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Muhammad Bahadur Khan

Muhammad Bahadur Khan (3 February 1905 – 25 June 1944), alias Saadi Khan. Titles Bahadur Yar Jung  and Quaid-e-Millath was an Hyderabadi Muslim who argued for the formation of Muslim states in India during the British Occupation in the 1930s and 1940s.

Early life
He was born in 1905 to Nawab Nasib Yawar Jung and named Saadi Khan alias Muhammad Bahadur Khan. He was descended from the Kakazai Pashtun family which had come to Hyderabad during the reign of the Nizam Sikandar Jah (1903–29) and was granted a minor jagir of Lal Garhi, He was also a hereditary jamadar of the nazim-e-jamiat (commander of the Irregular Forces) of the Nizam.

His mother died barely seven days after his birth. He was therefore brought up by his maternal grandmother up to the age of 14 and thereafter by his paternal grandmother. He was educated at the Madarsa-e-Aliya and Darul-Uloom ( now City College Hyderabad ) and acquired proficiency in wrestling, swimming, marksmanship, andswordsmanship. He was also very fond of shikar. He was married at the age of 14 to Talmain Khatoon, an older cousin. Right from school days he used to excel in declamation and became a popular orator.

When Bahadur Khan inherited the jagir on the death of his father in 1923 he also inherited a debt of Rs.4.5 Lakhs. Within four years he set the affairs right and having cleared all the debt, doubled the income from his estate to Rs.40,000 per annum.  

Bahadur Yar Jung was a practical and realistic person. Particularly, he wanted his own home state, Princely Hyderabad, to be separate from the rest of India as an Islamic state with Sharia Law in force, and led an organisation called Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, for the propagation of Islam. A friend and aide to Mohammed Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, he was one of the most admired leaders of thePakistan Movement. In 1926 Bahadur Yar Jung was elected president of the Society of Mahdavis.In 1938 he was made president of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen .The party has roots back to the days of the princely State of Hyderabad. It was founded and shaped by Nawab Mahmood Nawaz Khan Qiledar Golconda of Hyderabad State by the advice of His Highness Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan the Nizam of Hyderabad and in the presence of Ulma-e-Mashaeqeen in 1927 as a pro-Nizam party. then it was only Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and the first meeting was held in the house of Nawab Mahmood Nawaz Khan his house name was "Touheed Manzil" at Chowk-e-Aspan opposite asha talkies Qazipura Hyderabad. The MIM advocated the set up of a Muslim dominion rather than integration with India. In 1938 Bahadur Yar Jung was elected President of the MIM which had a cultural and religious manifesto soon acquired political complexion and became aligned with the Muslim League in British India. He soon rose to be the supreme and unquestioned leader of the MIM and imparted a new militancy to it.

In November, 1930 a public meeting was held in the Victory Playground to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. A young man was moving his audience to tears by his oration. Midway through his speech, there was a general commotion. Policemen on duty started blowing whistles nervously. Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam VII, had arrived unannounced to attend the meeting. The young speaker paused only for a while and then greeted the Nizam in an emotion-charged manner and referred him with these words:

Oh! Crowned slave of the Muhammad of Arabia, come,

let me tell thee about the style of governance of that emperor of both the spiritual and the corporeal worlds.

Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam VII, sat there completely mesmerized and like the thousands amongst the audience, washed by the flood of words coming from that young speaker, tears began to roll down from Mir Osman Ali Khan cheeks. He asked some of the telling sentences of the speech to be repeated, as people say encore in mushairas (Urdu poetry conferences). 

A week later, on 25 November 1930, he received a firman. It read:

The royal personage was delighted to hear your sermon and on the auspicious occasion of his birthday is pleased to confer the title of Bahadur Yar Jung on you. 

When Jagirdars were not allowed to participate in politics. To overcome that constraint, Bahadur Yar Jung renounced his Jagir and Title of (Bahadur Yar Jung) in 1940 and intensified his activities. That added to his popularity, thus the people of erstwhile Hyderabad Deccan used to call him as Quaid-e-Millath. 

