Dr Shafaat Faheem Amrohvi – a poet with a difference

dewan-of-dr-shafaat-faheem-amrohvi

dewan-of-dr-shafaat-faheem-amrohvi

You don’t have to be an erudite intellectual to appreciate the beauty of Urdu poetry. When an illiterate truck driver asks a painter to write on the back of his truck: “Ya Elahi gharat kare truck banane wale ko,

ghar se beghar kar diya truck chalane wale ko.”

You won’t fail to appreciate the dry curt humor and sense of helpless of the truck-driver that he had expressed through this couplet. When an antique dealer offers you a pillow cushion with a couplet on it developed with threads telling:

“Takiye pa sir rakha a kisi mast khwab ka,
goya ke qasr-e-husn pa gumbad shabab ka.”

You don’t have to be Moulana Hali or Aley Ahmed Surror to delve the deeper meanings of a lover who might have once gifted that pillow cover to her beloved with the feelings that emanated from the bottom of his heart. You don’t have be Moulvi Abdul Haque to enjoy the fainted line of an old post-card that had an inscription: “Bedard zamane ko bahana sa banakar, main toot ke roya hoon teri yad men aksar” that you had discovered in the discarded cupboard of an attic of a newly rented house. You simply love, respect and salute the last Moughal Emperor Bhahdur Shah Zafar when you read: “Hindiyoun me boo rahe gee jab talak Eman ke, Takht-e-London per chale gee taigh Hindustan ke.” It was composed by him in response spontaneously when he had opened the cover of the platter on which the head of Shahzada Moughal, his brave son, was sent by Col Hudson with a couplet:

“Dam damon main dum naheen, aab khair mango jan ke,
Aey Zafar bus ho chuki Shamsheer Hindustan ki.”

Here I can’t help but reproduce some parts of my article “The Rise and Fall of Urdu Language” that is still available on internet.

“When Kalyan Singh, the famous Aya Ram Gaya Ram of BJP, the fellow who had masterminded the demolition of Babri Masjid, was shown the door for the first time, he used the Urdu language to express his true feelings: ‘Hum Wafa sha-ar the nazron se gir gaye unki. Shayad unhen talash kisi Bewafa Ki Thee’ – meaning, I was loyal and fell in his esteem. Perhaps he was looking for a treacherous buddy.

“Humko unse wafa ki hai umeed, jo nahi jaante wafa kya hai (We hope for loyalty from those who do not know the meaning of the word),” quoting famous Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib.

Sushma Swaraj, the Leader of Opposition stood up with a smile. She quoted the famous Urdu poet Bashir Badr: “Kuch to majbooriya rahi hongi yun koi bewafa nahi hota (There must have been some compulsions, one is not disloyal for no reason at all).”

She then broke into a second verse: “Tumhe wafa yaad nahee, Humein jafa yaad nahee, Zindagi or maut ke toh do hee tarane hain, ek tumhein yaad nahee, ek humein yaad naheen (You don’t remember loyalty, we don’t remember disloyalty, life and death have two rhythms, you don’t remember one, we don’t remember the other).”
Sushma Swaraj too got a thunderous response from her party members. The prime minister just smiled. This is not the first time both have exchanged Urdu and Hindi verses to hit out at each other.

This brouhaha reminded me the famous line that reflects the wounded spirit of an Urdu poet: “Urdu ka Janazah hai baree dhoom se uththe….” It is the coffin of Urdu, let it be shouldered with all the pomp and gaity. To write about this unfortunate language is a painful exercise. This complex and thorny subject can’t be met justice within a short article. For a rational mind it would be a pathetic sight and heartrending scenario to witness a most enchanting seductress, an animated Venus of Languages being dragged to the altar of Fanaticism, Islamophobia, Prejudice and Ignorance – an unprecedented historical callous ritual of SATI inflicted upon a ‘Medium of Expression’. A Language murder de-jure in broad day light of civilization.

The lovers of this beautiful damsel had given her several names: Hindi, Hindavi, Dakni, Lashkari, Rekhta and the last in this chronology is Urdu. Ameer Khusrau, the famous sufi saint, poet, musician, inventor and warrior is supposed to be the father and ‘Khari Boli’ has adopted this baby of Khusrua as its own daughter. Born and brought in pure Indian environment it had taken the impact of Persian or Farsi somehow, the language of Kings and courtiers. It is interesting to learn that with the death of Emperor Aourengzeb, the use of Persian declined in Indian sub-continent. A new language was finding its entry in the towering shoes of Farsi. It was Urdu.

Most of the experts of Lingua Franca agree that no living language of the world could match the power of command, respect, clout and visceral stirring that is imbibed in the two magical Urdu words – “INQALAB ZINDABAD” It was the idiom of Indian Independence.

“Sarfaroshi ki tamannah ab hamarey dil men hai, dekhna hai zor kitna bazooey qatil men hai” I covet to offer my head today, Let me test the strength of my executioner.
Urdu was a language that was common among all faiths of Indians. The Christians missionaries used this medium to preach, propagate and proselytize the north Indians. It is used for the same purpose by missionaries in Pakistan even today.

It is a language that was adored, nurtured and disseminated by Whites, Hindus and Sikhs. The great novelists and short story writers of Urdu were Premchand, Krishanchandar and Rajendra Singh Bedi; the greatest poet of Urdu Masnawi was Pandit Daya Shankar ‘Naseem’. The most versatile and novel Urdu poets were Brij Narayan ‘Chakbast’, Tilwak Chand ‘Mehroom’, Pandit Raghu Pati Sahay ‘Firaq Gorakhpuri’. The all times great critics of Urdu Literature are Gopi Chand ‘Narang’ and Jagan Nath ‘Azad’. Even today the two intellectuals who are the embodiment of all that is fine with Urdu are two Gulzars and both of them are Hindus or Sikhs. One from Delhi, Gulzar Dehelwi and other from Punjab, our very own ‘Jai Ho’ wale Gulzar. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I am forgetting thousands of names of non-Muslims who are and who were proud of their language – Urdu. The famous stalwart of Urdu, Pandit Anand Narain ‘Mulla’ Ex-Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court has once said,” I could forsake my religion but not my language Urdu.” Let me narrate here his famed couplet:

“Woh aour hain jinhen touba ki mil gayee fursat,
hamen gunah bhee karne ko zindagi kum hai.”

Those may be others who got time to seek forgiveness, for me, the allotted time is very short to commit even the Sins.

Today the fake proponents of Hindi Language, along with the band of Islamophobic fanatics claim that Urdu is a language of Muslims only; a language of Pakistan; a language of terrorists.

Nothing is farther from truth! Before the establishment of Pakistan none of the entities that would become West and East Pakistan spoke Urdu language. The languages prevalent in those regions were Bengali, Punjabi, Pushto, Baluchi and Sindhi. The mass migration of Muslims from UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Hyderabad effectively changed the demography of those regions. The Sindhi majority of Karachi was reduced to a minority and Urdu was proclaimed as National language of Pakistan. What is happening to the language of Mohajirs, the migrants from India, in Bangla Desh and Pakistan makes a pathetic study for any aspirant to think of those areas.

