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Monday, 9 March 2015

174) Commemorating 125th Anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (11.11.1988 – 22.02.1958)-which fell in 2013 - with the issue of Rs.20 and Rs.5 coins by Reserve Bank of India/India Govt. Mints, India in 2015. Are RBI/India Govt. Mints late in Commemorating his 125th Birth Anniversary?:

174) Commemorating 125th Anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (11.11.1988 – 22.02.1958)-which fell in 2013 - with the issue of Rs.20 and Rs.5 coins by Reserve Bank of India/India Govt. Mints, India in 2015.

Are RBI/India Govt. Mints late in Commemorating his 125th Birth Anniversary?:

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad or Mohiuddin Ahmad Abul Kalam Azad:

 Birth and early years:

He was born in Mecca on 11.11.1888, his father Maulana Khaiuddin being a noted scholar and his mother Alia being an Arab and niece of Sheikh Mohammad Zahir Vatri of Madina. He was named Feroze Bakht but became better known as Maulana Abul  Kalam Azad (Maulana meaning “learned man” and he adopted “Azad” – meaning “free” – as his penname).

By the young age of 10, he was well versed in the Quran and by the age of 17, he had become a trained Theologian who had his own standing and was recognised in the Islamic World. He was educated by eminent Islamic scholars in Islamic Theology and Philosophy. He became a multi-linguist, mastering numerous languages like Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Bengali, English and Arabic. He received education in Hanbali Fiqh (The “Hanbali” school is one of the four orthodox Sunni Islamic schools of “Fiqh” or “Jurisprudence”), Sharia (“Sharia” is the Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet – Hadith and Sunna – prescribing both religious and secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for law-breaking. It has generally been supplemented by legislation adapted to the conditions of the day, though the manner in which it should be applied in modern states is a subject of dispute between Muslim traditionalists and reformists), Mathematics, Philosophy, World History and Science.

At a young age, he brought out several journals, served as editor of the weekly “Al-Misbah” and reinterpreted the Quran, the Hadith and the Principles of Fiqh and Kalam (Kalam means “a school of philosophical theology originating in the 9th century A.D. asserting the existence of God as a prime mover and the freedom of the will. It also means the word of Allah”).

His studies at Al Azhar University Cairo, further added to his vast knowledge base.

Later his family settled at Calcutta (present day Kolkata) where they started a magazine called “Lisan-ul-Sidq”. (Maulana Azad’s journalistic career started with this magazine which was published from 28.11.1903 to May 1905. It was intended to be a weekly journal, but because of financial difficulties and Azad’s ill health there was irregular publication of the journal and only 12 issues appeared during its publication. The objectives of the journal were social reform of the Muslim community, promotion of Urdu, cultivation of literary taste amongst the intelligentsia and critical review of literary works. The journal’s objectives were in conformity to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s concept of social and educational reforms).

In 1905, he made his debut in politics when the British Government partitioned Bengal on religious grounds. The Muslim middle classes supported the partition, but Abul Kalam rejected it outright. Unlike other Muslim activists, he opposed the partition of Bengal and rejected All India Muslim League’s efforts for communal separatism. He took active part in the agitation that followed against the Partition and joined secret societies and revolutionary organisations to fight for the Nationalist Movement in India, believing in an undivided India.

In 1908, at the age of 20, during his trip to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Egypt and Turkey, he firmed up his views that the neo-colonialists were exploiting all the countries under their occupation and looked for ways in which a resurgent India could help them as well. During this trip he met Shaikh Muhammad Abduh in Egypt (he was an Egyptian Islamic jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer who is regarded as one of the key founding figures of Islamic Modernism, sometimes called Neo-Mu’tazilism after the medieval Islamic School of Theology based on rationalism – Mu’tazila) and Saeed Pasha and other Freedom fighters of the Arab World. He gained firsthand knowledge of the ideals and the spirit of the young Turks in Constantinople.

In India, he was influenced by prominent Hindu Freedom Fighters like Sri Aurobindo and Shyam Sundar Chakravarty and actively joined in the freedom struggle against the British Raj.

All these contacts metamorphosed him into a Nationalist and Freedom Fighter. He left his clergyman’s profession in his zeal to participate in India’s Freedom struggle.

