Monday, 27 March 2017

Mr Munawar Khan said “हिंदू, मुस्लिम, सिख, इसाई सबको साथ में लेकर के चले”। (Story from the field by: Astha Bahuguna)

We were walking down the streets in Hazratganj, Lucknow admiring the beauty of the
place when I stopped by a small shop to buy something. Ganesh as he wastes no time
whispered in my ear “इनका भी इंटरव्यू ले लेते हैं” and I asked him to keep shut for some
time and let me look at things and buy something for my friends and cousins.
I bought some tops and was paying for the same when Ganesh started talking to him. To
my wonder, I met the most interesting man Mr. Munawar Khan at the last day of our field
work. He was a man with a certain kind of charisma, a certain kind of vision, a certain
kind of quality which I am not yet able to diminish in my memory. I still remembered
how when asked about his educational qualification he was so proud to let us know that
we passed out from an English medium school and when asked about what he thinks a
leader should have he said that a leader should be secular-minded- “हिंदू, मुस्लिम, सिख,
इसाई सबको साथ में लेकर के चले”।
Soon he started complaining about the diplomacy in our country and the Hindu-Muslim
tensions and cited examples of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam who being a Muslim did so much so
for our nation and still, they are called the agents of Pakistan.
This day was 6th December and we had already seen what the RSS, VHP people were
doing in the streets when he himself mentioned “आज 6 तारीख है। आज मस्जिद शहीद हुई थी”
and these people are shouting anti-Muslim slogans. You talk about law and order, where
do the law and order go when they shout “हिंदी हिंदु हिंदुस्तान, मुल्ला जाओ पाकिस्तान,
मुसलमान का एक ही स्थान, कब्रिस्तान और कब्रिस्तान”?
To no surprise we had no answer to this question, our interview was done, as helpless as
some bird in a cage we said thank you and walked down the lane silently!!

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