Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jinnah, Mullahs, Pakistan & Ghulam Ahmed Parwez - 3

Muslim religious organisations of the sub-continent -- Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Majlis-i- Ahrar- i-Islam and Jamat-i-Islami -- were politically very active during the struggle for Pakistan but all of them opposed tooth and nail the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims. The opposition of Jamiat and Ahrar was on the plea that Pakistan was essentially a territorial concept and thus alien to the philosophy of Islamic brotherhood, which was universal in character. Nationalism was an un-Islamic concept for them but at the same time they supported the CongressParty's idea of Indian nationalism which the Muslim political leadership considered as accepting perpetual domination of Hindu majority. Jamat-i-Islami reacted to the idea of Pakistan in a complex manner. It rejected both the nationalist Ulema's concept of nationalism as well as the Muslim League's demand for a separate homeland for the Muslims. The most noteworthy feature of the struggle for Pakistan is that its leadership came almost entirely from the Western-educated Muslim professionals. The Ulema remained, by and large, hostile to the idea of a Muslim national state. But during the mass contact campaign, which began around 1943, the Muslim League abandoned its quaint constitutionalist and legalist image in favor of Muslim populism which drew heavily on Islamic values. Wild promises were made of restoring the glory of Islam in the future Muslim state. As a consequence, many religious divines and some respected Ulema were won over. The Muslim political leadership believed that the Ulema were not capable of giving a correct lead in politics to the Muslims because of their exclusively traditional education and complete ignorance of the complexities of modern life. It, therefore, pleaded that the Ulema should confine their sphere of activity to religion since they did not understand the nature of politics of the twentieth century. It was really unfortunate that the Ulema, in general and the Darul Ulum Deoband in particular, understood Islam primarily in a legal form. Their medieval conception of the Shariah remained unchanged, orthodox and traditional in toto and they accepted it as finished goods manufactured centuries ago by men like (Imam) Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf. Their scholasticism, couched in the old categories of thought, barred them from creative thinking and properly understanding the problems, social or philosophical, confronting the Muslim society in a post-feudal era. They were intellectually ill-equipped to comprehend the crisis Islam had to face in the twentieth century. The struggle for Pakistan -- to establish a distinct identity of Muslims -- was virtually a secular campaign led by men of politics rather than religion and Mohammad Ali Jinnah and his lieutenants such as Liaquat Ali Khan who won Pakistan despite opposition by most of the Ulema. Jinnah was continuously harassed by the Ulema, particularly by those with Congress orientation. They stood for status quo as far as Islam and Muslims were concerned, and regarded new ideas such as the two nation theory, the concept of Muslim nationhood and the territorial specification of Islam through the establishment of Pakistan as innovations which they were not prepared to accept under any circumstance. It was in this background that Jinnah pointed out to the students of the Muslim University Union: "What the League has done is to set you free from the reactionary elements of Muslims and to create the opinion that those who play their selfish game are traitors. It has certainly freed you from that undesirable element of Molvis and Maulanas. I am not speaking of Molvis as a whole class. There are some of them who are as patriotic and sincere as any other, but there is a section of them which is undesirable. Having freed ourselves from the clutches of the British Government, the Congress, the reactionaries and so-called Molvis, may I appeal to the youth to emancipate our women. This is essential. I do not mean that we are to ape the evils of the West. What I mean is that they must share our life not only social but also political." The history of the Ulema in the sub-continent has been one of their perpetual conflict with intelligentsia. The Ulema opposed Sir Syed Ahmad Khan when he tried to rally the Muslims in 1857. Nearly a hundred of them, including Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, the leading light of Deoband, ruled that it was unlawful to join the Patriotic Association founded by him. However, the Muslim community proved wiser than the religious elite and decided to follow the political lead given by Sir Syed Ahmad.

