Blasphemy death in British India

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Gollum, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

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    Jinnah, Iqbal and blasphemy
    Mudassir Khan visits the tomb of Ghazi Shaheed Ilm-Deen every day to add to the heap of flower petals on top of his grave and sing a tearful prayer to the illiterate carpenter’s apprentice who killed to protect the honour of his faith.

    Like hundreds of others who come daily to the gaudily decorated enclosure in the middle of Lahore’s main graveyard, the restaurant owner reveres the 20-year-old executed for his crime more than 85 years ago.

    “In the other shrines you have to pray for half an hour,” Khan said. “But here God answers our prayers in minutes.”

    In a country bursting with shrines of saints honoured for their wisdom or righteousness, Ilm-Deen’s tomb is perhaps the only one where a framed copy of a murder charge takes pride of place next to the tomb.

    It relates to events that happened before Pakistan came into existence but still resonate with many people who see parallels with the contemporary case of Mumtaz Qadri, the former police bodyguard who murdered one of Pakistan’s best-known politicians in the name of blasphemy in 2011.

    The charge sheet details how on 6 April 1929, Ilm-Deen “brutally attacked” with a knife the Lahore-based publisher of Rangeela Rasool, a book that had enraged many Muslims with its allegedly scurrilous commentary on the life of the prophet Muhammad.

    The “first investigation report” on the wall of the shrine says Mahashay Rajpal, the Hindu victim, had tried to defend himself by throwing piles of books at Ilm-Deen, who was soon arrested, still holding the murder weapon.

    The killing turned the young man into a hero, earning him the honorifics Ghazi and Shaheed and ensuring he remained famous almost a century later, in part thanks to a popular film celebrating the incident.

    Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the lawyer who would found the new state of Pakistan 18 years later, travelled from Mumbai, then known as Bombay, to Lahore to defend Ilm-Deen in his appeal hearing but was unable to save him from being hanged by the colonial government.

    His funeral was attended by tens of thousands, including Muhammad Iqbal, Pakistan’s national poet, who gave a graveside eulogy.


    The saga has particular resonance today among hardline Barelvis, Pakistan’s largest grouping of Sunni Muslims, not just because devotion to the prophet is central to their faith, but because they argue Qadri should also be regarded as a national hero.

    This week Qadri took a step closer to becoming a modern day Ilm-Deen when Islamabad’s high court upheld his conviction for murder, a decision that predictably outraged the hundreds of demonstrators who have gathered outside the courthouse for each appeal hearing.

    “In 1929 we could not stop the execution of the lover of the prophet because the British were in power and Muslims were a minority,” said Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a mullah who made the journey from Lahore just to protest. “Now there is a Muslim government in Pakistan and we will not obey our leaders if they execute Qadri.”

    Qadri enjoys widespread support for his murder of Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, because of the outrage Taseer sparked by his campaign to win a pardon for Asia Bibi, a poor Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws.

    Although at least one popular mosque has been named after Qadri, he has a long way to go to match Ilm-Deen, whose name has been given to parks, roads, hospitals and even a government guesthouse in Islamabad.

    Both the Ilm-Deen and Qadri cases touch on Pakistan’s perennial, and increasingly bitter, debate about the role of Islam in national affairs.

    Abdul Majeed, a retired soldier turned mullah who runs a mosque near Ilm-Deen’s shrine, claimed the saga was one of the inspirations for the “two nation theory” later used to justify the partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

    “It was one of the reasons for the Hindu-Muslim divide,” said Majeed, who has written a short history of Ilm-Deen called The Flower Who Sent a Blasphemer to Hell. “It made us realise we are separate nations.”


    Liberal lawyer and historian Yasser Latif Hamdani said Jinnah only acted on the “cab-rank rule” to take a case for which, as one of India’s top barristers, he was paid a handsome fee.

    But Hamdani conceded the involvement of educated members of the Muslim elite, such as Jinnah and Iqbal, was “a major failing”.

    “It has allowed basically half-educated lawyers to get up and say Jinnah appeared in this case and now we’re doing this,” he said. “Pakistan has to divorce itself from this history because a society that makes heroes out of Ilm-Deen is likely to end up with murderers like Qadri.”

    In an extraordinary twist the two killings span the generations of one family: Salmaan Taseer’s father, the celebrated Urdu poet Muhammad Din Taseer, was among Ilm-Deen’s supporters, helping raise funds for his defence and donating the shroud in which the carpenter was buried.


    Almost a century later, his grandson, the artist Shaan Taseer, has emerged as a leading voice against religious extremism and formally petitioned the Islamabad high court to uphold the death sentence for his father’s killer.

    He argues that the historical context of Qadri’s case is different from that of Ilm-Deen, who Taseer said was a rallying point for Muslim pride and Muslim interests in the late colonial period.

    “Defending the interests of the Muslim community of India is not the same as fighting for Islam,” he said.

    LINK 1

    Ilam Din

    Towards the end of Margalla Road in Islamabad lies the Foreign Service Hostel. It is a drab, concrete modernist structure. And, it is named after Ghazi Ilm Din Shaheed, an early ‘hero’ of South Asian Muslim consciousness. Ilam Din is both a Ghazi (a surviving warrior) and a Shaheed (martyr) in our cultural memory that has been reinforced and officially sanctioned by the state. For the Foreign Ministry to name its officers’ residence after Ilam Din is a reminder of how heroes have been adopted and to some extent mythologized by the state of Pakistan.

