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COMMUNITY NEWS: 1-15 May 2002

Participants in a conference on ‘towards the Qur’an’ organised at Calicut by the Jamaat-e Islami, Kerala, on 31 March.

Mubarakpur: Within five years the famous Benarasi saree industrial town Mubarakpur has witnessed two major unforgettable conflicts between Shias and Sunnis. On 27 April 1999 violence broke out between the two communities leading to arson and bloodshed which lasted for two weeks, causing damage to life and property. On 25 January 2002 the town once again erupted into violence, the memories of which so far remain afresh. Prominent religious and political leaders of both the communities felt the gravity of the situation and they have now come forward to solve the problem for once and all. The results of the positive steps taken by the peace committee, initiated by Dr Shamim Ahmad, chairman of Mubarakpur Nagar Palika comprising members of both Shia and Sunni communities, are bringing positive results to both the riot-torn communities seeking solution. The shops which used to close by 8 pm, will now remain open to upto 9 pm.

New Delhi: Defending the policy of providing subsidies to Hajis, the central government said that it is the responsibility of the government to provide basic facilities to Hajis. Director in the ministry of social justice and empowerment Prahlad Kumar, told the divisional bench comprising Justice Devendra Gupta and Justice Sumit Mukherjee in his affidavit that the government does not provide any monetary assistance to Haj pilgrims; rather it gives subsidy in plane fare. It is also said in the affidavit that the government had given subsidies of Rs 118.85 crore and 148.36 crore during the years 2000 and 2001 respectively, besides setting up dispensaries and special offices for Indian Hajis in Makkah and Madinah. The affidavit had contradicted the charges leveled in the petition filed that by giving such facilities to Hajis the government is providing unnecessary help and assistance to a particular community. It also said that these and other facilities are provided in other religious festivals also such as during Amarnath yatra and Kumbh Mela. 

Dhampur: Known as Aini Apa Gyanpeeth awardee, celebrated Urdu litterateur Qurratul Ain Haider said during a seminar in Nahtor that women would be socially exploited until they do not awaken for their rights. She said that women have equal rights in every field but unfortunately they are still backward because of not having knowledge of their rights. She said that women in villages are sill confined to kitchen. They are bound within the four walls of their homes due to their orthodox thinking. The chief guest Haider said that to avoid exploitation women have to change their views, acquire education and educate their daughters. She further said that women who have awakened, have progressed in society and they are not inferior to men. They are no less intelligent than men. The need is to just awaken them. The country cannot progress without educating its women. Our daughters share the future of the country along with our sons, she added.

In a communal violence in Ishaqpur village of Azamgarh two people died while 9 others sustained injuries. In view of the tense situation additional police forces were deployed.
The violence broke out owing to a pond controversy. One group blocked the way of other community while the other opposed it which provoked the former to firing and stone pelting which left two dead and 9 others injured. Seven houses were also set afire. Police forces were deployed in the village and they are searching the guilty. State director general of police RK Pandit has denied any communal motive behind the incident. He said that it was a normal case of group fighting in villages.

Jewar: Madrasas have played a vital role in removing illiteracy and they have spread education in most parts of the country with no religious and communal discrimination, said Maulana Muhammad Sulaiman Meeruti, state emir of Jamiat Ahle Hadith. Addressing a meeting he said that Islam calls for keeping away the society from evils and to strive for it is a duty of every Muslim. He said that madrasas provide religious education and that most of madrasa students belong to poor families. If madrasas do not support them, they will be forced to work from very young age which will decrease country’s literacy rate. These madrasas promote government’s literacy drive although they do not receive any grant. He further said that terrorism has no relation with madrasas and that in the past the police have raided some prominent religious seminaries because of wrong information but have found nothing objectionable. Even ministers have accepted the fact, he added.

Hyderabad: AP state government has earmarked three crore rupees for construction and improvement of Waqf Board buildings, mosques and dargahs in the annual budget for the year 2002-03. The amount allocated last year was 2.75 crore.
Over the monetary demand of the Department of Minorities Development Rs 50 lacs were granted for Waqf Board last year while the amount for the year 2002-03 has been increased to Rs 55 lakhs. The government has also specified a sum of Rs 1.10 crore as Revolving Fund for the current year whereas the amount was Rs 50 lakhs last year.

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and chairman of the J&K Muslim Auqaf Trust Dr Farooq Abdullah said during a rally in Srinagar that work on Islamic University at Gandebal, Kashmir would start this year. He further said that the university would be modeled on Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. He said that Kashmir had been a centre of advanced learning for centuries adding that he wants to see this university as the seat of highest research in Islamic studies where students would learn and interpret the religion in its true spirit.

Saharanpur: No nation deserves to be called a developed nation which does not pay attention to the education of its girl children, said Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Bulandshahri, a member of Muslim Personal Law Board and rector of Jamiatut Taiyibat, Saharanpur. Addressing the audience he said that the education of Muslim girls is the crying need of the hour. When a girl is educated, an entire family is educated. He further said that an educated person can succeed in any field while an illiterate nation and person has a dark future. The Maulana was doing his rounds to hold a seminar on women’s education.