The conflict between conservative Ulema and political Muslim leadership came to a head during the struggle for Pakistan when a number of Ulema openly opposed the Quaid-i-Azam and denounced the concept of Pakistan. It is an irony of history that Jinnah in his own days, like Sir Syed Ahmad before him, faced the opposition of the Ulema. The Ahrar Ulema -- Ataullah Shah Bukhari, Habibur Rahman Ludhianawi and Mazhar Ali Azhar -- seldom mentioned the Quaid-i-Azam by his correct name which was always distorted. Mazhar Ali Azhar used the insulting sobriquet Kafir-i-Azam (the great unbeliever) for Quaid-i-Azam. One of the resolutions passed by the Working Committee of the Majlis-i-Ahrar which met in Delhi on 3rd March 1940, disapproved of Pakistan plan, and in some subsequent speeches of the Ahrar leaders Pakistan was dubbed as "palidistan". The authorship of the following couplet is attributed to Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar, a leading personality of the Ahrar:

Ik Kafira Ke Waste Islam ko Chhora

Yeh Quaid-i-Azam hai Ke hai Kafir-i-Azam.

(He abandoned Islam for the sake of a non-believer woman, he is a great leader or a great non-believer)

During the struggle for Pakistan, the Ahrar were flinging foul abuse on all the leading personalities of the Muslim League and accusing them of leading un-Islamic lives. Islam was with them a weapon which they could drop and pick up at pleasure to discomfit a political adversary. Religion was a private affair in their dealings with the Congress and nationalism their ideology. But when they were pitted against the Muslim League, their sole consideration was Islam. They said that the Muslim League was not only indifferent to Islam but an enemy of it. After independence, the Ahrar leaders came to Pakistan. But before coming, the All India Majlis-i-Ahrar passed a resolution dissolving their organization and advising the Muslims to accept Maulana Azad as their leader and join the Congress Party. The Jamat-i-Islami was also opposed to the idea of Pakistan which it described as Na Pakistan (not pure). In none of the writings of the Jama'at is to be found the remotest reference in support of the demand for Pakistan. The pre-independence views of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, the founder of the Jamat-i-Islami were quite definite:

