MeraWatan is an e-documentary on the historical and cultural impact of the Indo-Arab relations. It primarily focuses on the Arab-Kerala relationship with a flavor of Iqbalian philosophy
The whole concept of MeraWatan stems from a single verse of Iqbal,
“Meer-E-Arab Ko Aaayi Tandi Hawan Jahan Se
Mera Watan Wahi Hai, Mera Watan Wahi Hai! “
From where the Arabian Leader felt the cool breeze coming
That is my homeland! That is my homeland!
The cool breeze…
The ‘cool breeze’ is apparently referring to a saying of Holy Prophet . He once said, ‘I feel a cool breeze coming from the direction of Hind’. In the depth of my heart, a conviction rings hard that how could ‘Saare jahan Se Acha (the best of all nations) ignore the Best of all Creations ?
Harmony and Love are the magic of this land. For it is in this fertile land that thoughts of Sirhindi and Dehlavi bore fruit. The glory of Umar Qazi and Zainudhin Makhdum… as if the blessings of Almighty were migrating to the garden to live like nightingales.
For it is in this gulistan (garden) that the Panakkad legacy shone.
This is where religious tolerance and harmony feels at home. Everyone shares their fragrance with one another, and learn to cohabit with one another like in a bouquet.
The name MeraWatan (and so does its philosophy) has its roots in a single poem of Allama Iqbal, the great visionary poet-philosopher of Indian subcontinent. Each line of this poem, entitled Hindustani Bachon Ka Qaumi Geet, stands true for MeraWatan.
The core line of the poem, I feel, ‘Meer-e-Arab Ko Aaayi Tandi Hawan Jahan Se’, is the central theme of MeraWatan. Each page is designed with this template in mind.
I feel fortunate if I could convey to the world the message of a single poem of Allama Iqbal whose soul-stirring poetry has saved me on the crossroads of life and infused in me the urge to ‘not just read history but strive to make it as well.’ In Iqbal, one find the Asrar-e-Khudi (Secrets of Self) revealed.
MeraWatan is not…
MeraWatan is neither an academic work of history nor a meager research project. Nor is it a bundle of lifeless papers piled upon a file. It cannot be termed as a visitor’s fascination with the ‘land of mountains’. It is far from just an exciting holiday. No, MeraWatan is not a geographical piece of land untouched by human love and brotherhood. There are no traces of any man-made marks on its body. Nor is it a blockade that blocks me from mixing with the rest of the members of humanity.
MeraWatan is . . .
Rather MeraWatan is the tribute to my own origin, my roots, my culture, and my homeland. It is reinventing the past that was lost in the winds of change. Rediscovering the scent of my native land and culture, people and traditions and a humble effort to spread the same fragrance to the rest of the world via the Internet. To pay my respects to the ceaseless struggle against Colonialism and Imperialism, a major part of which has remained hidden – that is MeraWatan. An effort to give vent to the overflowing heart…MeraWatan is my personal philosophy of patriotism. A Non Resident Indian’s aspiration for his homeland, without ignoring his resident land where he has been brought up.
Sand dunes and paddy fields
In an era where everything, including patriotism, has become the ‘family property’ of a selected few class of people, MeraWatan stands apart in flavor and style. Narrow-minded nationalism has become a headache for humanity.
In MeraWatan, the paddy fields remain intact with the sand dunes. The minarets find joy under the shade of coconut tree. In MeraWatan, there is cool breeze coming to comfort the Unlettered Prophet of Arabia
Today is from yesterday: Re-inventing the past.
Another point, which MeraWatan thrusts on, is its emphasis on the past. No community can progress putting its own past to shame. It is one’s past that makes him what he is.
It is true for both the individual and society as well. As Allama Iqbal puts it philosophically, “ this is another way of saying that life moves with the weight of its own past on their back…No people can afford to reject their past entirely, for it is their past that has made their personal identity.”
In MeraWatan, I have taken an initiative to bring back the past with its true color, to discover some of the forgotten fragrance of the past… to relearn some of the forgotten lessons and remind others of the same. Conscious of my one-man battle, I have begun the work step by step and MeraWatan will go on. Insha Allah.
As such there is no such thing as finality in the refinement of poetic thoughts or philosophical ideas. MeraWatan is an ongoing process. New dimensions will be examined under the light of fresh thought and experience.
Objectives : Why MeraWatan ?
MeraWatan is conceived and designed with a definite purpose in mind. It is up to the visitor to evaluate whether they have been achieved or not.
The main aim is to familiarize the youth, and not the scholars, about the pride in one’s own past rather than to remain under the shade of an alien culture. I am neither a scholar of history nor is it not my academic discipline.
The story untold… Revealed.
To bring to light the historical facts of Indo Arab relationship using a visual medium and the Net as the platform. Although bits and pieces of information are scattered in the history textbooks (perhaps lying in some dark corners of the bookshelf), they never made it to the common man, or more specifically, the youth. In addition, to explore the present dimensions of Indo-Arab ties including finance, emigration, academics etc.
