Allama Iqbal’s Kashmiri lineage is well known. What’s more interesting is that Iqbal always took pride in this. Kashmir, back then, was suffering under the Dogra regime and they way it impacted Iqbal’s life has been quite evident in his poetry as well as speeches.
Here are some of the facts/Iqbal’s poetry where one can note Iqbal’s deep-rooted love for Kashmir.
1. In 1920, Iqbal visited the land of his forefathers and wrote some of his magical lines in the Mughal Gardens at Nishat. “Saqi Nama”, a poem in Baal-e-Jibreel was the poem he wrote there.
2. A leading political activist Dr Mumtaz Hassan noted one day when he was sitting with Iqbal and discussing political struggle in Kashmir, the poet mentioned about a Persian poem ‘Saqi Nama’ in Payam-e-Mashriq, which he had written in Nishat Bagh in Kashmir (1920). Iqbal told him: ‘In one of the verses, I had mentioned about silk factories and workers working therein. I am amazed that Kashmir political struggle started with a rebellion by workers of a Silk factory in 1924.’
3. The July 13, 1931 massacre in Kashmir deeply touched Iqbal. It had bruised his heart. He raised donations for victims of violence, and sent these to Kashmir leaders.
4. In addition, he persuaded some-well-known lawyers to visit Kashmir with a view to provide legal aid to jailed Kashmir people. The authorities expelled these leaders and some including Iqbal were banned from entering into Kashmir.
5. He was the spirit behind mobilizing the public opinion in support of the people of Kashmir and organizing Kashmir Day on August 14, 1931. Muslim across India came in support of Kashmir people when Iqbal issued an appeal, which few others also signed.
The appeal read:
“After attacking repeatedly the enemy has deluded itself into believing that Muslims are a dead nation. To refute this misbelief it is your obligation to make the Kashmir Day a resounding success. By actions, Muslims must demonstrate that they were not going to be willing victims of their enemies, injustice and repression.”
6. Iqbal’s stirring speech on 14 August 1931, on Kashmir Day about Muslims in India and Punjab not having been deeply interested in the affairs of Kashmir- even Punjabis of Kashmir origin being an ignoramus about the plight of their brethren had woken up the Muslims in India more particularly in Punjab.
7. Even on getting elected as the president of All India Muslim Conference, Iqbal did not miss mentioning Kashmir in his presidential address where he said:
“I appeal to Muslims of Kashmir to beware of the forces that are working against them and to unite their ranks. The time for two or three Muslim political parties in Kashmir has not yet come. The supreme need of the moment is a single party representing all Muslims in the state.”
He warned these leaders:
“If perfect unanimity of political opinion is not secured in Kashmir, all efforts to advance the interests of the people of the state will prove ineffective.”
8. Due to Iqbal’s efforts, the Glancy Commission was appointed by the British government, which recommended a variety of constitutional reforms in Jammu and Kashmir after conducting a thorough investigation of the massacre.
9. “Panja-e-Zulm-o-jahalat ne bura haal kiya,
Ban ke miqoraaz daman bepaar-o-behaal kiya!
Toud us dast-e-jafaakesh ko yaarab jis ne,
Rooh-e-aazaadi-e-kashmir ko paamal kiya”!
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