"Among Indian Muslims today we find two kinds of nationalists: the Nationalists Muslims, namely those who in spite of their being Muslims believe in Indian Nationalism and worship it; and the Muslims Nationalist: namely those who are little concerned with Islam and its principles and aims, but are concerned with the individuality and the political and economic interests of that nation which has come to exist by the name of Muslim, and they are so concerned only because of their accidence of birth in that nation. From the Islamic viewpoint both these types of nationalists were equally misled, for Islam enjoins faith in truth only; it does not permit any kind of nation-worshipping at all. Maulana Maududi was of the view that the form of government in the new Muslim state, if it ever came into existence, could only be secular. In a speech shortly before partition he said: "Why should we foolishly waste our time in expediting the so-called Muslim-nation state and fritter away our energies in setting it up, when we know that it will not only be useless for our purposes, but will rather prove an obstacle in our path." Paradoxically, Maulana Maududi's writings played an important role in convincing the Muslim intelligentsia that the concept of united nationalism was suicidal for the Muslims but his reaction to the Pakistan movement was complex and contradictory. When asked to cooperate with the Muslim League he replied: "Please do not think that I do not want to participate in this work because of any differences, my difficulty is that I do not see how I can participate because partial remedies do not appeal to my mind and I have never been interested in patch work." He had opposed the idea of united nationhood because he was convinced that the Muslims would be drawn away from Islam if they agreed to merge themselves in the Indian milieu. He was interested more in Islam than in Muslims: because Muslims were Muslims not because they belonged to a communal or a national entity but because they believed in Islam. The first priority, therefore, in his mind was that Muslim loyalty to Islam should be strengthened. This could be done only by a body of Muslims who did sincerely believe in Islam and did not pay only lip service to it. Hence he founded the Jamat-i-Islami (in August 1941). However, Maulana Maududi's stand failed to take cognizance of the circumstances in which the Muslims were placed at that critical moment. The Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind, the most prestigious organization of the Ulema, saw nothing Islamic in the idea of Pakistan. Its president, Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, who was also Mohtamim or principal of Darul Ulum Deoband opposed the idea of two-nation theory, pleading that all Indians, Muslims or Hindus were one nation. He argued that faith was universal and could not be contained within national boundaries but that nationality was a matter of geography, and Muslims were obliged to be loyal to the nation of their birth along with their non-Muslim fellow citizens. Maulana Madani said: "all should endeavor jointly for such a democratic government in which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Parsis are included. Such a freedom is in accordance with Islam." He was of the view that in the present times, nations are formed on the basis of homeland and not on ethnicity and religion.He issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from joining the Muslim League. Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani accepted the doctrine of Indian nationalism with all enthusiasm and started preaching it in mosques. This brought a sharp rebuke from Dr. Mohammad Iqbal. His poem on Hussain Ahmad in 1938 started a heated controversy between the so-called nationalist Ulema and the adherents of pan-Islamism (Umma). Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a member of Indian National Congress regrets that he did not accept Congress president ship in 1946, which led Nehru to assume that office and give the statements that could be exploited by the Muslim League for creation of Pakistan and withdrawal of its acceptance of the Cabinet Plan that envisaged an Indian Union of all the provinces and states of the sub-continent with safeguards for minorities. He had persuaded the pro-Congress Ulema that their interests would be better safeguarded under a united India, and that they should repose full confidence in Indian nationalism. However, they should make efforts to secure for themselves the control of Muslim personal law, by getting a guarantee from the Indian National Congress, that the Muslim personal law would be administered by qadis (judges) who were appointed from amongst the Ulema. REFERENCE: ISLAMIC PAKISTAN: ILLUSIONS & REALITY A comprehensive and detailed political history of Pakistan http://ghazali.net/book1/index.htm Chapter II Ulema and Pakistan Movement http://ghazali.net/book1/chapter_2.htm http://ghazali.net/book1/Chapter2a/page_2.html R E F E R E N C E S http://ghazali.net/book1/reference1.htm BY Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Dr Safdar Mehmood & Haroon ur Rasheed have been trying their best so construct a bridge between Secular Jinnah & Deobandi Scholar Ashraf Ali Thanvi to Islamize Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Pakistan, and each time Dr Safdar Mehmood & Haroon ur Rasheed create/concoct a lie to achieve the desired result ends up in more confusion. Pakistani Scholars are strange, they have several version of Ideologies/Islam to concoct Alleged Islamic Ideologies of Pakistan e.g. on Blasphemy Law they follow Traditionalists, while executing/implementing the Blasphemy Law these ideologues target the most marginalized section of the society i.e. Minorities whereas spare Blatant Blasphemers within the Mullah Community (Deobandi, Barelvi, Shia books are riddled with Blasphemy and their Mullahs often resort to worst kind of Blasphemy in the name of respective Fiqh), same Ideologues adopt a criminal silence on the practice of Blatant and Brazen Apostasy/Disbelief e.g. Practice of Sorcery openly in Pakistan & Promoted through Pakistani TV Channels. Above mentioned Alleged Scholars shamelessly quote Apostate Masnoor Hallaj & Blasphemer Ali Hajweri in their Daily Jang Column without any check or any threat of use of Blasphemy Law from any quarter for quoting Blasphemous Sufis. Dr Safdar & Haroon ur Rasheed & their partners in crime e.g. Mujib ur Rehamn Shami (Dunya TV) and Irfan Siddiqui (Daily Jang) take one more giant step they often praise Mawdudi (Founder of Jamat-e-Islami) whose Blasphemous Views on Prophets (Peace be upon them) & Companions of Prophet Mohammad (May Allah be pleased with all of them) are not a secret. Irony is that Dr Safdar/Haroon ur Rasheed are praising Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi & Jinnah's alleged connections, conveniently forget about the Religious Edicts (Fatwas), Books, even Fatwa of Apostasy issued by the very same Deobandi Scholars on Mawdudi and Jamat-e-Islami. It is requested that Dr Safdar Mehmood & Haroon ur Rasheed would also reveal the Fatwa of Apostasy against Jinnah and Fellow Alleged Founders of Pakistan, and Fatwas were issued by Barelvi, Deobandi, Jamat-e-Islami Scholars.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012, Rabi-ul-Awal 29, 1433 A.H.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012, Rabi-ul-Awal 21, 1433 A.H.


