The tragedy that was the Khilafat Andolan was built on the ruins of Bhartiya nationalism and the tears of countless lives extinguished on the altar of ummat ul momineen & jihad. This jihad was waged not by radical mullas but by the very dangerous well dressed, suave and seemingly moderate DEMAGOGUE DIVIDERS. They were a breed of leaders that the world had never seen before.


About 2 centuries ago, when Shah Walliulah Dehlavi forcefully enforced his vision of puritanical, fanatical islam on Indian muslims, he set in motion a series of events that would cause a rift in the psyche of Hindustan and leave a blood soaked trail through history. The first effect was a small social schism – the Hindustani musalman segregated themselves from the larger Bhartiya Parivar. By the 1700’s the muslims, (forcibly converted by invading jihadis) had begun reintegrating into the Bhartiya ethos. But Walliulah successfully brow beat them into alienating themselves from Bhartiya samaj.

Initially the British used the Walliulah clan to foster radicalization against illustrious Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji of Punjab. After dislodging the Maharaja, the British disposed off the Waliullah clan, but the poison of religious fanaticism had already seeped into the pyche of Indian musalman. Effects of this poison were first felt in the 1857 freedom movement. Inspite of heroic acts by the sons of Hindustan, the revolt was unsuccessful chiefly because of religious fanaticism of Indian muslim ulema. They had different goals from the Hindu freedom fighters. While the Hindus wanted Hindavi Swaraj, the muslim ulema wanted the restoration of the mughal sultanate under the geriatric Bahadur Shah Zafar.

The muslim warriors fought with a religious zealotry not seen before by the British. They fought not for independence but to re-establish the mughalia sultanate. Nowhere was this religious fanaticism more evident than in the Siege of Lucknow (UP). The siege was led by a despotic fanatic maulvi Ahmadullah Shah also known as Maulvi of Faizabad or Danka Shah. He presided over the massacre at the British Residency. Danka Shah’s Jihadis after storming the residential (civil) area of the British, killed British women & children in the the most brutal manner.


During the revolt, a template had been tried and found successful for the future muslim leadership to emulate – Fiery Zealotry, Deep Religiousity, Rabid Fanaticism coupled with Militant Jihadism.

But this template was still incomplete – it needed to wed urbanity with all the qualities embodied by the Maulvi of Faizabad, Danka Shah. It would be another 60 years before India would see the rise of the suave, urbane muslim leadership who hid their Jihadi mindset beneath well tailored Savile Row suits.



Be it the Jihadi masquerading as a freedom fighter of the 1900s, the dreaded Taliban of the 21st century or the umpteen terrorists that infest Pakistan – they all have one thing in common – they belong to the Deobandi school of islam. Deoband seminary was established in 1866 in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh. The Deobandi ideology is primarily apolitical. It aligns itself with whoever serves best their religious & political agendas. During the first decade of the 20th century, Deoband aligned itself with Indian National Congress in exchange for support for its islamic agenda. But by 1919, the Deobandis felt that Congress was not doing enough for their cause of Khilafat & Ummat ul Mominen and therefore need was felt to create a political outfit of the seminary. Maulana Syed H.A. Madani established Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind. A breakaway faction of the Jamiat called the Jamiat Umela-e-Islami aligned itself with the Muslim League and fought for division of India & formation of Pakistan


While the Deobandis were catering to the rural, uneducated poor muslims, there was another class of muslims – the landed gentry who sought closer ties with the ruling British. To do that they had readily adopted the ways of the English overlords – the proverbial “tea with a spot of milk & a scone type”. They saw better economic future within the British government BUT they felt hampered by lack of modern education & English speaking skills. Among these, was the duly Knighted Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. He actively petitioned the British to set up educational facilities for the muslims – to train the muslims into the western ways and subsequently absorb these english speaking muslims into the British government. The Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College was set up with huge donations and help from the British and wealthy Muslim. Initially the MAO had 259 students of which 57 were Hindus but he realized that Hindus being the dominant majority would soon outnumber the muslim students so he started advocating for adoption of urdu/farsi scripts and languages as primary modes of education in MAO (subsequently Aligarh Muslim University). Under the aegis of the institute, muslims were actively discouraged from participating in the freedom struggle. Furthermore he was against democratic, representative institutions for he wanted to create an institution with classic islamic ethos.

His successors, Mohsin ul Mulk & Viqar ul Mulk took AMU away from British influence and closer to the ulema. This transition help create a series of graduates of the AMU who were english speaking, suave, well dressed and apparently wedded to the western world view. But beneath the civil exteriors lurked the ghosts of Danka Shah – fanatic islamists with little tolerance and much hate for the kaffirs – British and Hindus


ALI BROTHERSShoukat Ali & Mohammed Ali Jouhar – Together these two are responsible for the maturing of & the bloodshed that characterized Khilafat Movement. Out of the AMU, they were suave, westernized Indian mulsims who appeared liberal but were closet islamists. They distrusted the congress but successfully used Gandhi to endorse their Khilafat movement and remain quite at the consequent violence of Khilafat – Kanpur Riots & the infamous Moplah riots of Malabar

SYED AMIR ALI – Born in Bengal presidency, Amir Ali was awarded Order of the Star of India by the British govt. He successfully championed the cause of separate electorates for mulsims, was a founding member of the Muslim League and a prominent leader of the Khilafat Movement. He founded the Central National Muhammedan Association, in Calcutta in 1877 with branches from Kolkatta to Karachi. This was the first openly communal muslim political organization established in India.

HAKIM AJMAL KHAN – Another westernized muslim in the Aligarh Muslim University mold, he was the founder member of Jamia Islamia College (Recall – the anti india rhetoric hotbed & anti CAA agitation). He was also the founding member of All India Muslim League (that would divide India in 40 years of its founding). He along with the infamour Ali brothers, was a leading stalwart of Khilafat movement.

DR. MUKHTAR AHMAD ANSARI(Yes the name sounds familiar – he is the grandfather of the infamous don Mukhtar Ansari). Dr Ansari was a dyed in wool islamist nationalist – his support for the Turkish khalifa is well documented. At the height of the Balkan wars where Turkey was loosing badly, he had led a medical mission to Turkey to tend to wounded turkish soldiers. He was the second to head the Jamia Milia Islamia. He served as INC president as well as Muslim Leagues president. He was the General Secretary of INC many times


The marriage of the Danka Shahs of the ulema with the Syed A Khans of AMU resulted in the birth of the Demagogue Dividers. This breed of leaders who emerged out of AMU/MAO ecosystem successfully defrauded the British with their western dresses & habits, played the victim (of rising Hindu nationalism – seems familiar, doesn’t it) to get concessions from the British, acted at being secular to woo the westernized Hindu polity, provoked islamic fanaticism to attain power. The opportunistically apolitical deobandi ideology was used to coerce political outfits like the Congress to do their bidding and to bow to the islamic cause of ruling Hindustan once again. The 2 nation theory was perfected in the aftermath of the violence of Khilafat movement and feeling of separatism hardened in the muslim psyche

à suivre


  1. Khilafat Movement Part 1 :
  2. Partition of India Part 1 – Religion as a Political Tool :

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