    On the 6th of April 1929, Ilam Din, a young carpenter from Lahore, murdered a blasphemer Rajpal – a Hindu by faith – for publishing an allegedly offensive pamphlet against the Prophet (PBUH). Rajpal published the ostensibly distasteful material in 1924, five years before his murder. He was booked under the Indian Penal Code but was acquitted by the Lahore High Court in May 1927.

    When the High Court could not punish him, the colonial administration added Section 295-A (the legal parent of the current blasphemy provisions in Pakistani statute) to the Indian Penal Code to quell the protests by the Muslim community. In 1927, two attempts were made on the life on Rajpal, both of which remained unsuccessful. Yet, this was not a burning issue until of course Ilam Din Shaheed demonstrated his “bravery” and a trial ensued.

    This trial took place in the context of communal tensions that had been brewing under British rule. Ilam Din was sentenced and for his appeal, Mr Mohamed Ali Jinnah (later to become the founder of Pakistan) appeared in the High Court as a defence lawyer. The appeal was rejected. Another appeal to the Privy Council was also rejected and finally Ilam Din was hanged in 1929.
    The mythmaking began thereafter and in the years to come Ilam Din was portrayed as a grand hero of Muslim community: a true one, because he was successful in meting out the ‘punishment’ that the earlier ones could not achieve. In fact, Ilam Din remained unaware of theprinted book for years and only through fiery speeches in Lahore did he find out about its ‘insulting’ content.

    The funeral of Ilam Din was also a spectacle. Noted Muslim celebrities of the age participated. Allama Iqbal, our national poet was present and reportedly said that a carpenter’s son was superior to others for having defended the faith. Similarly, another poet-intellectual of that era, MD Taseer was sympathetic to Ilam Din. Nothing can be more ironic as decades later, Taseer’s only son was killed for a false accusation of blasphemy.

    In our textbooks, the character of Ilam Din is celebrated. As an ideological state the imperative to highlight such cases is understandable. Ilam Din is also a symbolic warrior-hero pitted against a Hindu offender. Rajpal in cultural memory therefore becomes a representative of what Pakistan liberated itself from.


    In popular cinema, a 1978 film Ghazi Ilam Din Shaheed also played upon the myth of the hero who burns with the desire for martyrdom. The film also showed Mr Jinnah as somewhat sympathetic to the cause and if I recall correctly refuses to accept fees for the case. The finale suggests that the Hindus and Muslims could not have lived together. Whatever was written earlier about Ilam Din in Urdu suggested that not just the religious dimension but popular cinema also reinforced the pre-partition politics and the communal tension, which culminated in the partition of India in 1947.

    Now Ilam Din’s grave is a shrine, a sacred space that commemorates his sacrifice as well as evokes the nationalist narrative of an insensitive British justice system and the acts of anti-Muslim Hindus that led to the Partition.

    LINK 2
     
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  3. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

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    Kamlesh Tiwari is the new Rajpal, a watershed moment in Indian history. Time for a full blown civil war, we have to complete the unfinished business of 47 and 71 (Bengal, NE). Enemy's character hasn't changed, same Congressi Muslims who hailed Rajpal's murderer in the 1920s are supporting this murder now. Full celebration by that despicable community on social media.
     
  4. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

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    The sequence of events:
    • Muslims published a pamphlet depicting Maa Sita as a prostitute
    • A Muslim Ali Qasim wrote a derogatory book about Hindus titled 'Unneesvi Sadi ka Maharishi' in 1923
    • An Arya Samaji based in Punjab (Lahore) wrote a book in retaliation titled 'Rangeela Rasul' about the marriages of the Islamic Prophet drawing material from hadiths, year was 1924
    • Mahashe Rajpal was the publisher, he didn't reveal the name of the author to protect him
    • Muslims triggered, Rajpal arrested but acquitted in 1927
    • Maulana Mohammed Ali (later Muslim League stalwart), a leading figure of the Khilafat Movement and who was once hailed as the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity by Gandhi addressed a gathering in Jama Masjid, Delhi where he declared that 'the kafir Rajpal will not go free'
    • Maulana Mohammed Ali exhorted Indian Muslims to wage jihad on infidels of India in the name of the Prophet
    • Number of unsuccessful attempts to kill Rajpal, many Arya Samajis in Punjab and United Provinces were killed by Muslims
    • In 1929 a young Muslim carpenter named Ilm-ud-din/Ilam Deen stabbed Rajpal to death, made no attempt to escape and admitted his crime
    • Jinnah was his lawyer, lost the case...the only one he lost in his career
    • Ilam Deen was sentenced and then hanged to death
    • The largest funeral of that time, Iqbal was one of the pall-bearers and hailed him with laudatory poems, praising him for his love for the prophet and murder of the blasphemer
    • Ilam Deen earned the title of Ghazi and Shaheed, one of the greatest icons for Pakistanis even today
    Rangeela Rasul stands banned in India even today :rofl:fucking dhimmi cucks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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