खट्टर की टिप्पणी के बाद याद करें क्या कह गए प्रेमचंद और सरोजिनी नायडू

“सहसा ईदगाह नजर आई. ऊपर इमली के घने वृक्षों की छाया है. नीचे पक्का फर्श है, जिस पर जाजिम बिछा हुआ है और रोजेदारों की पंक्तियाँ एक के पीछे एक न जाने कहाँ तक चली गई हैं, पक्की जगत के नीचे तक, जहाँ जाजिम भी नहीं है. नए आने वाले आकर पीछे की कतार में खड़े हो जाते हैं. आगे जगह नहीं हैं. यहाँ कोई धन और पद नहीं देखता. इस्लाम की निगाह में सब बराबर हैं. इन ग्रामीणों ने भी वजू किया और पिछली पंक्ति में खड़े हो गए.

कितना सुंदर संचालन है, कितनी सुंदर व्यवस्था! लाखों सिर एक साथ सिजदे में झुक जाते हैं, फिर सब-के-सब एक साथ खड़े हो जाते हैं. एक साथ झुकते हैं और एक साथ घुटनों के बल बैठ जाते हैं. कई बार यही क्रिया होती है, जैसे बिजली की लाखों बत्तियाँ एक साथ प्रदीप्त हों और एक साथ बुझ जाएँ और यही क्रम चलता रहे. कितना अपूर्व दृश्य था, जिसकी सामूहिक क्रियाएँ, विस्तार और अनंतता हृदय को श्रद्धा, गर्व और आत्मानंद से भर देती थीं. मानों भ्रातृत्व का एक सूत्र इन समस्त आत्माओं को एक लड़ी में पिरोए हुए हैं.” Continue reading

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Recall what Premchand and Sarojini Naidu had said about namazis

“Suddenly, the Eidgah came in sight. The thick shade of a tamarind tree above, below a jajamspread out on a pucca floor. Row after row of rozadars stretching far beyond, where there is no jajam even. New arrivals come and take their place at the back; there is no room in front. No one bothers about wealth or position here. Everyone is equal in the eyes of Islam. The villagers too duly performed wazu and stood in a row at the back. How beautifully it is managed and organised. Thousands of heads bow together and then rise to their feet together; again they bow together and rise to their feet together, like thousands of electric bulbs lighting up together and then dimming together. This action is repeated several times. What an exceptional sight it presents with its collective actions and unending expanse – filling the heart with reverence, pride and inner joy. As if one single thread of brotherhood connects all those souls, creating an unbroken chain.”

This is, (or was?) Premchand. Rejoicing at the sight of hundreds of Namazis bowing and rising together. It kindles the poet in the otherwise realist and prosaic Premchand: In the rhythmic movement of the bowing and rising heads he sees thousands of electric bulbs lighting up together and then dimming together. It is a rare passage in the oeuvre of Premchand. Continue reading

Till nobody objects

“There is no problem with namaz being performed in the open spaces till nobody objects,” Manohar Khattar clarified after having advised the Muslims of Gurgaon to keep namaz confined to the four walls of mosques or to Eidgahs.

The Chief Minister of Haryana did not say a word about the hooligans who had disrupted the Friday or Juma namaz at at least ten places on 4 May. He did not ask the police to identify the culprits and book them. He did not reprimand the police for letting off these hooligans. He did not warn the members of the newly formed Sanyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti who are openly issuing threat to further disrupt the Juma Namaz not to take law in their hands. He did nor ask the police to ensure that goondas are not allowed near the spots where Muslim devotees perform their Juma Namaz. Continue reading

Marx, The Humanist

On the occasion of foundation of a new university conceptualised by some corporate leaders of India, one of them defended his fraternity of corporates who are accused of not speaking freely on issues concerning the society which implies critiquing the state power. He said, “I am paid by my shareholders. They do not pay me to court controversy. They certainly want me to make money. If I give up my business and retire, I’m going to say what the hell I like.” Continue reading