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ARYA SAMAJ

 

[The information on the activities of the Sindh Arya Samaj has been obtained from various Government records and reference is given at the end of every entry. Dr.Pathan]

Part One

1.Under the auspices  of the Arya Samaj, "Anti-Nizam Day" was observed at various places in the province on the 22nd January by holding processions and public meetings. The usual speeches were made condemning the alleged atrocities perpetrated on the Hindus in the Nizam's Dominions and the British Government was also accused of assisting the Nizam against the Hindus. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th February  1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of January 1939].

 

2. There has been an appreciable and welcome decrease in the anti-Nizam agitation and the attention of the Arya Samajists has been diverted to other topics. They are at present busy planning to counter act the activities of some Christian missionaries who have converted a few Wagris in a small village within Karachi Municipal limits. A sum of Rs.39-7-0 is reported to have been collected by-Muslims for the 'Hyderabad Protection Fund' and it is proposed to remit the amount to Maulana Zafarali Khan of Lahore. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 16th August 1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of August 1939].

 

3. The agitation in connection with affairs in Indian states showed no signs of diminishing during the fortnight, propaganda by means of meetings and processions continued to be carried on at various place in the province. The Nizam's Dominions were made the special target for the activities of the agitators, particularly the Arya Samajists and batches of volunteers were sent from time to time to Hyderabad (Deccan). This movement has seriously agitated Muslim feeling and as a counterblast the Muslims have formed a Hyderabad Protection Society which help its first public meeting on the 19th March attended by about seven hundred persons and presided over by Mr. M .H. Gazdar, M.L.A. Muslim youths were urged to become volunteers to counteract the agitation against the Nizam and to stop the despatch of volunteers to Hyderabad (Deccan). The persistently provocative behaviour of the Arya Samajists and the growing resentment among the Muslims was bound to lead to a communal clash, and the inevitable result occurred on the evening of the 30th March when a party of Arya Samajist volunteers proceedind in buses to the harbour was attacked with a fusilade of stones by a crowd of Muslims who broke the windows and lamps of the buses and prevented the volunteers from catehing the steamer to Bombay. The prompt action of the police prevented what might have developed into an ugly situation. Fortunately no one was killed but injured and sent to hospital where eleven of them were admitted as in-door patients none of the injuries sustained has proved fatal. Up to the time of writing, twenty-one persons have been arrested and are being sent up for trial under section 147. Indian Penal Code. The affray had its repercussion the following evening (March 31st) when a procession of about three hundred Muslims paraded through the village at Keamari urging the boycott of an Arya Samajist milk-seller, and the observance of a hartal by the Hindu shop-keepers on the morning of the 1st April increased the general feeling of nervoisness. The District Magistrate thereupon issued an Order under section 144, Criminal Procedure, Code, prohibiting processions, shouting of slogans, carrying of weapons, etcetera, in Keamari, this action had a good effect and the situation at present is quiet. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 11th April  1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of March 1939]. 

 

4. There has been no further trouble in connection with the Arya Samaj movement against the Nizam's Dominions but the agitation has in no way abated and batches of volunteers continued to be sent to Hyderabad (Deccan) during the fortnight. The Arya Samajists of Karachi have apparently not profied by the incident referred to in my last report, on the 6th April a big annual Arya Samaj procession was due to be held and the Arya Samajists wanted to take a batch of volunteers in the procession and to send them off the same evening by the mail steamer to Bombay. It was with considerable difficulty that they were dissuaded from this course and they reluctantly agreed to send off the volunteers quietly on the 8th instant. Another attempt was made to organise a procession on the 13th April to advertise the departure from Karachi of a further batch of volunteers of the volunteers took place quietly and without incident. The continuance of this movement is becoming a serious matter and is likely to be a potential cause of communal ill-feeling for a long time. ".[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 24th April  1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of April  1939]. 

