History- Important places, persons in news

Century not out, Jamiat still bats for an India with a composite culture


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

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. It famously espoused a composite nationalism for India, opposed the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan and took part in the freedom struggle.
  2. The Jamiat’s most notable contributions included a critique of the two-nation theory in the 1930s and 1940s.
  3. 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.
  4. It argued that the Indian nation could not be based on religion, and that India was a single nation with a composite culture.
  5. It stringently criticised the demand for Pakistan from Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Muslim League as “dangerous”.
  6. 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

  1. During the split among Indian Muslims in the 1936-1947 period, two views emerged:
  2. 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;
  3. And the other that independence and transfer of power would be dangerous unless the question of special rights of Muslims was settled.
  4. 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.
  5. Post-independence, the Jamiat worked to inject confidence among Indian Muslims.
  6. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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