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Islamic Voice Logo
MONTHLY    *    Vol 12-11 No:143    *   NOVEMBER 1998/ RAJJAB 1419H
email: editor@islamicvoice.com

COMMUNITY ROUNDUP


Old Delhi Muslims Harassed
Maneka Draws Muslims' Ire, Leaders Call for Taking Away Wakf Charge
Crisis in Jamia Urdu Corruption, Malpractices Erode Credibility
Urdu does not find place in Delhi Governments Scheme of Things
Fatima Bi Presented United Nations Award
Muslims will Opposed Rushdie's Visit to India : K.M. Khan
AMU Celebrates Founder's Day D.Litt. Conferred to Mauritius PM
Floods Cause Massive Losses in Assam 6 Islands Traceless: Jamaat report
NCM Opposes 'Hindutva' Philosophy of Education
Fifth Annual Conference of Milli Council
Encroachers Eye Historic Masjid Moth
Rajasthan Muslims Want their share In State Polity
Urdu does not find place in Delhi Governments Scheme of Things
Minimum Fare Fixed for Private Haj Tours
IUML demands ban on Anti-Muslim Book
North India Conference Jamaat Calls for Moral Reconstruction
Amartya Sen on Babri Masjid Demolition
News in Brief


Old Delhi Muslims Harassed

By A.B. Masoud

NEW DELHI : Hundreds of Muslim households in the old city of Delhi have been asked to prove their nationality or face deportation to Pakistan. Locals allege that after launching a campaign against the Bengali speaking Muslims, under the pretence of identifying and deporting, illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, the BJP led administration of the union capital, “is bent to vitiate atmosphere on the election eve, to amass votes of the majority community.”

For last six months over 500 Muslim families residing in the historic walled part of the city, have been served notices by the concerned sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs), alleging that their forefathers or predecessors, owning their properties were Pakistani nationals. They have been asked to appear before the magistrate and prove the bonafide Indian nationality of there forefathers or predecessors. The agitated residents told the Islamic Voice that the “mischievous” notices have put a big question mark over the nationality of Indian Muslims as a whole. The officials have threatened that in case the residents fail to satisfy the administration about their citizenship, their properties will be attached and steps will be initiated to deport them to Pakistan.

The President of Delhi Unit of Indian National League, Mr. Zameer Jumlana, who first raised the matter with the Lt. Governor Mr. Vijaya Kapoor, said that the notices issued by the administration neither bore any number nor indicated under which law or Act they were issued. Most gruesome part of this tragedy, he said, is that the notices are being served by the police, knocking the doors of residents at midnight. He blamed the administration for harassing Muslims. Quoting the rule book, he added that civil notices are never served by the police. Also the evacuees property laws only authorise custodian general and not S.D.M. to investigate such matters.

A resident alleged that some influential persons in league with administration have running a well-oiled extortion racket in the Muslim localities. He confided that these people have amassed crores of rupees from innocent Muslim residents, threatening them deportation and confiscation of their properties. The notices have been served mostly in the Daryaganj, Sadar Bazar, Lal Kuan, Ballimaran localities in old part of Delhi city, which come under Chandni Chowk and Sadar Bazaar Lok Sabha constituencies.

Most of the residents said that officials were demanding huge sums to hush up files. But, they vacillate when asked to decide the matter once for all. Mr. Jumlana alleged that while some residents had challenged those summons in a local court, the administration had not yet responded to the court notice to explain the motive behind serving such notices.

It is worthy to note that the evacuees property law, which was enacted to decide the future of properties of evacuees at the time of partition in 1947, lapsed in 1954. Similarly, the Defence of India Rules, which had defined Pakistani nationals as “enemies” and empowered the administration to confiscate the properties of suspected Pakistani nationals, is no longer in force.

A notice in possession of the Islamic Voice, served to a resident in Lal Kuan locality summons him to the sub-divisional magistrate’s office. The notice entitled “inquiry regarding properties owned by Pakistani nationals” says since his house belongs to a Pakistani national, he must present relevant documents proving his Indian nationality. Ironically, the administration has refused to honour the voter list, election identity card and ration card as proof of his Indian citizenship and asked him to further supplement his case. The said resident, whose name is being withheld, is at a loss as to how to satisfy authorities about his bonafides. Resident of Delhi for over 40 years, he had purchased the property from one Said-un-Nisa in 1976 and a civil court had then declared him sole owner of the house.

