By Wajahat Masood
(Translated from Urdu by Sohail Arshad, New Age Islam)
Hamza Alwi writes, "The Khilafat Movement weakened the Muslim League and gave the Ulema an opportunity to carve out a place in politics. The amalgamation of religion and politics badly affected the political mentality of the Muslims of the subcontinent and they lost political vision and the ability to perceive political issues in political perspective. They started to look at every issue from religious angle instead of political point of view. This pushed the Muslims towards political backwardness gradually.
Leaders like Chaudhary Khaliquzzaman too had warned against the demerits of the association of the ulema with the Khilafat movement saying “they (the leaders of the Khilafat Movement) are actually playing with fire by working with them. The religious leaders will get swayed along with the Muslims of India." It would not be irrelevant to mention here that shortly after the formation of Pakistan Chaudhary Khaliquzzaman used to make regular trips to the middle-east countries with the flag of "Islamistan" in the backdrop of the cold war.
Until the passing of the resolution of Pakistan in 1940, the politics of the Muslim League basically revolved round the political and constitutional issues of the Muslim community but after declaring the division of India its objective the strategy of the Muslim League underwent fundamental changes. On the one hand, Qaid-e-Azam extended a hand of co-operation towards the Zamindars, a prominent example of which was Sikandar-Jinnah Pact, though Sikandar Hayat had been allowed to retain his independent political identity as a leader of the Unionist Party and on the other, the use of religious jargon became wider in the meetings of the Muslim League.
In 1937, the Congress had run a Muslim public relations campaign which failed to make much impact. The Ulema of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind and Majlis-e-Ehrar could only make colourful expositions with a little communal flavour in long conferences but when it came to political leadership, the Muslim masses trusted the educated section the most. Congress instead of removing the constitutional and political apprehensions of the Muslim leadership tried in vain to play the religious card. Secondly, the educated Muslim section and the Zamindars were away from the general Muslims. They also needed to start a Muslim public relations programme which reduced the distance between religion and politics.
Salim M. Qureshi has written in his article titled " Religion and Politics in Pakistan" that people like Nawab Mamdoot Sir Firoz Khan Noon and Sardar Shaukat Hayat (who were in no way religious persons) had been conferred religious titles like Mamdoot Sharif, Darbar Sargodha Sharif etc. to give the impression that great religious leaders were also in their rank and file. Even the owner of the newspaper Paisa was called Darbar Sahib Paisa Akhbar Sharif.
Ghulam Nabi Pathan (former joint secretary, Pakistan Muslim League and union minister) mentioned a good example of the use of religion with reference to Manzilgah Mosque, Sikhar. He said that the common Sindhi Muslims were not willing to listen to us. Incidentally the idea of retrieving the Manzilgah Mosque, Sikhar occurred to G.M. Syed. It raised such a storm that the Sindhi Muslims became hostile towards the Congress and the Hindus permanently.
It is imperative to ponder over the historical fact that in different areas of India, the Muslims were facing adverse situations due to their numerical proportions on the basis of religion which shaped their collective psychology. In some parts of British India, Muslims were in majority as in the Punjab, Bengal, and Baluchistan and so on where they were on an equal footing with the non-Muslims in political and economic terms. In some areas, the Muslims were in minority but due to historical reasons, they had an edge over the non-Muslim population socially and politically as in the UP( United Provinces), the CP (Central Provinces) etc. In many parts of the southern India, the Muslims were in minority and were backward. Among the states, one situation was that in Muslim majority states, the rulers were Muslim and in non-Muslim states, there were non-Muslim rulers.
However, in some states the beliefs of the ruler and his subjects were different. For example in Kashmir, the ruler was non-Muslim Dogra whereas as the majority of the population was Muslim. On the other side, in Hyderabad the majority of the population was non-Muslim while the ruler was a Muslim. The trend of the use of religion was observed in those states where the Muslim minority enjoyed economical and social supremacy and wanted to protect this privileged status. Especially in Hyderabad Deccan, despite every kind of royal administrative defects, a non-historical, unrealistic and undemocratic religionism had a special place. It is not without reason that Shabbir Ahmad Usmani was associated with Hyderabad Deccan and he was called Usmani by virtue of his association with Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Usman Ali. Syed Abul Ala Maudoodi's paternal place was also Aurangabad (Hyderabad Deccan). Muslim League's out and out religionist leader Md Bahadur Khan Alias Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung belonged to Hyderabad. Bahadur Yar Jung's address to the annual conference of the Muslim League in Karachi on December 26, 1943 was a clear indication of the ever increasing interference of religion in the Muslim League politics.
It may be recalled that on August 12 1983 in his address to the meeting of the Majlis-e-Shoura appointed by him, Gen. Ziaul Haque had read out the excerpts from the speech of Bahadur Yar Jung with great fervour. Bahadur Yar Jung said, "The political system to be prepared for you by the Planning Committee will be based on the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. Please listen and be aware that the politics which is not based on the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet is satanic and we seek protection of Allah from this kind of politics (to which Qaid-e-Azam banged his fist on the desk approvingly and said, “you are right"). Look gentlemen! Qaid-e-Azam has put the seal of his approval on my statement (he said). Those people who lay the foundation of their economic system on Atheism, those who want to mislead the Muslims by making omissions and commissions in the self-explanatory and unchangeable instructions of the Quran and those who want to buy the faith and conscience of the Muslims in lieu of bread and butter, should leave this place." After this, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung turned to Qaid-e-Azam and said."Qaid-e-Azam, This is how I have understood Pakistan. If that is not your Pakistan, then we do not want Pakistan." Qaid-e-Azam smiled and said, "Why are you giving me a challenge before time?" (Translated by Sohail Arshad ).
URL of Part 2 of the Series: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-politics/objectives-resolution-and-secularism--part-2--maulana-shabbir-ahmad-usmani-was-the-pioneer-of-non-state-militantism-in-pakistan/d/9509