He is commonly remembered as Maulana Azad ; the word Maulana is an honorific meaning 'Our Master' and he had adopted Azad Free as his pen name. His contribution to establishing the education foundation in India is recognised by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day across India. As a young man, Azad composed poetry in Urdu , as well as treatises on religion and philosophy. He rose to prominence through his work as a journalist, publishing works critical of the British Raj and espousing the causes of Indian nationalism. Azad became the leader of the Khilafat Movement , during which he came into close contact with the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.
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He is commonly remembered as Maulana Azad ; the word Maulana is an honorific meaning 'Our Master' and he had adopted Azad Free as his pen name. His contribution to establishing the education foundation in India is recognised by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day across India.
As a young man, Azad composed poetry in Urdu , as well as treatises on religion and philosophy. He rose to prominence through his work as a journalist, publishing works critical of the British Raj and espousing the causes of Indian nationalism. Azad became the leader of the Khilafat Movement , during which he came into close contact with the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. Azad became an enthusiastic supporter of Gandhi's ideas of non-violent civil disobedience , and worked to organise the non-co-operation movement in protest of the Rowlatt Acts.
Azad committed himself to Gandhi's ideals, including promoting Swadeshi indigenous products and the cause of Swaraj Self-rule for India. In , at an age of 35, he became the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress. He assisted in shifting the campus of the university from Aligarh to New Delhi in The main gate Gate No.
Azad was one of the main organizers of the Dharasana Satyagraha in , and emerged as one of the most important national leaders of the time, prominently leading the causes of Hindu-Muslim unity as well as espousing secularism and socialism. He served as Congress president from to , during which the Quit India rebellion was launched.
Azad was imprisoned, together with the entire Congress leadership. He also worked for Hindu - Muslim unity through the Al-Hilal newspaper. Azad was born on 11 November in Makkah , then a part of the Ottoman Empire. His father Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Khairuddin bin Ahmed Al Hussaini wrote twelve books, had thousands of disciples, and claimed noble ancestry,  while his mother was Sheikha Alia bint Mohammad, the daughter of Sheikh Mohammad bin Zaher AlWatri, himself a reputed scholar from Medina who had a reputation that extended even outside of Arabia.
Maulana Azad settled in Calcutta with his family in An avid and determined student, the precocious Azad was running a library, a reading room, and a debating society before he was twelve; wanted to write on the life of Al-Ghazali at twelve; was contributing learned articles to Makhzan a literary magazine at fourteen;  was teaching a class of students, most of whom were twice his age, when he was fifteen; and completed the traditional course of study at the age of sixteen, nine years ahead of his contemporaries, and brought out a magazine at the same age.
Azad developed political views considered radical for most Muslims of the time and became a full-fledged Indian nationalist. He also criticised Muslim politicians for focusing on communal issues before the national interest and rejected the All India Muslim League 's communal separatism.
But his views changed considerably when he met ethnicist oriented Sunni revolutionary activists in Iraq  and was influenced by their fervent anti-imperialism and nationalism. Azad initially evoked surprise from other revolutionaries, but Azad won their praise and confidence by working secretly to organise revolutionaries activities and meetings in Bengal , Bihar and Bombay now called Mumbai.
Azad's education had been shaped for him to become a cleric, but his rebellious nature and affinity for politics turned him towards journalism. Maulana Azad worked for Vakil , a newspaper from Amritsar. Therefore he [Azad] stayed with him [Khan Ata] for five years and was part of the editorial team of the He established an Urdu weekly newspaper in called Al-Hilal ,  and openly attacked British policies while exploring the challenges facing common people, but it was banned in His work helped improve the relationship between Hindus and Muslims in Bengal, which had been soured by the controversy surrounding the partition of Bengal and the issue of separate communal electorates.
With the onset of World War I , the British stiffened censorship and restrictions on political activity. Azad's Al-Hilal was consequently banned in under the Press Act. Azad started a new journal, the Al-Balagh , which increased its active support for nationalist causes and communal unity. In this period Azad also became active in his support for the Khilafat agitation to protect the position of the Sultan of Ottoman Turkey , who was considered the Caliph or Khalifa for Muslims worldwide.
The Sultan had sided against the British in the war and the continuity of his rule came under serious threat, causing distress amongst Muslim conservatives. Azad saw an opportunity to energise Indian Muslims and achieve major political and social reform through the struggle. With his popularity increasing across India, the government outlawed Azad's second publication under the Defence of India Regulations Act and arrested him.