In 1912, he started a Urdu journal “Al-Hilal” in which he mentioned his liberal views. The journal played an important role in forging Hindu-Muslim unity after bad blood was created between the two communities after the Minto-Morley reforms. “Al-Hilal” became a Nationalist mouthpiece ventilating extremist views against the British Raj. The journal became extremely popular and within a couple of years its circulation rose to over 30000 copies.

 Maulana Abul Kalam adopted the pen name Azad later on in his life. It represented his liberation from a narrow-minded view of religion and life.

In 1914, the British government regarded “Al-Hilal” as a propagator of secessionist views, confiscated his printing press and banned the journal under the Defence of India Act. Azad was arrested and sent to Ranchi jail where he suffered untold hardships.

Upon his release, he started another weekly called “Al Balagh” with the same mission of propagating Indian Nationalism and revolutionary ideas based on Hindi-Muslim unity. The publication of this paper too was stopped and he was arrested and sent to jail again in 1916. This time he was imprisoned once again at Ranchi for four years, by the British Raj authorities. When he was released in 1920, he had grown in stature as a prominent and respected leader of the Indian National Congress.

In the same year, his meetings with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi had a seminal effect on him.

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and the principles of life laid out by Prophet Mohammad, he underwent a major transformation in his personal life and committed himself to “ahimsa” (non-violence). He travelled extensively in India, promoting Gandhian vision and social reforms.

He exhorted the Muslims to join the Khilafat Movement which primarily aimed at reinstating the Khalifa as the head of British occupied Turkey, as well as, ousting the British from India. He participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement by urging Indians to boycott everything British – from schools, government offices, clothes and goods and services. He served as the elected President of the All India Khilafat Committee and was instrumental in founding the Jamia Milia Islamia Institution in Delhi.

In 1923, at the age of 35 he became the youngest President of the Indian National Congress.

In 1924, he headed the Unity Conference in Delhi and worked to bridge the differences between Khilafat and Swarajists.

In 1928, he fully supported the report of Motilal Nehru proposing constitutional reforms based on Indian views. He opposed the need for a separate electorate and appealed for a secular India, devoid of communal differences.

In 1930, he was arrested for participating in the Salt Satyagrah of Mahatma Gandhi along with several leaders and lodged in Meerut jail.

In 1934, following the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, he was released from prison.

In 1935, he helped organise elections under the Government of India Act.

From 1940 to 1946, he was elected as the Congress President at a time when there were vociferous voices for a separate Muslim state while dubbing the Congress Rule as a precursor to a Hindu Raj. He strongly opposed partition on religious basis, stressing the need for a united India.

In 1942, during the Quit India Movement, he was elected the Chief Spokesman of the Indian National Congress (INC), a position which he continued with during the negotiations with the Cabinet Mission in 1946 at Simla. He was arrested during the Quit India Movement and imprisoned in Ahmednagar Fort, where he remained in solitary confinement until 1947 and was released at the dawn of Indian Independence.

Despite being a staunch opponent of the partition of India he worked closely with Muslim leaders and took responsibility for the security of the Muslims in India, touring violence-affected areas in Bengal, Bihar, Punjab and Assam, assisting in setting up Refugee camps and providing food and security.

It is a fact of history that while the Congress leaders accepted the partition of India on religious grounds in 1947, Abul Kalam stood steadfast against it. He firmly believed in Hindu-Muslim unity and declared “If an angel were to descent from the heavens and proclaim from the heights of Qutub Minar asking me to discard Hindu-Muslim unity and within 24 hours Swaraj would be yours, I will refuse the preferred Swaraj but shall not budge an inch from my stand. The refusal of Swaraj will affect only India, while the end of our unity will be the loss of our entire human world”.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad as Education Minister:

He became the first Education Minister of Independent India in 1947 and was at the helm of affairs for eleven years thereafter, till the time of his passing away in 1958.

He was also instrumental in setting up committees like the University Education Commission under the Chairmanship of S. Radhakrishnan (1948), Kher Committee for Elementary Education (1948) and Secondary Education Commission (1952-53) to study the existing educational structure in India and making recommendations for improvement.