One leads to believe that there is something fishy in the matter, when the officials after repeated enquiries failed to reveal the number of notices and number of properties allegedly owned by the Pakistani Bazaar and Kotwali, the officials there could not provide the details of the findings and number of pending enquiries. Instead, they blamed the residents blowing up the matter out of proportion to gain some leverage on the eve of Assembly polls scheduled next month. They also refused permission to see the records of properties.

The National Commission of Minorities (NCM) also took the cognisance of the matter and asked the Delhi administration to explain. But, the administration has not yet either responded to the NCM nor had Lt. Governor replied to Mr. Jumlana’s queries.

Top


Maneka Draws Muslims' Ire, : Leaders Call for Taking Away Wakf Charge

By Andalib Akhter

NEW DELHI: Some Muslim leaders have pleaded for taking away Wakf portfolio from Ms. Maneka Gandhi, the minister of social justice and empowerment accusing her of undue meddling in the administration of the wakf affairs. Former MP Syed Shahabuddin has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee complaining against the style of functioning of Maneka Gandhi.

Maneka Gandhi’s handling of Delhi and Punjab Wakf Boards during her short tenure in the office has created deep concern in the Muslim community. The leaders have alleged that “Ms. Gandhi is going far beyond her function and responsibility as minister of Wakfs and has been interfering in management of Wakf properties. And to that end she had been exerting pressure on the state Wakf boards and directing their authorities to the benefit of private individuals through lease at below market rate,” the letter noted.

Maneka has been under Muslim leaders’ ire after reports of her issuing orders for allotment of leases of certain wakf properties in Delhi and Haryana came to light. According to Arif Mohammad Khan, MP from Bahujan Samaj Party, the Social Justice minister had issued orders for the leasing of a plot of land in Panipat. “I will take up this as well as some other matters with the government” he told this correspondent.

In his letter, Syed Shahabuddin has emphasised that the “Wakf boards are statutory bodies and though the minister is accountable to parliament for their working, he or she has no authority to sit in appeal over the administrative decisions of the board or to overrule or substitute their decisions with theirs.” He has requested the Prime Minister to remove wakfs from Ms Maneka’s charge and attach it to the ministry of law.

The appointment of Mr. A.K. Thatai, a non-Muslim, as the administrator of Punjab Wakf Board in place of Mr. Feroz Khan, who had earlier resigned accusing Ms. Gandhi of interfering in wakf board affairs, has particularly attracted criticism from the leaders. It may be recalled that Punjab Wakf Board is a body administered by the central government and is said to be the richest Wakf Board with its income running into several crores of rupees annually.

What appears to have irked Muslim leaders is the fact that Ms. Gandhi chose to appoint Mr. Thatai in gross violation of board provision. “ I am planning to move the Supreme Court on the issue”, said Maulana Jamil Illyasi, President of Imam Association. “This is like appointing a non-Sikh in the Gurudwara management committee or inducting a non-Hindu in temple management”, he said.

Citing reasons for his resignation from Punjab Wakf Board, former administrator Feroz Khan, said, “my resignation was due to undue interference by Ms. Maneka Gandhi in the allotment of lease of wakf properties. He said that minister’s interference was violative of the wakf Act 1995. “When I put up resistance she shouted at me that she was malkin (owner) and I was her petty servant,” Khan said in a letter to a newspaper.

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Crisis in Jamia Urdu Corruption, Malpractices Erode Credibility

By A Staff Writer

ALIGARH: Jamia Urdu Aligarh, deemed to be a university, is facing an unprecedented crisis these days owing to financial irregularities, decline in educational standards and alleged malpractices in conduct of examinations. The governing body of the Jamia is a divided house with two groups accusing each other of corruption and interference in its management. Number of students taking up its examination for various certificates and degree courses has registered a steep decline from over a lakh in l996 to merely 7,000.