An insight to the lifestyle of people of Khairullah (or Kerala) – the land of harmony and beauty.
To reinstate the contribution of South India to the Indian freedom movement and struggle against imperialism. To remind the fact that the struggle was not the monopoly of a particular Zone in the North !
Protest against the blind admiration and shameless imitation of West by those in the east.
Frankly speaking, my approach is free of any scientific standards. As a matter of fact, some of the travels undertaken were a matter of convenience.
It should be noted that this work cannot, and should not, be compared to any serious research work in history or other topics for that matter. As such, the contents should not be used as reference for later research.
To compare MeraWatan with other historic texts would be an insult to the blood and sweat of historians. The former was done within a limited time period and scope. The chief medium was visual, while other historic works required years of painstaking research and almost the entire lifetime of its writers. They had to dig through the piles of old books and might’ve sneezed quite a number of times owing to the dust in them. I pay my respects to those.
The difference with MeraWatan
MeraWatan is the first ever e-documentary with full fledged multimedia – videos, audio and pictures- including site shots, interviews and a title track for the website. It depicts the Indo-Arab ties in culture, lifestyle, religion, politics, poetry and literature, history, academics and bilateral ties. The chief medium is visual, not text.
MeraWatan is a non-profit venture undertaken by Jaihoon (Mujeeb Rahman) alone. MeraWatan is a website and is relevant only as such. All the pics, videos and audio clips including the design and graphics are intellectual properties of Jaihoon unless not specified. References have been given where source is valid and known. No individual or organizations have a say in the content given in MeraWatan. This is of my own initiative and is free of external contributions in terms of finance or otherwise. No one has persuaded me to include any specific content in this website. If some significant persons or institutions have been missed, it is due to the limited time and scope of the project. This in no way reflects my policy. I do not wholly endorse the views of persons/organizations included in MeraWatan. I am not responsible for the accuracy of the content given in MeraWatan and as such does not endorse the actions taken thereof.
MeraWatan : The first ever website with a title track
Meer-E-Arab Ko Aaayi Tandi Hawan Jahan Se . . .
MeraWatan was meant to be different right from the beginning when I visualized the idea in January 2000. However not everything, as seen now, was preplanned. A lot of sacrifices had to be made in terms of time and space.
It required a huge amount of dedication to reach so far… Masha Allah ! I still believe that there is room for improvement.
It is with great pleasure that I am announcing ‘MeraWatan’ as the first ever website with a title song for itself.
The track is a poem of Allama Iqbal, “Hindustani Bachon Ka Qaumi Geet” (The national song of Indian Children). The phrase “Mera Watan Wahi Hai, Mera Watan Wahi Hai!” (That is my homeland, That is my homeland) appears after every four lines.
The poem. (It is a loose translation.)
The Land where Chishti voiced the call of truth!
The garden where Nanak sang the song of unity
The land where the Tartars made their home
The land which made the Arabs leave the deserts
That is my homeland, That is my homeland
The land where the Greeks were lost in wonder
The land where the world acquired knowledge and talent
The land which made its soil gold
The land where Tartars were filled with diamonds
That is my homeland, That is my homeland
Wherefrom the world heard the voice of unity
Wherefrom the Arabian Leader felt the breeze coming…
That is my homeland, That is my homeland
The singer requires special attention for the song is indeed reflecting the spirit of the project. It is surprising how such a beautiful work of art could be recorded in a home-based production.
I am thankful to everyone who has helped me in bringing out MeraWatan. To all my peers, elders and youngsters who have encouraged me to stay on the track when I get drifted away.
Special thanks to these persons who spent some time with me for discussions on related topics.
Syed Muhammad Ali Shihab Thangal, State President of Indian Union Muslim League, (Panakkad);
The late historian, Dr. CK Kareem (Cochin),
Dr. Kamal Pasha, Head of History Department, PSMO College, (Tirurangadi),
Dr. Bahaudhin Muhammad Nadwi, Principal of Darul Huda Islamic Academy (Chemmad),
KK Abdul Kareem, Historian and expert on Moin Kutty Vaidyar literature. (Kondotty),
OPM Syed Muthukoya Thangal, Chief Qazi, (Malappuram),
Attakoya Pallikandi, editor Pravasi Dootan (Calicut),
VM Kutty, Mappila songs singer (Kondotty)
For the unconditional support given by
Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal Panakkad
Mr. A.P. Ahmed of Kondotty Moinkutty Vaidyar Smarakam and Sameer also. Kondotty
Mustafa of Ponnani Juma’ Masjid, Ponnani
MT Moidutty IPS Veliyankode
K. Vijayan Varrier,Manager, Ayurvedic Hospital & Research Center, Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Shala, Kottakkal
E. Yoosuf, the Maunathul Islam Association, Ponnani
Faizal E.B. , Kodungallur
Syed Habeeb Koya Thangal, Valanchery
The media men – Najeeb Kandapuram, Ismail Meladi, Ahmed Shareef, Basheer and Mohammed Kakkad for their interest in MeraWatan.