Long live Sajjad Azhar Pirzada

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

Long live Sajjad Azhar Pirzada

My friend Sajjad Azhar Pirzada, a Pakistani journalist living and working in Lahore, is thoroughly secular.


Yesterday, 23rd April, was Hanuman Jayanti ( the birthday of Lord Hanuman ) which is celebrated by many Hindus


On this occasion Sajjad sent me this whatsapp message :

'' Happy Hanuman Jayanti Katju bhai. Best wishes and prarthana.

Jai Bajrangbali

Sajjad Pirzada, Lahore ''

I thanked him and asked'' Can I post your whatsapp message on my facebook page with your name ? ''

Prompt came the reply '' Why not ? Zaroor. Chashm-e-ma roshan, dil-e- mashaad ''

( 'Chashm' means eye, 'roshan' means glowing, 'mashaad' means full of joy. So it means your coming has made my eyes to glow, and filled my heart with joy ).

Sajjad is a remarkable man. He is a person of strong principles, and secularism is one of them. Although he is a Muslim, he respects all religions. On Hindu festivals like dussehra, diwali, holi, janmashtami, etc he always visits the Krishna temple in Lahore, where the head priest Pandit Kashi Ram ji, who has become his friend, gives him prasad, and applies 'tika' on his forehead.

Sajjad's first wife was from a very conservative Muslim family. One day his in-laws saw him with a tika on his forehead, and they strongly objected to it. They told Sajjad that if he wanted his marriage to continue he must give an affidavit that he will never again go to a Hindu temple, or apply tika. Sajjad refused to do that, and consequently his first marriage ended in a divorce.

Now he is happily married to a liberal lady ( who is also a journalist ) and they have 2 lovely children. I often converse with them on whatsapp

Sajjad has interviewed me several times, whose links are given below
Long live Sajjad Azhar Pirzada !
(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court. These are his personal views.)

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