Moulana Abul Kalam Azad who opposed Jinnah over the creation of Pakistan became thr first Education Minister of Free India. As Education Minister he created IIT and UGC. He laid the foundation stone for the modern Education in India.
But his experience with Indian Democracy and Secularism was always heart wrenching for him. Soon after India’s Freedom, he awakened to a bitter reality. He proposed a strict punitive action against a certain non – Muslim Police Officer of Delhi for his direct role in the persecution and violence against Muslims during post – Partition roits. His contention was that anyone who had a direct role in the violence can’t be allowed to go Scot free in Secular India. Police officers role in the violence against Muslims was backed by strong and tangible evidence.
To his utter dismay, his clamour for Justice fell flat. Sardar Patel, opposed him tooth and nail on this with an irrelevant reason. “This will demoralise the whole police force” was what Azad was told. You often hear this even today. This sentence has become a bed rock of Indian politics since then. Azad built IIT and Sardar Patel gave India a potent weapon to fight every clamour for Justice for persecuted minorities. India is building a massive monument of Patel for giving India, its communal doctrine.Patel very early on introduced Azad to the reality of India.
When India was preparing for the first general elections, Azad too was preparing himself to run for the Indian Parliament. His over – confidence was broken immediately when Nehru showed some reluctance to give him the ticket. Nehru told him to identify the constituency from where he thought he would get elected. Azad oblivious of the real pulse of India told Nehru, that he believed that he can win from any given constituency of India to which Nehru awakened him to a bitter truth. “Hindus won’t vote for you since you are a Muslim”. Azad must have felt devasted as he believed in the idea of India and had convinced many Muslims to also believe in Indian Democracy and Secularism. All in vain. His fake conviction by now had destroyed the destiny of all the Muslims of India.
He goes on to explicitly blame Patel and Nehru for the Partition of India. His proposal for a loose Indian Federation in place of a separate state of Pakistan was accepted by Jinnah but vehemently opposed by Nehru and Patel. Gandhi too had expressed his skepticism for the proposal. All what Azad wanted was to keep India United and for that he had to assuage Indian Muslims with an alternative. Miffed at Nehru’s belligerence towards every alternative, Jinnah guazed the pulse of every leader in the Congress. He intensified his struggle for an independent nation for Muslims and told his people, “even if I get a free country for you to the size of a handkerchief, I will take it”.
Jinnah was a great visionary. Time bears witness to it. Azad died a sad man.
Written by: Iftikhar Ahmad