Contact: 05864-253071

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1888—1958)

A Humble Tribute To Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a renowned nationalist Muslim, an erudite scholar and a convinced supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity, was a front-ranking leader of the freedom movement. He took up the Congress President ship at a very crucial moment in Indian history, in March 1940 at the Ramgarh session, during the critical phase of the Second World War. He continued in that post till June I946, when the war was over and India was about to win her freedom. Ramgarh session approved the September 1939 Congress Working Committee resolution to begin a civil disobedience movement, which was modified  later and took the shape of individual satyagraha in October I940.

Maulana Azad invited Nehru to join the Working Committee of Congress, formed by him for deciding further foreign policy actions of Congress in the crucial fast changing international situation. As INC President Azad was the principal negotiator with the Cripps Mission. Nehru also joined Azad during his discussion with Cripps. The Cripps Mission failed, as Congress ultimately rejected the British proposals and adopted a resolution to that effect.

Maulam Azad and Nehru together took firm positions on several issues. Till his last day, Azad championed Hindu-Muslim unity. He firmly stood by the country at the time of Partition. He was the first Union Education Minister of Independent India, a post he held until his death in February, 1958. He was posthumously conferred Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest honour, on January 22, l992.

ln early 20th century the virus of communal tension gripped the country - hatred, intolerance, selfish Motives diluted the nationalistic fervour. While the British were riding high on the crest with their policy of ‘divide and rule’, India was caught in a whirlpool of impasse. It was at this time when dark clouds of communalisms aborted the hopes of the Indian leaders and the masses were disillusioned, Abul Kalam Azid, with his rationalistic thinking, broad mindedness, and with the message of Hindu-Muslim unity and oneness appeared on the scene to steer our ship from the turbulent storms to the peaceful shores.

Born in a Muslim family, he was proud of his Islamic heritage, no doubt, but first and foremost, he was an ndian. A true secularist and rationalist his profound understanding of Quran convinced him that there was no conflict between Islamic views and nationalistic interests. He gave us a vision of India - a land of tolerance where many religions and communities coexisted peace fully and were assimilated into a new synthesis called ‘Hindustani’. In fact, he devoted his entire life to bring together a cultural kinship between lslam and Hinduism He exhorted both Hindus and Muslims to give up their suspicious and mistrusting attitude towards each other, discard conservatism and indifference and to jointly shoulder the task for fighting the British. On many occasions Abul Kalarn Azad was successful in bringing a rapprochement between the Congress and Muslim League, because of his fundamental belief in unity of aim and action. It was because of his capacity to reconcile conflicting views and bring about amity in the midst of diversity that made him the unanimous choice as President of Congress during the most crucial phase of freedom struggle (1939-45), which witnessed the resurgence of communalism.

He vehemently and out rightly rejected India’s Partition. He was against Swaraj at the cost of Hindu-Muslim unity. Once he wrote in Al-Hilal, ‘The refusal of Swaraj will affect only India, while the end of our Unity will be the loss of the entire human world.”

Today, we realize the wisdom of his words and the folly of Partition. Even after Partition, Maulana continued to pray and hope that this would not divide our cultures and our hearts.

Maulana’s life exemplifies the noble idea of simple living and high thinking. Although he was a revolutionary and differed from Gandhi on his principle of non-violence, he taught us by precept to rise above such petty considerations and differences, to embrace the search for truth, devotion to duty, commitment to cause and to hold steadfast to ideals against scathing criticism and hardships.

He taught us what it was to be progressive, rational and modern without being non-religious. He was convinced that religion was used as an excuse to foment trouble by followers, who misinterpreted it to satisfy their selfish motives.

Rather than blindfold conformity to law and letter of Shariat, he taught us to value its ‘spirit’ and stood for a universal religion of humanism and egalitarianism. Thus, he aroused the Muslim community from its deep slumber and brought them into the mainstream of nationalism, a fact that, because of which, in spite of ugly incidents, the common Indian man can still claim to be secular.

Throughout he accorded the highest priority to education and culture. I-Ie believed that education in the true sense, by uplifting man economically, morally and spiritually could help him to shape his future destiny intelligently. With a view that Indians settled abroad do not forget their Indian bearings, he established the Cultural Centre. He rejuvenated our faith in ourselves and made us proud of our cultural heritage and Indian Identity.

To sum up in one line, he embodied in principal the maxim, “Do not ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country’. Let us carry forward the rich legacy of our composite culture, belief in humanitarianism, secularism and sprit of tolerance bequeathed to us by Maulma. Let us pledge to restore our faith in these values let us profess to remain one and united, now and forever let us take pride in being Indians; let us spread the message of peace and brother-hood; let us together shoulder that mantle of making “Mera Bharat Mahan” a lining, pulsating reality. It will be a humble tribute to our motherland.

Copyright © M.A.I.H.S.T All Rights Reserved.