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Rajdeep Sardesai attacks UP admin taking the name of Iqbal, but here’s what he hides about the poet who supported the creation of Pakistan

While Rajdeep Sardesai attacks the UP administration and glorifies Allama Iqbal for penning 'Sare Jahan Se Achha', he conveniently misses out on talking about his murky side—the side when he advocated for the creation of Pakistan on a religious line, his Ahmmadiya betrayal, and his support for the Islamic fanatic who killed Mahashay Rajpal.

On Friday, the Uttar Pradesh Police booked a government school principal and a teacher for making the students recite a Mulsim prayer by Allama Muhammad Iqbal during the morning assembly. The incident is said to have happened in the Kamla Nehru Composite School in the Faridpur region of Bareilly district and the accused booked have been identified as a school principal, Nahid Siddiqui, and teacher Waziruddin.

According to the reports, the state’s education department issued a suspension order against the principal of the government-run school who allowed the teacher to make students recite a Muslim prayer. The video of the incident had gone viral on social media in which the students sang, “lab pe aati hai dua banke tamanna meri” in the morning assembly.

The police action was taken after the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members wrote to the state’s education department stating that the students at the school were reciting Muslim prayers. The VHP members also stated that the accused were hurting the religious sentiments of the people in the Hindu-dominated area by reciting madrassa-type prayers in the school. As per the VHP members, the accused were also trying to convert the students at the school to Islam.

Reportedly, Rajdeep Sardesai, a ‘journalist’ with India Today, also took cognisance of the development, indicating that the accused was unnecessarily being acted upon for a prayer which is very common in almost every corner of the country. He also added that the incident was a ‘shocker’ and that it is sad that Indians cannot take up well even a common prayer which was written by Muhammad Iqbal who is widely known for penning ‘Sare Jaha Se Accha, Hindustan Hamara’.

“Shocker: Principal suspended in UP’s Bareilly after RW protest that students were made to recite prayer ‘mere Allah burai se bachana mujhe’. A prayer penned by Iqbal in 1902, he of ‘saare jahan se acha Hindustan Hamara’ fame. Prayer common in even Doon. Yeh kahan aa gaye hum? Sad,” a tweet written by Sardesai read.

Muhammad Iqbal wrote Tarana-e-Milli in 1910 to contradict his own words written in ‘Sare Jaha se Accha’

However, the ‘journalist’ who always seems to shield the so-called secular and ‘liberal’ class of society, forgot to mention the other side of Muhammad Iqbal while heaping praises on him for writing ‘Sare Jaha Se Accha, Hindustan Hamara’

While the nation and especially those advocating secularism know Iqbal only for writing ‘Sare Jaha Se Accha, Hindustan Hamara’, there’s much more to him that they conveniently sweep under the rug, which includes Tarana-e-Milli and the formation of Pakistan. The poet wrote ‘Sare Jaha Se Accha’ in the year 1904, before the Partition of Bengal in British India to include lines that read, “Maẕhab nahīṉ sikhātā āpas meṉ bair rakhnā, Hindī haiṉ ham, wat̤an hai Hindositāṉ hamārā”.

In 1910, the poet happened to write Tarana-e-Milli for children to contradict own words he had written six years before. The Islamic fundamentalist nature of Muhammad Iqbal became entirely evident as he wrote, “Cīn o-ʿArab hamārā, Hindūstāṉ hamārā, Muslim haiṉ ham, wat̤an hai sārā jahāṉ hamārā” in the Tarana-e-Milli, which was composed in the same meter and rhyme scheme as ‘Sare Jaha Se Achcha’.

In the earlier version, he maintained his liberal slant by making everyone believe that he was secular but happened to show his true face as he said ‘Muslim haiṉ ham, wat̤an hai sārā jahāṉ hamārā’, in Tarana-e-Milli. Sadly, in Independent India, the entire legacy of the Islamic fundamentalist poet has been reduced to these two lines written in ‘Sare Jaha Se Accha’, ignoring almost entirely his other works that run counter to the very of idea of ‘secularism’ that contemporary ‘liberals’ obsess over.

He advocated the formation of a separate nation for Muslims in the form of Pakistan

The poet is notably said to have become fundamentalist after he left for the United Kingdom for a three-year period in between 1904 to 1910. He then became a staunch advocate for the creation of Pakistan. “India is a continent of human beings belonging to different languages and professing different religions…I, therefore, demand the formation of a consolidated Muslim state in the best interests of the Muslims of India and Islam,” he said in his presidential address at the 25th Annual Session of the All India Muslim League on the 29th of December, 1930.