New Delhi: The premiere of Awaz, a film made on the current situation of Urdu, was organized at Mass Communication Research Centre of Jamia Millia Islamia. Well known personalities of Delhi participated in the premiere. Dr Mahmoodur Rahman, Sirajuddin Qureshi of MD Hind Group of Industries and Dr Syed Farooq of Himalaya Drugs Company jointly lit the film screening ceremony candle. Addressing on the occasion prominent journalist and MP Kuldip Nayar while admiring the film said that it moves the hearts and encourages people to come forward to the rescue of the language. Former Chief Minister of Pondichery, MOH Farooq, said though he does not know Urdu but he knows for sure that it is a very important language of India which has served a lot at the time of freedom. The host, the producer Asif Azmi said that it is a humble effort for the cause of Urdu which has brought so many people to see it. Editor of Qaumi Awaz Mohan Chiraghi said that the effort is laudable and it will serve as a hallmark. 

Mumbai: Mumbai-based Greater India Friendship Trust (GIFT) organized a poetic symposium to promote peace and harmony. Several artistes and well known personalities took part in the symposium. The chief guest, poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar emphasized on maintaining communal harmony and said that he would not term the Gujarat bloodshed as communal hatred as no religion preaches violence. Ismail Merchant, founder and executive secretary of GIFT said that communalism and violence will never win in the long run. Seema Sehgal sang poetry written by well known poets from India and Pakistan, including Guru Nanak, Baba Bulle Shah, Sardar Jafri, Ahmad Faraz and others.

New Delhi: While demanding a full-fledged plan for the development of minorities and specially for the educational and economic development of Muslims, Ghulam Mahmood Banatwala, President of Indian Union Muslim League participating in the budget discussion said that attention has to be paid to the educational and economic backwardness of the minorities. He further said that the per capita income of Muslims is Rs 3678 which is almost equal to scheduled tribes and scheduled castes whose per capita income is Rs 3504 and 3237 respectively. He said that the average per capita income of the country is Rs 4485 which is 4514 among Hindus.
He said that at a time when riots are greatly harming minorities, the necessity of the development is an inevitable plan.

Mubarakpur: Addressing a meeting in memory of senior journalist and former editor of Awaz-e-Mulk and Mashriqi Awaz Allama Saifi Al Azmi, Maulana Ziauddin Madani said that he was a master litterateur who taught his art to many people. He started writing and serving the nation from the young age of 19. Some present on the occasion called him Abul Kalam Azad II.

New Delhi: Besides his works and creations, Dr Mughisudin Faridi will always remain alive because of the outstanding performance of his disciples. He was a popular and character-building teacher whose personality, educational depth and creativity can be seen in his students. These views were expressed by critic and intellectual Prof Qamar Rais during a poetic gathering at the Department of Urdu of Delhi University. He further said that he was a true heir of old values. He had a desire for selfless service and was away from ostentation. Prof Atiqullah, head of the Department of Urdu while mentioning Faridi’s many-faceted personality said that he was associated with Fani, Asghar Gondawi and Jigar’s tradition and had taken linguistic classes from Maikash, Masud Ahmad and Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui. He had a ripe classical intellect and had keen observation on linguistic grammar. He was among those who added to the honour of the Department of Urdu, he added.

Laloo remembers Lohia
Patna: In India it seems a vibrant political life begins only after a person has reached his seventies. Yunus Lohia, a septuagenarian, Patna resident, after waiting in the wings for 17 years, has been nominated for the forthcoming elections to the Bihar legislative council. The irrepressible Yunus Lohia ultimately bowed down to the wishes of RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav after having categorically ruled out his candidature. Muhammad Yunus Azad, a staunch follower of Ram Manohar Lohia, gave up his title ‘Azad’ for ‘Lohia’ three days after Lohia’s death on 12 August 1967.
Yunus Lohia is a freedom fighter who spent 14 months in jail during the Quit India movement. He was also arrested along with Motiur Rehman, brother of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, in Lahore in 1945 where they had gone to take part in a meeting to condole the martyrs of Jalianwallabagh massacre. 
Yunus Lohia, a social worker, has passed his days in abject poverty, and lives in a one-room shabby, dilapidated dwelling in a crowded locality of Patna. In 1961 when he rented that house he used to pay only Rs 10, and now it has shot up to Rs. 160 per month. Mr. Lohia shares his house with his wife, their only son and daughter-in-law. Recently, Yunus Lohia won the Municipal Ward Councillor's election from his locality. (Lohia has since won the legislative council seat).

Ignoring education is great sin
Aligarh: Addressing the fifth conference of Noorul Uloom Educational Society, Aligarh, its secretary Prof Nafees Ahmad said that because of poverty and illiteracy in various villages of Hathras, Agra, Mathura etc people, particularly Muslims, can neither afford to provide good education to their children nor have they any future plan for development and progress. Non-Muslims and their organizations are exploiting poor and illiterate Muslims on a large scale. Under these circumstances the Society is trying to improve the situation and a number of schools have been opened. Earlier, the foundation stone of Noorul Uloom Higher Secondary School was laid by Sayid Hamid, chancellor of Jamia Hamdard.
Sayid Hamid said that he was extremely happy and satisfied to see that educational awakening is growing in the community. Speakers emphasised the need for acquisition and spreading of education with the same regularity as offering prayers and fasting, promotion of Urdu and observing the teachings of Islam inside as well as outside their homes, bringing about unity and cooperation among all people and communities.


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