Ajmer Dargah’s role in Indian Freedom Struggle

Story by  Saquib Salim | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 1 Months ago
Dargah of Khawaja Moinudin Chisty during the annual Urs
Dargah of Khawaja Moinudin Chisty during the annual Urs


Saquib Salim

"The Dargah (Ajmer Sharif) is undoubtedly a danger-center….the sedition is more or less confined to the Dargah and that it is very difficult to get evidence of what goes on there." The Above excerpt is from a secret report submitted to the British Government by Intelligence officials in 1922.

A common man may not think that the Dargahs, shrines, and Sufi centers were at the forefront of the Indian Freedom Struggle. For reasons unknown, most people believe that Ajmer Dargah played no, or little, role in the struggle. The fact is that it acted as a center of nationalist activities so much so that the British Government snooped over the activities in Dargah.

The official committee which was formed after Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in its findings pointed out that the Indians were planning a popular uprising against the British. The plan was discussed by nationalists at the Urs under the leadership of Maulana Abdul Bari Firangimahli. 

The spies regularly updated the government on the nationalist activities in the Dragah. In 1920 they reported that more than 5,000 people attended a meeting at Idgah which was addressed by Lala Chand Karan who asked people to fight the British because they promote cow slaughter, massacred people in Punjab, and cause disunity between Muslims and Hindus. The same report notes that the Pesh Imam of the Ajmer Dargah prayed for the defeat of the British after which Maulvi Moinuddin asked people to renounce the titles bestowed upon them by foreign rulers.

Another report from 1921 notes that anti-British speeches were being delivered at the Dargah during Friday prayers. In 1922, intelligence officers again reported that Urs at the Dargah would be an occasion where the nationalists would be meeting to discuss nationalist ideas.

An intelligence report from 1922 contains the most explosive information. The report claimed that Muslims and Hindus in Rajputana had taken an oath of allegiance with Maulvi Moinuddin of Ajmer. Under his instructions, they were preparing for a war against the British. An armed militant organisation Jamiat ul-Thaba was founded and arms had been procured from different places in the country. Jamiat ul-Thaba passed a resolution and declared that the British were enemies of religion, nation, and country and that revenge would be taken from them.

75 years have passed since Independence and most of us are unaware of the role of Ajmer Dargah in winning this independence.