SINDH PROVINCIAL MUSLIM LEAGUE CONFERENCE, 1938.
I am very much rightin criticizing governments for not taking interest and initiate for establishing Sindh History Research Institute.Sindh has played a key role in the freedom movement and we are being underestimated by Non – Sindhi Scholars and ourcontribution towards this movement has been minimized terribly. In my so many postings/articles, I have given list of hundreds of Freedom Fighters and have identified more than 40 political parties and pressure groups most functional during Briritsh era (1843 – 1947). Un – matched conferences were held in this period and Sindh Provicial Muslim League Conference is one of them. It was held on 8thof October 1938 and lasted for four days. Pir Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi is theonly politician & writer, who compiled a comprehensive report on the conduct and proceedings of the conference. It deserves to be republished as amissing link of our political history. The Khilafat Tahreek and the Movementfor the separation of Sindh from Bombay Presidency invite and involve people inpolitics though on wrong lines, but public participation was not consolidatedby the leaders of those movements and therefore conditions favoured MuslimLeague to reap what ever was sown by those people. The Khilafat Tahreekreinfored religious – oriented politics and the Movement for Separation osSindh from Bombay Presidency imposed religious – oriented Nationalism in SindhiMuslims. Muslim segment of Sindh due to anti – vision & wisdom of theirleaders divided their Motherlad ideologically and joined Muslim League due tovacuum created by the non – availability of any leadership and any activepolitical party. One thing must be kept in mind that no doubt, there was grandpublic participation in the Khilafat Movement, but the Movement for theseparation of Sindh was not the movement of the people, by the people and forthe people. It was launched by our Upper Class and people participated in it underinfluence and direction of their waderas & Jageerdars. So, the story of theKhilafat Tahreek is the Story of to much extent the story of the influence ofPirs/Religious figures and the story of the movement for the separation ofSindh from Bombay Presidency was the story of influence and pressure ofMirs/Jageerdars. What Pirs & Amirs cultivated, all went to Muslim League.
The history of Muslim League in Sindh is amazing one. It wasin 1917, when Sindh Muslim League was started in here. Jam Muhammad Junijofriend of Rais Ghulam Muhammad Bhurgri and others from Karachi were founders ofthis SINDH MUSLIM LEAGUE. The office – bearers did their level beast to getthis affiliated from the All India Muslim League, but all in vain. It remainedan independent and un – affiliated party for years. Muslim League was re –opened and reorganized for more than three times up to 1930, but all effortswere neither recognised, nor affiliated by the All – India Muslim League.During the movement for separation of Sindh from Bombay Presidency, Sindh Hindu& Muslim leadership intentionally involved Congress and Muslim league inthe matter and latter on these both parties cashed their support and All –India Muslim League got chance to enter. At is moment, Sindh was divided intoMuslim & Hindu camps and Sindhi Muslim leadership thought it in theirfavour to own the All India Muslim League.
The Sindh Muslim leadership/Upper class make this event anexample of a grand ang great achievemet. The President – elect of the conference, Quaid –i- Azam travelled by aSpecial train that was engaged by Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur. In Karachi, Aeroplaneflew ower procession throwing flowers.
It was a need of hour for Sindhi Muslim Upper Class and evenfor All - India Muslim League to the big show and hold a big Conference inSindh. Sindhi Muslim Upper class during two ministries of Sir Ghulam HussainHidayatullah and K.B. Allah Bux Soomroo noticed that they are not gettinglion’s share in the power, where as none of them was not ready to share powerhimself. This class noticed that Mighty Governor was the only one to makekings. The first ever majority party was ignored and was not invited to formthe government and Sir Ghulam Hussain was honoured to take oath as the firstever Premier of Sindh, though his party was not in majority. K.B. Allah Buxbecame the second Premire of the Province, but he proved to be a challenge forMuslim Upper Class. He was an expert in the craft of the power – politics andgave tough time to his opponents.
Sindhi Muslim politicians in Sindh did “bicker and getnowher”.”They had last their favored post – separation position of politicaldominance by pursuing their penchant for self – centered, personalised politicsand in their place their rivals, the Sindhi Hindus, had emerged to hold thebalance of power in the province’s ministerial politics”. In this context, ourupper class politicians were in search of any power that was goining to supportand help them to regain their Paradise Lost, and it was the All _ India Muslimleague to help them. They were confident that such type of coference will paveway to break Allah Bux’s stranglehold on piower and the Muslim League can reward them political prizes of power andoffice.
All – India Muslim League was also in search of such type ofopprtunity to get its entry in Sindh. The safe and simple way was found to gethold of Upper Class avaialable in the Sindh legislative Assembly so as MuslimLeague Ministry can bee formed without knocking doors of Muslim masses. That iswhy, the Quaid –i- Azam made it know to Haji Abdullah Haroon that he would onlyvisit Sindh if the League had secured a large measure of Assembly support. Itwas irony of fate that a province that was deprived of even the affiliation forits Muslim League by the All – India Muslim League,is now getting top priority.This Conference was an opportynity for the All – India Muslim League to huntfor formation of Muslim League Ministry in a province, where it was without anyparty Network. Hence, this conference was very important for the All – IndiaMuslim League than Sindhi Muslim Upper Class, even Sindh.
