Monday, October 5, 2009

Azad Khan is one of those Talented Persons

Azad Khan is one of those Talented Persons
By Saeed Qureshi
Azad Khan, the host of the Radio program “Bol Ke Lab Azad Hain Tere” aired from AM 870, is a young thinker and a scholar brimming with a reservoir of diverse knowledge. He is one of those gifted persons, whose intellect is not confined to one branch of knowledge: it’s all embracing and pervasive. With consummate skill, absorbing narrative and with matchless fluency, he can articulate and analyze the complex and varied themes and ideas.
I am amazed how, on the spur of the moment, he answers all those variety of questions: on occasions putting them in proper perspective and on another adding them up with more output of information and knowledge. A talented person as he is, he injects a philosophical and somber tone into the discussions encompassing various dimensions of human knowledge. From science to fiction, anthropology to sociology, political to economy and from philosophy to history, he can, with great dexterity and felicity, proffer information as if one has opened an encyclopedia. It comes readily. With forthright sincerity and sober conviction, he goes on to express his candid opinion till his listeners or interlocutors are one with him.
Dissention and debate he welcomes, and if he finds an opportunity to correct himself, he does so without acrimony or retort. And that trait speaks for his earnest urge and humility to explore knowledge no matter which quarter it comes from: from a school student or a scholar of eminence and lofty standing. With a military background, a young and robust Azad with so much of intellectual depth and richness is a blessing for the immigrants who hail from Asia, India and Pakistan and live in North Texas.
He carries in his genes the chivalrous traits of a Pathan who can go to any extent even fighting for upholding their honor and dignity. I can observe and identify in him that element of valor and defiance flavored with a spirit of friendliness and sociability as well as humility that are the shining hallmarks of the intrepid Pathans.
H could have stayed in army with all the attending perks, splendor and excitement that is commonly believed to be part of the life of military officers. With his brother as an army general, he could have fallen into the boastful mannerism and would have been accorded preferential treatments. But look! He shunned that glare and left the coveted position of a captain. I have a plausible explanation for his retreat from the army. His laudable idealism, his inborn flame of universalism and his curiosity and quest to learn, seek and explore in the world at large and beyond military ramparts, prompted him to doff his military uniform. I am sure, had he been in the army, he would have been counted as an outstanding soldier.
Brought up in purely traditional culture and village life, Azad fondly mentions about his family and the early childhood with interesting yet inspiring anecdotes that shaped his life and nurtured the values that are so precious to him. Perhaps these memories are part of his life and would serve as the abiding rudder of guidance for him to be staying on the right course. He is utterly proud of his father who is his alter ego and who has been a noble guide, teacher, father, friend and sage for him. He still speaks and makes his presence felt through Azad.
If you sit with Azad he would tell you about his early life spent in primitive village, otherwise so deeply rich with centuries’ old culture, customs and traditions. He would tell you how his father would keep them on the straight path with his mix of soft and stern command and control system. He has inculcated in his children the habits to pray, to be righteous, to be humane, to be generous, to be humble and helpful and kind and caring, and to be punctual and industrious. But he would also exhort them to keep away from bartering their self respect, faith and dignity no matter what the cost could be. That is why you will find Azad with a tinge of steadfastness not to budge or compromise and not to shy away when it means protecting his honor and well guarded principles of moral grandeur.
He is an embodiment of rich and time tested values and virtues of a culture that betokens simplicity, truthfulness, honesty, a fraternity that enlivens and animates our villages, dales and valleys. I am not sure whether I can call him a village folk but if he is, then admirably he has made a giant leap from a remote village environ to the pinnacles of both material and intellectual gains at a very young age. He is a strong believer in humanism, liberty, equality and freedom among human beings.
Azad starts the radio program with a slogan that calibrates and corresponds to his own ideals, beliefs and outlook. “BOL KAY LAB AZAD HAIN TERAY” is a line from the poem of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the legendary poet of our times. It’s a clarion call for emancipation of the fettered and gagged humanity. It’s a marching order for the disadvantaged, the enslaved and the underdogs to rise and bring a change. The freedom of expression is a great and self-evident, yet unalienable right of all humans. So when Azad tunes up the line from his lips to open the program, he is echoing the same message of that rebellious poet who immensely suffered for his poetic exhortations to the slumbering nations to wake up, to speak out for justice, equality and freedom for all.
Understandably Azad Khan prepares his radio programs with lot of hard work and research that keeps him busy for the better part of the whole week. But still he can snatch some time out of his loaded and unalterable schedule for a lively gossip and pleasant discourse with his well wishers and friends. Without fear of contradiction, I would asset that you would not find him wanting in animated conversations that would be replete with mirthful anecdotes, laughter emitting jokes and interesting and unforgettable events of his life both as a civilian and a military man. Even on such occasions, his scholasticism goes hand in hand with the cheerful spirit of the company.

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