Who is Raza Academy?
As far as the Raza Academy is concerned, I have no idea who are the people who run it, where is their office and how many people are its members. I only hear their name whenever some outrageous and controversial statement is released by them and is subsequently lapped up by the media. I didn’t bother about Raza Academy’s reaction. It was expected.
I must be one of those rare and fortunate people who get abuses from both sides. Hindu fundamentalists tells me, ‘You are a jihadi. Go away to Pakistan.’ They suggest I change my name to a Hindu one. Some call me a pseudo-secularist. On the other side, they call me a kafir and condemn me, saying I’ll burn in hell. I believe that as long as both of them are abusing me I must be doing something right.
Nowadays, the Hindu fundamentalists proudly appropriate Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Ironically, the same Raja Ram Mohan Roy was opposed tooth and nail by the Hindu hardliners in his time. There was tremendous opposition of Mohan Roy and also, of Syed Ahmed Khan. At every juncture in history fundamentalists of all communities, without exception, have proved to be anti-progress, anti-reform, anti-liberal thought and anti-enquiry. But the good thing is: in the end, the bigots never win.