- Published: December 31, 2021
- Updated: December 31, 2021
- University / College: Université de Montréal
- Language: English
- Downloads: 25
Punjab was considered to be the key to the Indian Muslim politics not only by Quaid-i-Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and the leader of the All-India Muslim League (AIML) but also by the Congress hierarchy, the Sikh leadership and the British policy-makers in India and London. It was crystal clear in the speeches of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that the Punjab was the cornerstone of his Pakistan. Punjab was the last province to be annexed by the British due to its geographical location but also less advanced than other provinces. The legislative business started in the Punjab in 1897 whereas other provinces like Madras and Bombay were provided with legislative councils in 1862 under the Act of 1861. The British created a class of landed elite in the Punjab who were ready to look after the British interest in the province. The backwardness of the province of the Punjab was turned to its use by the imperialist regime and the Punjab began to serve as a recruiting ground for the British Indian Army.
Statement of the Problem:
Punjab Unionist Party was founded in 1923 and collapsed in 1947. Punjab being under Unionist influence and then being a cornerstone of Pakistan movement is an interesting area of study. The Unionist Party is said to be a secular party represented by all religious communities living in the Punjab therefore populated by Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians this province presented a strange and complex political and communal environment. The Unionist politics was a class politics and the leaders were working purely to retain their concessions and social status. MianFazl-i-Husain and Sir Chhotu Ram founded this party in 1923 under the British patronage which remained unchallenged for many years until the final collapse in 1947. Questions arise as to what factors led to its foundation? How it secured popularity? And why did it collapse within ten years after winning a tremendous victory in the elections of 1937? Why Sir Sikandar’s role remained so controversial in that era? I think the basis of its support was weak due to the religious identity. It seeks to examine the social and political environment of the province that made the Unionists heavily dependent on the British Raj for the better survival. The Punjab contributed vitally to the British economic, military and administrative interests that in return compensated by introducing democratic and administrative reforms for the benefits of the people. These reforms were mainly showered through the Punjab Unionist Party.
This study deals with the ‘ statements of the problem’ unfolding the queries during the research. Mainly the study focuses on the hypothesis that the Unionist party was a regional and a secular party which got tremendous success in 1937 but this party had not its broader future because it was just confined to Punjab. If Punjab would not have been included then there would have been no Pakistan.
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Extensive historical work has been done on Pakistan movement focusing on Muslim League’s post 1937 reorganization and on Jinnah’s demand for a separate homeland for Indian Muslims through Lahore Resolution popularly known as Pakistan Resolution. Punjab figures prominently in the history of the Pakistan movement and illustrates also the crosscurrents in twentieth-century Muslim politics. Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan was one among those who played very active role in the Punjab politics in the most turbulent period of its history. He belonged to the Khattars family of big landlords in the locality of Attock (formerly known as Campbellpur) District. No research has even conducted on this aspect of the topic whereas it is worth-discussing just to understand the political, communal and economic conditions of the Punjab which facilitated the feudal class to occupy the political chambers. The study will address many research questions such as meteoric rise of the pro-British groups in the Punjab. It will also help to understand the recent phenomenon of the intellectual and economic chaos in the Pakistani Punjab especially the weak legacy the political party system, influence of landed aristocracy, bulldozing opposition, mass’ role and selfish politics. Research GapsA number of gaps in the history of freedom movement need to be filled. Although Unionist party was a secular party and there was mixture of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in that party. Sikandar Hayat cooperated with the Muslim League but in public gatherings he condemned the partition scheme. But question arises here Why Sir Sikander’s role was controversial in the Lahore Resolution of 1940? What dragged the Unionists to Muslim League after elections of 1937. Why Sir Sikandar Hayat went to Lucknow after winning the Premier’s office. Were these several factors like WWII, Congress Akali pact, grouping in party and the British motivation behind the conclusion ofSirSikandar Jinnah pact became the reason for the revival of the image of Muslim League after the defeat in the elections of 1937 or either it was the political strategy of Jinnah we should made an alliance with all like our present politicians. If Sikandar Hayat Khan made an alliance with Congress party then what would have been the future of his party.