Issues

Worse than yellow journalism


By Anwar Ali (Advocate)

After reading an open letter, ‘yellow journalism or sectarian war,’ my first reaction is that this write-up is indicative of voice of the time and healthy or constructive thinking. The relationship of my household with Darul Uloom and Shaikhul Islam Maulana Madni has been very close and devotional. In my younger days, I had shared lunch and dinner with Shaikhul Islam. The cordial atmosphere and bonhomie of those times is still fresh in my mind. At the time of division of Darul Uloom in 1981, I had brought out my booklet Darul Uloom ka Mas’ala aur uska hal which was published by Qaumi Awaz in instalments. In the 77th year of my life now, I still remember the write-ups of Urdu newspapersZamindar, Nawa-e Waqt, Namakdaan, Zam Zam, Madina, Watan,Manshoor,Qaumi Awaz and so on. More than a thousand of my articles and write-ups were published in different newspapers and magazines like Qaumi Awaz,Be-baak,Al Jamiat, Dawat etc but now the rotten journalism and dirty politics that is going on in connection with Molvi Ghulam Muhammad Vastanvi is not ‘yellow’ journalism but worse, which may be called rag or worthless journalism. The characters of Molvis’ or Maulanas, who are involved in this, so to say, truly represent ulama-e soo (vile scholars) as mentioned by late Mulana Azad in his Tazkirah to indicate of what selfish or vicious character were thoseulama. During the Moghul period, ulama-e soo were indulging in sycophancy in order to gain favour and position in royal courts but today’s selfish and vicious ulama and journalists have surpassed even those characters.

The importance of ‘difference of opinions’ and ‘principled or constructive opposition’ is something else but dirty and stinking politics based on selfishness and malice is distasteful to every one. The words asfal al saafileen (meanest) of the Qur’an probably aptly apply to these people. Late Dr. Zakir Husain Khan in his capacity as President of India had gone to Tirupati where he was so greatly honoured that he was offered the seat nearest to the mandap in his exalted capacity as the President of India. At that time he too was made the target of criticism but not to the hateful extent as is being seen now.

The earlier photo of the function in which Maulvi Ghulam Muhammad Vastanvi was shown presenting a memento to some Gujarati personalities contained a picture of Ganesh at the top. Among Hindus, the picture of Ganesh is inscribed on any document for inauguration of a function. In fact, Shri Ganesh literally means start orstarting, besides being a god. On the invitation cards of Hindu marriages a picture of Ganesh in most cases is printed which is certainly not for the purpose or an object of worship. The second photo in which Ganeshji is shown in a frame in embossed form is, I can say with certainty, is a doctored one using computer technique.

The words and sentences too that are used for Vastanvi Saheb are below the level of decency. They are in negation of all canons of civility and ethics. As a lawyer, I would advise Vastanvi Saheb to file a criminal case of contempt against all those people in a civil court. Well-known journalist M.J. Akbar has rightly written that ‘Darul Uloom Deoband needs a ‘visionary’ rector like Vastanvi. Those leaders and ulama who are collecting wealth from within and outside the country and monopolising Darul Uloom Deoband do not want to see Molvi Vastanvi as its rector. (Translated from Urdu)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2011 on page no. 2

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