After independence, Congress played the vicious game of ‘play with the hares and hunt with the hounds.’ To questionable role played by Sardar Patel and Govind Ballabh Pant to marginalize Urdu from the national scene is now buried in the history books. The subject how Moulana Abul Kalam Azad was craftily isolated in banishing Urdu would earn galore of Ph. D’s for the aspirants of history, social and political science.

But still there is a silver lining for the dark clouds of Urdu. The young generation of Non-Muslim youth who don’t carry the heavy burdens of history, are taking the bull by the horns. For them Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjeet Singh, Punkaj Udhas, Sonu Nigam, Peenaz Masani, Ghulam and Mehdi Hasan with their superb pronunciation and renditons are the maestros of their fields of Ghazals, Sufiana kalms and geets. Hindi is coming with the new most popular component – Hindi Ghazal.” End quote

And all this background I’d prepared to tell the readers that I simply enjoy and love Urdu in all forms and undoubtedly certainly I’ve no claims over the knowledge and versatility of this beautiful language.

Over the last three centuries Urdu has produced great poets of super intelligence and excellence of presentation. However the 18th century was the century of Meer, the 19th belonged to Ghalib and the 20th was the century Eqbal and Faiz. There is a plethora of twinkling stars in the galaxy of Urdu but there are no moons. Whether this trend will continue in the present century, I if don’t know. Parveen Shakir died young and left a mark but is nothing more than skin deep if we consider the Urdu poetry as a body. This is my opinion. I’m a tyro, a green horn and illiterate whose opinion counts for nothing.

Meer was a natural poet who used the metaphor of the broken, shattered, distraught heart to describe both his own personal loss as also the pillage and destruction of Delhi. He loved Delhi from the bottom of his heart. It was his adopted capital and the deserted streets and empty houses of Delhi became symbols of the passing away of a lifestyle and an aesthetic urbane milieu of his works.

Ghalib was a philosopher, a versatile and learned intellectual who infused the Ghazal with a depth and multi – layers of the form had not hitherto seen. Ghalib also contributed significantly to freeing the Ghazal from the constricting grip of a cold heartless beloved, a successful rival and the perpetually unsuccessful lover-the poet-drowning himself in wine or wallowing in masochistic self pity. He tried to put across the realities of life; challenged the worn out concepts of traditions and beliefs. He was a daring explorer of language and thought. He was a perfectionist and there is no confusion in his thinking. Ghalib raised fundamental questions of existence and being, raised doubts about received world views and established that the Ghazal was capable of tackling complex ideas. The imagery of Ghalib’s poetry drew as much from his immediate surroundings and the rich cultural heritage of South Central Asia that had in turn drawn from the myths of ancient Greece and Egypt, tales and fables that also resonated in the Torah, the Bible and the Quraan. Ghalib lived in strange times, an order was dying and the new was yet to replace it. Ghalib was a witness to these cataclysmic times. The rapid collapse of the Mughal court led to the replacement of a system of patronage with unending uncertainty and penury. The Mutiny of 1857 took away with it the last vestiges of an order that India had known and the ruthless crushing of the uprising led to an era of unprecedented changes whose impact was to inform the creation of literature in a fundamental and far reaching manner. Ghalib, like many of his contemporaries, was deeply shaken by these events and suffered the consequences of this upheaval.

Eqbal is a poet who has left an indelible and everlasting impression upon mankind. It is wrong to assume that Eqbal is the poet of Muslims or he belongs to Urdu literature alone. Eqbal transcends all boundaries. You cannot put him in any category. Like all great poets, he belongs to the whole mankind.

‘Sare Jahan se achcha Hindustan Hamara,
Hum bulbulen hain iski yeh gulsitan hamara.’

MY INDIA is the best amongst all the nations of the world. We are its nightingales and this is our garden. That’s how ‘the poet of East – Allama Sheikh Mohammed Eqbal’ showered his unlimited love for his country. – India.

‘Khake witan ka humko har zarra devta hai” (Each dust particle of my motherland is god to me).

In Focus Eqbal has a great and unique vision of India and he had described his dream of a new India in these words:

“Sach keh doon aye Brahmin gar tu bura na mane. (Should I speak the truth Oh Brahmin if you aren’t offended?)”

Aa ek naya shiwali hum phir se yan bana de’n. (Let us make new temples again)

Shakti bhi shanty bhi bhakto ke geet me hai. (There is strength and peace in the hymns of worshippers)

Dharti ke waasiyon ki mukti preet me hai. (Peace of inhabitants of the world lies in love)

MULLAHS HAVE issued a fatwa on Eqbal for daring to see this dream for a new India.

Eqbal, like so many Muslim intellectuals was disillusioned with the policies of Congress and suggested a federation of Muslim states to protect the culture and civilization of Muslims. The purpose of this article is not to re-open the old controversial chapters of history as Allama Eqbal had died long before independence in 1938. The least I can say is he loved India. That he belongs to Pakistan is travesty of truth. “This is not the whole Truth,” said Professor Abdul Haq, an eminent Urdu critic. “Eqbal foresaw a federal structure for a free India, in which a Muslim-dominated north-western region could be a cultural unit like many others,” he said. As far as the idea of Pakistan is concerned, Iqbal denied that he was the originator of this idea. “Eqbal has clearly denied this in his letters to Raghib Hussain. People don’t talk about these letters since they don’t favor their point of view,” said Dr Haq.

Dr Abdul Haq said that Eqbal is the most misunderstood poet of the 20th century. “We must look at Eqbal in totality if we want to understand him,” he said. Eqbal’s tragedy was that his poetry was used by different groups to serve their own interests. His poetry had so many facets that he seemed to assume different roles in different phases of his poetry: he was a staunch nationalist, a vocal communist, an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity, a humanist, a believer in Islamic revivalism, a freedom fighter, and an advocate of international brotherhood. No poet in Urdu, and I’m sure in any other Indian language too, has shed as many tears on India’s misery and colonial captivity.

Uth ke ab dore jahan ka aur hi andaz hai
Mashroq-o-maghrib me tere dour ka aghaz hai

“Get up now that the style of the world has changed. It is the beginning of your age in the East and West.”

Faiz Ahmed Faiz is a poet I find nearest to my inner feelings which I’ve no ability or intellect to express. He says what I think; he says what I want to say. I need a separate space to talk about Faiz. He lived a troubled and restless life, Faiz’s work, political ideology, and poetry became immortal and remained an extremely popular and influential figure in the literary development of Pakistan’s arts, literature, and drama and theatre adaptation. Faiz’s work is considered the backbone of development of new Urdu literature, arts and poetry. Along with Allama Eqbal, Faiz is often known as the “Poet of the East” While commenting on his legacy, classical singer Tina Sani said:
Faiz Ahmad Faiz… (was) like a comrade, his thoughts were soft but effective and inspired the classical singers as it did others in the plays we did… Faiz’s poetry never gets old because the problems and situations in this country have not changed. Today we sing him because of his beautiful poetry, missing out on the reasons behind his poems that had predictions..

dewan-of-dr-shafaat-faheem-amrohvi

dewan-of-dr-shafaat-faheem-amrohvi

To conclude this article, I’ve like to talk about my friend Dr. Shafaat Faheem Amrohvi. He is few years senior to me in this world and we had played the same games; drank the same water and breathed the same air till we parted and joined again in Aligarh Muslim University. He has always had a poetic temperament. My Urdu was between poor and weak. I had been below average and low brow in the fields of study – somehow managed to survive and have nothing to boast about. However, I liked his poems when he was a beginner and do still like him when he is transformed into reputed poet.
He has been a lucky inheritor of creative writing. His father, grand-father and forefathers were scholars of religion and Urdu, Persian and Arabic languages. He never had to struggle to recall the appropriated words for his poetry. Words would line up for him at his command. He has the mastery to play around and create new terms – a rare trait in his genre. In some of his works I can see my face.

