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COMMUNITY NEWS: 1-51 May 2001

Convention on Islamic Madrasas and the future of Indian Muslims - story

Educational backwardness
New Delhi: The delay in understanding the necessity and importance of education will push the minorities of the country in the abysmal ditch of backwardness. AMU Prof. Mr. Humayun Murad said.
Inaugurating the ‘Nematullah Ansari Memorial Award’ prize distribution ceremony to brilliant students, Prof. Humayun Murad, president of All India Central Momin Conference said while emphasizing the recognition of the promising students of the community. He added that education is the only weapon that can uproot illiteracy. The ceremony was organized by Delhi Youth Momin Conference.
Mr. Anis Durrani, chairman Delhi Hajj Committee told the students coming from Urdu speaking families that at whatever level they might be getting modern education, they should keep their relation with Urdu, so that they do not mourn tomorrow over the death of their culture and civilization. He said mere knowledge of course books does not help creating an image in society.
Mr. Abdus Salam, working president Central Momin Conference, said in his key-note address that in the era of internet, knowledge and education has become necessary for earning a livelihood. If we display the same passivity, inactivity and indolence in the age of information technology, as we had shown after industrial revolution, the entire ummah will suffer irreparable loss.
The newsletter of the Central Momin Conference was also released on this occasion. Prominent figures like MLA Vir Singh, Mujahid Ansari and Dr. Zainul Abidin participated in the programme. The function was presided over by Shahid Anjum. Promising students from various schools were given prizes instituted by Nematullah Ansari Memorial Award.

Mosque open for prayers after 13 yrs
Maunath Bhanjan: After 13 years of consecutive discontinuance due to sectarian differences, Masjid Ahnaf, Kyari tola Purwa, Chhinga was opened and the namazis offered Friday prayers. It should be noted that the dispute had erupted between two groups in 1988 over the aforesaid mosque’s ownership. Keeping in view the complexity of the dispute the police had locked the mosque in 1988 under section 145. The two groups had got registration in Sunni Central Waqf Board and Shia Waqf Board. But when the case was brought to civil judge (Tribunal), Azamgarh, the judge issued his judgement favouring one party as the rightful owner of the mosque, while the other group filed a revision petition in High Court. The high court gave verdict of the revision appeal on September 2, 1994 verifying Ali Ahmed as the management authority of the mosque and its patio. The court accepted the right of one group to perform congregational prayers, while it allowed other groups also to perform namaz behind the former group. And it did not permit the latter to congregate for separate jama’at. That’s why the latter filed their appeal in SC against the verdict. And its last and final judgement was issued by the bench comprising justice DS Rajendra Babu and justice DP Mahapatra and the other group’s appeal was rejected after listening to the arguments of both the parties. Later on the mosque was handed over to a group of the aforementioned Muslims by city Magistrate and after a gap of 13 years namaz and adhan started again.

Clash in AMU
Aligarh: AMU non-teaching staff are on a token hunger strike over various demands. The members of Technical Staff Association were also on strike for 10 days. Cabinet member Mr. Musharraf Ali Khan, Sajjad Hyder and Muhammad Wasim were welcomed before the strike. Deputy president Dr. Karamat Ali who was present on the occasion said that the management was informed in advance but it did not take notice of the demands. He said that if the management did not accept the demands, the workers may go on hunger strike for an indefinite period. Gen. Secretary Mr. Khalid Rizvi said the management should accept the demands of the workers. Otherwise the situation may worsen any time. Choudhry Musharraf said that the token hunger strike will continue till the demands are accepted and if necessity arises the workers will not hesitate to go on indefinite strike. Sajjad Hyder said the staff has support from every group for this struggle. Secretary KK Sharma, Wajid Ali and Zafar Khan sat down on a token hunger strike.

Best College Magazine
Calicut: The Pokker Sahib Memorial Orphanage College magazine, Question, edited by Jalaluddin Ahmed has bagged the Basheer Award instituted by the Bankmen's club for the best students' magazine. Pace the students' magazine of MEA Sullamussalam Science College, Areekod, edited by U. Sujit bagged the second prize and Bharat Mata College's magazine Mouth-piece bagged the third prize. The awards were presented by the president of Kendra Sahitya Akademi, Mr.Rama Kant Rath on 4 July at the Town Hall, Calicut.

Ram Mandir construction
Ayodhya: Whether we get any facility from the government or not, the volunteers of the Parishad will start the construction work at the disputed site in Ayodhya at any time after 12 March 2002. Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Media Centre in-charge Sharad Sharma told the correspondents.

Minorities Finance Commission budget
Jaipur: Rajasthan Minorities Commission has demanded the National Minorities Finance Commission that the budget of newly-formed Minorities Finance Commission should be increased from Rs 2 crores to Rs 5 crores. A few resolutions were also passed during the meeting of the commission, which include many important resolutions besides formation of Rajasthan Madrasa Board to bring all the madrasas to one pattern.
Dr. Nizam Muhammad, chairman of the commission, Mastan Singh, member, Asghar Ali advocate and Prof. David N Sen participated in the meeting.