 

5. Agitation against the Nizam's Government continued without any change during the fortnight. The Arya Samajist observed 'Nizam Satyagraha Day' on the 22nd April by holding public meetings and processions at which denunciations were uttered not only against the Nizam's Government but also against the Karachi Police for not having averted the attack on the Arya Samajists at Keamari on the 30th March. The attitude of the Arya Samajists seems to be that they should be allowed to provoke the Muslim by continuing their movement and should be given police protection to save them from the natural consequences of such provocation. Their propaganda has resulted in keeping alive communal ill-feeling and the boycott of Hindu shops and hotels by Muslims. A novel incident in the agitation has been the formation of a satyagraha training centre to impart instruction to volunteers proceeding to Hyderabad (Deccan) regarding their conduct while prisoners' prompted, it is reported, by the fact of some volunteers having offered apologies on conviction. ".[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 17th May 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of April  1939].

 

6. Agitation against the alleged persecution of Hindus in the Nizam's Dominions has not yet diminished and interest in the movement was kept alive by the usual meetings and processions organised under Arya Samaj auspices, canvassing for funds and for volunteers for satyagraha. . [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 11th July 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of June 1939].

 

7. At an Arya Samaj meeting in Karachi, on the 5th December, a speaker advised the audience to develop physical strength in order to be in a position to protect the Hindu community. He remarked that after looting the Hindus in Shikarpur, their womenfolk were burnt alive. On account of the Sukkur disturbances, handbills were issued by Mr. Shamda P. Gidwani, advising the Hidus women and children in Karachi not to leave their houses after sunset. At a meeting in Larkana District, a speaker advised the audience to urge the authorities to safeguard Hindu life and property as they apprehended danger at the hands of Muslim. At the a public meeting in Karachi, an Arya Samaj speaker during a religious discourse, remarked that there was a band of goondas and robbers in their country, and Government had failed to govern .The Secretary Hindu Sabha, Hyderabad, has detail volunteers, armed with lathis and lorha, as a measure of protection to patrol at odd hours in the Hindu quarters at Hyderabad. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 22nd December 1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of December 1939].       

 

7. The anti-Nizam agitation continued without any change. The action of the Madras Government and certain other Government and States in banning the movement within their jurisdiction has been deeply resented by the Arya Samajists as unwarranted interference with religious rights. The Congress and Gandhi were also condemned for having remained aloof from the movement and for yielding to the alleged undue demands of Muslims. Two batches of volunteers left for Hyderabad (Deccan) during the fortnight and a sum of about Rs. 400 was collected to finance the continuance of the movement. Muslim endeavours to counter-act the Arya Samaj agitation have not ceased and at a public meeting of the suppress the movement in the province. Government are contemplating similar action in Sind to that taken in Madras. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 11th July 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of June 1939].

 

8. The Sukkur Manzilgah continues to cause anxiety. The threatened picketing of the residences of the Ministers (excepting the Chief Minister) did not take place, mainly because of the Ordinance mentioned in my last report, but also because there appears to be a split among the Muslim agitators, the extremists among them having no liking for negotiations on any terms with the Ministry. Propaganda both in the Press and on the platform continues. It is assuming a violent tone- speakers and writers on both sides adopting a communal attitude and trying to give the dispute an all-India aspect. For instance, Mr. Shamdas P. Gidwani at an Arya Samaj meeting held in Karachi on the 15th October moved a resolution protesting against the illegal occupation of the Manzilgah and urging the Hindu Maha Sabha to depute an Enquiry Committee to investigate into the conditions of Hindus in the Provinces of Sind, Bengal and the Punjab. Similarly Muslim leaders have appealed to the Muslim League in other Provinces for moral support. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 3rd November 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of October 1939].   

 

9. The Arya Samajists and Hindu Sabha continue to condemn the unstable policy of the Sind Government and its passive attitude towards the Manzilgah and express satisfaction at the enactment of the special Powers Ordinance. They demand the boycott of Hindu M.L.As. and Ministers if they do not decide the Munzilgah question satisfactorily. They put forth suggestions that the Hindu position regarding the Manzilgah was hopeless as the Ministry had made up its mind in favour of the Muslim. It is reported that Mr. V.D. Savarkar, Dr. Munje and Bhai Parmanand are likely to attend the All-Sind Hindu Conference to be held at Sukkur from the 11th to the 13th November and it is feared that speakers like Savarkar will not pour oil on troubled waters. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 3rd November 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of October  1939].