“Yeh raaz na samjha hai na samjhe ga zamana, 
hum jeetey hue khel ko kyuon haar gaye hain.”

I’ve not been happy when he came to my house with his latest couplet:

“Mere har dost ke lafzon se tapakta hai lahoo, mera khoon pee ke mere dost paley hon jaise;
Meri sanson se nikalta hai ummedon ka dhuyan, mere jazbat mere saath jaley hon jaise.”

I’s dumb founded; I didn’t like what he had said. For me, the friendship is unbroken divine relationship, always pristine, pure and bright. I can’t believe that a friend could ever be an adversary. Friendship is a proof of Godliness.

And I had also imbibed some streaks of poetry by then. I asked him to let me rest for a while. While leaving the room I asked him to complete the couplet that began with my words – “Kamzarf chirghon ne dhuyan chor diya hai…………………………” Next time he came to my room in Ziauddin Hostel and reassured me that blood did never ever wring out of my words in any form. It was, according to him, was written in a different situation. He had completed my lead with the following stanza:

“Ummed-e-Sahar hote he tareek-e-iye shab men,
Kam zarf chiraghon ne dhuyan chor diya hai.”

I was left with nothing to disagree except that he did never confessed that the lead line was given by me.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

More Posts

“Shia-Sunni Unity” – a must for survival

This author belongs to a Floral SuShi Family, a very common old tradition among Muslim society all over the world. Our family life is a glittering example of Shia-Sunni Co-existence and Cooperation. In my childhood, the differences between the two major Muslim sects were more dealt in theological gatherings and masses were not deeply involved. With the advent of ‘Petro Dollar’ and boost of New Ideologies more than seventy sects of Islam began to assert their separate doctrines and got actively engaged in the deadly internecine fight that is forcing the tears of our existence at the seams. Now every sect calls the other sects as INFIDEL with a difference of degree and intensity. I worked through my life to understand this cleavage and discover the reason but miserably failed to decide the side which is RIGHT in absolute terms. My feeling of being torn between the Doctrines of Shia Islam and Sunni Islam has often driven me to despair and nervous breakdown. And every new quest for truth leads me sadder, to an even worse condition. Ironically, several individual leaders, form both the major Muslim sects sincerely seek to please God at the expense of other sect with expedition.

Since the inception of Islam, the history of Muslim rulers is drenched in the blood of its followers, leaders and friends – both political and spiritual as well. How agonizing that the second, third and fourth Caliph of Sunni Islam were massacred while many Imams and scholars of Shia Islam were mercilessly killed by the followers of Islam. They  were all martyrs. Violence ran deeper in its anatomy of our progress and the tradition is still adhered in terms of words and spirit as blood spills in mosques and Imambargahs. However there is one incontrovertible truth that stands out in the sorry tale – the Shias, the minority if Islam had always been at the receiving end of violence.
Is it not the time ripe for the silent majority of both the communities to come together through dialog to defeat the terrorists who have been responsible for these madness and heinous killings?

Friday is the auspicious day for all Muslims – Sunnis and Shias both. On this day of the last week around 150 Shias were killed, 360 injured in Sanna, Yemen and 2 Shias were done to death and several others injured in Karachi, Pakistan. For the Muslim Ummah it’s a Black Day.
According to press resources, in the mosques of Sanna, suicide bombers entered pretending to be disabled and hiding explosives under casts. Pictures of people removing bodies from one of the mosques where a carpeted floor was littered with debris were seen all over. In the assaults at Al Badr mosque and Al Hashoosh mosque in Sanaa, the first blasts happened inside the buildings, followed two minutes later by explosions outside. At Al Badr mosque, the outdoor explosion was another suicide bombing; at Al Hashoosh mosque, the exterior blast was a car bomb. The mosques serve members of the Zaidi sect of Shiite Islam, the sect to which the rebel Houthi militants belong.
The blood of tourists killed at the museum in Tunisia by ISIS on Wednesday was not yet dried. The recent suicidal attack at Sanna illustrates the expanding focus for ISIS, which controls parts of Syria and Iraq. It proves the solid support they are getting from their backers. A written statement, purportedly from ISIS, claimed that ISIS executed Friday’s attacks, calling them “a tip of an iceberg.” The statement, posted on a site that previously carried ISIS proclamations, said five suicide bombers targeted Houthis in Sanaa. A separate audio message, also posted on ISIS-affiliated websites, claimed five ISIS suicide bombers killed dozens of “Houthi infidels.”
Among those killed in Sanaa was prominent Houthi religious leader Murtatha Al Mahathwari.

The Al Houti Tribe had long felt marginalized by the majority Sunnis in Yemen and have battled the central government for more than a decade. They finally decided to take up the matter to decisive end and gradually took control of the presidential palace in January and forcing President Hadi to resign.The mosque attacks came six months after the Houthis had entered Sanaa. Hadi was initially put under house arrest but escaped and flew to Aden declaring himself still President.
Just to carry forward my argument I’m quoting a portion of famous Islamic Scholar Sheikh Ahmed Deedat’s speech:

“I say why can’t you accept the Shia brothers as a fifth Fiqh. And the astonishing thing is that he (Ayatullah Khomeni) is telling you that he wants to be one with you. He is not talking about being Shia. He is shouting “there is no Sunni nor Shia there is one thing, Islam.” But we say to them “no you are different you are Shia.” This attitude is a sickness of the devil. He wants to divide us.
Can you imagine we Sunnis are 90% of the Muslim world and the ten percent who are Shias want to be partners and brothers with you in faith and the 90% are terrified. I can’t understand why should you the 90% be so terrified. They should be the ones terrified. And if you just knew the feelings that they have for you. During Jummah prayers in Iran, there are a million people. And you should see the way they look at you when you pass by, they recognize that you are a foreigner and not one of them and tears start rolling down their cheeks. This is the feeling that they have for you, but you say no, you want to keep they out, afraid that they will absolve you. You can only be absolved if there is something better than what you have. I don’t know, maybe some of you think I am a Shia, but I’m still with you all here.
What is all this Shia-Sunni tensions? It is all politics. These antagonisms we have are all politics now. If a Sunni brother somewhere does something wrong you say oh the individual is not being very Islamic, he is a kaffir, But if a Shia does something wrong you want to condemn the whole Shia community, the whole nation of millions, and say they are all rubbish just because one Shias actions are not very Islamic. At the same time where we look the other way if one of your relatives does something serious because he is your father or your uncle. One group of Sunnis says to another “you are not a Muslim” another group of Sunnis says “you are not a Muslim you are a kaffir” look that’s among us, and we fight among ourselves. And some of us do funny things.” End of the portion of Ahmed Deedat’s speech.

It is so heartrending to observe that Shia-Sunni violence has been on the rise in the last few years in Middle East and Pakistan.

