MUMBAI: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,the first Education Minister of Independent India, was a towering figure who influenced the freedom movement of India for nearly five decades.
He was gifted the ability to understand difficult situations and problems. He was also a prolific writer, an impressive orator, a great scholar, having vast knowledge, deep study and varied experience.
He was among the five top most advisers ‘The Big Five’, on whom Mahatma Gandhi relied for consultation. This ’Big Five’ Group helped Mahatma Gandhi to mould the freedom movement of India. Gandhiji trusted Maulana Azad as a friend and valued colleague.
Maulana Azad also had great faith in the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. In fact on the entry of Mahatma Gandhi into Indian politics, it was Maulana Azad who felt that there was a leader now who can lead India towards the heaven of Independence. Maulana was proved right.
Maulana Azad was not only a great leader of the Indian National Congress who had also been elected as the President of Congress on multiple occasions, but also a wise adviser of Mahatma Gandhi.
Maulana Azad was very articulate when it came to express his mind and views. During the First World War, he was so frank in his newspaper ‘Al-Hilal’ about the conduct of the war that he was detained in Ranchi to stop him from writing in newspapers or talking to public or addressing crowds in public meetings.
British Government felt that he might be able to raise Anti-British public opinion if not detained.
Although Maulana Azad remained loyal to Mahatma Gandhi till the end, whenever he found himself in disagreement with Gandhi ji, he expressed his opinion without hesitation.
However he did not stick to his personal difference of opinion. If any decision was made despite his disagreement, Maulana Azad supported and agreed to the decision.
He had been a faithful, loyal and ardent supporter of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. Patriotism, loyalty, integrity and Love for the Nation raised his level from a Political Leader to the Statesman who kept his unadulterated faith in secularism and national integration till the last breath.