 

10. The Arya Samaj agitation against the Nizam's Government continued unabated during the period under review and handbills and pamphlets enumerating the atrocities alleged to be inflicted on satyagrahis in Hyderabad (Deccan) jails were freely distributed to keep up enthusisasm in the movement. Attempts were also made to gain labour support for the agitation. Batches of volunteers continued to be sent to the Nizam's Dominions and a sum of about Rs. 4,000 is said  to have remitted to the All-India Nizam Satyagrah League in furtherance of the movement. The tendency of some volunteers to offer apologies on conviction has led to the formation of a sub-committee in Karachi with the object of enrolling only such volunteers for Satyagrah as would not tender apologies when arrested'. The continuance of the Arya Samaj propaganda prompted the local Muslims to organise a 'Pro-Nizam Day' by holding public meetings and processions at which the baseless propaganda against the Nizam's Government' was condemned as likely to lead to a great disturbance in the State. The case- mentioned in a previous report - in which some Muslims of Karachi were accused of rioting and assaulting between local Hindus and Muslims, the arrangement was that if the Musims abandoned the boycott of Hindu traders the Hindus would raise no objection to the withdrawal of the case. "[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 30th  June 1939 Report on the political situation for May/June 15th.      

11. An Arya Yuvak Conference was held at Karachi during the fortnight at which several resolution were passed including one expressing regret and resentment at the intorduction by the Wardha Hindi Propaganda. Committee of Certain undesirable words in their Hindi Primer ostensibly for the sake of Hindu-Muslim unity such as "Moulana Valmiki" for "Maharishi Valmiki", Begum Sita" for "Bhagwati Sita Devi", etc. Another resolution stated that all districts in Sind should be placed in charge of L.C.S. officers, and another urged the Congress Party in the Sind Legislative Assembly not to abstain from office as otherwise no suitable Ministry could be formed, and requested the Congress High Command to leave the Sind Congress Assembly Party free to take office in the interests of the province. Another resolution urged His Excellency the Governor of Sind to take the administration of the province in his own hands and protect the minorities ever if the no-confidence motion against the Ministry failed. Yet another resolution stated that Hindu Arya young men should be deputed to work among Muslim youths and thus broaden the latter's outlook and imbue them with patriotism. The speeches delivered at the Conference were generally anti-Ministerial and anti-British in tone. Mr. Shamdas P. Gidwani, a Government pensioner, referring to the rufusal of Government to let the Municipality run a bus service in Karachi, said that the Ministry were prepared to help the white people (referring to the existing bus company) to fill their pockets, but did nothing to assist the poor. He said that  'hartal' should be observed in Karachi for one day, remarking that both white and dark people were the subjects of Government and that both should have equal rights. Hansraj "Wireless", who is by way of being a  small inventor, remarked that foreign machinery had spoiled Indian industry, and advised the youth of India to take to industry and imbibe the spirit of sacrifice. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1940].

12. Activities on similar lines continue to absorb the Hindu community. The Arya Vir Dal of Hyderabad are particularly active in this direction and they hold weekly parades in imitation of the Khaksar movement. A Volunteer Corps has been formed at Mirpurkhas under the patronage of the Local Congress Committee with the object of rendering help to public organisations. Parades, including half an hour's drill, taken place every evening. At the Worked Committee meeting of the Jacobabad city Congress Committee, Prof. N.R. Malkani explained the significance of his 'fouji' parade, another Hindu Volunteer movement, and advised Congressmen to promote this activity in the villages. Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1940].

13. Activity among the Hindus on Khaksar lines continues. Volunteers of the Arya Vir Dal held their usual parades in Hyderabad, where this movement is most prominent, though the Upper Sind Frontier Hindus are also becoming interested and regular parades are held there. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the first half of March 1940].