Can’t we say – Now enough is enough? There is a silver-lining to these darker clouds. In Iraq, it is estimated that up to 30 percent of marriages are between Shias and Sunnis; victims of violence between the two groups frequently attend each other’s funeral prayers; one group often helps the other’s victims after an incident.

Even a green horn of Islamic Theology knows that the differences between Shia and Sunni are more political in nature while basic tenets of both are identical. Can’t we just leave them, forget them and wait for the Day of Judgment; these are better left for God to judge, as He knows best and has said in the Quran that ‘He is the final judge of religious disagreements.’

The killing of Shias or Sunnis will not resolve these disputes. The principle of “no compulsion in matters of faith” (Quran 2:256) is not just limited to Muslim-non-Muslim relations. It applies to Muslim interpretations of Islam as well. This instruction of God serves as a guideline for the Muslim community to not impose one’s interpretation on others. That is why throughout history, not only have Hanafis and Shafis worked with each other despite differences, but Shias and Sunnis have lived and worked side by side with each other as well.
Can’t we come closer and be decent and respectful to the thinking of each other? When human beings sit down and talk to each other, they learn to respect each other. Dialog allows parties to understand each other better by allowing participants to acquire direct knowledge about beliefs instead of relying on propaganda and stereotypical images. (Quran 49:6-12)
Serious and sincere exchange of thought, dialogues would isolate the extremist fringe. By talking to each other, Shias and Sunnis will be able to save lives, which is like saving the whole of humanity.
Even if some Shias and Sunnis consider each other enemies, the Quran asks us to be just even toward one’s enemy “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [Quran 5:8]
It is hard reality that the Shia community like Sunnis is also diverse. There are many differences between one Shia group and another. This is why it is important that dialog between Sunnis and Shias becomes a movement and a process throughout society instead of everyone waiting for one high powered dialog to yield some results at the leadership level.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

More Posts

Mango cultivation in Amroha – how to increase its productivity

Amroha is the land of mangoes and carps… it looks mysterious because we couldn’t understand the relation between mangoes and carps at first instance. Although Amroha is an ancient place and has rich history but its cultural revolution taken place in medieval times when Hazrat Syed Sharfuddin Shahwilayat (ra) reached Amroha. He came from Middle East (Iraq) and instructed (as per folks) that you should go to the place and reside there where you will find mangoes and carps (rohu fish). No doubt that he came across many towns and cities before reaching Amroha which surely have carps and mangoes because in north India you can find mango and rohu fish at almost every place from Lahore to Punjab to Amroha. Aam and rohu is very common to most of the towns if not all. So why he choose only Amroha to live?. Surely there might be some other reasons against this common belief to reside in Amroha but this is still a mystery and we will speculate it in future inshallah . Whatever is the reason but now Amroha is famous for mangoes. So this article is written for mango cultivators of Amroha (recommendations are general which can be follow at any place in northern India). About carps we will discuss in some other articles.

Centuries old culture of mango cultivation in Amroha
Amroha has more than 100 types of descripted and non-descripted varieties of mangoes, so its diversity is very high which make Amroha unique place for mangoes. There are so many fruits in the world but no other fruit has same value as that of mango. Some people called it King of Fruits (phalo ka raja). As per my opinion it is absolutely true and it has some uniqueness and that uniqueness is hidden in its diversity. Now see this, you eat apple it has same taste whether it is Himachali, Kashmiri or from United Kingdom, same is true for litchi, chiku or grapes. But when you eat dusseri you will have absolutely different taste sensation than landga or chaunsa. Although all are mangoes having same physiology but taste is different and no mango is superior to other on the basis of taste. All are equally well and I love this variation. Let us have a look for its commercial value and how we can improve the productivity.
Why I am sharing this knowledge – saving mango orchards – a tribute to my father
My farther also loved mangoes and he had taken orchards on rent during mango blossoming seasons. I loved to went those orchards along with him on cycle (not less than 15 Km from my home). He had passion for mangoes, although he hardly made any profits out of it but even then he always taken mango orchards on rent and use to live there in the nights. He taught me many practical things about mangoes like how to recognize variety by looking its shape and size. I was hardly 9 or 10 years old. He suffered huge losses and my mother scolded him for wasting money year after year. I wish I could help him to increase the productivity and help him to save his money with my knowledge, but he is not present today to take my help. But I want to reduce sufferings of farmers who are passing through same situations.
Mangoes – Brief account on its present status in India
Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is the choicest fruit of India in terms of not only production but also economic importance and acceptability by the consumers. It is grown in around 87 countries in the world but nowhere it is as greatly valued as in India where it covers around 36 per cent of total fruits growing area. Owing to delicious taste, succulence type and exotic flavour it enjoys the same popularity in the tropics as apple in the temperate region. India is the largest producer of choice table varieties of mango in the world. More than 1000 mango varieties are under cultivation in India, each differing in shape, size and taste. But the production share of mango in India is quite low (20.3%) with total annual production of only 15.19 million tons due to low productivity (6.6 tonnes/ha). Despite India has got excellent export mango varieties (Dashehari, grown in northern India, Alphonso and Kesar in western India and krishnabhog, Gulabkhas and Himsagar in  eastern India) it occupies just fourth position in mango export market of the world with Philippines being the first.
Among the different factors responsible for low productivity and low export potentiality,physiological disorders associated with mango is one of the main factor which affects mango cultivation at all stages, right from the plants in the nursery to the fruits in storage or transit. These physiological disorders not only reduce the production efficiency of the tree but also hamper the fruit quality which is the key factor for export, resulting huge economic losses to the growers every year. Therefore, to obtain higher mango production with better quality, utmost attention must be given to solve the problems of physiological disorders.
Details of different physiological disorders along with their management strategies are as follows:
 
Alternate Bearing: it means trees give fruits every third year (first, third, fifth like this) This is one of the most burning problems of mango cultivation as it renders mango cultivation less remunerative to growers. It causes huge economic burden over farmers and they suffer losses in the form of land depreciation and product stagnancy.
 It signifies the tendency of mango trees to bear a heavy crop in one year (on year) and very little or no crop in the succeeding year (off year). Most of the commercial varieties of north India, namely, Dashehari, Langra and Chausa are alternate bearers.
 
Reason: Generally mango trees when laden with fruits, they do not produce new shoots. Even after harvesting, if new shoots are produced, they are negligible in number and do not flower in the coming year because new vegetative flush of mango required a certain amount of maturity (8-10 months) for flower bud differentiation.
It can be understand; first year it flowers and gives fruits à in second year new shoots will be seen in march April à then in third years it fruits again.
Moreover, when a tree produces heavy crop in one season, it gets nutritionally exhausted failing to yield in following season. Besides climatic factors, C/N (carbohydrate/nitrogen) ratio and hormonal imbalance also play vital role to cause alteration in bearing in mango.
Management Strategies
 