The crisis burst into the open following violence and arrest of Registrar Sayeed Anwar, two months ago. The violence was culmination of diverse pressures building up within the institutions over a long period with several groups vying for control of vast properties with the Jamia and alleged corruption in sanctioning of centres for conduct of examinations. It is alleged that huge amounts of money was changing hands and the examinations had been reduced to a mere farce. Such was the extent of corruption that non-Urdu knowing students were able to register themselves at the fag end of the session, purchase the question papers for examinations and procure a degree or certificate. In some cases, the controllers of exam centres were even handing out written answer books for a “price”.

Jamia Urdu was established in 1939 by Syed Zahiruddin Alwi and his group of Urdu-lovers with the purpose of providing education to the poor people who could not go through the expensive formal education in the colleges and universities. It introduced distance education in keeping with the thinly spread Urdu-speaking population. With nearly 90 centres spread across the country the Jamia conducts examination in Ibtadai, Adib, Adib Mahir, Adib Kamil and Mualim Urdu every year. It is situated in the close vicinity of Aligarh Muslim University and was recognised and deemed to be a university. Several state governments recognised its degrees and certificates for appointment of Urdu teachers or for posts such as Urdu translators, announcers etc.

It is, however, not precisely known why the number of candidates rose to 112,000 in 1996. While some attribute it to increased opportunities for Urdu translators in Uttar Pradesh government which recognised its examination in 1993 for certain categories of jobs, others link it with unprecedented malpractices in the examinations. It is said the controllers of centres of examinations had developed a vested interest in attracting large number of candidates and had a finger in the pie. The “sale” of question papers beforehand and “supply” of answer books to those who were ready to shell out bigger sums made it a lucrative business proposition.

But in 1998 only 7000 candidates applied for various examinations. This sudden decline in the number of candidates is said to be due to steep hike in the fees, irregularities by senior supervisors, financial irregularities in campus, and the proposal of Uttar Pradesh government to derecognise the course of Urdu Mualim and Adib Kamil.

The Jamia receives Rs.7500 towards fee from every centre which is non-refundable. Nearly 500 to 1500 candidates appear from each centre where superintendents also extort money from innocent students.

In 1993 the government of Uttar Pradesh recognised the Adib Kamil as equivalent to B.A.. Similarly the government also approved Urdu Muallim as equivalent to B.T.C (Urdu). This is said to have provided a shot in the arm for the Jamia.

While the present rot in the Jamia Urdu is owing to an accumulation of irregularities going on here over several years, the official recognition and commercialisation of degrees contributed to its sudden degeneration. Heat is currently on the Registrar, Sayeed Anwar, who is accused of financial irregularities and wasteful expenditure on his bungalow and purchase of cars, unnecessary for the present. Despite repeated attempts Mr. Sayeed could not be contacted by this correspondent.

Sources allege that in the name of development of Jamia 60-70 a lakh rupees had been spent on purchase of several cars and video camera has been fitted in the office of registrar.

Earlier on the ground of financial irregularities in Jamia Urdu society the Chief Judicial magistrate of Aligarh had ordered arrest of Mr. Anwar Sayeed. He was, however, released on bail after several days in custody.

Whatever be the reality, Jamia is now facing the worst ever crisis, both internal and external. Unless the community leaders infuse a sense of responsibility and discipline into its affairs, the institution may well be lost. Already much of its credibility has been eroded.

Top


Urdu does not find place in Delhi Governments Scheme of Things

By Andalib Akhter

NEW DELHI: Urdu does not seem to fit into Delhi government in the state seemed all set to designate Hindi and Punjabi as the two official languages of the national capital territory of Delhi, at the cost of excluding both Urdu and English.

The proposal in the form of “the Delhi official language Bill, 1998” was to be introduced in the Delhi assembly on Sept. 30 by the then chief minister Saheb Singh Verma, even though many of his own party leaders had strong reservation on the subject.

Though the proposal did not tabled in the House till the final session of Verma government due to some other problems the issue may be surfaced is the future.

The Bill seeks to provide for adoption of Hindi in Devnagiri script as the fist language and Punjabi as the second language to be used for official purpose and other matters of the NCT of Delhi.

