The Defeat of Sir Choutto Rams Zamindara League and the Feudal Unionist Parties in the Punjab
Updated Feb 20th, 1997. Reformatted Dec. 27th 2007
The silent majority remains supine and tries to ignore the hate-clans polemical diatribes. We are an emotional people. The pullulating millions should not be swayed by the rantings of a few, however on many occasions the young and the impressionable can actually be beguiled. The nurseries of hate produce the lone assassins and the suicide bombers, not by actually showing them how to murder and maim but, rather by creating an atmosphere of intolerance. The question before all of us is the same question that beduffled the nation in the forties; can the majority take cathartic action against this evil phalanx within us? Can the moderate and progressive forces see through the vacuity of the argument proposed by the fringe? If not the clans hate mongering will lead to us anachronism and obscurantism.
If we cannot expose the true agenda of the hate mongers, it will be an opprobrium to our great heritage. For the sixty years a tiny miniscule minority is engulfed in pure unadulterated malevolence. This hate mongering clan brings up obscure arguments, and selects inexplicable references, and has tried to debase our history. Those of us who have not caviled with the facts must challenge the gross inaccuracies over and over again. Let us all coalesce and destroy the cabal that thrives on the profits of feudalism, slavery, and the illieteracy. Our teeming millions are steeped in penury. Can we mprove their lot?
“Most of this area, now called Pakistan, was under Ranjeet Singh’s empire (1799-1839), and even in notorious anarchic era of 1839-1849 the state was sovereign, maintaining unchallenged monopoly coercive power, but lacked societal will and `ethical idea’ to enforce order and, ultimately, collapsed. If that was not a colonialist expansionist era, that state might have prolonged for long despite the internal chaos.”
The period (1937-1947) chosen by Professor Long is momentous in the making of Pakistan. In the pre-1937 period, the Muslim League was a weak and inert organisation, destitute of leadership, funds and the press. It was seen as a coterie of toadies and sycophants basking in the sunshine of British patronage, passing stereotyped, mild resolutions for the protection of Muslims interests and making speeches in the Assemblies and at the Muslim League annual sessions. Mohammad Ali Jinnah then counted nowhere. He was rebuffed by the stalwart Muslim leader, Fazl-I-Husain in Punjab, and distrusted by the Congress. The British ignored him.
By 1939, the Muslim League became a strong and spirited organisation, and in March 1940, it demanded a separate homeland, an independent, sovereign Pakistan State, and by 1945, Jinnah emerged as the sole spokesman of the Muslims, who made high bids and vetoed all constitutional proposals suggested by the Congress and the British government. He scuttled the Simla conference in June-July 1945 and asked for parity with the Congress in the Viceroy’s executive council.
Jinnah met Mahatma Gandhi on equal terms for negotiation to resolve the political stalemate at home on Malabar Hill in Bombay from September 9 to 29, 1945, and rejected his formula. He took to task the three Premieres, Sikander Hayat Khan of Punjab, Fazl-ul-Haq of Bengal, and Saadullah of Assam, for joining the National Defence Council by subverting the Muslim League resolution of September 29, 1940.
By 1945, the Muslim League succeeded in setting up its party ministry in four of the provinces, and in the fifth, it held a strong position by putting pressure on the dispirited and shrinking Unionists party in Punjab.
How was Jinnah and Liqat able to out maneuver the Gandhi-Nehru machine and their accolytes– the Unionist Party in the Punjab and the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in Sarhad? This is a fantastic story of determination and grit told on these pages and on this site.
“Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” Stanley Wolpert Jinnah.
“The best showman of them all. Quick, exceedingly clever, sarcastic and colorful. His greatest delight was to confound the opposing lawyer by confidential asides and to outwit the presiding judge in repartee.” TIME Magazine Apr 22, 1946.
“When Muhammad Ali Jinnah returned to India, he started to reorganise the Muslim League. In 1936, the annual session of the All India Muslim league met in Bombay. In the open session on 12 April 1936, Jinnah moved a resolution proposing Liaquat Ali Khan as the Honorary General Secretary. The resolution was unanimously adopted and he held the office till the establishment of Pakistan in 1947. In 1940, Liaquat was made the deputy leader of the Muslim League Parliamentary party. Jinnah was not able to take active part in the proceedings of the Assembly on account of his heavy political work. It was Liaquat Ali Khan who stood in his place. During this period, Liaquat was also the Honorary General Secretary of the Muslim League, the deputy leader of the party, Convenor of the Action Committee of the Muslim League, Chairman of the Central Parliamentary Board and the managing director of the newspaper” Dawn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liaquat_Ali_Khan
“The Congress leaders invited him to join their party, but he refused and joined the Muslim League in 1923. Under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam, the Muslim League held its annual session in May 1924 in Lahore. The aim of this session was to revive the League. Liaquat Ali Khan attended this conference along many other young Muslims.” http://www.storyofpakistan.com/person.asp?perid=P010
Once the Liaqat Jinnah machine target the Unionists of the Punjab, Khizar Hyatt, the Tiwanas and the Noons never knew what hit them?
THE PRE-INDEPENDENCE FIFTH COLUMNS: FRINGE FASCIST MOVEMENTS OF THE SUBCONTINENT
There were the mainstream movements in the Subcontinent that represented the wishes of the people. There were also fringe fascist movements and fringe feudal parties that represented the vested interests of a few individuals. These fringe movements failed to win the hearts and the minds of the people. If the fascist movements had succeeded, there would have been no Pakistan. The Muslim League and the Congress won electoral victories and led the two countries to nationhood.
