80th death anniversary of Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, a known politician, educationist, journalist and a very strong supporter of a separate homeland, Pakistan, for the Muslims of the sub-continent, was observed on Tuesday (January 4, 2011).
Maulana Jauhar was born in 1878 in Rampur in India. He served as education director for the Rampur state, and later joined the Baroda civil service.
He wrote for major English and Indian newspapers, in both English and Urdu. He himself launched the Urdu weekly ‘Hamdard’ and English ‘Comrade’ in 1911.
Mohammad Ali Jauhar worked hard to expand the AMU, then known as the Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College, and was one of the co-founders of the Jamia Millia Islamia in 1920, which was later moved to Delhi.
Jauhar had attended the founding meeting of the All India Muslim League in Dhaka in 1906, and served as its president in 1918. He remained active in the League till 1928.
Jauhar represented the Muslim delegation that travelled to England in 1919. British rejection of their demands resulted in the formation of the Khilafat committee.
He was arrested by the British authorities and imprisoned for two years for what was termed as a seditious speech at the meeting of the Khilafat Conference. He was elected as President of Indian National Congress in 1923.
He re-started his weekly Hamdard, and left the Congress Party. Muhammad Ali opposed the Nehru Report’s rejection of separate electorates for Muslims, and supported the Fourteen Points of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the League.
He attended the Round Table Conference to show that only the Muslim League spoke for India’s Muslims.
He died soon after the conference in London, on January 4, 1931 and was buried in Jerusalem.