Though mover could be at variance with what was stipulated in the government of National Capital Territory Act 1991, which had also included English as a language for official purpose in its list. Whereas so far as Urdu is concerned it had always enjoyed a special status even officially since a long time and remains as the effective language to date in day to day police and court works.

The proposal even if it gets the approval of the assembly may still run into rough weather if the President decides to issue directions in respect of official language of Delhi.

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Fatima Bi Presented United Nations Award

Mrs. Fatima Bi, who helped transform an obscure village in Andhra Pradesh into a dynamic self-reliant one, was honoured with the United Nations “Race against poverty” award at a glittering function.

The U.N.Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan presented the award in recognition of her pioneering effort, amidst cheers from a distinguished gathering at the U.N. headquarters on Friday.

Mrs. Fatima, who won from the Asia-pacific region, was among the five winners selected by the world body. The other winners are Ms. Sonia Beltre of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Nichole Rouvet of France, Mr. Miyasser al-Saadi of Jordan and Ms. Edith Wakumire of Uganda.

The award, comprising a citation and a plaque and sponsored by the U.N. Development Programme, was given away on the occasion of “international day for the eradication of poverty.”

The 33 year old Mrs. Fatima Bi, sarpanch of Kalva village in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, got the award for her effort in spearheading social mobilisation and community empowerment for poverty alleviation. Mrs. Fatima, who is uneducated, mobilised women in her village to launch self-initiated programmes aimed at improving the lot of villagers.

Commending her efforts, the citation said that Mrs. Fatima was born in a village where women wore a veil (purdah), were prevented from working outside the home, few girls were ever allowed to attend school and many married off before adulthood, Married at an young age, she put her heart and soul into raising her children.

The village committee, the citation said, was led by land-owning farmers until three years ago when the state government decreed that one-third of all seats in the local bodies should be reserved for women. At the age of 30 she became first woman village sarpanch and then began her transformation from a purdah-covered housewife to an activist.

In 1996, Mrs. Fatima joined a self-help group in her village, created under the South Asian Poverty Alleviation Programme and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Along the way, she gained confidence in her leadership abilities, wrested control of the village land and revenue records and insisted on chairing committee meetings herself. Her priorities were to make sure that all poor house-holds had access to drinking water and low cost sanitation. She also initiated projects in soil and water conservation in villages plagued by drought.

As sarpanch, the citation said, she campaigned to free young girls from child labour in her village and prevent child marriage.

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Muslims will Opposed Rushdie's Visit to India : K.M. Khan

By Andalib Akhter

NEW DELHI: Congress MP K.M. Khan has taken strong exception to Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, ‘Invitation’ to infamous British writer Salman Rushdie to return home (India).

Expressing shock over Mr. Advani invitation to Rushdie, Khan, who is also the president of All-India Muslim Minority Forum told this correspondent that “Indian Muslim would not allow the writer to visit the country”.

He said that India was the first country to ban his blasphemous book “Stanic Verses” as mark of respect to the sentiments of the Indian Muslims.

Mr. Khan said it seemed the BJP wanted to create communal tension in the country, more so in view of the ensuring assembly election, in the four states.

Earlier the Union Minister for information and broadcasting Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the government would not lift the ban on the controversial book. He described as “totally baseless” the report that the BJP led government at the centre was thinking of lifting ban on the book. “It was nothing but to tarnish image of BJP among Muslim” Naqui added.

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AMU Celebrates Founder's Day D.Litt. Conferred to Mauritius PM

By Andalib Akhter

ALIGARH: The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) celebrated it, founder; day with much gaiety and fanfare on October 17.

This Years Sir Syed day had special attraction as it was coincided with special convocation ceremony, which was held after the gap of 14 years.

On this convocation the Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam was conferred with Doctorate of Literature (D.Litt). Apart from him 67 students of AMU were awarded medals for excellence in their respective fields.

The Mauritius Prime Minister was conferred the doctorate for his invaluable and nor contribution in the field of higher education, removal of illiteracy fostering economic growth and social reconstruction.

