By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
The First united War of India’s Independence or the Indian Rebellion of 1857, as in the British records, also known as the Sepoy Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, and the Sepoy Mutiny was a prolonged period of armed uprisings in different parts of India against British occupation. Small precursors of brewing discontent, as was the plan, involving incidences of arson in cantonment areas began to manifest themselves in January 1857. Later, a large-scale rebellion broke out in May that year and turned into what must be called a full-fledged war of independence in the country. This war brought about the end of the British East India Company’s rule in India, and led to fidgety direct rule by the British government (British Raj) of much of the Indian subcontinent for the next 90 years.In Thana Bhawan, a place under present Muzffar Nagar district of UP, Ulama gathered under the leadership of Haji Imdadullah Muhajire Makki. And in May 1857 the famous Battle of Shamli took place between the forces of Haji Imdadullah and the British army which ultimately drew an end with complete freedom from British tyrannical clutches after 90 years in August 1947. This May of year 2007 is making 150 years of those untold stories of the heroes of the India’s war of freedom. Many of them like Mongal Pandey and Lakshmi Bai, the Queen of Jhansi, though found tributes in the pages of modern Indian history yet the real braves, the torchbearers; the Ulama have been deliberately buried under bigoted attitude of government aided pages of history and await a real recounting from the sons of the soil to whose destiny they bestowed even the last sigh of their lives.
Islam teaches not to subjugate the free will of the people and it exhorts its followers not to submit to oppressive and evil forces. And it was this teaching of Islam that inspired Ulama of India to wage relentless war against the Company rule just after defeat of Sirajud Dawla at Palasi in 1757.
However, there are so-called intellectuals who won’t only ignore Ulama’s contributions to India’s independence, but intentionally malign Muslim scholars and their educational institutions branding them anti national. The following statements of a British Army general, Tomson should be an eye opener for those who couldn’t see the selfishness motive of some so-called writers. The British army general, who fought against Muslims in the uprising of 1857, wrote in his memoir: (Rebellion Clerics:P-49):
”If to fight for one’s country, plan and mastermind wars against occupying mighty powers are patriotism, then undoubtedly maulvis (read Ulama hanged by the British rulers) were the loyal patriots to their country and their succeeding generations will remember them as heroes.”
But here these maulvis, unfortunately, happened to be otherwise– let alone remembering them as heroes, their succeeding generations are even questioning their spirit of patriotism. – From Internet
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi