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Friday, July 17, 2009

Pioneers Of Freedom (Series) (1999-7)

Mr CHAUDHRY MUHAMMAD ALI (1905-1980)
The late Chaudhry Muhammad All, former Prime Minister of Pakistan was born in 1905 in Nagal Ambia, a village near Jullandar, Punjab into a family of agriculturists.
After completing his education Chaudhry Sahib appeared in the civil services examinations and was inducted into the service in Audit and Accounts Group. He rose rapidly through the ranks of the services.
He served for a time as the Accountant-General to the Nawab of Bahawalpur and thereafter was transferred and posted at Delhi. The eve of Second World War found him as one of the very few Muslims who had secured a high position in the Government of India. By 1945 he was appointed Financial Advisor, War & Supply and was the first Indian to hold this key position.
By the early 40’s the struggle for independence had entered into a critical phase, Chaudhry Sahib became a close aide to the Quaid-e-Azam.
The complete trust that the Quaid-e-Azam had in Chaudhry Sahib is demonstrated by the fact that he was the person chosen by the Quaid to represent Pakistan as one of the two members of the Steering Committee through which the Partition Council acted, dealing with all those vital issues which had to be decided before partition.
Pakistan was represented on the Partition Council by the Quaid-e-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan. At that time Chaudhry Sahib was but barely in his early 40s and it speaks volumes for his ability, integrity and complete dedication to the Muslims’ cause that he was chosen by the Quaid himself to act in such a sensitive and key position.
In 1946 the Interim Government in India composed of members of Congress on the one hand and the Muslim League on the other. The Muslims were, because of heir lack of education and experience in commercial and financial matters, typically regarded by the Hindus as incapable of having, and indeed lacking in any financial sense at all.
At the urging of Chaudhry Sahib himself, the Muslim league accepted the Finance portfolio and on February 28, 1947 Liaquat All Khan, who held the portfolio of Finance Minister, presented his budget.
This was the first budget made by a non-British Finance Minister in undivided India; it was also the last and most controversial. The entire work for the preparation of this budget was done by Chaudhry Sahib himself.
The budget is known to history as the Poor Man’s Budget and it produced consequences of fundamental importance at that key stage of the struggle of independence. The budget directly hit the Hindu Mahasaba, ie the leading Hindu capitalists and businessmen, where it hurt them the most, namely, in the their pockets.
The budget brought home to the Hindus like nothing else before it, the fact that in a united India, the relatively poorer Muslims would constantly demand in the name of social justice, a share in the wealth of Hindus.
The Budget proved to be and served as, the final proverbial straw that broke the back of the camel and led to the acceptance by the Congress leadership of the fact that the sooner the Muslims were got rid of by partition, the better.
Thus, at the most critical juncture and on the eve of the most crucial period in the emergence of Pakistan, Chaudhry Sahib’s efforts led directly to the final step that ended in the creation of Pakistan.
After partition Chaudhry Sahib was appointed, again on the direct instructions of Quaid-e-Azam and Liaquat All Khan, as the very first Secretary General of Pakistan, a post that was specifically created to deal with the problems of setting up a newly state virtually from scratch. He also held the post of Cabinet Secretary.
A few years later at the request of Liaquat All Khan and Khawaja” Nazimuddin, Chaudhry Sahib reluctantly left the security of Government service, and entered politics. He held the post of Finance Minister and subsequently became Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1955.
It is a historical fact that he is the only Prime Minister of Pakistan to have resigned his post although enjoying the confidence of the majority of the Central Assembly, as the legislative house was known at that time.
He also had the honour of steering through the Central Assembly the very first constitution of Pakistan in 1956 which served as the model for all subsequent such endeavours in this country. After leaving office in 1956, Chaudhry Sahib remained actively involved in politics for a number of years till about 1970.
His struggles during the ‘60s, when he was the head of the Nizam-e-Islam Party, to oppose and dislodge the regime of Ayub Khan are too well documented and known to require any detailed examination. The important part that he played in the presidential campaign of Mader-e-Millat Fatima Jinnah at that time was only one chapter in the long struggle.
Although Chaudhry Sahib had suffered a major heart attack in 1953, that never Deterred Or stopped him in his ceaseless efforts to serve the nation. However, in 1970 he suffered another heart attack and this time the doctors told him that his health could not take such strains any longer and that he would have to necessarily retire from active politics.
He did so only with the greatest reluctance. Thereafter he assumed the role of a senior statesman in the country.
His doors always remained opened to all who sought his advice on matters large or small and he was unofficially consulted several times by various dignitaries and other important personalities.
The selfless devotion with which he had ceaselessly toiled throughout his life for the service of the nation had however, taken its toll in his health. He suffered a series of heart attacks throughout this period and finally left this earth for his heavenly abode in December, 1980.
