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Role of Bhopal Ulemas during 1857 Uprising recalled with reverence

By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net

Bhopal: The role of Ulemas of Bhopal during the 1857 Uprising against the British rule in India was recalled here at a symposium.

Bhopal Ulemas, it may be pointed out, had issued fatwas (edicts) for "Jehad" from the pulpit of Mankashah and Madar-ul-Maham mosques against the then Muslim ruler of Bhopal state Nawab Sikandar Jahan Begum, who had sided with the Britishers, urging Muslims to take part in the freedom struggle.with all their might.

It may be recalled here that Nawab Sikandar Jahan Begum, a successor to the Dost Mohammad Khan dynasty which ruled the princely state of Bhopal, was the second of the four Begums who held the reins of Bhopal state from 1819-1926, whose reign was from 1844-1868. She was ruling under the patronage of Britishers when the first war of Independence broke out in 1857.

The bugle of revolt announced from the Bhopal mosques were made on the efforts by Aadil Mohammad Khan, a Jageerdar of nearby territory Garhi Ambapai from the Bhopal state.

To commemorate the Ulemas' memories on the completion of 150 years of the first freedom struggle hundreds of men and women in Bhopal, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, in the walled city marched in silence towards Masajid Mankashah and Madar-ul-Maham with candles lights in their hands after sunset and placed it outside the mosques on July 11 and 12. These houses of Allah together with the faces of the people.lit up on the occasion.

Later, in the symposium on role of Bhopal Ulemas next day intellectuals, litterateurs, freedom fighters expressed their views while paying glowing tributes on their valour and sacrifices. The group of organizations – Sanskritik Morcha, which organized the symposium, demanded that the revolt in the Bhopal state during the first Uprising in 1857 be included in the school syllabus of Madhya Pradesh.

It was also demanded that the mortal remains of the great revolutionary and freedom fighter Prof. Maulana Barkatullah Bhopali be brought to Bhopal from San Francisco in the United States of America and that of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar from Rangoon to Delhi.

It may be pointed out here that Prof. Barkatullah Bhopali was the first Prime Minister of Indian Government-in-exile formed in Afghanistan on December 1, 1915. Raja Mahendra Pratap was the first President in that government.

The demand also included urging Bhopal Municipal Corporation to put up boards at the Masajid Mankashah and Madar-ul-Maham, throwing light on the history of the two mosques during the freedom struggle.

The demands raised as resolutions were passed in the symposium which was presided over by freedom fighter Prof. Akshay Kumar Jain. The programme was conducted by Ram Prakash Tripathi.

Prof. Afaq Ahmad, Prof. Saeed Akhtar, Shahnawaz Khan, Ajay Pratap Singh, and Ram Prakash Tripathi shed light on the fatwas issued by Bhopal Ulemas of Masajid Mankashah and Madar-ul-Maham in 1857 for "Jehad" against the British rule.

The speakers after speakers eulogized the freedom fighters who hand in hand, Muslims and Hindus both, from nearby townships of Sehore and Berasia in the princely state of Bhopal took part with great enthusiasm in the 1857 Uprising which was stoked by the Ulemas of Bhopal. The heroics and sacrifices of Wali Shah, Mahaveer, Mohammad Khan, Aadil Mohammad Khan, Shujat Khan and Daulat Singh was recalled on the occasion with great reverence by the elite speakers.

Prominent persons amongst others who attended the symposium included Devi Saran, Dr. Kamla Prasad, Prof. K. K. Tiwari Dr. Ajay Khare, Dr. Bilquis, Dr. Rahul, Dr. S. K. Ghosh, Pushan Bhattacharya, Shafique Rehmani, Rag Telang, Manoj Kulkarni and Deepa. ([email protected])