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Muslim Politics in the Punjab 1921-47 by Dr. Qalb-i-Abid provides enormous amount of information including Unionist Party, role of landlords and Punjab Muslim League. He explains the politics of Punjabi Muslims in the context of communalist politics of the Congress conducted in the name of nationalism. His work focuses on the Lahore Resolution and is more in the context of historical tradition. Ian Talbot’s study KhizrTiwana, the Unionist Party and the Partition of India reflects on the study of an extremely complex and difficult period in the history of modern undivided India and also throws considerable light on the dynamics and deadlocks in the pre-partition politics of the Punjab. In Talbot’s words, ” Pakistan’s creation depended on the Punjab”. In Empire and Islam, Gilmartin makes an exhaustive study of the role of Muslim religious elite in rural areas and rural landed magnates. Punjab under Imperialism, 1885-1947 by Imran Ali is an excellent study of imperialism. He focuses on the Canal Colonies Scheme initiated by the British to make use of the Punjab’s rivers for increasing agrarian produce and their impact on socio-economic life of the province. The imperialist apparatus devised by the British to win landed magnates and its methods of exploitation led to the frustration among the Muslims of Indian Castes. This apparatus also prevented the rise of indigenous capitalist class as it would have natural conflict of interest with the British industrial bourgeoisie. Punjab and the Raj1849-1947 by Ian Talbot is well-written and meticulously researched work. Professor Talbot is of the view that the Punjab landed elite as the main factor of change in the politics of the Punjab. After the annexation in 1849, the British brought about radical changes in the province, built up irrigation system, introduced canal colonies schemes which led to the growth agricultural production. The recruitment of men for British army provided other sources of income to the rural population. In his view, the communal problem in the Punjab was not the product of British ‘ Divide and Rule’ doctrine to rule India as it was due to local socio-political and religious factors. The Punjab landed elite along with pirs and sajjadanashins, living parasitically on the British paternalistic policies, became fearful about their future once they quitted India. It was combination of these factors that led to partition of the Punjab and of India also. Left Politics in Punjab 1935-1947 by Ajeet Jawed is an excellent study of the beginning and evolution of the left politics in Punjab. The Garrison State: The Military, Government and Society in Colonia Punjab 1849-1947 by Tan Tai Yong is a well-researched work which examines the processes that turned the colonial Punjab into a military labourmarket. Hayat-i-Sikandar by Mirza Muhammad Syed Baig is not only political biography, it is much more. M. J. Awan’s work Tehrik-i-Azadimei Punjab kaKirdar: 1857-1947, also throws light on the role of Punjab in Pakistan movement. According to Ashiq Batalvi in Iqbal kay Akhri Dou Saal, Sikandar Hayat agreed to join the pact because he wished to merge the Punjab Muslim League into the Unionist Party. Many scholarly researches on the Punjab have been conducted but none has treated this topic properly from this perspective. METHODOLOGYThis study is based on descriptive historical method which will deal with the events; events will be assessed which needs analytical research method. The information will be obtained through primary, secondary and library sources. The primary sources included statements and speeches. Whereas the secondary resources comprise books, research articles published in various Journals and many other view papers. Quantitative and Qualitative research methods will also be applied where applied.
This work is consisted of introduction and three chapters followed by conclusion. Introduction…. Life sketch of Sikandar Hayat Khan and his role in politics. It introduces the theoretical framework of the topic. Basically what were the Political conditions of Punjab ….. Educational, economic and Political status of communities.
Chapter-I Establishment of the Unionist party
The first chapter traces out the establishment of the Unionist party in Punjab and discusses the role of Sir Sikandar Hayat in the Unionist party and also highlights the historic elections of 1937 in Punjab.
Chapter-II Sikandar-Jinnah Pact
This chapter focuses on the results of the elections and role of the Muslim League in these elections. Then Sikandar-Jinnah Pact……reconciliatory policy of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan.
