By Latheef Farook
Few years ago, when the government sponsored violence against Muslims unleashed by saffron and civil mercenaries were at its peak ‘I got into a three wheel drive at Wellawatta to go to Kollupitiya.
The young and knowledgeable three wheel driver who initiated discussion on violence touched politics which ruined the country said, “Sir, all what we need is good Sinhala speaking Muslim politicians like Imthiaz Bakeer Markar who is loved by Sinhalese and Muslims alike.
I asked him do you know him. “I have not met him but I formed my opinion after reading newspapers “.
Imthiaz has been a voracious reader and in his house one could see almost all newspapers besides heap of books which he reads. He not only read these newspapers to keep himself up to date but also started writing especially in the Sinhala newspapers to share what he heard, saw and felt with likeminded people.
He has collected articles published in “Iruresa” newspaper which was later name changed to Irudina.
The topics covered almost everything from sex to Shakespeare., as time and again told by my dear former colleague at Ceylon Observer Thalif Deen, a former UN Bureau Chief and Regional Director at Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.
In the same way Imthiaz wrote in brief about local politics, regional, Middle East and US led European invasions and destructions of Muslim countries, Arab springs , genocide in Bosnia and much more.
In doing so he has exposed Israeli atrocities about which most Sri Lankans remain ignorance due to one sided media coverage. He has also dealt with moral issues such as honesty, integrity, unity, harmony, injustice and the like.
In his foreword to the book “BEYOND COMMON NARRATIVES”, a collection of articles, Prof Chandrasiri Palliyaguru of Kelaniya University had this to state; ’The most important feature I identify in this book is that more than a politician he is engaged in a notable deed of imparting knowledge to his readers, as an effective communicator . Imthiaz is a veteran communicator, the highest endeavor of such a person is to provide knowledge and understanding to his readers. To do that a communicator should also be highly knowledgeable person. It is not an exaggeration to say that this rare ability found in Imthiaz is displayed in every article in his book.
In his comments the author Imthiaz had this to state; The challenge in this era is to work according to one’s intellect and conscience. In this regard, we should try to use the guidance received from the religions we believe in, as a source of strength. Two sentences in “Dhammapada” and the “Quran” which have created a deep impression in me, comes to my mind at this juncture.
“ If some action taken by you causes you satisfaction in retrospect it will be prudent to repeat such .If a certain action taken by you causes you to repent later, it is advisable to desist from such action”-Dhammapada-
“Believers rise up for justice, rise up for justice even it goes against you, your parents, relatives or any rich or poor person. God will protect you in it-Holy Quran.
In his comments Siri Ranasinghe, Editor in Chief of Daily Lankadeepa said the articles in the book are not only fine works of literature, but also must be recognized as a service to the public which nourishes the readers perspective on political, economic, social and religious aspects.
Disclaimer: Imthiaz’ book titled “Beyond Common Narratives”
Fine Work of Literature says veteran journalist Siri Ranasinghe - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view