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Islamic Voice Logo
MONTHLY    *    Vol 13-04 No:148    *   APRIL 1999/ MUHARAM 1419H
email: editor@islamicvoice.com

COMMUNITY ROUNDUP


Gujarat Type "Census" of Muslim Institutions in West Bengal
Poor Representation of Muslims Forum Set up for Agriculture Development
Working Group on Slums
Seminar on Communalism
Admission to Muslim Students in Govt. Residential Schools
Advocates' Conference
Milli Council Convention
English Lessons on E-mail


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Major Kaleelur Rahman distributing prizes at the valedictory function held on March 19, 1999 to the participants of six week "Spoken English Language Course" conducted by Centre for Objective Studies" at Darrussalam for the fresh graduates who passed from Sabeelur Rashad, Arabic College, and 14 students completed the course. The course was developed and conducted by Dr. Shaukat Ali, of Bangalore University.



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The message on the hoarding was put up by the Canara Bank, a Government of India undertaking at its head office on J.C. Road in Bangalore on the eve of Ugadi and Idul Azha, two festivals observed by important communities. The ofending message sent representatives of several communities into action. The hoarding was removed after wiser counsels reesatablished their sway. People were left wondering if banks were the right purveyors of the message, given their role as the custodians of people's money.



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Gujarat Type "Census" of Muslim Institutions in West Bengal

By Mozaffar Islam, Calcutta

CALCUTTA: After saffron, it is now the turn of the red West Bengal to deploy intelligence agencies to carry out a detailed survey of mosques, madrassas and Muslim institutions. The intelligence branch of the state police in cooperation with the local police stations launched an intensive survey of Muslim institutions in January. The intelligence outfits have been asking, searching questions about the key person behind the institutions. It has caused widespread resentment among Muslims who apprehend that the statistics would be used to demonise the community and kick up hatred against Muslims in a state that has remained free from communal virus during the Marxist rule.

The survey has been carried out mainly in the border districts of Malda, Nadia, Murshidabad and also in Hoogly district. Questions are also being asked about the Muslim NGOs that “are receiving foreign funds to run the madrassas”. In 24-Paragana district, the IB had been seeking details about the institutions that are funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). In Murshidabad district, the imams are asked whether they had visited Makkah and Bangladesh, performed hajj, or visited other Muslim countries.

According to sources, there are nearly 1,050 mosques in districts along the border of Bangladesh.

The IB has also undertaken a demographic survey of the Indo-Nepal border indicating that a large number of new Muslim settlements came up on the West Bengal-Bihar border. According to sources, even the Border Security Forces had carried out a similar survey. According to this survey, over 100 new madrassas were constructed in Calcutta, Krishnagar and Malda sectors in seven years time (1992-99). During the period the number of mosques also rose to 200.

The West Bengal Madrassa Board has confirmed that state intelligence officers had approached them for a census of Muslim educational institutions, the board was also informed that the survey was being conducted at the directive of the Central government.

Congress MLA Sultan Ahmed has condemned the “census” as a tool of oppression and asked the West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu to immediately stop the operations. Forward Bloc leader and deputy speaker of West Bengal Assembly has said there was no question of receiving foreign money and all madrassas were run through zakath charities, which Muslims set apart every year by way of 2.5 per cent of their accumulated wealth.

However, Jyoti Basu has assured the Minorities Commission chairman Tahir Mahmood, that there would be no census of Muslim educational institutions in a letter in response to Dr. Mahmood’s missive earlier last month.

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Poor Representation of Muslims Forum Set up for Agriculture Development

BANGALORE: Dr. Zakir Hussain Forum for Agriculture Development was set up here on March 20 in order to promote awareness about farm sciences and allied subjects among Muslim students. The Forum would provide counselling in PUC colleges, explain prospects and arrange scholarships etc for the Muslim students.

Concern was expressed over meagre representation of Muslims in Agriculture and allied science courses by Muslim staff members of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore (UAS), social workers and educationists. It was pointed out that of the 3,500 students in the 10 courses being taught at the University here, only 63 were Muslims which accounts for less than two per cent.

Setting the tone for the effort, Dr. Taj Shoukath, member of the Board of Regents of the UAS, said the Muslim students were ignoring the farm and allied sciences in pursuit of courses that carry more glamour, money and prospects of job abroad. She said over half a dozen foundations in Bangalore were providing scholarships etc. Dr. S A Rahman, Director of Instructions, UAS, said during the last 10 years, not a single Muslim student figured in merit list of admission in the University. All Muslims found admission through OBC or Muslim quota. Prof. M. M. Khan explained the admission procedure. Prof. Mir Qamar Ali talked about reservation system. Prof Nazeer Ahmed Khan said the prospects for jobs and self-employment had vastly expanded in agriculture and related fields. Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj emphasized that the community should diversify its professional profile.

Presiding, K. Rahman Khan, MP, said Muslims should not blame the government for discrimination. He said those able among the community, were getting their due place in the society. Mr. Khan said agriculture was receiving the most favourable treatment from the government in matters of financing, electricity and other inputs and was a high yielding sector. He said Muslims should enter the sector in a big way.