Speaking on the occasion the Dr. Ramgoolam said, “the key to empowerment is education and it is by breaking from the shackles of ignorance, that one is able to think like free spirit.”

He appreciated the contribution of scholars from AMU, who made his country richer in diversity by propagating Muslim culture and Urdu language.

The Mauritius PM assured the gathering that the collaboration between AMU and Mauritius would be deepened.

Emphasising the importance he associated with his visit to the university, he said. “This is a day I will never forget”.

Addressing the commemoration meeting, the AMU Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Mahmood ur Rahman, admitted that the university had been disturbed in recent past. He cautioned the gathering to be careful not to let the university, reputation suffer at every step and sought their co-operation to make university move forward.

The objects had been reached on the path of Sir Syed; thinking and if this was not practised, discordance would not be removed perspective to free the Muslims from ignorance.

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Floods Cause Massive Losses in Assam 6 Islands Traceless: Jamaat report

GUWAHATI: A team of Jamaat e Islami Hind has called for massive help operation for the people living in char area of the mighty Brahamputra river in Assam. The team has reported complete erosion of 16 islands of the river where lived nearly 21,00,000 people.

In a report made available to the Islamic Voice, the Jamaat has described pathetic situation in which the people of these islands are living. The report said Brahamputra witnessed six waves of floods between June and September this year. The September 6 floods were the most devastating ones and swept away 29 large islands within the river where several villages were located. On subsidence of the river, 16 islands were traceless with their people adrift on merciless waves of the swift flowing river. Their houses, farms, temples and mosques and madrassas were also swept away., the report added. Though most people survived the floods, they are virtually without any means of sustenance are living under open skies on the banks of the river.

The team comprised Maulana Rahmatullah Shariff, president of the Jamaat Assam zone; Abdur Rahman, Editor, Mujahid weekly; Dr. Fazlul Hoque Choudhury; Md. Sirajul Choudhury; Abdul Hai Ansary; Rafuqul Islam Abdus Salam. The team has expressed surprise over the complete silence of the national media over the massive tragedy afflicting the humanity.

The press release said the Brahamputra river traverses 1,100 kilometre of distance in Assam and has 2098 islands with people living on them. While at several points the river has a width between 10 to 15 kilometres, it was narrowest near Guwahati where it is merely 2 kilometre wide. While most islands survived the floods year after year, the floods were unprecedented this year and have caused massive devastation.

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NCM Opposes 'Hindutva' Philosophy of Education

By A Staff Writer

NEW DELHI : The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has taken strong exception to the proposal of Human Resources Development Ministry to introduce “Hindutva” Philosophy in educational institutions of the country.

The NCM also expressed its displeasure over not being invited to the conference of education ministers of states. The meeting was held from Oct 22 to 24.

Talking to newsmen here the Chairman of the NCM Dr. Tahir Mahmood said that the proposal to introduce ‘Hindutva’ and curtail the minorities’ right to establish educational institutions of their choice was contrary to the letter and spirit of the constitution.

Dr. Mahmood said, “as early as in 1958, the Supreme Court had asserted that the right guaranteed under Article 30 is a right that is absolute and any law which infringes the substance of that right is void.” And very recently in 1998 the court emphatically held that “the legal position adumbrated remains unchanged and protective cover of Article 30 cannot be chiselled out through any legislative act.”

Earlier on October 15, the commission chairman in a press statement accused majority of states and universities of depriving the minority communities of their fundamental right to education by not implementing the relevant constitutional provisions and directions issued by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, in a significant development the commission while dealing with the issue of admissions to such institutions, has ruled that the meritorious students of minority communities will not be included in the 50 per cent reserved seats kept for the community to which a particular institute belongs. Such candidates if admitted on their own merit will not be included in the quota reserved for the said minority community, the commission stated.

While arriving at this conclusion the commission averred that the ceiling of 50 per cent seats for the minority community candidates was fixed by court especially for the candidates covered by the “rule of preference”. “It cannot include these who stand on their own merit and must be admitted in any case,” it felt.

The commission has also clarified that the SC ruling to keep 50 per cent seats for particular minority community to which the institute belonged, has been misinterpreted.

