Quaid, Feudalism and Reactionary Islam
Mr. Z. H. Lari protested against the induction of feudals and pirs into the Muslim League and turning it into a reactionary party. He sent a letter on 11th December 1943 to the General Secretary of the All India Muslim League, stating his intention of tabling a resolution at the Thirty-First Session of the All-India Muslim League held in Karachi from 24 to 26 December, 1943. He proposed that Muslim League ministries functioning in the Pakistan areas should devise and put into effect administrative and legislative measures to improve the social, educational, and economic condition of Muslim masses. His suggestions were:-
to enforce free and compulsory education
to lay emphasis on vocational, technical, scientific and military instruction
to abolish permanent settlement wherever in force
to bring about peasant-proprietorship
to fix reasonable rent
to industrialize by establishing or financing cottage industries and encouraging large scale industries
to control industry so as to enforce a decent wage to labour and a reasonable price to the grower
to wipe out uneconomic debt
to prohibit uneconomic interest
to separate judicial and executive functions
to remove untouchability
to repeal unIslamic laws
(Freedom Movement Archives Vol. 268)
Mr. Lari moved the resolution at the open session by saying that all the Pakistan provinces now had Muslim League ministries; but in spite of this, the Muslims in those areas were still backward, both educationally and economically… The need of the hour was to abolish the class of big zamindars (landlords) and protect the rights of the kisans (peasants).
Mr. Lari said that his resolution had four main parts;
(1) Solid and firm Muslim ministries should be established with the help of the Muslims in their majority provinces.
(2) A practical programme should be chalked out for the economic and industrial advancement of the Muslims of India.
(3) An extensive plan should be made for the educational and general uplift of the Muslims.
(4) A five-year plan for the industrial development of the Pakistan provinces should be adopted.
Mr. Lari stressed that the aim of the establishment of Muslim League ministries, was not to gratify the political aspirations of a few individuals, but
to improve the social, educational, and economic condition of the proletariat. He demanded that elementary education should be made free and compulsory, so that every inhabitant of Pakistan would benefit from the blessings of education.
The resolution was seconded by Mr. Tamizuddin Khan, a minister from Bengal and supported by Mr. Hamid Nizami, founder editor of “Nawai Waqt” from Punjab. In his speech, Mr. Nizami said that the Muslim League ‘must show to the people that it was an organisation, not of landlords, zamindars and jagirdars … The setting up of Muslim ministries did not mean that friends and relatives of the ministers be provided with lucrative jobs. The ministers were there to serve the people, especially the poor.’
The Quaid-i-Azam chose to rely on the traditional influence of the landlords and pirs to win the 1946 election for Pakistan. However, he was not able to defeat Mr. Lari’s resolution therefore he did the next best thing to kill the resolution, he said that he would appoint the members of the planning committee proposed by my father.
The Quaid-i-Azam attacked Mr. Lari, saying that ‘communists are now found under every flag, and questioned whether the agriculturists and the producers of food grain were to be bled to father the industrialists’. In the final oration of the session, in which Nawab Bahadur Yar Jang used to sum up the views of the Quaid-i-Azam in Urdu, he said that ‘people who base their economic system on the negation of God should quit this pandal’. Mr. Z. H. Lari did not quit nor could be thrown out, as he had the support of the U.P. Muslim League of which he was secretary general, and the Muslim League Assembly Party in the U.P. of which he was Deputy Leader. And as both the President of UP Muslim League, Nawab Ismail, and Leader of UP Muslim league Assembly Party, Khaliquzzaman, were active member of the central executive of Muslim League required by the Quaid-i-Azam to be in Delhi and absent from U.P. therefore Mr. Lari actually ran the U.P. Muslim League.
Jinnah with Haroons