Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin Al-Hussaini Azad was an Indian scholar, Islamic theologian, independence activist, and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress during the Indian independence movement. He was the Education Minister of India, together with Nehru they established the best learning centers in India including the IIT’s who are spread across the world with their contributions. He was a great man.
Indians are proud of their secular credentials. Here is one such story.
By Dr. TO Shanvas
An Incident about Maulana Azad that I know personally from my brother (Late) T.O. Bava. At the time of the first election in 1956 after the Malabar area (majority Muslim area) added to form Kerala state, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) thought a campaign by Maulana Azad in Malabar will help Congress. R. Sankar (KPCC), K.P. Madhavan Nair, and my brother T.O. Bava met with Nehru in New Delhi. Nehru said, “I don’t think Maulana will agree to it.” With the Compulsion from the delegation, Nehru and the delegation went to Azad. Nehru appeared reluctant to present the request. After a while, Nehru said, “Maulana, these leaders from Kerala requesting you to campaign in Malabar area.” Maulana Azad angrily said, “You go to Hindus and I go to Muslims to speak and split the country again. I ain’t part of it.” That was the end of the talk. That was Maulana Azad.
That is an amazing statement. Maulana did not want to be relegated to a Muslim, he wanted to be an Indian who reaches out to all Indians.
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Syeda Hameed writes,
“He was known across the country as the apostle of Hindu Muslim Unity. In 1923, as the youngest Congress president, he said, “If an angel descends from heaven and offers me Swaraj in 24 hours on condition that I give up Hindu Muslim Unity, I will refuse. Swaraj we will get sooner or later; its delay will be a loss for India, but the loss of Hindu Muslim unity will be a loss for humankind”. This remained his consistent stand throughout his life.
What a great role model he was.