Forgotten Fighter: Dr.M.A. Ansari

The contribution and sacrifices of the Khilafatists like Maulana Azad, Dr M.A.Ansari, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Dr Kitchloo and Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni etc to the cause of India’s freedom were no less than those of the foremost Hindu leaders.

Rafiq Zakaria

The fore-fathers of Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari joined the royal army and the Courts and settled at Yusufpur, now in the Ghazipur District of U.P. Dr Ansari must have a deep spiritual tendency, organizing ability and courage as well as a legal mind. His scholarship enabled him to join the University of Edinburgh, London. He completed his degree of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery in 1905 there. He was appointed as Registrar, Lock Hospital, London and thereafter as the House Surgeon at the Charing Cross Hospital, London. By virtue of his outstanding work and dedication, their surgery ward was named as the “Ansari Ward”.

His devotion to Mahatma Gandhi drew him to participate in the Satyagraha Sabha. He remained associated with the major policy decisions of the Central Khilafat Committee and got an opportunity to work with leaders like Maulana Abdul Bari, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Al Brothers. His zeal to render services of medical mature succeeded when launched a medical mission to help people in Turkey and collected above Rs 1 lakh for the Turkish Relief Fund.

He presided over the All India Congress Session in December 1927 at Madras. During the session, he opined that the problem of Hindu Muslim differences must be solved once and for all and there is no organization more competent and better fitted to put an end to it than the Indian National Congress. His loyalty and deep attachment to the Congress is revealed from letters written by him to his friends.

He remained member of not only Congress and its allied bodies but also of Muslim organizations. He founded the All India Nationalist Muslim Party in July 1929. After disagreeing with the policy of the Congress in Lahore Session, he resigned from his executive position. Dr Ansari devoted his time to the affairs of the Jamia Millia and helped it to reach a different height. Ansari was always keen to see Jamia continuing with its secular ideology and coming out as a symbol of “Khilafat and non-cooperation days as well as the high points of anti-colonial struggle and Hindu-Muslim fraternization”.

Dr Ansari after his inclusion in the Nationalist Muslim Part requested every patriotic Muslim to do his bit in creating the spirit of National duty among Indian Muslims. He asked everyone to make efforts in the direction so that it cannot be said that Muslims with great Islamic traditions of freedom and chivalry failed their motherland at a critical and turning point in its history. His imprisonment for 6 months from August 1930 to January 1931 for organizing civil disobedience in Delhi reflects that his importance in national struggle like other leaders has not been brought into lime-light. He suffered for the country with his deteriorating health. His unassailable nationalism and his uncompromising anti-communalism had always placed him at a respectable position in the country.

Thus, Dr M.A.Ansari was one of those Muslim leaders who were committed to composite, united and vibrant India but immensely contributed to the making of modern India.

Bhumika Sharma
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