All India Azad Muslim Conference
The All India Azad Muslim Conference (Urdu: آل انڈیا آزاد مسلم کانفرنس), commonly called the Azad Muslim Conference, was a large gathering of nationalist Indian Muslims in April 1940. It included representatives from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam, All Indian Momin Conference, All India Shia Political Conference, Khudai Khidmatgar, Krishak Praja Party, Anjuman-i-Watan Baluchistan, All India Muslim Majlis, and Jamiat Ahl-i-Hadis. The Azad Muslim Conference gathered to oppose the partition of India (and its underlying two-nation theory put forward by the pro-separatist All India Muslim League). The leader of the Azad Muslim Conference Allah Baksh Soomro stated “No power on earth can rob anyone of his faith and convictions, and no power on earth shall be permitted to rob Indian Muslims of their just rights as Indian nationals.” The Bombay Chronicle documented on 18 April 1946 that “The attendance at the Nationalist meeting was about five times than the attendance at the League meeting.” The Canadian orientalist Wilfred Cantwell Smith likewise stated that they represented the "majority of India's Muslims".
The Azad Muslim Conference was established by the Chief Minister of Sind, Allah Bakhsh Soomro, who founded of the Sind Ittehad Party (Sind United Party), which opposed the partition of India. In 20th century British India, many "Indian Muslims, including religious scholars, ferociously opposed the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan." Allah Bakhsh Soomro stated:
Whatever our faiths we must live together in our country in an atmosphere of perfect amity and our relations should be the relations of the several brothers of a joint family, various members of which are free to profess their faith as they like without any let or hindrance and of whom enjoy equal benefits of their joint property.
In the session of the All India Azad Muslim Conference held in Delhi, during the period of April 27 through April 30, over 1400 nationalist Muslim delegates participated. The participants primarily belonged to the working class of Muslims in British India, unlike the All India Mulsim League, whose membership was largely composed of the elite.
- Sind Ittehad Party
- Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind
- All India Momin Conference
- All India Shia Political Conference
- Khudai Khidmatgar
- Krishak Praja Party
- Anjuman-i-Watan Baluchistan
- All India Muslim Majlis
- Jamiat Ahl-i-Hadis
The Azad Muslim Conference used several slogans, among them being: "Inquilab Zindabad", "Hindustan Azad", "Pakistan Murdabad", "Freedom through National Unity", and "We are Indian and India is our Home."
- (1970) Muslim politics in modern India, 1857-1947 (in English). Meenakshi Prakashan. “This was also reflected in one of the resolutions of the Azad Muslim Conference, an organization which attempted to be representative of all the various nationalist Muslim parties and groups in India.”
- (2017) Muslims against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan (in English). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108621236.
- Partition of India and Patriotism of Indian Muslims (English). The Milli Gazette (17 July 2017).
- The dissenters (English). The Friday Times (27 May 2016). “However, the book is a tribute to the role of one Muslim leader who steadfastly opposed the Partition of India: the Sindhi leader Allah Bakhsh Soomro. Allah Bakhsh belonged to a landed family. He founded the Sindh People’s Party in 1934, which later came to be known as ‘Ittehad’ or ‘Unity Party’. ... Allah Bakhsh was totally opposed to the Muslim League’s demand for the creation of Pakistan through a division of India on a religious basis. Consequently, he established the Azad Muslim Conference. In its Delhi session held during April 27-30, 1940 some 1400 delegates took part. They belonged mainly to the lower castes and working class. The famous scholar of Indian Islam, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, feels that the delegates represented a ‘majority of India’s Muslims’. Among those who attended the conference were representatives of many Islamic theologians and women also took part in the deliberations.”
- (1992) Political Thinkers of Modern India: Abul Kalam Azad (in English). Deep & Deep Publications. ISBN 9788171004324. “Within five weeks of the passage of the Pak resolution, an assembly of nationalist Muslims under the name of the Azad Muslim Conference was convened in Delhi. The Conference met under the presidentship of Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh, the then Chief Minister of Sind.”
- India’s Muslims and the Price of Partition. The New York Times (17 August 2017). “Many Indian Muslims, including religious scholars, ferociously opposed the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan.”