·      Paclobutrazol (PP333) @ 4 g/tree as soil and foliar spray in September results early maturation of vegetative flush and commencement of flowering in the following year.
·         Deblossoming of some ‘on year’ flowers and pruning (selective removal of parts of a plant, such as branches, buds,) of the tree just after harvesting will maintain proper physiological balance  between vegetative and reproductive growth and permit ample amount of sunlight to reach the inner area of the orchard resulting in better performance of the tree every year. Moreover pruning also helps to produce some new shoots just after harvesting which may mature in the next flowering season.
·         Flowering in ‘off’ year’ can also be induced by smudging. Smudging in mango is carried out by building slow fires, emitting smoke under mango tree. Similarly, application of Ethrel can also induce flowering.
·         Growers who are in primitive stage of mango cultivation can select cultivars like Amrapali, Mallika, Ratna, Dashehari-51, Pusa Arunima, Pusa Shrestha, Pusa Pitambar, Pusa Lalima, Pusa Pratibha, Arka Anmol, Arka Aruna, Arka Puneet, Arka Neelkiran for commercial cultivation as they are regular bearing in nature. Rejuvenation of old mango tree by grafting or budding with regular bearing varieties are also recommended to convert the alternate bearing habit into regular one.
Mango Malformation: It means improper shape and size of mango which render it less attractive and poor economic value. During last few decades farmers particularly in northern India facing huge problem due to this disorder. Although, it was first observed in 1891 in Bihar but now it is an alarming threat in Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
It is mainly of two types: vegetative and floral.
Vegetative malformation is more common in nursery seedling and in young plants. Malformed vegetative shoots assume the appearance of bunchy top with narrow scaly leaves. Vegetative buds growing in cluster, swells and losses the apical dominance. Almost all the commercial mango cultivars like Bombay Green, Dashehari, Lucknow Safeda and Chausa show huge susceptibility to this malady, however the cultivar Baramasi is less affected. Cultivars like Ellaichi, Alib and Bhadauran are totally free from this disorder but their fruit quality being not superior; their use is limited to only for resistant breeding not for commercial cultivation. Scientist from different part of the country reported that a  fungi- Fusarium moniliformae var. subglutinans is highly associated with this disorder. Temperature range of 21-27°C (max.) and 8°C (min.) along with relative humidity of 85% during late winter or early spring is conducive for the growth of the fungi, resulting severe incidence of malformation on newly emerged panicles.
Management Strategies:
 
·         Application of NAA/ Planofix (200ppm) during October, prior to fruit bud differentiation followed by de-bloosming of newly emerged panicles or bud during January- February is beneficial to control the disorder.
·         Spraying of different phenolic compounds like catecal, cynamic acid, tannic acid during 1st week ofOctober at 2000 ppm is equally effective in reducing floral malformation.
·         Several anti-malformins have been suggested for beneficial results when sprayed on panicles just after emergence (4-6 cm). Sprays of glutathione at 2250 ppm, ascorbic acid at 2110 ppm, AgNO3 at 600 ppm have also been found effective to control the malformation.
·         Application of nutrients likes P & K and micronutrients especially Zn & B just after harvesting are quite effective in reducing the incidence of malformation. Application of moderate amount of N helped to minimize the vegetative malformation while Zn and B helped in biosynthesis of auxins which ultimately helps to reduce the incidence of mango malformation.
·         Removal of just emerged malformed panicles or vegetative shoots at a distance of 15-20 cm below the point of occurrence is beneficial to minimize the spread of disorder further.
Black Tip: This malady is widely prevalent in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. It causes considerable economic losses to the growers. Among the commercial cultivars, Dashehari is the highly susceptible one, while Lucknow Safeda is the least. This disorder has mainly detected in orchards located in the vicinity of brick kilns. Gases like carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and ethylene constituting the fumes of brick kiln, damage growing tip of fruits and give rise to the symptoms of black tip.
Management Strategies
 
·         Establishment of the orchards away from brick kiln by at least 1.6 km in east to west and 0.8 km in north to south direction and increasing the chimney height to at least 15- 18 metres can be preventive measures for this malady.
·         Spray 1 per cent borax (10g/lit) thrice first before flowering, second during flowering and third at fruit set stage is very effective. Moreover, spraying of other alkaline solutions like caustic soda (0.8%) orwashing soda (0.5%) at pea stage followed by two more sprays at 15 days interval may neutralize the acidic fumes of brick kilns, precipitating on the tip of the fruits.
Spongy Tissue: This is caused because ripening enzymes during fruit maturation stage become inactive due to high temperature, convective heat and post harvest exposure of fruit to sunlight which results in the development of non-edible, sour, yellowish and sponge like patch with or without air pocket in the mesocarp of the fruit during ripening. In extreme cases, the whole fleshy portion becomes too soft resembling bacterial rot.
·         Harvesting of fruits at 3/4th maturity stage and post harvest exposure to low temperatures between 10-150C for 10-18 hrs has been beneficial in reducing the disorder.
·         Sod culture with Eragrostis (Spartina) cynosuroides, cover cropping etc. should be used in the orchard to reduce direct heat radiation from soil which ultimately minimizes the raise of convective heat from the ground.
·         Use of black poly-ethylene mulch is recommended for spongy tissue prone orchards.
·         Resistant varieties for new cultivators like Ratna, Arka Puneet, Arka Aruna which have Alphonso  like character should be planted in the orchard.
Fruit Drop: Despite initial high fruit set, the ultimate retention is quite low in mango (only 0.1% perfect flowers develop fruit to maturity). The intensity of fruit drop varies from variety to variety. Among the commercially grown varieties, Langra is more susceptible to drop while Dashehari is the least. Fruit drop in mango is classified into three groups: (i) Pinhead drop, (ii) Post setting drop and (iii) pre-harvest drop (May drop).
The first two drops causes less economic losses to the growers but the third group is most destructive and cause huge economic losses to the growers as the fruits totally drop down at pre-harvesting stage.
Management Strategies
·         The extent of fruit drop in mango can be significantly reduced by regular and frequent irrigationsduring the entire fruit developmental period.
·         Orchards should be protected from desiccating winds (Andhi) by planting wind breaks.
·         Timely and effective control measures against major pests and diseases should be adopted.
·         Growth regulators like NAA and 2,4-D in varying concentration depending upon the variety and time of application can be sprayed. The optimum concentration lies between 10- 15 ppm during the month of April-May.
Clustering (Jhumka): It implies the development of fruits in clusters at the tip of the panicles (A panicle is a much-branched inflorescence). Such fruits do not grow beyond pea or marble stage and drop down after a month of fruit set. Mainly it is due to lack of pollination / fertilizationwhich may be attributed to many reasons such as the absence of sufficient population of pollinators in the orchards (lower bee and butterfly population), indiscriminate spray of pesticides during flowering,spraying of synthetic pyrethroids, monoculture and bad weather during flowering.
Management Strategies:
 
·         Spraying of pesticides during flowering should be avoided. Apart from this, monoculture in the orchard should be avoided by planting at least 5-6 per cent of other cultivars in new plantations.
·         Introduction of beehives in the orchards during flowering season for increasing the number of pollinators.
Internal Fruit Necrosis: It is characterized by the appearance of dark green colour in lower half of the fruit followed by browning of the seed and mesocarp which ultimately turned into brown black necrotic lesion. It is mainly due to boron deficiency.
Internal fruit necrosis
Management Strategies
 
This disorder can be corrected by soil or foliar application of boron. For soil application, Borax @ 500 g per tree should be incorporated at the time of October fertilization. Foliar application of 1 % borax is recommended at the time of fruit set (pea size stage) followed by two more sprays at 10-15 days interval which will minimize the disorder to a great extent.
Leaf scorching in mango: The characteristic symptom is akin to that of potash deficiency i.e.scorching of old leaves at the tips or margins. The leaves fall down and consequently, the tree vigour and yield is reduced. It is mainly due to excess of chloride ions which render potash unavailability. This disorder is more common in saline soils or where brackish water is available for irrigation or where muriate of potash is used as a fertilizer to meet the potash requirement of the plants.
Management Strategies
 
·         It can be checked effectively by collecting and burning the fallen leaves and using potassium sulphate instead of muriate of potash.
·         Acute condition can be cured by 4-5 foliar applications of potassium sulphate on newly emerged flushes at fortnightly intervals.

