Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Ode to My Father....

The end of an Era and a homage to a "beloved son of the soil"

Syed Qasim Hasan is no more.
And more than a mere father who gave us wind beneath our wings…
He was a legend,
A mass leader,
A person whose word was the law in his land,
A man who stood by his ideals and believed in fairness and honesty…
A no-nonsense personality whose presence in any gathering was enough to draw the crowds and act like a magnet.
This tribute is not only for a beloved father, but for a politician and a son of the soil who was above the politics of religion, caste, money or status of society.
Syed Qasim Hasan fought for the people because he believed in them, and they believed in his ability to hold thier hand when needed....

        Syed Qasim Hasan comes from an illustrious line of learned Hakims(doctors), Maulanas(religious scholars) and Freedom Fighters.
His lineage can be traced back to the time of Sultan Iltutmish when a person called Salar-e-Rome Shahabuddin or the “leader or Chief” of Rome migrated to India with his full tribe from the Middle East via Europe.
       The Sultan gave this learned tribe of Hakims and Scholars some land in a place called Bramsala which was in the middle Ganga Jamuna and is now called Sultanpur.
       The descendants of this tribe settled around the area- spreading the word of God and establishing schools and madarsas….
Some putting down roots in a Fort now called Baqar Ali and some in a place called Kora Jahanabad.
       Of the few well known descendants was Maulana Hakim Abul Hasan Sahad who served as the vizier of Murshidabad in Bengal and was also Syed Qasim Hasan’s grandfather’s grandfather.
        One of the maternal uncles was Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi who was also the founder of the islamic college in Lucknow known as Nadwa.
Maulana Hakim Syed Nusrat Husain, Syed Qasim Hasan’s grandfather was an active member of the freedom movement called the “Reshmi Rumaal Tehreek” (a part of the Khilafat Movement  against the British) during the 1916
This particular freedom movement spread from one Islamic School to another and in which the secret coded messages were sent through the Reshmi Rumaal (silk scarf) that the maulanas or the scholars wore on their shoulders.
Maulana Hakim Syed Nusrat Husain was arrested in Mecca with his cousin Maulana Hashim, along with Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni, Sheikhul-Hind, among others and sent to “kaala pani” i.e imprisoned on an island (Malta) in the Black Sea, where on his demise was given the title of Shaheed-e-Malta.
(the details of this freedom struggle and participation is given in this book here)
       Syed Qasim Hasan’s father and uncle were also active participants in the Freedom Struggle against the British, although one was with the Congress and the other with the Muslim league.
Politics and serving the people, their awam was in the blood and after India’s indepedence, Syed Qasim Hasan’s uncle, Syed Shabbir Hasan, being a close friend of the then U.P. Chief Minister-C.B.Gupta, won the Kora Jahanabad seat a number of times.
        Infact after India’s Independence when the small “town areas” were called Gram Samaj and the elections were held by raising your hand…
…since then and until now- the Town Area Chairman seat has always been with the family.
         Syed Qasim Hasan or “Bhai Sahab” as he was always fondly called started his political career in 1974 where he was given the ticket by C.B.Gupta himself, after Syed Shabbir Hasan (uncle's) death.
And though he lost that particular election, there was no stopping the tall imposing personality with the booming laugh and a humble persona after that!
He won his seat 5 times since then, either standing from his home turf, Kora Jahanabad, or from Fatehpur.
          While he was in power, or in the opposition, or even when he lost his seat, Syed Qasim Hasan never lost his perspective.

He worked tirelessly for the betterment of his people, his awam, whether it was arranging health camps, building roads and public amenities or making schools...
          He established a school named after Maulana Hakim Syed Nusrat Husain- Shaheed-e-Malta School that just runs completely on charity.
His dream was to have no illiteracy in his constituency with the minimum of fees (Rs 30 presently) with about 40% children whose schooling, fees, uniform and books are free.
This school runs with the love and welfare of the people as its main objective. Other than that, he, along with his wife, established an NGO called Ashiyana that catered to the needs of the poor, the infirm, the widows and the orphans.
              People didn’t just love my father or turn to him for no reason- he was actually a law unto himself…
Whether it was a property dispute or a love affair gone wrong- his people did not want to go to the police or the court-
They all knocked on “Bhai Sahab’s” door- which was never ever closed to them.
He solved all the disputes to the best of his abilities with sometimes even a few choice swear words and a stern reprimand for the offender and everyone going home satisfied with justice well served.
            Syed Qasim Hasan lived life king-size and when he finally passed away on the 30th of December 2013, my father, the Sher-e-Fatehpur was given a king sized farewell.
There was not a single dry eye on the Shaheed Malta School grounds where thousands had gathered to bid him farewell.
Syed Qasim Hasan was sent off from this world in the same style that he had lived in- with trumpets and Guard of Honor and the Chief Minister in full attendance.
              It is said that you get to know a person’s worth when he dies and Abbu, I have never been more proud of you and the fact that I am your daughter, than when I saw you for the last time being put to rest and the multitude of weeping janta lining up to put a fistful of mud on your grave and bid you a last farewell.
May Allah(swt) give you maghfirat and grant you an esteemed place in the Jannat.


some pictures of his last journey on the Shaheed Malta School Grounds...

standing together for the Namaz-e-Janaza

the U.P Chief Minister paying homage.

the Guard of Honor 


  1. Hey Maryam.....what a touching tribute you have given to uncle...I can still remember his smiling face.....he was always so full of life, so energetic....knew some of the facts you mentioned but did not know (or maybe didnt remember) the glorious history of your forefathers......honored to learn that. Take care and have strength (i know you must be the pillar of strength for everybody just now)...thinking about Aunty, you and the whole family. May Uncle's soul rest in peace.

  2. thinking about you Maryam.... take care...

  3. Such a beautiful post so touched by it plz mail me I want to publish in my blogsite saman


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...