The following are excerpts from the statement of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s statement in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Calcutta on February 22, 1922. The sentiments echo almost exactly the feelings of the Sikhs in 199] after a decade of struggling for independence from perfidious Indian domination.

“History bears ample testimony to the fact that whenever a ruling authority has taken up arms against liberty and truth courts of justice have lent themselves admirably to purposes of a most facile and unfailing weapon for the practice of such inequity. The authority of the law courts is a power which can be used equally to do justice and to perpetuate injustice. In the hands of an equitable Government no weapon is deadlier than these for purposes of revenge and inequity No pure-minded and truth-loving section of humanity can be found including even the inventors and savants of science which has not some time or other stood in the dock before a court of law.

“The inequities of courts of law constitute an endless list and history has not yet finished singing the elegy of such miscarriages of justice. In that list we observe a holy personage like Jesus who had to ‘stand in his time before a foreign court convicted even as the worst of criminals. We see also in the same list Socrates who was sentenced to be poisoned for no other crime than that of being the most truthful person of his age. We meet also the name of the great Florentine martyr to truth the inventor Galileo who refused to belie his observations and researches merely because their avowal was a crime in the eyes of constituted authority. When I ponder on the great and significant history of the convicts’ dock and find that the honor of standing in that place belongs to me today my soul becomes steeped in thankfulness and praise of God.

“The history of politics teaches us that foolishness and recklessness of consequences are always the companions of a decadent power. Repression when practiced against national awakening is not fatal thing for a nation but instead breathes new life into it.

“According to my belief it is my duty to speak out at the present moment and I cannot fall short of the full performance of my duty just because it might be construed into a crime. Most certainly I have Stated that the present Government is oppressive If I do not say this else am I to say? I fail to understand why it should be expected of me that I should call things by any but their right names I refuse absolutely to call black white I have certainly been asserting that only two paths are Open to us in this matter of our duty. The Government has to refrain from all this inequity and deprivation of liberty; or if it cannot bring itself to do so it has to be wiped off. I believe in the evil of the present Government most assuredly.

“Now what is the reason that such is the firm belief of myself this faith of mine exists because I am an Indian because I am a Muslim and first and last because

I am a man.

“It is my belief that liberty is the natural and God-given right of man.

No man and no bureaucracy consisting of men have got the right to make the servants of God its own slaves. However attractive be the euphemism invented for ‘subjugation’ and ‘slavery’ still slavery is slavery and it is opposed to the will and to the canons of God. I therefore do not consider the bureaucracy of India to be a legitimate sovereign and I consider it a bounded duty to liberate country from its yoke. The notorious fallacies of ‘Reform’ and ‘gradual transfer of power’ can Produce no illusions and pitfalls in my unequivocal and definite faith. Liberty being the primary Fight of man it is nobody’s personal privilege to prescribe limits or apportion shares in the distribution of it. To say that a nation should get its liberty in graduated Stages is the same as saying that an owner should be right receive his property only in bits and a creditor his dues by installments Whatever philanthropic acts might be performed by a man who has usurped our property his usurpations would still continue to be utterly illegal.

“Evil cannot be classified into good and bad. All that is in fairness possible is to fix its gradations with respect to quality We can Say very heinous robbery and less heinous robbery but who can

Speak of good robbery and bad robbery?

(The Muslim April 91)

Article extracted from this publication >> May 3, 1991