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SPECIAL ARTICLE

Muslim Weavers Politics in Early 20th Century Northern India Locating an Identity
Santosh Kumar Rai

Throughout the early 20th century, lower status weavers tried to critique the upper caste Ashraf-dominated Muslim politics in northern India. From sharing an occupational class identity, the weavers mobilised and asserted themselves as a caste group, seeking special recognition as Momins or Ansaris within a broader Muslim identity. The multiple axes around which their identities had to be asserted and negotiated lend a special character to their political articulation. Yet due to both the complexities of religious dichotomies and local exigencies, the All India Momin Conference could not lend effective voice to a counter-hegemonic stance in Indian Muslim politics. This paper documents the multiple ways in which the politics of weavers unfolded in early 20th century United Provinces.

Santosh Kumar Rai (skr1000@gmail.com) is with the department of history, SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi.
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he politics of weavers in early 20th century United Provinces (UP) unfolded in multiple ways. The Muslim Julaha weavers who formed almost 90% of the weavers workforce were at the centre of this politics. From sharing an occupational class identity, the Julahas mobilised and asserted themselves as a caste group, seeking special recognition as Momins or Ansaris within a broader Muslim religious identity. The multiple axes around which their identities had to be asserted and negotiated lend a special character to their political articulation. Weavers politics was not just about formation of organisations and interaction with political parties like the Indian National Congress or the Muslim League. Their politics had local meaning shaped by local circumstances. The continuing interaction of the hereditary pre-industrial occupation of weaving with evolving capitalist relations also provided a framework for the weavers political stance. Thus the emerging nationalist political environment, the late colonial state and the rising tide of communal politics in the period under study provide the backdrop for understanding the emergence of political organisations like the Jamait-ul-Ansar and the All India Momin Conference. Their politics displayed a quest for an alternative worldview, seeking to challenge existing social hierarchies on the one hand and create an autonomous political space on the other. In this attempt, Islamisation was one of the most important strategies in staking wider political claims. But the process of Islamisation itself spawned several contradictory tendencies which went on to shape weavers politics.1 Local pressures and competing community identities further accelerated this process. The politics of the Julahas presents an interesting paradox. Here was a community which was undergoing a process of Islamisation which tended to sharpen their differences with their communal other, i e, the Hindus. Yet at the same time, their main political formation, the All India Momin Conference scrupulously avoided identication with the Muslim League which emerged in the period under study as the proponent of Muslim separateness from the mainstream nationalist politics of the Congress. Instead, the Momin Conference identied itself with the Congress based on a shared antipathy to British rule, and common cause on swaraj and swadeshi ideas of indigenous cloth production. What proved crucial for this identication was the pronounced antipathy of the Julahas as caste group towards the upper class/caste Muslim elite who were the main political
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base of the Muslim League. These cross-currents of political articulation however were deeply contingent on local congurations of power. The weaving localities of the eastern UP were sites of nationalist political mobilisation. Yet, the weavers political issues and aspirations were varied and guided more by local concerns and congurations of power. Under the nationalist umbrella were grouped a variety of responses from weavers. After the intense activity during the Non-Cooperation-Khilafat movement of 1920-22 when a large number of Muslim weavers were actively involved, from the mid-1920s onwards, police reports began noticing the emergence of more organised political formations such as the Jamait-ul-Ansar and the All India Momin Conference.
Politics of Muslim Weavers

By the mid-1920s, the formation of an all-India body to organise Julaha weaver communities became imperative. Local and regional Ansari associations had already begun to rise in the second decade of the 20th century. But a resurgence of caste and sectarian organisations at an all-India level, aimed at upward mobilisation of their respective communities, would have certainly inuenced this community as well. Immediately before the formation of a national level body, several local Jamaits were active in UP and Bihar to work for the unity and betterment of the Ansari community. The nature of their demands as well as the work of these organisations focused on assertion of a distinct political and social identity for the Julaha weavers. Migrant Julaha weavers from UP in Bengal initiated attempts to organise the community. In 1912, Maulana Haz Obedullah Ghazipuri and some others established the social welfare organisation Anjuman-i-Islah-Bilfalha (Organisation for Reform for Success) in Calcutta. Migrant Julaha workers working in the mills of Calcutta were the initial members of this organisation. It was the forerunner to the local Momin Conference held at Kakinada in 1915, chaired by Hakim Abdul Gani Ghazipuri; other participants were Maulana Abu Shoeb Saif Banarsi, Maulana Abu Shoeb Khurjawi and Maulana Maathe Yaihyya Sahsrami.2 Attempts to organise the community as a socio-political movement began at Calcutta in 1914 with the formation of Falah-ul-Mominin, followed by another association called the Calcutta Jamait-ul-Mominin in December 1923. This organisation was the precursor to the All India Jamait-ul-Mominin or the All India Momin Conference established on 25-26 December 1926 under the leadership of Hajiram Mohammad Farkhund Ali of Sasaram. The initial objectives of this organisation were to revive the traditional crafts of the weavers, to promote selfrespect, devout religious conduct and economic independence. Reconsolidation and unity of the community had to be achieved for these objectives.3 This organisation worked as an effective body for the Julahas social upliftment and political expression and as a trade union, drawing support from provinces where the Julaha population was signicant, namely, Punjab, UP, Bihar and Bengal. The rst session of the All India Momin Conference took place at
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Halliday Park, Calcutta on 7-9 April 1928 and was presided over by Abdul Majid from Benaras. About 200 delegates, 300 local Musalmaans and 100 volunteers attended the session. Deliberations began with a focus on the history of the rise and fall of the Momin community. Mohammad Sulaiman, the chairman of the reception committee, blamed the Englisheducated class for their downfall and advised the audiences to stick to their own profession, weaving. The president advocated a system of national education by opening Madrasas. The conference passed the following resolutions:4 (1) It appealed to the community to use cloth manufactured by their own men, especially on festive occasions, marriage ceremonies, etc. (2) It advised their sardars and ulemas to induce Momins to give up extravagant marriage and other social expenditures. (3) A special area be selected to organise their community and to enforce improvements. To start with Allahabad was selected as such a place. It is evident that at its inception, the All India Momin Conference scrupulously avoided an explicit political orientation and instead promoted introspection within the community. Traditional community bonds were emphasised and no demands were made of the government as such.5 In fact, immediately before the formation of this nationallevel body, several local Jamait resolutions indicate a recognition that a distinct identity, even one bearing a shell of conservatism had to be formed. The claim for an assumed higher social status had to be clearly established. Syed Mahmud and Abdul Bari of Azamgarh were both associated with the Muslim Nationalist Party formed in July 1929 to garner support for the Congress in general and the Nehru report in particular. Though this party served as a platform for nationalist groups like the Jamait-ul-Ulema, All India Momin Conference, Ahrars and Khudai Khidmadgars, it could not extend its base outside Congress circles.6 By 1931, the Momin Conference started making claims for getting Julahas enumerated as Momin during the ongoing census. The mobilisation of the community by the All India Momin Conference or the Jamait-ul-Ansar points to the local and broader politics of the weavers community. In the rural areas as well as semi-urban qasbas like Mubarakpur and Maunath Bhanjan, the Momin Conference wielded less inuence because here the community was already organised around traditional panchayats having their own hierarchies.7 But in urban centres where Julahas pursued other occupations and the caste identity overlapped with a strong occupational identity, the new organisation could become a rallying point. The provincial organisations also fought against discrimination on the basis of class and caste. Signicantly, they asked for equal status along with other communities on the basis of their numerical strength. In 1933, the provincial Jamait-ul-Ansar of UP resented the non-inclusion of its representatives in the provincial Haj Committee, arguing that out of the 7.7 crore Muslim population in India, Momin Ansars were three to four crores, or nearly half. The districts of Gorakhpur, Basti, Azamgarh, Mirzapur, Benaras, Bareilly, Muradabad, Meerut and Saharanpur
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were predominantly inhabited by these craftsmen. Moreover, their representation specically mentioned that, in charitable endowments and devotion to the sacred religious ordain they are second to none of the other Muslim communities.8 Thus the social demands of the community were accompanied with claims to superior religious observance. Representation in the provincial Haj Committee was demanded on this basis. The government however did not give heed to this demand for representation in spite of claims that the community numerically, outnumber[ed] any other Muslim community in these provinces also.9 It seems that the government suspected the loyalty of the Momin Conference. At the same time, organisations with pro-government leanings were given representation. One such organisation, the Jamait-ul-Quraish which claimed to represent 60 lakh Qurashis nationally helped the government at the time of the opposition against the Congress and that of the Khilafat, and repeatedly defeated the Unity Conferences.10 It was given due representation in the Haj Committee in recognition of its services. Meanwhile the provincial Jamait-ul-Ansar in spite of repeated representations over the years claiming that the Ansars command a greater bulk of the population and a representative on their behalf in the above Committee is deemed most essential, was paid no attention. Rather the government opined that it would not be advisable to encourage organisations like the Jamait-ul-Ansar to seek representation on the Haj Committee by government nomination.11
Weaver Identity

