Mustafa Kamal abolished the institution of Khilafat in 1924, but the Sargodha district Khilafat Committee continued its functioning. Peers of Sial Sharif and Bugvis of Bhera played the leading role, while pro-British feudal lords supported the government. Khilafat conferences were held in which high-level Khilafat leaders participated and addressed. Samarna-Fund was collected, and a sum of Rs 9600 was submitted to the Punjab Khilafat Committee. Sialvi and Bugvi visited different towns and villages and conveyed the Khilafat message in simple words. Bugvi was arrested and sent to prison for one and a half year. While on the arrest of Peer of Sial-Sharif, the Muslims of Soon Valley began to offer arrest every day. From the Khilafat movement, Muslims of Sargodha enhanced their awareness and gained experience. They utilized it in Pakistan Movement 1940-47 and received prominent status in any district of Punjab outside Lahore. They challenged their feudal lords of past and rulers of present and, as a powerful factor, won their share in freedom.
Khilafat Movement, Sargodha, Politics, Agitation, Freedom Movement
Khilafat movement was a religiously-motivated segment as a religion gives the energy for action, steering for direction, a platform for the collection, awake for attraction and fearless from destruction. Muslim League became a mass movement when it raised the slogan “Pakistan ka Mutlab kya, La-e-la-ha Ilallah”. Sargodha, which was a backward region, consist of jungli inhabitance. This region has been under the domination of feudal lords. There was no socio-economic and political growth up to the end of the 19th century. However, its Muslims were deeply attached to religion. So, on the motivation and invitation of Ulmas and Peers, they immediately joined the Khilafat Movement. They fearlessly jumped into agitational politics. This was their courageous act. These Muslims were politically dominated by Hindus of Congress, but because of their participation in the Khilafat movement, they enhanced their political awareness, gained experience and utilized it when they got the opportunity to play their role in the freedom movement 1940-47. Even during this role, they challenged their feudal lords and launched a civil disobedience movement against their rulers, from whom they have been subduing for centuries. Peers of Sial Sharif and Bugvis of Bhera played the leading role, while Tiwanas and other pro-British feudal lords supported the government. This movement found chief support at Soon-Valley in Salt Range of Sargodha district.
Method and, Material
Primarily the qualitative method of study used to conclude this research article. Accordingly, a reasoned, illustrative, beside descriptive scheme of qualitative research applied while attempting the research. Khilafat movement was an important event in the history of Indian freedom. Each historian of the history of the freedom movement wrote enough on it. A significant number of people of India participated in this movement. However, the participation of some regions and districts were comparatively more significant. Among one of them was the Sargodha district. But very little was written on the Khilafat Movement in Sargodha. Prof Sahibzada Muhammad Abdul Rasool wrote the book in 2008, title History of Sargodha, wrote only a few lines on the Khilafat movement in Sargodha. However, the official record of events of the Khilafat movement in Sargodha is kept in the Deputy Commissioner office [record] Sargodha. District Gazatteer Shahpur [ Sargodha] 1934 has some key information about it. Two families, Sialvis and Bugvis played a leading role in this movement, and both these are Ulma and Mashaiekhs. There are their own Libraries in Sial-Shreef and Bheera, in which the concerning literature is available. The events of the Khilafat movement from October 17, 1921, to October 29, 1924, are mentioned in a register kept in Bugvis Library Bhera. Mufti Tufail Gondi and Ghulam Rasool tailor were the residence of Sargodha city and contemporary workers of the Pakistan movement; their Unpublished diaries also provide concerning the information. Mainly reviewed existing besides historiographic study. The research also focused on secondary sources of data. Principally, the tools for historical data collection are used and analyzed.
Backwardness of Sargodha
Present Sargodha city was constructed in 1903; its land was lying between two rivers Jhelum and Chenab, called Chaj Doab. Soon, this city made rapid progress and became the successor district of Shahpur. Though its political history began after the annexation of Punjab in 1849 , neither it could get the Socio-economic growth and nor substantial political development up to the end of the 19th century. However, during this period, some significant events took place here, prominently the mutiny of 1857. Generally, this district did not play any significant role in this mutiny, except a few individuals and some families of Bhera. (File no 488,513).
