Rabi-Ul Awwal/Rabi-Ul Akhir 1423 H
Volume 15-06 No:186
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New Delhi : The All India Milli Council, the leading Muslim organisation, deputed a three-member team to make a preliminary survey of the violence-affected areas of Gujarat. In its report, the team has alleged that anti-Muslim violence was planned well in advance by the Sangh Parivar and the BJP government of Gujarat collaborated with the blood-thirsty goons in carrying out genocide of the Muslims. It said it had nothing to do with the Godhra train carnage. The train carnage is now being used as an excuse to justify violence against Muslims. The team of the Council was led by former Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police, Mauji Khan IPS(Retd.,) and had two more members, Dr. Tasleem Rahmani and Parvez Aftab. It has put the death toll in Gujarat violence at 3,000 and said three days prior to the Godhra carnage, Muslims in the villages had been asked to vacate the village or else suffer death. As a result, the report said, thousands of Muslim families had reached relief camps in the cities by the morning of February 28. The report is pessimistic about the early return of refugees to their village from the relief camps. In several villages, the communal bodies have put up several conditions for return of Muslims. They have declared that Muslims can return on the condition that they would not construct mosques, no azan would be called and they will not grow beards. Terming the peace committees meaningless, it said even individuals who participated in violence against Muslim families in villages were now being inducted as members in the local peace committees. It said every village now has boards declaring that it is a province of the Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation).The report said, Muslim businesses were special targets of attack. Even three months after the start of the violence, nearly 25,000 Muslim families cannot return to their homes in Muslims, were systematically destroyed by the arsonists. Chillias had established a monopoly over the highway hotels through hard work and industriousness. All minority owned garages and workshops in Transport Nagar in Naroda area of Ahmedabad were burnt down. Thousands of people employed by these businesses are now unemployed, the report added.
An element of preplanning is evident from the fact that the mausoleum of Urdu poet Vali Gujarati that once stood opposite the office of the City Police Commissioner, was demolished, land levelled, road built and traffic signs painted over it, the report cited. As the Waqf Board office was burnt down in the first strike by charged mobs, the properties belonging to mosques, dargahs and monastries have become vulnerable to adverse occupation by the communal mafia. The report puts the number of mosques completely destroyed during early two weeks of violence at 500.
It seems, the report says, the primary lust of the marauding hordes was the honour of women in a large number of cases. Hundreds of women were killed after being raped. Those who survived, are in extremely distressed mental condition. Several of the survivors were left as dead by the goons. There were instance of a single woman being gang-raped by even up to 20 persons. The violence betrays sadism with victims first being tortured, their limbs being severed, urinated upon and then burnt even while being alive. The element of pre-planning could be imagined by the fact that nearly 1.5 lakh anti-social elements were gathered, divided into squads of about 1,000 persons each and set upon Muslim mohallas(localities). They were paid Rs. 500, liquor bottles and complete freedom to roam, rob, and ransack the Muslim homes and businesses. At several places, the BJP legislators were leading the mobs, the report alleged. Two Gujarat ministers were sitting and controlling the operations from the Police Control Room in Ahmedabad, it added. Member of the team, Dr. Tasleem Rahmani said the violence and bloodshed took place on extensive scale in Ahmedabad and in the district of Nadiad, Dhahod, Godhra, Panchamahals, Kheda and Anand.
The Council team said Home Minister L. K. Advani was confusing the people by issuing misleading statements by selectively condemning Godhra carnage which the team said, was a big mystery. He demanded an independent and impartial -partisan probe into the Godhra incident. It said any investigation by the Gujarat government or its agencies would lack credibility. It said Gujarat violence is a challenge to secular forces and poses a grave threat to the nation’s unity and integrity.Top
Hyderabad: “The Genocide in Gujarat is a fit case to be argued in the International Court of Justice at the Hague’, opined the speakers at a symposium held here last fortnight. Speakers including the former Chairman of the National Minorities Commission, Justice Sardar Ali Khan, Dalit activist Professor Kancha Illaiah and civil liberties activists were unanimous that the planned attacks on minorities in Gujarat was a fit case to be argued in the International Court of Justice. Sardar Ali Khan, who has also worked as a member of various committees of the United Nations on the rights of minorities, said the gravity of the crimes against humanity in Gujarat was such that the culprits could be dragged to the international courts.
