Ahmadiyya in India after the Partition


Despite claims of 80 million plus, India has a sparse and continuously declining Ahmadiyya population as per census figures. Also, in India, there is no need for Ahmadis to disguise their religious affiliation and the census is continuing under more or less the same mechanism as in 1901 when Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (the founder) explicitly instructed his followers to identify themselves as 'Muslim - sect Ahmadiyya' and they have done so ever since.

Most of them live in Rajastan, Orissa, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and a few in Punjab in the area of Qadian. In India, Ahmadis are considered to be Muslims by the Government of India. This recognition is supported by a court verdict (Shihabuddin Koya vs. Ahammed Koya, A.I.R. 1971 Ker 206). There is no legislation that declares Ahmadis non-Muslims or limits their activities, but they are not allowed to sit on the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, a body of religious leaders India's government recognises as representative of Indian Muslims.

Politics of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1892 to 1908)


British India (1908 to 1947)

The Ahmadiyya split into Lahori and Qadiani factions in 1914. While the Lahoris supported the Ottoman Caliphate, Mirza Mahmud, the Head of the Qadiani faction, presumed himself the Caliph that would replace the Ottomans. This remarkable idea led to the political predicament of the Qadiani Ahmadis around the world. Without a leader who can escape this strategic decision without letting go of the 'Caliphate' that binds its followers together, the community continues to suffer for the sins of its past leaders.

As part of the overseas push of Mirza Mahmud right after the demise of the Ottoman Caliphate, requests to the British for help in Muslim colonies was met with curt but common sense replies. For details, see British Government Denying Qadiani Proselytizing. Two sentences will suffice here:

Nigeria: . . . even to proselytize freely, except where such work would be universally resented by a community as an attack on their existing religion.

Iraq: . . . not prepared to press the Government of 'Iraq to grant official recognition to the Ahmadiyah Society or permission for them to carry on their propaganda. At the same time there is no objection to their quietly conducting worship in their own fashion.

The current position of the Government of Pakistan about Qadiani Ahmadis is very similar.

India - 1947 to present