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The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim history

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    The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim history

    The History Column: Spies amidst saints & scholars
    By Ayub Khan, introduces “The History Column.” This fortnightly column will feature narratives, incidents, stories, from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim history. Columnist Ayub Khan is a student of history and Political Science.

    One of the reasons of the colonial British Empire's ability to rule over India was its elaborate spy network which kept a big brotherly eye on all leading and aspiring public figures. Naturally the Indian Muslim scholars and divines were also on its watch list. It goes to the credit of the British Raj establishment that it was able to infiltrate some of the innermost circles of many prominent Muslims. They were non-discriminating in their choice of targets. Deobandis, Barelwis, Ahle Hadith, as well as figures from the modernist and rationalist were all on their radar.

    Mr. Mazhar Ali Thanwi was in the Criminal Investigation Department and used to voluminously record the speeches of anti-establishment speakers at mosques and other places. Shorish Kashmiri, a leading nationalist speaker and author, in his biography records various instances where he encountered Mazhar Ali. Kashmiri alleges that Mazhar Ali often used to exaggerate what was said in the speeches in his reports to the police department. For his services to the empire Mazhar Ali was conferred with the honorific title of Khan Bahadur. Mazhar Ali also happened to be the brother of prominent Deobandi scholar Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi.
    There were reportedly several spies among the disciples of Sufi Pir Jamaat Ali Shah of Punjab. During the Shahid Gunj Mosque (Lahore) protests of 1935 he was made the Amir-e-Millat and Muslims of all schools of thought accepted his leadership. But indecisive by nature, he wasn't able to do much apart from making sensational speeches. At one point he had claimed that he would jump from the Badshahi Mosque if Shahid Gunj is not returned to the Muslims. With most other leaders of the movement in prison the Muslims turned to him for guidance but there was none forthcoming. Shorish Kashmiri, who take part in the movement, observed that there were several British agents among the Pir Saheb's disciples. Right at the moment of taking action they advised the Pir that he had never missed a Hajj in his adult life and should perform that year as well. The Pir Saheb went into a Muraqeba only to emerge and say, 'The call has come. I am going for Hajj.' Thus died the Shahid Gunj movement.

    Another curious case of spying is that of Maulvi Anis Ahmed (BA). He was reportedly a graduate of both Aligarh Muslim University and the Deoband Islamic seminary. He first spent some time with Sheikh ul Hind Mehmoodul Hasan, famous for his Red Scarf movement, and reported on his activities to the CID. He later shifted base and moved to Azamgarh. He became a student of famous Quranic exegete Maulana Hamiduddin Farahi at the pretext of learning the Holy Qur'an. According to Farahi's biographer, Anis Ahmed was an accomplished scholar with at least four tracts and books to his name: 1) Taleem-e-Quran Ka Asar Sahaba Par (The Impact of Quranic Teachings on the Companions) 2) Kaleed-e-Qur'an 3) Anwarul Qur'an 4) Urdu translation of Maulana Farahi's exegesis of Qura'nic chapters until 1916.
    Anis Ahmed was well versed in Urdu, Arabic, and English as is evident from his scholarly work. Those close to Maulana Farahi claim that he used to be in regular correspondence with Anis Ahmed on scholarly matters even after the latter had left Azamgarh. How such a person become a spy is unclear. But keeping in mind the dirty tactics used by the Raj it might not be surprising if he was coerced or forced into doing so.

    Kashmiri, Shorish. Bo-e-Gul, Nala-e-Dil, Dood-e-Chiragh-e-Mehfil. Lahore. Chataan Publications (2004).
    Islahi, Sharfuddin. Zikr-e-Farahi. Lahore. Darul Tazkeer (2002).

    Ayub Khan can be reached at [email protected].

    Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

    The History Column: An Indian Muslim revolutionary in America
    By Ayub Khan, presents “The History Column.” This fortnightly column features narratives, incidents, stories, from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim history. Columnist Ayub Khan is a student of history and Political Science.

    It was a hot summer night in 1927. An elderly and weak looking man entered a community hall in Marysville, California. The gathered crowd of over 800 Indians became ecstatic and greeted him with a thundering applause. Strings of sparkling tears rolled down the face of the elderly man. He went up to the stage and began speaking with his usual forceful delivery but suddenly stopped. He couldn't utter a word. There were wails and sighs from the audience. The elderly man composed himself and smiled; it's glow sent a cheer through the audience. But he did not speak.
    A voice that has shaken the corridors of British colonial authorities was soon going to be silent forever. This voice belonged to the great, but almost forgotten, hero of Indian independence movement Maulana Barakatullah Bhopali. Maulana Bhopali's life is one full of dedication and service-a fiery journalist, a brilliant orator, an erudite Islamic scholar, a nationalist to the core, an author of several books, a polyglot who knew more than seven languages, a prime minister of India's government -in-exile. He was all this and more.

    Maulana Barakatullah passed away on his way to San Francisco on September 20, 1927 and was buried in the Old City Cemetery of Sacramento. His funeral was attended by Indian Americans of all religious persuasions and they hoped that the Maulana's remains would eventually be transferred to India once it attains independence. But, alas, the wish remained unfulfilled and the Maulana rests in peace in a particularly beautiful section of this historic cemetery.
    Maulana Barakatullah Bhopali was born somewhere between 1859 and 1861 in the princely state of Bhopal in India. His father Maulvi Muhammad Shujaat Ullah was a Madrassa teacher originally with meager resources and income. A bright student Barakatullah successfully completed his religious education at Madrasa-e-Sulaimaniya and qualified as an Alim in 1878. He served as a teacher at the same school from 1879-1880. He was able to utilize the intellectual milieu of princely Bhopal and was likely to have come in contact with the scholar-prince Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan Qanauji. He is also reported to have met the pan-Islamist and reformer Jamaluddin Afghani in 1882 and was much impressed of his ideas.

    In 1883 he disappeared mysteriously from Bhopal and ended up in Bombay where he enrolled himself in Wilson High School in Khetwadi. Despite being a mature student he did not mind attending the elementary grades. At the insistence of a certain Mr. Scot he began taking private lessons in English from him in return for teaching Urdu. Within three years he was proficient enough to qualify for the university entrance examination.