The soil of Sargodha was barren fill with bushes and thick jungle. Being its land between two rivers, normally its inhabitance was living on its banks. They kept sheep, goat, buffalos and raised a little grain. They were economically poor, educationally illiterate and culturally jungli people. (Ghanjera,1982)
Disunity and Weakness
Politically, this region had been divided into a number of semi-independent small estates. These estates were dominated by feudal lords, as Awans in Soon Valley, Tiwanas in Thal-region, Baloch in Sahiwal and Khushab, Makans and Syeds in Shahpur, Negianas in Dharema, Sials in Sial Mor, Kalowal, Faroqa and Jhang and Ranjhas in Kot-Momin and Takht-Hazara (Sirgodha, 2006). The old district Shahpur had the central status in this region. The area, east of Shahpur, as Bhera, Miani, Qaderpur and Takhat-Hazara, was under the rule of Governor of Lahore, while its west side, as Khushab, Sahiwal and Thal region was under the influence of the Governor of Multan (Gazetteer, 1983). The feudal lords of this region had no unity among themselves and started fighting with each other. Therefore, they become so weak and could not face the Sikh intruders in the 18th century; consequently, in the early 19th century (Hindi, 1981), Ranjit Singh subdues them.
Sargodha under British Rule
On Sikh decline, this area came under English Rule by the annexation of Punjab in 1849. Since that, there could be neither socio-economic and educational growth nor their substantial political awareness up to the end of the 19th century. The start of the twentieth century brought a new era of hope of development and prosperity. Now, the English government removed the jungles and constructed a vast canal irrigation network (Gazetteer,1984). Consequently, economically, it brought the era of financial stability and hope of prosperity. The establishment of the railway, roads and postal system brought close the people of outside far and near areas. This social interaction gave the opportunity of its inhabitance of knowledge and political awareness. Furthermore, under Horse-Breeding Scheme, the English government brought the farmers to settled here. These farmers from eastern districts of Jhelum, Sialkot and Gujrat cultivated the barren land and developed agriculture. New Chaks, towns and markets came into being. Consequently, there developed a new multi-cultural society in Sargodha (Ansari, 2007).
Participation of Muslims of Sargodha in the Khilafat Movement
As politically compare with Muslims, the economically better 15% non-Muslims of Sargodha had come first in politics under the banner of All India National Congress. However, its Muslims were inspiring by religious and socio-political events, which were being emergence on a provincial and national level. But the event, which deeply, directly and emotionally inspired the Muslims of Sargodha, was the Khilafat movement. The Muslims of Sargodha not only immediately joined it but also fearlessly came in agitational mode on the invitation and motivation of Ulmas and Peers. By participation in the Khilafat movement, the Muslims of Sargodha enhanced their political awareness and gained experience, which they utilized in Pakistan Movement 1940-47. By this brave act, they received prominent status [No 10]in the history of the freedom movement.
Events of Movement in Sargodha
As the First World War became over in 1918-19, attempts were made to excite disaffection in the district, more especially by means of the sympathies of Muslims with the old regime of Osmani Khilafat in Turkey which had been existed here for centuries. On the Indian level, a Central Khilafat Committee was established in the session of Lucknow on September 22, 1919. Malik Lal Khan was assigned to establish district Khilafat committees in each district of Punjab. Under this scheme, a large number of Majlis Khilafat or Khilafat committees were established in different districts of Punjab.
On the Khilafat issue, in Sargodha, two families were playing a leading role. They were Peers of Sial Sharif and Bugvi family of Bhera. Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi established the Khilafat committee at Bhera (Farooqi, 1993). While central Sargodha district Khilafat committee was constituted on October 16, 1921, in Sargodha, under the patronage of Khawaja Zia-ud-Din, the Peer of Sial-Sharif, Maulana Muhammad Husain, the teacher of Dar-ul Aloom Sial Sharif was appointed as its president and Muhammad Alam Barrister at law was its secretary. Other active members were Maulana Noor Alam, Malik Allah Dad, Abdul Hameed Saifi and Malik Rucknuddin. Some other prominent persons who strongly supported the Khilafat issue were Peer Badshah Gheelani, Peer Naseeruddin, Sahibzada Muhammad Sahadullah, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor, Maulana Abdullah and Maulana Ghulam Qasam Khan of Sial Sharif. Under the Sargodha district Khilafat committee, further 141 sub-Khilafat committees were also established in different villages and towns of Sargodha. Bugvis, who established the Khilafat committee in Bhera, its secretary Saith Abdul Rasheed and Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi were its chief organizer. Bheera based Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi was a young student leader (Awan, 2004). At that time, he was studying at Islamia College Lahore as a student of intermediate in the session of 1919-21. Bugvi was already taking an active part in such national and religious preaching activities before the Khilafat movement, so, during the Khilafat Movement, on the issuance of Fatwa by Ulmas to leave the educational institutions, Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi left the college and joined the Khilafat Movement with full force (Baghvi, 2007).
