ISLAMABAD,   (Parliament Times) : The Khilafat movement was a religio-political movement launched by the Muslims of India for the retention of the Ottoman Caliphate and for not handing over the control of Muslim holy places to non-Muslims, said Prof Emeritus Aslam Syed in a Webinar on Discourse of History on the End of Caliphate and Khilafat Movement in India here.

Replying to a question on causes of starting Khilafat Movemet, Prof Syed recalled that Turkey sided with Germany in World War-1. As it began to lose the war, concerns were expressed in India about the future of Turkey. Indian Muslims realized their religious duty to help the Muslim Turkey considering Ottoman Caliphate a symbol of unity of the Muslim world as Ummah, he said.

The guest speaker Prof Emeritus Aslam Syed has been serving the Center for Religious Studies, Ruhr Universität, Bochum, Germany. He remained Chairman, Department of History, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and also served the NIHCR as its Director.

Responding to a question, Prof Syed replied that the All India Khilafat Committee was formed at Bombay in July 1919. The first Khilafat Conference at Delhi in November 1919 was arranged in which the Congress leaders like Gandhi and Nehru participated which announced not to participate in victory celebrations; boycott of British goods and non-cooperation with the government.

The Webinar was arranged online by the National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research (NIHCR), Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, attended by over 700 participants ranging from students, teachers and researchers to have greater insights into the valuable views of the guest speaker.

During the discourse, the NIHCR Director Dr Sajid Mahmood Awan was of the view that the British government hostile steps like the Rowlatt Act, the imposition of martial law in Punjab and the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre exposed the brutal and uncivilised face of the foreign rule which further gave impetus to the Khilafat Movement culminating into start of Non-Cooperation Movement by the Muslims.

Supplementing Dr Awan’s assertions, Prof Syed said that two mass movements were organized in 1919-1922 to oppose the British rule in India were the Khilafat and the Non-Cooperation movements. The movements, despite having different issues, adopted a unified plan of action of non-violence and non-cooperation. This time period saw the unification of Congress and the Muslim League. Many political demonstrations took place with the joint effort of both these parties, he said.

The NIHCR Director Dr Sajid Mahmood Awan conducted the Webinar by triggering a dialogue with Dr Syed for substantiating this discourse. This inclusive activity has been taken up every week for the benefit of students in general and capacity-building of the teachers and researchers in particular, he said.


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