In Muslim Students leadership
Thursday, April 04, 2013 – The Quid paid tribute to MSF role in creation of Pakistan. Perhaps MSF was more vibrant than the grass root organizations of the Muslim League. The most active of them were MSFs of Delhi, Lahore, Peshawar, Calcutta, Dhaka and other major Muslim cities. I was elected to the Delhi Muslim Students leadership in 1942-44 on joining B.A in the historic Anglo Arabic College Delhi. Liaquat Ali Khan was Chairman of our historic college Managing Committee. He was a Member of India’s Legislative Assembly, elected to it continuously in General Elections from 1931.
In early classes, nobody took any note of me but when I went to my ancestral hometown Agra a mathematics teacher Mohib Ahmed Ansari, of Shuabia Mohammadia High School taught me mathematics. He was a genius who could solve any long tedious mathematical equation verbally. Lo and behold I too could mentally solve any tedious mathematics equation. The result was amazing I got a very high first division in Delhi Board Matriculation examinations.
I went to the famous Aligarh Muslim University for my “Intermediate” at 14 years and 7 months. The year was 1940, a mile stone in Muslim history itself, for in this year was passed Pakistan Resolution. Aligarh was the center of Muslim social, political and cultural activities. Muslims came to Aligarh from all over India, East and North Africa, Java, Sumatra. Kashghar, Malaysia, islands in the India Ocean, etc. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had established it in late 18th century so that Muslims acquire “modern education. “It had a great Students Union, on the pattern of Oxford Union. Some of the General Secretaries of my generation were Mohsin Sidiqi, later a Senator in Pakistan, Khurshid Hassan Mir, later General Secretary of PPP, ATM Mustafa later Chief Minister of Bengal etc. In those days Iqbal was the mentor of Aligarh students, and their guiding saint. I won prize as a first year student in the Union’s essay competition on the evolution of Iqbal’s thinking (Iqbal ka zehni irtiqa). Most astonishing to me was that I got First Division and third position in “Intermediate” University examinations in 1942.
My personality under went changes in Aligarh. My diffident and docile style was replaced by an assertive personality. I joined “University Training Corps” later named “U O TC” which was part of territorial Army. Twice a week in the evening we used to have military training in regular military uniform and arms. I won first position in annual musketry competition and became a good “shot putter” that is in throwing the iron ball the farthest. I never liked to be a bully but stopped tolerating bullies. After “Intermediate”. I decided to go back to Delhi University for my B A Hons. I was then 16 years and 7 month old. After B A Hons I wanted to go back to Aligarh University to do my M A Philosophy.
When I was in the process of getting enrolment in the university I saw in the Dawn first page a news item that Delhi M S F Executive Meeting had elected me to be the Salar- I – Ala of MS National Guard for the Delhi session of All India Muslim League at Ram Lila Grounds, Ajmeri Gate It was a great honour since as such I was to be security incharge of the Quaid during Delhi Session (permanent Salar-e-Ala of MSNG used to be Yusuf Haroon) . The Session was to be held where Gandhiji also held his prarthana sessions when in Delhi. I packed up and returned to Delhi. On return I led student marches behind the Quaid from Ajmeri Gate to Jama Masjid chanting slogans and singing Pakistani songs etc. I was given a big tent outside the main pindal, and several able bodied student In the Pindal I would stand just behind the Quaid and keep a watchfull eye on people around. The students had long sticks in their hands to strike on any mischief maker. I saw the Quaid in action with his working Committee members in the Anglo Arabic College assembly hall closed session. We were responsible for closing the doors of the Working Committee Session and put our guards inside and outside the Hall. I would move wherever I wanted to go to check security.
On the raised dias, on the main ceremonial chair sat the Quaid and below on the chairs in the Hall the famous names of the Muslim leadership. I did not understand what was the discussion about but it was some opposition to Sir Sikander Khan’s agreement with the Quid as the discussion gained momentum Quaid would disallow further talk on it. Abdul Hamid Badayouni a firebrand was the one name I remember. “No Maulana Saheb”, the Quaid would emphasize his no with his finger striking on the table , and Baduoni and others would bow “Yes Quaid-i-Azam ” and then some one else would pick up the thread and after some time the Quaid will say “this is not the time to raise doubts about the Punjab situation. Leave it to me. Give Sikander Hayat some time to act on it”. Quaid had a magical personality and dominated the entire proceeding although he would always speak at the end. He was always had a distance with the other persons He looked like Kant’s categorical imperative, aloof and embodiment of rectitude. Never smiling. Yet to the public Quaid was the only leader and on seeing him they would go in a frenze “Quaid I Azam Zindabad, Kaum ka dam kham zindabad” The thin tall leader would salute in Muslim style
Just to end this article, after this event Delhi Hindu Colleges — not Anglo Arabic- in anticipation of grant of independence to India converted the student Unions to mock parliaments, with student leaders acting as Government and the oppositions. Ramjas included me in the mock government as a Minister (of Economic Affairs), courtesy Sardar Gurmukh Singh Saheb- while I had by then not decided to join Ramjas College or Saint Stephens. But after this development I went back to Ramjas and took full part in its mock parliament, while actively remaining in MSF leadership. I was offered to join the pro-Congress D P Students Federation as Vice President. I did not agree to this change.
All these activities affected my academic results. I got a Second Division, second position in MA university examinations in a class of about 40 students 38 being Hindus. My mother took me to Sarojini Naido a leader of the Congress, a family friend of ours, to help me get an Assistant Editorship in the Statesman of Delhi. Sarojini remarked “I am going as Governor to UP, Come with me to Allahabad “ Jokingly I said Madame, I will go to Pakistan. She retorted your Pakistan would not last six months. You will be back to India But here fate decided otherwise. Our house was looted wiped clean as if no one ever lived in it. We found ourselves refugees in our dreamland, transported from Old Fort Delhi Refugee Camp with my family to Karachi. The Haroons were receiving all the destitute at the Air Field. We were stripped of all identities, family identity We were just refugees nothing else.