At the beginning of the Khilafat movement, attempts were made to excite disaffection in Sargodha District, more especially by means of sympathies of Muslims with the old regime of Khilafat. At the beginning of the movement, like compare, the district Amritsar, Gujranwala and elsewhere remained quiet. So, subsequently, agitators began to visit Sargodha from time to time. The efforts were made by various sides to encourage disaffection, partly in connection with the general Khilafat agitation, which was going on at that time. On the other side, the strikes were attempted to prevent the increased agitation in Sargodha. Municipal Commissioner Sargodha, Shaikh Daswandhi, who belonged to ‘All India National Congress, made strong efforts to abortive the agitation. He used every kind of efforts to keep the shops open in Sargodha city. In reward, he was made Lambardar of Sargodha in recognition of his services (Government of Punjab, 1934). The common Muslim population of Sargodha, on the whole, was either politically pathetic or lorded over the feudal chiefs. These feudal chiefs had strong loyalties to the British rulers, and they, in fact, supported this rule in the Khilafat movement but showed themselves as the supporters of the Khilafat issue. However, they wisely and practically remained aloof from this movement in District Sargodha. The influence of Tiwana Maliks, and other pro-British leading residents of Sargodha, proved some useful for English rulers, that Sargodha city and a few other towns of District Sargodha remained unaffected from Khilafat movement. In these circumstances, Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi decided to enhance his services in the movement and resigned from the headship of the Bheera Khilafat committee on October 6, 1921. He came to Sargodha city and Sial-Shreef and began to perform a wide range of services, even at Punjab and central Khilafat level (Baghvi, 2007). To speed up the activities of Khilafat and to collect the different classes of the society, a great Khilafat conference was held in Sargodha city on December 18, 1921.
In this connection, a large literature on the importance of Khilafat issue, was published and distributed among the common Muslims. Different provincial leaders of Khilafat addressed the gatherings . Several meetings and gatherings were held at various places in the district (Baghvi, 2007). There was held a Provincial level Khilafat conference in Sial Sharif from February 6 to 9, 1924, and high-level Khilafat leaders participated in it. Central Majlis Khilafat Delegation visited Bhera on August 20 to 22, 1924 in which prominent participants were Maulana Muhammad Ali Joher, Maulana Shaukat Ali Joher, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Maulana Attala Shah Bukhari, Hindu leader, M. K. Ghandi and Congress leader Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad (events of Khilafat).
In the beginning of the Khilafat movement, some landlords of Sargodha who had always been loyal to the British, prominently, the Tiwanas, expressed their sympathy with Khilafat. These pro-British landlords, performed their service for Khilafat as, Sir Umer Hayat Tiwana, organized several large religious meetings, in which the best preachers were invited from far and near to address the Muslims of Sargodha, on decent payments. These paid preachers expressed the Khilafat issue by government’s point of views. In fact, to create the doctrines of loyalty with English rulers in the minds of people. So that they may not be carried away by the propaganda of the Khilafatists. They may live as peaceful citizens as ordained by the religion. This also meant to show to other communities who were holding religious meetings that the Muslims of the area were prepared to show unity to support the government in case of a disturbance" (Unpublished: Testimonial of Umer Hayat Khan Tiwana,") Malik Umar Tiwana, along with other mind-set landlords, prepared an address and got the signatures on it, following Peers; Peer Badshah Gilani of Bhera, Peer Nasir Uddin of Shahpur, Sahibzada Muhammad Sadullah of Sial Sharif. This address was presented to the Governor Punjab, Mr Michael O Dwyer. In this address, they stated that whatever decision regarding the future of Turkey was taken by the allies, it would be acceptable to Turks (Rasool, 2008). Sir Umer Tiwana also presented a resolution in the council of state in India as its member, on February 21, 1921, regarding this important issue of Khilafat for the Muslims (Imtiyaz, 1999).
