Many Indian languages, especially Hindi; have been enriched by Arabic and Urdu words. Poetry wouldn’t have been as beautiful but for these languages. I realized this when I was listening to a Gazal ‘Shama’ by the legendary Lata Mangeshkar that goes like this, “Chand apna safar khatm karta raha, Shamma jalti rahi, raat dhalti rahi … Dil me yaadon ki ‘Lashkar’ se toota kiye” !
Who can forget "Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna" by Bismil Azimabadi? 'The Desire for Martyrdom' expressed in the poem was immortalized by Ram Prasad Bismil, the famous associate of Rajguru, Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekar Azad. Here was a Hindu Freedom Fighter who preferred to be called 'Bismil' which is loosely translated as 'In the name of God'. Bismil also is the name of a district in Turkey.
My poor knowledge of Arabic and Urdu and even the debilitating inability to differentiate between these two languages meant, I had to ask ‘Khuda’! So I Googled and found out certain things that surprised me beyond words. ‘Lashkar’ is such a 'Khoobsurat' word and that means ‘Army’. The dreaded entity called ‘Lashkar E Tayyaba’ actually means ‘Army of the Pure’ or ‘Army of the Pleasant’. What a paradox, the worst terrorist outfit in the world and such a fantastic name !
LeT it be stressed here that this is not an attempt to demean or vilify any religion or group. Bal Thakre and his clan are busy with that business. My only concern is how these ‘Merchants of Terror’ have successfully managed to almost isolate an entire community and make such a beautiful language an ‘Alien’ to a majority of the people of this country ?
The Times of India is carrying out ‘Aman ki Aasha’; an attempt to foster ‘Peace’. Who doesn’t love “Peace”? But will we ever have it? Dharmendra’s ‘Elaan E Jang’ was a famous movie released during my childhood. Now, Elaan is such a beautiful word that means ‘Declaration’! The more I get familiar with India, more are the reasons to be proud of our country.
How many South Indians know ‘Aftab’ Shivdassani is a Hindu ? ‘Aftab’ is Sun and ‘Mehtab’ is Moon ! Now look at this immortal Mohammed Rafi song, “Chaudhavi ka Chand ho, ya Aftab ho; Jo bhi ho tum Khuda ki kasam… Laajawab ho…” Imagine this song without the ‘Islamic’ words.
Let us look at the Mughals; the most important Islamic Legacy in India. ‘Babar’ meant the King of Jungle, the Lion. ‘Humayoon’ means Blessed or Auspicious. ‘Akbar’ means Greater. Shah Jehan is Ruler of the Earth. And surprise of surprises is the most hated name ‘Aurangzeb’ which means Ornament of Throne ! Such beautiful names. And finally coming to the most common name in the world ‘Mohammed’; this simply means Praiseworthy or Glorified !
How sad it is that Urdu has been tagged along with Islam and so many of us have come to hate it just because of our narrow mindset. There were communal riots in Karnataka over a decade ago when the then CM Veerappa Moily introduced Urdu news on Kannada DD Channel. This was done with the ulterior motive of appeasing the Muslims. What it achieved was a huge loss of public property, some young and precious lives and a great amount of good-will.
Why do our politicians do this ? Tokenism is the only thing they manage to do. Instead of striving to provide better quality of life to all the Indians, our politicians with few exceptions try to pit one Indian against another. Divide and rule ! But why do we people fall for this ? Don’t we have any other alternative ?
This enlightenment has come at the right time for me; as I am trying my best to arrange tickets for my family to watch ‘My Name is Khan’ tonight. I am disgusted by the fact that Shah Rukh Khan’s movie has been targeted by Shiv Sena even before it is released. What a pathetic situation we have come to !
Will we ever have ‘Peace / Aman / Shanthi ? Will we ever have ‘Leaders’ who will not divide people but unite them ? Will there ever be a Ruler who will not discriminate one group from another and be equally good to ‘ALL’ ? Will I be able to name my second daughter ‘Mehtab’ without risking severe opposition and even enmity from my own people ? Will India ever be able to say… “ALL izz Well’ ?
This is what 'Aman ki Asha' all about. It is better to hope for a better tomorrow than live with pessimism. 'Hope' or 'Asha' or 'Ummeed' is the most important feeling that drives humanity. I remember a famous Amitabh Bachchan dialogue from the movie 'Khuda Gawah', "Roshangar-e Khuda ko ho manzoor, Aandhiyon me Chiraag jalte hain... Khuda Gawah hai"