‘Muslims Are Indian, And India is Their Home’
| Satkirti Sinha - Researcher, University of London, UK - 17 Aug 2019

Allah Baksh: Who Opposed the Idea of Pakistan

Allah Baksh had opposed the idea of creating Pakistan based on the Two Nation Theory.’

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Pakistan’s Independence Day mentioned the ‘Two Nation Theory’ based on which Pakistan was created, saying those who were saying that this wasn’t right, the same people say Quaid e Azam was absolutely right.

“The Muslim community was not listening at the time; has 1937 election not happened, had home rule not come into place in which not even one ministry was given to the Muslim league; that is when the Muslim community realised that there was no place for them, and that is when they started going towards the Muslim league. That is when the Pakistan movement truly gained momentum,” Imran Khan said.

This is the time to know the Role of patriotic Muslims during 1947, and how they tried to stop the vivisection of India. The young generation must know about the leaders like Allah Baksh and their struggle. 

By Satkirti Sinha ( International Researcher from Royal Holloway, University of London).

“Muslims, from across the length and breadth of India, from Sind in the north-west of the country, down south to Kerala, stood against the demand for a division of the country espoused through the Partition resolution of the Muslim League (1940) and voiced a clear vote for an undivided India.”

“Whatever our faiths we must live together in our country in an atmosphere of perfect amity and our relation should be the relations of the several brothers of joint family, various members of which are free to profess the faith they like without any let or hindrance and all of whom enjoy equal benefits of their joint property.”(Islam 2017, p. 92)

The above mention quote is from Shamsul Islam's book Muslim against the partition of India (2017) where Allah Baksh is talking about the importance of united India in the life of patriotic Muslims.

Who was Allah Baksh?

During early part of 20th century when the followers of Hindutva school and Muslim league were raising the flags for two-nation theory and demanding separate nations as Hindu Rashtra and Islamic states, a young Muslim politician name Allah Baksh (1900-1943) from Sind was formalising a group of patriotic Muslim to oppose the paramount demand of Pakistan by Muslim league.

Allah Baksh who belonged from a wealthy family of Sind begins his political career in 1923 after getting elected as a member of Sukkur District Board. He took a big leap in his administrative métier once he was chosen as a member of Bombay legislative council in the year 1926 and initiated the Sind separation from the Bombay Presidency. Later in 1936, he formed his political party, which was known as Sindh People’s Party and went on to lead as the ‘Premier’ (Chief Minister) of Sind for two terms.

Baksh in 1942 became the first Premier of Indian province to be removed by the British Government; as he announced the return of his titles ‘Khan Bahadur’ and ‘Order of British Empire’, in protestation to the policy of the government, who were trying to crush the voice of nationalist and non-communal and instead of providing platforms to Hindu and Muslim fundamentalist who were spreading hymns of hatred with their two-nation theory.

It is true that at the time of 1930-1947, the Muslim league were galvanising a large mass of Mohammedans population in favour of partition. But at the same time, there were many patriotic Muslims like Allah Baksh who were fighting for a united, secular India by putting their life at risk.

For a patriotic Muslim like Allah Baksh, the years before independence was full of thorns as they were fighting a two-way battle to stop the vivisection of India.

One side it was Muslim league who were vociferously demanding the land of Pakistan and were violently suppressing the voices of patriotic Muslim by terming them as Kafir (Non-Muslim) and warning them regarding the consequences they will face as a traitor once Pakistan has been formally accepted.

And on the other hand, it was Hindu Mahasabha and its leaders who were demanding for Hindu Rastra and were aggressively championing anti-Muslim slogans.

The communal hatred of Hindu nationalists such as V.D Savarkar and Balakrishna Sivram Moonje towards Muslims de facto helped Muslim league to fast track their voice for partition and end up in forcing patriotic Muslims to espouse their homeland as Pakistan or India.

Birth of Azad Muslim Conference

One of the most significant accomplishments of Allah Baksh during the freedom struggle was to assemble the patriotic Muslim under the banner of Azad Muslim Conference and challenge the separatist ideology of Muslim League.

Azad Muslim Conference was an amalgamation of various patriotic Muslim leaders present in India during the pre-partition period. Most of the leaders who participated in Azad Muslim conference were representing the voice of the lower caste and working-class Muslims, who were against the idea of partition. Conspicuously, this ‘anti-Pakistan conference the first session took place within the five weeks of Pakistan Resolution passed in Lahore on March 23, 1940, by the supreme leaders of Muslim league’ (Islam 2017, p.85).

