Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the sacrifices of individuals and groups, such as those associated with the Silk Letter Movement, constitute a glorious chapter of India’s history of Freedom struggle and need to be acknowledged and appreciated. The President said that he is happy that the Department of Posts has done its bit over the years and has issued postage stamps to acknowledge the contribution of various groups and movements which in their own ways contributed to the overall effort to liberate India.
The President also complimented Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, for his endeavour to dedicate stamp on a ‘Silk Letter Movement’, as it truly reflects the multi-cultural and multi-faceted dimension of the freedom struggle.
The Silk Letter Movement (Tehreek-e-Reshmi Rumal) refers to a movement by Deobandi leaders to attempt to begin a Pan Islamic insurrection in British India during World War Iby seeking support from Ottoman Turkey ,Imperial Germany and Afghanistan, and . The plot was uncovered by Punjab CID with the capture of letters from Ubaidullah Sindhi, one of the Deobandi leaders then in Afghanistan , to Mahmud Hasan another leaders then in Persia. The letters were written in Silk cloth, hence the name.
With the onset of the World War I, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi and Maulana Mehmud Hasan (principal of the Darul Uloom Deoband had proceeded to Kabul in October 1915 with plans to initiate a Muslim insurrection in the tribal belt of India. For this purpose, Ubaid\’Allah was to propose that the Amir of Afghanistan declares war against Britain while Mahmud al Hasan sought German and Turkish help. Hasan proceeded to Hijaz . Ubaid Allah, in the meantime, was able to establish friendly relations with Amir. As the plans unfolded in what came to be called the Silk Letter Movement . Ubaid\’Allah was able to establish friendly relations with Amir. At Kabul, Ubaid\’Allah, along with some students who had preceded him to make way to Turkey to join the Caliph’s Jihad against Britain, decided that the pan-Islamic cause was to be best served by focussing on the Indian Freedom Movement .
The Berlin-India committee (which became the Indian Independence Committee after 1915) also resulted in an Indo-German Turkish Mission to the Indo-Iranian border to encourage the tribes to strike against British interests. This group met the Deobandis in Kabul in December 1915. The mission, along with bringing members of the Indian movement right to India\’s border, also brought messages from the Kaiser.Enver Pasha and the displaced Khedive of Egypt Abbas Hilmi expressing support for Pratap\’s mission and inviting the Amir to move against India
The mission\’s immediate aim was to rally the Amir against British India and to obtain from the Afghan Government a right of free passage. But after the leakage of the plan, the top Deobandi leaders were arrested—Hadhrat Mahmudul-Hasan (also known as Shaykh al-Hind) was arrested from Makkah and together with Hadhrat Husayn Ahmad Madani, was exiled to Malta, from where, he was released in his later stages of T.B.