Apr 21, 2014,
Bismillah’s grandson Affaq Haider said they do not want to be associated with any political party on this ‘hot seat’.
Varanasi will go to polls on May 12 with Modi, Congress candidate Ajay Rai and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in the fray.
“We got a phone call from BJP mayor Ramgopal Mohale on April 16 who expressed his desire to meet us. My father Ustaad Zamin Hussain, and our family friend Shakeel Ahmed went to meet him at his residence.
“We thought that he wanted to arrange some cultural programme but he told us that Modiji has sent some people from Gujarat especially to meet us as he wants Zamin to be his proposer along with the grandson of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya,” Haider said.
“We told him that we will take a decision after consulting family members. He then gave us a day’s time. We politely told him that we cannot be Modiji’s proposer as neither Bismillah was involved with any political party nor do we wish to. Bismillah used to say that you can talk to me for hours about music but keep me away from politics,” he said.
When contacted, the Varanasi mayor said he shares a warm relationship with the shehnai maestro’s family but denied that he had approached the family members for standing as Modi’s supporter.
However, he added that the Ustad‘s family often visits his house as they share a cordial relationship.
Haider said he and his father never refuse any invitation for a cultural programme for any political party including BJP but won’t let Bismillah’s name being dragged in politics.
“Political parties remember the Ustad only during elections and after that no one bothers about him. You can see that after eight years of his death his mausoleum is yet to be built despite tall promises,” he rued.
When asked if Modi or Kejriwal have ever met them, he replied in the negative.
“No, not yet but we have heard that Modi plans to meet our family and visit Bismillah’s mazar on 24th, the day he is filing nomination. As far as Kejriwal is concerned, he has mentioned Bismillah’s name in his speeches but has not met us till now,” he said.
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तब मैंने विवेक भाई को कहा था कि मुझे खां साहब की मजार पर जाना है। उन्होंने रास्ते से अचानक बाइक मोड़ दी और एक गली के रास्ते कब्रिस्तान से गुजरते हुए हम खां साहेब की मजार पर पहुंचे गये। बारिश के कारण जगह जगह बह चुकी मजार की मिट्टी के नीचे दफन उस बादशाह का बस इतना निशान नजर आता था कि सिरहाने एक कागज का पोस्टर चिपका दिया गया था।
अब मैंने विवेक भाई से कुछ नहीं कहा। उनसे भी नहीं जो वहां नीम के पेड़ के नीचे बैठे मजार की रखवाली कर रहे थे। कुछ था ही नहीं कहने सुनने के लिए। एक भारत रत्न के नाम-ओ-निशान की ऐसी दुर्दशा पर क्या कहा और सुना जा सकता है?
आज जब मोदी का प्रस्तावक बनने का प्रस्ताव ठुकरा देने पर खां साहेब के परिवार का फिर से जिक्र आया तो मुझे माटी की वह मजार याद आ रही है। मानों, मजार के ऊपर लगी वह तस्वीर आज भी मुस्कुराकर बस यही कह रही है कि माटी की तासीर ऐसी ही होती है।