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Fifth Annual Conference of Milli Council

BULANDSHAHAR: All India Milli Council, an umbrella organisation of Indian Muslims organised its fifth annual conference here recently. Some of the important resolutions adopted were:

The non-Muslim brethren should refrain from systematic campaign and propaganda of ill-will against Muslims in particular and other minorities in general.

The efforts of Maharashtra government to harass peace loving Muslims dubbing them as foreign nationals in Mumbai and in its rejection of Sri Krishna Commission Report.

The conference condemned the attacks made form time to time on the industries (both small scale and large scale) by the vested interests. It also appealed to provide more and more facilities for the minorities to establish their own industries.

The conference demanded certain percentage of reservation in educational institutions and for jobs in public sector undertakings including civil and military services as their representation is worse than STs and SCs.

The conference demanded the enforcement of New Wakf Act immediately and The conference deplored the tense relations between Iran and Afghanistan and the relentless campaign by the Serbian authorities against Albanian Muslims.

The conference, in the end sought help from philanthropists and governments (both Central and State) to render help in various ways to those who were rendered homeless in recent natural calamities.

Top


Encroachers Eye Historic Masjid Moth

By A Staff Writer

NEW DELHI: A host of encroachers have set up their eyes on the historic Masjid Moth in South Extension locality of New Delhi. The masjid, located behind the posh shopping area on the Ring Road in the capital, around 200 metres behind the Saudi Arabian Embassy, is slowly turning into a junkyard for scrape dealers.

A unique mosque constructed by Sikandar Lodhi, the second king of the Syed dynasty of Sultanate period in 1488, the Masjid Moth is an architectural marvel with its unique style, two storeyed towers and slim and tapering turrets. The mosque is built with black sandstone and has been raised on a 6-feet high platform. It is topped with three domes.

The land around the mosque is already encircled with small houses of villagers with men and women carrying out household chores close to the mosque. A number of small factories add to the din. Junk has been dumped under the octagonal left turret which acts as an eyesore immediately after entry into the mosque. Junk articles are being stored in other parts of the mosque too. The central cistern in the courtyard is in a bad shape and weeds are growing into it. While a blue-board dutifully declares it to be a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India, no chowkidar is ever seen in the vicinity.

The mosque is under constant threat from encroachers as it is located in a prime business area. The cattlesheds in the vicinity too add to the filth and squalor around the mosque.

Top


Rajasthan Muslims Want their share In State Polity

NEW DELHI: The newly formed ‘Rajasthan Minorities Vikas Manch’ (RMVM) has urged the congress leadership to fill at least 35 Muslim candidates in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The Manch believed that this would provide representation to the community whose population is more than 50 lakh in the state.

In spite of constituting about 10 per cent of the total population of Rajasthan, the Muslim community has a negligible participation in the state polity mainly because of the indifference of major political parties.

Presently there are only five MLAs in the 200 members state Assembly.

The Manch President Mr. J.M. Khan said, unless some concrete measure were taken, Muslim share in the power structure was bound to further decrease in the state with the eyes on the coming assembly elections the ‘Manch’ held its state convention in Jaipur recently. The demand was particularly made to the congress party.

According to Mr. Khan, the percentage of Muslims in the state government jobs is abysmal, and the situation in panchayatiraj and local bodies was equally bad. There is not a single Muslim Zila Pramukh in Rajasthan, and out of 997 member of Zila Praishad, only 10 are Muslims.

Besides demand for ticket for Muslim candidates, the Minorities Vikas Manch raised the issue of reservation for Muslims, a time bound programme for solving various problems of Muslims in the State.

According to a senior congress functionary, here the party high command has taken the minorities issue in the state of Rajasthan very seriously.

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Urdu does not find place in Delhi Governments Scheme of Things

By Andalib Akhter

NEW DELHI: Urdu does not seem to fit into Delhi government in the state seemed all set to designate Hindi and Punjabi as the two official languages of the national capital territory of Delhi, at the cost of excluding both Urdu and English.

The proposal in the form of "the Delhi official language Bill, 1998" was to be introduced in the Delhi assembly on Sept. 30 by the then chief minister Saheb Singh Verma, even though many of his own party leaders had strong reservation on the subject.

