Jeddah||DeccanDigest : It is very sad and unfortunately that , on the 75th anniversary of ‘QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT’ no one has remembered the person who was a dauntless freedom fighter, a dynamic youth leader, who was imprisoned eight times during the freedom struggle, and a dedicated socialist who had coined two of the most popular slogans “ SIMON GO BACK” AND “QUIT INDIA”.
Yusuf Meherally: Man who coined the slogan “QUIT INDIA”
Yusuf Meherally one of the Congress leaders born in Bombay in 1903 in a wealthy and businessman family, active in Congress, his appetite for putting a forceful opposition to the British rule and at the same time working to address the needs and concern of the working class. 39 years old Yousuf Meherally was the mayor of Bombay , the first socialist to be elected to the post.
Mr. Meherally, did a B.A. in History and Economics from Elphinstone college, then studied for a law degree at Government Law College, Bombay, but he was not allowed to do the practice in the Bombay High Court due to his freedom agitations.
Shantikumar Morarji has recorded that Gandhiji asked with his colleagues in Bombay on the best slogan for independence – one of them suggested “GET –OUT”, Gandhi rejected it as being impolite. Rajagopalachari RETREAT OR WITHDRAW that too did not find favour. Yusuf Mehrali presented inspiring quote ‘QUIT INDIA” Gandhi said approved – Ameen).
Yusuf Meherally was talented for coining catchy slogan. In 1928 he came up with the catchy phrase “SIMON GO BACK” WHEN Simon commission was appointed by British Government to recommend improvements in British governance in India. In February 1928, when the commission arrived at the Bombay port, Meherally had organized a protest, he and his colleagues had dressed up as coolies to get access and then greeted the commission with the slogan ‘ Simon go back’.
Mr. Mehreally believed in universal brotherhood cutting across race and nationalities. He belonged to that rare breed of leaders for whom personal gratification meant the well-being of fellow countrymen.
His sensitive mind had a deep concern for the sorrow of the man. His message was love every one and help needy. He wrote “ I hate ugliness and cruelty and that is why I am a socialist.
He had a very good organizational abilities and clarity of ideas. As Aloo Dastur, former Head of the department of Civics and Political Science of Bombay University described him 24 carat gold and the likes of him are very different to meet these days.
He was one of the mass socialist leaders and has worked with Jai Prakash Narayan, Ram Maher Lohia, Minoo Masani and other great leaders and he was only 47 years when he died in 1950. GE Parikh, one of the co-founders of Yusuf Meherally Center, a non- profit Organization set up in Mumbai to honour socialist and Gandhian legacy.
Ironically, in our present day of India, for some section of society, even freedom fighters are judged on the basis of their religion, I condemn this mentality and such mentality is going to damage the brotherhood in India, unity in diversity is our strength and we are very much proud for our values and ancient culture. India’s progress and prosperity is only possible when we have peace on the streets, some political parties are trying to divide the citizens of India on the basis of religion, but we should not get divided, we have a history of 1000 years of co-existence , after all we Muslims have been living side by side next to our Hindu Bhai and we have mutual respect and very good understanding with each other.
I am much worried about the present political situation in India. I appeal to all good citizens of India should come together and condemn such mentality and work together, hand in hand irrespective of cast, religion and gender to make India a developed nation, India can become super power only if SAB KA SATH SAB KA VIKAS is delivered and implemented on the ground without any partiality, prejudice and bias. In fact there is a great role of Muslims to India’s independence. But a few % do not want publicly to accept the fact. Anniversaries are important in India and it is our responsibility to remember our heroes when we celebrate anniversaries. Ignoring such great heroes is a crime for me. I blame to myself and my community for not remembering our forefathers who have played a greater role and sacrificed their lives for giving us an Independence India.
Editor’s Note: The author Mr Saleem Khaleefa M.A. Political Science majored with public administration is from Gulbarga, currently based in Jeddah, a political, social and education activist. He writes on scores of issues concerning the society in general and Muslim community as well as Gulbarga in particular. .
THIS ARTICLE IS A TRIBUTE TO YOUSUF MEHERALLY, A FORGOTTEN HERO OF INDIA’S FREEDOM STRUGGLE.
The Views expressed in the article are of the writer own. DeccanDigest may or May not with everything that is expressed ion the Article.