Renowned the world over for his contribution to science, Abdus Salam was the first Pakistani to be felicitated with a Nobel Prize.
A monumental first of this kind would have secured a place for any individual in their nation’s pantheon of heroes. But Salam virtually remains unrecognised in his native land.
Now, a documentary on the famed physicist looks poised to rehabilitate Salam in public memory. A riveting trailer of the film devotes much attention to how the nobel laureate’s Ahmadiyya faith continues to polarise public discourse.
“This is the scientific age. No one can escape it. No one in the East can. No one in the West can,” Salam is heard stating emphatically as the teaser commences.
The trailer also contains footage of Salam receiving the Nobel Prize. Salam is seen posing alongside Gustav of Sweden in 1979 and meeting the Pope.
Calling his achievement ‘nothing exceptional’, a cleric proceeds to use the derogatory term Qadiani. “This Nobel Prize awarded to Abdus Salam Qadiani is nothing exceptional, nor it is an extraordinary accomplishment in human history,” he says. “The day you declared me a non-Muslim, is the day you made me a second class citizen,” Salam is heard remarking thereafter.
The trailer then proceeds to document the relentless persecution Ahmadis grapple with in Pakistan. A narrator then eulogises Salam saying, “He was always appreciated by the western world. He was different, he looked different.” Another remembers him as someone who remained devoted to his country.
The teaser concludes with a heart-wrenching image of Salam’s defaced tombstone. “We, the present generation seem to have inherited a house, which has no windows and its walls are very high, and it is very difficult to know, whether we have inherited a house or a prison,” Salam is heard remarking as the trailer concludes on a powerful note.
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