 

14. At a meeting of the Hyderabad ‘Arya Samaj a resolution was passed requesting the President of the. Sarodeshak Arya Protindhi Sabha, Delhi, to depute someone to remove the internal disagreement in the Arya Samaj of Hyderabad. Meanwhile Messrs. Varma and Piyarelal started a fast as a protest against these dissensions, but broke it after two days on receiving a telegraphic acknowledgment form the Sarodeshak Arya Pritinidhi Sabha, Delhi. At an Arya Samaj meeting in Karachi, a speaker remarked that no country had ever attained freedom by non-violence, and urged his audience to acquire the power of self-defence, if they desired to liberate their country. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the first half of March 1940].

 

15. The Arya Samja of Dokri, Larkana district, proposed to hold meetings at Dokri from 22nd June onwards. They sold a few copies a few copies of a pamphlet called "Objections to Islam" which created such resentment in the minds of the Muslims population of Dokri that it was feared that if the meetings were held they would lead to further excitement. They were, however, abandoned. Three meetings of local Hindus were held at Hyderabad to discuss the formation of defence committees. It was decided to form such a committee and enlist volunteers for the protection of Hindu life and property. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th July 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of June 1940].

16. The members of the Arya Vir Dal paraded in Hyderabad, while a meeting of the Azad Khalsa Dal was held in Karachi where it was decided to organise branches of the Dal throughout Sind and to send two of its members on tour this purpose. .[Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th June 1940. Fortnightly Report for the second half of May1940].

17. The Sind Arya Pritinidi Sabha have deputed Mr. Ramchand Khanna of Multan and Mr. Rupchand Sipahimalani of Hyderabad (Sind) to conduct an enquiry into the Sukkur disturbances, and they are expected to arrive shortly It is learnt that the Sabha has also decided to carry on relief work in the district. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd  February 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of January 1940].

18. Meetings have been held during the fortnight by various Hindu organizations vehemently the present state of lawlessness in Sind and severely criticising the Muslims in general and the Ministry in particular as being responsible for the prevailing "reign of terror". The Arya Samajists were particularly active in this respect and held four meeting at Karachi and one at Hyderabad at which resolutions were passed advocating non-support of the Ministry, the resignations of the Hindu Ministers and urging His Excellency the Governor to take over the portfolio of law and order. The Muslim League also voiced their condemnation of the wave and wanton and indiscriminate murders of innocent persons that have been committee during the past twelve months. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 21th  November 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of November 1940].

19. The Arya samaj also held a public meeting at Karachi on the 25th October to condemn the alleged lawlessness in Sind. Mr. Shivji Velji Kothari, who presided over the meeting, stated that there was an unholy alliance between the British Government and the Muslims as a result of which the Hindus were not safe. He also remarked that he was informed that these murders were not committed by Sindhi Muslims from outside Sind. Mr. Virumal Begraj moved a resolution calling upon all the Hindu members of the Sind Assembly to resign their seats. He advised the Hindus to form Sangathan and learn "how to kill or die". A resolution was also passed recommending the enlistment of more Hindu officers in the Police Department. A meeting was held under the auspices of the Hindu Sabha on the 27th October and was president over by Mr. Shamdas P.Gidwani. Similar resolutions were passed, one of them urging upon the authorities to restrain the activities of Sir Abdullah Haroon, M.L.A, (Central) and Sayed Ali Muhammad H. Rashdi and suggesting that security proceedings may be taken against them under the Criminal Procedure Code. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 6th  November 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of October 1940].                 

 

Part:2

 

1.The Arya Samaj held a meeting at Karachi in which Government was requested to take action against the Muslim League leaders on account of the speeches made in the meeting held in the Khalikdina Hall on the 6th Marachi. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th April 1941 Fortnightly report for the Second half of March1941].   

2. The Arya Samaj, in a meeting in Hyderabad which was attended by about 100 persons, passed a resolution expressing requesting the Government and the Nawab of Lohar state and sympathy with the Hindus of Lohar state and/also the Punjab Arya Pritinidhi Sabha to take steps to redress the alleged grievances of the Hindu  of Lohar State. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th  August 1941, Fortnightly Report for the First Half of August 1941].

 

 

     

 

 

 

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