Know about Abdul Hakim Khan: A revolutionary from Lucknow who won hearts in Mumbai!
Our flag is not merely a cloth with colourful stripes. It is a symbol of pride. The flag sings the glorious tales of many heroes, who have laid down their hearts and souls to become the voice of the common man. Some of these stories have earned fame, however, most of them go unnoticed. So today we are bringing to you a tale of one such hero, hailing from the streets of Mumbai.
We are sure you must have heard of Mumbai’s Abdul Hakim Chowk, near Khar Subway, often jam-packed with people, vehicles, and crowded stores. But do you know who Abdul Hakim really was? Well, we found out. Thus, here is the story of a man who rose to be a local legend and a superstar for the commoners.
Standing in the hall of fame
Born in 1938 to a middle-class family in Lucknow, Abdul Hakim Khan was a hardworking soul. His father, Saeed Khan, was a professor at Lucknow’s Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama. At the age of 26, to make a living, Abdul moved to Mumbai‘s Golibar locality in Santacruz and started working for German Remedies, a pharmacy company.
Ridden with inequality, especially against women and children, his locality was unwillingly familiar with daily anti-social behaviour, and hooliganism. In the vicinity, roads were often plodded freely by drunk men and gamblers who caused a nuisance in the area. However, with time, Abdul stood against these problematic issues and rose as a beacon of hope and change.
Soon, for his charismatic personality and brave heart, Abdul became the voice of the masses and was elected as Union Leader. His helpful nature and problem-solving attitude helped him gain fame and he become a renowned household name. People saw him as a leader and knocked on his door with everyday problems, to which Abdul provided strategic solutions.
Four years down the line, in 1968, Khan got married to Najmun Nisa, who later gave birth to two boys. However, when his eldest son Firoz was only four years old, Abdul took his last breath at the mere age of 36, on December 25, 1974.
In conversation with Knocksense, Firoz added, “For three days, no one cooked in the locality. Extra bamboo was tied to the cot so that everyone in the huge crowd got a chance to carry him to the cemetery. Even though our father had a short life, he left lasting imprints on the society."
Feroz further added, “My younger brother, Amjad, and I, are doing our best to carry forward our father's legacy. We have already established a school in the locality, where children get education on a no-profit basis”.
Moreover, we met Abdul's old-time friend, Alimuddin Shaikh, who mentioned, "The impact of Abdul’s bravery was tremendous. And this bravery, and even more so, its impact, turned out to be a story that is held closely by the residents of this area."
Paying homage to his magnetic persona, in 1976, a roundabout in the locality was named after him and is popularly known as Abdul Hakim Chowk. The chawraha, also known as Golibar Naka, features a statue where two hands can been seen holding a book. The book reads “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”!
Held highly in the eyes of his people, Abdul Hakim Khan has left a significant mark on society - as a pillar of change and revolution. So next time when in the area, be sure to consume the celebrated history this place holds. Of course, from a distance, because this chawraha is perpetually crowded!
Address: Abdul Hakim Chowk, Khar, Golibar, Khar East, Mumbai
-With inputs from Md. Sohail Khan