Distributing a few thousand flags doesn’t make one a freedom fighter: Maulana Arshad Madani 

Students at the Independence Day programme in Darul Uloom in Deoband.

Students at the Independence Day programme in Darul Uloom in Deoband. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Maulana Arshad Madani, head of the Jamiat Ulema e Hind, in his Independence Day speech said on Monday, “By distributing a few thousand flags, one cannot become a mujahid-e-azaadi (freedom fighter).”

Addressing students of the Darul Uloom, the Islamic seminary in Deoband, after the flag hoisting ceremony, Mr. Madani said the clerics of Deboand fought for freedom from the British rule for 200 years. “It is sad those who sacrificed their lives for the country are being described as anti-nationals. The real anti-nationals are those who are trying to divide hearts by creating an atmosphere of hate in the country.” The brotherhood nurtured over centuries, he charged, was being pushed into the cauldron of hate.

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Mr. Madani recalled that Shah Abdul Aziz Dehalvi was the first Islamic scholar and cleric who issued a fatwa against the British and appealed to Muslims and Hindus to come together to wage a war against the foreign rule. He also lauded the contribution of Sheikh Ul Hind Mahmud Hasan Deobandi, who launched the Silk Letter Movement against the British, supported the Non-Cooperation Movement, co-founded the Jamia Millia Islamia and spent several years in prison in Malta.

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“At least 33,000 clerics were executed after 1857 in Delhi and surrounding areas. Villages were burnt around Deoband because common people supported the ulemas. Unfortunately, the role of Muslim clerics in the Freedom Movement is not being taught even in madarsas. If nobody remembers the contribution of our forefathers in nation building, we should at least tell our children of their sacrifices. It will help in shaping their future,” he said.

Lamenting the division of the country after Independence, Mr. Madani said had India, Pakistan and Bangladesh remained one country, China would have ceased to be a threat. He appealed to the “hate mongers” to take “lessons from the crisis in Sri Lanka”.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 12:01:50 pm |