By M J Aslam
As discussed already, SMA ‘s mala fide intention in using the names of Dr. Sir M. Iqbal and M A Jinnah, as the motivating force, s behind his decision of converting Muslim Conference into National Conference on 11-12 June, 1939 at Mujahid Manzil Srinagar is not hard to observe. Such a wishful claim is ridiculous as it is not only conflicting with known facts of history; it is not supported by any kind of historical evidence either, as stated earlier. SMA admits that he was told by Nehru that by changing MC into NC non-Muslims would join the movement “without any inhibition and the communal Hindu press and other agencies would have no excuse to dub the movement communal”. 1) But, in the chapter 24th of his autobiography, while heralding changing of MC to NC as “a dream come true”, he does not make reference to the developments that had led to his change of mind. He seems deliberately silent on this vital information. 2)
SMA’s change of mind was product of a long association with INC leaders. He had already allowed his mind to become susceptible to the influences of “secular politics” of INC. The political ideology of INC had already made its serious inroads inside the MC leadership.
The 3rd August 1935, speech of the Congressman, Dr. Saif-ud-Din Kichloo, before annual session of the MC at Srinagar wherein he stated that Kashmir was a part of India and that political unity between Muslims and non-Muslims was imperative for the success of the Kashmiris’ political movement 3); the Hamdard, which was inaugurated at the same time relentlessly advocating for nationalising and secularising Kashmiri-Muslims’ political movement, 4); SMA’s three meeting with Nehru at NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhan Province of Pakistan) in January 19385); his growing closeness with pro-Congress PM of J&K, namely, Gopalaswami Ayyangar, 6); and the support of a number of Kashmiri Pandits for his secular outlook of politics, 7) are strong records of evidence buttressing the claim that MC was dissolved and replaced by NC by none other than SMA himself at the behest of Nehru and his team of “workers” within JK.
It is noteworthy that nationalism and secularism that he had adopted while transforming his political ideology from “communal” Muslim Conference to “non-communal” NC were in full alignment with [Indian, not Hindu] nationalism and secularism of INC. Moreover, in the Indian State till now there is no dual-nationalism. Preaching and pleading these ideals of INC, he advised ML leadership to leave Kashmir and Kashmiris alone, and don’t thrust their “communal” ideology on Kashmiris as that was going to defeat the very purpose of his “freedom movement” he had been fighting for Kashmiris. 8)
To this political stand of SMA, which he had been following since he had come in close affinity with INC Leaders, M A Jinnah in his reply to an address presented by Kashmiri students at the Aligarh Muslim University earlier on April 1, 1939, had this to declaim: “I can say with certainty that he (SMA) is in the wrong. Having got himself ensnared by the Congress which is thoroughly a Hindu organisation, he has put the ship of his community in a whirlpool.….he is doing this out of ignorance ….he will soon realise his mistake …….will come to know that those whom he is considering his friends and at whose beck and call he is acting, are not his friends but his enemies…..” 9) These prophesied words of M A Jinnah proved correct right from day one the liberal- advanced-political-movement was launched by SMA in 1939.
The non-Muslims whom he thought to be liberal, educated, progressive and modern men did not turn to his new political body of NC. Baring few negligible members, their “collective communal” thinking towards their fellow countrymen, Kashmiri Muslims, had not changed at all. It failed to bring them “as a community” within the fold of NC as was erroneously expected by SMA. And, that handful of non-Muslim-Kashmiris who had joined NC had done it not by heart or conviction but for the sake of political expediency, or for hatching conspiracies against NC leadership. 10) PN Bazaz on the basis of his interactions, conversations and long association with NC affiliated Kashmiri Pandits and other non-Muslims has confirmed it in these words: “NC does not have any support base of non-Muslims. Few non Muslims who are seemingly associated with NC are not so because they love NC but because they think that NC is a tool in the hands of Congress Party that could be used against Indian Muslims and for destruction of Pakistan….” 11) Although, in August 1953, there was hand of his own closest [Muslim] party-men in his removal from PM chair, the role played by Kashmiri Pandits and Jammu Dogras in that “conspiracy” was no less insignificant. About that unceremonious dismissal of August 9, 1953, SMA himself confesses that Nehru (man behind his brainwashing in 1938 for rechristening MC as NC) was “drunk with power of authority and that for me (SMA) he had proved more oppressive and dictatorial than the Maharaja”. 12)
1) Blazing Chinar, (2016) Page 16); 2) Ibid, Pages 169-177; 3) Comprehensive History of Freedom Movement of Kashmir (2014), Shabnum Qayoom, volume 2nd, page 242; 4) Ibid (Hamdard was started by PN Bazaz (then Congressman) & SMA jointly; 5) Freedom Movement in Kashmir (2009) by G H Khan, page 347; 6) Nida e Haq (2014) M M Isaaq, page 124; Shabnum Qayoom’s Comprehensive History of Kashmir (2014) volume 2, page 250; 7) Alastair Lamb, Kashmir: a Disputed Legacy (1991) pages 93-94; 8) The Tribune (Lahore) 15, April, 1939, page 17; 9) The Statesman, Calcutta, April 16, 1939; Phd thesis titled Freedom Movement (2009) by G H Khan, page 372; 10) Blazing Chinar page 350,384, 401, 568 (Kashmir Pandits are 5th Column), 574; Nid e Haq page 253-254; 11) Hamdard, dated 10-06-1947, full passage of this editorial is reproduced in Shabnum Qayoom’s Comprehensive Kashmir History (2014) Volume two, page 296 alongwith other recorded anti-MC statements of NC Pandit leaders e.g. Jia Lal Kilm, Shyam Lal Saraf, Advocate Raghunath Vishnawi, ibid at pages 297-299; 12) Blazing Chinar (2016) page 188.
—The author can be reached at: [email protected] (The views expressed are solely the author’s own)