    He went to London in 1887 and served as a private tutor teaching Arabic, Persian, and Urdu. He himself learned German, French, and Japanese. He was invited by the British convert Abdullah Quilliam to work at the Muslim Institute in Liverpool in 1895. He subsequently taught at the Oriental College of University of Liverpool. He later distanced himself from the Muslim Institute over its style of functioning.

    While in England he came into contact with Indian revolutionaries at India House. In response to the then British Prime Minister Gladstone's racist comments about India he launched a flurry of articles and speeches criticizing the policies. As a result his activities were severely restricted.

    He left for New York in 1899 at the insistence of Muslim scholar and activist Muhammad Alexander Russell Webb. In his six year stint in New York he churned out a prolific number of articles related to Islam and India which were published in Webb's The Muslim World and also in mainstream newspapers such as the Forum. To earn an income he taught Arabic. He developed contacts with the Indian community in other cities of US and Canada and sought to instill the revolutionary spirit in them. While in America he kept in touch with fellow revolutionaries in India and had a scholarly exchange with the poet and nationalist leader Maulana Hasrat Mohani. In these letters he stressed on the need for Hindu-Muslim unity in the freedom struggle. He became a founder member of the Ghadr Party started by the Indians in San Francisco.

    Maulana Barakatullah reached Japan in 1909 and was appointed a professor of oriental languages at the University of Tokyo. He brought out a journal The Islamic Fraternity which was known for its anti-colonial content. After its suppression he brought out another newspaper by the name of El Islam which was banned in British India. As a result of his activities his appointment at the university was terminated in 1914. This, however, did not unnerve Maulana Barakatullah. He treated the world as his playground and moved his activities elsewhere.
    He accompanied the Turko-German Mission to Kabul in 1915 and joined Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi and Raja Mahendra Pratap to form the Provincial government of India. He served as the Prime Minister of the government-in-exile. In 1919 he met Lenin and sought his help in India's struggle for freedom. Throughout the the early 1920s he travelled widely in Germany, France, and Russia organizing the expatriate Indian communities on the revolutionary path.

    His 1927 visit was his second one to the New World and would prove to be his last. He was suffering from diabetes and had a host of other ailments but his love for the nation was such that he undertook the long journey from Germany along with long time friend and fellow revolutionary Mahendra Pratap. He arrived in New York in July 1927 and stayed at a hotel in Times Square. On 15th July 1927, he was given a reception by the Indian community at Ceylon Indian Inn on 49th Street. He also met the Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. The two also spoke at a joint gathering of African-Americans and Indians. He also travelled to Chicago, Gary, and several other cities of the Midwest renewing his links with the Indian and Irish communities among whom he had many friends.

    He arrived at the Yugantar Ashram, the Ghadr Party's headquarters in San Francisco and was pleased with its work. He then proceeded to Marysville where he was destine to give his last public speech. Throughout this trip his constant companion was Raja Mahendra Pratap who was himself not keeping well and aging. According to Mahendra Pratap's autobiography the Maulana last words were: "I have been sincerely struggling all my life for the independence of my country. Today, when I am leaving this world, I have regret that my attempts did not succeed. But at the same time I am also satisfied that hundreds and thousands of others have followed me who are brave and truthful...With satisfaction I place the destiny of my beloved nation in their hands."

    Maulana Barakatullah Bhopali was an epitome of sincerity and dedication towards one's nation. A die hard to the core he never married as he considered it be distracting from his duty to the freedom struggle. It is an irony that this legendary son of the Indian freedom movement is reduced to the margins of Indian history. His name doesn't find a mention in the country's text books nor does his portrait grace the famed halls of the Indian parliament. There is, however, a university named after him in his native Bhopal.

    Maulana Barakatullah's sojourns in America also testify to the long standing links which Indian Muslims have maintained with the new world. Contrary to popular perceptions Indian Muslims did not begin arriving in America in the 1960s but at least sixty years earlier. The registers of cemeteries across California will verify this fact.

    Maulana is buried at Old City Cemetery ( of Sacramento, his grave is in Section A50.

    Map of the cemetery:


      Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

      Kashmir Lal Zakir : Fakhr-e-Haryana and Fakhr-e-Urdu
      By Balraj Puri,

      When I read that Haryana government honoured Kashmiri Lal Zakir, as Fakhr-e-Harayan and Ghalib Institute, New Delhi, facilitated him on his 90th birthday and Syed Nooruzzaman, a columnist in Tribune, called him Fakhr-e-Urdu, I, too, shared a sense of pride. For I have known since before 1942 when he agreed to be a regular contributor to the literary section of the Urdu Weekly Kashmir Sansar (later its name was changed to Pukar to oversome some technical problem) that I started in June 1942.

      I was fortunate to maintain contact with him and enjoy his affection ever since. I was so famibiar with some of his poetry that at one Mushaira, whenever he recited first line of a verse, I , sitting on the stage could speak out the next line.

      But it was no less an occasion for a feeling of guilt for me particularly and for all Urdu lover of the state in general. Coincidentally, I expressed this feeling at a function organized by the new team of office bearers of Anjuman-e-Tareqqi Urdu (Hind) to honour me. I had been its president since its inception and despite my repreated entreats, the President and General Secretary of the national organization had not accepted my resignation till then. Veteran Urdu writer Sham Sunder Anand Lehar, the new president of the
      Anjuman, also wanted to felicitate me for being honoured with Padam Bhushan Award.

      While giving an account of achievements and failures of the Anjuman during my stewardship, I specifically mentioned my deep regrets over my failure to felicitate Kashmir Lal Zakir, who belonged to Jammu and had won acclaim as a leading Urdu writer not only in India and Pakistan but also in the entire Urdu world.

      Main reason for my lapse was that Ghulam Nabi Azad, the then Chief Minister, who had agreed to felicitate Zakir and release his latest book dedicated to him (as his uncle Ghulam Rasool Azad, a great educationist of his time, was Zakirs friend), could not spare time or realize its importance aas he considered his other engagements deserved higher priority.

      Needless to say it was our loss and not of Zakir. Having started his literary career in early forties in Jammu and published in prestigious literary journals like Humayun and Adabi Duniya from Lahorealong with illustrious writers like Krishan Chander, Sadat Hussan Manto and Upendra Nath Ashok. In present times, he is a name to be reckoned with as a Urdu writer.

