Q. From Champaran Satyagraha to the establishment of the Bihar Vidyapeeth, Maulana Mazharul Haque has played a remarkable role in the Freedom Struggle of India. Comment.
Ans:- Maulana Mazharul Haq was a great protagonist of national movement ,a staunch nationalist, the light beam of Hindu-Muslim unity, the embodiment of patriotism and faught for achieving common interests even at the cost of personal interests under strong upheavel of British rule.
He was born on 22 December, 1866 in the house of Sheikh Abdullah at Barhampur village of Patna district in Bihar as the only heir of the landlord family and had inherited education in Arabic and Persian language in the house itself.
While studying in London, he met Mahatma Gandhi and got inspired and associated with him. He formed Anjuman Islamia in England, this institution became a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity which reflected his personal belief in the cause. He was a legal luminary, a statesman, an educationist, a journalist, a poet, and a philosopher combined in one, a man who was a firm believer in complete Independence being “the birthright of every Nation”.
His famous quote sums up his conviction, “Whether we are Hindu or Musalmaan
we are in the same boat, we must sail or sink together”. His Journey of Public life begin since relief works during the famine of 1897 in Saran where he was elected Vice Chairman of Saran Municipality and he worked to improve the finances of the municipality in a big way.
He was a great believer in democratic decentralism, and he fought for enhanced representation of Indians in such bodies.
CONTRIBUTION TO FREEDOM STRUGGLE
- In 1908, he moved to Patna and emerged as a prominent advocate. Here, he jumped into the nationalist public activities and his residence, SikandarManzil, became strongest centre of anti-colonial nationalist activities After the Partition of Bengal.
- Hindu Muslim Unity : He Saw ‘salvation of India’ in Hindu Muslim Unity. In
1909, the British introduced separate communal electorates, he valiantly opposed this institutionalised divisive game. In December 1909, he waselected to the Imperial legislative Council, where he successfully resisted the extension of separate electorate to the local bodies.
- He also remarked that the Muslim share in the “concession loot” would not be fixed by the statutes, but would be in proportion to Muslim share in the national struggle.Further he was instrumental in architecting a pact between the Congress and the Muslim League in 1916 at Lucknow known as :
- He established Sadaqat ashram which became the nerve centre for the freedom struggle for nation in general and bohar in particular.
- In The Motherland , he proposed for the merger of the Muslim League into the Congress, for the sake of national unity against the colonial onslaught and further suggested that the Muslim League should confine itself to safeguarding the religio-cultural interests of Muslims and that the politico economic affairs of all communities should be left upon to the Congress.
- He had presided over the Bihar Congress in 1911 and the Muslim League in 1915.
- As president of Home Rule League, he popularised the slogan of Swaraj across Bihar and Orissa, with hectic tours and public meetings. He raised an army of freedom fighters in district towns and villages and was of the firm view that the Congress must raise a cadre-base and burnish their leadership qualities through representations in local bodies.
- He actively participated in Champaran Satyagraha for which he was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment
- He had discarded his western clothing and had donned the handspun khadi attire, during the Non Cooperation Movement, when the British goods had to be boycotted.
- Mazharul Haque had protested against british for their repressive measures post Non Cooperation Movement by writing a severe editorial in his The Motherland. He was imprisoned for this and trial started. This is the time he earned the monikers of Deshbhushan (Jewel of the nation) and faqir.
Freedom struggle was not only a direct fight against the atrocities of British policies but also involved propagation of modern nationalist thoughts, Educating masses for making them aware of the happenings, Disregarding age old regressive religious practices and Leading from the front in every possible sphere of administration.
In this regard Mazharul Haque was himself was a legal luminary, a statesman, an educationist, a journalist, a poet, and a philosopher carried an immense apathy for marginalized sections of the society.
- He worked hard to organise national schools and at the behest of Gandhiji, he established the Bihar Vidyapith (National University) during the Non Cooperation Movement that coordinated the ideas of nationalist movement.
- He also launched an agitation to upgrade the Patna Medical School and the Patna’s Bihar School of Engineering to the status of college, and quite a lot more in those fields.
- He strongly advocated for quality modern education to both men and women, from primary to higher stages.
- He also established the Rashtriya Shiksha Mandal to guide a general policy on nationalist education in terms of curricula framing and administrative management.
- He actively participated in the anti-purdah movement launched in Bihar in response to the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1920
- He launched his newspaper, Modern Bihar. It was shortlived, and another example of his brave journalism was through the publication of the English weekly, The Motherland in 1921-22, through which he also exposed the international character and hegemony of colonial exploitation.
- He also advocated for interfaith marriages, and supported the Special Marriage Bill to de-criminalise the inter-faith marriages. He asked Muslims to read Hindu philosophy, and the Hindus to read Muslim history (if not philosophy), in order to develop mutual understanding and to avoid religious conflicts. He had appealed to the Muslims to abandon cow slaughter in order to restore inter faith harmony and avoid conflicts.
- He demonstrated his acumen and vision during his tenure of first Chairman of the Saran District Board where he implemented he implemented Gokhale’s free, compulsory primary education, quite vigorously, despite fund constraints.
He declared his retirement from active politics in year 1926. But the leaders of the Indian National Congress like Abul Kalam Azad never abandoned him.
Maulana Muzaharul Haque, who left an indelible impression with his distinctive style on the Indian politics in general and on Bihar people in particular, breathed his last on 2 January, 1930.
State Governments tribute to Mazharul Haque
In view of Maulana Haq’s attachment to his thinking and education, the State Government established Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic Persian University, Patna in 1992, which provides education in many subjects.
Maulana Mazharul Haq is a fascinating example of a wealthy westernized barrister and a government officer who in course of freedom movement transformed into a rigorous satyagrahi & ascetic and played a stellar role in shaping the movement in bihar (1906-1927).
Mahatma Gandhi said on his death that” Maulana Mazharul Haq was a true patriot, a true Hindustani, a true Muslim and the biggest promoter of national unity.”
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in his tribute to Haque sahib wrote “In the early days of
non-cooperation he (Mazharul Haque) played an important part in our great
movement and was one of its chosen leaders. It is right that we honor his memory
and pay our tribute to him.”