Man of integrity

May 19th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, World

In 1305, a Scottish knight, a main leader of Scotts was captured by the English Army and later on brought before the then English ruler, King Edward I. The charges against the knight were of most serious level and treason was among one of those. The knight was ordered to be executed through severe physical torture and was hence hanged, drawn and finally quartered. The slain knight was known as William Wallace, who became Sir William Wallace, an Icon of bravery and freedom, not only for the Scotts, but for the fighters and lovers of freedom around the world as well. The reason for the extreme sentiments of hatred of English army and its King for him were his mutinous activities against them. The Scottish nation was truly inspired by the ideological patriotism of Wallace. The practical devotion, struggle and ultimate sacrifice for an Independent Scotland earned him unmatched and unprecedented place in the heart of every Scottish citizen.

The act of loving the land and struggle for independence of one’s own nation is termed patriotism and should be duly acknowledged and admired by the people but this at the very same time can be taken into account as treason against any other nation. The Tiger of Mysore, Tipu Sultan was with his soldiers against those of the British army at battle field of Seringapatam in 1799, passionate for saving his land and nation from the invaders. Again, the patriotism of the Tipu was a symbol of immense bravery and freedom for his nation, but for the opponent army, of course he was a very deadly opponent and enemy who had bravely resisted the then occupant British army. Tipu even allied with the French army against the British expansionist attacks and plans. Tipu died with highest grace defending the fort of Seringapatam.

Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi, Pir Pagaro the sixth, was a sufi spiritual leader of Hurs in Sindh. In 1922, the Pir Pagaro noticed the insulting attitude and inhumane behavior of the British officials against his people and this forced him to prepare for the faceoff with the occupant Britishers and the time came when he was no more a silent sufi. He valorously decided to rise himself and agitate against the injustice by every possible mean. Rashidi gave his people the slogan of “homeland or death”. He in return bagged the unmatched love and respect of his people. He was arrested in 1941 and sent to Seaoni jail in India from where he was finally brought back to Hyderabad jail in 1943. On the charges of Rebellion, Pir Pagaro Rashidi was hanged by the British rulers. The whereabouts of his Grave is a mystery to date. His admirers gave him the title of ‘Soriah Badshah’ (The victorious King). The History witnessed the ambivalent phenomena once again as the Patriotism of an individual became the source of inspiration for defiant and rebellious acts against another nation.

89 year old Professor Ghulam Azam born 1922 is a prominent and retired religious political leader of Bangladesh. The professor’s association with religion compelled him to join the Tablighi Jamaat during 1951 – 1954. However, after being convinced that Islam is not only about spirituality but the sociopolitical aspect is also an integral part, he became part of the Jamaat e Islami. He actively participated in the democratic movement against the dictator, General Ayub Khan. Being a devoted Pakistani, He opposed the separation of East Pakistan, even though he himself was a native Bengali. This was the time when he had to face the real critical situation. He remained steadfast by his ideology and adopted the rather unpopular stance and told his people that mere liberation from Pakistan would not be beneficial and worthy as secret Indian plots were being observed in the liberation movement.

East Pakistan was ultimately converted into Bangladesh and Professor Azam  faced the consequences in the form of arrest and torture, as politics of vengeance was on its peak. His basic right of citizenship was officially denied and he was left with no option other than to live in the Exile. He did not lose hope. Professor fought his legal case before the Supreme Court and was able to get his citizenship restored. In January 2012, the 89 year old Professor Azam was once again arrested, this time for charges of treason. The prosecution is still under process. Professor Azam is undergoing a unique experience of defending his patriotism for his pre-1971 country, the united Pakistan, a patriotism that is in fact a rebellion against his very same land, post 1971 country, Bangladesh.

No matter what the Bangladesh judiciary concludes regarding the fate of Professor Ghulam Azam, there is one thing that is certain. He has displayed his commitment to his ideology and patriotism for united Pakistan. He has nothing to complain regarding his past and is still following his inner self. This speaks for his character. He has encouraged his followers to obey the country’s law. Without undermining the efforts of any of the freedom hero, if one compares the difficulties and hardships faced by William Wallace, Tipu Sultan, the ‘Suriah Badshah’ and Professor Azam, it is evident that the earlier three Heroes enjoyed the support of their respective countrymen during their struggle, the Professor on the other hand was lonesome and against his people during the war that challenged his patriotism. The Professor is still going through much tougher and dire situation to prove his loyalty and attachment for his land. His unchanged spirit in the prison cell is an adequate proof that the man of integrity cannot be conquered. Anyone who feels the deep pain of separation of East Pakistan cannot live without paying homage to Prof.Ghulam Azam.

“ Mitte ki muhabbat may hum ashufta saroon nay..wo qarz utaray hain jo wajib bhi nahin thay”

Rashid Qutub

About the author

Rashid Qutub is an engineer and writer from Karachi

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  1. awesome , MashAllah

  2. Dear author,
    Do you have the slightest of ideas what your patriotic army did with our Bengali brothers and sisters in collusion with your William Wallace and the likes of alBadr and alShams?

  3. Dear Mr.Kamal,

    I understand your sentiments but may i ask, where from did you get the slightest of idea that I have favoured the Pakistan army’s mishandlings and wrong doings in East Pakistan??
    This piece is a tribute to Mr.Ghulam Azam and his patriotism, a very rare display of commitment with ideology in today’s world. The re-opening of cases against him are politicaly influenced and I would be really amazed if he could get justice.

  4. A real Patriot and a real Hero

  5. very unbalance comparison.

    one can not compare William Walace, Tipu Sultan and Sibghatulla Shah Rashidi with the Pakistani Army. Pakistani Governmentt subjugated Bangladesh as its colony as British Subjugated Scotland and English invasion of Indo Pak.

    Pakistani Government and Army should Apologise the citizens of Bangladesh for Zulm they have done.

    “Histroy will repeat itself if one doesnt learn ones lesson from it”

    Similarly, Pakisani Army and Establishment is Subjugating Proud people of Balochistan and without Apologies and repentance we will be witnessing seperation of Balochistan from Pakistan.

  6. Rashid, what I said is that Pak Army committed genocide and mass rapes of Bengalis in ’71 and Prof Azam’s party supported the aggressors and that’s why he has been charged. If that makes him a patriot then good luck!

  7. Dear Mr.Kamal,

    1- Prof.Ghulam Azam took the political decision to support the unified Pakistan and strongly opposed the division of country, this itself is No crime at all.

    2- When the war of 1971 broke out, Prof.Ghulam azam was in West Pakistan.

    3- After the creation of Bangladesh, a war crime law was promulgated, and as per the law, 195 people were charged with war crimes. All of them belonged to the Pakistan army and they included no Bengali civilians.

    4- Prof.Ghulam azam has been the political vendetta many times.

    5- The supreme court of Bangladesh in 1994 pronounced the following unanimous verdict: “There is nothing to directly implicate the petitioner Ghulam Azam in any of the atrocities alleged to have been perpetrated by the Pakistani army or their associates – the Rajakars, Al-Badr or Al-Shams. Except that the petitioner was hobnobbing with the military junta during the war of liberation, we do not find that the petitioner was in anyway directly involved in perpetuating the alleged atrocities during the war of independence.”

    Dear Kamal, if the above stated facts and supreme court’s decision are not enough for your satisfaction and still you want to prove him a war criminal, its upto you.

  8. Dear Rashid, I have no intention of proving the professor a war criminal. I appreciate your research especially if it was done impartially and I rest my case here.
    But just out of curiosity, why would Bangladesh govt pursue a personal vendetta against him?

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