      He has served Haryana, in his capacity as Secretary of Haryana Urdu Akademi since 1987. Among its seminars that I attended was on Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, who was a descendent of Altaf Hussain Hali and belonged to Panipat. I was looking forward to attending another seminar that the Academi had proposed to orgainse on the role of Urdu press in the first war of independence in 1857. Somehow it got postponed. The publications of the Akademi include, Role of Meos in the 1957 revolt.

      Zakir has authored 29 novles, along with many books of poetry. Despite his organizational responsibilities of running multifacet activities of the Akademi, he has not ceased making his contribution to Urdu literature to which his anxious readers look forward to. May this versatile litterateur live long and continue to enrich Urdu literature a symbol of composite culture of India. And may Urdu lovers, Urdu organizations, Urdu department of the University and Culture Academy realize how much they have been missing by no owning a great writer who is honoured every where except in the place of his origin, where
      Urdu is also supposed to be the official language.


        Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

        A program on Indian Muslims in the Massachusetts State House
        By staff reporter,

        Boston: For the last few years, India and the US are coming closer but still not much is known in the US about Indian minorities and their status. Dr. Omar Khalidi, author of “Muslims in Indian Economy” talked about the condition of Indian Muslims in a program organized by the Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA) in Boston, Massachusetts.

        The program about Indian Muslim was organized last Friday in Massachusetts State House, which is where state Senate, House of Representatives and Governor’s office are located. This is the first time that any program on Indian Muslims has been organized in any US state’s highest seat of power.
        Seema Salim, president of IMC-Boston started the program by giving a brief introduction to IMC and its Boston chapter’s activities. Dr. Omar Khalidi of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) gave a brief but comprehensive account of the history and present condition of the Muslims of India.

        Kashif-ul-Huda, Editor of news website talked about the idea behind launching a news website focusing on Indian Muslims. He discussed challenges and strategies for the community media.
        Dr. Hyder Khan, vice president and founder member of IMC-USA gave a detailed account of how IMC came into being and its advocacy activities on behalf of Muslims and other marginalized communities of India.

        In its seven year short history IMC-USA has a number of achievements to its credit. Dr Hyder Khan said that three most successful stories of IMC are - denial of visa to Narendra Modi in 2005, removal of Sadhvi Rithambra from speaking from a municipal platform in Florida in 2007, and the successful campaign to have innocent Muslim youth released from police detention in Hyderabad in 2008/2009.

        Saman Salim, a political science student and an intern at the State House hosted the event.

        IMC-USA has chapters in ten US states and successful organization of this program in Boston, which is called ‘Cradle of Liberty’, shows the wide reach of IMC which has grown in influence from its inception in 2002.
        Boston has played important role in American Revolution and the US independence struggle. It was the site of the famous Boston Tea Party incident. Massachusetts is also home to the famous Keneddy family and Senator John Kerry who was the Democratic candidate for the US Presidential elections in 2004.

        IMC-USA kicked off its Indian Independence related activities with the renown play based on the freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's autobiography in Chicago and Detroit. Following this educational event at the Massachusetts State House, IMC-USA is holding events in San Francisco Bay Area and in New Jersey and will particiapte in 62nd Indian Independence Day festivites in various cities. These diverse activities of IMC across the States shows the wide reach of IMC.


          Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

          The fall of Delhi in 1857

          By Kashif-ul-Huda,

          It was all over by Sept 20th 1857. Indian forces had retreated from their positions. Mughal Royalty abandoned the Red Fort and people started leaving Delhi in large numbers to escape from looting by the British forces. Same day, last Emperor of India Bahadur Shah Zafar was arrested by the British forces, his three sons murdered in cold blood and their severed heads presented to the King. Delhi had fallen and with it any hope of keeping the foreign occupation out of India. Though some Indian forces continued fighting the occupying powers as late as 1859 it was not until 1947 that Indians will again take charge of their country.

          We have all read and heard about the great war of 1857, but unfortunately, most of it is British account or by Indians who wanted to please their British masters. Hardly any research has been done to present the Indian perspective of this war of 1857. Dr. Shamsul Islam, a professor of Political Science in Delhi University has spent more than a decade collecting materials that give detail information of day to day happenings in the Indian camp.

          He has published a number of books in Hindi and English presenting original materials and shocking the readers with what he uncovers. A different image of 1857 and particularly the siege of Delhi appear as we read the letters written by spies and traitors present in Delhi but working for the British. These spies were put in service as soon as the native soldiers of British forces declared mutiny. These spies provided valuable information from within the city to the British forces on Delhi Ridge. These letters were translated by the British forces and preserved in different archives and collections which Prof. Shamsul Islam through his painstaking research has collected over the years. He has cross-checked the facts and events mentioned in these letters and now we have an alternate record of a very important part of the Indian history. When these letters are read along with letters and reports by the British forces they provide a valuable insight into how the great war of 1857 was lost by the Indian forces.

          British Memorial of 1857 war at Delhi Ridge

          In 1972, Government of India offers an amendment

          British Forces

          First reading the British accounts, we find that British forces were demoralized with lot of confusion and indiscipline among the ranks. Consider this, writing in early September 1857 one Officer writes “We had been the Besieged and not the Besiegers.” On Sept. 6th we find William Hodson, the intelligence chief ready to give up. He writes, “If the campaign lasts very long I shall be forced to go home next year.” Nevertheless British forces stormed Delhi by breaching Kashmiri Gate, a plaque commemorating the names of those who attacked it still stands at Kashmiri Gate but we don’t know the names of those who defended the gate from attacks by the British forces. Though British were able to enter the city thanks to the breach but still they met strong resistance. British historian of this period, John William Kaye wrote, “it was plain that we had received a severe check,” he adds that the British troops, “were much exhausted by fatigue, and much depressed by the mortality that surround them.”

          On Sept. 16th, Major General Archdale Wilson describes his and his forces condition:
          “Our Force is too weak for this street fighting, when we have to gain our way inch by inch, and of the Force we have, unfortunately, there is a large portion besides the Jummoo troops in whom I can place no confidence…. I find myself getting weaker and weaker everyday, mind and body quite worn out… We have a long and hard struggle before us.”

          On Sept 19th, a day before the Fall of Delhi, Hodson makes this observation: “We are making slow progress in the city. The fact is, the troops are utterly demoralized… For the first time in my life, I have had to see English soldiers refuse repeatedly to follow their officers.” How this demoralized and indiscipline army able to win Delhi is what Prof. Islam uncovers in letters from spies working for the British.

