By Najiya O, TwoCircles.net,
Kochi: Noted writer Kamala Surayya had always been in the news for what she wrote and did. She made news by announcing her acceptance of Islam at a public function on December 11, 1999. The person who always gave Malayalis something new did not leave this world without giving anything. She created history by her death also when people cutting across religious and political lines mourned the dear writer of Malayalam. MD Nalapat, the eldest son of Kamala Surayya, shared his memories about his mother as well his views about Islam in an interview with Najiya O of TwoCircles.net. Mr Nalapat is vice-chair of the Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair and professor of geo-politics in the Manipal University.
Excerpts from the interview:
What is your fondest memory about your mother?
My mother had no prejudices. She was willing to believe that every individual had good and bad qualities and that the good qualities were better than the bad qualities. She found it difficult to hate even those people who hated her. Her biggest quality was the one of forgiveness and understanding that human beings can make mistakes. But every human being is sometimes capable of emotions that are not worthy of him. But every human being can change and become a better person
What is your idea of Islam – the Islam you understood before Kamala Surayya became a Muslim and after that?
My mother has been in Islam for a long time. She obviously regarded it as a very great religion. I have also therefore followed the religion. I never believed that Islam is a religion of hate or violence. The real Islam in my view is the religion my mother accepted and followed — which is an Islam that is peaceful and moderate.