The governments of the Bombay Presidency , United Provinces , Punjab and Delhi prohibited his entry into the provinces and Azad was moved to a jail in Ranchi , where he was incarcerated until 1 January The book is basically a collection of 24 letters he wrote addressing his close friend Maulana Habibur Rahman Khan Sherwani.
These letters were never sent to him because there was no permission for that during the imprisonment and after the release in , he gave all these letters to his friend Ajmal Khan who let it published for the first time in Although the book is a collection of letters but except one or two letters, all other letters are unique and most of the letters deal with complex issues such as existence of God,  the origin of religions, the origin of music and its place in religion, etc.
The book is primarily an Urdu language book; however, there are over five hundred of couplets, mostly in Persian and Arabic languages. It is because, Maulana was born in a family where Arabic and Persian were used more frequently than Urdu.
He was born in Mekkah, given formal education in Persian and Arabic languages but he was never taught Urdu. It is often said that his book India wins Freedom is about his political life and Ghubar-e-Khatir deals with his social and spiritual life.
Upon his release, Azad returned to a political atmosphere charged with sentiments of outrage and rebellion against British rule. The Indian public had been angered by the passage of the Rowlatt Acts in , which severely restricted civil liberties and individual rights.
Consequently, thousands of political activists had been arrested and many publications banned. The killing of unarmed civilians at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on 13 April had provoked intense outrage all over India, alienating most Indians, including long-time British supporters, from the authorities. The Khilafat struggle had also peaked with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and the raging Turkish War of Independence , which had made the caliphate's position precarious.
India's main political party, the Indian National Congress came under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, who had aroused excitement all over India when he led the farmers of Champaran and Kheda in a successful revolt against British authorities in Gandhi organised the people of the region and pioneered the art of Satyagraha — combining mass civil disobedience with complete non-violence and self-reliance.
Taking charge of the Congress, Gandhi also reached out to support the Khilafat struggle, helping to bridge Hindu-Muslim political divides. Azad and the Ali brothers — Maulana Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali — warmly welcomed Congress support and began working together on a programme of non-co-operation by asking all Indians to boycott British-run schools, colleges, courts, public services, the civil service, police and military.
Non-violence and Hindu-Muslim unity were universally emphasised, while the boycott of foreign goods, especially clothes were organised. Although Azad and other leaders were soon arrested, the movement drew out millions of people in peaceful processions, strikes and protests. This period marked a transformation in Azad's own life. Along with fellow Khilafat leaders Dr.
The three men founded the Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi as an institution of higher education managed entirely by Indians without any British support or control. Both Azad and Gandhi shared a deep passion for religion and Azad developed a close friendship with him. He adopted the Islamic prophet Muhammad's ideas by living simply, rejecting material possessions and pleasures.
He began to spin his own clothes using khadi on the charkha , and began frequently living and participating in the ashrams organised by Gandhi.
The movement had a sudden decline with rising incidences of violence; a nationalist mob killed 22 policemen in Chauri Chaura in Fearing degeneration into violence, Gandhi asked Indians to suspend the revolt and undertook a five-day fast to repent and encourage others to stop the rebellion. Although the movement stopped all over India, several Congress leaders and activists were disillusioned with Gandhi.
Azad's close friend Chittaranjan Das co-founded the Swaraj Party , breaking from Gandhi's leadership. Despite the circumstances, Azad remained firmly committed to Gandhi's ideals and leadership. In , he became the youngest man to be elected Congress president. Azad led efforts to organise the Flag Satyagraha in Nagpur. Azad served as president of the Unity Conference in Delhi, using his position to work to re-unite the Swarajists and the Khilafat leaders under the common banner of the Congress.
In the years following the movement, Azad travelled across India, working extensively to promote Gandhi's vision, education and social reform. Azad became an inspiring personality in the field of politics. Azad became an important national leader, and served on the Congress Working Committee and in the offices of general secretary and president many times.
The political environment in India re-energised in with nationalist outrage against the Simon Commission appointed to propose constitutional reforms.