instead of specialised hand-weaving. Even by the mid-1920s, Gandhi argued that:14


Even as I write, I have letters from coworkers saying that in their centres they have to send away weavers for want of yarn. It is little known that a vast number of weavers of mill yarn are in the hands of sowcars, and they must be, so long as they rely upon the mill product...The second great difculty is the absence of a ready market for khaddar. I confess that it cannot for the time being compete with mill-cloth Over twelve lacs worth of khaddar was sold only last year.

Drawing on weavers industrial identity, in the 1920s and early 1930s, Maulana Azad Subhani, an alim of Kanpur, adopted the symbol of garha or handwoven coarse cloth produced mainly by Muslim artisans, in an attempt to form political organisations of Muslim working class groups throughout UP and to mobilise them for pan-Islamic and nationalist movements. Maulana Subhani spearheaded a campaign to boost the market for garha and to revive its production. He saw the garha movement as a means of regenerating the depressed economic conditions of Muslim weavers and contending with what he argued were their extreme poverty and the destruction of their independent artisanal status. Subhani also made British rule squarely responsible for the decline of Muslim weavers, and urged all weavers to ght against imperialism.12 The Momin Conference also picked up the cause of indigenously produced garha. This emphasis on importance of indigenous handwoven cloth brought the Momin Conference close to the Congress.13 Nowhere was the perception of the handicrafts sector as clear and forthright as in the politics of Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi demanded that Indians wear only handwoven cloth to afrm their commitment to Indian weavers. By wearing handspun cotton khadi, Indians could resist British imports of cheap machine-made cloth. Even then, the nationalists urging to use the swadeshi yarn itself did not have substantial inuence over the work of weavers. Moreover, the Gandhian appeal was more in favour of spinning, affordable for everyone
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Gandhi expected to use khadi to unite the various religious communities as well. He had no objection to khaddar being used in different style of dressing among different communities.15 During the Civil Disobedience Movement, Mahatma Gandhi visited Azamgarh on 3 October 1929 and spoke on the uplift of Harijans, prohibition and the use of swadeshi. Next day he inaugurated the Khadi Vidyalya in Azmatgarh.16 But some Hindus, far from using the khadi as a symbol of unity with Muslims actually refused to wear the cloth because the khadi available in the region was produced by Muslim weavers.17 Rather the Gandhian call of boycott of English yarn made the life of Julaha weavers more miserable as the khadi yarn was neither well-suited nor easily available for their looms. At this juncture, the Congress policy of promoting swadeshi was going against the weavers interest. Now instead of comparatively cheaper mill-spun yarn, they were under the nationalist pressure, been both moral and circumstantial, to opt for expensive hand-spun varieties. In Benaras, it was reported that some merchant dealers refused to buy cloth from weavers if it was spun from non-khadi yarn.18 The limited success of the programme of domestic manufacture of yarn by spinning wheels is evident from the fact that even in 1940, only 14% of yarn used by handloom weavers was hand-spun, compared to 7% imported, and 79% Indian mill yarn.19
Politics of Communal Space

