By Kulsum Mustafa
Lucknow: Ailing for the last three years, confined to the Era hospital special care for months, this spiritual Octogenarian seemed to have injected a new lease of life into the one week old, all women anti -CAA sit-in at Lucknow’s Husainabad Tower by his sheer presence amidst them. Dr Syed Kalbe Sadiq who reached the dharna venue Friday afternoon on a wheelchair gave his blessings and applause to the thousand of “ brave women” who have displayed great grit and foresight by taking on the reigns of the movement in their hands. They are manning the entire agitation and are sitting day and night in this harsh, cold winters with their children under the open sky to save the Constitution of India.
Shah’s ‘no roll back’ statement
Pained at the Union home Minster Amit Shah’ s ‘no roll back at any cost’ statement at the Lucknow rally earlier this week followed by UP chief minister’s threats at public rallies at Kanpur and Agra of dealing with the protestors sternly had not gone down well with all secular-minded Indians Dr Sadiq’s efforts to reach out to the protestors drew applause from all present.
Yogi’s remarks, ridiculing the menfolk who have left their women and children on the streets and road crossings in this biting cold while they themselves stayed inside the warm blankets and escaped the wrath of the government and saved their properties, which would be attached in case the mob turned unruly and damaged public property hurt Dr Sadiq deeply and he registered his discontentment through his participation at the dharna
“His presence was soothing balm on our souls scarred by the anti-women remarks of Amit, Shah and Yogi, “ said Shaheen, a student who has been participating in the sit in from the first day.
Urging the agitating women to keep up their morale and not to buckle down under any circumstances as they have taken on a very important responsibility of saving the country on their shoulders.
He said in his entire life he has never witnessed such an upsurge of women coming from different caste, creed , class and religion all bound together by common single cause . He wished these women all success in this mission.
“True, there are very few like him. Religious preacher, educationist, promoter of women’s Rights, secular to the core and a true humanitarian. His presence made our resolve to continue stronger, “ said Pooja.
“You may not have been born a man, but remember you have the strength to give birth to men,” said Kalbe Sadiq, revered the world over for his secular and gender sensitive views. In his speeches and lecturers he often quotes Sanskrit sholaks, uses pure Hindi words and proudly says that part of his education has been in patshaala in a true guru-shisya parampara and that he used to wear khadaoo (wooden slippers, generally worn by Hindu holy men).
He has been in great distress ever since the Citizenship Amendment Bill leads to disturbances in a different part of the country.” said his son Syed Kalbe Sibtain. He said the family respected his wishes and while first he recorded a video message which they released but his insistence on visiting the dharna site and meeting the brave women forced the family to comply with his wishes, despite failing health.
“Rulers in cannot act as dictators in a democracy, they must remember that if they inflict injustice and misuse power they will be removed by the same people whom they are not taking into consideration. Peaceful protest is the right of an individual in a democracy,” Dr Sadiq said.
Sadiq applauds women
Applauding the women for their strength of purpose Dr Sadiq said they should not be afraid of “Modi, Yogi or Amit Shah, and that victory will be theirs provided they stay together and peacefully demonstrate.
He told those sitting on the dharna that while it will not be possible for him to come to the sit-in he will be always be happy to talk to them and advise and his doors are always open for them.
By Kulsum Mustafa