A wide range of activities were introduced by the Ministry of Education   including the promotion of Gandhian teachings, introduction of general education courses, home science programmes, institutes for rural higher education, promotion of Hindi and other regional languages, scholarships for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, education and training for the handicapped, training of teachers, special programmes for education of females, audio-visual education, physical education et al. He felt that the cultural content in Indian education was poor during British Rule and its content needed to be raised.

 He altered the content and curriculum of education in a manner that it was distinctly different from that under the British Raj.

He believed that education was the birth-right of every citizen. Under his charge, national planning in the field of Education was carried out on a broader scale.

He conceptualised a National System of Education which was the corner-stone of the National Policy on Education. This concept revolved around a policy that upto a given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex would have access to education of a comparable quality.

This was one of his most significant contributions to education in that a new pattern of education was emerging in a broad democratic, humane and balanced vision which he brought into the structure and content of education. He stood for social education which was to focus on the understanding of social conditions of the country, health education, economic improvement through crafts, arts, literature, music, drama, dance, poetry and instruction in universal ethics, including tolerance and mutual appreciation.

He was a visionary who laid a strong foundation of a long term educational and cultural development of India.

Azad laid stress on four major programmes:

-      Removal of illiteracy through the universalisation of elementary education up to secondary standard and a focus on adult education including education of women.

-      Equalising educational opportunities in Indian society where exploitation on the basis of class and caste divisions was deep-rooted.

-      Three language formula where the state languages and Hindi would be the medium of instruction, but English would remain as an important second language (later English was adopted as the subsidiary official language).

-      Sound primary education throughout the country.

His focus was on:

-      character building

-      Inculcating the value of the hard won freedom from the British Raj and seizing of the new opportunities which lay before the newly independent country. To this end, he set up a section of Social Education in the Ministry of Education in 1948. Linkages between Social Education and Adult Education were made with a view to stressing upon imparting literacy, inculcating a sense of rights and duties of citizenship and creating an educated mind-set among the masses who were hitherto deprived of literary education.

-      He encouraged the role of education in national development and the growth of science and technology at all levels of education.

He stood for universal primary education, free and compulsory for all children upto the age of 14, girl’s education, vocational training, agricultural education and technical education. He stood for primary education to be imparted in the mother-tongue and for retention of English for educational purposes. He stood for a common educational structure of 10=2=3 throughout India.

Among the institutions which he helped establish were the three National Academies – the Sangeet Natak Academy (1953), Sahitya Academy (1954) and Lalit Kala Academy (1954), the Indian Council for Cultural Relations having been established by him earlier (in 1950).

In 1951, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was set up in Kharagpur followed by IITs being set up at Mumbai, Chennai, Kanpur and Delhi. The School of planning & Architecture was set up at Delhi in 1955.

He set up the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1956 for disbursement of grants and maintenance of standards in Indian universities.

Azad’s vision of National Education found due recognition in the Central Government’s Five-year plans and as a result, many developments took place in this field with the support of the Central Government.

All educational programmes should be carried out in strict conformity with secular values and constitutional framework.

He was also a supporter of the concept of Neighbourhood schools and the Common School System.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad – A “learned man” and a gifted scholar & writer:

He was an eminent scholar and a prolific writer in Urdu, Persian and Arabic. His book “India Wins Freedom” was a prominent publication. In this famous book, he spoke his mind, inter alia, mentioning “It is one of the greatest frauds on the people to suggest that religious affinity can unite areas which are geographically, economically and culturally different”.

Some of his other works were the translation of the Quran from Arabic into Urdu in six volumes (1977). His other books included “Gubar-e-Khatir”, Hijr-o-Vasal”, Khatbat-i-Azad”, Hamari Azadi”, Tazkara etc.

He wrote many works, reinterpreting the holy Quran. His erudition let him repudiate Taqliq (or the tradition of conformity) and accept the principle of Tajdid (or innovation).  He developed an interest in pan-Islamic doctrines of Jamaluddin Afghani and the ideals of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who founded the Aligarh Muslim University, which is also my Alma Mater.

 He always interpreted the scriptures from the rationalist point of view. Soaked in Islamic tradition and having many personal contacts with prominent Muslim leaders of Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Iran etc., he was deeply affected by the political and cultural developments in these countries and was better known in the Muslim world than any other Indian Muslim.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad stood for a learning society through liberal, modern and universal education which would lead to discipline among the youth, help women to lead a life of dignity and a non-violent, non-exploiting social and economic order.

