Mains Paper 1: Indian Society | Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Khilafat Movement, Deoband Movement
Mains level: The newscard highlights the contribution of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind’s in maintaining the composite culture of India
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind marks 100 years since inception
- A century ago, a Muslim organization was set up to pursue two broad goals: freedom for India and the restoration of the Muslim Caliphate after Turkey’s defeat in the First World War.
- Cut to the present, when the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind is observing its 100th anniversary, and the organisation has emerged as a voice for Muslim causes in independent India.
Messenger of Composite Nationalism
- It famously espoused a composite nationalism for India, opposed the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan and took part in the freedom struggle.
- The Jamiat’s most notable contributions included a critique of the two-nation theory in the 1930s and 1940s.
- In 1938, when the idea of a separate homeland for Muslims had already been conceived, came a landmark book by Deobandi Muslim scholar Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani, who was a leading light of the Jamiat.
- It argued that the Indian nation could not be based on religion, and that India was a single nation with a composite culture.
- It stringently criticised the demand for Pakistan from Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Muslim League as “dangerous”.
- As late as 1945-46, when the Congress, too, had reconciled to Pakistan, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind never accepted the idea. This is the most notable aspect of its history.
Sustained a deep divide
- During the split among Indian Muslims in the 1936-1947 period, two views emerged:
- One, that freedom should not be linked to special rights for educated and propertied Muslims and that the community should join the anti-colonial struggle;
- And the other that independence and transfer of power would be dangerous unless the question of special rights of Muslims was settled.
- While the Muslim League veered around to the second position and drifted away from the Congress by the 1940s, the Jamiat stood with the freedom struggle.
- Post-independence, the Jamiat worked to inject confidence among Indian Muslims.
- They took up the cause of Urdu, the need to protect Muslim personal laws as “integral” to Muslim religio-cultural identity and worked to spread education among Muslims, running schools, colleges and madrasas.
But Not a Monolith
- The differences between the Muslim League and the Jamiat were more of a strategic character, as none of them truly transcended religion but accepted its deeper centrality to life.
- The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind did stand with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s position on the question of instant triple talaq, contending that Islamic law is necessary for Muslims.