HINDU-MUSLIM COMRADESHIP : By Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni
(Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni was a freedom fighter and Islamic scholar. He served four years in exile in Malta, along with Maulana Mahmud Hasan, for being a part of Silk Letter Conspiracy. He remained the President of Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Hind for a long period & was also one of the founding members of Jamia Millia Islamia.)
Why are you struck so much, my comrade, by this revolutionary upheaval ? The Muslims have joined hands with the Hindus since the day they adopted India as
their country, and as for myself I have made political and social alliance with the Hindus since I saw the light of the day as I was born and brought up in this very country. The incidence of the confluence of the two peoples encourages mutual regard and also leads to comradeship in the general forward march. There will be such occasions leading to mutual consideration as traffic by exchange, every description of sale and purchase, lease and lend of farms, legal transactions, public instruction and seeking of education, etc., etc. When such is the case, one will naturally have social intercourse with the other and thus encourage mutual cooperation. For this reason myself and all other Muslims, so long as they live in India, are cemented in a social alliance with the Hindus. This is evident in the streets, on roads and in residential quarters. Also there is social intercourse in such places as tramways, buses, lorries, steamers, railway stations, post-offices, police-stations, councils, assemblies and hotels, etc. You will bear me out when I say that this intermingling takes place everywhere. If you happen to be a zamindar, then your cultivators are Hindus too. And in case of a Muslim trader, are not the customers and the clients Hindus ? Similar is the case with a Muslim lawyer. Will he not hold briefs on behalf of his Hindu clients ? And will he decline to appear as an advocate in a court where the magistrate happens to be a Hindu ? When you are a member of the Municipal Committee or District Board or Local Board or a Council or an Assembly, how can you do without meeting the Hindu members, secretaries, joint secretaries, presidents, etc. ? How can you refrain from joining discussions with them ? How can you avoid shaking hands with them ? Would you say that you have no regard for social etiquette. Please pause a while to consider as to who among the Muslims is not bound in this alliance. Do the ten crores of Muslims deserve to be condemned to eternal damnation ?
I will illustrate this point by referring to my boyhood. When I was in my middle school, had Hindu boys with me as class-fellows with whom I continued my studies for several years. In several classes the teachers were also Hindus. I sought instruction from them. If it were said that “ social intercourse” involves the relationship of officer and subordinate, then if a Hindu officer happens to have Muslim subordinates, is it not that the subordinates have to sit in daily, nay hourly, subordination to him ? To whichever department the non-Muslims can have access, it is often headed by a Hindu officer with Muslims as subordinates. But so far as my case is concerned, I do not belong to this department or that.
If my interlopers say that I have joined into alliance with the Hindus because of the incidence of a “so-called war ” being waged between the Hindus and Moslems, and that my aim is to defeat the Muslims, may I humbly enquire as to when, and since when this “so-called war” is being waged and when have I, during that period of war, joined the Hindus in order to defeat the Muslims ? These are all fanciful notions and figments of your imagination. Let God be my shelter. How can I countenance such lies and calumny without due reflection ? If it is sought to be brought out that I am a member of the Congress, then I must point out that I am a member of this organisation since I came from Malta. Before that I believed in upsetting the British imperialism by using the force of violence. That is why I was imprisoned in Malta for four years. When I returned from Malta, I adopted the doctrine of nonviolent non-co-operation as my ideal and with this instrument of policy sought to oppose the British bureaucracy and to fight for the independence of my country. I have been a regular member of the Congress and Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Hind since 1920 and have also paid subscription. I have also been a member of the Khilafat since those days but as it has ceased to exist, there remains no question of my being attached to that organisation. And I am prepared to join every such revolutionary organisation that tries sincerely to eradicate British influence and prestige in India, provided it has non-violent non-co-operation as its creed.
In short, I am a member of the Congress for the last twenty-five years and have attended its meetings and have also delivered speeches there. I pay the membership fee regularly, accept offices and go to prison whenever the opportunity arises. Similarly, in this way and in this sense I am the member of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Hind. But I am neither a member of any religious, sectional or sectarian organisation nor do I join their meetings. These are authentic facts God will testify them and He is my witness.
(This is an excerpt of an open letter written by Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni to Muslim League & Mr. Jinnah in 1946)