The symposium “Genocide in Gujarat: An action for future” was organised jointly by the Forum for Social Justice and the Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians to arrive at a consensus on the action plan to be adopted to prevent communal pogrom in future like the one in Gujarat. Sardar Ali Khan said, India being a signatory to the United Nations charter on human rights was bound to protect the lives and properties of minorities and give them all rights to follow and preach the religion of their choice. He also wanted the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to adhere to the Nehru-Liyaqat pact on protection of minorities. Sardar Ali Khan, who also served as acting chief justice of Andhra Pradesh, said Article 356 of the Constitution of India should be invoked to dismiss the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. He said the union home minister L. K. Advani misled the nation on Article 355 and added that it could be used whenever a state government failed in its duty to maintain law and order.
Kancha Illaiah, professor of political science at Osmania University, advised Muslims to extend their hand of friendship to Dalits to foil the evil designs of the Brahmin lobby. “There will not be a single communal riot in the country if Muslims join hands with Dalits and isolate Brahmins who have been pitting Muslims against Dalits under a deep rooted conspiracy,” said Illaiah. Author of the book Why I am not a Hindu, Illaiah later told this correspondent that Brahmins were succeeding in their designs as Muslims had failed to understand the fact that Dalits were not Hindus. “In every communal violence, Muslims see Dalits as Hindus and Brahmins exploit this situation,” he said. The Dalit activist regrets that Muslims had failed to see the situation in the context of the Hindu caste system and had never tried to bridge the gap with Dalits. “How long Muslims will live in their ghettos. They should come out, mix with the untouchables and explain to them what Islam offers to them. Will they get what has been denied to them by uppercastes for centuries,” he asked. Illaiah laments that no Muslim intellectual ever wrote any book on Hindu caste system and on Dalits’ sufferings. “There is not a single book written by a Muslim on the subject,” he said.
He said Christians had succeeded where Muslims had failed. “Indian Christians understood the Brahmin conspiracy and foiled it by associating themselves with the problems of Dalits. That is why the uppercastes failed in their attempts to engineer large scale riots against Christians,” he said and pointed out that unlike Muslims, the Christian intelligentsia took up an effective international campaign when they were subjected to attacks by upper castes. He wondered why Indian Muslims never thought of taking up the matter with United Nations and how the entire Muslim world remained silent over the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat. According to Illaiah, the Dalits had two choices before them—Christianity or Islam. Pointing out that hundreds of Dalits were embracing Christianity every day in the country, he said it was time for Muslim leadership to invite Dalits to Islam. “India is the only country where 70 per cent of the population has no religion and Muslims have tremendous opportunity to spread the message of Islam.” Professor Keshav Rao Jadhav, President of Andhra Pradesh unit of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, called upon all secular forces to continuously strive for communal harmony. “The problem with us is that we talk of communal harmony only when riots break out,” he said while calling for inter-faith dialogue and greater exchanges between the communities to promote communal harmony.
Professor Anwar Moazzam of Osmania University said the BJP and the RSS were trying to exploit the current situation at the international level in which Islam was being portrayed as a religion of violence and Muslims are branded as terroris. “RSS and leaders like Sudershan, Vajpayee, Advani and Joshi think that if they kill Muslims in India they will get support at the international level. They want to tell the international community that Muslims in India were acting as Talibans in Afghanistan,” he said. Professor P. L. Vishweshvar Rao, convenor of the Forum for Social Justice and Paul Diwakar, convenor of the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights also wanted the Muslim community to forge a greater alliance with Dalits to ensure that the incidents of Gujarat were not repeated in the country.Top
Ambala: The Punjab Waqf Board netted a revenue of Rs. 16 crore during 2001-02. This is a new record of revenue collection. It has now drawn a plan to allocate Rs. 3.09 crore for welfare schemes for the minorities in the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Another Rs. 6.03 crore would be spent on development schemes. According to the administrator of the Board, Dr. Mohammad Rizwanul Huq, the Punjab Waqf Board controls 36,000 waqf properties. Of these, court cases for either adverse occupation or encroachment are pending against half of the estates. Last year it allocated Rs. 4.75 crore for the educational advancement and welfare schemes. Punjab Waqf Board is a Central Government administered body which controls and maintains the waqf properties in three states which were part of erstwhile Punjab and were bunched together under the Board in 1981 following constitution of new states.