Chapter III Sikandar and non-communal politics in the Punjab
Punjab the hub of communal politics…. Sikandar’s relations with Hindus and the Sikhs
Chapter-IV Sikandar and Demand for Pakistan
Politics of 1940s and Sikandar’s role in the Lahore Resolution of 1940 ,, Sikandar or Demand for Pakistan…… and Sikandar Baldev Pact….. Future of Unionist leaders
The land of five rivers was a multi-religious province of the British Punjab having Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Sikh population. Proportionally, the Muslims were in majority while the Sikhs were a minority in the province.Pakistan’s creation depended on the Punjab. The region’s large Muslim population, agricultural wealth and even more importantly its strategic position as the ‘ land-gate’ of the Indo-Gangetic Plain made it crucial to the viability of a North Indian Muslim homeland. Indeed, Jinnah called Punjab the ‘ corner-stone’ of Pakistan. He in his speeches and statements before and after the elections of 1945-46 declared that the key to the creation of Pakistan lay in the hands of the Punjab Muslims. The Congress and the Sikh leadership also thought that the Punjab held the key to the unity of India. It was perhaps the only province which could have prevented the division of India and the creation of Pakistan. In Talbot’s words, ” Pakistan’s creation depended on the Punjab.”The word ‘ Punj-ab’ literally means five waters or five rivers. The province took its name from its five famous rivers, the Ravi, the Chenab, the Jhelum, the Sutlej and the Beas. The combined waters of these rivers flow into the ‘ Punjnad’ at the south-west corner of the Multan district. The province was widely known to be a great wheat-producing area; this commodity the Punjab exported on a large scale to other provinces.Punjab is famous for its agriculture, marital status and saints. In the geostrategic sense, every country has a ” core area”; its loss may cause serious damage to national resistance, if not its collapse, or may seriously destabilize the government in power, of even the state. The core area contains the strategic centres of population, political authority and the vital arteries of the nation’s political and economic life.The importance of Punjab cannot be neglected in the history of Subcontinent in the sense of geo-political and socio-economic structure. Due to its geographical position, being so near to the north-west frontier of the Indian sub-continent, the Punjab was ruled over by successive conquerors. Many centuries before Christ, successive Aryan colonists had crossed the Indus, and, ever-pressing eastward, had driven out or absorbed the aboriginal occupants, and increased and multiplied into a great and civilized people. Later came Scythian swarms. At the time of Alexander the Great’s invasion (320 B. C.), the Punjab was ruled by Hindu Rajas, the country was studded with walled towns, and Buddhism was for the time obscuring Brahminism. The jungly beds of the ” Punjab Rivers and the desert tracts between them were roamed over by bands of pastoral nomads, probably of Scythian origin, and certainly the ancestors of some of the Jat and nondescript Musalman tribes of today. There can be no doubt that from pre-hsitoric up to recent times, bands of mountaineers from Afghanistan and Khorasan, either independently as peaceful colonists, or as a force in any army of invasion, were constantly settling down as graziers and cultivators in thinly occupied tracts in the Punjab. The continuos flow of immigrants from the west–each successive swarm displacing and pushing further east or absorbing a group of earlier squatters—was only finally stopped by the British annexation of the Punjab 36 years ago. After Alexander came 1, 000 years of darkness, illumed early in the seventh century by a gleam of light projected over future ages by the itinerary and observations of the gentle Chinese pilgrim, who sought the scriptures of his faith in the fast relapsing home of its birth. Passing over the plundering inroads of Mahmud of Ghazni (A. D. 1001-1030) and the confusion of the next 300 years, we come to the graet invasion of Tamerlane (A. D. 1398), and a century and a quarter later, to the conquest of Upper India by Baber, the founder of the Moghal dynasty, which, with one short break, lasted until the SepoyMutuny of 1857.” Historically the Punjab may be considered the most important province of India. It was here that the Aryans of Vedic times first made their home. It was here that the hymns of Rig Veda were first chanted. It was to this province, at the great University of Taxila, that seekers after knowledge flocked from various parts of the world. The Scythians and Tartars and Persians had to measure swords with the sons of the Punjab in their attempts topenetrate into India.”A short time before the opening of the campaign against Afghanistan, in 1831, another interview took place between the Governor-General, Lord Auckland, and Ranjeet Singh; on which occasion the Maharaja promised to give the British some assistance, and granted them a free passage through his territory. But Ranjeet Singh was at this time in an enfeebled state of health, and he died on the 27th of June, 1839, of paralysis, in the fifty-ninth year of his age and the fortieth of his reign.The Muslims ruled over Punjab for eight hundred years which came to an end in 1799 when Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured Punjab and established the Sikh empire.A large area of the Muslim land was taken under the possession ofRanjit Singh and he exploited the feudal structure in this