          British Memorial lists important battles of the Siege of Delhi

          British Agents

          These spies not only provided information about Indian troops preparations and movements to the British but also advised them how and when to attack. They also acted as agent provocateurs for the British masters. These British agents were everywhere in the city and some in the circles closest to Bahadur Shah Zafar.

          Dr. Islam identifies three important British agents in Delhi- Rajab Ali, who was awarded Rs. 10,000 for his services during the siege; Jeewan Lal, whose family was always attached to the Mughals, in fact one of his forefather was prime minster of Aurangzeb, was made honorary Magistrate and a Municipal Commissioner for providing critical information to the British during the siege; Mirza Ilahi Bakhsh was very close to King Zafar, one of his daughters married Zafar’s son Mirza Fakhru. In reading through the letters we find Mirza Ilahi Bakhsh planning the fall of Delhi by other nobles of the city including queen Zeenat Mahal. He on one occasion saved the life of Jeewan Lal when rebels arrested him for spying for the British. He also successfully convinced Bahadur Shah Zafar not to leave the city with Indian forces and brought about the surrender of the King and the princes.

          There were many other spies working overtime for the British forces and Hodson writes that they were employed to sow the seeds of dissension within Indian Forces, between Delhi residents and defenders of the city and also between Hindus and Muslims.

          British marker at Kashmiri Gate

          Indian Forces

          Ironically, letters of British spies provide lot of information about activities in the Indian camps. We find Bahadur Shah Zafar actively involved in the civil and military arrangements in Delhi. We find Indian forces very well organized with proper command and control. Corrupt people being punished and grievances of the people redressed. We find Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and even Indians from South and some Whites fighting for the Indian cause. We find a proper Military Council that managed the affairs of the war and planned strategies. Military Council was also responsible for maintaining funds; 12 member Council had representation of a civilian Delhi resident as well. This council was democratic with representation of Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs; Mirza Mughal who though had a seat in this council was not able to have influence in the debates since other members distrusted him for charges of funds embezzlement against him.

          Bakht Khan Rohilla, Commander-in-Chief of the Indian forces (1857-1859)

          Indian forces were divided in sections with doctors attached to each section and fighting organized so that each section gets proper rest without hindering the war effort. They made new advances in making ammunitions and also came up with a rocket gun which was personally inspected by the King on Sept. 6th and employed into the service the next day. Families of those who died in battles were given Rs. 3 monthly pension.

          King Zafar seems to be in full command when he orders a ban on cow slaughter. He also removes some of the princes from collecting funds when they were found to be involved in embezzlement. Collection of funds was levied on all irrespective of caste and religion. Funds thus collected were distributed according to the discretion of a committee constituted for this purpose.


          British built a memorial on the Ridge that they occupied during the siege. This memorial still stand there today near University of Delhi campus honoring those who faught for the British cause, listing names of important British officers and counting wounded and dead both natives and British and a listing of importation battles during the siege that lasted from May 20th to Sept. 20th 1857. India is yet to built a memorial for the patriotic sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. In 1972, Indian government put up a board there that says that what British inscriptions called ‘enemy’ are actually brave Indian soldiers who fought for national liberation.

          Indian soldiers are still called "mutineers" in official Red Fort museuem

          And British version of events of 1857 war is still supreme in India. (Poster in Red Fort museum)

          It is strange that more than 150 years since the Fall of Delhi and even after 60 years of India’s independence we are yet to identify Indian heroes and recognize their sacrifice. While we know that Major William Hodson’s grave is maintained in La Martiniere College in Lucknow, we don’t know what happened to Bakht Khan Rohilla, commander-in-chief of Indian forces who kept alive the resistance against British occupation forces till 1859.

          Relevant books by Dr. Shamsul Islam:


          Rebel Sikhs of 1857, Vaani, Delhi, 2008.
          Jeewan Lal: Traitor of Mutiny, Vaani, Delhi, 2008.
          Letters of Spies: And Delhi was Lost, Vaani, Delhi, 2008.


          1857 ke Baghi Sikh, Vaani, Delhi, 2008
          Ghadar ka Dalal: Munshi Jeewan Lal, Vaani, Delhi, 2008.
          Jasosoon ke Khatoot: Aur Dilli Haar Gayee, Vaani, Delhi, 2008.
          1857 Kee Heratangez Dastanen, Vaani, Delhi, 2008.

          [All photos by]


            Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

            Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a renowned scholar, poet, freedom fighter and leader of the Indian National Congress in India's struggle for Independence. He was well versed in many languages viz. Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Persian and Bengali, and a prolific debater - as depicted by his name, Abul Kalam, which literally means father or lord of dialogue. His forefathers came from Herat, Afghanistan in Babur's days. His mother was an Arab and the daughter of Sheikh Mohammad Zaher Watri and his father, Maulana Khairuddin, was a Bengali Muslim of Afghan (probably Tajik) origins. Khairuddin left India during the Sepoy Mutiny, proceeded to Mecca and settled there. He came back to Calcutta with his family in 1890. Azad was a descendant of a lineage maulanas
            Azad began publication of a journal called Al Hilal (the Crescent) in June 1912 to increase revolutionary recruits amongst the Muslims. The Al Hilal reached a circulation of 26,000 in two years. The British Government used the Press Act and then the Defense of India Regulations Act in 1916 to shut the journal down.

            Azad roused the Muslim community through the Khilafat Movement. The aim of the movement was to re-instate the Khalifa as the head of British captured Turkey
            Azad found the revolutionary activities restricted to Bengal and Bihar. Within two years, Azad helped setup secret revolutionary centers all over north India and Bombay.


              Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

              Originally posted by ruslan View Post
              Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a renowned scholar, poet, freedom fighter and leader of the Indian National Congress in India's struggle for Independence. He was well versed in many languages viz. Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Persian and Bengali, and a prolific debater - as depicted by his name, Abul Kalam, which literally means father or lord of dialogue. His forefathers came from Herat, Afghanistan in Babur's days. His mother was an Arab and the daughter of Sheikh Mohammad Zaher Watri and his father, Maulana Khairuddin, was a Bengali Muslim of Afghan (probably Tajik) origins. Khairuddin left India during the Sepoy Mutiny, proceeded to Mecca and settled there. He came back to Calcutta with his family in 1890. Azad was a descendant of a lineage maulanas
              Azad began publication of a journal called Al Hilal (the Crescent) in June 1912 to increase revolutionary recruits amongst the Muslims. The Al Hilal reached a circulation of 26,000 in two years. The British Government used the Press Act and then the Defense of India Regulations Act in 1916 to shut the journal down.

