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HARIJAI SINGH PART 4

and evaluation from city

and evaluation from city to city, from an urban centre to a rural one, from one country to another and from one regional zone to another. As I have already said, human nature is a complex phenomenon. It cannot be cast in one mould. There would be variations and complexities. With these factors in mind, I realize that my most taxing and challenging task will be the second part of my study which has to be based on my observation and experience from my field tour which will take me to parts of the US as well as the subcontinent. I was mentally get set for my field study. I have already lots of ideas. But these have to be tested on the ground – on what people say and talk about; their hopes and apprehensions; their fears and reservations. One thing I have already come to realize, that is Dollar Power gives a new confidence to immigrants, prompting them to see a new deal in equality and liberty with the natives, sons of the soil. And the Muslims as a community does attract a special notice because of global complexities in West Asia, the Sub-Continent, especially. Well, everything globally is Power Game, whether calculated in dollars or petrodollars. In fact, global complexities made my research work difficult and taxing. This is simply because global complexities have had their fallout on human relationship. I have no idea how I would deal with these wheels within wheels in human nature to give my work a degree of coherence in thought process and presentation. 135

It is quite a job. But I am determined to make the best of these challenges and make my work noteworthy. I have also at the back of mind, my mother-in-law Begum Saira’s whispering but firm advice: “Having married my son, think of yourself as a Muslim bride. You cannot delink yourself from our family’s religious norms and ethos. It will be in your interest and peace of mind. Think about it seriously before you come to meet us at Saharanpur”. I did not react to her advice, though I must say I did not like it. It looked like a threat bordering on blackmail. When I told Zaheer about it, he dismissed it. “You are married to me. What will hold good is what we have decided between two of us. I stand by it, not just to please you but out of my personal conviction. “I don’t believe in the clash of civilizations or of religions”. “Religions should not divide us. They should be a binding force through silken threads of love, understanding, mutual respect and tolerance. I see no problem”. Zaheer was clear and categorical. However, our Partition experience and ground realities throw up a different picture before me. So, I have to be realistic, and not allow myself to be carried away. After all, I have to face Zaheer’s near and dear ones. I must confess that in my moments of solitude one thought kept bothering me. That is, why not adopt Islam and see for yourself any difference the way you see the world today. 136

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