Jinnah, Mullahs, Pakistan & Ghulam Ahmed Parwez - 9


In his historical statement he(Maulana Maududi) further said: "If we establish an Islamic government in Pakistan, we would not have any objections if the Muslims are treated like Malechhas and Shudras, the laws of Manu are applied to them and they are not entitled to the rights of the citizens and participation in the governance in India." Here Maulana Maududi firstly admits that the reason for his demand for the establishment of an Islamic system in Pakistan is that the non-Muslims have gone from here lending it permissibility for the imposition of Islamic system. It would be noted that the exchange of population or the evacuation of the Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan was not a part of the plan of the partition. People were forced to migrate due to the riots. In this situation, either Maulana Shabbir Usmani is correct who said that Pakistan was established for the imposition of Shariah or Maulana Maududi who said that due to the evacuation of non-Muslims, the permissibility of imposition of Islamic system had arisen. The second point to be noted is that Maulana Maududi is thinking about the West Pakistan only instead of the entire Pakistan because if it was difficult to impose the Islamic system in West Pakistan having a minority population of 26% how was the imposition of Islamic system permissible in East Pakistan having a minority population of 25%.

The 'guiding principles' of Maulana Maududi give birth to a third theory that if the population of the Muslims in a particular place increases to such strength that they can forcefully impose their preferred system, they should go ahead and do that. In the given situation how was Maulana Maududi propagating the government of Allah in India as the Muslim population was only 25% there.

It should be recalled that immediately after his arrival in Pakistan, Maulana Maududi had compared the birth of Pakistan to 'the birth of a beast' in his magazine. Maulana Maududi's admirer Altaf Gauhar forgot the simile and kept repeating the line from Faiz Ahmad Faiz's peom 'Azadi'--- ye dag dag ujala ye shab guzeeda seher.

Putting aside the self conceived notion of democracy of the religious peshwas of Pakistan, the basic principle of democracy is the equality of the citizens and the equal right to participation in the governance The basic demand of the Equality of the citizens is that they should not be discriminated against on the basis of sex, belief, language, culture or caste.

The fact that declaring religion the fundamental factor in the political process and administrative system opens the doors of discriminatory treatment of the citizens is established by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani's demand immediately after the formation of Pakistan that the key posts should be given to the Muslims alone. A few years later, this demand resulted in the demand for the dismissal of the foreign minister Zafarullah Khan.

This is a fact worthy to be noted that Qaid-e-Azam Md Ali Jinnah had appointed Joginder Nath Mandal, a Hindu as the first Law Minister of Pakistan and Zafarullah Khan the Foreign Minister in December 1947. No maulvi had the guts to demand the removal of Joginder Nath Mandal or Zafarullah Khan on the basis of belief during Qaid-e-Azam's life. One interesting aspect of the whole episode is that the ulema's stance was that the foundation of law-making should be laid on Shariah and Mohammad Ali Jinnah was appointing a Hindu as the law minister.

Between 1940 and 1947, Muslim Leagues stand was that the security of the Muslims of India will be guaranteed by the good treatment of Hindus in Pakistan. The supposed harmony in the stances of the Muslim League and the Jamaat Islami led by Maulana Maududi can be guaged by the fact that shortly after arriving Lahore in the government truck sent by Sardar Shaukat Hayat, Maulana Maududi became so oblivious of the Indian Muslims that he did not bother if they were treated like the malechchas or shudras.

As a result of the exchange of population, the change in the proportion of the Muslim and non-Muslim population in both the countries gave the mullah the opportunity to demand to make the Muslim-majority country an Islamic state and thus hijack the whole system of governance.