              Azad roused the Muslim community through the Khilafat Movement. The aim of the movement was to re-instate the Khalifa as the head of British captured Turkey
              Azad found the revolutionary activities restricted to Bengal and Bihar. Within two years, Azad helped setup secret revolutionary centers all over north India and Bombay.
              “In 1912, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad started a weekly journal in Urdu called Al Hilal to increase the revolutionary recruits amongst the Muslims. Al-Hilal played an important role in forging Hindu-Muslim unity after the bad blood created between the two communities in the aftermath of Morley-Minto reforms. Al Hilal became a revolutionary mouthpiece ventilating extremist views. The government regarded Al Hilal as propogator of secessionist views and banned it in 1914. Maulana Azad then started another weekly called Al-Balagh with the same mission of propagating Indian nationalism and revolutionary ideas based on Hindu-Muslim unity. In 1916, the government banned this paper too and expelled Maulana Abul Kalam Azad from Calcutta and interned him at Ranchi from where he was released after the First World War in 1920.”
              (Source: Indian Heroes:

              Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, born in Mecca, whose birth name was Abdul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin, belonged to an orthodox Muslim scholarly family. His mother was an Arab, and his father Moulana Khairuddin a Bengali Muslim. Moulana Abul Kalam Azad was born on November 11, 1888. An accomplished scholar in Persian, Arabic, Urdu and English Moulana was also a writer especially interpreting and analyzing Holy Quran, Hadith, the rules of Fique. He is said to have rejected the orthodoxy of “Taqliq and accepted modern principles of “Tajdid”. Moulana was imbibed into ideologies of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.

              Moulana Abul Kalam Azad was an ardent freedom fighter and was close confidante of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. In the pre Independence era, he joined the National Congress and participated in Non-Cooperation Movement, he was a president of special session of the congress and was an active participant of various anti imperial movements resulting confinements of Jail terms. After Indepence he held the prestigious post as Education Minister and other important portfolios. He passed away on 22 February 1958 and was posthumously awarded the India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna in 1992.


                Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

                Mohammad Ali Jinnah

                Jinnah in 1918 - tried and contest general election in UK as a Labour canditate, but was unssuccessfully.

                I think he was the first Indian to contest general election in UK.

                He returned back to India - with some new idea. And this was the galvanising factor behind Jinnah.


                  Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

                  Is this part of the little India-Pakistan feud we're having on this forum?

                  If so, please continue.
                  "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." -Orson Welles


                    Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

                    Jinnah Advice to Kashmiris

                    Srinagar - Way back in 1944 a delegation of some kashmiri youths had met Jinnah in Nishat area of Srinagar. One of the members of this delegation was Mohammad Yusuf Khan who is now 85. According to him, at that time Jinnah had told the delegation members that ' You should not raise the slogan of Pakistan because your ( Kashmir's ) accession to Pakistan is not good. The political struggle that we ( Muslim league ) are doing is the politics of British India and hence you should not get involved in it. You have a state; your Raja is a Hindu. Because of our struggle and campaign we are in a great dilemma. Therefore you also should not be a victim of another dilemma. Your slogan is all right and therefore you ahouls be firm on your slogan of Azad Kashmir.
                    According to Yusuf Khan, before partition of India Jinnah had no plan to include Kashmir as a part of Pakistan. At the time when the delegation had met Jinnah, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had been leading a campaign against Dogra Maharaja but, according to Yusuf Khan his (Sheikh Abdullah's) inclination was towards Jawaharlal Nehru. In the second decade of 20th century election had taken place in 16 or 17 Indian provinces under the Government of India Act in which Congress had secured a majority. The state government discriminated against Muslims because of which they (Muslims) felt that their social and economic rights are not safe under Congress. Thus the politics of the Valley was divided between pro-India and pro-Pakistan camps. Yousuf Khan was an active member of pro-Pakistan Muslim Conference. When Jinnah had come to Kashmir in 1944, Khan had received a head injury in a clash with the supporters of Sheikh Abdullah. He had met Jinnah along with the delegation with his injury. Khan had met Jinnah for second time at Bombay's Malabar Hills. Khan said that by the time his friend K.H. Khurshid had become Jinnah's secretary. Subsequently, he had become prime minister of Azad Kashmir also.
                    Khan in no case is prepared to believe that Pakistan was the demand of Jinnah. He is sure that demand for Pakistan was thrust on Jinnah by Congress. He also agrees with the views of Jaswant Singh and Advani that Jinnah was purely a secular political leader.
                    The Milli Gazette, 1-15 October 2009.


                      Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

                      The day that changed Kashmir's fate 62 years ago

                      By Sarwar Kashani, IANS,

                      Srinagar : On Thursday, it will be 62 years since tribal invaders descended on Jammu and Kashmir from the Pakistani side, laying the seeds of a dispute that would turn the region into one of the world's most enduring flashpoints.

                      London-based Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Choudhry describes Oct 22, 1947, as a "black day". He says Jammu and Kashmir would never have been a subject of dispute had Pakistan not launched "unprovoked tribal aggression against the people of the state" more than six decades ago.

                      Choudhry, who belongs to the Kashmir National Party (KNP), says Pakistan unleashed "extremist war in (the) name of jehad in 1947 to advance (its) political agenda" in the state that was yet to decide on whether to accede to India or Pakistan after the blood-stained partition of the subcontinent.

                      "If there was no tribal invasion, then there might have been no Kashmir dispute," Choudhry told IANS in an e-mail interview. "Oct 22 is a black day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. The attack of the tribesmen forced the ruler of the state to seek help from India and subsequently accede to India."

                      Kashmir was one of the 565 autonomous states of British India that had a choice to accede either to secular India or Muslim-dominated Pakistan after the end of colonial rule. The accession, however, was the prerogative of the ruler, not of the population. Most of these princely states acceded peacefully, except for Junagadh (Gujarat), Hyderabad, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir.

