Kolkata: “I write about Nabi Diwas, not just this year, but every year. Tell, me how many people know about this celebration, but how many people do really know the details about this day. We say we are secular, we know each other but in reality, we only know very little. Ramadan is arriving. And all that we know is that they offer namaz and fast during this month but not more than that. To remove the divides that exist, we need to know beyond whatever little we know,” was how Rajya Sabha MP Jawhar Sircar began his keynote address at Nabi Diwas.
Sircar along with writer and researcher Bishendu Nanda, Prof Oyazul Haque, president Bongio Sankhalaghu Buddhijbi Manch, Abdur Rahim, Founder Sirri Saqti Academy, Ahamed Hassan, Editor, Puber Kolom along with several other speakers were present at Puber Kolom’s programme to mark the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth anniversary.
Sircar, during his 30-minute long speech chose to highlight the ‘biggest threat’ that India is facing today. According to him, the country in its history of the past 500 years has never had the misfortune to face what its citizens are having to face today – the politics of hate. The former bureaucrat, said, “To understand what we are facing today, we need to understand how it all began. It was with the Common Wealth Games, which was quickly followed up by the India against corruption movement and the last nail was the Nirbhaya rape case. The media along with some forces that didn’t want UPA II to perform blew each of the cases out of proportion that impacted the public memory. And mind you, I am not telling you all this as a politician, but as a bureaucrat who saw all this happen.”
He then paused and added, “What was the result – UPA out, a new party was born. And what about the Gandhian, who shouted for a corruption free India. He can be seen nowhere. The other sage who was part of the movement, now owns a huge brand – Patanjali. The other two faces were rewarded by being made the Governor and Chief Minister of Delhi. But what about India being made corruption free? Tell me, didn’t Delhi get flooded despite the elaborate preparation for the G20 summit? I don’t want to get into the debate of dynastic politics, for to have a dynasty, you need to have a family first.”
As the crowd applauded, he went on to say, “The third and the most important people that these people need is ‘you’. Without the Indian Muslims, they can appease the majority. The attention from corporate appeasement, rising inflation, declining job creation is being diverted by the politics of hate, which can’t be without the Muslims. So, am making a request. Please before taking any action think of the repercussions. Majority of the majority is against the politics of hate and they will stand by you during this last leg. So, in the coming elections all that you need to is what you all have been doing as voters till date – vote in a united way for a candidate in you area so that they can emerge winners and represent you at the Parliament, which now looks like a high-end five star hotel.”
While, Sircar had no qualms about using the platform for a political discourse, there were other speakers who chose to highlight issues Muslims face, while few shared anecdotes on how the Prophet was and the need to follow the path shown by him.
Researcher Bishendu Nanda, asserted that the British came to India, during the Mughal era, a period that many want to be erased, because India was the richest during that time. “Unlike what many speak, the Hindus during that period were never as threatened as the Muslims in India are today. The Mughals actually united the princely states into the India that we know today. They made India so economically strong that the Europeans came to India in search of opportunities and enslaved us for their benefits.”
Rahman of TSSF during his session chose to highlight the traits of Prophet Mhammad that Muslims need to imbibe to be a better person. He said, “We need to have the purposefulness and vision of the Prophet. The heart of the messenger of God to forgive, love. And above all a sense of righteousness, to stand for what is wrong, never to deprive anyone of what truly belongs to them.”
While, Hassan chose to say, “The Nabi Diwas was designed to create a dialogue between the Muslims and the non-Muslims to break myths, stereotypes before the audience. We hope the continue doing the same the near future.”