"The Constitution of Free India 1946 A.C." _________________________________________
In 1945, Allama Inayatullah Khan Al-Mashriqi, founder of the Khaksar Tehreek, published "The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C." Also known as the Mashriqi Constitution or Khaksar Constitution, the document was created in order to prevent the partition of India.
The Constitution was formulated, under Mashriqi's guidance, by eminent personalities and intellectuals from various disciplines, such as politics, finance, and administration and law. The result was a monumental work that accommodated the rights of all — including Muslims, Hindus, Scheduled Castes, Sikhs, Jains, Parsees, Budhists, Jews and Christians. According to Mashriqi:
“We addressed almost every important element of India’s national life requesting it to send its declaration of interests so that in case the interests did not clash with those of other parties in the country they might be incorporated in the body of the Constitution ‘as far as possible, feasible and consistent with the interests of other parties.’ We addressed more or less 75 parties and over three hundred million people in the country accepted our invitation through their accredited leaders.”*
By December of 1945, 50,000 copies of the Constitution had been printed. Ultimately, however, the Constitution was not adopted for political reasons, and British India was subsequently partitioned in 1947. Nevertheless, The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C. serves as a lasting example of the Khaksars' efforts to bring the nation together — and how close they came to achieving the vision of a united, independent India.
*Source: Mashriqi's address at the University Institute Hall, Calcutta on October 21, 1945, entitled "Where Leaders Fail: A Dispassionate Dissection of Indian Politics from a Non-Party Point of View"
"The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C." (also known as the Khaksar Constitution or Mashriqi Constitution) was a monumental document, as it attempted to unite all parties in British India, and strived for the equal protection of the rights of both the majority and minority communities in the country.
Published in 1945, the document was constructed under the auspices of the Khaskar Tehrik. Legal Committees — comprised of a broad cross-section of prominent personalities, including famous politicians, Members of the Legislative Assembly, professors, finance professionals, administration and law experts, journalists, and knighthood holders — were formed to frame the Constitution.
Once created, the Constitution was highly publicized and sent to political leaders, British authorities, and others. In fact, acceptance of the Constitution was a prerequisite for candidates who wished to be part of the Khaksar party ticket for the 1945-1946 elections (see the Appendix for a copy of the form candidates were asked to sign).
Ultimately, "The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C." was not adopted, and the nation was partitioned in 1947. The repercussions of this action reverberated far beyond that year. Partition resulted in the separation of millions of families and divided the nation into three parts. It has led to endless animosity between Pakistan and India, and numerous conflicts, including escalating nuclear tensions and the ongoing Kashmir issue. Countless lives have been lost. Perhaps these dire consequences could have been avoided had the Khaksar Constitution — which accommodated the needs of all communities — been accepted and a united demand for independence of British India put forth.
Outline of the Agreed Khaksar Constitution
“The foundations of the Constitution were laid on the following utterance of Lord Wavell in his letter to Mahatma Gandhi of August 15, 1944, which contained for the first time in the history of British utterances the words ‘unqualified freedom after the cessation of hostilities’ and other unequivocal conditions regarding the attainment of freedom, and attention to which was drawn by Lord Wavell in his letter to Allama Mashriqi:―
‘His Majesty’s Government at that time (meaning Cripps’ Offer), made it clear (a) that their offer of unqualified freedom after the cessation of hostilities was made conditional upon the framing of a Constitution agreed by the main elements of India’s national life, and the negotiation of necessary Treaty arrangements with His Majesty’s Government, (b) (This relates to no change during the war and therefore does not concern us now.) ‘The object of these conditions was to ensure the fulfilment of their duty to safeguard the interests of the racial and religious minorities and of the Depressed classes and their treaty obligations to the Indian States.’ In this utterance in which italics are ours: ― (a) there is no question of the Constitution being agreed by any political party or political leaders but by the main elements of the national life of India, i.e.,by all the principal communities, sections, subsections, constituting the population of 400 millions.
(b) if Constitution becomes agreed and a Treaty is negotiated, unqualified freedom will follow. These are the two conditions of freedom.
(c) Constitution can only become agreed if all elements agree to it, therefore Lord Wavell says that the object of these conditions is to ensure that the interests of four groups of communities viz., (1) racial minorities, i.e., Anglo-Indians, Europeans, etc., (2) religious minorities, i.e., Muslims, Indian Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Parsees, Budhs, Jews, etc., (3) Depressed classes, and (4) Indian States, with which the British Government is treaty-bound, are safeguarded in the Constitution. The British call this their duty which they have to fulfil before they leave India.
(d) if interests of these four groups are safeguarded, the only remaining elements are the various sections of the Hindu community, who have got to agree to these interests and at the same time safeguard their own interests, and then the Constitution because ‘agreed’ in the above sense.
