Books

Unique Album on Muslim Freedom Fighters

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Book: The Immortals
Author: Syed Naseer Ahamed
Publisher: Azad House of Publications
House No. 3-506, Apnaghar, Undavalli Center - 522501,
Tadepalli Mandalam, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh
Mobile No: 9440241727
Mail Id : naseerahamedsyed@gmail.com
Pages: 352 (Royal (A3))
Price: Rs 1000

 
Dr. Yadava Raghu
ogi Vemana University, Kadapa                   

 
India is a unique nation in many ways. No nation in the world is as blessed as India. Indian contribution to the world is unparalleled and over the centuries it has shaped the course of  civilizations in the world. The Indian civilization and society evolved thanks to the contribution of people belonging to all religions, regions, languages, castes and social groups.

The Indian civilization was at the crossroads when Muslims entered the Subcontinent, first through the Malabar Coast and then through Sindh, almost 14 centuries ago. Muslim seers, scholars, poets, kings, nobles, writers, sufis and artists gave Indian civilization a new meaning and a new direction. The arrival of the British in India threw up more determined Muslim leaders who stood firm in their fight against the foreign rule. Their contributions to India’s freedom struggle and modern Indian thought and history is second to none. In fact, it were Muslims who first raised the banner of revolt against the British rule and gave the most powerful of slogans, Jai Hind, Quit India, Inquilab Zindabad, Simon Go Back and Sare Jahan se Accha Hindustan Hamara, etc. There were thousands and thousands of Muslims who actively involved themselves in the movement to free India from the clutches of the foreign rule. But, unfortunately, post-independence, Muslims are relegated to political and social oblivion.

The Muslim contribution to the Indian freedom movement is now conveniently and deliberately forgotten. Concerted attempts are being made to wipe out traces of Muslim contribution from the history books. Sadly, in no government function our leaders talk of the heroic fights of the Muslim freedom fighters.

 At a time when saffronisation of Indian history is attempted from all corners in a bid to deny Muslim freedom fighters their due credit, social activist-journalist-advocate-author  Syed Naseer Ahamed comes out with a masterpiece album titled in English “The Immortals”  and  in Telugu “Charithardhulu”, on the history of  the Indian freedom struggle.  It is a masterpiece from all counts - singular effort, compilation, literature, portraits and anecdotal narration. “The Immortals” is the first-ever attempt  by any student or  expert in Indian history to bring together the long-forgotten contributions of  the great Muslim freedom fighters who had laid down their life, limb and properties for the cause of Mother India. The bilingual book, in English and Telugu, sets to rest all doubts about the Muslim contribution. It clearly spells out that Muslims were at the forefront of India’s freedom struggle. In fact, many of the struggles against the British, both non-violent and violent, were inspired by Muslims.

 Syed Naseer Ahamed is the first author from the Andhra Pradesh soil to highlight the contribution of Muslims to various facets of the freedom movement. He has already penned 10 bestselling books on Muslim freedom fighters in Telugu. Almost all his books were revised and reprinted several times.  Interesting aspects of his books are the deep insight they give to the readers on the role played by Muslims, men and women, in the freedom struggle. Earlier, he had brought out a book in Telugu on Muslim women freedom fighters in 1999. Since then Naseer continuously writes on the role of Muslim in the struggle for the freedom of India.

 In the presentation of the present album, he has carefully selected the period 1757-1947 and has listed as many as 155 Muslim heroes of the Indian subcontinent who fought against the British colonial rule.  Naseer took almost a decade and a half to write this book after exchanging thousands of letters with experts, family members of freedom fighters, surviving Indian heroes and researchers. The result is a unique gift to the Indian history which dispels historical myths and clarifies half truths about Indian Muslims as a whole, and the Muslim freedom heroes in particular.

 “The Immortals” contains portraits and brief biographical sketches of Muslim heroes of the Sub-continent who fought against the British colonial rulers between 1757-1947. It is a historical treasure which every true student of Indian and world history should keep with him or her. It also serves as a ready reference to researchers, historians and everyone who is in search of information and photos of great Indian Muslims, for whom the love of the motherland was above self, family, career, wealth, and life. It is also a must for every library, university and history museum.

 Naseer throws light on little known facts like the rocket technology invented by Tipu Sultan. How many of us know that Batak Mia Ansari had saved the life of Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 by exposing a conspiracy. “Khilafatwale”  Haji  Usman  Sait was nicknamed the “cash bag” of the Indian National Congress. Imam  Saheb  Abdul Qadir Ba-wazir left his lucrative horse-business in South Africa and settled in Sabarmati Ashram to run a printing press. Abid Hasan Safrani had coined the term “Jai Hind” and Yusuf Maherally had given the slogans “Quit India” and “Simon Go Back”.

Naseer is perhaps the first author to give detailed notes on the contribution of Muslim women freedom fighters.  Syed Naseer Ahamed’s is the most singular effort in the world of Telugu literature to provide forgotten Muslim freedom fighters their rightful place in the history of the country, and in the hearts of people, both Muslims and Hindus.

As he points out, his effort has been to bridge the gap between Muslims and Hindus and to build bridges of understanding between all communities in the country, promoting unity in diversity.

By highlighting the role played by Muslims in the struggle for the freedom of India,  Naseer makes a strong attempt to tell the Indian society at large that all groups and communities contributed their mite to the freedom of the motherland.  As noted historian Prof. Shamsul Islam of  Delhi University, points out,  Naseer has presented historical facts honestly and in right perspective. “It demolishes the case of prophets of disharmony and bigotry who believe in the two-nation theory and are working overtime to undo a democratic and all-inclusive India”.

This work also demolishes the canard against the largest minority of the country that they represent a danger to the country. To put Naseer’s work in a perspective, as another noted historian Prof  Vakulabharanam  Ramakrishna  of  the University of  Hyderabad, observes, “the author spared no efforts in making the publication comprehensive and attractive”. Syed Naseer Ahamed indeed sheds new light on India’s struggle for Independence.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 December 2014 on page no. 21

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