Monday, 5 May 2014

A Voice from Pakistan Remembers DDG of All India Radio

A friend indeed

This story is about my hero, Professor A.S. Bokhari (commonly known as Pitrus Bokhari) and his heroic act in a time of danger. Professor Bokhari was Deputy Director General of All India Radio. He was a close friend of a noted Indian lawyer and an Indian Independence fighter Asaf Ali and his high-caste Brahmin Hindu wife, Aruna Ganguli. She had acquired fame for hoisting the Indian National Congress flag during the Quit India Movement in 1942.  
Mrs Aruna Asaf Ali, a firebrand Congress activist, fell afoul of the British Raj in India and was declared a proclaimed offender. When she went underground, it was Professor Bokhari who gave her shelter in his home and kept her as an honourable guest for as long as she wanted. He made sure for three years that no one could get a clue about Aruna’s whereabouts. To Professor Bokhari, Aruna was like a real sister and the brotherly instinct he displayed towards her was a natural phenomenon. Like a true brother Professor Bokhari stood by Aruna through thick and thin. Professor Bokhari, through his quiet, dignified and self-sacrificing conduct, showed what it meant to be a friend. He took a position for a worthy cause despite odd and dangerous circumstances. 
The brave Mrs Aruna Asaf Ali eventually re-emerged in 1945 as a free citizen. She became known as the ‘grand old lady’ in her later years for her role in the Independence movement. Professor Bokhari passed away in 1958, but his heroic and courageous act towards his friend stirs my soul to date.
Khawaja Mohammed Yusuf

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