(e) the word ‘interests’ is put, not the words ‘claims’ or ‘rights’ or ‘shares’ or any other thing; the word is most cautiously put in order to minimise extravagant claims of parties and to secure that minimum for every party in the land which renders it safe from the aggression of other parties.
Exactly in accordance with the above scheme suggested by Lord Wavell, also by all previous British utterances on the freedom of India, all the four above groups constituting, over 75 parties, various sections of the Hindu community, and many other considerable or voiceless or important organisations in the country, in all about 125 in number, were addressed by Allama Mashriqi, and he told them that they were to send their ‘declarations of interests’ on the condition that their interests would be incorporated in the body of the Constitution ‘as far as possible, feasible and consistent with the interests of other minorities, sub-minorities, sections and subsections concerned.’
Over and above this, vast amount of literature issued by the various political parties, voluminous reports of Khaksars all over India concerning grievances of poor, afflicted, suppressed and depressed sections of the people of India, large number of books by European and other authors on India, books on the Constitutions of almost every notable country in the world,—comprising about 50,000 pages of reading matter,—were utilized in preparing this Constitution and almost every demand or claim of the Indian National Congress, the All-India Muslim League, the Hindu Mahasabha, and other well-known political organisations of all the communities was accommodated in the Constitution to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. Over sixty well-known men of unassailable reputation, political leaders, professors of universities, high court judges, barristers, advocates, journalists, Europeans, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, in fact, most outstanding non-party men available in the country have contributed to make this Constitution the most unique ever devised by any human agency. The most prominent features of the Constitution are very briefly as follows: —..."
See Outline of the Agreed Khaksar Constitution in Appendix VI of: "Hidden Facts Behind British India's Freedom: A Scholarly Look into Allama Mashraqi and Quaid-e-Azam's Political Conflict".Author: Nasim Yousaf, Year 2007, ISBN-10: 0976033380, ISBN-13: 978-0976033387.
Members of First Legal Committee
Dr. George A. Arundale President, First Legal Committee (M.A. LL.B., D. Litt., F.R. Hist. S., President Theosophical Society, International Headquarters, Madras)
Members: Barrister K.L. Gauba (M.L.A. (Member Legislative Assembly), Bar-at-Law, Author of Uncle Sham etc., Lahore) Vice President A.K. Fazl-ul-Haq (M.A., B.L., ex-Chief Minister, Bengal) Professor Humayun Kabir (M.A., Professor, Calcutta University, General Secretary, Krishak Proja Party, Bengal) Bulusu Sambamurty (B.A., LL.B., Speaker, Madras Legislative Assembly) Rafiq Ahmed Khan (M.A., Ph.D., D. SC., Head of the Department of Biology, Muslim University, Aligarh) Lt.-Col. Dr. Sir Zia ud Din Ahmed (Kt, C.I.E.., M.A., D.SC., Ph.D., Vice Chancellor, Muslim University, Aligarh) A.H. Siddiqui (M.A., Ph.D., Principal, Sind Madrissah, Karachi) Obaidullah Durrani (M.A., D.SC., Ph.D., M.I.E.E., Principal, Engineering College, Muslim University, Aligarh)
Lady Members: Syeda Sardar Akhtar (President, All India Women’s Muslim League, Member Defence Council, U.P., Author and Poetess) Fatima Begum (Munshi Fazil, Principal, Jinnah College for Women, Lahore)
Ex-Offico Members: Justice Sir Jailal (late Judge, High Court of Judicature, Lahore, Chief Justice, Kapurthala State) Associated Members: Nawah Sardar Dr. Nawazish Ali Khan (B.A., Ph.D., Taluqdar, Oudh, Nawabganj, Aliabad, Bahraich) Barrister Wahidud Din Hyder (B.A, LL.B., Bar-at-Law, Taluqdar, Oudh, Lucknow) Ibrahim Ali Khan (Nawab of Kunjpura) Pir Bukhsh Khan (M.A., LL.B., M.L.A., Peshawar) Raja Sarfraz Khan (M.L.A., Chakwal) Rai Faiz Muhammad Khan (M.L.A., Hoshiarpur) Amar Nath Chopra (B.A., LL.B., ex-President, Bar Association, Lahore) Barrister Brij Lal (B.A., LL.B., Advocate, Bar-at-Law, Lahore) B.L. Rallia Ram (B.SC., B.T., General Secretary, All India Conference of Indian Christians, Lahore) Dr. Muhammad Sadick (L.R.O. & V., German Clinic, Specialist, Mahim, Bombay)