Quite apart from his public service and career, Chaudhry Muhammad Ali did one more outstanding service for Pakistan.
This was his monumental work, The Emergence of Pakistan, which describes in detail the events that led to the creation of Pakistan. According to one reviewer of the work, “Chaudhry Muhammad Ali has given his readers just the kind of inside view that Liaquat All Khan and Quaid-e-Azam himself would have written, had the opportunity been given to them.
Much has been written about the period involved by British and Hindu writers; it took a man of Chaudhri Sahib’s calibre to present, definitively and elegantly, the Muslim perspective to the world.
The book reviews and presents a critical stage in the history of our nation with clarity, depth and vision.
Contributed by the Chaudhry Muhammad All Charitable Trust.
SIR ADAMJEE HAJI DAWOOD (1880-1948)
Late Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood was born in Jetpur, a small town in the present Gujrat state of India in 1880. His education was though limited, he had an immense potential in trade and commerce which led to his early business career at the age of 15 in Rangoon, Burma.
In a short period of time, Adamjee made phenomenal progress in business and was probably the first Muslim to enter into the field of Industry. In 1923 he established his first industrial venture by setting up a match factory in Rangoon.
In 1927 he further expanded his business by setting up a Jute Mill in Calcutta, which became the first Muslim owned public limited company in India. Adamjees outstanding performance earned him recognition in various business and political circles and he was elected the first President of All India Muslim Chamber of Commerce.
Sir Adamjee took keen interest in philanthropic activities, as welfare of the Muslims was a subject close to his heart. During his life Adamjee established many welfare institutions such as Adamjee Hospital in Jetpur and several student hostels all over Muslim India.
Apart from this be founded the Memon Educational and Welfare Society in 1933 and collected funds to mitigate the sufferings of the people of Bengal, Bihar and Quetta on account of natural calamities in 1933-35.
Adamjees work was recognized and appreciated by Mr Muhammad All Jinnah, Mr Gandhi, Nizam of Hyderabad Deccan Sir Mir Usman Ali Khan and several British Generals. Mr Jinnah and Adamjee became close friends and Adamjee was appointed Treasurer and Financial Advisor of the Muslim League and All India Press Fund.
At the request of Mr Jinnah, Adamjee was put incharge to oversee the problems faced by Muslims businessmen due to Hindu domination. Adamjee identified two major areas that needed attention, and alongwith the support of Mr M.A.H. Ispahani established the Muslim Commercial Bank and Orient Airways in 1946. After partition the Orient Airways was transformed into Pakistan International Airlines.
In 1938, King George VI awarded Knighthood (The title of Sir) to Adamjee in appreciation of his social activities.
Sir Adamjee’s greatest contribution was at the time of partition when the Government of Pakistan fell in financial emergency and was in urgent need of funds. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah called upon Sir Adamjee to contribute in this cause and Sir Adamjee said whatever I possess belongs to Pakistan’ and handed over a signed blank cheque to Mr Jinnah. Sir Adamjee was then again called by Quaid-e-Azam for discussion for the establishment of State Bank of Pakistan where he suffered a Heart Attack and collapsed after that meeting on 26th January 1948. Quaid-e-Azam made a public announcement on the death of Adamjee.
“I am deeply grieved on the sad demise of Adamjee Haji Dawood. He was a True Muslim. He gave full support in the struggle of freedom. We have lost him when we needed him the most. It is very difficult to fill his gap in the business community of Muslims. His death is a big blow for Pakistan.
MAULANA ABDUL HAMID BADAYUNI (1898-1970)
Maulana Abdul Hamid Badayuni was a religious scholar and renowned leader of Pakistan Movement. Educated at Badayun he started teaching at Madrassa-i-Shamsul Uloom, Badayun. In due course he became a Mufti.
Participated in National Movements, specially in Khilafat Movement and Anjuman-i-Khuddam-i-Kaba. Associated with All India Muslim League since 1918, but after the reorganization of All India Muslim League. Spoke at Minto Part in support of Lahore Resolution in March 1940.
Popularised the demand for Pakistan throughout India by delivering speeches. Member, All India Council of All India Muslim League.
Called All India Sunni Conference at Banaras in 1946 to support Pakistan on religious basis, worked for the organization of jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Pakistan and became its president. Founded Jamia Taleemat-i-Islamia at Karachi. Died in 1970 and buried at Karachi.
Courtesy: Quaid-e-Azam Academy, Karachi.
To commemorate the Pioneers of Freedom Pakistan Post Office is issuing a set of 3 commemorate postage stamps of Rs 2 (each) denomination on August 14, 1999.