Though the names Qutubuddin Ansari and Ashok Mochi invokes no memory their images- Qutubuddin Ansari crying for his life and the angry Ashok Mochi crying slogans with an iron rod in his hand- does invoke the memory of Gujarat 2002 for the two images embodied the violence of Gujarat 2002.
Yesterday (3 March 2014) at Kannur the two of them shared the stage at the CPI (M) seminar.
This photo is a story in itself. Qutubuddin and Ashok are sitting next to each other. The image in the background is of 2002, Qutubuddin crying for his life with folded hands. The image of Ashok of 2002 is not seen in the background. Qutubuddin is resting his back while Ashok is leaning forward to shake hands with Qutubuddin. The hands havent met each other.
Note: it is Ashok who has to lean forward, take an initiative and extend his hand, leaving behind- editing-, his 2002 self. Qutubuddin on the other hand cant leave behind the image of 2002.
Both the hands, holding red roses, haven’t met, yet.
Reports say that later, Ashok, who now does not identify himself with the right wing fascist groups anymore, referring to his act of 2002 as “Blunder,” asked forgiveness from Qutubuddin. In his speech Qutubuddin referred to Ashok as “Brother” and said that the two could not have met, “like this”, in Gujarat.
But even when Gujarat doesn’t make space/ create atmosphere for the two to meet and reconcile, the two, with true remorse and true affection, will cross all man made barriers and meet.
The two not just defied NaMo’s development but also sang the song ‘hai preet jahaan ki reet sada,’ together. A report says that, “the crowd mostly comprising of Malyaalees” did not understand the song completely, “But the message must have reached because the applause was loud.”
Truly, messages of love peace and harmony have a way to reach out crossing the barriers of language!
The hands of Qutubuddin and Ashok finally met. Hope, the two worlds also reconcile with remorse and forgiveness.