We Are All Ahmadi VIII: For Rana Tanveer

Letters to the Editor, The Daily Times, Saturday, June 05, 2010:

Sir,
Last January, a retired schoolteacher was killed in Ferozewala only because he was an Ahmedi. A reporter for your paper filed several brave reports, and stopped only when the four accused men were allowed by the authorities to simply walk away. I saved his reports and have published an essay based on them in the internet edition of the magazine, Outlook. It is titled, ‘A Killing in Ferozewala’, and may be read at http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?265684.

My essay is dedicated to that intrepid young man, God bless him. I also thank the Daily Times for sustaining the coverage. It was a rare sight. During the emergency in India, practically all newspapers censured themselves more rigorously than the Indian government had hoped. As, I think, Advani said then, they crawled when they were only asked to bend. The same happened in Pakistan. Less in the English press than in the bigger Urdu press, which went overboard in religious fanaticism and jingoistic nationalism

C M NAIM
Professor Emeritus of Urdu Studies
University of Chicago
USA

Prof. Naim has an immensely touching and important piece in Outlook India, A Killing In Ferozewala, June 3 2010. Naim Sahib follows the reporting of Daily Times reporter Rana Tanveer on the killing of Professor Muhammad Yousaf, leader of the Ahmadi community in Ferozewala.

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2 thoughts on “We Are All Ahmadi VIII: For Rana Tanveer”

  1. Geo/Jang is now hiring for the following position:

    Job Title: Senior Spice Editor

    Description: We take our reporting very seriously. If a headline is not serious enough, we make it look like one! As a senior member of our spice department, you will oversee the spicing up of headlines and be on a constant look out for news that can be spiced up. Further more, your responsiblity will include overseeing junior editors, reviewing their work and identifying potential spicing spots.

    You will have access to a variety of techniques and proven methodologies to perform your duties well. Including, but not limited to: inserting extra punctuations, using sensational synonyms, giving stories an ethnic/religious/sectarian touch, integrating emotional adjectives and even twisting the whole damn thing.

    Remember! If it doesn’t sensationalize, its not news!

    Desired Qualifications:

    Excellent (read “cunning”) linguistic skills.
    Previous experience in debating/orating/critisizing preferred.
    Must be able to disregard emotions and possible consequences.
    Frustrated with at least one of the following: religion/cricket team/life in general.

    Compensation: We pay minimum wage. However, most of our editors still manage to build multiple houses in DHA and get latest accords and prados.

    We are an equal opportunity employer.

  2. *A Poem by a Pakistani Girl

    Wajahat Masood writes a regular column in the Urdu daily Aajkal (Lahore), both thoughtful and in enviable Urdu. A long recent series on the “Objective Resolution” is very much worth a read. His newspaper too is different from the big Urdu dailies. Masood also publishes in Punjabi. In a recent e-mail he wrote:

    “In May 28 attacks, I lost some of my close friends, including the head of Lahore Ahamdiyya Jamaat, Justice (R) Munir Sheikh. He happened to be the elder brother of my life long friend, Jamil Omer, as well. So many families that I have known were personally bereaved. The Model Town attack was just 200 yard from my house…. My 13 year old daughter, Kamini Masood, wrote a poem the day Jinnah Hospital (two days after Mosque attacks) was attacked and I quote:

    Today my hope and pride have vanished,
    That’s not to be denied
    Today I sunk to the floor sobbing
    With my arms open wide

    The power does not lie with you,
    to discuss or decide
    who is worthy to be alive, and who
    must be made to die

    Do not go out to play children,
    you may not come back inside

    If tear-streaked faces of broken families
    begged you to stop killing their sons,
    would you reflect and see your wrongs,
    or would you still load your guns?

    For every girl who lost a father,
    every wife now a widow,
    I hope you see that you have spilled,
    the blood splattered on my window

    You do not hear the mourning mothers,
    you do not see your father cry
    then it is our sons and daughters,
    Not your brothers and sisters that die

    Do not go out to play children
    you may not come back inside

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