In the post-war circumstances, nationalist politics claimed mass support, linking many a backward communities with nationalist issues. It has been argued on the other hand that communalism worked as an independent force, sharply conscious of its own interests, very keen on preserving itself and not allied to the Congress or the British. The promulgation of the Government of India Act of 1935 not only reinforced separate electorates on the basis of religion but also led to a dramatic change in the nature of communalism in the Indian subcontinent. This is the story of how the different political forces in UP the Congress, the Muslim League, the landlords and the Hindu Mahasabha responded to the new political context, and how they strove to establish control over the available political space.20 In this context, the political allegiance of groups and communities should not be analysed in terms of monolithic Hindu and Muslim identities. The politics of the times had to negotiate the complex socio-economic realities of the Gangetic plains. The case of Muslim Julaha weavers represented by Jamait-ul-Ansar and All India Momin Conference clearly indicates the diverse forces at work alongside the
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consequent polarisation of the so-called monolithic blocks. The Muslim political space in UP was not solely occupied by the Muslim League. Certainly communal politics, ideologies and strategies played a vital role in political processes. But again the con ict between upper-caste landlord Muslims and the low-caste poor Muslims clearly shaped outcomes of the political process. Thus in spite of changes in the size of political space for different contestants, the victory was earned by already well-off socio-economic groups. At the end of 1936 in Allahabad, the All India Momin Conference declared its lack of condence in the UP Muslim League.21 It is worth noting that Gandhi never emphasised the divisions within Indian Islam. Enrolling Muslims for the purpose of bringing them into Congress was never Gandhis goal though the Congress has been serving thousands of Muslim sisters and brothers through All India Spinners Association organising carding, spinning and weaving among them.22 After the introduction of the Government of India Act of 1935, provincial elections took place in 1937. Communal politics reached its zenith. As a representative of the downtrodden Muslim communities, the role of the All India Momin Conference became very important to political discourse. The communitys marginalisation in the social hierarchy of Islam in India was one of the major factors deciding the course of its actions. The All India Muslim League was seen as the representative body for high-class Muslims. The All India Momin Conference had to maintain a distance from it to protect its own identity. Under these circumstances, the Congress was seen as a political alternative with which the Momin Conference could align. Jawaharlal Nehru observed that, in UP and Bihar the Momins (chiey the weaving class) and the Muslim peasantry were far more for Congress because they considered the League an upper class organisation of feudal landlords.23 Jawaharlal Nehru had assured Bihar Jamait-ul-Mominin on the eve of the 1937 elections that we are fully aware of the importance of the Momin community and we shall gladly do everything in our power to help it. Thus immediately after the elections, the working committee of the Bihar Jamait-ulMominin demanded Momin representation in the Bihar Congress cabinet, particularly the portfolio of textile and other cottage industries. Meanwhile, the Muslim League also criticised the Congress for attempting to split the Muslim community through mass literacy and the Muslim mass contact campaign. The grant of Rs 10,000 for the upliftment of the Momins was also resented. The Muslim League asked the Momin members of the Bihar Legislative Assembly to resign if they were not prepared to join the Muslim League. The Momin organisations retaliated by disassociating themselves from the Muslim League and showing an inclination to form a separate party with Congress afliation. The Muslim mass contact campaign started by the Congress Party after the 1937 elections saw the Ansari community mobilise in favour of the Congress in parts of UP and Bihar. In UP, the Ansaris of Ghazipur, Mirzapur and other adjoining areas were weaned away from the Muslim League in very large
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numbers under the vital and favourable inuence of the Momin Conference.24 By this time, the Indian political scenario was polarised into Congress and anti-Congress political forces (including the Muslim League). The Muslim League had started claiming the status of sole spokesman of Indian Muslims. The Congress refuted this assertion by claiming the neutrality or support of various Muslim groups and organisations. Replying to Muhammad Ali Jinnahs assertion about the Muslim League as the authoritative and representative organisation of the Mussalmans of India, Jawaharlal Nehru talked about Muslim organisations like, the Jamait-ul-Ulema, the All India Shia Conference, the Majlis-i-Ahrar, the All India Momin Conference, etc, which shared the same political platform as the Congress. Another Congress leader, Rajendra Prasad argued that the Momins who constitute a very large proportion, if not a majority of the Muslims, who are organised in a separate Jamait of their own and... have openly and repeatedly repudiated the Muslim League claims.25 As Paul Brass observed:26
the Muslim League dominated by elite Muslim leaders, had no appeal to the momins whereas the Congress, with its Gandhian symbol of the spinning wheels with its pledges of support to the indigenous handicrafts appealed to the economic interest of the Muslim handloom weavers.

But more than the Gandhian programmes, the Congress promise, at least at face value, of engaging all classes by eliminating elite dominance proved more attractive for the Momins as well. In fact, the internalisation of discrimination generation after generation and attribution of inferior status would have been more decisive than proximity to the Gandhian programme in deciding the communitys political afliation.
Provincial Politics

After the formation of the provincial government in 1937, an era of mutual distrust and competition commenced between two major political parties, i e, the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. During the two years of Congress raj after the election of 1937, Congress Muslims as well as the Momin Conference were closely monitored and stigmatised by the Muslim League for supporting the Hindu raj of the Congress and failing to give priority to the mazhab. Meanwhile, the Congress arranged for a Syed Nasim Gorganvi to control Momin affairs. Abul Qayum Ansari, the leader of the All India Momin Conference was charged with watching in silence when Momins were being killed, injured and beaten during the riots at Tanda, Bhagalpur, Amongaon, Jamui, Majhaul and Tiokri, because he feared his Congress masters.27 In these circumstances, the All India Momin Conference decided to remain a representative of downtrodden Ajlaf and maintained equal distance from both the parties. Addressing a meeting of about 400 members of Jamait-ul-Momin in Kanpur, Mohammad Said Momin advised them to remain aloof from politics, but if they must join a party, they throw in their lot with Congress.28 Another meeting of Jamait-ul-Ansar at Allahabad advised members not to
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depend upon the British, Muslims or Hindus. They should join neither the Congress nor the Muslim League but become member of the Momin Conference.29 In places like Kanpur, relations between the Muslim League and the Momin Conference were becoming worse. In a 4 September meeting of Jamait-ul-Mominin, the Muslim League was severely criticised. The very next day, a clash occurred between some Momins and Muslims, resulting in the death of one Momin, three days later. It was alleged that the Mohammedan gundas of the Muslim League were responsible for that.30 Subsequently, a meeting of about 3,000 Momins was held in Kanpur. They were advised not to be excited by the recent clash between Momins and others but to remain calm; the death of the Momin volunteer as the result of the clash was to be taken as a signal of success which is always followed by sacrices.31 Again an annual meeting of the All India Jamait-ul-Mominin on 22-23 October was held in Kanpur and attended by about 1,500 people. Here the Muslim League was criticised for its attempt to absorb Momins into the party.32 In a way the caste and class bonds were antagonistically ranged against religious identity. By this time, the weavers and artisans hardly had the right to vote. Even so, the Muslim League did not neglect this community. At a meeting in village Kopaganj, Azamgarh, a reference was made to an article in the Aftab newspaper which alleged that cow-slaughter should be stopped at the point of the sword. A committee of 12 Hindus and 18 Muslims has been formed in village Mubarakpur of the same district to enquire into the truth of the rumour that the Hindus were preparing to resist cow slaughter.33 A Muslim League speaker in a meeting in Benaras in September 1938 informed the audience that due to the khadi and charkha movement, 45 million Muslim weavers had been thrown out of work.34 At Shahjahanpur, a meeting of 1,000 Muslims was organised by the Ansaris to protest against the handwritten posters which fondly abused them. In Gorakhpur, two meetings of the Julaha community were held. The sudden awakening of the Julahas caused some anxiety in the minds of Muslim leaders who realised that they could not afford to lose the help of this very strong community. In Gorakhpur, there were two meetings of the Julaha community.35 Abdul Razzaq, president of the UP Ansar Jamait and other inuential supporters were organising the provincial Jamait conference in Gorakhpur. Several enthusiastic meetings were held with capacities of 200-400.36 Pilibhit, Aligarh, Meerut and Bareilly also saw Jamait-ul-Ansar meetings. Daily parades were organised by Jamait-ul-Ansar volunteers in Aligarh city.37 In Mau, Azamgarh, M Mirdad Shah and Abdul Latif lectured in a meeting of a thousand about a book named Hundred Lives. Their main objection was the inclusion of Prophet Muhammad along with other lives, including Mahatma Gandhi. Proscription of the book was demanded.38 About 500 Julahas attended a Momin meeting, the proceedings were entirely social.39 The month of September saw celebratory processions on the anniversary of Jamait-ul-Ansar in several districts. In Sitapur, 250
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members of a procession were armed with spears. In Aligarh, Jamait-ul-Ansar strongly objected at the Aligarh district authorities insistence on applications for arms licence to carry out such processions.40 In Allahabad, about 100 Jamait-ul-Ansar volunteers performed squad drill and rie exercises with lathis. Leaders of the Jamait-ul-Ansar, particularly Hakim Bashir Ahmad, Ali Hasam Azim and Abdul Qasim mobilised the Ansars at Muradabad.41 The political mobilisation expressed itself in local terms alone.
The League versus the Momins