Since Muslims largely migrated to Pakistan from these states, most mosques either went in disuse or fell under adverse occupation. The Muslim population in these states is sparse and minuscule. Punjab and Himachal Pradesh were largely depleted of Muslims after Partition on communal lines in 1947. In Haryana, the landed gentry of Meo Muslims stayed put in their Mewat belt. However, since the constitution of the Punjab Waqf Board, the waqf properties are being retrieved, dargahs are being leased out on the basis of annual revenue, mostly to Hindu mujawars. Gradually it has emerged as the Waqf Board with the largest revenue collection among the 23 waqf boards in the country.Top
Thiruvananthapuram: The National Seminar organised by the Trivandrum Muslim Association unanimously called for the protection by the media of the constitutionally provided rights to minorities. The participants recalled the atrocities on minorities in Gujarat. Minister for Information and Parliamentary Affairs, M. M. Hassan who inaugurated the seminar emphasised the need for an integrated approach towards addressing various problems of the minorities including Muslims. Resident Editor of Indian Express, P. Aravindakshan, renowned journalist B. R. P. Bhaskar, P. Fasaluddin, Kassim Irikkoor, Dr. M. Kunhaman, Dr. M S. Jayaprakash, K. M. Salih, Advocate M M Hussain, S Syed Khan and Kayamkulam Yoonus presented papers. Dr. N. A. Karim, former Pro-vice-chancellor was the moderator.Top
Mumbai : The biography of Dr. Abdul Karim Naik,(titled Nabbaz-e-Qaum), the well-known activist, educationist and psychiatrist from Mumbai (also father of Dr. Zakir Naik, the internationally renowned Islamic missionary) was released last month by Mushtaque Antulay, Chairman, Pollution Board, Government of Maharashtra. Prof. Javed Khan, presently Chairman, CIDCO, Mumbai commenting on Dr. Naik’s contribution to the Muslim community, pointed out that Dr. Naik is a rare and ideal Muslim who neglected his medical practice to uplift the community. There was a concern about the growing communalism in the country among the speakers. Ganesh Naik, former minister with the Government of Maharashtra, praised the work done by Dr. Naik towards communal harmony. Dr. Naik emphasised that after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre, it was the responsibility of Muslims to show the world that “Islam does not stand for terrorism.” He also advised
Honoured :Dr. S. A. Rahim, former director of Vasantrao Naik Institute of Arts and Social Science has been honoured with the President Award for his outstanding service in the field of Persian language. The award was handed over to him by President R. K. Narayanan in a ceremony held recently at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Rahim completed his M. A. in Urdu, Persian and Arabic languages and Ph.D in Persian. He had served as epigraphic assistant in the Department of Archaeological Survey of India. Later he was appointed as a lecturer in Nagpur University. He had also worked at Vasantrao Naik Government Institute of Arts and Social Sciences as a professor for several years and later retired from the post of the Director of the institute. Rahim also worked on the Board of Studies, pune and was also a member of the Maharashtra State Urdu Academy, Mumbai.
Thiruvananthapuram: Puthoor Rahman, President of the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), UAE Central Committee has been conferred with the coveted Cultural Award instituted for Gulf Malayalees for their service and leadership towards the upliftment of NRIs. Puthoor Rahman has been actively involved in various socio-cultural activities of Indians living in Fujairah for the past two decades. Rahman, a native of Malappuram completed his higher studies in Aligarh. The Award was presented to Rahman by minister for industries, information technology and social welfare P. K. Kunhalikutty. Rahman heads the Fujairah Art Lovers Association, MES Fujairah Committee and the Dubai based Gulf Malayalee Co-ordination Committee too.Top
Karachi: Bhopal princess Abida Sultan died in Karachi after a prolonged illness last month. She was 89. Appointed successor to the Bhopal Riyasat throne by Nawab Hamidullah Khan in 1926, Abida was trained in administration, politics, sports and commercial flying. She migrated to Pakistan in 1949 after being disheartened with Hindu-Muslim conflicts in her erstwhile Riyasat (Kingdom) of Bhopal which was the second most important Muslim princely state after Hyderabad. Abida was a keen sportswoman. She was the all-India squash champion and was a member of her father’s polo team. She obtained commercial flying licence in 1942. Abida’s son Shaharyar Khan became Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary. Abida herself was appointed Pakistan’s ambassador to Brazil, but quit the post only after an 18-month tenure. She was known for her acidic comments on Pakistan’s politics. She even criticised religious scholars for their fanaticism. Her autobiography titled Baghi Shehzadi ki Yaadein provides reflections on her times and life.
Mumbai : Noted Urdu journalist Asghar Ali Abidi who was associated as editor of several Urdu dailies such as Al-Insaaf and Dawat, mouthpieces of Jamaat-e Islami, both from New Delhi, Urdu Times and Hindustan from Mumbai and Qaumi Jung from Rampur, died here last month. He was 80. Abidi was also editing a few magazines from London for some time. He authored a few books on communism. He was buried at Quraishnagar graveyard in Mumbai.Top
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