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Mainstream, VOL L, No 8, February 11, 2012

Right Diagnosis but Need for a Clarification

Tuesday 14 February 2012

COMMUNICATION

The debate initiated by Mr Ather Farouqui in Mainstream through his seminal piece ‘Indo-Pak Relationship and Urdu: Companions in a Paradoxical Syndrome’ (Mainstream Vol L, No 1, December 24, 2011 (Annual 2011) regarding the inactive—rather defunct—literary organisations of the Left is particularly relevant at a time when atavistic forces are hell-bent on strangling any dissenting voice and want to hang whoever writes something that does not conform to their agenda. In such a situation, the responsibility of all like-minded people and that of the Left is paramount. Fortunately, every section of Indian society has been raising its voice against the vandalism, with the only absentees in the debate being the PWA and Janwadi Lekhak Sangh kind of Left-wing literary organisations, which Mr Farouqui has roundly criticised, diagnosing their populism very aptly.

Since this marks the beginning of the battle against the entrenched regressive tendencies, we should not do anything without proper homework or checks and balances, but should point out mistakes committed in the process of discussion, even if these are committed unintentionally.

It is in this respect that one felt at a loss about Mr Farouqui’s usage of PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him) along with the name of Prophet Mohammad. Nowhere in the article did Mr Farouqui appear any less respectful to the Holy Prophet, so one cannot understand why he chose to borrow from the vocabulary of radical Islamists. An ideologically sound Marxist like Mr Farouqui cannot use such phraseology without having some purpose in mind, as the whole article seemed very carefully crafted.
The article will, of course, be received well in some circles and will also be criticised by many, as Mr Farouqui has made some direct attacks, including one on some so-called ‘masters of debate and rhetoric’, I would rather Mr Farouqui clarify the issue of the usage of PBUH.

Hasan Zaheer

Cambridge (UK)

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