Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.




Dt:  5/7/21


-Dr T H Chowdary*


I was  District Manager of  Pune  Telephones  during 1974-76. I was living in the official quarters in  Pune  Cantonment. My neighbour was a doctor  ( a Muslim referred to as M)  who was in -charge  of  one of the  P&T dispensaries  in the   city. He was in his  early 30s . His wife is a very beautiful lady  coming from a rich  and socially well  placed Muslim family in Karnataka.  They  had  an young charming girl about 8 years of age. Mrs Chowdary and  Mrs. M  were good friends.  Living with the  doctor’s family was the   doctor’s widow mother.


2. Mrs. M  used to visit our home when I was not there and would tell her  story of  misery to Mrs. Chowdary. The misery was,  the doctor husband was flirting with a lady   Nurse.  It went to the  extent of the doctor deciding to marry her as the second wife. His mother was encouraging him to do so, to the utter distress of  his wife.  M’s mother was telling the daughter -in-law that Islam permitted four wives at anytime ( Prophet Mohammed had eight wives, six of  them former widows, the seventh  a divorcee and the  eighth, a girl of nine years when he was past fifty.  Khadija, his first wife  was eight years older than  he. The eight marriages were contracted after Khadija’s death).  Mrs. M   prevailed upon my wife  to persuade  me to intervene and see that  this love  affair is ended. Mrs. M did not want a rival   to her as the wife of the  doctor.


3. I was in a dilemma.  The people concerned are Muslims. In the  city I am known  to be  a good  and professing  Hindu.  If I do anything unpleasant to the Muslim doctor,  there could be a charge that I was discriminating against Muslim employees.   The pressure from the doctor’s wife  and my wife was  much. Then I sent word to the parents  of the doctor’s wife in Karnataka. I told  them the  story . They said  I should  intervene decisively in whatever manner I can do to save their daughter from having a rival as a wife of the doctor.


4. I transferred the lady Nurse to another dispensary.  The doctor   pleaded with me to cancel   the transfer order. I did not oblige.  He tried to whip up some Muslim  organizations  against me saying that  I acted on communal bias. This  did not  cut ice because there was another Muslim activist and writer Hamid  Dalwai who went public giving out the story in detail and the  action that was taken by me as justified.  I heaved a sigh   of relief.  Mrs. M was grateful to me even as her mother- in-law was cursing me. The  father and mother  of the lady  came from Karnataka to thank me when this agitation was going on . I  felt very uneasy because of the charges of communalism. I came  with honour for doing the right thing in this affair.  ( 495 words)