                      Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, then ruled by a Hindu maharaja, proved to be and still is the biggest bone of contention between India and Pakistan - the two countries that rule the state in parts but claim it in full.

                      Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Dogra ruler of the state, who was dreaming of Kashmir as an independent nation, had signed a standstill agreement with India and Pakistan to buy more time to decide on the political affiliation of his state. As history has it, the agreement was violated by Pakistan that tried to force the issue, encouraging first a local uprising and then an invasion by tribesmen backed by its army.

                      On Oct 22, 1947, thousands of Pakistani tribesman from the North West Frontier of Province (NWFP), known as Lashkars, invaded the state, letting loose a rein of terror.

                      Nearly 1/3rd of the territory now known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir, or Pakistan-administered Kashmir, fell to the raiders before the maharaja pleaded to India for help. Indian troops, airlifted into the Kashmir Valley on Oct 27, succeeded in blocking the tribal army's advance beyond Baramulla, a frontier district in the north of the valley.

                      BBC's Andrew Whitehead, who has chronicled the tribal raids in his "A Mission in Kashmir" (2007), gives an account of one of the survivors of the invasion. Sister Emilia, a nurse in a Christian missionary hospital, spoke about the time "when the faith and vocation of the missionaries had been put to their greatest test", Whitehead writes in his book.

                      "There were rumours that they (tribesmen) were coming - we were thinking they won't do nothing to us. The Monday after the feast of Christ the King they reach here. Then they started to shoot. They came inside. We were working still. Our dispensary was working still. The hospital had patients. They were on the veranda of the hospital, going from one ward to another," Emilia is quoted as saying in the book.

                      "Sister Emilia and other nuns were lined up in the mission grounds, sure they would be shot. They were saved by a man who turned out to be a Pakistan army officer in civilian clothes who had been given the task of instilling a semblance of military coordination among the invaders," Whitehead writes.

                      The tribal army, although indisciplined, was a formidable fighting force. But at Baramulla, as the Pathans dispersed in search of loot, it lost its momentum. Many Kashmiri Muslims initially viewed the tribesmen "as liberators", but their "appetite for loot" cost them that support.

                      The tribesmen managed to advance to the outskirts of Srinagar before the maharaja came off the fence and signed up to India. It was a profound political and military setback for Pakistan's ambitions in Kashmir.

                      Kashmir remains one of the world's most enduring geopolitical faultlines, complicated by the rise of Islamic radicalism and the three wars India and Pakistan fought over the land.

                      (Sarwar Kashani can be contacted at [email protected])


                        Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor



                        The idea of the thread is great but the last post is a bit misleading perhaps but wont comment its nice to read about my forefathers who actually worked for Muslims having a land where they can live according to the laws of Allah

                        On a side note and its a general observation.
                        Funny that the Indian Muslims actually think they will be spared after Rest of the Muslims are wiped out.


                          Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

                          Muslim print journalism in India: A review and suggestions for improvement

                          By Omar Khalidi for

                          Newspapers and magazines everywhere have played a major role in informing the readers and influencing public opinion since the press began in India in the nineteenth century. Like in all other aspects of modernization, Muslims lagged behind almost every group in journalism. This article reviews English language Muslim press in India since independence and suggests concrete steps for improvement.

                          Leaving aside Muslim journalism in Persian and Urdu for the time being, we know of a handful of English newspapers and magazines the community members ran since the last hundred years. Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar’s (1876-1931) Comrade and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948)’s Dawn, which was founded in Delhi in 1941 come to mind. Comrade was like a flash in the pan, as it published for barely 3 years, 1911-14. Dawn departed to Karachi at the dawn of independence and Pakistan’s creation.

                          Between August 1947 and early 1950s, there was no English press devoted to Muslim issues. From around mid 1950s to mid 1960s only two low circulation magazines covered stories of Muslim interest: one was Victor Courtois, (d. 1960) a Belgian Catholic’s paper published from 1955 to 1960 in Calcutta and Siraat of Indian Union Muslim League, published in Madras in the 1960s. The Jamaat-i Islami’s Radiance was launched in 1963. The Jamiat al-Ulama collected 600,000 rupees in the 1960s to start an English daily newspaper but failed to accomplish the goal.

                          For the next two decades, Radiance shined over as the only paper in English focusing on Muslim issues, albeit from a Jamaat-i Islami perspective, until Syed Shahabuddin, a retired IFS officer and politician (b. 1924) began his Muslim India in 1983, which folded up in December 2002; then The Milli Gazette resumed it in 2003 only to close it in January 2005. Given Syed Shahabuddin’s amazing energy, it is unsurprising that he revived Muslim India, a second time in 2008.

                          In mid 1990s, Muslim elite in Delhi led by Sayyid Abulhasan Ali Nadwi, Syed Hamid and Hakim Abdulhamid and some businessmen tried to launch a daily newspaper in English. The effort was fruitless. Instead, Syed Hamid began a tabloid One Nation Chronicle in October 1989 in Delhi but it failed to make a mark and changed as a fortnightly under a new name Nation and the World and it is still published. A Bangalore-based businessman A.W. Saadatullah Khan started a fortnightly Islamic Voice in 1987, which began an online edition in 2004. At the dawn of the twentieth century Zafarulislam Khan began The Milli Gazette in New Delhi in January 2000. The most recent additions are the Eastern Crescent, run by Markaz al-Maarif of Assam since 2006 and Eastern Post of Kolkata which began in August 2007.

                          Regardless of its intellectual and physical qualities, Radiance remains the oldest surviving magazine. Its subtitle “Views weekly,” aptly sums up the majority of its contents, “views,” which are just that, not always backed up by data. Muslim India’s contents are not original but copied from other sources. Islamic Voice is advertisement intensive, with some original and copied articles. The Milli Gazette publishes longer pieces, but like other magazines discussed here, they are devoid of statistics. Given that India is a vast country and the resources of the magazines meager, it is understandable that Islamic Voice and The Milli Gazette’s contents are south and north intensive. The emergence Eastern Post is welcome addition for the coverage of West Bengal for its large Muslim population.
                          Journalism in Theory

                          What does one expect from any journalistic writing? A minimum is a story based on the simple, eminently logical, straightforward principle of who, what, where, when, and why? Does the press devoted to Muslim issues in India follow the principle? If not why not? What can be done about it? The present writer has read almost all magazines listed here from Radiance since 1963 to Eastern Post, which started in 2007. I find that all the magazines do an extremely poor job of reporting factual news by not strictly following the ideal journalistic norms of who, what, where, when and why.