Matched by very few, his oratory skills served as a catalyst to the independence struggle. A sample is presented here: 
On the December 26, 1943, he delivered an important speech in the All India Muslim League Conference. In the first half of his speech he laid stress on the struggle for Pakistan. In the second half he talked about the creation of Pakistan. At the end he said, 

"Muslims! Decisions made under pressure do not last for long. To-day we are not in need of a tree that blooms like a flower or in need of fruit that tastes sweet to our mouths. Instead, we are in the need of fine manure that dissolves in the soil and strengthens the roots. That will unite with the water and soil to produce beautiful flowers. That will destroy itself but will leave its scent and taste in the flowers. We are at present not in need of beautiful scenery that looks good to the eyes, but what we need are foundation stones that will bury themselves in the soil to make the building standing on them strong." 

The first time he spoke at the Aligarh University's famous strachey Hall, he spoke till early morning 3 a.m, and still the audience showed no sign of restlessness or boredom and were demanding more from him such was his oratory skills. In 1942 at the leagues Allahabad session when Bahadur Yar Jung appealed for funds, no less than Rs 1,25,000 were contributed on the spot within minutes. In 1943 at the next Muslim League session at Delhi he spoke till early morning 4 a.m, in the last on his appeal for funds the large contingent of women in the audience gave away even their jewellery amounting to nearly ten lakhs. The Quaid-e-Millath was of course, overwhelmed by their generous response. 

Once Syed Abul Ala Maududi wrote a letter to Bahadur Yar Jung seeking work that the Bahadur Yar Jung deems fit for the status of Mawdudi. In response Bahadur Yar Jung wrote back, 
the time has come for the muslims not to wait for any allotment of work, instead we should by ourselves join the masses and start working in between them in the branch we are capable to handle, as no work is unfit for a genuine worker and make ourselves as bricks and get fixed where ever necessary and strengthen the dilapidating wall of the Muslim community. 

Struggle for Muslim nation
In 1926 he was elected president of the Society of Mahdavias and in 1927 he started the Society for the Propagation of Islam. In 1930 he was elected secretary of the Union of Jagirdars which had been established in 1892 but was moribund. He served in that capacity for four years and infused new life into it. He was fond of reading and knew Urdu, Arabic, Persian and English and had smattering of Telugu. Because of his oratorical skills he became immensely popular and also very close to the Muslim League leaders, Specially to Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Mohammed Iqbalwhose speeches he often interpreted from English into Urdu. 

To make matters absolutely sure, the demographic balance of the State had to be altered. Bahadur Yar Jung founded the Majlis-e-Tabligh-e-Islam in 1927 to counter the Arya Samaj movement in Hyderabad Deccan. Enlisted and trained a missionary corps, organized campaigns of tabligh and was instrumental in conversion of Hindus into Muslims - particularly those belonging to theuntouchable and backward classes in rural areas. He advised his band of missionary workers to aim not at the conversion of individuals but of whole groups. This work was done with particular zeal for three years and during that period he is credited with the conversion of 24,000 persons. 

In 1931, he performed Haj along with 82 persons and thereafter undertook a tour of the Islamic Countries of West Asia, and of Europe. In early 1935, The Muslims in India under the leadership of Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung of Hyderabad Deccan started campaigning for restoration of Caliphate. The response from the Arab world andTurkey was disappointing. Arabs were disintegrated in various kingdoms, Emirates and Turkey became a secular state. 

In 1938 he was elected president of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, a society with a cultural and religious manifesto. However, it soon acquired political complexion and became aligned theMuslim League in British India. He soon rose to be the supreme and unquestioned leader of the MIM and imparted a new militancy to it. 