 

Conclusion: Among all the physiological disorders associated with mango, none is due to a single factor but all are due to the amalgamation of several factors like genetic factors, environmental factors, nutritional imbalance, poor cultural practices in the orchard, etc. So, it is very difficult bring a affected orchard into a healthy orchard in a single step within one or two years. But proper cultural and management practices like application of required fertilizers at proper stage, pruning of some old branches just after harvesting, debloosming of some flower buds during February-March,application of recommended plant growth regulators at proper stage etc. can prevent the disorders to a large extent.

A Day to remember Indra Priyadarshni Gandhi

Why I miss you Indra Priydarshni…..
Because you were the greatest leader Mother India has ever produced. You were the one who had given the new definition to the much touted word – ‘Initiative.’ You were willing to make decisions. You had made decisions that changed the course of history. Your decisions changed the destiny of millions. You didn’t fall victim to ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome.’ You fired the salvo when it was the need of the hour.
Because you were the great Communicator. As a leader you listened a lot; you asked n –th questions; you considered options; you gave decisions loud and clear – unbiased, unclouded, pragmatic, practical and without prejudice. You understood the needs and desires of India. You knew your soil. You had the sagacity to gather every tremor on the lips of Bharat Maa. You felt her agony.

Because you were flexible and adaptable. You challenged the might of established leaders when they tried to push you down. You failed their nasty designs. You took away the privileges of nawabs and rajas; you made the lazy bones work in zones where ordinary poor waddled in vain. You made ‘Gahraibi’ a genuine issue’; You worked the hardest to ‘Hatao’ the curse.

Because you were Proactive and Reactive. You exploded at Pokhran the biggest hit and did it all without taking the credit; You made to Shimla when time was ripe.

Because you were always Respectful to your adversaries; you had the finest upbringing that reflected; you didn’t call them names; you didn’t make tall and false promises; you didn’t lie. You treated every Indian with due respect;
You were and quiet and confident. You were sure of yourself and your humble intentions, You didn’t insult the communities, leaders and parties; You didn’t try to re-write history with fake stories; you didn’t took the criminals under your wings and you crushed them down when they raised their heads. You didn’t rub the salt on the wounds of victims; you reached them with love on impossible tracks – even when it was the uneasy ride on a elephant’s back.
Yes, my leader ! You were an unflinching enthusiast. You presence gave confidence to fallen and down-trodden; You were there to fulfill what the Indians dreamed. You were there when the chips were down; You were there when no one there to wipe the tears; You were there when the sky was overcast; you were there when winds were hot; you were there when life was tough; you were there to make us laugh; You were there with a wand of love.
I miss you Indra Ji because you were both Resourceful and Rewarding. You utilized the resources available to you. You were a leader who knew the art and access to information. You were an exceptional leader who recognized the efforts of others and reinforced those in actions.
Because you were well educated, evaluative, organized and always CONSISTENT.

Because, you didn’t believe in cheap rhetoric.
Yes, I miss you Indra Ji. I’m an unknown Indian.
This regime is ignoring you today. But V remember U. V LOVE U.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

More Posts

BJP-Shiva Sena Clash of Ego and Turf

BJP

BJP


Nothing succeeds like success. BJP and PM Modi are riding the high tide these days. So goes the scenario between BJP and Shiva Sena in Maharashtra. BJP has got the upper hand. It is said that your deeds come home to roost. Make a little variation. Your words come back to haunt. Add a pinch of salt – You have to be sorry for what you had said, especially when you are now being rendered a weak performer in the fight. You do still want to join the tea-party. The winner, after defeat, should share the spoils of war. Sources say that the BJP’s central leadership wanted Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to feel sorry for his earlier remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah. It was generally believed that BJP & Shiva Sena would ultimately join together to form the government. They might still come together one day. It is only a matter of time only. But no for now.
To call someone Afzal Khan is usually unwelcome but to call the Star Campaigners of BJP ‘Afzal Khan’ is mortal sin of today’s Maharashtra politics. Udhave Thackrey was addressing a public rally at Tuljapur and it was before their dreams of upper hand in forthcoming assembly were not yet shattered. He had the audacity to say, “What are they up to? First Modi comes to campaign, then his entire cabinet team campaigns for votes in Maharashtra. They are like Afzal Khan’s aulad, trying to conquer this state.”
Now, the tables are turned. Shiva Sena is dispensable. BJP can do without them – politically, numerically and ideologically. So, while the BJP had already elected Mr. Devendra Fadnavis as its legislature party leader on Tuesday, it kept its former ally, the Shiv Sena, in the limbo.
How could the BJP leadership forget what ‘Saamna’, the mouthpiece of Sena had written in its editorial? “The BJP ignored Sena after the Lok Sabha win. The Sena played a significant role, otherwise even Modi’s father would not have been able to win majority in the Lok Sabha polls.”
The BJP general secretary J P Nadda had claimed that the talks between Sena and BJP were underway. ‘We want to have Sena as our alliance partner.’ But now this new situation is developing with a rider, BJP is not keen on having Shiva Sena on board.
The alliance with NCP is a risky game. They are known to change the loyalties before you say ‘presto’. Wisdom and Logic advocate that Sena, as an alliance partner, would be better in the long run as compared to the NCP’s outside support. But BJP said to Sena,‘Dear me, I can run this orchestra without you but anymore‘Aa loat ke aaja merey meet, tujhey merey geet bulatey hain.’

Sena-BJP ties have hit a new low in the wake of a spat over the first Cabinet expansion at the Centre and failure to accommodate the Sena in the Maharashtra government in Mumbai. Sena MP Anil Desai not taking oath as Union Minister on Sunday and the induction of Suresh Prabhu, who had been in the Shiv Sena as Cabinet Minister, had added to the growing chasm between the friends-turned-foes. The simmering tension between them came to a boil yesterday as Desai left for Mumbai from Delhi airport without attending the swearing-in ceremony. Desai had returned to Mumbai on orders of Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray whose party accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi as also the BJP of a host of broken promises and heaping “humiliation after humiliation” on it.
There is no end scene in politics. The drama is still running with snakes, ladders and mouse-traps.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

