Hafeez Naumani is a stalwart of Urdu journalism, has edited several leading newspapers and authored many books. He has faced court cases and imprisonment for his outspoken writings and is known for his unpartisan and anti-sectarian stand. In particular he has played a leading role bringing Shi’as and Sunnis in Lucknow together. Please read the following appeal and act positively. JazakAllah khair:-Urdu Media Monitor
By Hafeez Naumani
Translated from daily Avadhnama , 20 December 2013
Since the very first day when Muzaffanagar’s heartrending incident took place I have been in constant touch with my acquaintances and friends there. And be it good news or an incident that makes one cry, I get information about everything. Until now I had nothing that I would want to share with my respectable readers. But the news that I received yesterday has shaken me badly.
Only three miles away from the villages of Muzaffarnagar where massacre was carried out is a big village, Rudkali. Coincidentally this happens to be the village of the in-laws of my own granddaughter [daughter’s daughter] albeit only to the extent that her husband belongs to this village. However, for many years he has been living in Dehradun where he has his different businesses. However he still has large farming land, ancestral house in Rudkali and keeps agricultural equipment there.
Yesterday I learnt that one of my relatives Asad Ahmad, after consultation with other big farmers and industrialists of the village, has brought 40 families of riot affected villages who had so far been living in camps but had no proof on the basis of which they could claim government aid. Relief workers belonging to Jamiatul Ulema, majority of them are not from Muzaffarnagar, also wanted proof on the basis of which aid could be given to them. Asad Saheb and many others from his village knew which villages they belonged to and that either they worked in the fields of other farmers as agricultural labourers or went to work as labourers in other villages and towns. As no one was willing to help them they were left with the options either to die of cold and hunger or go to cities begging around. But then what will happen to their women, young girls and small babies? No one had an answer to this question.
Three days ago Asad Saheb, along with one of his friends, went there and brought theses 40 families to Rudkali. For the time being they have put them in the empty houses whose owners are living in cities and have businesses there. Every one of those people has donated 100 yard plot of land to each family so that they can build houses for themselves. They have also taken the responsibility to feed these families up till they are able to support themselves.
Whatever I am writing is on the basis of information I have extracted by prying them. Neither they have asked me to appeal to help this unfortunate lot; nor are they aware for which newspaper I am writing this. What I have in mind is only this, ‘Do mercy to those who abode on the earth, (And) the One Who is in the Heaven will show mercy onto you.’ [Saying of Prophet Muhammad PBUH]
There is no doubt that by donating land for the construction of houses for 40 families Asad Saheb and his friends have performed a huge task. But the affected are peasants and labourers. With wages earned after a day’s long work how much of it can they spend to feed their families and how much can they save to build houses? This is something we, the ones who have been blessed by the Almighty with the blessings of warm food to eat , warm clothes to wear and cover ourselves with, and safe houses to protect ourselves from cold, need to ponder.
I wish I was not sick and so much frail [Mr Naumani suffers from various ailments and two months ago had heart surgery to have a pacemaker implanted: UMM] otherwise I would have knocked, individually, at the doors of maximum number of my admirers and would have requested them that the people who deserved their help and assistance most were these 40 families that are being asked to produce the proofs [of their destruction and destituteness] despite the fact that those who know are also aware that what they are narrating is true and the proofs [of the destruction of their properties] have been burnt to ashes in the fire that has consumed their houses. Even if in case any proofs have been left unharmed no one can dare put his life in danger, go back and bring the evidences to show because they are very poor and weak people. What I could immediately afford has already been sent. For the sake of convenience I have also taken Asad Saheb’s bank account number and his mobile number that are being published here with. If any individual, institution or organisation is interested in carrying the aid personally, name of the village, Tehseel and district are also being published in the end of this appeal.
I wish to appeal to the people of Lucknow to pray for Asad Saheb and tell him, ‘You have provided land to all the homeless, and now houses will be built by the people of Lucknow.’ By Allah! they deserve help the most because they have so far been disappointed from all sides; and the one who is let down by everyone, it is Allah Himself Who comes to the rescue of such people and He does it in the manner such as He has put the zeal of help in the heart of Asad Saheb and his friends. We have published this appeal in Avadhnama without the permission of Vaqar Saheb [perhaps owner of the newspaper]. If you help them directly or indirectly hands of members of these 40 families will surely rise to pray for you.
SBI IFSC Code: FISSA 7752
A/C No: 11761022121
Bank Name: State Bank of India
Village name: Rudkali, Bhopa
Distt. Muzaffarnagar (U.P.)
My frail body and depressed heart beseech you to participate in this noble task to the best of your ability. Should you so desire you can give Asad Saheb my reference. I know him very closely as my granddaughter is married to his son Akram Ali. Asad Saheb lives in Dehradun, MashaAllah owns a big business there and also keeps coming to Rudkali.