Migration

As Secretary of the U.P. Muslim League Parliamentary Board, my father wrote to the Quaid on 5th July 1946 that he should choose professionals and commoners with progressive views, instead of feudals and reactionaries who had no knowledge of constitutional law, to the Constituent Assemblies of India and Pakistan, which had been given the task of preparing the constitution of the two countries. Although the U.P. Muslim League endorsed my father’s views and submitted the names to represent the U.P. (Dawn 6th July 1946, page 6, column 4), the Quaid-i-Azam selected feudals and a maulvi who had no legal background to represent the U.P., although the Muslim League required legal experts to help draft the constitution of the two new states.

My father became leader of the opposition in the U.P. Assembly and created a coalition of opposition parties in the Indian Constituent Assembly after the Quaid-i-Azam left for Pakistan. He also took the lead in the abolition of feudalism and land reform in India as member of the Abolition of Zamindari Committee. And as a member of the Indian Constituent Assembly he took part in drafting the Indian constitution, demanding that Urdu should be made the official language, but the ruling Congress Party refused.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who was one of the longest lasting president (1940-1946) of the Congress during the second world war and education minister of India at that time, convened a conference of Muslim organisations including the Muslim League and asked them to join the Congress. Some members of the Muslim League attended the meeting and a few also crossed over to the Congress.

My father went to see Mahatma Gandhi, who espoused the cause of a common language of Hindus and Muslims called Hindustani by publishing in both Urdu (Arabic) and Hindi (Devanagri) scripts. The Mahatma was under maunvrat (a vow of silence) and could communicate only by writing. Therefore he wrote down his answers on the back of telegrams that he had been receiving from desperate people threatened by riots. He wrote, ‘I am quite clear that Muslims as a mass cannot and should not join the congress unless they are invited and welcomed with a whole heart. I fear that this feeling is lacking at present’. Mahatma was killed for fasting to get Pakistan its due share in the assets left by the British. The poet Israrul Huq Majaz wrote:

Hindu chala gaya, na musulman chala gaya

Insan ki justju  main aik insan chala gaya

My father called a meeting of all the Muslim political, religious, social and cultural organisations and asked them to unite to create an effective organisation of Muslims. This led to a virulent attack on him from Hindu leaders and newspapers. An Amrit Bazar Patrika editorial said that Lari and his friends who had not gone to Pakistan were there to harm India from the inside. A National Herald editorial said that Lari’s move was a warning to central and provincial governments, because it was the Muslims of U.P. who had won Pakistan for Jinnah. A Leader editorial called Lari’s programme as mischievous as that of the old Muslim League, and advised that the government should keep a strict watch over them.

My father resigned from the Indian Constituent Assembly in protest against their not making Urdu an official language, and the Government of India declared him to be an intending evacuee and froze his property on 17 May 1950. He wrote to the Indian government, saying that unless they cancelled their order he would be forced to leave the country. In a speech the Indian Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, referring to the activities of my father in a public meeting in Lucknow, said that those who made Pakistan should go to Pakistan. We left for Pakistan that year. Shamsul Ulema Khawaja Altaf Husain Hali, had described the parting in the following verses;:

‘Rukhsat aiy Hindustan, Aiy bostan bay khizan

Rah chukay teray bahut din hum bidesi mehman

Naqsh hayn dil par hamaray sab madarten tery

Hum na bhulen gay kabhi din teray aur ratain teri

Tu nay sarwat di hukumat di riyasat di hamain

Shukr kis kis meherbani ka karain teri ada

Par gila yeh hai kay jo kuch apna ham laiy thay sath

Wo bhi tu nay hum say lay kar kardiya belkul gada

Torr dalay jald tu nay ahed aur paiman sab

Bay wafa suntay thay sach, aiy hind tera nam hum

Dair tak rahta hay jo insan nahin rahta aziz

Suntay hayn diwar wa dar say teray yeh paigham ham’

 

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