Question – Discuss the contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in the Indian National Freedom Movement. – 29 July 2021
Maulana Abul Kalam was a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress. Despite being a Muslim, he opposed the radical policies of Muslim leaders such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in the Indian National Freedom Movement:
- Maulana Abul Kalam joined the Indian National Congress in January 1920 to support Mahatma Gandhi and the Non-Cooperation Movement. He presided over the special session of the Congress in September 1923. With this, he became the youngest president of the Congress session.
- He was influenced by revolutionaries like Aurobindo Ghosh and Shyam Sunder Chakravarty. He protested against the partition of Bengal which went against popular Muslim sentiment of the day.
- In 1930, Maulana Azad was arrested for violating salt laws during the Salt Satyagraha and was booked in Meerut Jail for 18 months.
- On August 1942, Maulana Azad was arrested along with other Congress leaders and Sentenced for four years. He was released in 1946. At that time, the idea of an independent India was firm and Maulana Azad led Constituent Assembly elections within the Congress and held talks with the British Cabinet Mission to discuss the conditions of independence.
- He strongly opposed the idea of partition on the basis of religion and was deeply saddened when the idea of creating Pakistan was put forward.
- Post-Independence during the outbreak of violence that took place during the partition of India, Maulana Azad assured to take responsibility for the safety of Indian Muslims. For this, Azad visited the violence affected areas along the borders of Bengal, Assam, Punjab.
- He helped to set up refugee camps and ensured uninterrupted supply of food and other basic materials.
He became part of the movement launched against the British government during the independence movement and criticized the English government through publishing magazines like Al-Hilal. He supported Hindu-Muslim unity. He became the Minister of Education from 1947 to 1958 in Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet. During his tenure as Education Minister, he did many notable works in the field of education. In 1992, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna award for his contributions. In view of his remarkable works, his birthday is celebrated as National Education Day.