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18 April, 2009

India Needs Babar Ali, Not Varun Gandhi

IBN CNN, probably the best English news channel in the country, was broadcasting a unique programme, Real Heroes on 22.3.2009 at 10.00 p.m. A year ago the channel, in collaboration with Reliance Industries, decided to find out little-known Indians who have taken initiatives to change India in their own way. Away from the spotlight of media, both print and electronic, they are trying to change the destinies of men and women, and also children, who have fallen behind in the race of life or have been condemned to an under-privileged existence. This year the channel had picked up 20 such heroes whom it had invited to honour in a grand function attended by business leaders, film stars and sports personalities. For a change, the channel was celebrating the unknown and under-privileged achievers than the famous and the powerful. One such real hero was the sixteen-year old Babar Ali from Murshidabad, West Bengal who has taken it upon himself to educate the children of his village which has neither government nor private schools. Ali’s school has no building. He runs it in the open or under a tree. Understandably the school has no furniture except an old chair on which Babar Ali rarely sits. The students, children of the village of varying age groups sit on the ground and Ali quickly walks through them, guiding, encouraging, inspiring and helping them learn and write.

The anchor of the programme, Real Heroes, invited Ali to receive his award, who slowly started walking towards the dais when, all of sudden, the channel began to air news about the Election Commission’s unprecedented decision to reprimand Varun Gandhi for having delivered an inflammatory and communally-charged hate speech in U.P. It was sad to note that in comparison with Varun Gandhi the channel gave less importance to those whom it had described as “Real Heroes”.

Sixteen-year old Ali is a Muslim. People of his age are not expected to launch initiatives like educating village children who do not have access to any formal school. And see this Muslim teen-ager is preoccupied with learning and teaching. His action is noble and inspiring. He is teaching children to learn and write. He is not raising his hands against Hindus, which Varun Gandhi wants to cut.

Men like Varun Gandhi are well-placed to do a lot of good to India. We have three hundred million people who are illiterate and under-nourished. They suffer from economic as well as intellectual poverty and deserve a helping hand, and not the punishment that Varun Gandhi is proposing for them. It is easy to deliver a hate-speech or destroy a life. But doing constructive things like building the lives of village-children is a noble prophetic mission, which the dark forces Varun Gandhi has chosen to champion are unable to comprehend.

Varun Gandhi might succeed in polarizing people in his constituency and reap rich electoral dividends. But he has lost the esteem that people would have exhibited towards a scion of Gandhi-Nehru family. He has degraded himself in the eyes of millions and millions of people in order to champion the cause of a few lunatics. What a bad bargain he has made.

The way the BJP has reacted to the advice of the Election Commission speaks volumes about the shape of things to come. It is abundantly clear that they would try utmost to vitiate the atmosphere in U.P. This is the state which had given them enough MPs to form government in Delhi. And it is their decline in U.P. which worries them the most. The road to Delhi goes through U.P. where the BJP is expected to fare poorly.

BJP knows the reasons for its continuous poor showing in U.P. The caste configuration in the state does not favour it. And, misery upon misery, they have lost the Muslim votes forever that constitute over 18 per cent of the electorate in U.P. Not only Muslims but also Hindus have understood BJP’s communal and divisive agenda. They have refused to be fooled any longer by their temple agenda. The BJP is short, nay, bereft of ideas. Therefore, they are hell bent on communalizing the atmosphere in U.P. through venomous hate speeches.

And in the communally-charged situation which BJP is seeking to create in the country, the Muslim masses as well as leaders would be well-advised to follow into the footsteps of Babar Ali. For, education alone is key to success. Also it is the best strategy to counter and frustrate the nefarious designs of the BJP.
[March, 2009]

13 comments:

asish dey said...

Thanks for focusing on this extraordinary young man! My partner and I provide education services to students of all ages in Singapore, and we'd like to contact Babar Ali to discuss any aspect of our experience that can benefit his enterprise. Hope you can help to connect us.

