Friday, October 14, 2022

Author's Interview with Fasihur Rahman.

First, before we move forward with our Authors Interview, I would like to start with an introduction.

1. Could you please introduce yourself to us?
I was born and brought up in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, and was educated in India, U.K., and Canada. I have worked in varied nature of fields (marketing, industrial development, and assignments related to environmental science). I have written in newspapers from India (The Hindu, The Indian Express, The Pioneer, The Hindustan Times, The Statesman); Canada (Toronto Star, The Telegram, The Independence); United Arab Emirates (Khaleej Times). I spend my time in India, Canada, and the U.S.
2. Congratulations on your book. So what inspired you to write this book?
Thank you so much. I noticed brazen discrepancies in media reporting on the life and time of Ziaur Rahman Ansari, for example, two leading English dailies once reported as if Mr. Ansari lived at Tughlaq Road, New Delhi; though he never lived at Tughlaq Road. For nearly a decade, he lived at 9 Akbar Road, New Delhi, and for about two years at 2 Janpath Road. One cannot say that Oxford Street and Regent Street of London are the same despite being connected. Someone has described media reporting as a history written in haste. Perhaps true considering the time constraints of the reporters. often, they have no time for facts checking. But what intrigued me the most is that even editorials of prominent national English dailies often did not quote Mr. Ansari’s name correctly. While every individual has the right to his or her perception, judgment, and preconceived notion, it is also the public right to know a factual account of an individual who has contributed to public life. And so, it was an attempt to set the record straight so that future generations know the difference between facts and fiction.

3. What is the book all about?
Based on the hard facts, documents, opinions, and observations collected from a wide range of sources, Wings of Destiny: Ziaur Rahman Ansari - A Life offers an insight into the life of Ziaur Rahman Ansari (1925-1992), who served as Union minister in the council of ministers of two Indian Prime Ministers – Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The book traces Ziaur Rahman’s political journey spanning nearly three decades and provides a historical account of pre and post-independence India. The book provides a comprehensive historical account of lesser-known facts about the 1857 Mutiny. Some of the epoch-making movements – Khilafat, Non-Cooperation, Mappilas uprising in South India, and Momin Conference and their contribution to the freedom movement have been discussed. The book also includes a comprehensive chapter on the Supreme Court judgment on the Shah Bano case including excerpts from Ziaur Rahman’s speech in the Lok Sabha on the judgment. It was the longest speech of his political career and also one of the longest speeches in the Parliamentary history of India.
4. Why did you choose this genre for your book?
Although I have never been a student of history, I love history as it provides a sense of how a country, culture, and civilization evolved. Since I was aware of the political upheavals of the 1960s to 1990s and often notice incorrect reporting in the published media, I thought to do some fact-finding on the life and time of Mr. Ansari.

5. How much time did it take to complete this book?
The initial planning and research took me over a year because there was no published information on the life of Ziaur Rahman Ansari and his father who was also a freedom fighter. Another hurdle was that there were very few contemporaries who were alive and willing to share light on the life of Mr. Ansari. It required gathering information on the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election results from 1946 to 1969, and parliamentary elections from 1971 to 1991. In addition to that parliamentary proceedings were also important to gather excerpts from the selected speeches of Mr. Ansari. Interviews with family members, relatives, friends, and political persons known to him were also vital for writing this book. Since the book covers pre and post-independence history, it required me to read several books by noted historians. The manuscript of this book has been completed in several locales of three countries – India, the USA, and Canada. India (Zakir Bagh, New Delhi; India Habitat Centre Library, New Delhi; Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. USA (Indian Run Drive, Canfield, OH; Youngstown State University library, Youngstown, OH; Justin Terrace, Fremont, CA; Michael Drive, Campbell, CA). Canada (Markham Court, Kelowna, BC; Yates Road, Kelowna, BC; University of British Columbia library, Kelowna, BC)
6. What makes your Book Special?
Probably I am not the right person to answer this question. Nevertheless, I feel that those who are interested in the pre and post-independence history of India will find the book revealing especially to learn some little-known facts. While searching for the literature relevant to this book, I came across a rare book written by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar or Veer Savarkar (1883-1966) from the online archive of the University of Columbia library, New York. In a country where political parties are immersed in dividing the public in the name of caste and religion to gain political mileage, it will be an eye opener for the readers to learn from the excerpts of Savarkar’s writings. Savarkar, former president of the Hindu Mahasabha, in his book The Indian War of Independence 1857, published anonymously in 1909 from London, provides a candid account of Hindu-Muslim unity, trust, and cooperation during the Indian rebellion against the British establishment. Azimullah Khan, a close confidant of Nana Sahib, figures admiringly in the work of Savarkar. Savarkar writes: “….Of the important characters in the Revolutionary War of 1857, the name of Azimullah Khan is one of the most memorable. Among the keen intellects and grand minds that first conceived the idea of the War of Independence, Azimullah must be given a prominent place”. The Supreme Court judgment on the Shah Bano case remains one of the most debated issues in various forums - media, academic journals, books, and among the political fraternity. The book presents various perspectives on the judgment and includes views of legal experts, judges, media, academia, and political fraternity from different parties.
7. When is your second book coming?
Hopefully at the end of 2024, if I am alive.
8. While writing did you get any writers block? What is the Tip that you will give others who are facing a writer's block?
Yes, I did get writer’s block while struggling to retrieve relevant information from government offices/institutions by sending RTIs and waiting for the response. Since this is my debut book, I am not sure if I am a qualified person to give advice to others who are facing writer’s block. But with my own experience, all I can say is that one should be consistent and patient while taking up a writing project. Like any other job, it requires you to devote time.
9. Apart from being a talented author, what are your other hobbies?
Painting has been my greatest passion since the age of 6 or 7. Though I have not been consistent in carrying on this pursuit despite the continued insistence of my wife, the desire to return to painting has not dimmed yet. In fact, I have participated in several group shows in India and also a group show in Canada.
10. Last but not the least, How did you feel, while giving this interview?
I am delighted and grateful to have been given this opportunity. I hope I have provided some value through my answers.

Profile: Book Review| Book link    

No comments:

Post a Comment

Do like and comment to show your support to the author.

The Dreamtidings of a Disgruntled Starbeing: Life With a Psychopathic Brother by Linn Aspen

About Book: A quirky philosophical novel Precocious, 13-year-old Klara Tippins lives in a refurbished convent in upstate New York with her c...