Monday, April 12, 2010

Periyar Dasan's conversion to Islam: Why India's national newspaper is silent?

Dr Abdullah reading அண்ணல் நபிகளார் வாழ்வினிலே.. a book published by IFT
Photo courtesy : The New Indian Express

Periyar Dasan's conversion to Islam is the defining moment of the decade as far as the Muslim community of Tamil Nadu is concerned. The homecoming of Dr Periyar Abdullah has evoked widespread interest among the Tamil speaking world. This blog has witnessed more than Twelve thousand hits after it published news of his conversion to Islam. And a major chunk of them have landed here by searching for ''Periyar Dasan", 'Professor Periyar Dasan', "Periyar Dasan's conversion to Islam", "Is Periyar Dasan a Muslim?". They came from every corner of the world. It shows the enormous number of following that Dr Abdullah Sahib enjoys.

The New Indian Express is the first English newspaper of Tamil Nadu to cover the news. Kumudam published an interview which was very short, crisp and informative. Makkal UrimaiSamarasam and others too published detailed interviews. Curiously, the national newspaper of Tamil Nadu ie The Hindu is silent.

M Rafi Ahmed of Coimbatore writes in The New Indian Express:

He is to Tamil Nadu what noted author Kamala Das was to India. 
Both were towering personalities in their respective areas — he an atheist and scholar, she a popular author and poet. While Kamal Das became Kamala Suraiya after adopting Islam, atheist Periyar Dasan got converted to Islam and became Abdulla. 

So how did Dasan turn a believer?

“It all started in the new millennium when my teacher Janardhan of the Rao Bahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty (RBCC) school at Perambur in Chennai expressed a desire to meet four of his old students — Narayanan (Kalki Bhagavan), Deivasigamani (Tamilaruvi Manian), Periyar Dasan and Sirajudeen — who were classmates right from Class I to XI. All of us, except Sirajudeen whose whereabouts weren’t known, met up with our teacher. On quizzing a couple of religious heads at a mosque, we found out that Sirajudeen was neck deep into spiritual work at Abu Dhabi.”

The friends were delighted that they had traced their classmate and soon Sirajudeen managed to converse with his teacher and his old classmates through tele-conferencing. It was indeed a joyous moment, the meeting opening up a cache of school memories.
Subsequently, Sirajudeen kept in touch with Periyar Dasan.

In 2004, Periyar Dasan got an opportunity to visit Dubai and that’s when the he met his old classmate Sirajudeen, face-to-face this time! The two bonded very well and met every day till it was time for Periyar Dasan to return to India. 
During one such meeting, Sirajudeen hugged him and said that his friend shouldn’t die a non-believer. 
Mere words but to Periyar Dasan, those were like veritable gems of wisdom. 

After all, hadn’t a few words spoken by the Buddha transformed Angulimala or the wise counsel given by Narada changed Valmiki?After that Dasan, persevered to read the Holy Quran and the history of Prophet Mohammed. 
It dawned on him then that life without religion was incomplete. He then realised that God is one and his vocabulary expanded to include words like Qayamat (Judgement Day) and Marumai (life after death).It was only a matter of time before Periyar Dasan became Dr Abdulla.

The well-known atheist went to Mecca to perform Umra and after that embraced Islam through a Dawa center in Saudi Arabia. 

Dr Abdulla said that he had pacified his wife and prayed that she should be his wife in the next life as well. “My wife has fallen in line with my religious belief. I have decided to name her Fathima and we would be performing our Umra soon. As for my two sons, they are under no compulsion to convert,” he said.

To read the full article, Buddy’s words turned Periyar Dasan into Dr Abdullah
Read Periyar Dasan turns Abdullah 
Read நாத்திகத்திலிருந்து இஸ்லாத்திருக்கு... Dr Abdullah's interview to Samarasam which is the best.
Read  Seshachalam to Periyar Dasan to Abdullah a fascinating story of transformation of a slave of Periyar to slave of Periyar!


sam said...

why this tamil professor named himself in foreign language. Is he want to be slave to the foreigner?

Anonymous said...

The Question is in foreign language , and a foreign nick . Who is the slave here ?

Niazzzz said...

languages become foreign or domestic when you are bound by geographical boundaries, which we didnt draw - some one else did on us.

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu!!

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