Seer’s Muslim chauffeur drives down memory lane

Humane pontiff
Last Updated 30 December 2019, 02:50 IST

When Vishwesha Theertha Swami appointed a Muslim chauffeur to drive his car, a few inside Krishna Mutt and Hindu organisations criticised the move of the seer. However, he did not give a thought to it and remained firm on his stand.

The driver, Mohammed Arif, had this to say about the seer a few years ago: “Three members of my family had served as car drivers to Pejawar seer. Mohammed Akhir served for three years, Mohammed Mansoor for seven years and I served him for one and a half years,” said Arif.

“Though a few call the seer as communal, I had not come across his communal attitude while serving the mutt as a driver. I continue to revere him as ‘Swami’ even today,” he says proudly.

“When there was opposition to appointing me as his driver, he did not bother about it and asked me whether I was finding it difficult to work for him. When I told him there was no problem, he asked me not to bother about criticism,” he said.

The seer’s stand increased my respect towards him. “As long as I was the driver, I have moved freely inside the Mutt and the religion did not come in the way of my freedom,” he said.

“While driving the car and taking the seer to various places, he would often ask me whether I offer Namaaz. When I said I offer Namaaz, he told me not to stop offering Namaaz.

“Namaaz is a holy work and he did not have any objection to me offering Namaaz,” said Arif, while explaining the humane nature of the seer.

“The seer had advised me to love and respect other religions along with respecting and loving one’s own religion,” he said.

Explaining the pontiff’s vast knowledge on other religions, he said the seer had studied Quran.

“In spite of hailing from the Muslim community, I consider Pejawar seer as my guru. I did not work with the Swami for money. He would often ask me about the condition at home and also about my food. The Muslims had not opposed Pejawar seer. The Muslims have always donated in kind for the Paryaya of Pejawar mutt. The seer had even organised Iftar Koota at the mutt,” he said.

Arif said, “I had to resign from work owing to personal reasons. I am ready to serve the seer any time. We have started Pejawar Blood Bank, to donate blood for the needy and the poor.”

“I did not enter the mutt after consuming non-vegetarian food, while serving the seer. I used to have non-vegetarian food after my work hours,” said Arif.

(Published 29 December 2019, 17:24 IST)

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