The political preferences of the Momin Conference were very much a result of its caste and class sensibilities. In 1939, the All India Momin Conference in its representation to the Viceroy pointed out the communitys own assessment of its status within Muslim society. The petition claimed that the Momins or Ansars were a distinct and separate group or class by themselves. The petition lamented that the community had fallen into contempt of certain high-placed sections of the Muslims in India though Islam, the religion of equality, does not believe in the caste system and nobility of birth. It was further alleged that being inuenced by the Brahamanic idea of supremacy and domination, upper-class Muslims, for all practical purposes, divided Indian Muslims into several castes and sections. Followers of Islam in India were divided into two groups, viz, the Shareef (superior or high) and Razeel (inferior or low). All the Muslim occupational classes were placed in the second group. In spite of being in the majority, Momins remained in a minority in the Census record because:42
in order to escape the agonising humiliation and degradation of being counted and classied among the inferior and low castes, a vast number of the Momins and others got themselves recorded in the census paper as Shaikh, that is, the fourth or the last class of the Superior Group-Muslims, and, in a few cases, even as Syed or Pathan.

In fact, this petition encapsulates the mass sentiment of suffering from caste/class polarisation. With their high position, education and wealth, upper-class Muslims placed the downtrodden groups in a disadvantageous position, monopolising all privilege and forcing the Muslim occupational classes towards landlessness and begar. Inferiority was further enforced through literature, fatwas and ban over marital relations with the lower groups. The representation to the Viceroy identied the All India Muslim League as a party of rich sections or superior groups, antagonistic to the interests of the inferior groups of Muslims in India. The Ansars had neither faith nor condence in the Muslim League. As a separate political entity, the Momin Conference started a campaign and presented demands popularly known as nukat-e-Momin or the six points of the Momin, seeking representation in central, provincial and local government and assemblies, reservations in government jobs and education and state protection to the handloom textile industry. But the Government of India did not consider these demands. The case was closed without any reply as the government did not want to recognise sub-sections of a community for the purposes of communal representation.43
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The identication of the Momins as Congress sympathisers and their low-caste status certainly put them apart from the general discourse of Muslim League politics. At the same time, the intelligence categorisation of the Momin-Congress relationship as purely economic explains the ofcial desire to impose a religious identity on the Momins as being part of the larger Muslim community favouring the demand for Pakistan. The Congress could never engage with the Momin Conference beyond a point to use it as a bargaining pawn against the Muslim League. It could not exploit the class and caste barriers between the Ashraf and Ajlaf Muslims. It followed its practice of avoiding highlighting divisions in Indian society at large, since this was essential for it to claim of uniting under an all-India umbrella for the Indian masses. The All India Momin Conference felt that Jawaharlal Nehru was afraid that if the low caste claims and reservation demands of the Momin Conference were accepted, several castes among the Hindus would start demanding the same status, and that would be impossible to full.44 The Congress ght against communal representation and Gandhian politics in the Poona Pact vis--vis Hindu dalits in 1932 certainly strengthen this claim. In a way, to avoid the divisions within its larger constituency, the Congress could not challenge or exploit the elite-controlled constituency of the Muslim League as well. The nature of the Congresss own hegemonic politics forced it to compromise with the Muslim Leagues hegemonic claims over the Muslim constituency, without seeking to take advantage of the dissenting voices of the backward Muslims represented by the Momin Conference, etc. The failure of the All India Muslim Mass Contact Programme points to the lame-duck attitude of the Congress towards the Muslim constituency. This may also perhaps explain the failure of the Congress and Mahatma Gandhi to effectively take up the issue of weavers in a direct way. Most of the Indian weavers, particularly in the Gangetic plains, were Muslims and that may be why the Congress khadi or khaddar politics gave preference to the spinners over the weavers. One does not nd any parallel to the All India Spinners Association of the Congress among weavers organisations.
Mobilisation in Contrast

The 25-26 February 1940 annual meeting of the All India Momin Conference was held in Kanpur in the presence of about 1,000 people. Throughout this period, the Momin Conference tried to contrast itself to the Muslim League. Immediately after the Lahore resolution of the Muslim League in March 1940, the All India Azad Muslim Conference (an organisation of nationalist Muslim parties under the leadership of Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind), in its session at Delhi in April 1940, unanimously carried the ofcial resolution declaring Independence Goal of Indian Muslims, in opposition to the Muslim Leagues demand for a separate Muslim state. The All India Azad Muslim Conference repudiated the charge that Muslims were opposed to Indias freedom. Zahiruddin, president of the All India Momin Conference, attended this session and supported the resolution.46 In the larger politics of the Congress-Muslim League, the All India Momin Conference always tried to intervene as a representative of downtrodden Momins. For the Momin Conference, the Muslim League remained the party of high-caste elite Muslims. In a telegram dated 9 October 1939 to Rajendra Prasad, Abdul Qayoom Ansari, Vice-President of the All india Momin Conference, stated:47
Momin Conference warns against the news published in the newspapers about the League-Congress agreement. The Momins never recognised League and no pact would be acceptable (to the) Momins unless their advice is taken in this regard, ignoring four and half crore Momins in any type of communal or other agreements will be fruitless.

