Khurshid Anwar Arfi

As Interviewed by Ayan Arfi, March 20, 2019

Khurshid Anwar Arfi: In his own words

My name is Khurshid Anwar Arfi, I am a Muslim and I finished my education from Patna university. I have been a journalist and a social activist [of Momin conference which was a social organization, formed in 1924 and then turned into a political organization in 1939], but since last 15 years I have taken to writing books both in English and my mother tongue, Urdu.

In my school days [I used to join my seniors for agitation, leaving classes and walking on the roads and shouting “revolution” ”long live revolution”]. I could object to hit based on caste bias by my upper-class friends, not usually, but sometimes with little affect. I learned from experience that you should not keep quiet and ignore such things, they should be condemned alright, but to counter it in a perfecting manner, it was an effective measure to discourage hate against lower-caste students or lower caste people.

[Among Muslims there are no lower-caste and upper-caste, but under the influence of Hinduism in India, this caste system was in practice even among Muslims]. The so called upper- caste Muslims didn’t like that this community, our community, the boys and girls should get any education, because they thought if they got education, then they would get up to their level. The first thing was that they didn’t allow the members of the Momin Community to send their wards to school. The individual sections didn’t have the courage to fight that, the Indian government had since long done much to uphold those individual sections of the lower caste, by providing educational scholarships and reservations in academic institutions [In my early ages I joined the Momin movement and was deeply involved in this movement]. The idea was to educate those who were not getting education till now, should get the education and once they got the education, then they come up in the mainstream of society.

The social situation has quite changed, what was earlier and what is now is long time difference. Things are very quite different, now there are many intellectuals, scholars, educators, and officers [After a long time I, myself became the general secretary of the Momin Conference at the national level, and I participated in many of the conferences with other senior leaders of this movement at Delhi, Calcutta, Lucknow, and many other cities in India]. People of my community are everywhere, so that thing has almost vanished, not vanished, but almost vanished. There is no segregation, no looking down upon and there is a very good atmosphere between the so called upper-caste and lower-caste in India now, presently.