"What does Hindu water and Muslim water mean" Water is simply water and Muslim water mean? Water is simply water, a means to quench your thirst. Why do you invest your fanaticism in this natural bounty that knows no caste or creed? This is the foreign ploy to divide us," thundered a young man at Ghass Mandi Chowk, all the while exhorting both Hindu's and Muslim to maintain communal harmony. This soul-stirring speech was given at a time when our country was still labouring under the foreign yoke. The man who had the 'temerity" to make this speech right under the nose of the British rulers was, a freedom fighter from our city, whose fourth generation descendent Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman-Sani is the Imam of Jama Masjid here.
"My great grand father was a freedom fighter who believed in the essential unity of humankind. But at the same time, he was all for the independence of our country so that the people would be able to live without the disgrace of following the dictates of a foreign ruler", says the Imam of Jama Masjid.
Born on July 3, one hundred and nine years ago, the Maulana inherited the legacy of "taking the cudgels" on behalf of his country people from his great grand father-Maulana Shah Abdul Kader who was actively involved in the First War of Independence that took place in 1857.
Explaining the contribution of his great grand father, the Jama Masjid Imam says. "He took part in the Non-Cooperation Movement. It is said that the first time when he was arrested in December, 1921, he confronted the magistrate and told him, without mincing any words, that the British rule was unjust and that to raise one's voice against injustice was no crime".
Another interesting point disclosed by the Imam was that the mother, brother and sister of Bhagat Singh had stayed at the Maulana's house here for a month. Notably, the Maulana was against the partition of the country. According to Jama Masjid Imam, "When Mohammad Ali Jinnah came to meet Maulana in this connection, the latter is reported to have told Jinnah that he could visualize the terrible upheaval that Partition would cause and the untold misery that it would lead to".
'Give Maulana his due'
He devoted his life to the freedom movement. Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel appreciated his efforts. But more than 60 years after the death of Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Ludhianvi, the government is yet to honour his contribution. His 199th birth anniversary on Tuesday will also pass unnoticed.
The fourth generation descendants of Maulana, who did a lot for destitute girls and spent 14 years behind bars during the freedom movement, are demanding that their great grandfather, who had converted Ludhiana into the central hub of freedom movement in 1930, should be given his rightful place.
"Our great grand father not only founded. All-India Majlis Ahrar party in 1929 to fight against the British, he also unfuried Tricolour on Jama Masjid In Ludhiana in front of 300 British soldiers when Nehru did the same on Ravi river", said Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Sani Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid here.
He gave shelter to Bhagat Singh's family for a month and Subhash Chandra Bose for three days during the freedom movement. Many prominent writers like Dr. Tara Chand in his book "History of Freedom Movement of India" and Veer Savakar in"Azadi E Hind" have written about his contribution.
Maulana's importance during the freedom struggle could be gauged from the fact that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited Ludhiana to meet him while Mahatma Gandhi sought his opinion when talks were going on for the Partition. To secure his support. Mohammad All Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, came to meet him in Ludhiana.
"But Maulana warned Jinnah against the partition of country and strongly protested against the creation of a different country for Muslims", said Atiq Ur Rehman, another great grandson of Maulana.
To prove his contribution and demanding the construction of memorial, family members of Maulana have written many letters. But neither central nor the state govt. has initiated any step to honour his contribution.
Maulana had to pay a very big price for his involvement in the freedom struggle. The British government had auctioned his ancestral house in Ludhiana thrice, but Hindu, Sikhs and Muslims of the area always stood behind him and helped him in repurchasing his house.
Tributes paid to freedom fighter
Glowing tributes were paid to Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, a freedom fighter and close associate of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on his 109th birth anniversary here today. A seminar was organized by the Punjab unit of the Indian Muslim Council of mark the occasion.
Addressing the seminar, the president of the council, Maulana Atiq-ur-Rehman, highlighted the contribution of the late Maulana to the freedom struggle. He pointed out when certain communal and fundamentalist forces were raising their head and trying to divide the freedom movement on communal lines, the Maulana stood firmly with the Congress as he was committed to the secular ideals.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Harbhajan Singh Soha, a freedom fighter and former district president of the Congress, said the Maulana was a brave soldier who makes so many sacrifices for the freedom of the country. He disclosed that the Maulana was harassed and imprisoned for years by the British for his nationalism.
A senior Akali leader, Mr. Kulwant Singh Dukhia, said the life of the Maulana should serve as a source of inspiration for the new generation. He pointed out that Maulana's commitment to secularism and nationalism was such that he resisted all temptations. He was a great symbol of secularism and brotherhood.
The speakers also lauded the great vision of the Maulana who rejected the two-nation theory and refused to migrate to Pakistan. They pointed out; ultimately the Maulana was proved right after the creation of Bangladesh.
- Qasim Cheema
- I just want to talk and discuss about Islam and other non Islamic organisations like Ahmadis/Qadianis who portrayed them in a guise of Muslims to deceive and betray all human society as its a well known fact their forefather who claimed to be their prophet was planted by British in subcontinent to uproot soul of JIHAD From Muslims . Jews are Jews , Christians are Christian ,
Hindus are Hindus so should be Qadianis (Non Muslims) My aim is to discuss Islam with any Muslim or Non Muslim who want to talk and want to know the reality of Islam. that's it ! Let Me welcome all of you interested with good faith .