Address of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Muslim Conference
March 26, 1938
Legal Document No
Like us the large majority of Hindus
and Sikhs in the State have immensely suffered at the hands of the irresponsible
government. They are also steeped in deep ignorance, have to pay large
taxes and are in debt and starving. Establishment of responsible government
is as much necessity for them as for us. Sooner or later these people are
bound to join our ranks. No amount of propaganda can keep them away from
The main problem therefore before
us is to organise joint action and a united front against the forces that
stand in our way in the achievement of our goal. This will require re-christening
our organization as a non-communal political body and introducing certain
amendments in its constitution and its rules.
I reiterate today what I have said
so often. Firstly, we must end communalism by ceasing to think in terms
of Muslims and non-muslims when discussing our political problems. Secondly
there must be universal suffrage on the basis of joint electorate, without
these two democracy is lifeless.
You complain that the Hindus belonging
to the vested interests are reactionary and stand in the way of our progress.
But have we not had the same experience
in the case of capitalist Muslim also? It is significant as well as hopeful
that in spite of many difficulties in their way some non-muslims have cooperated
with us though their number is very small. Their sincerity and moral courage
make us feel their strength. We must, therefore, open our doors to all
such Hindus and Sikhs, who like ourselves believe in the freedom of their
country from the shackles of an irresponsible rule.