He was open to modern western knowledge, even as he strongly opposed western rule over India.

His Legacy:

He passed away on 22.02.1958.

He is remembered as being amongst the leading Indian Nationalists of India’s Freedom struggle.

He was against racial discrimination meted out to the people of India. He was a proponent of unified India and never deviated from his stand. He was the face of communal harmony in modern India.

His firm belief in Hindu-Muslim unity gained him the respect of the Hindu community and he is still looked upon as one of the most important proponents of communal harmony in modern India.

His work for education and social upliftment in India made him a guiding light in India’s economic and social development.

He was an outstanding thinker with a world vision and humanist outlook. He was a determined Freedom fighter and a staunch believer of secular and democratic values.  Mahatma Gandhi referred to him as a person “of the calibre of Plato, Aristotle and Pythagorus”.

11th November every year, which is the day of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s birthday is celebrated as National Education Day.

In 1989, Maulana Azad Education Foundation was set up by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Govt. of India on the occasion of his birth centenary celebrations. This foundation is a voluntary, non-political, non-profit making social service organisation, established to promote education amongst the educationally backward sections of Society and is funded by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Govt. of India. The Ministry also provides the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad National Fellowship, which is an integrated five-year fellowship in the form of financial assistance to students from the minority communities to pursue higher studies.

Numerous schools, colleges and institutions have been named after him. To name a few, Maulana Azad Medical college, New delhi, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, Maulanaazad Centre for elementary and Social Education, Delhi University, Maulana Azad library in the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu. He is also remembered as one of the founders and patrons of Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi.

Maulana Azad’s tomb in New Delhi is a major landmark and a large number of visitors visit it annually.

He was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1992 for his immense contribution to the Nation.

Commemorative Coins issued on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s 125th Birth Anniversary which fell on 11.11.2013. Are the Reserve Bank of India/Indian Govt. Mints late in honouring him?

Commemorative coins in Rs.20/- and Rs.5/- category are have been minted by the Kolkata Mint to celebrate the 125th Birth Anniversary of  Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. These coins are being minted in  both Proof and Uncirculated quality. The Rs.20/-coin is minted in quaternary sliver while the Rs.5/- coin is of Nickel Brass quality. I have booked the Proof coin set delivery of which is still awaited.

Hyderabad Mint too has chipped in by taking bookings of a Rs.5/- coin (Nickel-Brass) on Maulna Abul Kalam Azad bookings for which are being taken till 31.03.2015. I have booked a couple of these coins as well.

Meanwhile, I have received a Rs. five coin on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad from general circulation, details of which are as under:
  Reverse of the Rs 5/- (Rupees five) circulation coin showing a portrait of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad On either side of his portrait are mentioned his life years “1888” and “1958”. On the left periphery of the coin is mentioned “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad” in Hindi, below which is mentioned “125vin Jayanti” also in Hindi. On the right periphery starting from the top of the coin is mentioned “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad” and on the bottom periphery is mentioned “125 Birth Anniversary” in English. This coin has been minted at the Mumbai mint. Notice the "diamond" mint mark below the life years "1888-1958" of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad placed below his portrait

Obverse of the Rs 5/- (Rupees five) coin showing the Lion Capitol in the top centre with the words “Satyameva Jayate” (Truth always prevails) in Hindi/Devnagri inscribed below it, below which is the denominational value of the coin preceded by the rupee symbol. On the left periphery is the name of the country “Bharat” (in Hindi/Devnagri) and on the right periphery is mentioned “India” (in English). 
The specifications of this coin are as under:
Shape: Circular; Diameter/size: 23 mm; No. of serrations: 100; Weight:  gms.; Metal composition: Nickel Brass (copper: 75%, zinc: 20%, nickel: 5 %).

