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Bi Amma

Bi Amma


Abadi Bano Begum, popularly known'as 'Bi Amma', was born circa 1850 in a renowned family of U.P. She came to occupy a remarkable place in the history of Freedom Movement of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent for being the first Muslim woman of the modern times to take active part in politics.

She was married to Abdul Ali Khan who was a senior official of Rampur State. She had one daughter and five sons including Maulana Shaukat Ali and Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar.

She became a widow at the age of thirty. Although she did not have any formal education, yet she was deeply convinced of the advantages of acquiring modern education for the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. She educated her sons at Aligarh and Oxford; for that she pawned her jewellery to pay for her sons education.

During the sessions of the All-India Muslim League in 1917, she delivered the most touching and forceful speech which left a lasting effect on the Muslim Ummah. While her sons were still in jail, this bold and venerable mother kept alive the fervour for the Khilafat Movement. She toured the country, addressed large gatherings of people, which flocked to hear her and exhorted them to follow the footsteps of her great sons in their struggle for the unity and fraternity of the Muslim Ummah. She replaced her illustrious sons in popularity and leadership I and the famous Urdu couplet

"Boli AIrvna Mohalrvnad Ali Ki

Jaan Baila Khilafal Pay De Do"

became household words and were sung in every nook and comer of the Sub-continent by all sections of people irrespective of caste, creed or sect.

After the end of the Khilafat Movement, Bi Amma, however, did not survive for long and died on November 13, 1924. Her death was a great loss to the Muslim Nation, but Muslim women who had come out to work with Bi Amma were to become a political force to reckon with and their activities were a necessary prelude to their active participation in the forthcoming hectic political struggle of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent.



India never was one, was never a nation, never was a country governed by one single power even with the sword. It is a sub-continent of different nationalities and peoples. It was never governed, in history, by one single power. Even today, when constitutionally and legally British are ruling over India, one third India is not British. The administrative oneness is entirely the making of the British. The government, which has been in this sub-Continent for 150 or 160 years, is not a government with the sanction of the peoples.... It is the sanction of British bayonets and not the sanction of the peoples.

Muslim League Council, November 9, 1942
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