Choudhary Rahmat Ali

Choudhary Rahmat Ali

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Choudhry Rahmat Ali (November 16, 1895 – February 1951) was a Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 nationalist who was one of the earliest proponents of the creation of the state of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. He is credited with creating the name "Pakistan" for a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and is generally known as the founder of the movement for its creation. He is best known as the author of a famous 1933 pamphlet
Pamphlet
A pamphlet is an unbound booklet . It may consist of a single sheet of paper that is printed on both sides and folded in half, in thirds, or in fourths , or it may consist of a few pages that are folded in half and saddle stapled at the crease to make a simple book...

 entitled "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever", also known as the Pakistan Declaration
Pakistan Declaration
The Pakistan Declaration was a pamphlet published on 28 January 1933 by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, and was supported by Muhammad Aslam Khan Khattak, Sahibzada Sheikh Mohd Sadiq, Inayat Ullah Khan in which the word Pakistan was used for the first time and was presented in the round table conference in...

. The pamphlet started with a famous statement:

Education and career


Ali was born into a Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Gujjar
Gujjar
The Gurjar are an ethnic group in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Alternative spellings include Gurjara, Gujar, Gurjjara and Gūrjara. The spelling Gurjara or Gurjar is preferable to the rest....

 family in the town of Balachaur
Balachaur
Balachaur is a teshil town and a nagar panchayat in Nawanshahr district in the state of Punjab, India.Birth place of Choudhary Rahmat Ali and was barrister at law in England.-History:...

 in Hoshiarpur District
Hoshiarpur District
Hoshiarpur District , is a district of Punjab state in northern India.In 2011, Hoshiarpur had population of 1,582,793 of which male and female were 806,921 and 775,872 respectively. There was change of 6.85 percent in the population compared to population as per 2001...

  of Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 (now Nawanshahr District
Nawanshahr District
* http://wikimapia.org/#lat=31.1185556&lon=76.1433434&z=13&l=0&m=a&v=2...

), India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. After graduating from Islamia Madrassa Lahore in 1918, he taught at Aitchison College Lahore before joining Punjab University
Punjab University
Punjab University may refer to:In India:*Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana*Punjab Technical University*Punjabi University, Patiala*Panjab University, ChandigarhIn Pakistan:*University of the Punjab, Lahore...

 to study law. In 1930 he moved to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 to join Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Emmanuel College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.The college was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay on the site of a Dominican friary...

 in 1931. In 1933, he published a pamphlet, Now or Never, coining the word Pakistan for the first time. In 1933, he founded Pakistan National Movement in England. Subsequently, he obtained a BA degree
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in 1933 and MA
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 in 1940 from the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

. In 1943, he was called to the Bar, Middle Temple Inn
Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn...

, London. Until 1947, he continued publishing various booklets about his vision for South Asia. The final Partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 disillusioned him due to the mass killings and mass migrations it ended up producing. He was also dissatisfied with the distribution of areas
Radcliffe Line
The Radcliffe Line was announced on 17 August 1947 as a boundary demarcation line between India and Pakistan upon the Partition of India. The Radcliffe Line was named after its architect, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who as chair of the Border Commissions was tasked with equitably dividing of territory...

 among the two countries and considered it a major reason for the disturbances.

Philosophy


Ali believed that the Muslims of India had to reform politically in order to become a viable, independent community. He was inspired by Islamic history, particularly the example of the Prophet Muhammad's success in uniting various Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 tribes during the founding of Islam. He believed that Indian Muslims should similarly unite to survive in what he perceived to be an increasingly hostile India.

As such, Ali's writings, in addition to those of Muhammad Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal
Sir Muhammad Iqbal , commonly referred to as Allama Iqbal , was a poet and philosopher born in Sialkot, then in the Punjab Province of British India, now in Pakistan...

 and others were major catalysts for the formation of Pakistan. He offered the name "Bang-i-Islam" for a Muslim homeland in the Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

, and "Usmanistan" for a Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 homeland in the Deccan. He also suggested "Dinia" as a name for a South Asia of various religions.

Ali is known for his steadfast dedication to the idea of Pakistan. After its formation in 1947, he argued on its behalf at the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 over the issue of Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, and the rights of Muslim minority of India.