Bahadur Yar Jung noted the peculiar political situation of Hyderabad State. It was a State with an overwhelming Hindu population (some 87%) and a Muslim ruler. With the winds of change blowing all over and the talk of democracy and the demands for a responsible government, the control of power was bound to pass from the ruling Muslim minority to the Hindu majority. To perpetuate the existing state of affairs, heavily weighted in favour of the Muslims, he therefore propounded an ingenious theory. The Nizam claimed that, as a ruler, he was sovereign. Louis XIV ofFrance had proclaimed in the 17th century L'etat!-- c'est moi! (I am the State). In 1938, Bahadur Yar Jung enunciated the doctrine of Ana' Al Malik, (We are sovereign). According to this theory, sovereignty did not vest in the ruler, but in the Muslim community. The Nizam was merely a symbol of that sovereignty. Every Muslim in the State thus became a participant and a sharer in sovereignty. It thus sought to make it the vested interest of every Muslim to protect his sovereignty and its symbol, the Nizam. It became the official doctrine of the MIM and Bahadur Yar Jung insisted that Hyderabad should be declared a Muslim State. 

Bahadur Yar Jung thus reduced the Nizam from the personification of sovereignty to its mere symbol. He often said things which caused the Nizam discomfiture, and, not unoften, even offence. Once when he thundered against the British presence and their direction of administration in the State, the Nizam was compelled by the British Resident to censure and to silence him and to be confined to his house for some time. The Jagirdars were not allowed to participate in politics. To overcome that constraint, Bahadur Yar Jung renounced his Jagir and Title in 1940 and intensified his activities.  At that very moment he announced that:

I was not made to sit on an official seat and look after the affairs of the state. The aim of my life is to go on streets and raise storms in the hearts of men 

Secular thoughts
In spite of his politics, he was a friend of many leaders of other communities.Sarojini Naidu, for example, used to refer to him as her son. Sarojini Naidu was equally affectionate towards him and called him her son. She paid glowing tributes to him while introducing at a meeting held under the title, Mazhab Nahin Sikata Apas Mein Bair Rakhna. In response Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung said,I thank the respected chairperson for her introduction. But since I consider her to be my mother she has praised not me but herself.  

Bahadur Yar Jung counted many leading Hindu leaders as his friend including Gandhi Ji and Rabindranath Tagore. In a letter to Sarojini Naidu dated June 13, 1942, Gandhi Ji enquired about the deteriorating communal situation in Hyderabad State: 

In various instances of Bahadur Yar Jung life where he practically demonstrated his belief in justice and harmony. In 1942 he amicably resolved the dispute related to the land of Sharan BasappaTemple in Gulbarga. Finding Muslim claims to the land as unjust he gave the decision in favour of the temple. At this Muslims complained but he did not blink and instead reminded them of theQuran verse, and do not let the enmity and hatred of some people lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to piety (Qur’an, 5: 8). 

In 1944, he had gone to a dinner at the house of Justice Hashim Ali Khan, a judge of the High Court and a close friend. Coming rather late, he ran up the steps and apologized to his host and other guests. Then he sat down and, as he took a pull at the hookah, he collapsed. His sudden and unexpected death raised suspicion that he was poisoned allegedly at he instance of theNizam. But only whispers were heard. However, the Nizam joined the mammoth funeral procession the next morning. His early death changed the course of history in the Hyderabad State. 

After his death the Muslims mourned throughout the India. And his absence was acutely felt during the rest of the separation and formation of Pakistan, especially the 1945-46 general elections when the fate of Muslim state was hung in the balance. After the integration of Hyderabad with the Indian Union, the fist wave of immigrants from the state were committed enough to set up an Academy named after him in Karachi, Pakistan.

Bhadur yar jung hall, a Community hall for Mahdavis was established in Musheerabad and Chanchalguda, Hyderabad 
Bahadurabad, a neighbourhood of Karachi, Pakistan, is named after Bahadur Yar Jung. 
Bahadurpura, a neighbourhood of Hyderabad, India, is named after Bahadur Yar Jung. 
Bahadur Yar Jung Academy, founded in Karachi, Pakistan 
In 1990, Pakistan Post issued a stamp depicting Bahadur Yar Jung in its Pioneers of Freedom series designed by Saeed Akhtar. 

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