Role of the Majlis-i-Ahrar Islam in the Kashmir Movement of 1931

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Muhammad Iqbal Chawla


This article deals with the role played in the politico-religious turmoil which engulfed the Jammu and Kashmir region in the early 1930s, by a new Muslim political grouping, the Majlis-i-Ahrar Islam-Hind (henceforth, the “MAIâ€). The critical phase of the Kashmir movement which unfolded during the year 1931 highlighted the precarious political, social and economic condition of the Kashmiri Muslims and the state became a lightning-rod for the activist workers of both the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress. While the Kashmiris were at the forefront of their struggle against the oppression of Hari Singh and his dictatorial rule the important role of the non-Kashmiri party, the MAI, which was instrumental in bringing the Kashmir issue into the fore-front of the Indian political scene, has for some reasons, been overlooked by the historians. Much has been written on the role of various Muslim political parties in the Kashmiris’ movement for independence before and after the creation of Pakistan but an important phase of this movement, which took place in 1931, has generally been ignored. This paper attempts to fill the gap in the existing literature on the movement of the Kashmiri people for their rights, in 1931, as he feels that it is oft-neglected area of the Indian political scene of that era; secondly, the writer wants to highlight the prominent role played by the MAI in this movement. The writer feels that MAI had two main goals in sight which prompted its participation: Firstly, the motivation for helping the Kashmiri Muslims for helping secure their due rights; and, secondly, to prevent the Ahmadiyas from playing a leading role in the Kashmiri struggle and, thereby, securing a strong base amongst the Muslims of Kashmir. I would see this as a key factor in its motivation.

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Refereed Articles (Humanities)
Author Biography

Muhammad Iqbal Chawla, History Department, University of Punjab, Lahore Pakistan

Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Chawla,Professor,,History Department, P.U. Lahoreauthored 2 research books,more than 20 articles in research journals. Currently doing post-Doctoral programme in Southampton, UK.