By Haider Abbas
Professor Khan Muhammed Atif, is a living embodiment of all what makes him a pivotal voice inside the Muslim society. He has been an Ex. Professor of Persian Department from Lucknow University, UP, an Ex. MLA and is right now the Qaid of Khaqsar-Tehreek-Al-Hindi, apart from bring a writer of more than a dozen books, a firebrand speaker and someone to be always a peddler of Muslim causes. He has been reasonably perturbed by the offensive remarks of BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma, against the Prophet of Islam, which has triggered nationwide protests against her as well as have attracted a reaction from the Arab states. He avers that if the government in vogue understands the sentiment of Muslims towards the Prophet of Islam-the misnomers may be averted as Muslims did not engage in arson, burning of public property of railways or roadways etc in their protests against the disparaging remarks made towards Prophet.Professor Atif remembers the interaction he once held with All India Forward Bloc Rajya Sabha MP Chitta Basu who wanted to start to ‘work for minorities’ in UP, to which Professor Atif inquired if Chitta Basu meant Muslims and the answer was in the affirmative. Chitta Basu wanted to uphold the issue of ‘Rozi and Roti’ i.e. employment and food, for Muslims in UP, to which Professor Atif related that such-was-never-the-issue of Muslims and quite understandably Chitta Basu was left astonished. Professor Atif, who is also a historian, conveyed to Chitta Basu, a saying a Prophet who had told his followers that if it occurs for their life, Muslims distance with their wealth to save lives, but if it comes on their ‘faith’- Muslims give their lives to save ‘faith’. This startled Chitta Basu as he acknowledged Prophet to have provided ‘enormous energy’ to Muslims until the last day of the world. Chitta Basu also did concur that out of his public career he never found Muslims worried for their livelihood.
“This is what make Muslims stand above the rest as Muslims are not the people to ride piggyback on government resources. Muslims in almost whole of India survive on their innate technical skills in probably every public or private sector. Muslims do not crave for jobs or employment but deserve social-security, which is that the government, time and again, has even failed to provide,” lamented Atif.
Professor Atif stressed that Muslims do not even seek the typical free distribution of ration nor do Muslim seek any part in any of the government schemes, towards which Sachar Commission report is a glaring example, but Muslims deserve a life of dignity and can never ill-afford any offensive remarks towards the Prophet of Islam. He also highlighted that history is full of evidences, when those responsible for derogatory remarks against Prophet of Islam have been gutted to death like Mahashay Rajpal in Lahore ( 1929) by Aleem-ud-Din down until Charlie Hebdo ( 2015) unto the latest Samuel Paty (2021) who was also conferred with the highest French civilian award. “I don’t suggest Muslims to take the law in their hands but the government need to take action against Nupur Sharma using the provisions of law,” he cautioned.
He sought Muslims to exercise restraint and protest peacefully against those who have been involved in a sustained campaign against the Prophet of Islam, which is otherwise now an international agenda, and never to engage into damaging government properties etc.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and writes on political issues.