A very important matter that is presently engaging my mind is that we should have been today addressing Hindus and Sikhs but Moulana Masoodi addressed Muslims and I too am addressing them which shows that we are not as yet fully awakened
The all important public meeting was held at Jammu in which several Muslim leaders of Jammu province were present. Main highlight was a long and detailed speech delivered by Ch. Ghulam Abbas. As a past practice the local print media prominently reported speechs but ” Islah” published complete details of Abbas’s speech dated 21 April, 1939. M.Y.Saraf, who had access to Archival records in Pakistan, mentions in his book ‘ Kashmiris Fight For Freedom’ elaborately speeches. Many friends showed lot of interest to know more details about the speech of Ch. Abbas. Accordingly his speech (full text) is reproduced below:
“…..Since the question involved, in so far as the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir are concerned, is one of life and death, it is necessary that I should fully come out with my scattered thoughts. I may boldly say that whatever we did since 1931, was done from a communal platform and generally speaking, it was for the political and religious rights of the Muslims because, though constituting 80 % of the population, they were leading an oppressed life. During these 8 years, we have tried to relieve them of these difficulties and we are thankful to God that we have succeeded in doing so. Ft As times change, the circumstances and the surroundings also change. The position of Associations can be compared to children who grow with the passage of time. Whatever we did so far was well and good but now our needs have increased and to put an end to the unresponsive character of the govt. it has become necessary to bring all communities on a common platform. It is true that Muslims are oppressed, though some of them are pro-government and on account of their service interest, are not prepared to cooperate with us. What we want is to put an end not only to the oppression under which we Muslims are laboring but a section of the Hindu population are also equally suffering. With the passage of time, the thoughts and surroundings also change. The political robes which we donned eight years back, have not only grown old but have become out-worn and thread-bare. We now need to wear robes which would be a source of pride in the eyes of the world.
A very important matter that is presently engaging my mind is that we should have been today addressing Hindus and Sikhs but Moulana Masoodi addressed Muslims and I too am addressing them which shows that we are not as yet fully awakened and what we have done so far, looks like having ploughed in the sand. I am by nature a pessimist and temperamentally lean towards despair.
Those Muslims who are opposing the move to rename the Muslim Conference as National Conference, are the same people who have hitherto been opposing the Muslim Conference. The govt. machinery is also opposing the renaming of the Party because it thinks that if Muslims take this step, they will succeed in their struggle for the attainment of Responsible Govt. Along with them, the non-muslim communalists are also opposing the move. This combined opposition unmasks the real motives of the Opposition.
Our old system is changing into a new one; some misunderstanding and confusion is therefore not unnatural. The first misunderstanding is that Sheikh Sahib and his colleagues have sold themselves to the Congress or someone else (the reference is to Mr Ayyenger) and it is said that we have become the disciples of Gandhi. Let me state that we are followers of none except the Holy Quran. Gandhi Ji is an acknowledged leader of India but the statements issued by him regarding the recent happenings in Travancore and Rajkot are disappointing. His opinion is that the people living in Indian States should strive for agreements with their rulers and bow before them but we cannot make applications and supplications to Mr. Ayyenger for our demands. We will secure our rights bravely and courageously. You should not expect us to become disciples of Gandhi but in so far as his followers and disciples are concerned, we have the same place for them here as we have for those who differ with him.
Whichever Party from outside the State extends its support and help, we will be ready to accept it. It is said that we are opposed to the Muslim League. I think Mr Jinnah is a capable politician. He has a prominent place in the British-Indian politics. It is his view that the majority should gain the confidence of the minority. At this moment, we are pursuing the same policy. In the ultimate analysis since the platform is common, we have no links with any communal organisation but if Muslim League wishes to render help in our joint demands, we will be ready to accept the same but we will not be prepared to sell our freedom of conscience to any outside organisation.”
To be Continued.