Iqbal represented the Islamic fanatic who killed Mahashay Rajpal over ‘blasphemy’

Interestingly, Muhammad Iqbal was also one of the lawyers who represented the murderer of Mahashay Rajpal who had published the book named ‘Rangeela Rasool’. He also praised the murderer identified as Ilm-ud-din, who was later conferred with the title of ‘Ghazi’ (warrior of faith) by Pakistan for killing Mahashay Rajpal in 1929.

Rajpal happened to publish an anonymous book named Rangeela Rasool in retaliation to Muslims publishing two particularly offensive Hinduphobic books “Krishna Teri Geeta Jalani Padegi” and “Uniseevi Sadi Ka Maharshi” in 1923. The books used derogatory and vulgar language against Shri Krishna and other Hindu deities.

A few years later, Pandit Chamupati Lal, a friend of Mahashay Rajpal, came up with a book pointing out uncomfortable truths about Prophet Mohammad’s domestic life, which Mahashay Rajpal published in the name of ‘Rangeela Rasool’. The book also had a laudatory tone of Mohammad’s life but the ‘seculars’ then concentrated on the Prophet’s domestic life leading to the murder of Mahashay Rajpal. Muhammad Iqbal also happened to write a song in honour of Ilm-ud-din, the Islamic fanatic who murdered Mahashay Rajpal for what he considered as ‘blasphemy’ against Prophet Muhammad.

Allama Iqbal’s Ahmadiyya betrayal

It is also known that Muhammad Iqbal was an Ahmadiyya for the major part of his life. As per multiple literary sources, Iqbal regularly visited Qadian, the birthplace of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement with Islam, following his conversion to the Ahmadiyya ideology in 1897.

However, just like his literary oeuvre of work brimmed with appalling contradictions, as witnessed with his poem on India and another one advocating for a pan-Islamist caliphate, his religious ideology was also remarkably malleable, perhaps contingent upon the concentration of political force.

After being a devout Ahmadiyya, Iqbal distanced himself from his religious beliefs, allegedly due to pressure from Radical Muslims who were gaining currency and who considered Ahmadiyyas to be heretics. It is widely known that he remained in touch with the Ahmadiyya leadership till 1931 when he vouched for the Ahmadi Khalifa as the ablest person to lead as the first president of the newly founded all-India Kashmir Committee. His parents and elder brothers remained Ahmadiyyas. Reports from that time mention that Iqbal’s affiliation with the Ahmadiyya ideology is used by Islamists to discredit his work while his staunch believers call it an exhibit of his ‘spiritual pluralism’.

However, in 1935, Iqbal wrote The Muslim attitude towards the Ahmadiyya movement, presenting the case for declaring ‘Qadianis’ a separate community, which was later cited in the lead-up to the Second Amendment in 1974 to ‘officially’ banish the Ahmadis.

Staunch propagator of the ‘Two Nation Theory’

Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, was the first one to propound the communally divisive ‘Two Nation Theory’—the partition of India based on religious lines. After Khan, many Muslims including Muhammad Iqbal promoted the theory and demanded a separate nation for Muslims living in undivided India.

In his presidential address at the 25th Annual Session of the All India Muslim League on the 29th of December, 1930, Muhammad Iqbal had said, “I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single State. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.”

He instigated all the Muslims through his writings that the only solution to the communal problem was the partition of the country and the formation of Pakistan. While his radicalisation seemed to have taken place between 1904 to 1910, as years passed by, his bigoted views and divisive doctrines only became more pronounced, with his open and unabashed support for the creation of Pakistan for undivided India’s Muslim population, which he claimed was a nation in itself.

People praising and adoring anyone like Muhammad Iqbal who contradicted his own words of ‘secularism’ in the past to radicalize the Muslims to seek a separate nation don’t deserve to be entertained. However, the harsh reality is that these people, like Sardesai who call themselves ‘secular’ and ‘liberal’, continue to exist in the country where even today, “secularism” means that Hindus continue to suffer every slight hurled at them.

In the current case, the Uttar Pradesh Police has booked Kamla Nehru Composite Government School school principal, Nahid Siddiqui and teacher Waziruddin for making students recite ‘Madarsa-like prayers’ as stated by the VHP members. Further investigations into the case are underway.

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Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani is known for her satirical and factual hand in Economic, Social and Political writing. Having completed her post graduation in Journalism, she is pursuing her Masters in Politics. The author meanwhile is also exploring her hand in analytics and statistics. (Twitter- @sidis28)

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