In fact, this type of address and resolution by Tiwana could not satisfy the true sentiments of the Muslims of Sargodha. They did understand that it is a religious issue, and they could not be aloof from it. Their public speakers, namely, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor and Maulana Abdullah, explained the Khilafat issue to the people as religious. For this purpose, they visited from village to village of Sargodha. Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi established Khilafat committees at various places in the whole district; along with Hakeem Abdul Majeed Saifi, he visited a large number of villages and addressed the masses. He motivated and awakened public opinion through his speeches. He used to publish the pamphlets consisted of a couple of pages, in which there mentioned the summary of seven points by the Central Khilafat Committee about the religious and political issues. On top of these pamphlets, their Quranic verses were written, following the goals of the Khilafat movement, the need of independent national educational institutions and local courts [Punchaiet], help to refugees of Khilafat movement, support to oppressed people of Samarna. There were also mentioned the appeals of donations for religious preaching and publishing of material, establishing of an independent national educational institution in Bhera (Baghvi, 2007). In this campaign, Samarna-Fund was established for the help of the sufferers in Turkey and a sum of Rs 9600/- was submitted to the Punjab Khilafat Committee in February 1922 (Awan, 2004).
Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi, who was a forceful and firebrand speaker of 21 years age, was nominated as the member from Punjab for the Executive Committee of Central Khilafat movement. In this capacity, Maulana regularly participated in its meetings. The role played by Peer Zia Uddin of Sial Sharif was the most prominent in Sargodha. He refused to be influenced by the pro-British landlords. Though, these landlords were loyal to the British, but also Disciples and followers of Peer Sahib. Khawaja Zia-ud-Din Sialvi conveyed the messages and decisions to the ladies and gentlemen. To obey the command of Central-Khilafat-Committee, he preached his followers to leave the government services. But no evidence could be found to leave the government service in Sargodha.
Sialvi, along with Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi went from place to place and addressed the Khilafat processions in different towns and villages of the district. Both Sialvi and Bugvi visited Shahpur, Khushab, Soon Valley and several other villages and conveyed the Khilafat messages in simple words but fearlessly. On his activities, Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi was arrested along with his companions from Sargodha city on March 15, 1922. He was prosecuted in an English Summary Court, which punished him for one and a half year. Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi spent his detention in Jhelum and Rawalpindi jails. After the completion of his imprisonment, Maulana Bugvi was released in late 1923, but he remained under the deep observation of the English government (Islam, 1945). The other protesters, who were arrested from Bhera, were Maulana Muhammad Husain Ajmairi, Maulana Zakar, Hakeem Ali Muhammad, Molvi Abdul-Haq, Molvi Abdul-Aziz, Molvi Atta Muhammad Qureshi and some others on March 19, 1922.
