Sunday, December 24, 2017

Moulana Mazahar Ali Azhar

Date of Birth: 13th April, 1895 and Date of Death: 11th November, 1974
            Moulana Mazahar Ali Azhar, who focused more on leading people in the direction of agitations than making appeals stating that British government would not take heed of requests, was born on 13th April, 1895 in Baramullah near Batala in Gurudaspur district in Punjab.  His father was Abdullah.  Azhar obtained his degree in 1915 and completed Law in 1917.  He started practice in Lahore.  He joined National movement against British government.  He was jailed for one and half year as a result of his active participation in the Non-cooperation movement.  Since then he had been an active member in Indian National Congress and was in the forefront of all its agitational programmes.  He was elected to Punjab.  Legislative council in 1924 and was its member till 1926.  While speaking in the Muslim League session of 1928, he gave a call to Muslims and Hindus to stop blaming each other and to work together to enlighten the people by exposing the anti-people’s policies of the British.  He stood by All Indian Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam which was formed in 1929 as a result of fissures in Indian National Congress.  He created sensation by organising a march of one thousand Ahrar activists form Sialkot to Kashmir in 1930 demanding solution to the problems of Kashmir people.  As a general secretary of the Indian National Congress, he strove hard to spread civil disobedience movement of 1931, for which he was jailed for six years.  He was elected to Punjab Legislative Council for another term from 1934 to 1937.  He worked hard for the harmony and unity between Hindus and Sikhs, when a controversy rose about Shahidganj Gurdwara in Punjab in 1935.  He was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1937 on the ticket of Ahrar party and he served the people till 1945.  Azhar expressed his unwillingness to the partition resolution of Muslim League.  Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s politics and policies are anathema to Azhar and Jinnah’s title Qaid-e-Azam was palatable to him.  In 1946 he contested elections on the ticket of Ahrar party and suffered defeat.  He strongly believed that Muslims should work shoulder to shoulder with Hindu brethren to achieve Independence to India.  Though, he was not willing to partition of India, extended his support to the formation of Pakistan, feeling that Muslims numerically a minority, would not get proper justice in a parliamentary democracy.  As a result of fissures in Ahrar party, he left it in 1946 and joined All India Forward Bloc.  Moulana Mazahar Ali Azhar’s life, which was inseparably intertwined with the public life, ended when he breathed his last on 11th November, 1974 in Lahore.

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