The change in the stance of the Muslim League about the Muslims left in India after the decision of partition can be ascertained in the excerpts produced below:

Mushtaque Ahmad Wajdi was a senior officer at the time of formation of Pakistan. Late he retired as the auditor general of Pakistan. On page 148 of his book " Hungamon mein zindagi' (A tumultuous Life) he writes:

"On May 30 1947, Shujaat Ali Husni invited all the Muslim officers over tea in Delhi with an emphasis on attendance. The reason was not known. On reaching there we saw Qaid-e-Azam, Liagat Ali Khan, Sardar Abdur Rab Nashtar and some others. As the tea was over, it was announced that Qaid-e-Azam will speak. After the speech while replying to a question Qaid-e-Azam said, "From now on, the nationality of Indian Muslims will be Indian. They will have nothing to do with Pakistan." I was shocked to hear this. Five crore Muslims were declared Indians at one go. Until yesterday they were promised a new country which would be an abode of peace for them. They were asked for sacrifices on this ground and they sacrificed their lives and fortune for this cause. Today they were pushed into a virtual hell with two words. What happened to the Two nation Theory? Then I thought that after all Qaid-e-Azam, Liaqat Ali Khan and other leaders were also Indians. Definitely, they will stay back and take care of them, but that was not to happen."

In his book, Pathway to Pakistan, Choudhry Khaliquzzaman writes," Qaid-e-Azam had now realised the dangers facing Muslims left behind in India. On August 1, 1947, before leaving for Karachi, Mr Jinnah invited all the Muslim members of the Legislative Assembly to bid farewell. Mr Rizwanullah asked some unsavoury questions about the status and future of the Muslims left in India. Never before had I seen Mr Jinnah so nervous and at a loss for words because he could clearly foresee how the Muslims were going to suffer. As the situation became really unpleasant I requested my colleagues to stop the discussion. I believe that this last conversation compelled Mr Jinnah to say good bye to the Two Nation Theory on August 11, 1947 as the designated Governor General and the President of the Legislative Assembly." (Translated from Urdu by Sohail Arshad) REFERENCE: Objectives Resolution and Secularism—IX By Wajahat Masood http://www.newageislam.com/articledetails.aspx?ID=2682

Musalmano Ka Ehteram Karo + Ulema Deoband ka Mehboob Mashghala aur Deen ka Aiham Fareeza...

Jinnah, Mullahs, Pakistan & Ghulam Ahmed Parwez - 10


It will not be irrelevant to mention here that Rizwanullah was so disgusted with the whole situation that he left both India and Pakistan and settled in Australia. The attitude of the Muslim League towards the Muslims left in India has also been summed up by Maulana Ghulam Rasul Meher in Ashique Hussain Batalvi's book 'Chand Yaden, Chand Tassurat"( Some Reminiscences and Reflections). He says, “One important thing is that the main purpose of the scheme of Pakistan was not only an independent system for the Muslims but also complete arrangements for the security of the Muslim minority to be left in India. After the partition, complete arrangements for the security of the Muslim minority were extremely necessary. I am one of those who could not get proof of any efforts made towards this most important national cause in the whole episode of the partition, nor could I understand the reasons for avoiding this basic purpose.

Apart from the exchange of populations as a result of the large scale riots, the other important factor was the decision to give the employees of the central government the option to choose between India and Pakistan. In his brief address to the Muslim officers at Shuja'at Ali Husni's residence on May 30, 1947, Qaid-e-Azam had said:

"Pakistan's issue has been finalised and now the responsibility of its administration and development has fallen on the shoulders of the Muslim officers who will have to work hard. The employees of the central government will have the option to remain in the Indian government or switch over to the Pakistani government. Religion or place of birth will not be a constraint."

It should be noted here that Qaid-e-Azam did not put religion as a precondition for choosing Pakistan. Probably he could not foresee that the religious peshwas of Pakistan will refuse to give non-Muslims 'key posts' in Pakistan.

As anticipated, a huge majority of the Muslim officers opted for Pakistan. Pakistan was a new country where there was a dearth of experienced and able officers. It was evident that in the new country they would have ample opportunities of promotion. They were also assured of the fact that in Pakistan they would not have to face competition from senior and more experienced non-Muslim officers. The number of Muslim officers coming from areas within Pakistan was limited. Therefore, the expectation of the Muslim officers belonging to Muslim-minority areas that in the new country they will have unlimited opportunities of promotion were not unfounded. It had another angle that the non-Muslim officers coming from areas within Pakistan would understandably opt for India and so the posts rendered vacant by those officers would go to Muslim officials. Moreover, Muslim officers belonging to the Muslim-minority areas knew well that the majority of the Muslim League leadership was inexperienced in administrative affairs and they will soon gain supremacy over the political leadership.

As the news of riots in West Punjab and the subsequent forced evacuations started to pour in, the Muslim officials became increasingly worried about the grand houses, shops, factories and fertile fields the non-Muslim population was leaving behind. It is true that the motives of all the Muslim officials could not be called in question. It can undoubtedly be said that the Muslim officials did not display high moral values. Many intellectuals believe that the political anarchy, moral degradation and corruption in Pakistan started with the plundering of the abandoned properties.

The former President Ayub Khan in his book "Jis rizq se aati ho parwaz me kotahi" wrote:

"Before the partition, the Muslim army officers could at the most expect to retire from the post of colonel or brigadier. But after the establishment of Pakistan every officer thought it would not be worthwhile if he could not become the army chief.

In Ayub's words, speedy promotions generated unlimited lust for power among government officials in Pakistan. Ayub Khan himself had been in the post of Brigadier after 20 years of service in 1947 and just as he was possibly on the verge of being removed for allegedly being romantically involved with the sweetheart of the Maharaja of Patiala, instead of competently discharging his duties in the Punjab Boundary Forces, he was conferred the prestigious post of the GOC of East Pakistan. He did not look back after that. Ghulam Mohammad and Chaudhry Mohammad Ali were unknown officers of the accounts department. In his old age, Ghulam Mohammad became the financial advisor in Hyderabad Deccan. Due to rapid promotions, both men went on to become the Governor General and the Prime Minister respectively. Sikander Mirza was the deputy commissioner of Peshawar in 1947.He got the honour of becoming the first President of Pakistan.

In this context Maulana Ghulam Rasool Mehr wrote:"In my view it was the gravest mistake to give the Muslim officers the option to come to Pakistan. In my active political life spanning over 20-22 years, never did I come across a bigger cause of hardships and woes for the Muslims as the government is synonymous with jobs and membership of Parliament (lawmaking and administration). It is strange that with the partition of the country, the Muslim minority (of India) were stripped of every means of security. I wrote articles after articles, pleaded personally with the political masters but nobody gave it a thought. Everyone had only one thing in mind: if the non-Muslims go out from amidst us, they will have more opportunities for promotions. You will agree that it was not the standard criterion to render the national duties." (Translated from Urdu by Sohail Arshad) REFERENCE: Objectives Resolution and Secularism—X By Wajahat Masood http://www.newageislam.com/articledetails.aspx?ID=2690


Jinnah, Mullahs, Pakistan & Ghulam Ahmed Parwez - 11


The basic reason behind the exchange of populations was the riots between the Muslim and the Hindu-Sikh population before and after Partition. Undoubtedly the riots were not a part of the freedom struggle. The oft-repeated sentence –‘won freedom by sacrificing millions of lives’ included in our textbooks are devoid of truth. The decision of the independence had been taken in the last days of 1947 at the conference table and the plan of independence was officially announced on June 3, 1947. Most of the incidents of rioting occurred after that date. Independence was being gained from the British and the riots were raging between different religious groups in India. The connection of the riots of 1946-47 with the freedom struggle is out of the question. This is not the time to fix the fundamental responsibility of the riots. Nonetheless, some facts and views need to be presented so that the student of history can do further research in this light. Hindu-Muslim and Muslim-Sikh riots occurred in different phases. The riots in the Muslim majority region of East Bengal started in Calcutta on August 16, 1946. Riots engulfed Nowakhali of East Bengal on Oct 10, 1946. The majority population there was Muslim. The riots in the adjacent state of Bihar where the Hindus were in majority started on Oct.25, 1946. The riots in the north-eastern areas such as Rawalpindi, Taxila, Wah, Quetta, Jhelum and Gujar Khan started on March 4, 1947 and gradually moved towards central Punjab. The riots in the eastern Punjab started towards the end of June 1947 and continued till September, rather mid-October 1947.In eastern Punjab the Muslims were in minority. In the central provinces of India (such as Delhi, Panipat, Gurgaon, Lucknow, Meerut, Bulandshahr , Budayun, Muzaffar Nagar) where the Muslims were dominant over the Hindus economically and culturally but in minority numerically , the riots started in July-August 1947. It is significant that several southern states in India where the Muslim population was negligible did not see any communal strife.