In November 1939, the Viceroy invited Mahatma Gandhi and other Congress leaders for Constitutional talks. Abdul Qayoom Ansari again sent a telegram to Mahatma Gandhi and Rajendra Prasad:48
Momin Conference formed from four and half crore of Momins do not recognise Muslim League as their representative. Any agreement between Congress and League ignoring benets of Momins will not be acceptable to Momin Conference. Please keep this in mind when meeting Mr Jinnah.

The Momins recognised this dilemma and responded by mobilising themselves. During 26-29 December 1939, a joint session of the All India Momin Conference and the Provincial Ansar Conference was held in Gorakhpur. The All India session was presided over by Maulvi Sheikh Mohamed Zahiruddin of Ambala and the provincial session was chaired by Maulvi Mohammad Mustafa of Ghazipur. On 26 December, a procession of 20,000 people through Gorakhpur city concluded with an Ansar aghoisting ceremony. The necessity for solidarity among the ranks of the Momins was stressed, independent both of the Congress and the Muslim League. Among other resolutions, the need for the organisation and promotion of hand-weaving and spinning industry was emphasised. An Ansar swadeshi exhibition was also held. The conference was attended by delegates from UP, Punjab, Bihar, Central Provinces and Bengal.45
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By the beginning of the 1940s, the All India Momin Conference was showing tendencies towards mobilising on the lines of other groups like Khaksars or Ahrars. It was reported that Zahiruddin, president of the All India Momin Conference, on his way from Delhi to Kanpur was welcomed at Aligarh railway station by about 60 Jamait-ul-Ansar volunteers armed with lathis. In the February annual meeting of the All India Momin Conference in Kanpur, the main concerns were the reform of the Momin community and the acceptance by the Government of India of the demands presented to the Viceroy by the Momin community in August 1939.49 Mohammad Ansari of Bihar addressed three Jamait-ul-Ansar meetings in Bareilly. The average attendance was about 200 people. He urged unity among the Ansar community and complained that they were treated like untouchables by the wealthy Muslims. Interestingly, these meetings were packed with local Muslim League supporters who warned the speakers in advance that no criticism of the Muslim League would be tolerated.50 Two Jamait-ul-Ansar meetings attended by 500-600 persons respectively were held in Fatehpur. Speakers including
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Asim of Bihar, president of the All India Jamait-ul-Ansar and Bashir Ahmad Jehangirabadi, editor of the Momin Gazette, urged their audiences to unite and work for the upliftment of their community.51 A Momin Conference meeting was held in Nazibabad from 27-30 September 1940, presided over by Nizamuddin of Allahabad. Attendance at the conference averaged between 500 and 700. Speeches stressed unity and organisation in the community and urged that they be granted greater representation in the council and assemblies throughout the country.52 At a propaganda meeting of Jamait-ul-Ansar held in Bareilly, exception was taken to the use of the term Julaha for members of the community; they were advised to have themselves entered under the term Ansari in the coming census. A resolution was passed requesting early acceptance by the Government of India of the Jamaits demands for representation in the Viceroys Council and Advisory Committee, the formation of an Ansar regiment and full representation of the community in the newly-formed military industrial centres.53 In Allahabad, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad held meeting with Maulana Habib-ur-Rahman, president of the All India Majlis-i-Ahrar, and Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni, the All India Jamait-ul-Ulema leader. Under strict secrecy, it was decided that both the Majlis-i-Ahrar and the Jamait-ul-Ulema would cooperate fully with the Congress in its ongoing Satyagraha campaign. For this purpose, lists of individual satyagrahis were to be prepared by the respective organisations in the various provinces.54 In Agra, at the third annual All India Jamait-ul-Ansar conference held between 12 and 14 April, where the attendance averaged 400-500 persons, concerns about the upliftment of the community.55 Intelligence reports about the political situation in neighbouring Bihar explained the Momins passive attitude towards the ideal of Pakistan and their support of the Congress as purely economic: a Momins livelihood depends very largely on the khaddar he produces for the Congress and even so there are signs that religious consideration are beginning to effect his outlook. But the same report also acknowledged that persistent Pakistan propaganda had c reated among the Muslims an attitude of deance against the state, in turn helping the Congress. This report had identied the Momins as carders, weavers and other low caste Muslims.56
Politics of Numbers

Mahasabha in both letter and spirit. On the eve of the 1941 Census, the provincial secretary of the Bihar Muslim League, Syed Badruddin Ahmad an Ashraf as the name makes clear issued an appeal to Muslims to mention their religion but not their caste. He saw inclusion of the caste category in the census as divisive and hence against the community. Taj Muhammad, a district leader of the low-caste Muslim movement called Jamait-ul Mominin, forcefully countered the Muslim Leagues appeal. In open opposition to the Muslim Leagues position, he appealed to the colonial, ethnographic state that Momins must necessarily be counted and registered as a separate caste. In a letter published in The Searchlight on 10 September 1941, Taj Muhammad pleaded his case:57
Frightened with the numerical strength of the Momins, the veterans of the Muslim League, who have always looked down upon Momin as a class, have left no stone unturned to enlist them not as Momin but merely as MuslimsIn this context, the exploited and the deprived Momins make a humble request to the government that to maintain their representative character, which others want to annihilate, it directs the census department to register the Momins as a separate caste.

