KOZHIKODE: The general understanding of Muslim politics in India by the common man is fraught with many deep-rooted misconceptions and half-truths. “Muhammad Ali Jinnah was an out and out communalist”; “the Muslim League wanted division of India right from the beginning” – thus goes the popular notions. The book Muslim Rashtreeyathinte Nooru Varshangal (Hundred Years of Muslim Politics), authored by M C Vatakara (M C Ibrahim) seeks to dispel these misunderstandings and try to straighten up the skewed views on Muslim politics in the country.
“Jinnah was against mixing religion with politics. His disagreement with Gandhiji was on this ground. He thought Congress and Gandhiji were trying to bring religion in politics,” M C Vatakara told this website’s newspaper.
Jinnah had opposed the Khilafat Movement saying it will only help in flaring up fanaticism in India. He never nurtured communalist thoughts in his mind. Many times he was labelled as a Kafir. In fact, there were attempts on his life from the fundamentalist Muslims,” he said. It is also a falsification that the League was for partition of the country. According to MC, the party went for the demand only at a later stage.
“The idea of separate nations was first mooted by non-Muslims. The Muslim League leaders including Jinnah never encouraged the demand when it emerged from some Muslim leaders. It was at the Lahore conference of the party in 1940 that the League raised the demand. Even at that time there was no mention of Pakistan in the resolution.”
The All India Muslim League (AIML) emerged as a party in 1906 drawing inspiration from Sir Syed Ahamed Khan, who prepared the Muslims for entering into modern education and modern politics. “Till then, the Muslims were waging relentless battle against the British. They declared that learning English is haraam and boycotted English education.
Muslims were mercilessly persecuted by the British. Ahamed Khan realised that the confrontation will only end in Muslim genocide and decided to co-operate with the British.” The first conference of AIML conference was held in Dhaka in 1906. The Kolkota conference of the Congress was also held in the same year. “Jinnah participated in the Congress conference as a disciple of Dadabhai Naoroji. He later became a member of the League in 1912. He accepted the membership under the condition that he should be given the freedom to uphold secularism and nationalism,” MC said.
According to the author, the notion that the League did not promote women entering into politics is also untrue.
“There were women in the party working committee. All the working committee members had degrees from foreign universities.”The book, being brought out by Thoolika, the publication division of Muslim Youth League, will be released soon.