If Jayant Sinha is truly repentant, then he must visit family of Alwar lynching victim

Jayant Sinha should meet the victim’s family, provide a sarkari job for his widow and financial assistance for the upkeep of their seven children. He should also ensure that the culprits are arrested

Photo Courtesy: Facebook
Photo Courtesy: Facebook

Humra Quraishi

If the minister for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, is genuinely repentant about garlanding the lynching-killing accused in Jharkhand, then he ought to take the first flight to the particular village in Haryana’s Mewat belt, where dairyman Akbar Khan lived with his wife and children, till he was lynched to death last week in the neighbouring Alwar district of Rajasthan.

Jayant Sinha should meet the victim’s family and also provide a sarkari job for his widow and financial assistance for the upkeep of the couple’s seven minor children. Above all, he should see to it that the actual culprits arrested and imprisoned for life. Daring task in today’s dark times, where the police works in nexus with the right-wing goon brigades, to hound and kill the hapless. Nah, not sure whether Jayant Sinha will be able to take on the police-political nexus, after all, he has to protect his ministership! Still flying high …even after garlanding murderers!

Demand resignation of Vasundhara Raje

Isn’t it about time to ask for the resignation of the Rajasthan chief minister, Vasundhara Raje. One horrifying incident after another, where Muslim men have been killed, amidst an irony that looms large: The culprits are allowed to roam about freely after the initial bail period expires, but the kith and kin of the victims find themselves booked!

In fact, the one and only way to try and halt these communally charged killings taking place in the different states of the country, is to ask for the immediate resignation of the chief ministers. They ought to resign, rather forced to resign. Little sense in having ministers or chief ministers when innocents are lynched under the various alibis mouthed by the political mafia that rules.

Right wing using Varsities to unleash its agenda

This week, the chairperson of the Delhi Minorities Commission, Dr Zafarul Islam Khan , has brought into focus news reports relaying that the Delhi University is going to start an MA course in political science on “Islam and international relations” under which “Islam and transnational terrorism” will be taught. In fact, Delhi Minorities Commission has issued a sou motu notice to the Registrar of Delhi University asking him: has the university, while starting a course on “Islamic terrorism” deliberated that individuals and groups belonging to many religions have indulged in terrorism across the world in recent times.

To quote DMC, “In such a situation, starting a course only on “Islamic terrorism” will send a wrong message to society, increase communal tension and help hate politics. DMC has asked the Registrar to send all information about this course, a list of the books which will be used to teach this course and if persons and groups belonging to other religions also will be studied under this course.

It may be mentioned here that earlier Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had planned to start a similar course but thanks to the swift intervention of DMC, JNU backtracked and its Registrar wrote to the Commission that no such course has been approved.”

Meena Kumari, through the eyes of her step daughter

Come August and it would be legendary actress Meena Kumar’s eighty- fifth birthday. Born on 1 August, 1933, she passed away on March 31, 1972; dying young, leaving behind a heap of un-answered queries to the melancholy that hovered around her.

I had once interviewed her stepdaughter, Kamal Amrohi’s daughter Rukhsar-e-Zehra. And she was rather candid to all my queries. When I’d asked her about the family’s initial reaction, after they heard that Kamal sahib was re-marrying, and too the then top star Meena Kumari, she’d detailed, “No doubt my father was a romantic person. Much before his crush on Meena Kumari, he was involved with Madhubala. They were about to get married, but one sentence from her – ‘Kamal sahib, leave your wife and kids and I will give them four lakh rupees – finished it all. And my father, whom I’d called baba jaani, had told Madhubala that he does not buy or sell relationships, and severed all ties with her…Later, during the shooting of Mahal, my mother fell ill. Her already-strained nerves could take it no longer, and I recall how baba jaani told us to go to our hometown Amroha for a change. It was while we were in Amroha that magazines carried details of his wedding to Meena Kumari….I also remember how the children of the locality used to whisper if I was the daughter of Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi! But somehow, I was never upset, because the way my mother explained it all to me didn’t make it appear like he’d done anything wrong. My mother adored him and would say with immense pride, ‘Main Kamal sahib ki begum hoon.’ Of course, people wondered how she could tolerate a ‘co-wife’, but all those talks didn’t really bother her, and that’s why we children never felt any bitterness towards him, nor were we affected by his second marriage…My mother had realised that hers was an ill-matched marriage and it took place only on the ground that the elders wanted these two cousins to marry… She had very calmly explained to us, about baba jaani’s remarriage. All she said was, ‘Don’t worry. Now you will have another ammi, chhoti ammi, to look after you.’ With such an introduction, how could I be angry with either my father or Meena Kumari?”

Zehra had told me that she was comfortable with her step mother, Meena Kumari. “When I was 13, I went to live with chhoti ammi and baba jaani and she wasn’t the stereotypical stepmother. Initially, I wasn’t very comfortable with her, but she would tell me, ‘Jo kuch chahiye mujhe batlao, jaise tum abba jaan se kehti ho (If you need anything, let me know the same way you would let your father know)…She would leave for her shoots early after instructing the servants that I had to be looked after properly. On her return, if she wasn’t tired, we would sit and play carom or just talk. Though her spoken English was rather poor, she had picked up a few words to speak with me. She respected my father’s sentiments of never encouraging me to join films. I grew rather fond of her as time went by. For, besides caring for me and my two brothers, (who initially stayed with her and were later sent to hostel) whenever my mother visited Bombay, Meena Kumari would treat her with respect and would tell her, ‘Apa jaan, yeh ghar aap ka hai (Dear sister, this is your home). No, I never saw any clash between her and my mother. On the contrary, if my mother stitched ghararas, it would always be six – two for me, two for herself and two for chhoti ammi…”

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