Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Quoting British poet Shelley’s famous lines, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind? ” the 75-year-old poet and lyricist Azhar Hashmi said, “If Ram has come, can Ramrajya be far behind?” Hashmi is confident that consecration of Ram idol in Ayodhya will pave way for Ramrajya in the country. Hashmi, a resident of Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, is popular for his song, Mujhe Ramwala Hindustan chahiye (I want Ram’s India), written in 1976. “Those were the days of Emergency. There was despondency, anger and frustration all around. And Ramwala Hindustan song evoked hope, it weaved a vision of a nation based on truth, love and justice,” he told Free Press.
The song featured in Siddharth Kashyap’s 2013 album titled, Rock on Hindustan. The song was sung by playback singer Roop Kumar Rathod and released by filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar. Before that, it was telecast by Doordarshan in 1991 when Ram Janmabhoomi movement was at its peak. According to Hashmi, Mahatma Gandhi too talked of Ramrajya. “After independence, some people went to Bapu and asked him what kind of rule he would like in independent India. Bapu’s answer was – Ramrajya,” he said. Hashmi knows scores of chaupais of Ramcharitmanas by heart. He devotes half-an-hour every day to reading the epic. He also reads Bhagvad Gita and Vedas. In 2017, Hashmi spoke on Lord Ram for three days at a stretch Ravindra Bhavan in Bhopal at an event, Ram Katha, organised by state culture department. Born in Jhalawar in Rajasthan, Hashmi’s parents were Sufis. “I grew up hearing dohas of Kabir and chaupais of Tulsi,” he said.
As a child, Hashmi learned to respect all religions. “All religions urge their followers to love others, to speak truth, to be just and to do one’s duty diligently,” he says. “Satkarma, sadhbhav, sadachar and satyavadita are four virtues needed to become one with Ram. My Ram is udaar, nirmal, saral and pavitra,” he remarked. He retired as professor and head of political science department from government college. Some scholars have done PhDs on his ghazals, poetry and stories. Hashmi, who has given innumerable lectures on Ram, mostly stays at home in Ratlam due to kidney-related issues. But he is sure that he will face no problems. “Ja par kripa Ram ki hoyee, ta par kripa kare har koi,” he said quoting Ramcharitmanas.