Among all the villages of the district, the Khilafat movement found its chief support from Soon-Valley in the Salt Range (Awan, 2002). Soon-Valley is a historically well rich area where Buddhism had strong footholds since old times. Later, when Islam started establishing its footprints in India by Arabian traders, Muslim preachers and invaders, Awans came to settle here at Soon Valley; according to Awan narration, they were the descendant of the 4th pious caliph of Islam, Hazrat Ali. On the arrival of the British after the annexation of Punjab, the government developed the ground areas of Sargodha by spreading the canal irrigation system, provider of health facilities, and source of communication as rail, road and postal system. Consequently, the socio-economic condition of the people of ground areas of Sargodha raised, and they largely did not take part in anti-government activities. But still there no such modern facilities were given in Soon-Valley and Salt-Range. So, these inhabitants became ready to join the anti-government movements, particularly the movement on religious ground. The Awans, its Muslim inhabitants, involved in the majority, were physically strong and brave. They were emotional in religion like some other areas of India; here, Ulmas and Peers had a strong influence, and when they motivated them on religious ground, they became ready to join the Khilafat movement obediently. The peer of Sial Sharif had a specific influence on them, and both, Sialvi and Bugvi repeatedly visited here and held the protesting meetings and processions. Its villages, which prominently took part in this movement, were Makroomi, Mustafabad, Kufri, Koradi, Surakki, Subhral, Mardwal and Ochala. In Ochala, the most active persons were Mian Rukan-ud-Din, Mian Noor Alam and Mian Muhammad Muzaffar. In Subhral, the leading personalities of the movement were Qazi Ghulam Mustafah of Subhral, Gul Muhammad Phatyal, Hafiz Faiz Ahmad Arain, Rukan-ud-Deen Waver [Bafanda] and Mian Ghulam Hussain Mistary. The people of Koradi took part in this movement, prominently, were Hazart Qari Qamar-ud-Din, and Molvi Mian Muhammad. The one of zealous participants of Khilafat Movement, was Ghulam Muhammad Shah. Malik Ghulam Muhammad of village Mustaffaabad took active part in this movement (Awan, 2008).
The isolated and backward villages of Soon-Valley also took active part in this movement, as Mardwal and Ochala. These two villages gave a good deal of trouble for English administration. On the other hand, the staunchness, however, of the Zaildars and other leaders of the public opinion in the Salt Range prevented any serious outburst of public feeling, until Turks themselves in disowning the Khilafat bubble was finally pricked by the action of the Turks themselves in disowning the office of Khilafat in 1924.
In the village Ochala itself, the family, which took the leading role in agitation on behalf of what men believed to be the aspirations of the Turks, distinguished itself in 1924 by assisting capturing of the Bhukki dacoits and their helpers. In 1927, by presenting to the district board some valuable land, which made it possible to provide an easy line of communication between Khora in the south and the main road between Nowshera and Sodhi Jai-wali in the north. In the place of a rocky track which had in the past proved an insuperable obstacle to the extension of reasonably good communications towards the centre of the Salt Range. An attempt was made in December 1922 by Maulana Zahur Ahmad Bugvi to work upon the religious feelings of the inhabitants of the Salt Range in Surakki village, which had one of the best-recruiting records during the First World War in 1914. Bugvi attempted to persuade the people to demolish the memorial stone, which was placed by Punjab Government in the Surakki village to commemorate its war services. Bugvi was, however, stoutly opposed by the aged Lambardar of the village Surakki, Ali Muhammad. Ali Muhammad was assisted by his son Sahib Khan, who was on leave from his regiment of the army at the time. A riot nearly ensued but was averted by the influence of the acting Zaildar, Risaldar Sajawal Khan of Kufri. Maulana Zahur Ahmad Baghvi was bound to be of good behavior. The family of the Lambardar of Surakki, Ali Muhammad, was rewarded by the English government the allotment of a vacant horse-breeding grant of squares in the Lower Jehlum Canal Colony Sargodha (Baghvi, 2007).
While, on the other hand, Bugvi was later arrested with his companions and sent to prison for one and a half year. At a time, Khawaja Qamar-ud-Din, Peer of Sial-Sharif, was arrested, but the people of the Soon Valley decided that 4 persons would offer their arrest every day. In very early, two persons of village Makroomi, Muhammad Hayat and Muhammad Rukan Alam, offered their arrest, while the remaining two were Mian Abdul Hameed of village Kufri and Mian Sirajuddin of Khan-kha Sharif. Now, the other people of the Soon-Valley began to offer their arrest. Perhaps, this offer arrest would more than any other cities of the country (Mashaheer Soon, Shah Dil Awan).
