Allah Baksh Sumro who sacrificed his life to preserve the secular values of the land.

Allah Baksh Sumro, who decried communal politics and declared boldly that it pollutes the minds of the people rendering them incapable of unbiased thinking, was born in 1887 in Shikhapur town in Sindh Province, which is now in Pakistan. He entered into the business field at a very young age. But he did not confine to business alone. He took active part in social service activities, which facilitated him becoming a Member of Jakobabad Municipality, when he was only 23 years old.

When the Government of India Act came into force in 1935, he became the Premier of the Sindh Province. He created history by becoming Premier at the age of 38. He was a leader who rose above communal feelings and was therefore adored by the masses. He attracted the people towards the Indian freedom movement. The leaders of the All India Muslim League made unsuccessful attempts to attract him to their side. Sumro bluntly denied any collaboration with the communal forces, which led to the fall of his government.

When the elections were held after the collapse of his government, he again won with overwhelming majority and took the reins of the Sindh Province as its Premier. Mohammad Ali Jinnah approached him personally and requested him to join the All India Muslim League. Sumro sternly declined his request saying that establishing political parties on religious grounds was against the basic principles of Islam.

He also wrote a letter to him criticizing the communal forces, which were conspiring to grab the political power by inciting communal feelings among the people. This letter was considered a valuable document in the literary history of the Indian freedom movement. He opposed and condemned the resolution for the division of India passed by Muslim League in 1940. He attended Azad Muslim Conference held at Delhi. He also criticized the cruel repression by the British during the Quit India Movement in 1942.

He encouraged the Khadi Movement under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi. Both the British rulers and the Muslim League leaders were angry with him because of his attitude towards independence and his staunch anti communal approach. Though he was warned by his friends to be alert in these circumstances, he did not care and never took any steps for his self protection. The communal forces, which could not face Allah Baksh Sumro in the public life, assassinated him on 14 May, 1943.

(Source : THE IMMORTALS, Album of 155 pictures of Muslim Freedom Fighters authored by Syed Naseer Ahamed published in 2014)

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Syed Naseer Ahamed

Syed Naseer Ahamed http://M.Com ., LL.B., D.J. Flat No. C-2, Sree Ram's Arcade, Amaravathi Road UNDAVALLI - 522501 Tadepalli Mandalam, Guntur, AP Writing since 1998 exclusively on THE ROLE OF MUSLIMS IN THE STRUGGLE FOR THE FREEDOM OF INDIA.

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