Dr. Allama Iqbal is one of the greatest philosopher poets of India; he and Swami Vivekananda continue to be the most quoted in awakening the masses with their wisdom. Their words were magical, thoughtful and evoked practical attitudes towards life.
I was particularly interested in his work on Pluralism, as we are getting ready to do a poetry session in Urdu-Hindi on Pluralism, as I was familiar with some of his works, like “ Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas me bair rakhna” meaning religion does not teach one to hold grudges against people of other faiths. Boy, was I happy to hear the response from the audience? Apparently there is a lot more poetry to explore. There was group of ladies on the table next to mine, and they were happy to express their familiarity with his work on pluralism, and I have requested them to write a poem about pluralism.
|Dr.MonaKazimShah-Mrs and Dr. Masood Raja-Dr.Anwar|
The South Asia Democracy watch organized the event, and had invited great speakers to talk about his work. Dr. Jaffar Mahallati, former UN Ambassador got everyone floored when he talked about Dr. Iqbal’s influence on the Iranian intellectuals and continues to be part of the study and speeches even to this day. Dr. Nyla Ali Khan, the granddaughter of Sheikh Abdullah, Chief Minister of Kashmir and a Professor in Oklahoma delivered one of the greatest speeches on democracy and the impeccable value of US Constitution and Iqbal’s preference for democracy, where leadership with morality was to be valued, but religion and state were to be separate entities. My admiration for Iqbal continues to grow.
Dr. Talmeez Fatima, Dr. Masood Raja and Dr. Qaisar Abbas delivered the messages that I have been craving to hear all my life – about his views on democracy and pluralism. I hope to read Dr. Abbas’s article in Urdu to fully grasp the thoughts he has written, and Dr. Fatima talked about timeliness of Iqbal’s message. Dr. Basheer Ahmed did a fabulous job as the master of the ceremonies.
One of the rigors of intellectualism is to question everything, and questioning they did. Particularly Masood Raja; no one should be given a free pass. In the story of my quest for pluralism, I have quoted my sister’s innocent throw back question at me some 40 years ago – “do you know more than Allama Iqbal” and my response remains the same to this day, no, but I will not take any one’s words for granted.”
My camera died on me at the all day event “many faces one peace” from there I rushed to this program and did not get a chance to charge up my camera or the cell phone. I am writing a separate note about the program, where I spoke how to build a cohesive America, where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other, and book and the move is in the making on the Americans Together.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes his work through many links.