Mustafa Kamal Ataturk himself abolished the institution of Khilafat in March 1924. It took away the propelling force from the Khilafat Movement, and it steadily fizzled out. But Sargodha district Khilafat committee continued its functioning for several years. Now it took upon itself to counter the anti-Muslim movements like Shudhi and Sanghtan, which extremist Hindus had launched since the early 20th century, now they started in Sargodha. To curb this sedition of power, on the direction of the Central Khilafat Committee of India, Jamat Tableegh Islam Sargodha was launched, and Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi was appointed its District Organizer
Every walk of the society of Muslims in Sargodha included the students who took part in the Khilafat Movement, the names of these prominent sincere workers and supporters of the movement in the district, have been preserved in the record of Bugvis of Bhera (Baghvi, 2007). The old Shahpur was a pro-English area, while the new established Sargodha city was a Hindu majority, so there was no concept of a political, national and religious movement; the Khilafat Movement was the first struggle scene and contemporary struggle of the Muslims of this region. This movement was mainly patronage by the Bugvis of Bhera and Sialvi of Sial-Sharif. The arrest of Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Bugvi in this movement was the first political captivity in the history of the Sargodha district (Baghvi, 2010).
Khilafat movement gave an awareness and political consciousness to the Muslims of Sargodha, who had been politically behind from Hindus. These Hindus had a political platform of the All India Congress party but had not any to the Muslims of Sargodha. After the Khilafat movement, the Muslims of Sargodha established some organizations, for example, prominently Majlis Markazia Hazb-ul-Nasir Bhera. Khilafat Movement produced a devoted team of leaders and workers in Sargodha. To observe it, different political parties proceeded to Sargodha. So, after the movement, these motivated and trained leaders and workers began to join these political parties.
Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, who had established Majlis Ahrar in December 1929 from the Congress platform, proceeded Sargodha. It got popularity in urban areas of Sargodha, Muslims, particularly, the religious Ulmas got its membership and Mosque Block No 1 Sargodha became the centre of its political activities. Sir Fazal-i-Hussain established the agriculturally based Punjab National Unionist Party in 1923, rural agriculture and feudal families joined it. The Tiwanas were its head in Sargodha. Thus, these two Muslim parties dominated here in urban and rural areas in the decade of 1930, while, Muslim League had no significant existence yet. While congress dominated in rural and urban areas of Non-Muslim’s politics.
In the above circumstances, an advocate, Malik Molla Bakhsh, established the Muslim League branch of Sargodha in 1938, and its 1st public meeting was held in Jamia Masjid Block No. 1 on the eve of the deliverance day on December 22, 1939. In the beginning, Malik Mola Bakhsh had to face strong opposition from Ahraris. Provincial League leaders began to come, and firstly, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan visited Sargodha in 1939 and addressed a large public meeting near Noori-Gate Sargodha. After the Lahore Resolution, the Sargodha League branch gained energy to popularize. The thoughts of the Muslims of Sargodha significantly changed, and prominent Ahrari leaders joined the league ("(Unpublished) Testimonial of Umer Hayat Khan Tiwana,"). Muslim League demanded a separate homeland on religious-based two-nation theory, Muslims of Sargodha immediately attached it, even the students of schools. There was a Hindu school in Block No. 17 named Sanatan Dharam. There were 1700 students, including only 30 Muslims. Hindu teachers used to preach and deliver lectures on Hinduism during the hours of teaching. They preached of Ramayana and Mahabharata. One day, there took place a strange situation in the classroom when the teacher called the roll numbers of students; in response, students responded with Jay Hind. Now, it became a horrible situation for Muslim students, and they began to speak Hakoomat Allahya in place of Jay Hind. Immediately the staff meeting of the school was held to review this situation and found indication of League resolution. School headmaster Dewan Chand assembled all the students and directed all to speak only ‘yes sir or ‘present sir’. It was the sign of developing the sense of ‘two-nation theory’ and freedom in the Muslims of Sargodha. The people of Soon-Valley welcomed, and the league became popular in 1942, though they were army based and had many titles and honors by the government. They fully cooperated with the league and made a large and successful procession of the league in 1942.
Khilafat movement broadened the outlook of Muslims of Sargodha and created in them a burning passion for freedom. They realized their inborn potentialities for standing up against foreign rulers. They had launched a movement against English rulers, and now they had no fear of government of the time. They came out fearlessly in the civil obedience movement against Khizar Tiwana in early 1947. They were bitten, wounded and arrested by the Tiwana administration, but they performed the courage. This agitational role of the Muslims of Sargodha was more significant among any district of Punjab outside Lahore. The experience they had gained during the Khilafat movement stood them in good stead in the years of the Pakistan Movement. On the arrival of time, they effectively asserted themselves as a powerful factor and won their share in freedom.