territory with his policy of divide and rule. The power of Sikh was shattered with the death of Ranjit Singh. The Sikh rule damaged the Muslim status as the British soon took over the rule from the Sikhs and the status of the Muslims was restored during the British rule and they possessed a vast land in different parts including Gujrat, Jhang and Attock. The Muslims supported the British against the Sikhs due to the derogatory treatment towards them under the Sikh rule and the political instability in the region. The Punjab remained the province of British India from 1849 to 1947 and was the last province of the Indian Subcontinent conquered by the British. The five frontier districts including Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and Hazara were separated from Punjab in 1901 and a new province named NWFP was made. The Punjab had been annexed by the British from the Sikhs in 1849. This event followed a century of turbulence that saw the collapse of the Mughal empire, a period of semi-anarchy during which confederacies based on peasant caste and tribal alignments fought for territorial control, and a feudal reaction within the warbands that resulted in the establishment of a number of petty princely states. It was the largest of these successor states, the adventurer Ranjit Singh’s kingdom of Lahore that the British overcame in 1849, thereby asserting their control over the entire province. British rule brought stability to the Punjab. Ruling groups, if they desisted from provocation against British interests, were not replaced but confirmed as useful intermediaries between the state and the people. This partnership was consolidated with the Punjabis’ vital intervention on the side of the British in the armed struggle of 1857-1858. The Punjabis went on to contribute man-power and logistic support for imperialism’s conflicts on the northwest frontier, and also helped Britain to conquer and police far-flung overseas territories. Such cooperation continued throughout the period of imperialist rule, and with it the military became an important source of employment for Punjabis. About half the British Indian army came to be recruited from the Punjab; the British were fond of calling the people of this province ” the martial races of India.” As soon as their administrative presence was established, the British undertook revenue settlements in each district. This regularized extraction from agriculture, which was by far the most important source of income for the state. Revenue assessments also served as a means of establishing proprietary status. They encouraged individualization in property rights, which was a marked shift from the collective ownership by village communities and other complex forms of property that had existed in the pre-British period.The political and administrative support established the respect of the feudal families who remained unrivaled power of the region during the British Raj. It was hard luck with the Punjab that it was ruled by different imperialists including Muslim rulers like Turks, Chinese, Persians, Ghazni, Delhi, Afghan and others. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi (971-1030) was the first Muslim whose decedent Shahab-ud-Din Ghauri ruled over Punjab in 1186. In the end of 18th century, conflict aroused among the Afghans, the Marhatas and the Sikhs. Deccan was the territory of the Marhata and they gathered around Delhi to terminate the Mughal Empire. Ahmed Shah Abdali, a warrior who attacked the region for many times, fought tooth and nail against the Marhatas and won over them. After the death of Ahmed Shah Abdali, Sikhs became powerful in the Punjab under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839). In the Punjabi villages, possession of land was considered the main source of political power and influence. The socio-economic setup of the eastern and south western Punjab was not identical. In the eastern part, small peasants were in majority and very few landlords existed in Jalandhar and Ambala districts. So the peasants lived with cooperation and mutual understanding and less relied on the Jagirdars and Pirs (Muslim guardians of shrines) for their self-interest. The cultivated land was more fertile and the region was heavily populated while in the south-western Punjab, large area was barren and not effective for cultivation due to shortage of water and natural resources. TheZamindars (landowners) were in majority possessing a big land. Peoplewere depending mainly on them for the necessities of life.Ian Talbot divided the rural Punjab into five categories: In the first category, the feudal who had vast land and they handed over their lands to the peasants for cultivation; Farmers came into the second category that had small piece of land for cultivation; Peasants were in the third category who cultivated the lands of the feudal class; Tarkhan, julaha, lohar, machhi, chhimba, Kamyar, Mochiwhoworked as Masons, washer man, barbers etc. were in the fourth category and were called kami (manual class); In the last category, the labour class comes who did not possess land and worked as servants under farmers.As a matter of fact, fifth category came in the fourth one as no specific labour class existed in the Punjab and the kami castes were hired to work in their fields. In British Punjab, the feudal class worked as a backbone of the British administration. The feudal lords gave military assistance to the rulers in return they were granted with vast landsThe society was organized on the basis of tribal values and Biradarism(brotherhood) in