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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Barkatullah Bhopali

Barkatullah Bhopali

Most people know that the first Indian government formed during the British rule was the government of Azad Hind Fauj. But the truth is that the first Indian government was the temporary government of India formed in Afghanistan in 1915. King Mahendra Pratap was its President and Maulana Barkatullah was its Prime Minister. In this way Barkatullah saheb has the distinction of becoming the first Prime Minister of India.

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Leaders of the Afghan Mission in Kabul 1916

His life has been a life of struggles since the beginning. His interest continued from the religious trends of Islam towards the nationalist revolutionary and secular trends of the Ghadar Party. He achieved international fame as a scholar of the Islamic world. As a scholar of many languages, Maulana Barkatullah had no difficulty in reaching the high position of Islamic religious or any linguistic institution at national and international level. He also worked as a professor at Liverpool and Tokyo University for years. But in the end, he renounced all that and took the life of a migrant revolutionary for the freedom of the nation. Ghadar contributed immensely in building the party and advancing it. Later played a leading role in forming the country's first provisional government in Afghanistan. The thoughts and behavior of Maulvi Barkatullah against British slavery and its exploitation and injustice, atrocities are important.

Maulana Barkatullah's full name was Abdul Hafeez Mohammed Barkatullah. At the time of his birth, his father Shujatullah was a teacher in a small school. Later he was appointed to the local police post after he lost his job. The economic condition of the house was very weak.

There is also a difference of opinion on the birth date of Barkatullah Saheb. Some scholars say that the date of his birth was 7 July 1854. While in many other places his birth has been described as 1857 or 1858. Maulana received secondary education in Arabic, Persian from Sulaimaniya School, Bhopal. Maulana also studied English from the same high school. It was during his education that he got an opportunity to get knowledge about the country and his views from highly educated experienced clerics and scholars. After finishing education, he was appointed a teacher in the same school. While doing the same work, he was influenced by Sheikh Jamaluddin Afghani, a leader of international fame.

Sheikh Saheb was visiting all the countries of the world for unity and brotherhood among the Muslims of all countries. Maulvi Barkatullah's parents had also died during this period. The only sister was also married. Therefore, Maulana was completely alone now. He left Bhopal suddenly without telling anyone and he went to Bombay. He continued to study English himself, first with tuition in Khandala and then in Bombay. In 4 years, he got higher education in English language and in 1887 he reached England for further education.

Shyam ji Krishna Varma, the patron of the Pravasi Hindustani Revolutionary, helped him to go to England. In England, Maulana's life remained untouched by the dazzle and luxury there. Maulvi Barkatullah's contact with Shyam ji Krishna Verma and other revolutionaries living in England began to increase with revolutionary ideas and activities for the independence of India. He was highly influenced by Congress leader Gopal Krishna Gokhale and then Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Maulana could not continue his English language higher education due to his increasing activities for the independence of the nation, but in the meantime he acquired knowledge of Germany, French, Turkish and Japanese. He was already well versed in Urdu, Arabic and Persian and English.

Now Maulana's identity was also established in the field of politics and journalism. During the British rule, Maulana's speeches and articles were greatly appreciated on the deteriorating economic conditions of India. After working as an Arabic-language teacher and freelance journalist in London for 7–8 years, Maulana was appointed as a Persian professor at the Oriental College at Liverpool University. However, Maulana began to protest in the light of England's government over his national ideology. But the young Barkatullah continued to oppose the policies and actions of the British rule against the ruling powers of the Muslim countries and the robbery policies of the British rule in India. He used to speak and write about this openly. For this reason, the British Government has now started imposing various restrictions on them, so it is no longer possible for Maulana to stay there.

Meanwhile, from the Muslims of New York, he received an invitation to attend a conference organized to build a mosque and Islamic school. Till then, Maulana had reached the world famous Islamic scholars and the rulers of many Muslim nations. After reaching America in 1899, Barkatullah Sahib started teaching Arabic in schools there. But he continued his activities against British policies there too. The proof of this is also found in a letter written by him to Hasrat Mohani on 21 February 1905.
Barkatullah wrote this letter after reading the editorial of any newspaper written by Hasrat Mohani on the need for Hindu Muslim unity. He wrote praising the views of Hasrat Mohani - "It is a matter of great regret that, 2 crore Hindustani, Hindus and Muslims are dying of hunger, starvation is spreading all over the country, but the British Government should give India its goods - They have started to pursue the policy of making a market of goods. Due to this, the business of the people of the country is ending. The British Government is not even making any effort to develop agriculture, while its plunder continues. Indians are also denied good and high positions. In this way, the British government is putting all kinds of burden on India and its people. His own heritage is also being destroyed. The plunder of crores of rupees from Hindustan is done only in the form of interest of capital invested in this country and this loot is continuously increasing. It is necessary for this slavery of the country and its declining condition in it that Hindu-Muslims of the country should unite and join Congress to increase Hindu-Muslim unity for the freedom struggle of the country. ”

Remembering the struggle of 1857, Maulana himself tried at every level to advance Hindu Muslim unity. It was in this context that he reached Japan from New York. Now the task of advancing the opposition to the British rule and its policies had become the most important mission of Maulana and his other companions and allies. In the mission, Hindu Muslims and other religious people from every country suffering from British rule were standing with them. With his arrival in Japan at the end of 1905, Maulana had gained fame as a great revolutionary. There he was appointed as an Urdu professor in Tokyo University due to knowledge of several languages ​​along with Japanese language and knowledge of Urdu, Arabic and Persian. But his main work remained opposed to British rule. He continued to call on Muslims everywhere to overthrow the British Raj and insisted that for this, Muslims also need to increase unity with Hindus and Sikhs.