The fifth columns represent a sad chapter in our history. Most Indians aware of our history are ashamed of the fringe movements. Similarly most Pakistanis are ashamed of the fringe terror movements. Eulogizing the fascist movements based on ethnic origin may have worked in 1939 in Germany, but the world has rejected fascism and what they represented. The world has also rejected feudalism, though some vestiges of this dinosaur remain in certain pockets of the Subcontinent.
THE MUSLIM LEAGUE THROUGH SEPARATE ELECTORATES REPRESENTED THE MUSLIMS
The Indian National Congress and the All India Muslim had a point to argue with the British Raj. The Indian National Congress continued to argue that the Congress was the representative of all the people of “India”. The Muslim League argued the point that the Muslim League and the Muslim League alone represented the rights, and the aspirations of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. The Indian National Congress wanted to forge “India” into a nation, while the Muslim League argued that India had never been a nation, and that it had always been a conglomeration of nationalities. Even though the British called it “India’, there were actually more than 500 different countries in the Subcontinent.
The Muslim League formed by Alama Iqbal and many other leaders in 1906 as a reaction to the imposition of Hindi-Devanagri script on the Muslims, and as an immediate reaction to the annulment of the partition of Bengal (which would have created the province of Muslim Bengal with a Muslim majority). The mission of the Muslim League was to fight for the rights of the Muslims, and fight it did. It fought the Indian National Congress and it fought the British Raj.
The story of the Muslim League is indeed a story of success. Under the able leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Khan Liaqat Ali Khan, the Muslim League was able to score many wins. From its nascent beginnings the League turned into a mass movement, and this strength was depicted in its successes. Even though the Muslim League was not successful in securing the province of Muslim Bengal, around 1933 the Muslim League was successful in securing for the creation of the province of SINDH.
THE RADICALIZATION OF THE MODERATE CONGRESS: UNHOLY ALLIANCES
The Congress under the leadership of Motilal Nehru had been a moderate right wing political party run by Harrow and Oxbridge bred Indians. To improve the base of the Congress so that it represented a broad base of Indians, some nonconformist elements were brought into the party. These ultraist elements radicalized the INC and moved it leftwards. By the time Jawaharlal became president of the INC the political ideology of the party had moved towards the Fabian and Socialist camps. Under Jawaharlal Nehru the Congress was polarized between its secular (Nehru), parochial (Patel) and religious leadership (Lal Laj Pai). Gandhi tried a dual tactic to isolate the Muslim League.
1) On the one hand Gandhi was able to put up a great facade of tranquility by appointing figurehead Muslim “showboys” like Azad to the Congress Leadership. These figureheads had no real power and were over ruled on many occasions by the real Brahmin power brokers in the Congress.
2) On the other hand the Indian National Congress tried to sow seeds of discontent and tried to put in wedges in the Muslim movement. The Congress tried to put up alliances with Muslim figureheads in the Punjab and in Sarhad
The Gandhi tactics were to show the British that the Congress represented all Indians-Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Brahmins, Kahatriyas, Vaisas, Shudras and other Hindus. The INC opposed the creation of Pakistan so it strategically hunted for Muslims who would form alliances with the anti-Pakistan Congress. It found fifth columns in the Punjab and in Sarhad.
In India Wins Freedom by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Page 138) he says the following:
…the Muslim League had been isolated and Congress, though it was a minority had become the decisive factor in Punjab affairs. Khizar Hyat Khan was the Chief Minister through Congress support and he had naturally come under its influence.
In the Punjab the socialist Congress linked up with the feudalistic landlords who represented the Unionist Party. While both the parties were poles apart in ideology and interests, both of them wanted to defeat the Muslim League and somehow stop the freight train of the Muslim League. The Congress was socialistic and had propounded the complete decimation of the feudal system. The Congress was dominated by Hindus and largely represented the interests of the majority of Indians in India -the Hindus. This marriage of convenience between the Congress and the Unionists of the Punjab was severely criticized by the rank and file of the Congress and by Azad.
In India Wins Freedom by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Page 138) he says the following:
“The alliance of Congress with the Unionist Party was in principle wrong. They argued that the Muslim League was a mass organization and the Congress should have formed a coalition with the Muslim League and not with the Unionist Party in the Punjab…sacrificing leftist principles in forming a coalition with the Unionist Party…..
In the Sarhad the Congress found an ally called Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Badshah Khan -the Frontier Gandhi) who associated himself with the secular ideals of M.K. Gandhi.
Thanks to the Punjabi populace (who felt repressed by the Unionists and gladly voted for the Muslim League) and some great Muslim League leaders from the Punjab who supported Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan, the Gandhi-Congress tactics of isolating and marginalizing the League failed at the polls, when after the announcement of separate electorates, the Muslim League repeatedly got more than 96 percent of the Muslim votes.
Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah out smarted the INC and their lackeys by forming liaisons in the Punjab and by bypassing the jirga leadership in the Sarhad. The following is a detailed description of how Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Shaheed e Millat Khan Liaqat Ali Khan, outsmarted their opponents and provided counter balance to the Congressional props in the Punjab and the Sarhad. Had the fifth column called the Unionist succeeded in their conspiracies with the Congress, there would have been no
On this site. Who assassinated Liaqat Ali Khan. Search for it by name
On this site: The Politics of the Punjab circa 1940
Also on this site: Why Pakistan was created?