                          Lack of professionalism in Writing

                          A majority of the times, there is little clarity in the news. Often names of places are assumed to be known even if they are obscure villages in a vast country like India. No indication is given of their location within a state, much less within a district. Maps are of course rarely provided. Dates are routinely absent. Many stories begin with words like “recently,” “sometime back,” “some years ago,” with no attempt at precision. Life spans of even the most famous persons are seldom given. Terms, concepts, ideas, abbreviations, and acronyms often go unexplained or unexpanded. Headlines often do not explain the content and usually written without adequate background. Most of the stories are without statistics, much less statistics over time for comparative purposes. Original source of articles are often missing or deliberately not included to give the impression that these articles are original to the magazine.

                          Themes and Topics of Muslim Journalism

                          Regarding topics and themes within the papers, there is an excessive preoccupation with the “Islamic, Muslim World,” meaning mostly the Middle East and within it, the Palestine issue. Nothing original is written about these topics as none of the journalists has a first hand experience of the region. There seems to be little realization among the editors and management that nobody cares to read unoriginal writings about places far off from India.

                          All of the Muslim magazines lack journalists in the field to cover even the important events and developments in their own immediate physical neighborhood. This was dramatically illustrated when both Radiance and The Milli Gazette failed to cover Batla House police encounters of unarmed civilian Muslims in September 2008 in New Delhi. It is shocking that neither of the two magazines had staff to be deployed in an area literally walking distance from their offices. Instead both merely copied the findings of NGOS and Jamia Millia Islamia faculty findings.

                          What can be Done?

                          Suggested Topics for Investigative Journalism


                          I have been an avid reader of Radiance, Muslim India, Islamic Voice, and The Milli Gazette. The editors and management of all four magazines are my friends and I have written for all four. So what I say here is on the lines of Allama Iqbal’s famous line, “Khugar-i hamd se thoda sa gila bhi sun lay,” hear the complaints of an avid admirer! My major works, Khaki and Ethnic Violence in India, 2003 and Muslims in Indian Economy, 2006, are replete with references to all three print magazines. I have cited them so many times—wherever appropriate, of course---that at least one reviewer of my book complained of my reliance on Radiance, of course forgetting that I have cited Economic & Political Weekly, Organizer and numerous other Indian journals as well. My plea therefore is for the magazines cited here to consider the following topics for investigation:

                          1. Compare development—number of schools, hospitals, roads, irrigation and power, water and sanitation---in Muslim majority districts or taaluqas/tahsils with Hindu-majority districts and subdistricts. An excellent comparison would be Murshidabad with Birbhum, for example. Or Muslim majority taaluqas of Bidar, Karnataka with Hindu-majority taaluqas in the same district.

                          2. Investigate the working of Haj Committees, Urdu Academies, Minorities Commissions, Madarsa Boards, and Waqf Boards—both at national and central levels.
                          3. Monitor the performance of Muslim members of state legislatures, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Do they speak out or they are absent from attendance of the legislatures? If present, are they speaking out at all? How many bills did they introduce or participate in debates?

                          4. Scrutinize the activities of Muslim organizations and individuals who collect money from Muslims. Do Muslim organizations give accounts of zakat, fitraht, khairat, sadaqat, or goods---skins of sacrificial animals collected every year. Asking for accounts is to make the organizations and individuals accountable to the community. An organization with transparent accounts is likely to attract more funds, not less.

                          5. Audit the performance of Muslim educational institutions receiving funds from the state. For example, what is the intellectual and scientific output of Aligarh and Jamia faculty members since last six decades? Have they published any of their research in peer-reviewed journals of national and international reputation? What in particular is their contribution to studies on the economic and political situation of Indian Muslims?

                          6. Don’t forget that all reportage must be based on the simple, eminently logical, straightforward principle of who, what, where, when, and why? They will vastly improve the quality of the contents.

                          These are suggested topics. Further topics and themes can ensue if the brains of the community and its well-wishers everywhere can participate in an open conversation free from personal vendettas and selfish agendas.

                          Omar Khalidi can be reached at [email protected]



                            Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

                            Urdu speaking "Tamil Muslims" of Vellore, Tamil Nadu
                            By Shafee Ahmed Ko,

                            Some of my North Indian friends arrived from Delhi to Chennai for a tour of Vellore Dist (Formerly: North Arcot Dist) to visit some of the shoe and leather industries at Ambur and Vaniyambadi.

                            I had to lead four of them who could not understand the local dialect. Every where we went, we enjoyed the warmth of hospitality and, Urdu spoken was invariably in a quite queer some but pretty enjoyable. In one of the factories we were offered tea in a jar like cup, and when it was too much I said,” Nakko……Nakko…..uththa Nakko”,meaning “thoda kaafi Hey” –Okay small is enough. One of my friends of north India had recorded all peculiar terms. In other occasion it was, “Uno ab Aangay nai kaththay……saban aangay kaththay”, meaning that, “fellow does not come now, he will come tomorrow”. We hurried to baron’s house and, we had good lounge to relax and to wait. A small boy peeped in and said,” Abbajee pani naalokku hein. Aaaththain Bolay” meaning father is bathing in water and “will come now” meaning to wait for a little while. One of my friends asked me in chaste Urdu,”How can he bathe in "milk" obviously it is by water…..translating “Pani Naalokku Hein?” Yes, the Urdu is being in such a way and so is Tamil both go intrinsically. One can say it a slang or colloquial but none bothers.

                            The impact of regional language Tamil is so a strong and off setting that the Urdu language got a hold and mutilated. If any one speaks in unsullied Urdu, he/she must be on the public speaking platform or he/she has all set friends from North to speak in chaste form.

