Sameer Khan for BeyondHeadlines
It’s been 10 years since Gujarat was marred and scarred by the riots which was often also referred as Pogrom by many and one of most brutal and innocent casualty of that vicious riot apart from the loss of life and property of humans was the desecration and destruction of the Tomb of Wali Guajarati also known as Wali Daccani. The tomb was not far away from the police commissioners office in shahibagh area of Ahmadabad was completely razed to ground and overnight tar road constructed over it.
Wali Mohammad Wali (1667-1707) or Wali Daccani was the father of Urdu Poetry. He was the first poet to compose Ghazals in Urdu. At a time when Persian was the language of the courts and nobility and Urdu was treated as a language of blue collared workers. Wali Daccani pioneered the Urdu Language and enriched the landscape of the subcontinent.
Ahmadabad walled city is a rich place which was once a place of huge learning. One can still see the remnants of it in some pre Mughal Mosques and Sufi shrines in the old city Not many people know that Gujarat and Ahmadabad was once a centre for learning of Urdu and Persian. Mr. Waris Alvi the 12th Alami Urdu Adab Award Winner was also recently awarded Bahadur shah Zafar award along with Alavi, Mohammad Alvi the renowned Urdu Poet and Mazharul Haq Alavi the Translator were felicitated by the Delhi Urdu Academy the proud.
Mr. Waris Alvi bemoaned the Destruction of Tomb of Wali Guajarati but also lamented the decline of Urdu in Gujarat “Gujarat and Ahmadabad once had a great tradition and history of rich Urdu Literature but today everyone wants to join English Medium Schools today, but what kind of education to these schools offer? And the Muslim children end up being drop outs. So they are devoid of not only proper education but also their mother tongue and culture” he also added that “There is a huge Diaspora of Guajarati Muslims yet unfortunately they have not contributed towards promotion of Urdu or Education”
On February 8 2012 The Gujarat High court directed the state government to carry out the restoration of places of religious worship that were destroyed or damaged in Gujarat riots of 2002 yet the tomb of Wali Guajarati remains buried under a Tar Road and Vehicles pass over it every day. There has not been any serious effort from any quarter to restore the tomb and respect of the revered saint and the scholar.
10 years from the riots Muslims of Ahmadabad have yet to emerge from the trauma of riots fortunately there are no instances of any communal violence yet the Muslims of Ahmadabad remain cut off from the main stream of New prosperous Amdavad of Gujarat and Wali Daccani’s missing Tomb remains a sad reminder of it.
(The Author is Pune based Free Lance writer, Playwright and theater actor, He has keen interest in History and Arts. The author can be reached at [email protected])