By Waris Ali, TwoCircles.net
On March 9, 2012 hundreds of Samajwadi Party workers had assembled on Vikramaditya Marg outside their party’s office celebrating the victory of their leader Akhilesh Yadav in assembly polls.
Socialist Turk Akhilesh too had arrived with workers getting frenzy for their leader. Nearly 224 SP MLAs and other senior leaders too were arriving at the office as it was only a matter of time that Akhilesh would be elected as their leader and eventually Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Amidst the crowd, a man with grey hairs and unkempt beard too jumped the rope put up by police to control the mob, every time a Muslim MLA arrived. There were plenty Muslim MLAs as 43 of them had won on SP ticket. Ignoring the scolding by police, Abdul Naseer Nasir met each Muslim MLA and handed over a green pamphlet. It read—-You have the responsibility of saving Urdu. Do your bit, take oath in Urdu. After several hours of exercise, Nasir was physically tired but did not relent as few Muslim MLAs were left. “It was the time to remind them about Urdu language. Taking oath in Urdu by legislators would have send good message in the community,” Nasir remarked.
For Nasir, only two things excite him. Urdu language and Muslim rulers. His limited resources, a small house where one room serves as his office however does not allow him to continue his passion on large scale, he has now focussed on three subjects—Urdu and two Muslim luminaries—Tipu Sultan and Begum Hazrat Mahal. Undeterred by the comments of people, Nasir continues his crusade. He annually organises two programmes on their martyr’s day—June 6 for Begum Hazrat Mahal and May 4 for Tipu Sultan to highlight their role before they are forgotten by the community. “Just think, Tipu Sultan is the only ruler in whole world who died fighting,” he claims.
Unlike creating awareness and approaching people, Nasir has adopted different route. He pesters those people like senior officers and politicians who matter in the government. “Usually we as a Muslim start our agitation but often end up in wrong direction. We need to approach those who are at right post to pass orders,” Nasir said.
The struggle yielded result and after 26 years of notification of Urdu as second language in the state, UP government issued orders for accepting letters and applications written in Urdu. Government also directed all district magistrates and head of offices to reply in Urdu language. Even the sale deeds at registry offices can be now executed in Urdu language.
All important rules and notifications and gazettes will now be published in Urdu. Government also ordered that signboards will also be displayed in Urdu. “The notification was done in 1989 and since then it was pending in Supreme Court. We cannot just protest over it as there is legality involved in it. I repeatedly pursued it with officials and SC upheld Urdu’s second language status in 2014. Even then fresh notification was done in April 2015,” he informed. For many others it may be a lip service by Samajwadi Party government but for Nasir it took several years collecting papers and meeting officials and politicians.
Not stopping, Nasir even convinced secondary education minister Mehboob Ali and orders have been issued that UP Board examination papers from next academic session will also have question papers in Urdu on demand of students. Every school library will have at least one Urdu newspaper.
His another crusade for giving honour to Begum Hazrat Mahal, the last Awadh Queen who fought Britishers and later went to Nepal where she died while Britishers anexxed Awadh.
Lucknow has one park Begum Hazrat Mahal Park in her memory but it is nothing compared to parks in memory of socialist leaders Lohia and Janeshwar Mishra spanning over hundreds of acres. Even Mayawati mortalised dalit icons by getting their memorials constructed in Lucknow giving run for money to socialist icons.
BHM Park however remains forgotten with hardly any response from government. Nasir took up the matter with SP government with little success. Instead of mobilising public support, he single-handedly kept on meeting Muslim leaders, getting their letter of support and pursued with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Everyone was surprised when Rs 40 crore were sanctioned for beautification of BHM Park by the government. “Even officials now ask me about any agenda. Some are thankful as many of the issues remain forgotten,” he said. Not stopping here, Nasir has now embarked upon a new mission. To renovate Begum Hazrat Mahal’s grave in Kathmandu.
Abdul Naseer Nasir can be contacted at +91-945-403-8008.