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Published in the 16-31 Dec 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Book Review
Telugu book on Muslim role in the freedom movement

By Noor Basha Abdul

Indian Freedom Movement: Uprisings of Muslim Patriots [in Telugu]
Author: Syed Naseer Ahamed
Price: Rs 50, Pages 178.
Available from: # 3-506, Apnaghar, Undavalli Center- 522501, Tadepally (M), Guntur Distt. Andhra Pradesh.


This well-documented book is a response to the fascist Hindutva onslaught on the sons of the soil-Indian Muslims. The book written in Telugu is a rare piece in the sense that its author Syed Naseer Ahamad, a journalist and advocate, has collected and compiled details of the five historic movements which were led by Muslim freedom fighters. The life-sketches and the contributions of those leaders have also been included in the book.

Contrary to the deceptive propaganda of the Sangh Parivar, history is witness to the fact that religious zeal was not the motive of the Muslim conquest of the country. Many races like Turks, Pathans, Persians, Afghans, Arabs and Mughals conquered and ruled India but they were not united under the banner of Islam and fought among themselves like Hindu kings. In fact, a majority of Shivaji’ s wars was against Hindu rulers rather than Muslim rulers. The propaganda of the parivar that Hindu kings waged wars against Muslim invaders is nothing but deception.

Can we think of Rani Laxmibai without thinking of Begum Hazarat Mahal and Bahadur Shah Zafar? Can we think of Ram Prasad Bismil without remembering Sardar Bhagat Singh and Ashfaqullah Khan? Can we think of Nehru and Gandhi without remembering Maulana Azad who opposed Jinnah and his two-nation theory tooth and nail? In the historic INA trial the three imprisoned leaders — a Hindu, a Sikh and a Muslim — symbolized the all inclusive character of the freedom movement.

The author has documented five major freedom movements which were primarily led by the Muslims: the movement of Bengal Fakirs (1763-1800) against the British as the pioneer rebels against the British rule, the Wahhabi movement (1820-1992) , the sacrifices of the Farazi (1830-1900), the rebellion of Malabar Moplas (1800-1992) and Khuda-i -Khidmatgars (1929-48), a movement led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

The book would go a long way in dispelling the prejudices against the Muslim community among Telugu-readers.

Naseer Ahamed has written many book in Telugu on the Indian freedom movement and the role of Muslims in the freedom struggle. Some of his books are Indian Freedom Movement: Muslims Women, Indian Freedom Movement: Muslims, Indian Freedom Movement: Andhra Pradesh Muslims, Mysore Tiger Tipu Sultan and Shaheed-e-Azam Ashfaqullah Khan.

These books should be part of the curriculum at the school level in Andhra Pradesh and should be translated into other Indian languages

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