My tribute to Rizwan Qaiser on his first death anniversary


Today marks the first anniversary of the passing of Rizwan Qaiser, a history professor at Jamia Millia Islamia, who lost his battle to COVID-19. This news deeply affected me, leaving me unable to respond to others. When my close friend Anwar shared this news with me, I found it difficult to engage in conversation and abruptly ended the call.

During this period, I was in the process of recovering from COVID-19. Even after recovering, the lingering effects of long COVID kept me away from social media platforms. I intentionally logged out of these platforms and spent nearly two hours in my room, focusing on household tasks without interacting much with my family. I spent this time reflecting on my bond with Rizwan sir and how profoundly he influenced my thoughts and personality. Our endless discussions spanned topics from history and politics to personal matters, and he always granted me respect and room for personal growth.

His grasp of history and modern politics was unmatched. His insights not only helped us comprehend the past but also envision the future of India, especially for marginalized communities. His analytical approach and methods always encouraged me and fellow students to explore history beyond traditional interpretations, allowing for a deeper understanding of historical contexts and implications.

I will always cherish the fond memories from my time pursuing my master's degree at Jamia. One evening, while I was at the Jamia library, I received a call from Rizwan sir asking about my whereabouts. I informed him that I was in the library, and he immediately arrived at the library gate on his white scooty. He handed me a food packet containing special Lucknowi Galawati Kebab, emphasizing its uniqueness. It was a gesture filled with love and care that I'll never forget.

Today, we fondly remember and deeply miss him. He continues to be a symbol of integrity, especially in discussions about secularism and advocating for justice for marginalized communities. His scholarly work on Maulana Azad sets a benchmark for completing Azad's historiography. Rizwan Sir's legacy exemplifies steadfast dedication to teaching and scholarship while consistently advocating for social justice for the most marginalized members of society.

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