Though the proposal did not tabled in the House till the final session of Verma government due to some other problems the issue may be surfaced is the future.

The Bill seeks to provide for adoption of Hindi in Devnagiri script as the fist language and Punjabi as the second language to be used for official purpose and other matters of the NCT of Delhi.

Though mover could be at variance with what was stipulated in the government of National Capital Territory Act 1991, which had also included English as a language for official purpose in its list. Whereas so far as Urdu is concerned it had always enjoyed a special status even officially since a long time and remains as the effective language to date in day to day police and court works.

The proposal even if it gets the approval of the assembly may still run into rough weather if the President decides to issue directions in respect of official language of Delhi.

Top


Minimum Fare Fixed for Private Haj Tours

BANGALORE: The minimum fare for the pilgrims proceeding through registered private tour operators have been fixed at Rs.32,000 plus US $ 900, in a press release issued by the Karnataka State Haj Organiser’s Association.

The operators of private tours from all over India met the consul of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Delhi. The consular explained the new Saudi government’s terms and conditions regulating private Umrah / Haj tours.

Each pilgrim will be provided with a steel bracelet to be worn at all times which bears the name, nationality and passport number of the pilgrim, so that he can be identified at the time of any untoward incident.

Umrah Visa will not be issued to individuals; the intending Pilgrims has to go through the private tour operators. The validity of visa will be for a maximum of 21 days only.

The Karnataka State Haj Organisers Association has decided to computerise the details of pilgrims proceeding for Haj this year.

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IUML demands ban on Anti-Muslim Book

NEW DELHI: The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has demanded that the Marathi Book ‘Jhanam Medhya Janar Kon, Hindu Ki Ahindu’ (who will go to hell, a Hindu or non-Hindu) by Kishore Rane be banned throughout the country.

The IUML President G.M. Banatwala in a statement said “the book is outrageously sacrilegious and is replete with anti-Muslim version”.

Copies of the book in Aurangabad has been reportedly seized but Mr. Banatwala urged Home Minister L.K. Advani to ensure that book is banned and it copies confiscated throughout India He also demanded firm and speedy legal action against the author and publisher.

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North India Conference Jamaat Calls for Moral Reconstruction

ALLAHABAD: The 3-day North India conference of the Jamaat e Islami Hind began here on October 31 with a call from President Maulana Sirajul Hassan for moral reconstruction of the society. Mr. Hassan said the tremendous material and scientific development could not ensure justice in absence of character, mutual trust in the society and spiritual refinement. In his address president dealt with the theme of the conference Fafirru Elallah, a Qur’anic verse meaning “Therefore run towards Allah”. Taking stock of the global and national situation, he appealed to the Muslim community to make up for their faults and call the people to the path of Allah.

During the inaugural session, the deputy president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Maulana Jalaluddin Ansar explained various aspects of the theme “Fafirru Elallah”. Incidentally, it was in Allahabad where the Jamaat had reorganised itself in Independent India in 1948 following partition of the subcontinent.

Dawah through Postal Libraries: Reports of the Jamaat activities presented by various zonal presidents highlighted the fact that special campaigns to introduce the message of the Qur’an in various languages and Islamic postal libraries had registered significant progress in recent years. A campaign in Uttar Pradesh in 1996 resulted in distribution of 10,000 copies of the Qur’an in Hindi and 2,000 copies of Qur’an in English on specific requests from Hindu brethren. Nearly 7,000 people benefited from postal Islamic libraries in Delhi and Haryana states, 75 per cent being non-Muslims.

Humanitarian Service: The Jamaat runs centres of adult education for men and women, night schools for working people. It has also established medical care units, hospitals through Falah-e-Aam Society and interest free finance societies through a chain of Baitul Mals spread all over Uttar Pradesh. Relief work was also organised at several places hit by natural calamities.

Muslims are Not ‘Chosen People’: In his presidential address during the Milli session Islamic economist Dr. Fazlur Rehman Faridi opined that the Qur’an placed the Muslims under the responsibility of tackling human problems by terming them ‘Best of Nations’ while some Muslims confused it with an honour and privilege. He said this should make Muslim feel more responsible towards society rather than considering themselves ‘Chosen people of God on the lines of Jews. He said Islam’s concept of oneness of humanity placed Muslims and non-Muslims on equal plain and all together constituted the family of Allah.

