Friday, December 19, 2008

My love for Amroha

My affection with Amroha dates back to my birth. Famous as the land of peace, Amroha has always been fertile land for culture, arts and literature. This ancient town was mentioned by Ibn Batoota as a beautiful city in his Safarnama.
One may find the deep rooted Ganga- Jamini Tahzeeb in Amroha. A place here Dargahs and the Khanqahs spread all around the city. People here are culturally embedded to each other in such a way that it is not easy to distinguish their religious and sectarian identity.
For me it one of the most beautiful moments of life to see the Hindu poets like Masoom Tandon, Pt. Ramnath Sharma Raman and Pt. Bhuvnesh Sharma reciting the couplets in praise of Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussein and Maula Ali. Although I have some personal reservations regarding the fascist connections of Pt. Ramnath Sharma and Vimal Kishore Vandematram, yet their personal behavior with me was always affectionate. Same is in the case of Dr. Ashok Rustagi, his wife Dr. Bina Rustagi both academicians and one of my most affectionate local guardian. Among other non –Muslim elites I would mention Shiv Swarup Tandon, Hari Singh Maurya, Neeraj Sharma, Paras Amrohi and late Rajveer Yadav. These all are the name to which I am a great admirer in the city, despite of their cultural and religious background.
Some of the places I liked most are the Shrines of Sufi Saint Hazrat Sharafuddin Shah Vilayat, Shah Nasruddin, Bhoore Khan Shaheed, Shah Abban Bade e Chisht, Shah Abdul Hadi and also much talked Sri Vasudev teerth.
At the very first time I was attending the Muharram possessions in the year 1998 to my utter surprise I found everybody directly involved in the mourning. Whether a Hindu or a Sikh, Christian or a Muslim Sunni, Jamati or a Shia. Josh Malihabadi had once said
Insaan ko bedar to ho lene do, Har Qaum pukaregi hamare hain Hussain. I was just witnessing that bedari. Similarly I planned a story shoot at Vasudev teerth, where I found that most of the visitor to the place was Muslim women and children. This place is also unique in character as one may find a shrine of Meera Saddo, a Gurudwara and an ancient temple side by side in a same campus. For almost six years I have covered Amroha, ranging from cultural, socio-political and religious aspects and I have found a place marvelous. Thank to God I was born in Amroha, as the fact makes my character more secular, peaceful and tolerable.

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