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Tracing links among Dulla Bhatti, Bhagat Sing, Helen Keller and the Forcibly-Converted Ghotki Sisters

Ghotki sisters Reena and Raveena have gotten new names, Asia and Nadia and it is perhaps the most appropriate response to Modi who had changed Allahabad’s name to Prayagraj and Mughalsarai’s to Deendayal Upadhyah Nagar.

Those who reject the comparison among souls and sites must not forget that Pakistan has already completed the project of renaming cities, towns and villages, leaving far behind lazy Indians who initiated it a couple of years ago.

Proselytizing of Krishan Nagars, Ram Bags, Waan Radha Rams, Kot Sejan Singhs, Kot Radha Kishans, Ram Nagars and dozens of other places had started right after the partition and accomplished till the end of General Ziaul Haq’s tenure.

We are now investing on human capital, when they are picking sites of Faizabad, Ahmedabad, Osmanabad, Ahmednagar and Hyderabad to change them into Ayodhya, Karnavati, Sambhajinagar, Darashivnagar and Bhagyanagar respectively.

It is expected New Delhi will soon start the second phase of the project and leave behind Pakistan if it continues with the same speed under the spiritual guidance of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the hero of Modi ji and the iron man of India.

But, what about those black-hearted inhabitants who want Pakistan to make a reverse gear in the prevailing circumstances?

A bunch of rebels and state enemies gather every year at Lahore’s Shadman Chowk and demand it be named after Bhagat Singh.

They did not confine themselves to the placards and banners but also filed a petition in the Lahore High Court to demand the same.

The LHC, however, disposed of the petition last year and directed district government to make a decision in accordance with law.

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One can expect the bureaucracy will not declare a verdict in favor of an atheist who had made a direct attack on their ideology some eighty years ago.
The rebels also cite a historic reference claiming that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had also paid tribute to Singh by saying there had never been such a brave person in the subcontinent like Bhagat.

Making this claim, they are not only demanding renaming of Shadman Chowk but also want Bhagat statue to be installed there where he was hanged along with his two comrades on March 23, 1931.

It might be bearable to someone if a few non-state actors mark death anniversary of Bhagat in the month of March, but God’s wrath be upon those who also celebrate the Rai Abdullah Bhatti epic in the same month.

They say Dulla was an icon of bravery, a trendsetter of peasants’ insurgency who opposed the taxation system of mighty Mughal King Akbar.

Going further, they declare Dulla the son of soil and hero of both Indian and Pakistani Punjab, unleashing a direct attack on imperialistic Muslim rule over the sub-continent.

India has yet to ban the name of Rajput Muslim of Sandal Bar (a region of Pakistani Punjab between rivers of Chenab and Ravi) but we abandoned many things associated with Dulla and one of them is Lohri.

The annual festivity falls in January and witness young children going from door to door, singing songs in praise of Dulla.

They sing:  Sunder mundriye ho! Tera kaun vicaharaa ho, Dullah bhatti walla ho,

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Dullay di dhee vyayae ho, Sair shakkar payee ho, and so on.

According to a legend, Dulla had on a man’s request saved the prestige of his innocent beautiful girl (She was Hindu with some other name sounds similar to Reena or Raveena) who was to be forcibly taken away by Mughal officials to their harem. Dulla also arranged her marriage with a Hindu boy in his jungle fort at Rakh (a place lying between Gujaranwala and Sialkot).

Acting as her father, he gave the girl a kilo of sugar as her wedding present. In the absence of a priest, Dulla himself lit the sacred fire to complete the Hindu marriage. Dulla, a Muslim, was not known to the holy verses Hindu priests chant on wedding. So, he sang ‘Sundar mudarye’ to perform the wedding.

Dulla was later hanged in March, 1599 in Lahore for challenging the Mughal rule and also perhaps his agonizing act of raising voice in favor of girls’ rights.

When we have already closed the chapter of evil history some four centuries ago, then how can some irresponsible women dare to challenge the writ of the state now?

A religious party legislator rightly raised the voice in Sindh Assembly against the immoral act of those who celebrated the International Women’s Day in different cities of Pakistan on March 8.

He says the slogans raised at the march were a direct attack on ideology and culture of Pakistan. Even our beloved Shaan Shahid took to Twitter to condemn their oblivious act of promoting an alien culture in the society. Shaan has all the right to condemn the act because he did an awful lot of work during his cinema career to protect the prevailing values of great Indus civilization.

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The JI legislator also filed an application in Karachi’s local police station for registration of a case against the rights activists.

One could hope the party’s demand would soon be accepted against the so-called champions. After all we have the same PTI government which had admitted its collation partner stance on Helen Keller (1180-1968).

The former KP government of PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami had removed the some chapters by the American deaf-blind author from the syllabus books of KP’s provincial text book board. The JI had raised certain objections to the curriculum approved in 2006 and its concerns were addressed in March, 2015.

I’m going to conclude here in the month of March, 2019 but unable to find links among Helen, Dulla, Bhagat, Reena and Raveena. Is there any?

 

Disclaimer: This piece is a work of satire.

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Iftikhar Alam

The author is a Lahore based journalist. He writes about religion, politics, culture, agriculture and 1947’s Indo-Pak partition. He can be reached @imiftikharalam

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