Conception of 'Pakistan'


In 1932, Ali moved to a now famous house in Cambridge, on 3 Humberstone Road. It was in one of the rooms of this house that he is said to have written the word 'Pakstan' for the first time. There are several accounts of the creation of the name. According to a friend, Abdul Kareem Jabbar, the name came up when Ali was walking along the banks of the Thames in 1932 with his friends Pir Ahsan-ud-din and Khwaja Abdul Rahim. According to Ali's secretary Miss Frost, he came up with the idea while riding on the top of a London bus.
On January 28, 1933, Ali voiced the idea in a pamphlet entitled "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?". The word 'Pakstan' referred to "the five Northern units of India, viz. : Punjab
Punjab (British India)
Punjab was a province of British India, it was one of the last areas of the Indian subcontinent to fall under British rule. With the end of British rule in 1947 the province was split between West Punjab, which went to Pakistan, and East Punjab, which went to India...

, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Baluchistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

"".
By the end of 1933, 'Pakistan' had become common vocabulary, and an i was added to ease pronunciation (as in Afghan-i-stan).

In a subsequent book, Ali discussed the etymology in further detail.
'Pakistan' is both a Persian and an Urdu word. It is composed of letters taken from the names of all our South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 homelands; that is, Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan. It means the land of the Pure.


According to Khalid Hasan, the authorship of the name is controversial. The late Mian Abdul Haq from Sahiwal who knew Ali well wrote in the daily "Nadai Millat, Lahore," in June 1970 that the word Pakistan was invented by Khawaja Abdul Rahim and he obtained Muhammad Iqbal’s blessings for his coinage. On 21 December 1987, Rahim told a meeting at the Aiwan-e-Nawai Waqt in Rawalpindi that it was he who had invented the word Pakistan and that the name was first announced at a meeting of the Khyber Union of Students over which he was presiding".

However, Ali's biographer, K.K.Aziz writes that "Rahmat Ali alone drafted this declaration (in which the word Pakistan was used for the first time), but in order to make it "representative" he began to look around for people who would sign it along with him. This search did not prove easy, "for so firm was the grip of 'Muslim Indian Nationalism' on our young intellectuals at English universities that it took me (Rahmat Ali) more than a month to find three young men in London who offered to support and sign it ." Later on, his political opponents used the name of these signatories and other friends of Ali, as creator of word 'Pakistan'.

One of the analyses of this subject was made by writer and journalist Munir Ahmed Munir and published in Nawai Waqt on 31 August this year (2004). He writes, “The problem with Choudhry Rehmat Ali’s admirers is that they consider him the inventor of the word ‘Pakistan’, whereas inventing a name and founding a state are two different things. He had no role to play in the creation of the state where we all live. Even the authorship of the name is controversial.......Munir writes: “In every respect, Choudhry Rehmat Ali’s Pakistan was quite different from the Quaid’s Pakistan. The Choudhry himself admitted that Jinnah’s Pakistan was not his Pakistan because there were seven or eight other imaginary and utopian ‘…stans’ linked with his. Behind the Quaid’s demand for Pakistan lay realism, statesmanship, wisdom and the 1,000-year sweep of Muslim history in India

It is better to quote Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself. In his presidential address to the All India Muslim League annual session at Delhi on 24 April 1943, he said:

Iqbal and Jinnah


On Dec. 29, 1930, Muhammad Iqbal delivered his monumental address. He said:
It is important to note that Iqbal did not use the word "Pakistan" in his address. According to some scholars, that Iqbal had not presented the idea of an autonomous Muslim State; rather he wanted a large Muslim province by amalgamating Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan into a big North-Western province within India. They argued that
"Iqbal never pleaded for any kind of partition of the country. Rather he was an ardent proponent of a 'true' federal setup for India.... And wanted a consolidated Muslim majority within the Indian Federation".

Another Indian historian, Tara Chand. also held that Iqbal was not thinking in terms of partition of India but in terms of a federation of autonomous states within India. Dr. Safdar Mehmood also fell a prey to the same misconception and in a series of articles he asserted that in Allahabad address Iqbal proposed a Muslim majority province within the Indian federation and not an independent state outside the Indian Federation.
On January 28, 1933, Choudhry Rahmat Ali voiced his ideas in the pamphlet entitled "Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever?" The word 'Pakstan' referred to "the five Northern units of India, viz. : Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan"". By the end of 1933, the word "Pakistan" became common vocabulary where an “I” was added to ease pronunciation (as in Afghan-i-stan).
In a subsequent book Rehmat Ali discussed the etymology in further detail.
"Pakistan' is both a Persian and an Urdu word. It is composed of letters taken from the names of all our South Asia homelands; that is, Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan. It means the land of the Pure".