The conference provided a platform to the majority of the Muslims to raise anti-Pakistan slogans and disassociate themselves openly from the nefarious politics of Mohammad Ali Jinnah by claiming that the most of the Muslims living in India are not in favour of building Pakistan as their new home.

Even The British media, who was a constant supporter of Muslim League, was forced to admit after seeing the Azad Muslim Conference that this was the humungous gathering of Indian Muslims and barring Jinnah’s Muslim league every other Muslim organisation were present to support Allah Baksh united India ideology.

The message of the conference was loud and clear that ‘Muslims are Indian, and India is their home’ (Islam 2017, p. 90). According to Shamsul Islam book (2017) during the Azad Muslim Conference, there were many poems and songs were sung from the dais to generate an enthusiastic and patriotic feeling among the gathering. The songs mostly talked about unity and freedom and a battle to prevent the vivisection of India. One song which was loudly applauded by the audience contained a couplet, which stated that:

“Even in the darkest and most difficult days of Islam and Prophet had not thought of creating a separate homeland for Muslim like Pakistan.” (Islam 2017, p.90)

Allah Baksh used the platform of the conference to attack the Britisher's belligerent policy, of creating fear among Muslims regarding their future in Hindu majority land. Baksh further stated that the Muslim League was acting as Britisher's mouthpiece and at the end of the speech, he reminded Britishers that:

“No Musalman with the slightest sense of realism and self-respect can possibly tolerate for a moment that he should be made political scapegoat and the evil consequences of the process should be allowed to react unfavourably on his own and his coming generation’s political and material future.”(Islam 2017, p.93)

Allah Baksh in his fiery speech, also attacked Jinnah and termed him as someone who is ‘building his empire’ by dividing India and creating suffering for ordinary people who wants to live in united India. He stated:

“Not service but rule, not fruitful co-operation but domination, not a general elevation of the level of common prosperity and materiel benefits but the enrichment of a few individuals at the cost of millions of their supporters...It means Hindu and Muslim masses to grovel in the dust and squalor of their villages and urban slums, these have been the main aspects of the history of all the Hindu, Muslim and British empire in the world up to now”. (Islam 2017, p.96)

With the help of Azad Muslim Conference, patriotic Muslims like Allah Baksh worked as a firm nationalist in promoting national unity and undermining the communal forces of Muslim league and Hindu Mahasabha.

The patriotic act of uniting India didn’t go well with the supporters of Muslim league, and the members of the league became aggressive and started targeting the major nationalist Muslim leaders.

Any Muslim who was not supporting the idea of Pakistan was termed as ‘Congress Puppets’ or Hindu supporters by the members of Muslim league.

Whereas the members of Hindu Mahasabha never believed that Muslim could not be patriotic, as they were outsiders and they could never relate themselves with the culture of Hindustan.

Balakrishna Shivram Moonje, one of the prominent leaders of Hindu Mahasabha and a Congressman, stated that “Muslims masquerading as patriotic Muslims were basically Muslim communalist, who were trying to infiltrate the congress in large number in order to exert pressure from within” (Islam 2017, p. 207).

He further stated that he could not differentiate between the demands of patriotic Muslims and Muslim league, and interestingly slew in favour of Jinnah’s two-nation theory.

On 14th May 1943, hired assassins murdered, Allah Baksh. The initial inquiry linked members of Muslim league as the prime suspects, but the conspiracy could not be proved correct in the court due to lack of evidence. 

Therefore in the age of the digital world, when our society is getting polarised, and minorities are questioned regarding their patriotism on different web portals; it becomes our responsibility to educate the young generation about the patriotic Muslims like Allah Baksh, who gave their lives to prevent the vivisection of India and still didn’t find the space in our coursebook.

Suggested Citation: Islam, Shamsul (2017), Muslim Against Partition of India, New Delhi: Pharos Media & Publishing Allah Baksh, Photo: Counterview.Org

(Author of this article Satkirti Sinha is an international Researcher from Royal Holloway, University of London. He is working on a folk theatre Bidesiya, started by Bhikhari Thakur in 1917; His research interest is Practice-based intercultural works, dynamic Migration of suppressed community from India, sexual fantasies of untouchable women, cross-dressing dance form, presence of the androgynous concept in Hindu religion, Dalit theology in Indian folk culture and globalisation of Bhojpuri creative form preserved by Diaspora Community.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Indian Observer Post and Indian Observer Post does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

(Onkareshwar Pandey is Editor in Chief & CEO - Indian Observer Post. He is a former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor - News, ANI. http://bit.ly/2mh7hih).

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