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Maulana Azad is the father of nuclear India

Lucknow: In what may be construed as a clash of titans was the scene at Maulana Azad’s 122nd birth anniversary, in-between Syed Kalbe Sadiq, the Vice President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and Professor Khan Muhammed Atif, a Persian scholar, and former MLA. The venue was Rai Uma Nath Bali Auditorium, Lucknow. Sadiq is credited for running a series of schools, intermediate colleges, technical institutes, medical, management and also degree colleges. He prides himself as a “Hakeem-e-Millat”.

The inaugural speech by Sadiq was quite brusque. He exemplified, in his own traditional style that he would like to call Muslim community as Qaum-e-Taleem (Community of Education) instead of the day (Nov 11) being observed as “Yaume-e-Taleem” (Education Day) in memory of Maulana Azad, the first Union Education Minister. Sadiq said that Jews despite being 2.5% are controlling the whole world.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s real name was Ghulam Muhi-ud-Din Ahmed and he was born in Mecca from an Arab mother and an Indian father Khair-ud-din Ahmed. Azad had started an Urdu newspaper Al-Hilal in 1912 which was banned by the British. Undeterred, he started Al-Balagh which also saw the ban six months later. Azad would qualify himself to be the first to exhort Muslims and Hindus to stand together against the colonialism.

Azad became the youngest President of All India Congress Committee at an age of 23. Ironically, MK Gandhi gained in size to become the father of the nation and made Azad to step down as Congress president in 1946-to pave way for JL Nehru to become the PM.

Atif was the next speaker and with his vast knowledge of Arabic and Persian, he questioned as to where Muslims have been directed to seek Taleem (Education), and not Ilm (Knowledge). “The Prophet has directed Muslims to seek Ilm (knowledge) even if one was to go as far as China. This was in the context to move out, and understand the rise and fall of civilisations, explore people, their heritages, languages, cultures and traits. He said that Jews have totally abandoned Torah and have outrightly embraced US and Europe, which are in alignment with the Jews against Islam. Muslims, on the contrary, have also abandoned the Prophet and Islam, and have also not fallen on any material superpower, and are therefore, finding the hot tide against them. Sadiq thesis to enhance literacy, and not political power, is totally built on the wrong premise,” he said.

Taking Sadiq further to task he said that in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the literacy percentage of Muslims is higher than Hindus but they are no where in the power structure. “The whole energy should instead be directed to attain power. Even the Dalits who have been trampled for 5000 years are attaining power, due to the push of reservation in jobs, which made them become a political unity, and have hence, today acquired power in a Brahminical state like UP. If Muslims become 100% literate would Sadiq make them have jobs equal to their representation in assemblies, judiciary, military, media and bureaucracy?”

Atif, whose maternal uncle Abdur Razzaq Khan aka Maulana Malihabadi had written a book Zikr-e-Azad, out of his 40 years of association with Azad. Malihabadi’s leanings were actually conditioned by Allama Rasheed Rada of Egypt who had come to Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow in 1915. Rasheed published Al Manar and ran an institute Al Rishad in Egypt. Malihabadi went to Egypt to complete his studies at Al Rishad and by 1918 went to Turkey where he met Anwar Bey, much before Mustafa Kamal Pasha was to dominate the centrestage. Malihabadi offered his help to which Anwar suggested that he had enough military prowess but if Muslims in India were able to uproot the British, it would be the greatest service, as the British while sitting in India were bludgeoning the Middle East.

Malihabadi came back to India and met Azad and they formed a consensus on the British. He later met Muhammed Ali Jauhar to whom he communicated the sentiment of Anwar Bey, and thus, began the Khilafat Movement which finally led to the eviction of the British three decades later. Atif further said that Azad made Malihabadi start an Arabic journal Saqafatul Hind (Indian culture), after 1947. It was widely read in the Arab world and India was thus able to forge a relationship with the Arabs despite the propagation by Pakistan that there were no Muslims left in India after Partition. “Malihabadi has written a 1000 pages manuscript Bahaar-e-Arab. It is based on his understanding of 10,000 books in Arabic. The book is yet to be published. “Would the government of India facilitate it?” Atif asked.

“There was a great bonhomie between Azad and Malihabadi as both were to write in each other’s names. Insaniyat Maut Kay Darwaze Par (Humanity at the doors of death), is considered one of the finest works of Azad but it was actually penned by Malihabadi,” said Atif. Malihabadi was also the head of the Arabic section of All India Radio.

Atif also said that Azad was responsible for making India as powerful as it is today. He said that it was Azad who streamlined Indian foreign policy by making India remain neutral to the Soviet and US blocks, and thus keep equidistance, sought their help in hours of need. He said that Azad had made Nehru form the Non-Alignment Movement which India led for a considerable amount of time, before giving it a final divorce when the embassy of Israel opened up in 1992. “It was Azad who formed the University Grant Commission and opened up hundreds of engineering and technology colleges. This ultimately helped India become nuclear. Azad is the father of nuclear India,” he said amidst thunderous applause.

But now, as things would have had it, the Indian experiment of democracy, has fallen on its own civilisational baggage. Obviously this has come on the caste and communal lines. Hence, today JL Nehru, has become the leader of Brahmins, Sardar Patel of Backwards, BR Ambedkar of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Maulana Azad of Muslims. Remember they were all once Congress politicians.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 February 2011 on page no. 22

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