More Posts

RSS, Pandit Nehru and Muslims

RSS does it again: “Godse was much better than Nehru — he pulled the trigger on Gandhiji’s chest after a respectful bow. But Nehru stabbed him from behind and greeted him from front.’ It is from the horse’s mouth. ‘Kesari’, the Malayalam mouthpiece of the RSS that suggested that Nathuram Godse, instead of assassinating Gandhi, should have targeted Jawaharlal Nehru as he was responsible for Partition and never had any genuine attachment with the Father of the Nation. “Nehru’s selfish politics was behind all national tragedies, including Partition and Gandhi’s assassination. After an honest evaluation of Nathuram Godse’s arguments and historical documents related to Partition, if history students feel Godse aimed the wrong target, they cannot be blamed. Nehru was solely responsible for Partition of the country.” The article is written by B Gopalakrishnan who was the BJP candidate in Chalakudy in the recent Lok Sabha election. He had lost.
There were times when RSS shakhas Gandhi was cursed for favoring Nehru – a lot of unprintable would be expended to denigrate the Father of the Nation. It seems a show of Achche Din for Bapu is the need of the hour, at least a respite, for another strategic onslaught design at the Nagpur Board. Now the hit is direct to decimate the remnants of Congress. Nehru is the target. He is dead. The legacy of Nehru is still strong. His legatees are weak.
The ‘Kesari’ says – “Nehru, whose ambition was to become a world leader, was closer to (Winston) Churchill, (Franklin D) Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek than he was to Gandhi. Nehru was always a selfish man and a hypocrite. He did not want anyone above him in the Congress. But Gandhiji’s popularity and his influence had made him jealous of Gandhi. Nehru was never a disciple of Gandhi. Nehru was the favorite of the British and the history was written in such a way that he was glorified. It’s time to rewrite this history and demolish some false idols. We will approach the government to rewrite the history and expose them. What Nehru wanted was Gandhiji’s cap and his khadi clothes. Nehru and his family had snatched his attires. Godse was much better than Nehru — he pulled the trigger on Gandhiji’s chest after a respectful bow. But Nehru stabbed him from behind and greeted him from front.”
In one of my article in ‘India Opine’ recently I’d given every elaborate details of Nathuram Godse affiliation to RSS. Reader can refer it to corroborate. However, the article of B Gopalkeishan claims that Godse was not an RSS member, but a follower of the radical Savarkar group of the Hindu Mahasabha. By falsely blaming the RSS, Nehru had killed “two birds with one stone” — prevented Saradar Patel from becoming a leader above him and managed to ban the RSS through Patel.”
The article argues that Nehru clinically eliminated Gandhi, keeping him out of the last round of talks with the British, leading up to Partition and independence, to serve his selfish ends.

It is two-track politics, double-speak and changing of colors like chameleon. From the pulpit, one imposter spews venom against Nehru Family, from the foyer another one puts a softer and benign posture. Play with the hare, hunt with the hound. The country wondered when only recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reconstituted the committee to celebrate Nehru’s 125th anniversary, dropping many UPA appointees but retaining Suman Dubey, a former journalist and family friend of the Nehru-Gandhis. Narendra Modi, as an ex officio head of the reconstituted 30-member committee, would oversee yearlong celebrations starting November 14. It is significant that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi had resigned from the committee after the election results in May.

We have Mr Jekyl and Mr Hyde syndrome haunting the nation. RSS keeps reminding its loyal vote bank that its planks and shibboleth are unchanged. The latest article is an incontrovertible proof of that. Nehru was secular and had a sympathetic corner for minorities. He had contained and cornered the RSS ideology. He was the bête noire of RSS.

The last Lok Sabha elections added a new chapter for the students of Political Science. He can learn how the spin and hyperbole could overwhelm the realities on the ground. The state of Gujarat was never ‘numero ono’ in prosperity and most of the important parameters. Still, in the public perception, it was made to believe so. It was portrayed as if the achievements transgressed caste, class, religion and region while the counter evidence were suggesting a skew in that stilted model of development. In the glare of media, voter behaved like a deer that suddenly jumps before the search light.

Development Story of Gujarat was an insidious cover to fulfill the RSS dream. For many hapless Muslims of Gujarat, it was reconciliation to fact that life in past-riots ghettos is a permanent reality of Gujarat where segregation is assumed to be normal. No one remembered that the plank of Development involves human dignity also. The sprite of GDP is not the last goal post.
In a ruse to placate the resentment brewing against a controversial article in RSS mouthpiece ‘Kesari’ RSS Nagpur has come out stating that the organisation has got nothing to do with the views expressed in the controversial article. Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala has already directed DGP K S Balasubramanian to probe into the issue and take action, if necessary, on a complaint filed by KPCC general secretary Sooranad Rajasekharan. RSS leadership has come out condemning the views expressed in the article published in ‘Kesari.’ ‘‘We always disapproved any thought or act of violence,’’ Dr Manmohan Vaidya, RSS Akhila Bharatheeya prachar pramukh, said in a tweet. ‘’RSS has nothing to do with the views expressed in the controversial article written by B Gopalakrishnan which appeared in Malayalam weekly Kesari.’’
The RSS targets Congress, Nehru and Nehru family just because they were considered friendly or to harbor a softer corner for the minorities of India, especially Muslims.
Take it or leave it!

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

More Posts

A Happy Diwali to All My Friends !

To my Countrymen in general and Hindu brothers and sisters in particular :
“A festival full of sweet childhood memories,
sky full of fireworks,diwali-img
mouth full of sweets,
house full of diyas and heart full of joy.
Wishing you all a very happy Diwali!”
My parents never told us that Diwali was a Hindu festival. My maternal grandfather would take us to town bazaar where we buy ‘QANDEELS’ the scintillating colored lamps, “Kheelen” the rice puffs and “Khand Ke Khilone’- the Candy molded toys. Qandeels would decorate the central places, between the arched pillars of our house, and gave a romantic exotic look that appeared mysterious also. Few senior villagers who had survived the ZAMINDARI ABOLITION of 1952, and were nostalgic and compassionate enough to remember their Ex-Zamindar would bring the handmade sweets to our haveli. My father would welcome them with open arms, a warm embrace and a plate full of local sweets. Tea was not popular in those days. My mother would prepare a jaggery-milk concoction with a touch of saffron for the special guests. She would send in ‘MARDANA’, the hall for males, silver goblets, filled up to brim and perched precariously on a fancy tray. The Diwali guests were given the family status and all our siblings would come out to offer our respect and greetings to our Chowdhry Tayajis one by one. It was the payback of hospitality and courtesy to those who had come all the way from the villages to recall the good or bad times when Zamindar was next to the king.
As I cherish memories of my childhood, Diwali occupies an important space upon that canvass. Diwali was one of the most joyous times of the year. I can still vividly recall our old haveli bathing in fluctuating lights of the traditional tiny oil lamps. The small earthen cups were positioned on windowsills and paths leading to house. Electricity was a luxury and few could have boasted that privilege. Our parents kept reminding us to be careful as we ran to avoid catching fire. We were conservative Muslims but we loved to celebrate ‘Raksha Bandhan’ and ‘Diwali.’ These were our festivals.
Other exciting aspect of Diwali for us was the fireworks. These came in a great variety – sparklers, Catherine wheels, Roman candles, rockets, firecrackers, etc. There were restriction set that forbade us to enjoy loud crackers and heavy rockets. We would crackle the Khand toys rice puff all through the day and visit the decorated, glittering noisy bazaars in night with our father to enjoy the razzle dazzle. In the main market, the sweet shops used to offer infinite varieties of Indian sweets – laddoo, halva, burfi, rasmalai, jalebi, etc. Our Hindu friends would exchange sweets and often trendy clothes with the neighbours, friends and extended families.
Uncle Mathur would remind us that the day was the celebration of Return of the Raja Ram and his brothers after exile.
With the razing down of the Babri Masjid and death of the father, these celebrations have become the memories of past. Speeches of myopic politicians and torch bearers of divisions in society and their likes have extinguished those flames of love, excitement and respect for the common heritage. Decades after independence, the miasma failed to rekindle the spirit that my family had kept alive for generations. Still, I hope and pray the return of those good old days. Again I wish all – A Very Happy Diwali.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

More Posts

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan – A Gift of God

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was born on 17 October 1817 in Delhi when the Moghul Empire’s has begun to decline. Sir Syed’s father, Mir Muhammad Muttaqi, was the personal adviser of Akbar Shah II (reign: 1806–1837), one of the last Mughal emperors of India. At the time of Sir Syed’s birth, the grand Mughal empire had shrunk within the territory of Delhi that included little outside areas also. A known proverb of the time was – “Saltanat-e-Shah Alam, Az Delhi ta Palam.” The rein of Shah Alam, the emperor is from Delhi to Palam. Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor was a nominal king and India had literally become a British subject.

