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NEWSMAKERS: 1-15 January 2002

Rajya Sabha deputy Chairperson and senior Congress leader, Najma Heptulla is nurturing for several years the ambition of becoming the country’s Vice-President, if not the President. Last time also (in 1997) she tried but failed. In this connection she met former chief minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu when he was recently in Delhi and requested him to influence Communist party members to support her candidature. Ms Heptulla has good rapport with leaders of almost all political parties. 

Manzoor Hasan, senior vice-president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee’s Minorities Department has been appointed a member of Fish,Chicken and Eggs Marketing Committee by the Delhi Lt. Governor, Vijay Kapoor on the recommendations of Delhi’s Chief Minister, Shiela Dikshit.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam the ‘missile man’ and former Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India has taken up Professorship in technology and societal transformation in the endowment chair established in the name of Padamshree T. Muthian at the Anna University, Chennai. The Vice-Chancellor of the University , Dr A. Kalanidhi while welcoming Dr Kalam said that he would be a source of inspiration to scientists, engineers, teachers and all others.

Iqbal Siddiqui of Maharashtra, a rookie speedster bowler was recently included in the Indian National team for the first test match against England which started on 3 December in Mohali. His performance has been well. Selection Committee Chairman Chandu Borde said that Siddiqui has been around for long and that he bowled well in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy and his performance has been satisfactory in the three-day test match vs England too.

Safdar Nizam Niyazi has been unanimously appointed new President of UP’s Awami Conference. Imran Ali Khan was appointed general secretary, Adeel Ahamd, vice president and treasurer, Muhammad Irshad Bharti, organizing secretary and Shah Niyaz Raja , secretary.
The newly appointed president of the organization, Niyazi said that our purpose is to popularize the organization so that we can solve problems of the down-trodden and enable them to lead a life of honour and pride.

Nafisa Ali, actress, social worker, and a woman in her forties is as busy as she used to be two decades ago. She had worked in Junoon in 1979 and after a long gap of a decade acted in Kshatriya followed by Major Saab almost five years later. After another few years she has Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar, a new release to her credit. Her role in Junoon was much appreciated and is still remembered by many. Besides being a devoted wife and looking after daily household chores she spares much of her time for social work. She has set up an AIDS shelter for Naaz Foundation and has also been involved in relief work in the quake hit areas of Gujarat. 
In the 44th Madhya Pradesh State Table Tennis tournament played at Indore, Nida Pasha of Bhopal defeated Swati Jain of Shivpuri by 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10 in the girls junior group. While winning doubles title she defeated Vidhi Verma in the boys sub-junior group.

Habib Tanvir, the renowned theatre personality is basking in the limelight again after being awarded the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar 2001 for his contribution in the field of visual and performing arts. Tanvir, who has been doing theatre for the past 40 years, founded the Naya Theatre Company based on a unique concept and has performed widely in India and abroad.
His group comprises folk artists from Chattisgarh who combine western classics such as Shakespeare with traditional Indian legend in a pop art blend. Tanvir is always coaxing them all the time to greater height. 

Abid Surti is a master of all trades. He has earned accolades within India and abroad as a painter, author, cartoonist, journalist, playwright, director and filmmaker. He has written over 65 books which include short stories, novels, plays, children’s books and travelogues. Several of his books have been translated into various regional languages. He has also been writing for Hindi and Gujarati newspapers and magazines for over 40 years and has won a national award for his short story collection Teesri Aankh in 1993. Abid Surti is the creator of the famous character Dabbujee, the weekly comic spirit that appears in Dharmyug.

Sarshar Bulandshahri, has of late realized that he cannot walk even 10 paces without either a stick or resting somewhere in between. But that has not stopped him from hiring an autorickshaw every Sunday to drive him to the flea market in the Raikhand locality of Ahmedabad, for his weekly Urdu poetry recital session with friends and fans.
I want commoners to take interest in Urdu language and contribute to its enrichment, says the 65-year-old poet, who once shared the dais with the leading poets in Mushairas around the country. Those were the days of 1960 when he was invited to Mushairas, recognized as a poet of repute and his poetry was widely published those days. But in Urdu literature you are never paid for such contributions, he recounts.
Things have not remained the same for this poet of late. Today, he hawks a collection of rare coins and stamps and rusted antiques on his Sunday trips. He also gives Urdu tuition to the son of a jeweller for whom reading the inscriptions of Mughal era coins is vital for business.

Abdur Rahman Geelani, a lecturer of Arabic, accused to be part of the terrorist attack on Parliament on 13 Dec. has been ‘suspended’ by Zakir Husain College in Delhi on 24 Dec. on charges of continued absence from the college. He remains in police custody while there is skepticism in the capital’s Muslim circles about his involvement in the plot. 

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