According to some scholars, "Rehmat Ali’s concept of Pakistan was nebulous, impractical and fantasy-ridden. It was to include the entire northwest of India, Kashmir, the Kathiawar peninsula, Kutch, and several enclaves deep within UP, including Delhi and Lucknow. There were to be two independent Muslim states besides Pakistan: Bangistan comprising Bengal and Assam in the east and Osmanistan in the south. These two were to form a federation with Pakistan. The 243 principalities or Rajwaras were to be divided among caste Hindus and “others” and then herded together in a ghetto called Hanoodia. As for the Sikhs, they were to be pushed into an enclave called Sikhia. Other races and religions were to inhabit an encampment by the name of Hanadika. Every non-Muslim was to remain subservient to the master race he called “The Paks”. And yes, the subcontinent was to be renamed Dinia. He did not say how he was going to bring all that about."

The British and the Indian Press vehemently criticized these two different schemes and created a confusion about the authorship of the word "Pakistan" to such an extent that even Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

 had to write:
""Iqbal was one of the early advocates of Pakistan and yet he appears to have realized its inherent danger and absurdity. Edward Thompson has written that in the course of conversation, Iqbal told him that he had advocated Pakistan because of his position as President of Muslim League session, but he felt sure that it would be injurious to India as a whole and to Muslims especially."

In 1934, Choudhry Rahmat Ali and his friends met Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a Muslim lawyer, politician, statesman and the founder of Pakistan. He is popularly and officially known in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam and Baba-e-Qaum ....

 and appealed for his support of the Pakistan idea. He replied; "My dear boys, don’t be in a hurry; let the waters flow and they will find their own level.”

After the creation of Pakistan



While Choudhry Rahmat Ali was a leading figure for the conception of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, he lived most of his adult life in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. He had been voicing his dissatisfaction with the creation of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 ever since his arrival in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 on April 6, 1948. He was unhappy over a Smaller Pakistan than the one he had conceived in his 1933 pamphlet Now Or Never.

After the creation of Pakistan he returned to Pakistan in April 1948, planning to stay in this country, but he was ordered by the then Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan to leave the country. His belongings were confiscated, and he left empty-handed for England in October 1948.

He died in February 1951 and was buried on 20 February at Newmarket Road Cemetery, Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, UK. Emmanuel College's Master, who had been Rahmat Ali's Tutor, himself arranged the burial in Cambridge on 20 February 1951.

See also

  • Indian Independence Movement
    Indian independence movement
    The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

  • Indian Muslim nationalism
    Indian Muslim Nationalism
    Muslim nationalism in South Asia refers to the political and cultural expression of nationalism, founded upon the religious tenets and identity of Islam, of the Muslims of South Asia....

  • Indian Nationalism
    Indian nationalism
    Indian nationalism refers to the many underlying forces that molded the Indian independence movement, and strongly continue to influence the politics of India, as well as being the heart of many contrasting ideologies that have caused ethnic and religious conflict in Indian society...

  • Indian National Congress
    Indian National Congress
    The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

  • Muslim League (Pakistan)
    Muslim League (Pakistan)
    Muslim League was the original successor of All India Muslim League that led the Pakistan Movement achieving an independent nation. After formation of Pakistan, the party was renamed to Muslim League which came to an end soon after Qaid-e-Azam's death on the first marshal law in 1958.-History:On...

  • Pakistan Movement
    Pakistan Movement
    The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan refers to the historical movement to have an independent Muslim state named Pakistan created from the separation of the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, partitioned within or outside the British Indian Empire. It had its origins in the...

  • Pakistan Muslim League
    Pakistan Muslim League
    The Pakistan Muslim League was founded in 1962, as a successor to the previously disbanded Muslim League in Pakistan. Unlike the original PML which ended in 1958 when General Ayub Khan banned all political parties, each subsequent Muslim League was in some way propped by the military dictators of...

  • Punjab Muslim League
    Punjab Muslim League
    When the All-India Muslim League was founded at Dacca, on 30 December 1906 at the occasion of the annual All India Muhammadan Educational Conference, It was participated by the Muslim leaders from Punjab, i.e., Sir Mian Muhammad Shafi, Mian Fazl-i-Hussain, Abdul Aziz, Khawaja Yusuf Shah and Sh....

  • Pakistan Declaration
    Pakistan Declaration
    The Pakistan Declaration was a pamphlet published on 28 January 1933 by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, and was supported by Muhammad Aslam Khan Khattak, Sahibzada Sheikh Mohd Sadiq, Inayat Ullah Khan in which the word Pakistan was used for the first time and was presented in the round table conference in...

  • Osmanistan
    Osmanistan
    Osmanistan was the name proposed for an independent state to be created as a successor to the Princely State of Hyderabad which existed in the Empire of India before the departure of the British. The princely states that existed before independce of India in 1947 were given the choice of joining...


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