There are warriors, scholars and politicians to boast on record but the Muslim community in India has no one to match the vision and selfless devotion of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. He was a social reformer, an educationist, a statesman and the most important voice among Indian Muslims of the latter half of the 19th century.
Today, we are suffering from a drought of statesmen and there is a flood of politicians. A politician follows the crowd; a politician debates the cost of a plan but a statesman questions the wisdom of the plan. A politician tells his constituents what he did for them. A statesman doesn’t worry about what he can do for his constituents, because he’s too busy trying to guarantee a future for his constituent’s grandchildren.

With the pathetic collapse of Mutiny 1857, the Muslim Power in the Indian subcontinent had almost eclipsed. The year marked the formal end of the remnants of central Muslim rule in India. Sir Syed was intellectual and historian also who studied the reason of Muslim’s fall and produced an objective analysis in form of a book Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind (The Causes of the Indian Revolt) in 1859. In his work he blamed point blank the British for their policies of aggressive territorial ambitions. He boldly stated that the Colonial rulers had little knowledge about the sensitivities of Indian culture and traditions. Initially the rulers didn’t take the book kindly but were compelled to look it in the positive spirit once the deep contents were appreciated in England also.

Sir Syed’s father had died in 1938 and he had to join the British Civil Service as means of livelihood. No jobs were available at the Moghul court. He became a munshi, and in 1858 he was promoted as a senior official at the Moradabad court. His first step in the service of his community was the founding of a modern madrassa in 1859 in Moradabad. It was a unique religious school that had scientific education as part of its curriculum.
In 1864, he was transferred to Aligarh and there he founded the Scientific Society of Aligarh. It was modelled after the Royal Society and Royal Asiatic Society to introduce the Western science and technology to orthodox Muslim society of India. In 1869 Sir Syed visited England and was deeply impressed by the traditions of learning in great institutions of Oxford and Cambridge. On his return to India he set up a modern school in Aligarh and laid the foundation of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in May 1875. The college later became the Aligarh Muslim University.

Sir Syed had realized that the feelings of hate against British were harming the general interests of Muslim Community. Muslims were unwilling to learn English and they were lagging behind their countrymen in every sphere. He took it upon himself to fill the gap between the British and the Muslim community. There was a need for reforms if Muslim community had to progress. Particular emphasis on education was sine qua non. Sir Syed’s greatest gift to his community was his emphasis on education.

It is the fact of history that Sir Syed was critical of Indian National Congress. He was afraid that Muslims would be marginalized in country life if they joined Congress. In one his lectures he strongly exhorted his community in these words:

“When you (Muslims) shall have fully acquired education, and true education shall have made its home in your hearts, then you will know what rights you can legitimately demand of the British Government. And the result of this will be that you will also obtain honorable positions in the Government, and will acquire wealth in the higher ranks of trade.”

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

More Posts

Racial Pride vs Racial Blindness

“Garve se kaho hum Hindu hain”, Say with pride I’m a Hindu – was a slogan that was given currency by RSS in 2006. I can’t recall if it really worked their way and attracted some more votes for BJP in past. All the same, it was a slogan I really liked. It still resonates well in my memory. I respect my Hindu friends who are proud to be Hindu. And with a nuance, with a subtle difference, I’m also proud to be a ‘Hindi’. When I asked some of my well-informed and well-meaning Muslim, Christian and Parsi friends about this RSS slogan GSKHHH, they affected ignorance; they were neutral and some rather enjoyed the tone of call.
For the new reader of my pen, I’m a practicing, middle class Muslim who has rarely faced any personal discrimination of sorts ever at any station of my life. Wherever, I failed, it happened on merit and didn’t afford much chance to complain about my position in life. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for many of my brothers with the same confidence and conviction. In fact, since the formative years of Independent India, my community as a cohesive whole, is facing discrimination and it is the festering wound on Indian democracy. We have faced genocide; our language and culture was decimated. We are facing hate that is written not on paper but in every act that takes away our due rights in the progress of country. Today, with the exception of 3 or 4 private companies, 14 per cent of Indian population with a Muslim tag can’t claim a national presence. We are at the bottom of all government services. The only saving grace are Khans of film industry. List of grievances is long and not relevant to support this article. The pertinent questions here are – Are we a racial society and racism is rampant here? As minority do we feel oppressed? Is racism that bad?
The history of the dominant world civilizations reveals that they reached the pinnacle of glories when they were practicing RACISM, often negative racism. It didn’t stop them from shaping the course of history. Their warriors were proud of their kings, regions, races and traditions. Their farmers were producing most, their artisans were at their creative best and their scientist and technologists were churning out monumental researches and inventions. For them life was smooth rather cozy. It was roses roses all the way. I also cannot help but feel with some understanding of their grim pride of their accomplishments. So, when a German pot valiant food technologist on Dutch courage, at Dachau – the biggest Nazi Camp city in Bavaria, thumping the table near the beer-fountain declared to me – “We’re the best; we were the best and would remain so even though we still have a large number of ..you know,, among us. My people had accomplished a great deal.” He smiled and concluded with,”……..Good and ill”. I knew what he meant.
Honestly, whenever any man of any race claims proud at the achievement for his people, I support him. However, I always go for a rider – let us move past the age when a race accomplished something, add a new dimension of nation instead of ethnicity. I am looking forward to the day when even those tricky provocative lines have been erased, when the entire human race has brought all the world’s nations into one power – the power of sanity, the spirit of Universal Brotherhood. We begin to care for humanity as one race.
But so long as these divisions exist, we carry that grim pride of race and religion with us both as a comfort and a warning. Till the realization of dream, I can’t detach myself from my past. I do feel proud about the accomplishments of your ancestors and mine.
All races attribute a lot of what they are to their unique culture, religion, traditions and style of living. A recent study undertaken by ‘AFRICANGLOBE’ revealed that African American teenagers performed better academically when their parents instilled in them a sense of racial pride. ‘Racial Pride’ is a positive inspiration while ‘Race Blindness’ instigated shunning, promotes hate, mistrust and discrimination. Race blindness encourages negative peer treatment that results in getting into fights, being bullied and affliction of lasting psychic wounds.
The study is concluded with the empirical evidence that the longstanding practice in the African American community of cultivating racial pride and preparing children to face racial bias in society should be considered among appropriate and beneficial practices in parenting Black children.
The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

More Posts