Memory of great Uyghur patriot and revolutionist: Muhammad Amin Bughra Section (1)

Memory of great Uyghur patriot and revolutionist: Muhammad Amin Bughra Section (1)

By Abdurehim Gheni Uyghur

Today is the 55-year anniversary of Muhammad Amin Bughra on his account passing away, a well-known Uyghur revolutionist, politician and the one who dedicated his whole life for regaining the independence of East Turkestan. On this regard, I commemorate this great revolutionist solemnly.

Muhammad Amin Bughra was born in Hotan city, East Turkistan in 1901. His father, Ferridin Hajim, was noted religious leader, who was deceased when he was very young. His mother, Sekina Banu, was the granddaughter of Abdurahman Pasha who established independent Hotan Hakanate in 1865. Muhammad Amin Bughra accomplished primary school at 9 and famous madrasa specializing in religious science in Hotan and Qaraqash at 21. He worked as a madrasa professor of Quran and hadith in Hotan and Karaksh County during 1922 -1933. With his high professional knowledge and amiable personality, he became very popular and was awarded Haziretim Award, the highest award in East Turkestan at the time, which was only issued to those who brought significant contribution and impact to society. He has been remembered with this name till now.

He wrote poems in Uyghur, Arabic and Persian when he was young and acquired high skills of literary composition. He supported New-Method Educational Initiative in East Turkestan at the time. However, as he was proponent of new educational reformation, he was opposed by conservatives at his time.
Even though, the opposition was high, he led some right thinking scholars at the madras and endeavored finding a solution to save the entire nation from Chinese national atrocity, national unjustness. He started getting insights into politics by using limited resources available, attended discussions between his uncle and some merchants and Hajis who often travelled to India and Saudi Arabia. By reading newspapers and journals brought by these people, he increased the knowledge of international affairs, learned Uyghur history as well as others nations’ history. Furthermore, he travelled all around East Turkestan to observe general conditions and the strength of Chinese invaders to rise in revolt. By discussing with religious and political elite Sabit Damulla, the president of first East Turkestan Republic established in Kashgar (1933-1934), they concluded that armed struggle was the only way to gain their national goal.
So that, an underground organization named Nationalist Revolution Committee was set up to prepare the revolt. On 13th February, 1933, Muhammad Amin Bughra and Sabit Damulla armed the members of this underground organization with hunting rifles, swards and attacked Chinese military base in Qaraqash county and controlled it and entire Hotan prefecture soon after. On 11th May, they established Hotan Islamic Government in Hotan and he was elected as president.
Same time, he sent Sabit Damulla to Kashgar to establish representative office in Kashgar. However, it laid a profound foundation for the establishment of East Turkestan Islamic Republic at Kashgar.

In 1934, Hotan government army was defeated by Hui general Ma Huosan and Muhammad Amin Bughra fled to India. He actively train soldiers and got them prepared independence war in Wakhan Corridor, near the border of East Turkestan with India and Afghanistan. For safety reason, he conducted his activity with the name of Abdullah Yarkend. For buying weaponries, he managed 50 thousand kilogram of silver coins to buy weapons from tribes near Afghanistan border and made a contract of which one thousand cavalry mercenaries from tribes to fight with East Turkestan army against Chinese. However, these tribes didn’t fulfill the contract, because England was worrying for Russian invasion and Indian independence movement at their colonial borders. Therefore, Muhammad Amin Bughra suspended all activities and retreated to Kabul, Afghanistan where he had stayed till 1942. During his stay, he actively contacted Japanese embassy in Kabul. During his visit to the embassy in 1936, he met with Japanese chief ambassador, Kitada , and asked for help regaining independence of East Turkestan, as well as discussed about building an Anti-Communism Corridor. More contents of discussions are shown 1000-page telegrams to Japan by Kitada. Based on fact and information he obtained, Kitada wrote his masterpiece-History of East Turkestan-during his term of service in Afghanistan.

In 1940, Isa Yusuf Alptekin came to Afghanistan as a chief representative of so called Chinese Muslims Friendship Committee of nationalist Kuomintang government and met with Muhammad Amin Bughra. Through discussion, they both agreed on holding an open discussion with Chinese. Muhammad Amin Bughra asked Isa Yusuf to send telegram to Chiang Kai-shek for asking permission to come to India and work along with him for the benefits for both East Turkestan and Kuomintang government. On 23rdApril, 1942, Isa Yusuf came to Peshawar, India and met with Kuomintang ambassador in Kolkata, Mr. Pao. But, Pao informed them that he hadn’t received clear instructions from central Kuomintang government and urged them to go back. However, Muhammad Amin Bughra rejected to go back. Therefore, Pao tried to expel Muhammad Amin Bughra from India to China with the accusation of Anti-Kuomintang Activist. On second May, Indian police imprisoned Muhammad Amin Bughra and his cousin, Abdulkerim Haji, and sent them Peshawar Central Prison. Muhammad Amin Bughra asked for an explanation from British Government for why he was imprisoned. British government agreed to release him with the condition of leaving from India. His wife sent letter to Chiang Kai-shek, Isa Yusuf and other officials. With the assurance of Kuomintang ambassador, he was released from prison and handed over Chinese Embassy in Kolkata on 8th January, 1943. He flew to Chongqing where he warmly welcomed by Isa Yusuf and more than 100 other officials of Kuomintang On 4th April, 1943. Chiang Kai-shek received him and praised his contribution to the country and proposed him staying in Chongqing for better work for his nation.

Second section will be released soon on our website.

100 Uyghur famous persons
History of East Turkestan
Muhammad Bughra writings
Edited by Abdurehim Gheni Uyghur
Translated by Support Uyghurs Group