The Muslim League had announced in its annual convention in Mumbai on July 29 that a country wide campaign in favour of demand for Pakistan would be started. Hussain Shaheed Suherwardi was the Prime Minister of the Muslim League government in Bengal. The capital of Bengal was Calcutta where the Hindus were in majority. Though Qaid-e-Azam had given the hint of a peaceful demonstration while announcing Direct Action, he was in an aggressive mood while replying to the journalists. According to reports, Qaid-e-Azam had said,” We shall have India divided or India destroyed.”

The governor of Bengal Fredrick John Brose, in his confidential letter (IOR:L/P&J/8/655f.f95.96-107) written on August 22, 1946 to the Viceroy Lord Wavell gave some details of the events that occurred August 16, 1947 onwards. According to him the Muslim League had organised a meeting at the Ochterlony Monument in Calcutta at 4 P.M. which was supposed to be addressed by Prime Minister Hussain Shaheed Suherwardi and Khwaja Nazimuddin. However, the reports of tensions had started pouring in in the police headquarters from as early as 10 in the morning. The Muslim League activists were forcing the shops to shut down. Most of the people coming towards the place of meeting were carrying lathis, rods and spears. Muslim League ministers had distributed petrol coupons to the office bearers of the Muslim League so that the houses and shops of Hindus could be burnt. The rations enough for ten thousand workers for a month had been stored.

While addressing the meeting, both Suherwardi and Nazim spoke of peace and riots in the same breath. Suharwardi even made the statement, “We shall not allow the police and the army to intervene.” The illiterate and already agitated mob interpreted it as ‘there will be no one stopping them.” Khwaja Nazim thought it necessary to tell the audience that in the skirmishes since morning, all the injured were Muslims.

As the meeting was over, a one-lakh strong mob spread in the populated lanes and by-lanes of Calcutta. By the end of the day, four to five thousand Hindus had been killed. Prime Minister Suherwardi himself was seated in the police control room. In the presence of the Prime Minister, the commissioner of Police was unable to issue appropriate orders. The Governor John Brose was not in favour of straining relations with the Prime Minister. Finally the army was called in on August 21, 1946.

By then, according to a report in the American weekly Time on August 22, 1946, “The streets of Calcutta were strewn with dead bodies. The drains had become jammed by human blood and pieces of human bodies. Swollen dead bodies were floating in the river Hooghly. The bodies of rickshaw pullers were lying on their rickshaws. Smoke was rising from the dead bodies of the wronged women.”

After the initial fighting, the riots became bilateral. Now, there was no distinction between Hindus and Muslims.

The fire lit by the Direct Action Day kept burning. The next big incident of communal strife took place in Nowakhali ( which is now a part of Bangladesh). The riots which started in this predominantly Muslim area were called “the planned wrath of the Muslim mob” by the newspapers. Soon the fire of the riots spread in Roypur, Laxmipur, Begumganj, Sandip, Faridganj and Chandpur. The Hindu newspapers reported the death toll in thousands. The Muslim newspapers denied the occurrence of any riots in the first place. The official death toll was 200. However, after the riots, a Hindu in Nowakhali was hard to come by. (Translated from Urdu by Sohail Arshad) REFERENCE: OBJECTIVES RESOLUTION AND SECULARISM—XI By Wajahat Masood http://www.newageislam.com/articledetails.aspx?ID=2694

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