The All India Momin Conference also countered political manoeuvring about its status by challenging the statements of Secretary of State for India Leopold Amery who had dismissed the claims of the Momin community as unworthy and exaggerated on the basis of census report of 1931. In fact the British House of Commons saw major debates over the issue. Two members of the House R W Sorensen (of the Labour Party) and Silverman raised the All India Momin Conference claim in Delhi of representing 45 million Muslims. The issue was dealt in the following manner:58
Outside the ranks of the enfranchised are large numbers of Momins and other poor Moslems who may stand aloof from the Moslem League. The Momins (weavers and the like) have proclaimed their dissent, as I well know by the many cables that have reached me. During the war one of these stated that on behalf of 45,000,000 Moslem Momins they repudiated Mr Jinnah. Mr Amery, then Secretary of State for India replied, when I drew his attention to this, that the cable must have meant four to ve million and the House laughed at my apparent discomture. A week later I had a further cable stating it was 45,000,000. Whereupon Mr Amery still insisted that was false but that they might number six or seven million

The numerical strength of the various communities remained a major concern of the colonial government in deciding its political approach. The numerical strength of Muslim Julaha Momins also remained a major issue in the last one decade of the colonial regime. In 1931, the Hindu Mahasabha had fervently campaigned for the harijans to be counted as Hindus and not as a separate caste in the census. Their argument was that the British were playing a divisive game and separate counting would divide and weaken the Hindu community and that. Ten years later, the Muslim League followed the Hindu
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In his reply, Amery questioned the population strength and political inuence of the Momins. The controversy which followed his replies to the parliamentary gathered momentum. The working committee of the All India Momin Conference passed a resolution indicating the inconsistencies and limitations of the census report of 1931, which had failed to cover Momins other than those engaged in weaving. Many Ansari Momins, it argued, had concealed their Momin identity to avoid the social stigma attached to this identity. The census had neglected Momins residing in Assam, Madras, Central Provinces, Berar, Hyderabad, Mysore and Travancore. The All India Momin Conference asserted that:59
the population of the Momin community is under no circumstances less than forty-ve millions and it comprises not only weavers and agricultural labourers, as stated by Mr Amery, but, like other communities of India, also of lawyers, legislators, Government servants, business men, cultivators, artisans and factory workers.

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Due to various causes, a large number of weavers had left their hereditary calling. The social stigma and economic degradation attached to the caste of Julaha and work of weaving had forced many to leave the occupation. When the handweaving industry in India came under severe competition from machine-made imports, the position and prospects of the industry were affected, and as a result, large numbers of weavers belonging to the weaving castes took up other professions generally connected with trade or agriculture. On the other hand, weavers who prospered by dealing in cloth gradually became businessmen and remained only nominal members of the weaving castes. They, along with a few others, got into the liberal professions by utilising educational facilities and had taken their place among the urban middle classes. Those who changed over to menial jobs still took pride in calling themselves by the old class names, but those who prospered in the business or the liberal professions soon gave up their caste contacts. These changes were noted in the periodical censuses. It was believed that considerable numbers of the chief weaving caste had given up weaving by 1921.60 This controversy about the category of the Momins in the census shows deliberate colonial confusion that whether the Momins should be identied as a caste or occupational category. The constant requirement to demarcate the identities of the community by identifying self and other forced the Momin Conference and other similar organisations to reclaim new or lost boundaries. On 9 February 1943, a private meeting of the working committee of the All India Momin Conference was held in Allahabad. Zahuruddin of Lahore was re-elected as president for the coming year. It was also decided that an annual general meeting would be held at Delhi during Easter, at the same time as the annual session of the Muslim League.61
The Idea of Swaraj

The eighth session of the All India Momin Conference held in New Delhi in April 1943 continued to assert its separate identity

by condemning the demand of Pakistan on behalf of four and a half crore Momins. Unlike the Congress, which could not forbid its members from holding simultaneous membership of other political organisations like the Hindu Mahasabha, the Momin Conference took a stand disallowing even its primary members from becoming members of any other political organisation. Anticipating the post-Independence struggle of the downtrodden, Momin Conference President Sheikh Mohamed Zahiruddin believed that the amelioration of millions of Momins in India, who are in the same position in the Muslim community as the Depressed Classes are among Hindus, is only possible under swaraj. The main resolution of this session called for the complete independence of India; swaraj was seen as the only alternative. By this time, the Momin Conference had some 500 committees in the districts and villages of India, mostly in UP and Bihar, where the bulk of the community was concentrated. The president of the conference Zahiruddin expressed keen disappointment about the absence of a Momin representative on the Fact-nding Committee of 1942 with regard to the handloom industry, although as weavers their interest in the committees work was obviously intimate. At the same time, the central committee of the Momin Conference supported the war effort and resolved to wait in a deputation to the commerce member and the Viceroy, to discuss how best the resources of the Momin Ansari community could be harnessed to the war effort. The committee deplored the indifference of the central government towards utilising the resources of the Momin Conference in manpower, skilled and unskilled labour.62 Even by 1943, the Conference did not believe that the Muslim League either had mass appeal or that it cared very much for the common people or that it had sympathy for any programme for upliftment of the underdog. Zahiruddin, president of the All India Momin Conference, left the League on the basis of this belief. When he was urged to bring about a rapprochement between the Muslim League and the Momin Conference, he

