Monday, February 8, 2010

Pakistan, Khilafat Movement

WW I is a land mark in the history of the colonial world and in the history of the world in general.It was not war between two sets of countries -  it was a war of redistribution of the imperialist countries to its respective fold. During this process of contradiction between two imperialist forces two by products came out as a challenge to the imperialist world.
  1. A portion of the land of the world, Soviet Russia, came out from the clutches of the Imperialist world and declared itself as a socialist country,
  2. More than 100 countries gained momentum in their freedom struggle.
For India this was the first time in the freedom struggle that two communities, Hindu and Muslim,fought together against the British rule on the point  injustice done by the British against the Khilafat issue.
After WW I, the ottoman Empire faced dismemberment. Under the Leadership of the Ali brothers, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, the Muslims of south Asia launched the historic Khilafat Movement to try and save it. M.K.Gandhi linked the issue of Swaraj with the khilafat issue to associate Hindus with the Movement. The ensuing movement was the first countrywide popular movement.
The Muslims of India had a strong feeling of identity with the world community of Islam. they had seen the decline in the political fortunes of Islam as the European powers conquered the Muslim lands one after the other.The Anglo-Russian convention of 1908 had reduced their next-door neighbour Iran to a mere dependency.Afghanistan also suffered as it was a bone of contention between Russia and Britain, and was now under the latter's sphere of influence.
      The general impression among the Muslims of India was that the western powers were waging a war againsst Islam throughout the world in order to rob it of all its power and influence. The ottoman Empire was the only Muslim power that had maintained a semblance of authority and the Muslims of India wanted to save the the islamic politicak power from extinction/
As an institution , Khilafat has a checkered past. It has originally migrated from Medina to damascusand from damascus to baghdad. For some time it was located in Egypt, then it fell to the lot of Turkey, very much as a prize.