Allama Iqbal is one of the greatest poets of the sub-continent but it might come as a surprise to even his most ardent fans that a symposium was held on Iqbal's 'kuchh' in Bhopal.
Senior RSS and BJP leaders attended it [as Madhya Pradesh has a BJP government and all keyposts in culture department now have RSS sympathisers who are generally considered averse to Iqbal].
Still, the event was held successfully. This 'Kuchh' [something*] comes from Iqbal's famous couplet
'Kuchh baat hai ki hasti miT-ti nahiiN hamaari' and the RSS-BJP ideologues gathered at Aiwan-e-Mulla Ramoozi to discuss what lies behind this 'kuchh' in this couplet.
The Iqbal Markaz conducted the event and MP Sahitya Academy chief Dr Devendra Deepak organised it. Speaker after speaker tried to dissect this 'kuchh'. [Iqbal might be turning in his grave with the interpretations. Some interpretations were really good but a few others were too wild and; far-fetched].
A police official said that Afghanistan prided on its cultural heritage but today it is a destroyed nation and so we must learn to protect our 'kuchh' lest we also get on the same path of destruction.
A senior BJP leader said that 'kuchh' was so meaningful and 'the depth of the word here 'intellectually stimulating'--just the kind of stimulation which ever society needs'.....[my goodness].
...is kuchh mein kuchh zaroor hai....Iqbal ka kuchh hamari sanskriti [culture] ...blah blah.....is kuchh mein nihit bhav ko samajhne ki avashyakta hai.....Surely, it was interesting event.
At least Iqbal is remembered in Bhopal. Even when the poet's name was anathema at All India Radio and those in government avoided holding or participating any event on him, the State government not only aided Iqbal Library and assisted Kull Hind Allama Iqbal Adabi Markaz but also constructed the Minaar-e-Iqbal.
Now the BJP administration is also enthusiastically working for spreading the work of Iqbal at the state-level though at national level they are not keen on Urdu or Iqbal. Where else anybody could have organised a seminar with the topic 'kuchh baat'.
Would anybody have imagined holding such an event in his Lahore or Sialkot! The banners read 'kuchh baat' and the invitations also had this prominently mentioned on the top. Some newspapers find it odd and mentioned that it was a seminar on Iqbal's couplet.
In fact, last year also a workshop on Iqbal's kuchh was organised in Bhopal.
[*The couplet can be translated loosely as: There is something in our civilisation that we have survived despite numerous attacks...]