the Punjab. The political system based on the tribal values was very strong in the eastern and western parts of the Punjab. Rajput and Jatwere considered as the martial races who spread all over the Punjab. The British not only recognized the social and political importance of the tribes and castes but also sought their cooperation to strengthen their rule by canalizing their prowess and utility. They relied on the tribal and caste system rather than communal loyalties. According to Dushka, the people especially the Muslims) preferred the tribal customs rather than religion. The British formulated their legal system on the basis of the local customs and traditions instead of religious laws[i]because the people of this region had been living mainly on the customs and traditions rather than the religious affiliation.It was so perhaps because the religious attachment was taken as changeable while cultural bonds could never let the people free. The society was comprised of so many castes like Rajput, Jatt, etc. and the main source of income was agriculture. A big folk of people like peasants and Kami depended on the agriculture. According to the 1901 census, the Muslim population percentage was 49. 61 and the Hindu, 41. 7. The balance of about nine percent was distributed mainly amongst the Sikhs, and people of other religions, such as Jains, Buddhist, Jews, Zoroastrians, and Christians. In west Punjab and in the sub-montane tracts, Islam was the dominant religion, its followers comprising four-fifths of the population in the North-West arid area.The geopolitical importance of Punjab was realized by leading Indians as soon as the Indian National Congress unfurled the flag of Purnaswarajor complete independence not far from the shores of the Punjab rivers in 1929. A year later wrote Muhammad Iqbal, who is some time described as the father of the concept of Pakistan: ” Possessing full opportunities of development within the body politic of India, the North West Indian Muslims will provide the best defenders of India against a foreign invasion, be that invasion one of ideas or bayonets. The Punjab with 56 percent Muslim population supplies 54 percent of the total combatant troops in the Indian army and (if the Gurkhas are excluded) the Punjab contingent amounts to 62 percent of the whole.”The Punjab was a home of three important religions. Punjab figures prominently in the history of the Pakistan movement and illustrates also the crosscurrents in twentieth-century Muslim politics. Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan was one among those who played very active role in the Punjab politics in the most turbulent period of its history. He belonged to the Khattars family of big landlords in the locality of Attock (formerly known as Campbellpur) District.During the fateful years of the British take-over the brothers Karam Khan and fateh khan were leading the Khattars. Karam Khan, who wielded greater authority as the elder of the two, developed cordial relations with important British provincial administrators like Nicholson, Abbott and Chamberlain, and served British strategic interests in the trans-Margala area. Griffin and Massy enumerate his services to the British as follows: ” Karam Khan was a brave soldier, and in 1848 he raised a force of horses which Nicholson employed in holding the margala Pass. His house at Wah was burnt down by the sikh force under the command of Atar Singh Atariwala, and he was shortly afterwards killed by Fateh Khan, his own brother, who surprised him while taking his noonday siesta.”
Early Life of Sikandar Hayat Khan
A Punjabi politician Sikandar Hayat Khan belonged to the famous tribe of Khattars, who had their deep roots in the different parts of Attock District which was formerly known as Campbellpur District. Although the majority of the people livesin its two tehsils, Attock and Fatehjang. The entire district represents a mixture of two cultures, Punjabi and Pushtun because it is comprisedof four tehsils, Attock, Fatehjang, Pindigheb and Talagang. The present name of the district has been derived from the name of the historic city of Indus. Attockhasshaped the frontline of the Punjab through the ages. At present mostly population of the district is derived from four major tribes, the Awans, the Pushtuns, the Khattars and the Rajputs, living in different regions of the district and displaying certain distinct ethno-linguistic variations. The living style of most of the inhabitants has deep influenced due to their close connection with the Pothowar region rather than many variations. Thus, geographically, historically, linguistically and culturally, Attock District has been a crossroad for the mixing of a variety of ethnic elements. The Attock tehsil itself ” is one of the violent contrasts. For assessment purposes, it falls into three tracts centred around Hazro, Campbellpur and Hassan Abdal, the three principal towns, and known as the Chhachh, the Sarwala and the Nala”.Like the passess of the Grand Trunk Road through the Attock tehsil, certain famous towns like Wah, HasanAbdal and Attock are situated there. Wah is the home place of the forefathers of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan. To determine the indigenous origins of the Khattars and Awans is not an easy task. The Khattars trace out their genealogical order from Syed Qutub Shah, a noble of Arabian ancestors, who joined Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in his raids towards northern areas of the Subcontinent. ” the Khattars claim to b descendants of Chohan, the ninth and