CONTRIBUTION OF THE MUSLIMS AS KARIGARS TO THE NATIONAL MOVEMENT

Research & Review: “History of Khaksar Movement in India” Thoroughly research and written by Prof. Amalendu De.

On the other hand the Muslims, following the footsteps of their Prophet, stuck to these professions and developed them further, without considering them as ordinary leaving them to be followed by the zimmis or their subjects. Even today, when the Muslims have lost their kingdom and wealth, the real source of their strength lies in the fact that they are efficient Karigars (artisans). This is an index to their capacity and political power.
There is a hard competitive struggles in the fields of trade and commerce among different nations of the West. There is keen competition between England and Germany for the expansion of their spheres of influence. England owes her pride and prestige to her workers. Through their labours England has become a great nation. Thus the capacity to produce goods constituted the real strength in the life of a nation. Unfortunately, the Hindu brothers give up this job and become capitalists. If the Muslims, too, abandoned their professions as Karigars or artisans then today Hindusthan would never have become great, the small engineering industries would not have survived, and it would even have been impossible to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement. In fact the movement of boycott of foreign goods was possible because of the existence of small factories and of the Karigars. Inayatullah quoted Mahatma Gandhi as saying categorically that people who were making cotton-threads from Charkha and who were weaving Khaddar, were mostly Muslims.
Again, Inayatullah observed that among them the percentage of Muslim women was high, and if we keep this fact in mind then it would be proved that the participation of Muslims in the Khaddar Movement was seven times more than that of the Hindus. In addition to that they have made other sacrifices along with their Hindu brethren. Thus the Muslims-men and women have played a glorious part in India political struggle during the last twelve years. Some people who do not know the reality of anything will not appreciate it, they will see it in a negative way. They will say that the Congress propaganda and its great influence all over the country made Khaddar an important thing and the country became ready for Khaddar. Thus the poor weavers were able to earn their livelihood. Otherwise who was caring for them? They had no capacity to shake the foundations of the Governmental machinery. Inayatullah asserted that the wealthy members of the Congress as well as its four anna (members) contributors could not spin the scheduled 200 yards cotton thread a day.
But the Muslims, who are not members of the Congress, produced more cotton-threads than what was made jointly by lakhs of Congress members, who are politicians and wise men and who know the condition of country well. Thus the poor illiterate non-Congress Muslims greatly contributed to the cause of the Charkha. If anyone has used Charkha as a cannon they are these weavers, not any other else. They are actually producing Khaddar. It was not only due to the Congress propaganda alone. It is a fact that this profession existed in India for a long time, and the people who were not shy of it, were in large numbers engaged in this industry. As a result of it the Indian National Congress could effectively conduct the boycott movement and thereby harm its enemy, the British Government. If that industry and profession did not exist in India then it would not have been possible to harm the Government only by the order of making 200 yards of cotton-thread and merely by the verbal propaganda of the Congress.
In this connection Inayatullah drew our attention to the fact that from early times the Muslim weavers of Bengal are called Mumin. But to a Muslim this word has got a special meaning. The faithful in Islam are called Mumin. They are the true Muslims. So, Inayatullah was surprised to note the use of this term in Bengal. He tried to find out the reason for which they received the title Mumin. To trace it Inayatullah delved into the early history of Islam and pointed out that Umar, the second Khalifah, ordered his soldiers to wear Khaddar. At that time the rich people of Arabia used to wear silk-cloth. Umar advised the people to wear coarse cloth and to take simple food. He felt that otherwise they would be foppish.
Thus Inayatullah realized the real strength of these people and their help to the Congress. He was not ready to accept the theory that the Muslims are ignorant of the politics of their nation and of the world. According to him they are simple, they have active faith and knowledge in a surprising degree which do not exist in other nations.