Mumbai: For over 40
years we have known Kader Khan for his humour and dialogues. But
now this Kabul-born Bollywood actor is immersed in academics. He
has designed courses for studies in Arabic and Urdu languages and
says education can remove lot of misconceptions about religion.
The veteran actor is set to fly to Dubai to take forward his dream
of educating as many people in Arabic, Urdu and Hindi. Currently
he is working on setting up the K.K. Institute of Arabic Language
and Islamic Culture at Knowledge City in Dubai.
"I have been developing short and long-term courses in Arabic,
Urdu and Hindi languages. All the hard work has paid off and I am
now looking forward to teaching these languages to all those NRIs
who prefer to keep in touch with the languages and culture," said
Khan is also planning to create an entire syllabus from nursery to
post-graduation in Islamic studies.
"For these courses, I have taken all the Urdu and Arabic texts and
created a simplified version of it. These texts are generally
written in a form not easily understood. In some cases I have also
translated the text to Hindi," he said.
Apart from Dubai, Khan is also gearing up to open an institute in
Toronto, Canada, where he will teach these languages. "When I come
back to India next year, I shall take up similar activities and
classes here also," he said.
Khan, while talking, often mentions his mother Iqbal Begum and
credits her for inculcating the importance of education in him.
His father, Abdul Rehman, who taught in madrassas, added to the
Reminiscing about his early years, Khan said he was barely a year
old when he came to Mumbai.
"I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1952. But my mother was
scared of raising me there. Three of my elder brothers had died
before they were eight years old. My mother believed there was
something wrong in the Kabul air," he rued.
"But the days weren't easy even after we came to Bombay. We used
to stay in a filthy slum in the red-light area as that was the
only place we could afford. Although poverty-stricken, my mother
insisted that I do not give up studies. She even took me to task
once when she discovered that I was planning to work in a tin
factory to earn a few rupees," Khan added.
It was then that he realised the value of education and never
looked back, said Khan. He went on to do his diploma in
engineering and also taught several subjects like the theory of
structures, hydraulics and strength of materials at M.H. Saboo
Siddik College of Engineering in Byculla in south-central Mumbai
as professor of civil engineering.
His love for academics and education reflects in the ceiling-high
bookshelves lining every wall in his small office.
"I had been an academician and I feel now is the time to go back
to it. When I open a full-fledged school of Islamic language
studies, I will dedicate it to my parents who inspired me. I love
my mother for making me who I am today. She was a lioness, who
taught me how to read, to write, to live my life and be the best,"
he said with pride.
Khan, who intends to eradicate misconceptions about religion and
communalism through his courses, said: "With education, a lot of
misconceptions about religion can be eradicated. In my own small
way, I am trying to further this cause."
Khan believes educating more people is the best way to eradicate
poverty and religious misconceptions. "It is very fulfilling to
educate people. Moreover, the more you are educated, the more you
will be ready to explore broader horizons and that will bring
peace," he said.
"The ill name of Islam is something I want to wash off. Islam
spreads peace and if I can do my small bit in spreading harmony, I
don't want anything else," he added.
In his illustrious career, as an actor and dialogue writer, Khan
has acted in 450 movies and written dialogues for over 250 films.
He won the Filmfare Award for best comedian in 1991 for "Baap
Numbri Beta Dus Numbri" and a Screen Award for best performance in
a comic role in 1995 for "Taqdeerwala".
As a dialogue writer Kader Khan's work includes "Ganga Jamuna
Saraswati", "Sharaabi", "Coolie", "Agneepath", "Himmatwala" and "Sarfarosh".
(Mauli Buch can be contacted at email@example.com)