08 April, 2018

The Traditional Demand of the Rohingya of North Arakan (2) by Aman Ullah

By Aman Ullah
Jamiatul Ulama in North Arakan, the first Political Organization of Rohingya, was established in 1932 under the leadership of Moulana Abdus Subhan Mazaheri. Moulan Habibur Rahman. Moulana Amir Hamza, mufti Saeedur Rahman, Moulana Sayed Azeem, Moulana Sultan Ahmad, Moulana Abdush Shakur and Moulana Abul Khair were prominent members of Majlis-e Shoura.
In 1947, Aung San and his companions took a stoppage in Delhi on their way to London to meet British Prime Minister Lord Clement Atley. During their stay in Delhi, they met Qaide Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Jawaherlal Nehru. As Jamiat got the news of Burmese delegate a week before, formed a 4 members delegate to meet them. The Jamiat delegate was as follows:
1-Moulan Abdul Quddus Mazaheri (1924-1993),
President of Jamiat, head of the delegate
2-Maulana Sultan Ahmad General Secretary of Jamiat, member
3-Moulana Abu Bakr Siddique member executive comity of Jamiat, member
4-Three other people one of them a Muslim scholar from Rangoon
They met Aung San and his companions at the residence of Jauharlal Nehru at New Delhi and talked to them for 25 minutes. They submitted a memorandum to them demanding the following issues:
1. To rehabilitate those Muslim Refugees evicted and driven away by torture and tyranny mainly Arakanese Muslims who had been forced to take shelter for their lives in the Districts of Rangpur, Dinajpur and other places of the then British India.
2. To give freedom in the observance of Religious rights in Burma regularly and peacefully;
3. To revive the pilgrimage of Hjis which was suspended due to the world war II;
4. Not to frame any law in the constitution of Burma without the opinion and consent of minorities of Burma;
5. To make obligatory for the Government for providing employment to the minorities of Burma in proportion to their population, fitness and qualification;
6. The Government should make provision for the equal seats of the Muslims of Burma in the parliament as the second majority on the basis of Equality, Justice and Fair-play.
With the regard to above items from No.1 to 5, General Aung San and his Party promised to materialize the terms and conditions of the delegation except the items No.6, which he agreed to refer to the parliament for consideration later on.
On 7 March 1947, Jamiatul Ulama of North Arakan under the leadership of Barrister Dr. Maulana Sana Ullah met British parliament member Ross William –head of Ross William Commission– in the city of Memyo and submitted a memorandum wherein they demanded that area between Kaladan and Naf River should be declared as a state pertaining to Rohingya Muslims.
A conspiracy was fabricated to deprive Rohingya Muslims of their right to vote in the Legislative Council election in 1947 labeling them as foreigners, alien and intruders and a large number of Muslims’ names were removed from the voters list. It was all done in the sight of world community. The Jamiat resisted the evil move and eventually became able to restore a plausible numbers of their names in the voter list. Mr. Sultan Ahmad President of Jamiat and his deputy Mr. Abdul Ghaffar were elected members in the Legislative Council to the Burma. The Jamiat also got elected in both upper house and lower house after independence. A great deal of efforts was met to achieve an autonomous state in North Arakan for Rohingya Muslims.
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