youngest son of Qutub Shah.”Although there is no proper evidence of it, but it is true that Qutub Shah came along with the Ghaznavids. Many people of the area try to trace their genealogy with Qutub Shah and some Khattars seem to be jealous with the recognition of the Awans, and try to relate with an offshoot of Awantribe. However, this fact of their kinhip is doubtful. Acccording to the late Malik Lal Khan, a well-known Punjabi leader, the Khattars had never had any thing in common with the Awans and their origins are obscure. Even their claim to kinship with the Awans, he adds, goes back no further than the early part of the 20th century. This, he says, was brought into the limelight when Sikanadr Hayat, soon after assuming power as the Premier of the Punjab, announced his own kinship with the Awans.Commenting on their ethnographic controversy, J. M. Wikeley observes: ” The Khattars hold an intermediate place ranking below the Awans, Ghebas, Jodhras, and high class Rajputs.”He divides the Khattars into two clans: ” These are the Kala Khattars and ChittaKhattars. To the former belongs the Dariek family, to the latter the Wah family. The Kala branch, who are darkish in colour, are converted Hindus, and the Chitta of true Musalman descent.”A great-grandson of Khattar Khan, named Jamal Khan was founded by this road. Sikandar Hayat Khan was born on June 5, 1892 and was educated at M. A. O. College Aligarh. He further joined University College, London. He got his Commission in the Indian Armyand was posted to 2/67th Punjabis, later known as 1/2nd Punjabis. He first served on the North-West Frontier Province and then in the Third Afghan War. He was appointed to the Brigade Headquarters and was the First Indian to Command a Company on active service. He also served as Recruiting Officer. In 1924 he was elected as member of the Punjab Legislative Council from Attock District and joined the Unionist Party of Sir Fazl-i-Hussain. He headed the Punjab Reforms Committee and worked for Simon Commission.. He returned to the Punjab Legislative Council by landholder’s constituency. He was taken as non-official member of Police Enquiry Commission in 1926 and Personal Assisstance to Mela Officer during Prince of Wales’ visit. He was elected by the Punjab Council to the Provincial Simon Commission, which elected him as its Chairman. He was connected with the Board of 11 Companies including MessersOwin Roberts, the Punjab Portland Cement Co.; Wah Stone and Lime Company; North India Constitutions-1 Engineers and the Frontier Mining Syndicates. He was appointed the Revenue Member of the Punjab Government, in 1929 for three months and became permanent Revenue Member in 1930. In 1932 he held the post of Governor of Punjab as acting Governor. In 1936 he was voted as the new Chief of the Unionist Party, which under his leadership got 96 seats out of 175 in the provincial elections of 1936. From 1937 to 1942 he served as the first Chief Minister of Punjab. He was awarded the title of M. B. E., in 1920, and E. B. E. in 1933.He was a gentleman of unique qualities of head and heart. He was a brave soldier, a shrewd politician, a far-seeing statesman, an experienced and great administrator, and above all a great leader of men and a true patriot. Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan started his career first in the Army. He was a Recruiting Officer during the First World War. For his good work he was given a Commission and attached to one of the Punjabi regiments. In the Third Afghan War he commanded a company on active service, being the first Indian to have exercised command. After that he returned to civil life and entered politics. It was in this sphere that unique success awaited him. In a short space of time he rose to the highest offices which had been given to very few men and filled them with distinction. He first returned to the old Legislaive Council in 1923 and made his mark in the old Council by hard work, clear thinking, and ability, and when the late Mian sir Fazl-i-Husain went to the Government of India he was chosen to fill the temporary vacancy ensured his appointment later as Revenue Member, a post which he filled with great distinction. It was during his tenure of office as Revenue Member that he twice officiated as Governor of this Province, the highest office to which an Indian can aspire under the constitution, and was universally acclaimed a success. On the termination of his office as Revenue Member he was selected as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, a post carrying very high salary and no worries. But his heart was always in the Punajb, with the poor and the backward in the Punjab to serve them was his life’s mission. Accordingly, on the demise of Sir Fazl-i-Hussain, he sacrificed his high salary and life of ease, and came back to the rough and stormy life and uncertainities of politics. His work was recent history and was well known to all. It will be for the future historian to record his verdict, but it could be claimed without any fear of contradiction that he was the most successful premier under the new constitution, and that the future generations of the Punjab would look forward with gratitude and pride to his work in the sphere.
Sikandar’s vision / philosophy:
Two things were uppermost in his mind during the last two or three years and they were communal harmony and war efforts. He believed that his motherland could not achieve autonomy without communal harmony and unless the country was made from aggression by the victory of the United Nations which stood for freedom.