Role of Muslims in Freedom Movement: New Book Calls Hindutva Bluff

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Award-winning historian Ubaid ur Rehman puts the record straight in his latest book, India’s Freedom Movement: With Focus on the Silk Letter Movement

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – No historian is unaware of the role Muslims played in the struggle for independence of the country from the British. But the Hindutva forces ruling the country today have launched concerted efforts to distort the history and expunge the historical role Muslims played in the Indian Subcontinent.

In fact, several prominent leaders of the Hindutva brigade, including sitting ministers, have openly stated that there is a need to rewrite history. One RSS leader recently claimed that Taj Mahal was an old Hindu Temple  

Their statements may sound absurd, but the fact is that power is in the hands of the right-wing nationalists.

However, award-winning historian Ubaid ur Rehman wants to put the record straight. Just days ago he published a new book titled Ulema’s Role in India’s Freedom Movement: With Focus on the Silk Letter Movement.

The book looks into the sacrifices made by the Muslim ulema in different phases of freedom struggle including 1857’s first war of independence, Faraizi Movement of Bengal, Tehrik e Jihad of Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi and Reshmi Rumal Tehrik of Deobandi ulema headed by Shaikhul Hind Mahmud Hasan and Ubaidullah Sindhi.

Speaking to Clarion India, the author, Ubaid ur Rehman, said the main objective of writing this book was to dispel the propaganda against Muslim ulema that they divided India. “History tells us that thousands of Muslim ulema, from all schools and sects, sacrificed their lives during the independence movement.”

The book has received positive reviews from scholars of the subject. “The book by Syed Ubaidur Rahman is a fresh approach on a very relevant topic,” Says Professor Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). “The author very ably brings out the role of many individuals back into focus.”

Another academic Dr. Muqtedar Khan who teaches Islamic history at the University of Delaware calls the book a “game changer”.  He says by highlighting the independent role of Muslim scholars in the struggle against East India Company and the British Raj, before and after 1857, this book can serve as a bulwark against attempts to change history and advocate a more inclusive understanding of India’s emergence from colonial subjugation.

Apart from this book, Syed Ubaidur Rahman authored many books in the past including ‘Understanding the Muslim Leadership in India’ and ‘Muslim Freedom Fighters: Contribution of Indian Muslims in the Independence Movement’. He regularly writes columns in leading English dailies published in India.

The book is expected to be released in different cities across India in the coming days.

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