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HARIJAI SINGH PART 4

Zaheer is one among

Zaheer is one among lakhs of young Muslims. Why can’t we have more of Zaheer-like Muslim youngsters?”. “Priya. I understand what you wish to say. I know these days Islam means different things to different Muslims. But, why should this bother you? Just be happy and live life on your own set terms”, Amma said categorically. “But Amma, you know about my Ph.D. thesis. My conversion probably will give a greater authenticity to my work. Amma, just see this new Priya for the sake of my academic freedom to assess things freely and think freely from close quarters. “I value my academic freedom. I want to exercise it independently, in futuristic term, free from pre-conceived ideas and dogmas of Mullahs. I hope you will understand me, my darling Amma”. “I do see your point. Still, I find it difficult to reconcile myself to your thought. I have seen closely how we Hindus have suffered the tyranny and barbarism at the hands of fanatic Muslims during Partition. Those Partition scenes still haunt me”. “Amma, I understand your agony. But don’t think you are losing your Priya to the Muslim world. I am doing it for a tactical purpose, for an honest academic purpose of how Wahabisation of Sunni Islam and Khoneinisation of Shia Islam and related matters have sharpened Islam’s internal divisions and divided the lives of ordinary Muslims, leading to competitive radicalization of Islam and created hostility within and without vis-à-vis other faiths and beliefs”. The tone of Priya was sharp and candid like a Professor. “I understand you. Even Hinduism and Christianity have gone through the processes of upheavals and emerged stronger. I am 139

not sure of the Muslim world. It is too complex for my understanding. I shudder to think of a regressive, insular and intolerant Islam thriving on hatred and violence. Even Ahmadiya’s are suffering on this count. The menace of violent vigilantism of Islam is now haunting the Western world. That is not all. We now see intra-Muslim intolerance. Even in the Middle-East, Muslims are killing fellow Muslims for not being Muslim enough!” “I understand Amma. Let me see this world through my own eyes. I assure you. I won’t do anything at the cost of values and ethos as a devout Hindu which is in my blood and upbringing.” “OK , Priya. Think coolly. It is your life. You have freedom to decide the course of your life. I only wish you well and all the happiness as a mother”. “I shall brief your father about your change of heart. In other words, the changeover to hijab for your external image for a bigger academic cause – for freedom towards understanding a better liberal society. Good luck and all success. This is your mother’s inner voice. I shall only think well of you and pray for your safety and honour”. “Thank you so much, Amma. I love you. I shall see Dadaji and you next week. Bye, Amma”. “Bye, Priya. God bless you!” 140

Part 4
Panel 4 - 3 Dr Jarnail Singh - ICAO
Part 4 - Hartford Hospital!