Separated in 1947, united via internet
Ludhiana, August 10
The state’s Shahi Imam, Mohammad Usman Rehmani Ludhianvi (44), recalls his grandmother often saying that the fight was against the British rule, and not between Hindus and Muslims.
“She would lament ‘why did we get separated? Those having vested political interests separated us in the name of religion’,” says Usman Rehmani.
His grandparents — Rais Ul Ahrar Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Ludhianvi and Shafaat Begum — fought for the country’s freedom with Lala Lajpat Rai and Jawaharlal Nehru. In the wake of the Partition, members of the family got separated.
“Half of my relatives migrated to Pakistan,” says the Shahi Imam.
“My father’s maternal uncle, Shabbir Ahmed Mufti, passed away in Pakistan about a year ago. He graduated from SCD College, Ludhiana. He would call up my father, and ask about the college and the streets where they lived. The sad part is we cannot meet in times of celebration and sorrow. My father was denied the visa when his uncle expired,” he notes and adds “thanks to social media, we are in touch with our relatives in Pakistan”.
Usman Rehmani longs for relaxation in visa norms so that long-lost relatives can meet once in a while.
“The young generation should know how their grandparents or great-grandparents sacrificed their lives for the Independence. They should get the feel of the other side too (Pakistan), where their distant relatives live,” he adds.
Relax visa norms
Thanks to social media, we are in touch with our relatives in Pakistan. Visa norms should be relaxed so that long-lost relatives can meet once in a while. — Mohammad Usman Rehmani Ludhianvi, state’s Shahi Imam