Thursday, April 30, 2009

Now Azamgarh throws up a hero: Kamran Khan

The story of teenaged Kamran Khan, who belonged to a poor family and is now playing for the Rajasthan Royals cricket team in the second season of IPL, is more important as it brings cheer to a place that had earned notoriety lately.

Khan, a speedster, hails from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. It has been a long time since a good story emerged from the place, which unfortunately got linked to mafia (Abu Salem) and later for terror links.

Such was the situation that youths (both Hindu and Muslim) hailing from any City or town in the Azamgarh district that has a population of 4 million, found it almost impossible to get jobs or houses on rent. They had to conceal their identities, just because of the misdeeds of a few and a hysteria created by certain news channels about the place termed 'Aatankgarh'.

Khan manages to bowl as fast as 140 kmph and has been getting wickets in his first four matches, even playing an important the team's wins. He hasn't played a first class match till date but has managed to secure a contract of Rs 12 lakh and is now playing in Indian Premier League in South Africa.

He hails from Nadwa Sarai village. After his father's death, Kamran's mother rolled 'bidis' to eke out a living and run the household. The left-arm seamer earlier used to play tennis ball cricket but has taken to T20 rather effortlessly.

Sporting success makes the best statement

Just recently a guy asked my reaction on a Muslim girl becoming the top ranked player in women's tennis. Dinara Safina, a Tatar, is the number 1 player in WTA rankings. Earlier her brother Marat Safin had also been the highest ranked player in men's category for a short while.

Though excelling in competitive tennis that is played in almost 200 countries is an altogether different achievement, the fact remains that accomplishments in fields like sports go a long way towards changing perception about communities.

Indians have never never had any dearth of sporting heroes. We have them belonging to all communities. Though it's just the beginning of a career for the young lad, poet Kaifi Azami's birthplace has got a hero, which it needed so desperately in these times.

Azamgarh needs more such youths may excel in education, sports, social work or any other spehere of life. Of course dedication is needed. But Azamgarh has produced men of learning and erudition in the past. It needs to reclaim that past glory.

Earlier post
Defaming Azamgarh: Residents charter train to Delhi to protest linking the City with Terror