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  Life   More Features  12 Jul 2019  Afraid to say, ‘I am Khan’

Afraid to say, ‘I am Khan’

Published : Jul 12, 2019, 7:16 am IST
Updated : Jul 12, 2019, 7:16 am IST

A Muslim IPS officer’s tweet that says he will change his name to protect himself from a violent crowd, gets no sympathy from his fraternity.

IPS officer Niyaz Ahmed Khan
 IPS officer Niyaz Ahmed Khan

Niyaz Ahmed Khan, an IPS officer of the central Madhya Pradesh government, recently tweeted that he had been transferred 19 times in the 17 years of his service because he belonged to the minority Muslim community. He posted on Twitter: “Since no institution is capable to save us, it is better to switch the name. The new name will save me from the violent crowd. If I have no topi, no kurta and no beard, I can get away easily by telling my fake name to the crowd. However, if my brother is wearing traditional clothes and has a beard, he is in a most dangerous situation. (sic)”

The officer’s statement did not go unnoticed, it did cause a flutter in the bureaucratic cirlce, but sadly, nobody came forward to support him.  Former chief secretary Dinesh Kumar said, “I don’t know whether mob lynching has acquired such proportions. Name changing seems to be more for propaganda purpose. To me, it’s without substance, hence not much support.”

When TMC MP Nusrat Jahan, who was issued a fatwa over her donning the sindoor and marrying a non-Muslim, she had many like TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty, Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi, former Union Minister Arif Mohammad Khan, Former AAP member Ashutosh and others came out in her support.

Sadly, Niyaz Ahmed Khan’s angst was ignored by his fraternity. Says Akunuri Murali, senior IAS, “Basically IAS officers are very selfish like average Indians and they don’t want to attract the fury of the government so that their postings are not affected. If you see the 2017 batch of IAS officers, nine officers have not been given postings since eight months in Telangana which is very unusual and discouraging. Despite this, the IAS association did not do anything. Slowly, the bureaucracy is becoming totally paralysed. The government is terrorising the bureaucracy by dumping certain officers to non-cadre posts, for example, Suresh Chand, B. R. Meena, Murali etc.”

Meanwhile, Niyaz Khan says that he is writing his sixth novel, which will depict alleged discriminatory treatment by officers from his freternity.

Replying to Niyaz’s tweet, an IAS on the condition of anonymity says, “India is a secular nation and I don’t think any government will encourage mob lynching. It’s the mindset of the people that needs to be changed. The same can be said about chauvinistic Muslims who resorted to insulting Nusrat Jahan with bigoted comments online for apparently marrying outside her community.”

Rajat Kumar, IAS Chief Electoral Officer & E.O. Principal Secretary to Government of Telangana, says, “I think religion is a personal issue and individuals must be allowed to exercise their choice as per the provisions of the Indian Constitution. In case any group or individual interferes with this right, the law of the land will have to take its course.”

But Niyaz clearly articulates the point that he is being harassed, and yet, no supoort from any quarter.

It’s very unfortunate that a bureaucrat has to resort to the extent of changing his name due to threat or harm in any manner, feels IPS M. L. Kumawat, who was Special Secretary (internal security) in the Union Home Ministry during the 26/11 attacks. “The recent movie, Article 15 shows that no one should be discriminated against, irrespective of caste or creed. Moreover, when the Constitution of India begins with ‘We’, why can’t we be strong and united?” asks M. L. Kumawat.

While all this sounds good on paper, it does very little good to the aggreived person. Nobody seems to have understood Niyaz’s plight.

Says former Director of SVP National Police Academy D R Doley Barman, “This has been the case with bureaucrats, be it Hindus or Muslims. They want to play safe.” She cites the case of IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who has been sentenced to a life term in prison. His wife is fighting a lone battle for her husband, no support from anyone in the fraternity, whatsoever.

Tags: nusrat jahan, niyaz ahmed khan