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All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen or AIMIM has been one of the largest party representing a formidable section of Muslim and lower caste communities in India. Standing by its slogan “Jai Bhim Jai Meem,” the party has found influence primarily by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, chairman of the Indian Constitution’s Drafting Committee. A controversial party for its bold, saturated political views and controversial speeches in the past, MIM has always been in the news.
Presided by Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi, the party has got immense support from the Muslim and Dalit community. With his powerful oratory and debating skills, Owaisi has always been a favorite among Indians and has successfully expanded his party into the Hindi belt. Thanks to Indian media, we all know the party’s current whereabouts, but do you know how the party started?
The party has an exciting story, which is also profoundly rooted in Hyderabadi Heritage and our ancestors’ farsightedness, who were concerned about the future of the minorities in India.
It was back in 1927 when Nawab Mahmood Nawaz Jung founded the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (now All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen). Meaning’ Council for Unity of Muslims’, it was based on the advice of HEH Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur. Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung (one of the founding members) was elected the president of Majlis 1938, with the union having a cultural and religious manifesto.
Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung
Fondly called Quaid-e-Millat, he was known for his fierce oratory skills and his allegiance to a fair and just rule in Hyderabad. He was a prominent member of MIM and also had his roles in the Muslim league. His exceptional oratory skills worked as a catalyst for the Indian Freedom Movement.
Even though he had a conservative ideology, he was on good terms with many other communities’ leaders. For instance, Sarojini Naidu, a revered political activist, and poet referred to him as her son.
Bahadur Yar Jung died in 1944, allegedly due to Hukkah poisoning by his opponents. However, no concrete proofs were found for the claim.
Darussalam, Headquarters of AIMIM in Hyderabad, India.
After the demise of Bahadur Yar Jung, Qasim Razvi was elected the president of the union. After Police Action in 1948, he was arrested by the Indian Union and was later released in 1957 to migrate to Pakistan as soon as possible.
When he stepped out of jail, he saw that the condition of Majlis was in ruins. Razvi called for a meeting of the MIM members and wanted to hand over the party’s responsibility to a member before migrating to Pakistan. None were able to accept the honors due to their old age and conditions of all the members.
Abdul Wahed Owaisi
Among the members was Abdul Wahed Owaisi, the youngest among all, but with no prior affiliation with the MIM. Owaisi stepped forward to take responsibility for Majlis’s continuation and was given the presidency on the members’ further recommendations.
Titled Fakhr-e-Millat, Abdul Wahed Owaisi was the man behind the union’s reformation to a political party with accordance and allegiance with the Indian Constitution. He was a lawyer by profession and one of the tallest leader in the party.
During his times, injustice was high, and the Muslims were always at risk of their lives. Due to the recent police action and dethroning of a Muslim ruler, the area’s anti-muslim environment flowed in and resulted in a massive loss of lives and property.
At these times, Muslims were under the refuge of “some” congress leaders who offered tickets to Muslims who chose party over their community. Thus, the Muslim voice during the times was nominal. Owaisi looked over the situation keenly and worked tirelessly for the rising of a Muslim party in Hyderabad. None of the Muslims supported him due to fear and distress, and there was none to hear his cries for a revolution. But, as time went by, his consistent efforts showed colors, and more people joined Majlis, forming it into a party challenging the Congress in Hyderabad.
This effort continued and brought more Muslims into politics, which transformed Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen to All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, popularly known as Salar-e-Millat, continued the legacy of AIMIM and got elected as the first leader from the party into the Parliament. Since then, Hyderabad has been a fort of AIMIM. It hasn’t lost its seat to date, as Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi, son of Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, continues to retain his seat from Hyderabad for conservation terms.
We may have political differences with the party or may question the working of the party. Still, it can never be out looked that the party is part of the city’s heritage and played a significant role in keeping Muslims active in electoral politics at a crucial phase of history.
Co-founder, Just Hyderabadi Things. Writes on heritage, food, places and politics.
Software Engineer by profession, open to any kind of projects.