Trevor van Eck, Norway said...

Dear Dr. Danish - can you please provide information that will enable people to send money and other resources to Babar Ali's school?

Amit A. Patel said...

Do you have any contact info with regards to Babar Ali's school? I am interested in seeing if there is any way I can help his efforts. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

The Vagabond said...

Hello,

I write for an online magazine in Australia called the Vagabond.

We are trying to get in contact with Babar Ali, the 16 year old school head in West Bengal. We want to offer him possible volunteer teachers for his school.

How can we get in contact with him? Do you have a contact address/email?

Thanks for you time,

awaiting your reply,

The Vagabond
voice@vagmag.org
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Samia Syed said...

I read about babar ali. Its amazing. Is there a way to contact him so we can help him. I will appreciate if you can send me some contact info. about him.
Thanks,

Trevor van Eck said...

Dear Doctor Danish

I was impressed by the efforts of the young man you wrote about on your blog. I am not a wealthy person - but the strength of our currency would make even small sums useful if they could be sent to this young man's school, preferably anonymously.

Are you able to provide any information at all on how I (or others) could send smaller amounts of money - ($50 to $100, perhaps) to this school from time to time? Or parcels containing other items that could possibly be useful to them?

Yours sincerely

Trevor van Eck
Drammen, Norway

Adi Chinnatimma said...

Sir,

I was looking, how we can contact Babar Ali. He is a true hero for India. We just found about him through BBC website. Is there anyway we can contribute to him from our non profit organization. I just looked on Wikepedia, got your blog and trying to contact. We are with NayaIndia.org based in Atlanta.

May God bless him.

Thanks for your time.
Sincerely,
Adi.

Rita said...

While I am a year late to this post, I do have information on how to contact Babar and donate to his school. Please visit lightalamp.org. This NGO is working to raise money for Babar's school and also has constant contact with him.

Tanvir said...

Hi !! I work for the Youth-Leader Magazine (http://www.asia.youth-leader.org) We are going to write an article on Babar Ali. It would be great help if i could contact him somehow.Can you guys give me Babar Ali’s Email or Facebook or any other means where i can get in touch with him via the internet ? Thanks in advance :)

Tanvir Hassan
tanvir.hassan.youthleader@gmail.com

Tanvir said...

Hi !! I work for the Youth-Leader Magazine (http://www.asia.youth-leader.org) We are going to write an article on Babar Ali. It would be great help if i could contact him somehow.Can you guys give me Babar Ali’s Email or Facebook or any other means where i can get in touch with him via the internet ? Thanks in advance :)

Tanvir Hassan
tanvir.hassan.youthleader@gmail.com

kishore said...

Yes, India needs only Babar Ali nor Varun Gandhi not any Indian corrupted leaders whose only aim is benefit them & their family.

But there is no need to mention varun Gandhi and Hinduism becoz lot of muslim leaders and regional muslim parties are there who are in equal number like varun gandhi and party like BJP who do more damage then these people.
so mention only Good things when we talk about good not unecessary things like those people and u do.

anirban said...

I would like to inform you about the show which is going to be telecasted soon of Babaar Ali(the youngest headmaster of world) of Ananda Shiksha Niketan (Bhabta,Murshidabad,West Bengal).He is not more the same person who is spreading the light of education among the uneducated but now-a-days he is more like a corrupted person.He is also alleged of a criminal offense and the person also filed a case against him of 'attempt to murder' in Beldanga P.S (Murshidabad,West Bengal).He sacked all the teachers and committee members who raised voice against him.Some greedy people who are sitting at the top of administration is using the institution to gather large amounts of money and there is no proper audit of the money.We have all the documents to prove our point." Satyameva Jayate"..

deepak dubey said...

this is a nobal cause doing by babar ali i m apprisiated to him .... i m also a part of an ngo an try to doing thes work.....