My tribute to Rizwan Qaiser on his first death anniversary

 Today is the first death anniversary of Rizwan Qaiser, professor of history at Jamia Millia Islamia, who succumbed to COVID 19. This news rattled my heart and mind; I was not able to respond to anyone, my close friend Anwar, who shared with me about this news, I was not able to talk to him properly; I excused him, and cut the phone.  

This was a period when I was on the path of recovering from the COVID. I recovered but due to long COVID, I was out of touch with social media. I deliberately logged out from those platforms. I was completely silent for almost two hours in my room and tried to engage with household work. Without saying anything to my family members. Just recalling my relationship with Rizwan sir, and how he contributed to shaping my thought and personality. Our never-ending conversation on everything on the earth history, politics, and whatnot. I also had a long conversation about my personal life and relationship. He always, gave me respect and space to grow myself.

His understanding of history and contemporary politics were unparalleled, to understand the past and identify the future of India, particularly, for the marginalized section, his methods and analysis were always enabling me and other students, to examine the history far beyond the interpretations.

I cannot forget his love and affection during my master's years in Jamia. One day, I was in the Jamia library in the evening, and I received a call from Rizwan sir, he said “Sabri- where are you?” I responded I am in the library, he come to the library gate, I quickly went out, he was sitting on his white scooty. He handed me a food packet and briefed me that this is a special Lucknowi Galawati Kebab.

Today, he is both fondly remembered and sorely missed. He remains a voice of integrity when it comes to questions of secularism and justice for marginalized groups. His scholarship on Maulana Azad will remain an example to complete the historiography of Azad. Rizwan Sir remains an example of unwavering commitment to teaching/scholarship and at the same time always stands for social justice for the most marginalized section of the society.  

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