Let me correct the record of history and to say that it wasthis conference, that provided chance to the All –India Muslim League toinclude “two – Nation” theory in its political scheme. It is said that Dr.Allama Iqbal in his presidetial address delivered on the occasion of AllahabadSession, gave the idea about a separate Homeland. But, it is on record that nothe was the first to speak in such a terms. If you will go through the recordsof resolutions passed by Sindh Khilafat committee in early twenties, you willfind that sindhis had talked and demanded for separate and independent country.It is our bad luck that neither our Historians, nor any Government have highlightedthe role of Sindhis in the Freedom Movement. Allama Iqbal, who is said andtreated as the Dreamer for Pakistan, had withdrawn from that Idea later on, andhis letters are available to prove his withdrawal. In his presidential addressDr. Iqbal had said that the Chaudhri Rahmat Ali Scheme would be harmful forHindus and Muslims of India as well as for the British themslves. EdwardThomson in his book, ‘Enlist India for Freedom’ is saying that Dr. Iqbal wasnot in favor of the Pakistan plan. He quote Allama Iqbal as under:
“ On my vast undisciplined and starving land, Pakistan would be disastrousto the British Government, disastrous to the Hindu community, disastrous toMuslims.”
So, the Idea and scheme of Pakistan was neither of ChaudhriRahmat Ali, nor of Allama Iqbal. But, it was Sindh and Sindhis those weretalking about and demanding independent coutry and idea as well as demand for separateindependent countries/country for Indian Muslims was put forwarded by Sir HajiAbdullah Haroon and Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi on the occasion of thisConference.
Of all (21) resolutions, the one of greatest significanceand a veritable landmark resolution was Resolution No.5 which was entitled“Communal Settlement”. It was moved by Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi and supportedby Sir Haji Abdullah Haroon and others. The resolution authors (Shaikh AbdulMajeed Sindhi & Sir Haji Abdullah Haroon) decided to issue a bold claimthat India in reality was not one nation but two, one Hindu and other Muslim.This resolution was clearly precursor to the Lahore Resolution of 1940. Hence,this Conference proved to be turning point in the political strategy of the All– India Muslim League and it was un – matched great achievement for the party.
This Coference provided chance to the All – India MuslimLeague to capture the Sindh Ministry and to work for the party in Sindh atgrass – roots level. The president of the Party and Coference held Marathonmeetings with members of the Sindh Legislative Assembly. The meeting held on 9thof October lasted for ten hours. K.B. Allah Bux Soomro, the Sindh Premier alsoattended this meeting. In this meeting it was decided that Muslim League Partywill be formed in the Sindh Legislative Assembly and it will be followed byresignations of the Ministry and selection of the Leader of House. On 12thof October, an other meeting is held and K.B.Allah Bux boycotted it as hesmaled that he is not going to be selected/elected as the Leader of the House.After his leaving the meeting Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah was elected asthe Leader of the House and Mir Bandih Ali as ids Deputy. Twenty – sevenmembers joined the Party and signed the “League Pledge”, where as K.B. Soomroalong with his seven supporters refused to join.
On the conclusion of the Conference, it was clear thatMuslim League can not form its ministry and Sindhi leaders will remain dividedinto groups such as Syed Group (Headed by G.M.Syed), Sir Ghulam Hussain Group,Allah Bux SoomroGroup,Baloch Group (Headed by Mir Banidh Ali) and capitalist – cum – UrbanGroup (Headed by Sir Haji Abdullah Haroon). It was beyond the capability of theMuslim league Leadership to mergea nd unite these groups and provide them oneplatform of the party. Hence, after conclusion of the Conference the Quaid –i-Azam decided to start interior Sindh tour to popularize the League cause amongrural masses.
On the occasion of this conference total 12 Resolutions werepassed and their subjectsa re as under:
1. Condolence on the death of Nawb Bahadur SirMohammad Mozzamullah.
2. Appeal to Sindhi Muslims to join the MuslimLeague.
3. Independence of Palestine.
4. Barrage Debt liquidation.
5. Hindu - Muslim Communal Settlement. (Introducingfirst time the “Two – Nation Theory”).
6. Revision of Frontier policy.
7. Condemnation of Burma riots.
8. Condemnation of the agitation of the companiescatering for Hedjaz Pilgrim ( This Resolution was moved to accommodatecapitalist and Business Community Group of the Party. Haji Abdullah Haroon andothers were in hunt of establishing/supporting their such type of Companies).
9. Public Holidays in Sindh.
10. Appeal to Sindh Members of the Assembly to joinMuslim League.
11. Demand for replacement of arbitrary form ofgovernment in Baluchistan by a democratic form.
12. Condemnation of the agitation of a section ofHindus against handing over of the control of the Masjid Manzalgah of Sukkur.(This was pre – planing and stage was being set to get rid of Allah Bux Soomro’sGovernment on one hand and to make the people emotion – driven on religiousgrounds to diveret majority of muslims to theMuslim League. It was a wellplanned strategy of the party and Religious Scholars from Punjab were invitedto put fuel on the fire).
13. Demanding of enquary on the breach in the Sindhcanal regulator in Sukkur District.
14. Government must take steps for betterment ofagricultural class. (this was to saveand safe the interest of Wadera/Jagerdar Class).
15. Abbrogation of repressive laws.
16. Congratulations for Bengal and Punjab Muslims insafe guarding Muslim Ministries in those provinces.
17. Condemnation of the Government of India towardsHish Highness Mir of Khairpur State by removing him from the State.
18. Condemnation of U.P Congress Ministry/Government for its anti – muslim policies.
19. That K.B.Aijaz Ali shall continue as Minister inKhairpur State.
20. Appeal to Sindh Governor for summoning a sessionof the Sindh Legislative Assembly. (As the pending Vote of no – cofidence agaistAllah Bux Soomro be carried on).
21. Condemnation of Sindh Government of Allah BuxSoomro.
Though, there are still many aspect ofConference and they can be touched on next time. Let me windup my lecture in afew words that the Sindh Provicial Muslim League Conference of 1938 was veryimportant . It vindicated the mentality of our Upper Class.
Political Vision and wisdom of that class. Itopened doors for Capitalist to enter in politics and give it urban touch. Itwas a great achievement for the All – India Muslim League.