The great drama staged by Professor Dr. TUQ has been a breaker. News and views, comments and columns continue coming up on national as well as international media. I though profess to know not much about TUQ but my personal experience on two different occasions tell a totally different story.
The learned doctor who by passage of time, through is books, his oratory skills and his apparently elegant persona has got built for himself, a hallow of scholarly, noble conduct, full of reverence and vision in the eyes of his followers, his readers and to a good extent among the general masses.
The incidents I’m talking about relate to the time when Maulana had started his sermons on the state run PTV, which in those days was the one and the only electronic medium and therefore had a nation wide coverage without competition whatsoever, as in those days there neither were the private run satellite channels, cable networks, nor the mobile phones which today have become a ‘zarurat’ and at the same time a recreation for all and sundry.
It happened in those very days, that I was driving from Lahore to Sialkot. About 15 kilmeters ahead of Sialkot, on the highway connecting Gujranwala to Sialkot, all of a sudden I saw a sea of cars, trucks, Suzuki pickups and even trucks fully occupied by people carrying banners, flags and such other paraphernalia.
I was just surmising what had happened, when all of a sudden I was taken over by four SUV’s carrying men who all had loaded kalashnikovs and such similar fire power. While I was already drivng at the speed of 80 mkilmeters an hour, I was ordered by these deadly armed men to stop my car on one side of the road. When I asked them why should I, came the reply, “Professor Sahib is coming”.
I asked these armed men, who the hell this professor is and why should I stop my car, (BTW, I was already driving on the left side of the highway and causing no obstruction in anyway to the ongoing traffic). But to my utter dismay, I was told, “Janab ziyada baehs na krain warna ham apko sakhti se apni baat manwa lain ge”. Sir do not indulge into argumentation with us. If you do not obey us, we will make you obey.
Having seen no other alternative (as I love my life and didn’t want a ‘haram maut’ at the hands of such diehard followers of Maulana), I obeyed the ferocious looking hoodlums of the Maulana and parked my car on one side of the road. After a few minutes Maulana’s landcruiser passed and I had a sigh of relief.
I don’t know whether Maulana had ordered his bodyguards to ward off common sinners like me or not, but the incident was an indication to me for a man is known also by the bodyguards he keeps.
The next two incidents took place after some years at and near my residence. It happened so that one day at my residence [Before 2010 when I shifted to Rawalpindi, I was living in Lahore at Askari-I apartments, in Lahore Cantt.] a young boy knocked on my door and enquired whether I needed a domesticc helper / servant type of person. I asked my Gharwali whether she needed a helper / servant for his domestic chores.
My wife then talked to the boy named Iqbal. The boy was industrious and obedient, therefore, we were very satisfied from the help he rendered. Not only that we took him as a member of our family. The boy too was also very happy. Once when he went to his village in Tandlianwala on holidays, he came back with a big stock of fresh, juicy and sweet sugar cane for us.
The things were going smoothly when one day I was again knocked by a neighbour, a retired major. The person did not introduce himself, nor was there any courtesy but a ruthless order carrying some threat as well. I asked the genteman what had happened that made him talk so rude. To this he replied that he was sceretary general of the PAT and Dr. TUQ has been his class fellow at Jhang. OK, I said but Sir what has this to do with me.
‘You have snatched my servant and I take it as a big offence. I told the guy, the boy came on his own to me and if he wants to go back with you, Please take him along. It carries no sense that two neighbours enter in a row just becasue of a very very petty matter. But said the man, no you will dismiss the chap from your service at once. We are landlords and politicians, said my neighbour. We know how to tackle such Kammi Kameen. Its beyond you to handle such village rogues, its we the landlords who know them. We give them good beatings and so do they remain obedient to lick our boots. These damn poor creatures have remained like this for centuries, are still like this and so shall they remain forever, always, Neither will this chap stay with you nor will I allow you to retain him any more.
Now this was enough for me too, to bear such type of language and threats. I said to the man, Sir you may be landlord and you may be a politician. For me you are a neighbour and I respect you more as a neighbour than landlord and politician. And mind you Major Sahib, the days of landlords are over, neither am I a Kammi kameen of your estate in Tandlianwala nor do I care a damn about your political credentials. Now Sir, this boy is with me. I will not order his dismissal nor do I care a damn about your threats. If the boy is willing to accompany you, take him along and I have absolutely no objection. But if he does not want to go, nothing going, I will retain him because he is with me, no ghulam of yours on an estate.
So the Major Sahib left in indignation and while departing said, ‘Come what may I will pick the boy up from you. OK, I said, dear Major, let’s see what the boy decides.
This matter though a personal one and really a very very petty issue but what makes me relate these incidents is the mentality of such men in our politics who make emotion ridden speeches in the public and the innocent public thinks here is our Messiah.
A year after this second incident, the same guy i.e. my neighbour invited Dr. Tahir ul Qadri at his residence. Before the arrival of Maulana, our locality was given such a thorough search that we thought we were livining in a concentration camp where nobody could enter or leave the camp without proper scrutinies and searching [I’m talking of the days when there were no such things as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, target klling etc. Lahore was much peaceful locality in those days]. The overall nvironment in our area being located in the cantonment and the residential colony being a military run housing complex, was even more secure than other localities in the city.
But all these things perhaps did not ensure a security for the learned professor and hence all such search and rescue operations. Any way the learned professor came. My neighbour’s residence was the venue. At about 2 am, professor started his speech. The loudspekers were at such sound blasting volume that no one could sleep in the dead of night. I’m sure on that night every resident in our housing complex [except the office bearers and the followers of the professor], like me had a terrible restless night.
Dear readres, imagine when you are sleeping in your home sweet home and all of sudden the louspeakers start blaring at full volume piercing right through your ears, should I say it was all OK because it was by a learned professor who made so many common people like you and me to shiver in the freezing temperatures of Islamabad while he with his family, was sitting in cabin having all the comforts of a seven star hotel room trying to snatch niche in the arena of our national politics. I leave it entirely to you to decide if I am wrong in asserting my opinion on the much hallowed venture of Professor TUQ who of late is being eulogised by a big chunk of our people as saviour of the nation.
Note: The next post by Humayun Gauhar ;which forms part two of this essay is titled Wink and Compromise, but I would deem it more as ‘Shout and Compromise’.
Next: Wink and Compromise [2 of 2]
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