Fading glory of the Red Fort
New Delhi: Commissioned by Shah Jehan and completed in 1648, the Red Fort seems losing the spark. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and National Culture Fund have identified the fort among one of 36 "heritage sites in need of immediate attention". During the period of British rule after the 1857 mutiny, many important buildings inside the fort were pulled down for construction of other buildings like barracks for the army. Silver from the roof of Diwan-e-Khas was looted and many of the precious stones beautifully inlaid in the walls are missing. Moti Masjid is in a state of neglect. There are very few facilities for 10,000 to 15000 daily visitors to the fort. The visitors cannot fully appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the fort because they do not Know what was its original form.
A number of jhuggis have encroached the fort land near Lahori Gate. The damp walls of the barbican at Lahori Gate present a gloomy picture of the venue from where the PM addresses the nation on the Independence Day. Despite the monumental neglect, the fort remains a centre of attraction for many visitors.

LOST LANDMARK
Calcutta: One son wants to sell computers, the other wants to sell hi-fi music systems. And each feels he should be the one to run the city's oldest Bengali-owned departmental store, Wachel Molla & Sons. Caught between the warring sons of Wachel Molla, who set up a departmental store that occupied two floors and 9000 square ft at Dharmatala and became one of Calcutta's most prestigious shopping landmarks, Wachel Molla & Sons is fast sinking into a financial black hole.
Time was when the likes of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Satyajit Ray, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Nargis came to this departmental store when they felt like going shopping. Netaji made his last purchase here before he fled house arrest in 1941, declares Shafiul Haque Molla, one of Molla's sons. Now a few umbrellas, some hosiery items and a few electronic and electrical goods make up most of what the store has to offer. It still has 5600 sq. ft left-the rest has been given out to banks and other business establishments. The fight has seen battles inside courtrooms and may see some more as the sons and the grandsons of the great businessman fight it out between them. They differ on which of Molla's sons should run the store, but they do agree on one thing; the more than hundred year old store's glory days are gone.

MUSLIM REGIMENT IN ARMY
Saharanpur: Lok Tantrik Insaf Party in a meeting in the city has asked the government to form a Muslim regiment in the army. The demand made by the outfit is a longstanding demand of Muslims in the country. Muslims despite making more than fifteen percent of the population are abysmally represented in the armed forces of the country.
Muslims have been demanding that the armed forces and other security organizations should be more evenly represented by Muslims of the country. They are also demanding that other state police and organizations like Provincial Armed Constabulary should increase the representation of Muslims. It is estimated that Muslims make only around 3-3.5 percent in the armed forces.
The Lok Tantrik Insaf Party has said that a Muslim regiment be formed on the pattern of Pathan Regiment that existed in the pre-partition era. It was liquidated with the partition of the country.

CHARMINAR NEEDS A FACELIFT
Hyderabad: That the more than four hundred year old edifice, the symbol of Hyderabad, Charminar's very survival was in danger became evident when a big chip from one of the four minarets fell off recently causing panic in the area.
a portion of the North Western minar of the monument, facing the Laad Bazar area fell on the ground with a loud thud. Though no one was injured, it caused a stir among the road users and people hastily got away from the monument fearing some more chips might fall.
Though it was a known fact for quite some time that the 410 year old monument made of lime stone was not in good shape and its body had borne many scars, it is first time that such a big portion of a minaret has come off. The incident followed heavy rains which lashed Hyderabad city on that night. The incident, which brought a team of Archeological Survey of India to examine the fallen piece of the minaret, has focussed people's attention on the pathetic state of affairs in the maintenance of the priceless monument of the Qutub Shahi era.
The ASI, a government of India agency is responsible for maintenance and repairs of historic monument but ASI officials have often complained of lack of funds. The monument has suffered a significant damage at a time when various state government agencies are in the process of implementing a grandiose plan for beautifying the area around Charminar to attract foreign and domestic tourists to the place.

Jamia authorities rapped
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court recently issued notice to the Jamia Millia Islamia and sought its reply to a petition challenging relaxation of eligibility criteria for Elementary Teachers Education (ETE) diploma courses this year.
Issuing the notice to the university and National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE), a division bench comprising Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul directed both the respondents to file their replies soon.
A public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Mushtaq Ahmed alleged that the university in violation of NCTE guidelines has given concessions in the minimum fifty percent marks in the secondary examination for ETE diploma course.
Mushtaq's counsel, Muhammad Ali told the court that the university had allowed candidates having less than 50 percent marks in the secondary examination to sit for the examination. the university though empowered to hike the percentage of marks to improve the standard has no right to reduce the minimum qualifying marks fixed by NCTE which is a statutory body, said the PIL.
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