By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Oct 19 (IANS) Born and brought up at Rajasthan’s Pidawa (In Jhalawar district) in a family of Sufi followers, Professor Azhar Hashmi recently retired as assistant professor from Vikram University in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh.
His father, despite being Muslim, read the Quran and Purans together and chanted vedic hymns and yagna prayers. He revered Lord Rama for he, according to him, was a man of words and wisdom (being Maryada purushottam).
Professor Hashmi, 70, learnt the basic lessons of respecting all religions and faith from his father. He knows all verses of Gita and Ramayana and hence is being invited to different functions of Hindus as a chief guest.
He wrote a poem, “Woh mujhko Ram wala Hindustan chahiye’ during the Emergency in India which became a voice of central India in mid-80s and 90s.
His poem ‘Betiyaan paawan duayen hain, betiyaan shubhkaamnayen hain (Daughters are holy blessings)’ is being taught in class X of MP Education Board. In fact, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been quoting the lines of these poems many times during the start of the beti bachao campaign in MP.
“The lines in my poem brought in all religions quoting ‘Betiyaan Jeenat Hadison ki, Betiyaan Jaatak Kathayen Hain, Betiyaan Guru Granth ki Vaani, Betiyaan Vedik Richaayen Hain.’ So there is an element of Muslim religion, Hindi religion, Sikh and a glimpse of Jainism too,” he says.
His other poem on environment conservation ‘Vriksh Nibhata Rishta Naata’ is also been taught to students of the MP Education board.
Felicitated with many awards and laurels. Prof Hashmi spoke to IANS and recalled how he shifted from Rajasthan to MP.
“Rajasthan University during those days had set an eligibility criteria of taking graduates who were 16 and above. As I was underage, my parents decided to shift me to Ujjain as there was no age limitation there.
“Here, renowned poet Shiv Mangal Singh Suman was my teacher, who taught me the essence of poetry. He is my guru, my teacher, who meant a lot to me for he made me understand the value of word and language for a poet.
“It is a proud moment for me to say that he was also the teacher of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Me and Mr Vajpayee shared the stage in many kava sammelans,” he says quoting the former Indian PM as his Guru Bhai (as both were students of Shiv Mangal Singh Suman)
Speaking to IANS, Professor Hashmi says that he is a proud resident of India, “a Hindu nation known for its ideal values and phenomenon.”
“Sanatan Bharat is nothing new; it has been an ongoing phenomenon since years and if there are a few leaders who are trying to revive the lost values and phenomenon of ancient India, who is at loss?” He questions adding that none of the Muslims, Christians or any other community should have any issues with it.
“Aryavrat India stories have been a part of the golden history and today, we are glorifying the same stories; there is no loss in doing that,” he adds.
Today, we are talking of Vasudev Kutumbkam, Hindu nation and Indian values and principals. A platform is being set to glorify India as Bharat and there is nothing wrong in it, says Professor Hashmi.
“If our PM Narendra Modi talks of having the Quran in one hand and computer in other , what is wrong in it?” he asks.
“Main maanta hoon jinke sar topi ho unke ek haath men bhale hi Quran ho, doosre haath mein computer hona chaahiye,” said Modi in one of his speeches.
When asked if Muslims in India are being given a biased treatment, he said, “I have read a Muslim student has topped NEET this year.”
“Had there been a bias, would he been able to top this exam? It’s just a myth spread by some anti-social elements. All Indians are given equal rights to grow and flourish in India under the Modi regime,” he says, adding that he is a big fan of Mr Modi.
(Archana Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])