Abdul Gafoor, who worked for the harmony between Hindus and Muslims, which he believed was essential for the liberty of the motherland, was born on 18 March 1918 in Sareya Akhteryar, Gopalgunj district in Bihar in a peasants’ family. He joined the Aligarh Muslim University in 1935 to pursue higher education.
He got attracted towards the Indian National Movement, when he was a student at Aligarh. Though he adored Gandhi, he followed the path of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose for liberating the mother land. He created sensation at the All India Students’ meeting, which was held in 1937 by forwarding a proposal to remove the words of ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ in the names of Universities to strengthen secularism.
When Subhash Chandra Bose quit as the President of the Indian National Congress under compelling situation and started the Forward Bloc, he was with Bose and organised several programmes as a state representative of the Forward Bloc in Bihar.
He also served as cabinet minister in #RajeevGandhi government.
— Heritage Times (@HeritageTimesIN) July 10, 2018
He believed that the ideas of Netaji for the liberation of the nation were practical. when Subhash Chandra Bose went to Germany in 1941, he dedicated himself totally to the Indian National Movement.
He played an active role in the Quit India Movement in 1942. delivered inspiring lectures defying the prohibitory orders by the British Government and appealed to the people to revolt against the British rule. The British Government, which was irked by his activities, imprisoned him for two and a half years. He became close to the leaders like Abdul Kalam Azad and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai during his stay in the Jail. Even later, Abdul Gaffoor was imprisoned several times. But, he carried on his activities by actively participating in the Indian National Movement in Bihar. He also campaigned against the divisive politics of the Muslim League.
He got elected to the Assembly several times after independence. He held several Ministerial posts and also worked as the Chief Minister of Bihar from July, 1973 to April, 1975. During his tenure as Chief Minister, he took several effective steps to eradicate corruption. But, he faced criticism during the complex political situation arising out of the declaration of ‘Emergency’ by Indira Gandhi, consequent upon the movement started under the leadership of Lokanayak Jayaprakash Narayan.
Later, he got elected to the parliament in 1984 and served as a minister in the union cabinet for some time. Abdul Gafoor, who led a simple life, breathed his last on 10 July, 2004.