Mohammed Bin Qasim, a 15-year-old Kashmiri, wanted to play cricket but had to sacrifice his passion as his mother wants him to live for Islam.
Bin Qasim was selected for the Jammu and Kashmir Under-16 team to play in the national Vijay Merchant Trophy tournament 2009.
The team won their first game last month but bin Qasim had a shock when his maternal uncle asked him to pack up mid-way through the tournament and return home — because his mother thinks that the boy should live for a “bigger cause”.
His mother is Asiya Andrabi, chief of the hawkish Dukhataran-e-Millat (Daughters of Faith).
“We are not born for bat and ball or, for that matter, to mint money,” said Andrabi. “I told my son to live his life for a bigger cause,” she told IANS on Sunday.
Andrabi, who is fighting for setting up an Islamic theocracy in J&K, its secession from India and merger with Pakistan, said: “Cricket can of course give you name, fame and money. But that is not what we are for in this world. We’ve to work for Islam. Propagate the message of the holy Quran and the Prophet in its true sense....”
How did the boy react to her decision? “My son got emotional. He thought his dreams are shattered...he’s too young to understand this now. But, Alhamdulillah (all praises are for god), he’ll appreciate the decision when he grows up,” she said.
His father Mohammed Qasim Fuktoo, a militant commander, has been in prison since 1994 and is lodged in the Srinagar Central Jail.
Andrabi wants to send Mohammed, a Class 12 student of science stream, to an Islamic seminary for higher studies.
Mohammed’s father Qasim, too, played national-level cricket before joining the separatist movement in the early 1990s.