I will place the Kolkata Mint (Proof coin set) and Hyderabad Mint (Commemorative Coin) on this post as and when I receive them directly from the mints.
(The above circulating coin has been given for my collection by Krishna Tonpe)

Posted on 04.07.2015:
I have today received a Proof Coin set on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad from the Kolkata Mint.
This is the second time that Rupees Twenty Commemorative coins have been issued for Numismatists/Collectorsmby an India Government Mint in both categories – Proof and Uncirculated –  after the recent issue of Rs.20/- coins on Acharya Tulsi by the Mumbai Mint.The details are as under:

    The above is an image of the cover of the album of the Proof coins.
A portrait of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad as it appears on the second page of the Coin Album.
The Obverse of the two coins Rs.20/- and Rs.5/- as they appear in the Coin album.
                          The Obverse of the Rs. 20/- coin. 
 On the top centre is the Lion Capitol of Emperor Ashoka which is the emblem of the Government of India. The words “Satyameva Jayate” (coined by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya – meaning “Truth Always Prevails”). On the left periphery is mentioned “Bharat” in Hindi and on the right periphery is mentioned “India” in English. Below the Lion Capitol, on the bottom of the coin is mentioned the denomination of the coin “20”, preceded by the rupee symbol. 

                                The Reverse of the Rs. 20/- coin. 

On the left periphery is mentioned “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, 125vin Jayanti” (in Hindi/Devnagri). On the right periphery is mentioned “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, 125 Birth Anniversary” in English. The portrait of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is placed in the centre. Further below the portrait are mentioned the commemorative/Centenary years “1888-1958”. Notice that  Kolkata Mint coins do not carry any Mint mark.

The specifications of this coin are:

Shape: Circular; Diameter: 39 mm (This is a smaller coin as against the regular commemorative coin issues of 44 mm); No. of serrations: 180 (as against 200 serrations on Commemorative coin issues of 44 mm); Weight: 30.0 gms; Metal Composition: Quaternary Alloy (Silver 50%, Copper 40%, Nickel 5% and Zinc 5%).

                              The Obverse of the Rs. 5/- coin

On the top centre is the Lion Capitol of Emperor Ashoka which is the emblem of the Government of India. The words “Satyameva Jayate” (coined by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya – meaning “Truth Always Prevails”). On the left periphery is mentioned “Bharat” in Hindi and on the right periphery is mentioned “India” in English. Below the Lion Capitol, on the bottom of the coin is mentioned the denomination of the coin “5”, preceded by the rupee symbol. 

                            The Reverse of the Rs. 5/- coin

On the left periphery is mentioned “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, 125vin Jayanti” (in Hindi/Devnagri). On the right periphery is mentioned “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, 125 Birth Anniversary” in English. The portrait of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is placed in the centre. Further below the portrait are mentioned the commemorative/Centenary years “1888-1958”. Notice that  Kolkata Mint coins do not carry any Mint mark.

The specifications of this coin are:

Shape: Circular; Diameter: 23 mm; No. of serrations: 100; Weight: 6.0 gms; Metal Composition: Nickel Brass (Copper 75%, Zinc 20% and Nickel 5%).

Posted on 19.09.2015: 

I have a couple of days ago, received a Rs. Five Commemorative Coin commemorating the 125th Birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad from the Hyderabad Mint. I already have a Rs.20/- and a Rs.5/- Proof Set from the Kolkata Mint as well as the circulating Rs.5/- coin in my collection.

The Cover of the Commemorative coin album received from the Hyderabad Mint celebrating the 125th Birth Centenary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958). The cover shows Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in the foreground and a stylised   impression of the colours of the Indian Flag in the background.

The inner pages of the Commemorative Coin Album received from the Hyderabad Mint. On the left page is seen a full length photo of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad holding a book in his left hand and a walking stick in his right hand.
Mentioned on this page is – “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was born on November 11, 1888 in Mecca. He was a renowned scholar, poet, patriot and totally secular and a senior leader of the Independence Movement. Following India’s Independence, he became the first Minister of Education in Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet. He laid the foundation to the modern education system. He was well versed in many languages viz. Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Bengali etc. He was instrumental in setting up committees like the University Education Commission under the Chairmanship of Sri S. Radhakrishnan (1948), Kher Committee for Elementary and Secondary Education. He is also credited with establishment of the Indian Institution of Technology and University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1956. In 1992, he was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian award, the “Bharat Ratna”. The National Education Day, which is celebrated on 11th November to commemorate his birthday.

