Forgetting the bodies trapped in any thorny ruins of partition or history, if the web of Gods seen in the garb of the rulers is not broken, then the name of God will be on the tongue of the dead and also on the tongue of the one who kills. God’s name will be
I am Indian citizen.
But I am often described as ‘suspicious’ and sometimes ‘traitor’.
Even if you do not know me, you have not met me… still you can see the advertisement of my name everywhere.
Where I am ‘Jihadi’…
And perhaps like you, I am also being told that I believe in a book that ‘incites me to kill infidels’.
Then there are also things like Azaan, ‘Love Jihad’, conversion and ‘Khule Mein Namaz’, which are recorded in these advertisements in my name.
It is quite possible that sometimes what you think of as an election advertisement may actually be the ‘Most-Wanted’ leaflet of my name.
Here one can say that say clearly, I am a Muslim…
Believe me, this is what I want to say…
But, that’s when I start remembering Christian prayers and attacks on the church.
The bloody faces of Dalits and Adivasis start rolling in their eyes.
The pictures of Muslim women posted for the auction start to sparkle.
I am filled with a strange kind of noise and shadows.
So what does it matter whether I am a Muslim, a Christian, a Dalit or something else? Somewhere everyone’s pain is the same.
Well, first I said that I am a citizen of secular India. I was born from this soil and it has to be destroyed in this.
However, I do not know if I am destined to die in a genocide or to be murdered/lynched, what would I be called – Jihadi, Traitor or just Muslim…
Because being a Muslim is also a crime. The crime is also because I believe in a book which ‘instigates me to kill infidels’.
These things have been disturbing since many days.
As a citizen and maybe even as a Muslim.
Yes, perhaps also because the Parliament is silent and the declaration of massacre is being done in the ‘Dharma Sansad’.
Perhaps because there is talk of taking up arms to make India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’.
Or even because Gandhi is being called abusive and he is being called a traitor.
Many friends convinced me that all this never happened, they started saying what will you remember in New India; From calling Diwali a jashn-e-rival to the recent Christmas celebrations, hatred is being spread in voices of objections and attacks.
I think man-friend must be right. They say that history has never been so cruel to its people.
Like many of my friends Naseeruddin Shah, he also says, ‘We will fight. We will protect our homes, our families and our children.
And listening to all this, I am divided into two worlds.
I see one part of my body trapped in Partition and its tragedy and the other in today’s India, where we are trying to breathe.
If I try to join the two parts, I feel that I will collapse like a building.
You may feel that I am crying, sad, stupid or bad-gussed.
It is possible that you understand right, but these tears are not only mine, this sadness is also not only mine and I am not foolish or bad-tempered at all.
Actually I want to cry tears of Krishna Chander, who has the document of Partition and its tragedy;
‘Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen……..
Sat Shri akal! Everywhere Shiva!
Spears shone in the air and the body of the old Muslim was cut into four pieces.
The last name on the tongue of the one who died was the name of God and the name of God was on the tongue of the one who died. And if there was a God above those who die and kill, far above, then Bila-Shuba was extremely Sitam-Zarif!’
There are many such acts in Krishan Chander’s novel Ghaddar, where people of every religion and community are suffering, where people of every religion/fraternity are being cut like carrots and radishes and where women of every religion/fraternity are being killed. Clothes have been taken off.
In such a situation, we can hear the dreadful laughter of those in power in the ‘Sitm-Zarif Khuda’ that Krishna Chander talked about here.
Listening to this laughter, one can recall a recent oath here that, ‘To make this country a Hindu Rashtra and maintain a Hindu Rashtra, we will have to fight, die and kill if necessary.’
After this oath it was given to a Muslim answer also that; Those who took the oath of Aurangzeb! This oath was taken by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on 26 April 1645 at Raireshwar temple. Since then, crores of warriors have got this done, lakhs have made sacrifices, I am a small soldier among them. May your dream of making Gajwa-e-Hind never come true, that’s why this is an oath.
It may seem strange that in an attempt to mix the parts of my body, why did I talk about Krishna Chander and why even started referring to this oath here. Believe it, Krishna Chander was also asked for this;
‘Why do you cry for maazi (past)?
Let bygones be bygones. He was bad and terrible… remembering him makes the heads of decent people bow in shame. But why do you repeat these things now… Today a new breed is being born in our midst which dreams of Tamir-e-Nau (Construction) very high above the rubble of these savage mazalim.
Answering this question from the publisher of ‘Gaddar’, Krishna Chander wrote separately at the conclusion of the novel;
‘They don’t forget the hatred that gave rise to these talkh waqiat (brutal incidents). That hatred is still sitting in the heart like a snake, holding its hood in its tail and is looking for some opportunity. When given a chance, that age-old hatred will rise up like a snake’s hood and bite the entire Barr-e-Saghir (Indian subcontinent).’
further says; ‘I don’t want that chance to ever come. I want to starve to death by craving this hatred. Because in India not one or two lakhs of people will be such who dream of spreading Akhand Bharat till Peshawar. There is no dearth of such people in Pakistan who are willing to lift the halali flag on Delhi and are ready to lay down their lives in lakhs for this.
Isn’t there an indication of a similar thing here, whose oath is being administered today? So are we all crying like Krishna Chander? Probably not, but like them, we also have something else to worry about;
‘My problem is that I cannot call Babur today and tell him why did you attack India? I cannot say to Shivaji today that why do you raise the slogan of rebellion against Aurangzeb. I cannot take away his Vedas from a Hindu and his Quran from a Muslim. I cannot forbid a Muslim from eating meat. Can’t stop a Hindu from wearing a dhoti. I don’t want to snatch from anyone his religion, his culture. I just want to take away that hatred – that which is buried in your chest.’
And while worrying about this, in fact I want to say like Krishna Chander, I don’t cry for maazi (past). I cry for Mustaqbil (future).
The future that Krishna Chander was able to see at that time is probably ours today. Or is this today our moving step towards that future, whose arc is not melodious, however.
Therefore, forgetting the bodies trapped in any thorny ruins of partition or history, if the web of the Gods seen in the garb of the rulers is not broken, then the name of God will be on the tongue of the dead and on the tongue of the slayer. God’s name will also be there.
Perhaps it is time to take lessons from Krishna Chander’s ‘Bij Nath’ and spit in the face of all kinds of power and get the tag of being called a ‘traitor’ in an attempt to preserve democracy in the midst of a politics of immense hate. Can be hung with fluff.
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