                            "Muhammad Ali Khan, the Nawab of Arcot and the Carnatic" (1770), Tilly Kettle, in the V&A, London [Photo by Jamie Barras]

                            We all wondered how Urdu language became a compulsive order for Muslims whose mother tongues ought to be Tamil. No doubt Tamil is the mother tongue of Labbai (Labbaik) Muslims because their sur names all start from Tamil origin. For example the sur names (family names as in Kerela) such as Nattamkar (Nattai aanmai karar, meaning ruler of the region) Chinna Pakkir (Petty Beggar),

                            Kandirikkar (Kanda podikkarar, meaning-Kandagam podi- Sulphur powder maker –more precisely fire cracker manufacturer) Vanakkar (Banam karar-fire crackers) Chin Gani (Wee Ghani), Jalladai karar (Sieve maker) Oosi Veedu (Home where needles are sold) Aanaikar(Mahout) Kotlu karar (the people who sell cots), Pambu Kannu (Snake’s Eye)Yey.Paa,Tamil Alphabet meaning Yezhu Paanai (Seven Pots) Valaiyal Karar(Bangle makers). Almost all the Labbai community has surnames of Tamil origin denoting that their mother tongues presumably should be Tamil. Six or seven decades ago elders spoke only in Tamil at Ambur, Vaniyambadi, and Vellore. Even today the Labbais of Pernampet, Valathoor, Melpatti, Visharam etc.are speaking in broken but their offspring speak in Urdu.

                            One more set of Muslims, Dhakkanis(from Deccan ) have no surnames. Father’s name acts as surname and their mother tongue obviously is Urdu. But there is no distinguishable difference in the spoken Urdu between Labbais and Dhakkanis. It’s appreciable waves that inter Labbai and Dhakkani marriages are taking place. And good renaissance in offing in understanding that “One Kalima and One Allah” is the main concept of Islam. More wed locks have been in vogue between these two sets.

                            It has been bugging in my mind to persevere in a sense of strict decorum how come that Urdu has crept in the majority of Tamil speaking pelt such North Arcot especially Ambur,Vaniyambadi,Tirupattur.

                            It has history. Tippu Sultan, the grim freedom fighter of India,who admitted no compromise, ruled from Vellore. Chanda Sahib had fought in Ambur (Battle of Ambur). Both might have brought their armies to Ambur. There is a hillock evidently nearby Ambur, Hillock of Omarabad. Even now the barracks are there atop the hillock. This army (Lashkar) might have stayed a longer period speaking Urdu in Vellore and Ambur. There were four light-bearing stones in the main bazaar of Ambur to commemorate the visiting spot of Tippu Sultan. And this is no more in the sight.

                            Apart from this fact Arcot Nawab had ruled Walajah, Arcot (Aaru + Kaadu= River and Forest) for a longer period and implying Urdu to find a convenient language for the mass.

                            Present Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali [ TCN photo]

                            Most of the Labbais are known to be the converts from the south west, south east coastal right from Andhra Pradesh and, above all the trading immigrant Arabs were intense in Malabar, Kerela. The Kerela Muslims do not speak Urdu or Arabic but their physical structures are more akin to the Arabs, quite fair in colour and robustness, suggestive inter Arab marriages. Similar to Tamil Labbai Muslims, Muslims from Kerela also have sur names. These Muslims from Kerela might have married adjacent areas of Tamil Muslims and people of their choice.

                            Labbais of Tamil area were frequenting to Deccan neighborhood for the traditional business of skin, beedi leaves, tanning barks and marketing beedis. They either settled or brought spouses to Tamil area to breed Urdu. In other word, there were families migrated to these quarters and vice versa.

                            All the more, Urdu medium schools had been founded nearly a century ago in Vaniyambadi, Ambur, Vellore and Islamic Lessons (Deeniyat) became a compulsory from the parent and only after reciting the whole Holy Quran the boys or girls were computed whether fit for admission into a proper school. This also paved a good way for the revival of Urdu propagation. It really sounds good but in the present day scenario, an English Convent determines the future of students, and parents are pleased when ward speaks in English, especially in front of the guests, but what remains as a fact is, "it is reinforced year after year". Unlike the olden Muslim dedicated elites, those schools run as convent types are either lack clarity of the subjects or exclusively orthodox where there is a job to learn stressfully Arabic and English.

                            To speak concisely, Islamiah High School, Islamiah College, Madrasa-e-Niswan Vaniyambadi, Mazharul-uloom-high school, Mazharul-uoom-College, Hasnathus Jaria Girls’ High School, and college greatly rendered for the development of Urdu language.

                            Past three decades young men participate in Tabligue Jamaat. The Urdu erudite scholars arrive Ambur,Vaniyambadi,Vellore and conduct "Dawa" tours regularly. Most of the discourses are in Urdu. These young men also participate in oratory talent in Urdu. In Vellore, the century old Baquiathus Salihath,an Arabic School, has been rendering Islamic teaching in Urdu. These factors might be an added virtue for the development of the language in the area.

                            Ambur has remarkable history in producing Urdu scholars like Danish Farazi, an All India renowned poet, whose books are recognized by the government of India, Kavesh Badri, Kaukab, Raghib are some of the ardent Urdu poets widely known among the Urdu fraternity of India. There were regular “Mushaira”, poetic forums running whole of night. Alas, these great souls are all no more, leaving the locale in desiccated state.

                            Despite critics, people speak,”Kiya Ona” –meaning “What do you want”, I can only say,“Bahuth Shukriya, Badi meharbani”, great, thanks-Good hospitality!


                              Re: The History Column - from the past and not so recent past of Indian Muslim histor

                              Vande Matram: A poem that became a war cry
                              By IANS,

                              New Delhi : India's national song 'Vande Matram', which came under attack Tuesday at the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary, evolved from being just a poem into a cry for freedom from British rule.

                              According to historian Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, the Sanskrit poem was written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in the early 1870s. It was included in Chatterjee's novel "Anandmath" in 1881.

                              Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore sang it before a Congress gathering in 1896.

                              'Vande Matram', which translates to "Mother, I bow to thee", became the rallying cry for Indians fighting colonial rule.

                              According to the human resource development ministry, the song was adopted as the National Song at the Varanasi session of the Congress party Sep 7, 1905.

                              According to Bhatacharya, it attained mass popularity only after 1905, when Bengal was sought to be partitioned.

                              In his book, he says that the first two stanzas of the song have to be distinguished from the full text.

                              "...This distinction between the originally composed song and the additions made later to fit into the narrative of the novel is important, because it was the latter part which contained those explicitly Hindu and idolatrous imageries which were objected to by many outside the Hindu community," his book says.