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Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

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The revolution and me...

Thursday April 14, 2011 10:48:23 PM, Suroor Mander

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Movements and I have a special relationship; I was four when I went for my first rally and at 25 I still enjoy, actually revel in the fury, the rebellion and sheer tamasha of mass movements. But the thing that has changed since the age of four is my need to be part of tamashas that are entrenched in values and have deep commitment to the Constitution of India.

Thus, I declared that I was going to fast with Anna for a day, because of his deep commitment to fight corruption in a country that seems to be embroiled in scams and scandals. The hullaballoo truly caught my imagination. But when I woke up the next morning to fast, I could not bring myself to do it.

I was both hurt and disappointed with myself and rightly so, I was going to miss an opportunity of a lifetime to play a small role in a fairly epic saga. I spent that day truly understanding what was really happening on Jantar Mantar. Considering that my office is in Connaught Place, it was a 15 minute walk to this glorious revolution and yet I just sat on my desk questioning myself for not making it to Jantar Mantar.

The more I read, the more I was haunted by the imagery of the revolution – Anna sitting on fast in a Nehru topi with a huge poster of Bharat Mata holding the flag of India. The image of Bharat Mata was one I had seen many times on various RSS and other Sangh sympathizer websites. I heard Anna talk about clean governance and his praise for Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar. I saw saffron flags and RSS leaders on the dais.

I questioned myself multiple times for not going “How can you be so rigid? How can you not be part of the change you want to see in the world?”

But I couldn’t bring myself to go to Jantar Mantar.

It is not like I don’t believe that corruption is an evil phenomenon or that I think that a person of my class or privilege does not need to participate in change. But I cannot bring myself to be part of a change that is superficial and compromises on the Idea of India.

I cannot follow a leader who joins hands with the RSS, the same organization behind the killing of the M.K. Gandhi, a person he emulates.

I cannot follow a leader who uses the imagery of Bharat Mata which is contested by millions across religions.

I cannot follow a leader who thinks that a mass murderer who violates the principles of the Constitution is an example of a Good Leader.

And finally, I cannot follow a person who is willing to compromise his own values to just to precipitate change..

If I would have walked to Jantar Mantar or been on fast, I would have compromised myself and been part of a revolution but not change.

Because for me I am the change I want to see in this world…

Suroor Mander, Advocate, Supreme Court, is associated with Aman Biradari.








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