Ghazanfar Ali Khan
Hundreds of fans assembled to meet, greet and felicitate Pratapgarhi in Riyadh

A cross-section of the Indian diaspora organized recently a felicitation ceremony in honor of legendary poet and politician Imran Pratapgarhi, whose accomplishments in the fields of poetry and politics warrant extraordinary recognition. The felicitation was followed by the recitation of Urdu poems, ghazals, ballads, and poetic satires by Pratapgarhi in which he highlighted the social and political realities with special reference to the genocide being committed by Israel in Gaza.

The felicitation ceremony featured the presentation of several flower bouquets to Pratapgarhi, a member of the Indian parliament. He was also presented with an appreciation trophy on behalf of the Indian diaspora in Riyadh. Pratapgarhi, who is also chairman of the AICC Minority Department and a member of the Aligarh Muslim University’s Court, entertained the audience with his new compositions. Today, Pratapgarhi has a huge presence on social media with his forceful poetry. While his YouTube channel has 1.55 million subscribers, his Facebook page has about two million followers.

Pratapgarhi, who earned fame for his biting commentary on the state of affairs in India, was invited to Riyadh by his friends Talib Ur Rehman, Deputy Managing Director of Al Hada Group and former chairman of International Indian School (IISR), and Ghazanfar Ali Khan, a senior journalist and media consultant. Talib led the four-member organizing committee comprising Dr Dilnawaz Roomi, Mohammed Fakhre Alam, and Ghazanfar Ali Khan. The event witnessed a huge turnout of over 600 persons, including leading Indian businessmen, professionals, and women. 

At the event in Riyadh, Pratapgarhi’s rendition resonated deeply with the audience, making them feel as if they were connected to the entirety of their society. 

On his campaign trail in India, he intersperses his speeches with couplets and verses rich in overtones of satire, politics, and criticism of political parties. Pratapgarhi, who visited Riyadh for the first time after becoming a member of the Indian parliament, was felicitated by several community organizations, community leaders, and individuals. The event was attended by several prominent guests, including  Omair Khan, in-charge of the AICC Minority Department of Jharkhand, Maulana Mohammed Abutalib Rehmani, member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Motiur Rahman, founder of Bukhari University, Kishanganj (Bihar), Dr Nadeem Tarin, businessman, and Mohammed Amanullah, owner of Al Afaq Trading Company.

Speaking on this occasion, Abutalib Rahmani touched on the current situation in India with special reference to the plight of Muslims and minorities. Motiur Rahman, in his speech, called on the people, especially the Indian diaspora in Riyadh, to support the Bukhari University. The university project in the Muslim-majority district Kishanganj in Bihar is nearing completion. A prominent community leader, Abdul Ahad Siddiqui, president of the Purwanchal Welfare Association, introduced chief guest Pratapgarhi.

In his address to the audience, Omair Khan, who participated in the Bharat Jodo Yatra with Rahul Gandhi, spoke about his association with Pratapgarhi. A leading businessman Dr. Nadeem Tarin, and Mohammed Amanullah, owner of Al Afaq Trading Company, spoke on the occasion. The event also witnessed the launch of 15 media initiatives to support and safeguard the interests of Muslims and minorities in India.

Dr. Dilnawaz Roomi gave a vote of thanks, mentioning the generous support extended by friends and commercial organizations. Major sponsors include Engr Mohammed Nayeem, Viqar Hassan, Dr. Nadeem Tarin, Mohammed Amanullah, Rashid Ali Sheikh, Bakhtiyar Khan, Engr. Owais Ahmed, Nasim A. Biag, Anwarul Haque, Abdul Azim Khan, Mohd Shah Alam, Zaigham Khan, Anis Alam, Abrar Ahmed, Syed Ghufran, and Peshkar Ahmed.

He also thanked several individual sponsors, who took the sizeable number of invitation cards and distributed them free among their friends and relatives. Pratapgarhi presented several appreciation plaques to sponsors and community leaders, including Shahjahan Ansari, owner of Mashal and Garden Restaurants, the event’s official caterer. Sohail Ahmed, the emcee, gave the introductory remarks and kept the audience engaged from beginning to end. 

A short video on the life and achievements of the poet-turned-politician Pratapgarhi was also shown during the event. The felicitation ceremony began with a recitation of the Holy Quran by Qari Abdul Rehman Omari. A cross-section of who’s who of Saudi Arabia at the event included Prof. Asif Rameez Daudi, Dr Dilshad Ahmad, Wasi Haider Rizvi, Dr Misbhaul Arifin, Faiz Ahmed, Iftekhar Ahmed, and Sultan Mazharuddin.

Talibur Rahman hosted a lavish dinner in honor of Pratapgarhi, while Dr Nadeem Tarin organized a lunch buffet at his residence for the guests. During his three-day stay in Riyadh, Fakhre Alam hosted a lunch at the city’s Chingari Restaurant, while the  Indian Education Forum (IEF) led by Dr Dilshad hosted a breakfast and interactive session. Shahjahan also organized a luncheon reception in his restaurant in Badia District of Riyadh.

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