Malayalam novelist embraces Islam in protest against cremation of Najmal Babu

Malayalam writer Kamal C Chavara says he’s embracing Islam in protest against the cremation of Najmal Babu, a Muslim convert who was formerly TN Joy. Joy, who has been an activist until the end of his life embraced Islam in 2015.

Kamal announced his decision through a Facebook post on Wednesday.

He said that it’s become a disgrace to live as a Hindu anymore and it is a revolutionary act to become a Muslim. “My neck is ready to be cut in the first attack against a Muslim,” he concluded.

Najmal Babu

72-year-old Najmal Babu passed away at Kodungallur on Tuesday. In a spectacular life, he was influenced by both Marxism and spirituality. He was a political thinker, public intellectual, bookseller, healthcare activist, beautician. In 2015 he embraced Islam in solidarity with his Muslim friends in protest against the anti-Muslim conditions in the country.

In 2013, more than a year before his announcement to become a Muslim, he wrote a letter to the Imam of the Kodungallur’s Cheraman Juma Masjid. The longhand letter expressed his wish to buried in the graveyard of the mosque in Muslim customs.

However, his wish was not fulfilled as his family members decided to cremate his body at their place.

The Kerala police used force to remove activists who protested the decision.

Here’s a translation of Kamal’s post.

“It is a disgrace to live as a Hindu anymore. To be a Muslim in a country where Muslims are not only allowed to live but not even to die as one is a need of the moment, a struggle. In today’s India to be a Muslim is a revolutionary act. It’s not that I knew or wish to know about Islam or that I see a glory in Islam. Protesting Najmal Babu’s experience I accept the religion of Islam. My neck is ready to be cut in the first attack against a Muslim.”

Photo – Madhyamam

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