Governor of Karnataka, Khurshed Alam Khan, has consented to be the chief patron of Dr. Zakir Hussain Forum for Agriculture Development.

K. Rahman Khan is the Chairperson. Dr. Taj Shoukath is the Hony Secretary. More information and career booklet on Agriculture can be had from: Forum for Agriculture Development, Al-Ameen Education complex, Devarajeevanahalli, Bangalore-45.

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Working Group on Slums

By A Staff Writer

BANGALORE: A working group has been formed here under the aegis of the Ahmedabad based Institute For Initiatives in Education (IFIE) to take up the work of education, health, communal harmony, employment and women’s empowerment. Mrs. Benazir Baig of the Raza Educational and Social Welfare Society has been nominated the convener. In its first meeting on March 21, the working group decided to concentrate on certain slums of Bangalore. In order to set the ball rolling, a team of workers visited the D. J. Halli Slums to take a look at the problems. The group would take up amelioration work in a portion of D. J. Halli slums, Khader shareef Gardens and Koramangala slums.

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Seminar on Communalism

In a seminar on “Muslims and Communalism” under the auspices of IFIE at United Theological College at Bangalore on March 14, the participants decided to work on the five-point agenda and bring about awareness. Presiding at the seminar, IFIE Director, Hanif Lakdawala said the Institute’s work in Ahmedabad slums concentrated on education, health, women’s empowerment, employment for all and easy credit facilities had paid dividends. He said a baseline survey in Millatnagar colony with a population of 20,000 in the city had found that the infant mortality was 120 per 1,000 births, 38 neo-natal deaths, zero per cent immunisation and 68 per cent malnutrition. He said Sanchetana, a body under the IFIE, began working in the colony by training 10 girls as health workers and a clinic which prescribed only low-cost medicine. A survey conducted after some years revealed that malnutrition had decreased to 47 per cent. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj recounted the 22-point communal agenda of spreading myths about Muslims which created gulf between Hindus and Muslims. He said some of the myths were borne out of innocent misgivings about Islam, Muslims and Muslim history of India while others were the result of deliberate mischief. Maqsood Ali Khan, Editor, Salar Daily, said Muslims should not bother about the fabricated charges against Muslims. Among the speakers were Prof. Hassan Mansur, Lalitha, Amathur Rahman Rahmani, Mrs. Benazir Baig, Shabana Azam, Prof. Marulsiddappa, Bijoykumar, Jameela Nishath, Shahar Bano, Shrikar etc.

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Admission to Muslim Students in Govt. Residential Schools

BANGALORE : According to the information received from the Director for Urdu and other minority languages, for the year 1999 - 2000, admissions are open for the 5th standard classes in the Muslim residential schools at Ramnagram (Bangalore Dvn), Srirangapatnam (Mysore Dvn), Gulbarga (Gulbarga Dvn), Bijapur (Bijapur Dvn). The parents of the children who have passed the 4th standard class are requested to get their childrens in these residential schools for whom the boarding and lodging would be free and would be given free education upto the 10th standard. Such students are eligible for admission whose parents income is Rs.11,000 per annum or less, or who have green cards.

Fifty students (25 boys and 25 girls) would be admitted in each school.Application can be had from the BEO of the divisions concerned from 10th to 15th April 1999, prescribed and duly fulfilled applications should be submitted on or before 25/4/1999. Application should be accompanied by income certificate, caste certificate and rural certificate. Eighty percent (80%) seats are reserved for rural applicants. If there are more than 50 applications for a school, admissions would be made on the basis of an entrance examination, which would be held on 10th May. Only students belonging to the particular division can apply for admission to the residential school of that division.

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Advocates' Conference

PUNE: The All India Advocates Association representing lawyers from the SC, ST, OBC and Minority communities will hold a conference at Pune in the month of May to discuss the difficulties faced by the advocates from the communities. It will also discuss the changes proposed in the Indian Constitution by various parties. In a press release from its sub-office at Pune, Vice President Baji Rao Kamble has said that the conference would take up the question of appointment of judges, legal advisors, reservation in judicial postings etc. The press release said the organisation had protested against the installation of statue of Manu in front of Rajasthan High Court. It said the organisation had requested the Chief Justice of India to order the removal of the statue. For more information contact: All India Advocates Association, 213, Than Singh Nagar, Anand parbat, New Delhi-110005.

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Milli Council Convention

BANGALORE : All India Milli Council, Karnataka will be holding a one day State convention here on April 11, 1999 at Darrussalam, Queens Road. In a press release by the Secretary General Moulana Mufti Ashraf Ali.

The convention will discussion the issues of minorities at the district level and the forth coming Assembly elections.

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English Lessons on E-mail

TALIPARAMBA (KERALA): Prof. T. P. M. Shareef of Sir Syed College at Taliparamba has prepared lessons in English literature and grammar for undergraduate and PUC students. The lessons are available through e-mail. Aspirants can contact on shareef@netscape.net or campuskerala@netscape.net

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