Professor Sultan Bukhsh (M.A., Government College, Hoshiarpur) Secretary Muhammad Ibrahim Sharar (B.A., LL.B., Ellichpur, Berar) Secretary Ahmed Dastagir (Journalist, Hyderabad, Deccan) Secretary Professor Abdul Aziz (M.A., Professor, Jinnah College for Women, Lahore) Secretary Syed Allah Bukhsh (M.A.) Barrister Mian Ahmed Shah (B.A., LL.B., Peshawar, Founder, Red Shirt Movement) Habib ullah Khan (B.A., LL.B., Advocate, ex-Deputy Speaker, Frontier Legislative Assembly, Bannu) Professor B.D. Verma (M.A, M.F., A.F., Professor Fergusson College, Poona) Mir Hazrat Shah (B.A., LL.B., Campbellpur) Khawaja Muhammad Afzal (B.A., LL.B., Lyallpur) Qazi [Kazi] Abdul Baqi (M.A. LL.B., Lucknow) Akhtar Hameed Khan (M.A., I.C.S., Retired, late Asst. Collector Netrokona, Bengal, Aligarh) S. Shamim Ahmed (M.SC., Lecturer, Muslim University, Aligarh) Professor Karrar Husain (M.A., Professor Meerut College) S. Qamarud Din (B.A., LL.B., Advocate, Lahore) Agha Ghazanfar Ali Shah (M.A., LL.B., Advocate, Delhi) Mazahar Husanain (B.A., LL.B., Advocate, Ambala) Faiz Muhammad Khan (B.A., LL.B., Pleader, Halani Nawabshah Sind) Khawaja Ghulam Sadiq (B.A., LL.B., Pleader Ludhiana) Mehr Muhammed Sadiq (B.A., LL.B., Advocate, Lyallpur) Allah Dad Shujra (B.A., LL.B., Pleader Shikarpur, Sind) Ikramullah Khan Anwar (B.A., Lahore)
Members of Second Legal Committee
Sir Currimbhoy Ebrahim President, Second Legal Committee (3rd Baronet, J.P., M.L.C. President, Reception Committee, All-India Muslim League, Bombay)
Members: Justice, Sir Dalip Singh (Kt, B.A., (Cantab), Bar-at-Law, Judge High Court of Judicature, Lahore, 1925-42) Sir Frederick E. James (Kt., M.A., O.B.E., M.L.A., Whip of European Group, Founder of Indian Institute of International Affairs, New Delhi) Mr. Nalini Ranjan Sarker (Ex-Member, Governor General’s Executive Council, Ex-Finance Minister, Government of Bengal, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, 1935) Malik Khuda Bukhsh Khan (B.A., LL.B., Ex-Speaker Frontier Legislative Assembly, Advocate-General and Secretary to Government, Legislative Department, Frontier Province) Peer Ilahi Bukhsh (M.A., LL.B., Education Minister, Sindh) Nawab Makhdum, Sir Murid Hussain Quraishi (Kt., M.L.A., (Central) Sajjada Nashin, Multan) Sir Syed Wasif Ali Meerza (Khan Bahadur, K.C.S.I., K.C.V.O., Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad, Member, Bengal Legislative Council) Khan Bahadur Saadullah Khan (Honorary Secretary, Islamia College, Peshawar, Ex-Minister and Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar) Dr. Syed Zafarul Hassan (M.A., Ph.D., Head of the Department of Philosophy, Muslim University, Aligarh.) Nawab Bahadur, Sir Habibullah of Dacca (K.C.I.E., Ex-Minister, Bengal Government) Lt.-Col., Sir Muhammad Nawaz Khan (Kt. M.L.A., Khan of Kot Fateh Khan, Representative in the Central Legislative Assembly of Punjab Landholders) Barrister Nawabzada Allah Nawaz Khan (Bar-at-Law, M.L.A., (Central) Dera Ismail Khan)
Associated Members: F.W. Bustin (Journalist, Editor, Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore) Saint Nihal Singh (Journalist and Author, Dehra Dun) Sardar Labh Singh (M.A., LL.B., Advocate, Gujranwala) H.R. Batheja (M.A., I.E.S., Principal Patna College, Bankipur) Joachim Alva (Journalist, Editor, Forum Weekly, Bombay) Hafiz Aslam Jairajpuri (Author and Historian, Professor, Jamia Milliyyah, Delhi)
Reader Members: Malih Ahmed Siddiqi (M.A., LL.B., Advocate, Gorakpur) Barrister K. A. Hamid (Bar-at-Law, Advocate, Author and Historian, Lahore)
Some facts about "The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A,C":
• First English Edition: Printed October, 1945 • First Hindustani Original Edition: Printed November,1945 • Reprints English Edition: November, December 1945 & January, 1946 • Reprints Hindustani Original Edition: December 1945 • Total number of copies: 50,000 • Number of pages: 140
Reprinted in 2008:
• A Publication of the Khaksar Movement in British India • ISBN: 978-0-9760333-9-4 • Language: English • Hard cover
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