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wrote to Jinnah to ask whether the League had any intention of changing its attitude towards the masses. He did not receive any reply. At the same time, the organisation tried to avoid being seen as a political bulwark against the Muslim League. It decided to sever all connections with the Congress as well as the Muslim League to refute the charge that Momins were working with the Congress to divide the Muslim community,63 though it shared the Congress ideal of complete independence for India. In fact, by this time, Muslim League had started countering the separate agenda and status of the Momin Conference by going to the extent of spreading rumours about cancellation of Momin Conference sessions. A meeting of the working committee of the All India Jamait-ul-Ansar was held in Kanpur on 20-21 June 1943 under the presidentship of Zahiruddin. The meeting deplored the response of Muhammad Ali Jinnah to the letter written to him by Gandhi and regarded his attitude as a challenge to the spirit and tradition of Islamic chivalry. It stated that he had prejudiced the countrys effort for early settlement of her problems. The meeting passed the following resolutions: (1) With a view to accelerating the war effort and to ensuring complete and willing cooperation of the country, the government should release all the political prisoners and focus their attention on formation of a national government at the centre, representing all important elements in Indian national life. (2) To request the Government of India to nominate the representative of the Jamait-ul-Ansar-i-Hind to the Textile Advisory Board, which was to be established shortly. (3) To wait in deputation on the commerce member of the Government of India with a view to discussing the best way to harness the resources of the Momin community for the war effort. It was decided to move the ofce of the All India organisation from Kanpur to Delhi. Every member of the community had to subscribe a rupee per head to start a factory for the benet of the community. The members of the community should not join any political organisation other than the Jamait-ulAnsar. A subcommittee consisting of Maulvi Zahiruddin, Sheikh Said Ahmed of Bombay, the president and the general secretary and Bashir Ahmad of Kanpur the editor of the Momin Gazette was appointed to tour Indian states and to study and report on the conditions and requirements of the Momins living there. The working committee meeting referred to the the district Jamait-ul-Ansar conference in Kanpur where the government was criticised for acting unjustly in arresting Congress leaders and harassing them in jail; the release of the Congress men was urged as necessary for the successful prosecution of the war. The trend of the All-India and district conferences was pro-Congress and anti-Muslim League.64 The working committee of the All India Jamait-ul-Mominin met in Kanpur under the presidentship of Zahiruddin on 17-18 October 1943. A resolution was passed to persuade Momins to resign from the Muslim League.65 On 7-8 October 1945, 50 nationalist Muslims representing the Majlis, the Ahrars, the Congress, the Jamait-ul-Ulema, the Khaksars, the Momins and the Sunni Board held a private meeting in Lucknow. They decided to eld candidates against
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the Muslim League in all the constituencies and to collect Rs 2 lakh for election work.66 The UP Momin Conference held in Muradabad on 4 October 1945 was attended by 15,000 people and adopted resolutions promising help to nationalist Muslims, expressing abhorrence for the rowdyism of League members, and showing sympathy for the Indonesian patriots, the Palestine Arabs and the Indian National Army (INA) soldiers.67 The president of the All India Momin Conference asked the Ansars to vote for nationalist Muslims and the working committee of the All India Momin Conference on 27 December 1945 met in Aligarh to deliberate upon the nomination of the Momin candidates for the provincial assembly.68 In the beginning of 1946, election propaganda was in full ow. Support for the nationalist Muslims was canvassed at the district Momin Conference meeting held at Ghazipur on 19 January. The Provincial Momin Ansar Conference also issued a circular exhorting Momins to vote for nationalist Muslim candidates.69
Legacy At this juncture, the leadership of the Momin Conference suffered a major setback due to the Leagues manoeuvres, when Zahiruddin also decided to join the Muslim League. Thus he had to be suspended and replaced by Abdul Qayum Ansari of Bihar as the president.70 A meeting of 50 people in Mau criticised Zahiruddin for joining Muslim League. A resolution was sent to the Momin Conference in Allahabad stating that the Momins of Mau were not prepared to join Muslim League under any circumstance.71 The failure of the Momin Conference to manoeuvre within the available political space led to the emergence of other alternatives. The year 1940 saw the emergence of two new organisations in the Azamgarh district. The rst group was the Communist Party of India. The second, the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, was formed in Azamgarh district at the instance of Maulana Habib-ul Rehman of Mau, Nath Bhanjan and Hakim Ishaq of Azamgarh. Only immediately after Partition does one nd references to its resurgence in the district. A meeting of 200 people was held in Mau on 5 March 1948 with Maulvi Abdul Latif as the chair. It was said that the Jamait-ul-Ulema would ght against the new government just as they fought against the British government. The speakers were President Ahmadullah and Ghulam Rasul. They gave ery speeches saying that their organisation was to a large extent instrumental in bringing about independence. But now that the Congress was in power, it was not doing justice and proving even worse than the British government, in ignoring the welfare of kisans and mazdoors, it had further imposed a ban on the newspaper Al-Jamiat. The following resolutions were passed at the meeting:72 (1) Handloom cloth should be exported to Pakistan. (2) No tax should be imposed on the sale of this cloth. (3) 25% of the cloth to be sent outside the country should be handloom cloth. (4) The ban imposed on newspaper Al-Jamiat should be withdrawn. 69

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The antagonistic hierarchical class/caste relations were situating the Momin Ansars in such a position where even the idea of a separate nationality for the Indian Muslim was not lucrative enough to bring them together with the Muslim League. After the formation of two nations on the subcontinent, fewer Momin Ansars migrated from UP compared to the elite and high-class Muslims as they had nothing to lose except their handlooms.73 So the political aspirations and religious activities of the weavers clearly establish an attempt to carve out an independent space for socio-economic mobility. Lower status Julahas tried to critique the Ashraf (upper caste) dominated Muslim politics in northern India. For the Momin Ansaris to develop as
Notes
1 The argument here is that multiculturalism only operates at the level of the great traditions, to the detriment of little traditions, which are inherently plural. In anthropological usage, great tradition refers to the culture of priests and theologians. Since the community of priests and theologians is also in a sense a textual community, the concept may be used to highlight the textual reading of religion. A textual reading of religion reies identities to the exclusion of other practices. The little tradition is a repository of inherited customary practices which may not necessarily be compatible with the textual religious tradition. 2 Ashfaque Husain Ansari, Momin Conference ki Dastavezi Tareekh (Documentary History of Momin Conference), Delhi, 2000, pp 17, 19. 3 Hasan Nishat Ansari, The Momin Congress Relation (A Socio-Historical Analysis), Patna, 1989, pp 2-3. 4 Police Intelligence Department, Secret Police Abstract of Intelligence, United Provinces (henceforth PAI), Lucknow, No 3, 28 April 1928. 5 Ibid. 6 Mushirul Hasan, Congress Muslims and Indian Nationalism: The Dilemma and Decline, 1928-34, South Asia, 8(1-2), 1985, pp 11-12. 7 Sheikh Abdul Majid undated diary entry (19021934?), unpublished Urdu manuscript, Maulvi Kamaruzzaman Mubarakpuri, Muhalla Supura, Mubarakpur, Azamgarh, UP. 8 Letter from the Provincial Jamait-ul-Ansar, UP to the Home Member, Government of UP, File No 122/ 1930, Boxes 279-281, Political Department, UP State Archive (henceforth UPSA), Lucknow. 9 Ibid. 10 Report of the Proceedings of the Executive Committee of the All India Jamiat-ul-Quraish, held on 18-20 February 1933, Agra. 11 Letter from the Provincial Jamait-ul-Ansar, UP to the Home Member, Government of United Provinces, File No 122/ 1930, Boxes 279-281, Political Department, UPSA, Lucknow. 12 PAI, No 40, 10 October 1931; No 25, 25 June 1932; No 33, 20 August 1932; No 45, 12 November 1932. 13 Nandini Gooptu, The Politics of the Urban Poor in Early Twentieth Century India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2001, pp 264-66. 14 Handloom vs Spinning-Wheel, Young India, 11 November 1926, The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 37 (New Delhi: Publications Division Government of India), 1999. 15 Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 23, March 1922-May 1924, Ahmedabad, 1979, p 59. 16 Swatantrata Sangram Ke Sainik, Zila Azamgarh, UP, Information Department, Lucknow, undated.