After this, Maulana was expelled from the university under pressure from the representative of British rule in Japan. But Maulana's opposition continued to grow through newspapers and meetings conferences. In this connection, he reached France and then again to America. By then, attempts to build the Ghadar Party had begun by the diaspora Hindus of America. They were cooperating with Indian expatriates living in Canada and Mexico. On 13 March 1913, a conference of 120 Indians was called to organize and direct the Ghadar Party and its activities. People like Sohan Singh Bahkana, Lala Hardayal, Maulana Barkatullah participated prominently. The purpose of the Ghadar Party was to establish a democratic and secular republic in India by overthrowing the British Raj through armed struggle. Barkatullah also played a major role in deciding these objectives of the Ghadar Party.

This turning point in Maulana's life proved to be to lead him towards the national revolutionary and secular values ​​and trends by taking him beyond the religious, Islamist tendencies. When the Ghadar Party expanded considerably in the US and its propaganda to overthrow the British government was accelerated through the publication of 'Weekly Ghadar' in many languages, then the British Government stopped the Ghadar Party on the US Government Started applying pressure. After this, Barkatullah, Lala Hardayal and many other revolutionaries had to leave America.

These revolutionaries reached Germany and started the fight for the independence of India from there. The Ghadar Party active in Berlin included Champak Raman Pillai, Lala Hardayal, Barkatullah, Bhupendranath Dutta, Raja Mahendra Pratap and Abdul Waheed Khan, etc. This is where King Mahendra Pratap and Barkatullah first met and after that they stayed with each other until death took Barkatullah in their arms.

King Mahendra Pratap: First President of Revolutionaries

One of the main tasks of the Ghadar Party operating in Berlin was to make them stand against the British government after the British army was revolted by the British army abroad. Barkatullah and King Mahendra Pratap were entrusted by the Berlin Ghadar Party to attack the British government of India with rebel soldiers through Afghanistan. In this connection, Barkatullah and Mahendra Pratap traveled to Turkey, Baghdad and then Afghanistan. They met the rulers there and told them their purpose. He requested them to cooperate and help for the independence of India. The German government, which was fighting against Britain in World War I, also gave them a squad of German soldiers during their journey.

The Afghan Mission in Kabul 1915/16


- Heritage Times (@HeritageTimesIN) August 12, 2018

Upon reaching Kabul, he was first detained in the state hostel, but later, under the pressure of the Prime Minister of Germany and Afghan Hukmat, he was not only freed from detention but was allowed to increase his activities by staying in Afghanistan for the independence of India. . By the end of 1915, Maulvi Barkatullah and Mahendra Pratap, along with their allies, completed the formation of a temporary government of India in Afghanistan. During the First World War, the anti-British government immediately recognized this temporary revolutionary government of Hindustanis in Afghanistan. Mahendra Pratap became the President and Barkatullah Prime Minister of this temporary government of India. Maulana Obedullah Sindhi was made the foreign minister of this government. There was an agreement between this temporary government and the government of Afghanistan that the government of Afghanistan would give them full cooperation in liberating India. But after independence, the Government of India will hand over Balochistan and Pakhtuni-speaking areas to Afghanistan.



This temporary government continued every possible effort for the independence of India. Due to this effort, a large group of Indians in Kabul was gathered. The President of the Provisional Government, Mahendra Pratap, requested the Emperor of Russia, Zar Nikalai Dedit, to break ties with Britain and cooperate with the Temporary Government for the independence of India. But Tsarist Russia was with Britain. He did not cooperate with the temporary government. Now the provisional government started forming an army to attack the British rule of India. This army consisted mostly of people from the border areas. With the formation of the army, the temporary government issued an appeal for the Hindus to revolt in the country, to demolish the British rule and to completely abolish the British.

Meanwhile, through the October Revolution of 1917, the Tsar of Russia was overthrown. The Soviet power under Lenin led to the cancellation of confidential agreements and treaties with the British, exposing them to the Russian public. In May 1919, Barkatullah, Mahendra Pratap, Maulvi Abdul Rab and Dilip Singh arrived in Moscow to talk about the purpose of India's independence. Where he met Lenin. Lenin supported them, describing their purpose as fair. Barkatullah and his companions were highly impressed by meeting Lenin and seeing the Soviet system of power.


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