A resolution adopted on the last day of the conference condemned the attempt to malign Islam by attributing terrorism to it. It said Islam was religion of peace and killing of innocent people was a sin. The resolution also called for solving the Babri Masjid tangle in accordance with truth and justice.

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Amartya Sen on Babri Masjid Demolition

December 6 involved two different violations. First, it violated the notion of tolerance in modern political ethics secondly, it violated the deeply held traditional Indian notion of coexistence and mutual tolerance.

Prof. Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize winner for Economics 1998.

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News in Brief

Khaja Education Society to Set up Medical College

GULBARGA: The Khaja Education Society here has been permitted to start a medical college from next year, informs a press release from Khaja Education Society.The Society already runs 13 institutions including a degree college, pre-university college, a school of nursing, three high schools, and engineering college and Khaja Bande Nawaz General Hospital.

Nine students of the Khaja Bande Nawaz College of Engineering secured top university ranks in Gulbarga University, informs a press release from Prof. M. A. K. Kazmi, secretary of the Khaja Education Society. Mohammad Azeem of BE (Civil) secured the first rank in examination for the 1997-98 session.

Directory for Interest-free Institutions

MUMBAI : The All India Council of Muslim Economic Upliftment (AICMEU), Mumbai plans to conduct a survey of interest-free financial institutions operating in India. Chairman Dr. Rahmatullah has invited entries from the institutions. For Details write to:
AICMEU, Vazir Building, I. R. Road, Mumbai-400003, Phone: 3718329, 3791097.

EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL:

Noor e Baseerat, an educational quarterly journal, was released in Bangalore on October 17 by Governor Khurshed Alam Khan at a ceremony at Al-Ameen college. The journal is edited and published by Dr. Sheikh Ali, former vice chancellor of Mangalore and Goa Univiersities. Dr. Ali is engaged in setting up schools for poor and slum children of Mysore and has set up a string of institutions named after Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Dr. Zakir Hussain and Tippu Sultan.

Islamic Art Show

MUMBAI: The Pune based Institute of Islamic Culture would hold the Islamic exhibition in Mumbra, a satellite town of Mumbai on November 12-16. The SIO is sponsoring the show. Photographs pertaining to Islamic culture, architecture and art and craft arranged in 12 galleries would be displayed at the exhibition.

Engineering College at Cuddapah

CUDDAPAH: Madinah Engineering College, a new minority college, was inaugurated here on September 20 at a function where Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan of Al-Ameen Education Society, Bangalore, was the chief guest. Dr. Muthiah is the principal of the college.

People

Hamidur Rahman Chowdhury , a Bangladesh born hotelier, has announced his candidature for first-ever elected mayor of London to be held in year 2000. He will run against Ken Livingstone, Trevor Philips and Jeffrey Archer. A member of the Conservative Party, Chowdhury hopes to get 25 per cent black votes in London and 50,000 votes of Bengali-speaking people. He describes himself as a moderate Muslim and says he will work to reduce crimes, make public transport affordable and protect the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. Chowdhury runs Indian and French restaurants in Central London.

Obituary:

Prof. Syed Ali Ashraf, Director General of Islamic Academy of Cambridge and founder and vice chancellor of Darul Ihsan University in Dhaka died at his home in Cambridge on August. He was also a member of the faculty of Education in the Cambridge University. Prof. Ashraf made pioneering and considerable contribution for regeneration of Islamic values in education. He authored several books among which notable ones are Crisis in Muslim Education and New Horizons in Muslim Education. He wrote both in English and Bengali. He was the founder editor of Muslim Educational Quarterly. He was buried in Darul Ihsan University campus in Dhaka.

DIED

Maulana Abdur Rahman, Ameer Shariat of Bihar and Orissa, died in Patna on September 29 at the age of 95 after a month's illness. He was the 5th Ameer, appointed after the death of his predecessor, Maulana Minnatullah Rahmani.

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