muslim Bank who openly declared the opposition to unite against Modi and vote for the so-called secular party.
The other ghastly incident was the adamancy of the AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) students not to remove Jinnah’s photograph from their students’ union office. Had these people followed Bharat Ratna Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s path of interfaith concord and the lesson of gelling Hindus and Muslims for the larger good of India, they would not have done this. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is charged unnecessarily on behalf of both communities on petty issues, sometimes taking the form of communal riots.

Dividing on religious lines

Whatever Maulana Haseeb stated just before the Kairana, UP election, or the transgression on the part of the AMU students, was not only in bad taste but against the very roots of Islam, patriotism and nationalism. Haseeb’s statement that Muslims must vote for Tabassum of Congress and not for Mriganka of BJP, smacked of polarized and communal bias. It is statements like these that give rise to ill-fated mishaps like, Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan, Junaid and others. Muslims must sideline opportunists like Haseeb and Co.
Truth is that this kind of Muslim leadership has misled the unassuming community. Indian Muslims have been victim to an irresponsible leadership which has been bent upon keeping the community in subjugation by concentrating on emotionally charged and sensitive issues. During every election, it has been proved that all of them turn as power-brokers indulging in pernicious vote-bank manipulations acquiring state patronage themselves and subjecting and finally leaving the community with a begging bowl at the mercy of God.
These so-called Muslim representatives have ruined their followers emotionally, socially and educationally. Has anyone heard an iota of grudge from the Sikh, Christian or Parsi communities against their leaders? Never! Why? They are sincere not only to their community but even people outside it. More often then, not ours are interested in feathering their own nests owing to their ambitions solely materialist while their followers are being pushed to the dark bottomless hell of ignorance owing to the obscurantist attitude of their netas who think they are accountable to none.

Cajoled Muslim community

This is not all; battered by the populist rhetoric and provocative militancy of its myopic and ill- educated clerics and shallow youth, the country’s second majority (not minority!) stands at cross roads. Even the ones from the clergy are indulging in petty mindedness characterized by an extremely narrow and irresponsible outlook completely out of tune with the existing reality. Such leaders are not seriously interested in dealing with the genuine problems of the community. It can be seen that Muslim leaders, clerics and even petty politicians are becoming richer and richer day by day while the people they represent, are languishing in their ghettos and their institutions like the Urdu medium schools, madrasas, khanqahs, maktabs etc, are all nothing more than obscure dungeons. For the last 71 years they have been exploited by the politicians of various hues views.
Afflicted by utter educational backwardness, the administrative apathy and political expediency, the Muslim community in India has been cajoled by almost all the politicians but mostly by the ones from their own fold. These opportunist leaders have been crying hoarse merely indulging in lip-service both inside the parliament as well as outside it.
In this ghettoized situation emerged the churlish political middlemen as interlocutors for communities picking on sensational issues that would apparently tighten their stranglehold on the people they pretend to represent by diverting the attention from real bread and butter issues. Love Jehad, Ghar Wapsi, Shah Bano, Triple Talaq, Babri Masjid, etc are not the real issues.

Taking a leaf from Azad

Calling from Quran for freedom, Maulana Azad coalesced with endogenic creativity, the Vedantic vision of many parts of truth with the Islamic doctrine of Wahdat-e-Deen (unity of religion) and Sulah-e-Kul (universal peace).
Although Azad started his career as an aalim (religious leader), his faith in nationalism, as MKC Gandhi described it, was as robust as his faith in Islam. Though born in a family steeped in religious traditions, Azad was singularly free from all traces of pride and prejudice on religious grounds. As his outlook was scientific and progressive, Maulana Sahab would never agree to what was taught by the traditional mullas and maulvis or the orthodox Muslim theologians as his outlook was scientific and he was a “Modern Maulana”!
Azad did not agree with Jinnah at all and his Lahore address was a lance in Azad’s heart after Jinnah transformed himself as the Qaied-e-Azam of the Muslim nation, his long-cherished ambition. Azad was aware that there was no turning back in Jinnah’s dictionary.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is, by any reckoning, a major figure in twentieth-century Indian History. He was a scholar thoroughly trained in the traditional Islamic sciences, with great intellectual abilities and eloquence of pen and speech. He had, in addition, a remarkable openness to modern western knowledge even as he opposed western rule over India.
It goes without saying that in the galaxy of patriots and heroes of Indian freedom struggle, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad occupies a unique place head high above shoulders of the others as far as the pitched resistance against the vivisection of the country is concerned. He was the tallest amongst the nationalist Muslims, a savant servant.
Azad was a man who was opposed to the very idea of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India because he thought it was in the interest of Muslims themselves to remain part of a greater whole. A blunt man, his writings are clear about his respect for Gandhi, his friendship with Nehru, his distaste for Jinnah’s politics, and his contempt for the mindset of Vallabbhai Patel and his ilk.
It goes without saying that in the galaxy of patriots and heroes of Indian freedom struggle, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad occupies a unique place head high above shoulders of the others as far as the pitched resistance against the vivisection of the country is concerned. He was the tallest amongst the nationalist Muslims, a savant servant, as also stated in 2005 in Delhi High Court by Justice Vijendra Jain in an order issued in the PIL by this author to protect Maulana Azad mausoleum.
---
*Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University; grandnephew, Maulana Azad

Comments

TRENDING

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

2002 riots: Gujarat assembly 'misinformed' about dereliction of duty, says ex-DGP

By Rajiv Shah  Former Gujarat topcop RB Sreekumar, an IPS officer of the 1971 batch, has alleged that the Gujarat government gave “totally false information” on the floor of the State Assembly regarding the appeal he made to the Gujarat governor for the “initiation of departmental action against those responsible for culpable negligence in maintenance of public order and investigation of genocidal crimes” during the 2002 riots.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

'Devastating impact': Rural workers suffer as Govt of India NREGA budget down by 34%

Counterview Desk  A civil rights group, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha has sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj stating that 34 per cent decrease in the fiscal budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) for year 2021-22 has added to woes on India’s rural population, already suffering from “devastating impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Catholic women warn: Kerala Bishop turning Church into puppet in political games

Counterview Desk A group of Catholic women under the banner Concerned Catholic Women of India has said that they are deeply concerned over "a bishop’s controversial statement" which may threaten communal harmony in India. As many as 89 Catholic women from across India have urged the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and its Kerala unit to take special steps to "foster peace and avoid strife."

Odisha bauxite mining project to 'devastate' life of 2,500 Adivasi, Dalit farmers: NAPM

Counterview Desk  While the public hearing on mining in Mali hills has been cancelled due to protests by Adivasi and Dalit farmers of the Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, Odisha, who have been protesting against the proposed bauxite mining project, India’s top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said it is “deeply concerned” at the decision of the Government of Odisha to push the project in a Schedule-V Adivasi-belt Koraput district against the interests of the people and environment.