The commission included no Indian members and did not even consult Indian leaders and experts. In response, the Congress and other political parties appointed a commission under Motilal Nehru to propose constitutional reforms from Indian opinions. Azad endorsed the ending of separate electorates based on religion, and called for an independent India to be committed to secularism. At the Congress session in Guwahati , Azad endorsed Gandhi's call for dominion status for India within a year.
If not granted, the Congress would adopt the goal of complete political independence for India. Despite his affinity for Gandhi, Azad also drew close to the young radical leaders Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Bose, who had criticised the delay in demanding full independence.
Azad developed a close friendship with Nehru and began espousing socialism as the means to fight inequality, poverty and other national challenges. Azad decided the name of Muslim political party Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam.
When Gandhi embarked on the Dandi Salt March that inaugurated the Salt Satyagraha in , Azad organised and led the nationalist raid, albeit non-violent on the Dharasana salt works to protest the salt tax and restriction of its production and sale. The biggest nationalist upheaval in a decade, Azad was imprisoned along with millions of people, and would frequently be jailed from to for long periods of time. Following the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in , Azad was amongst millions of political prisoners released.
When elections were called under the Government of India Act , Azad was appointed to organise the Congress election campaign, raising funds, selecting candidates and organising volunteers and rallies across India. He again declined to contest elections in , and helped head the party's efforts to organise elections and preserve co-ordination and unity amongst the Congress governments elected in different provinces.
Rajendra Prasad and C. Rajagopalachari regarding the espousal of socialism as the Congress goal. Azad had backed the election of Nehru as Congress president, and supported the resolution endorsing socialism.
Azad also supported Nehru's re-election in , at the consternation of many conservative Congressmen. Azad supported dialogue with Jinnah and the Muslim League between and over a Congress-League coalition and broader political co-operation. Less inclined to brand the League as obstructive, Azad nevertheless joined the Congress's vehement rejection of Jinnah's demand that the League be seen exclusively as the representative of Indian Muslims.
In , Azad served as an intermediary between the supporters of and the Congress faction led by Congress president Subhash Bose, who criticised Gandhi for not launching another rebellion against the British and sought to move the Congress away from Gandhi's leadership.
Azad stood by Gandhi with most other Congress leaders, but reluctantly endorsed the Congress's exit from the assemblies in following the inclusion of India in World War II. Nationalists were infuriated that Viceroy Lord Linlithgow had entered India into the war without consulting national leaders.
Although willing to support the British effort in return for independence, Azad sided with Gandhi when the British ignored the Congress overtures. Azad's criticism of Jinnah and the League intensified as Jinnah called Congress rule in the provinces as "Hindu Raj", calling the resignation of the Congress ministries as a " Day of Deliverance " for Muslims.
Jinnah and the League's separatist agenda was gaining popular support amongst Muslims. Muslim religious and political leaders criticised Azad as being too close to the Congress and placing politics before Muslim welfare. Speaking vehemently against Jinnah's Two-Nation Theory —the notion that Hindus and Muslims were distinct nations—Azad lambasted religious separatism and exhorted all Muslims to preserve a united India, as all Hindus and Muslims were Indians who shared deep bonds of brotherhood and nationhood.
In his presidential address, Azad said:.
India Wins Freedom by Abdul Kalam Azad: Certain to be a bombshell
Muslims would awaken overnight and discover that they have become aliens and foreigners, backward industrially, educationally and economically; they will be left to the mercies of what would become an unadulterated Hindu Raj. Name any other leader of the national movement who had this clear view of the future. The passage is from a press release the Maulana issued on July 17, detailing his forebodings on the idea of Pakistan and its aftermath. Exactly 30 years after his death appeared the 30 pages of India Wins Freedom, which Azad had kept in the National Archives so that his contemporaries would not be around to face embarrassment. The absence of any debate on the publication of virtually a ringside view of events leading up to Partition has always puzzled me. There are hundreds of details the world would never had known had Azad not penned them.
Abul Kalam Azad
One of the makers of modern India tells the story of the partition of India as never before, with intimate knowledge and feeling. India Wins Freedom has at last won its own freedom. The full text of this autobiographical narrative was confined, under seal, in the National Library, Calcutta, and in the National Archives, New Delhi, for thirty years. What we now have is the complete text, released in September , by a court directive. Not only have all the words and phrases of the original been reproduced, the original tone and temper have been fully restored. The text now reveals that the controversy that has simmered for so long about the hitherto unpublished pages, was fully justified.