a counter-hegemonic force in Indian Muslim politics, they had to consistently critique the social and religious articulation of Ashraf dominance. This was a stance that could not be successfully voiced by the All India Momin Conference due to the complexities of religious dichotomies and local exigencies. The religious categorisation of people created a polarisation on communal lines. Different identities were adopted at various times by these groups, yet the main agenda of having a social status, occupational upliftment and sense of empowerment was central to every move. Their socio-economic deprivation ensured that instead of taking up their cause, larger forces used them for their own agenda. But their pro-nationalist overtones carried an earnest desire to overcome the odds of inherent inequalities.
45 PAI, No 1, 6 January 1940. 46 The Leader, 1 May 1940, Accession No 1484, Private Papers, UPSA. 47 Mushirul Hasan, Congress Muslims and Indian Nationalism: The Dilemma and Decline, 1928-34; Hasan Nishat Ansari, The Momin Congress Relation, p 19. 48 Ibid. 49 PAI, No 10, 9 March 1940. 50 Ibid, No 16, 20 April 1940. 51 Ibid, No 29, 20 July 1940. 52 Criminal Investigation Department (CID), UP, Weekly Appreciation of the Political Situation for the Week Ending 4 October, PAI, 1940. 53 Ibid, 15 November 1940. 54 Ibid, 13 December 1940. 55 Ibid, 18 April 1941. 56 Director of Intelligence Bureaus Report of the Political Situation in Bihar, Home Department Political (I) Branch, File No 31/1/1941-Police (I), NAI. 57 Ali, Anwar, Masawat ki Jang (Battle for Equality), pp 24-30; Irfan Ahmad, A Different Jihad: Dalit Muslims Challenge to Ashraf Hegemony, Economic & Political Weekly, 15 November 2003, p 4889. 58 R W Sorensen, My Impression of India (London: Meridian Books), London, 1946, p 117. 59 Nripendra Nath Mitra, ed. The Indian Annual Register, January-June 1942, Volume I, Calcutta, 1943, pp 329-30; Hindustan Times, Delhi, 7 April 1942; Statesman, Delhi, 7 April 1942. 60 P J Thomas, chairman, Report of the Fact Finding Committee (handloom and mills), 1942, Delhi, 1942, pp 64-65. 61 CID, UP, Weekly Appreciation, ending 12 February 1943. 62 The Indian Annual Register, January-June 1943, Volume I, Calcutta, 1944, p 292. 63 Ibid, pp 290-92. 64 CID, UP, Weekly Appreciation, ending 25 June 1943. 65 Ibid, 22 October 1943. 66 Ibid, 12 October 1945. 67 Ibid, 9 November 1945. 68 Ibid, 23 November, 21 and 28 December 1945. 69 Ibid, 25 January and 1 February 1946. 70 Ayesha Jalal, Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam since 1850 (London: Routledge), 2001, p 520. 71 Intelligence Papers, Local Intelligence Unit, Police Ofce, Azamgarh, 2 April 1947. 72 Intelligence Papers, Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, Local Intelligence Unit, Police Ofce, Azamgarh, 12 March 1948. 73 Interview with Qazi Zafar Masood, Mubarakpur, Azamgarh, 01-02-1998; Report on the General Administration of the United Provinces, 1948, Allahabad, 1951.
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17 Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 24, Ahmedabad, 1967, p 426. 18 PAI, No 24, 21 June 1930. 19 Indian Cotton Textile Industry Annual, 1949, Bombay, p 152. 20 Salil Misra, A Narrative of Communal Politics: Uttar Pradesh, 1937-39 (New Delhi: Sage Publications), 2001. 21 The Pioneer, 20 December 1936. 22 Gandhi on Hindu Muslim Unity, G-34/ 1939-42, All India Congress Committee Papers, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (henceforth NMML), New Delhi. 23 Jawaharlal Nehru to Krishna Menon, not dated, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vol XIV, Delhi, 1984, p 97. 24 Basudev Chatterjee, ed. Towards Freedom: Documents on the Movement for Independence in India, 1938, Volume 2 (Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2002, pp 1409-1413; Hasan Nishat Ansari, The Momin-Congress Relation, p 8; Papiya Ghosh, Partitions Biharis in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East , Volume 17, No 2, 1997. 25 Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, ed. Quaid-e-Azam: Jinnahs Correspondence (New Delhi: Metropolitan Book Company), 1981, pp 271-74; Rajendra Prasad, India Divided (Delhi: Anmol Publications), 1986, p 153. 26 Paul R Brass, Language, Religion and Politics in North India (London: Cambridge University Press), 1974, p 246. 27 Star of India, 22 December 1938; 17 July 1939; 26 September 1938. 28 PAI, No 2, 15 January 1938. 29 Ibid, No 29, 29 July 1938. 30 Ibid, No 37, 17 September 1938. 31 Ibid, No 38, 24 September 1938. 32 Ibid, No 44, 5 November 1938. 33 Ibid, No 4, 29 January 1938. 34 Ibid, No 40, 8 October 1938. 35 Ibid, No 23, 10 June 1939. 36 Ibid, No 24, 17 June 1939. 37 Ibid, No 25, 24 June 1939. 38 Ibid, No 27, 8 July 1939. 39 Ibid, No 31, 5 August 1939. 40 Ibid, No 37, 16 September 1939. 41 Ibid, No 38, 23 September; No 41, 14 October 1939. 42 Representation from All India Momin Conference to the Viceroy, 28 August 1939, Home Department (Public Branch), File No 185/39, National Archive of India (henceforth NAI), New Delhi. 43 Ibid. 44 Jawaharlal Nehru to Abdul Qayoom Ansari, Letter dated 14 November 1939, Cited from Ali Anwar, Masawat Ki Jung (Battle for Equality) trans Mohammad Imran Ali and Zakia Jowher, Delhi, 2005, pp 201-03.
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