(I wish that before sending the text of this Commemorative coin into print, someone at the Hyderabad Mint would have spent some time at editing the text and removing flaws in the sentence construction for this paragraph. After all, this coin commemorates the one person who laid the foundation of Education for the masses in India.
 Despite his vision, Literacy does not seem to have percolated down to the executives working at the Hyderabad Mint.
They even spelt his name as “MAULANA ABDUL KALAM AZAD (instead of “ABUL KALAM” in their newspaper advertisement no. CPM/COSTING/CCCOINS/ADV./2515 dated 31.01.2015 and when I had pointed out this error to the  Hyderabad Mint through an email, there was an “Ominous silence” on their part, instead of acknowledging their mistake).

On Page 3 is also shown the Obverse of the Coin.
The partial specifications of this coin are mentioned as under:
Denomination: Rs.5/-
Alloy: Nickel-Brass (Copper: 75%, Zinc : 20%, Nickel: 5%).

The Obverse of the Coin shows the Lion Capitol of Emperor Ashok, presently the Emblem of the Government of India in the centre with the words “Satyameva Jayate” (below the Lion Capitol), meaning “Truth Always Prevails”. Below the Lion Capitol is the denomination of the coin “Rs.5/-”. The name of the issuing country “Bharat” (in Hindi/Devnagri) is on the left periphery of this coin face and “India” (in English) is on the right periphery of this coin face.
The Reverse of the Coin is shown on the left upper side. More specifications of the coin are shown on this page:
Diameter: 23 mm; Weight: 6.00 gms; No. of serrations: 100.
Also shown on this page is a Rs.0.60 stamp of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad which was issued at the time of his Birth Centenary celebrated in 1988. There is also a stylised impression of an Ink-pot with a feathered pen/quill on this page.

The Reverse of the Coin shows an image of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad with the upper peripheral inscription “”MAULANA ABUL KALAM AZAD” (both in Hindi/Devnagri & English) and “125 VIN JAYANTI” (IN Hindi/Devnagri) and “125th Birth Anniversary” in English, on the lower periphery. Below Maulana Azad’s portrait is mentioned the years of Maulana Azad’s lifetime “1888-1958”. Below this inscription is the “Star” mint mark of the Hyderabad Mint.


  1. Ramchandra Lalingkar has commented:
    "My hearty respects to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad ! Indeed, he was a great son of India".

    1. So he was. It was heartening to know that the Reserve Bank of India has brought our commemorative coins on his 125th Birth Anniversary which fell in 2013.

  2. Rattan Nath has commented:
    "He was a remarkable man. In my opinion he would have made for a far better prime minister than Nehru but he was hobbled by the stigma of being a muslim in a country in the throes of partition.
    That said, he was not secular in the sense of not paying attention to religion. Instead he was a more advanced secular who believed that he had the best religion and hoped to peacefully persuade rest of us about it. To this end he posited that under Islamic law, Hindus should be considered to be People of the Book assured of security and equality under the law. Then with an even playing field, folks may choose a religion or none as they may wish.
    This was far too radical a notion for both the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League since both cemented their supporters by preventing any conversion or even conversations about what the ultimate purpose was.
    Not surprisingly, he was a formidable polymath who was fluent in several languages like Urdu, English, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi and had a command of many subjects. His realpolitik analysis of the partition is noteworthy in its accuracy by way of predictions that it will lead to long term animosity between Pakistan and India, that Indian Muslims will be an underclass as a result, and that Pakistan will not be able to hold onto what is now Bangladesh. He also argued that formation of Pakistan was un-islamic in that it limited the opportunity to spread the 'true religion' on the merits.
    With him as a prime minister a number of problems would have been avoided. To begin with the partition would have been a tamer incident even if it happened, Kashmir would have been integrated and resolved far earlier and most importantly his keen realpolitik analysis would have handled the Chinese incursion forcefully and very differently to provide us with very different boundaries and developmental goals-instead of the idealistic flim flam we suffered through for decades. He was the leader we deserved and needed but would not have".

  3. Jayashree Mukherjee has commented:
    "Thank you Rajeev . Very educative".

    1. Thank you for the constant encouragement, Boudi.

  4. what is the current market value for his 5Rs coin?

    1. Hello Sachin,
      Current market values can be assessed on sites like eBay, depending on whether the coin is a Proof, Uncirculated or Circulation Coin and whether it is in mint or worn out/used condition.