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NEWSMAKERS: 1-15 October 2001

Prof. Shafiq Ahmad Khan Nadwi, head of the department of Arabic at the Jamia Millia Islamia, has been appointed acting president by the executive committee of United Muslims of India.
The executive committee while taking a unanimous decision has expressed the hope that Prof Nadwi would act with responsibility in fulfilling the aims and objectives of the organization.

Muhammad Shariq Tabish, after securing distinction marks has topped the list of successful candidates of this year’s final examination of MA (Urdu) of Delhi University. He secured 1131 marks out of 1600. Nusrat Jahan stood second securing 1087 marks. It should be noted that 26 candidates succeeded this year in MA (Urdu) final of DU. Mumtaz Begum secured 999 marks and stood third. Ghulam Noor Sarwar of Kirori Mall College secured 998 marks.

Muhammad Fazal was sworn in as governor of Kerala on 15 September. Muhammad Fazal, Governor of Goa, will look after the additional work of Kerala till the end of this month in place of Kerala’s Governor Sukh Dev Singh Kang, who is on leave. Muhammad Fazal was sworn in in a simple function at Raj Bhavan by Chief Justice BMC Krishnan of Kerala high court. Chief Minister AK Antony and his cabinet colleagues were also present on the occasion.

Justice Khwaja Muhammad Yusuf, chairman of West Bengal Minorities Commission, has been nominated ‘Visitor’ of Indian Museum by the Board of Trustees of Indian Museum, Calcutta.
The visitor can visit the museum whenever he wishes and can give suggestions to Indian Government to make it better. Justice Yusuf has been the trustee of the Indian Museum for many years.

Dr Rizaullah Muhammad Idris Mubarakpuri, an Islamic scholar, has been nominated member of Islamic Fiqh Academy of Makkah-based World Muslim League. He will represent India in this institution.
His grandfather Allama Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri is world-renowned for his Arabic commentary Tuhfatul Ahwazi of the hadith book Jam’i Tirmidi.

Ghulam Nabi Meer Lais Jan, general secretary and founder member of Mufti Saeed’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has resigned from the party for ‘personal reasons.’ Mufti Saeed, former home minister had floated PDP after resigning from Congress. Lais Jan too was a member of the Congress before joining PDP.
Jaideep Mukherjee, former Indian Davis Cup coach is now Sameer Chowdhury. He is now a Muslim. The renowned tennis player married Ms Sharmeen Chowdhury, a professional designer from Bangladesh, on 14 June in Kolkata. The two were married in Kolkata by Maulana Noorur Rahman Barkati, the Shahi Imam of the city's Tipu Sultan mosque. The mahr (dower) fixed was one lakh and one rupees.

KHWAJA MUNIR AHMAD works as an honorary translator at Iran Cultural House. His brothers are bankers in the US. His grandfather was a calligrapher, his father an artist. His great grandfather was sent to Iran as an ambassador in Fateh Ali Shah Quachan’s reign.
Khwaja Ahmad relates these academic achievements in his family with pride. After all, he says, ‘It is in our blood.’ His lineage goes back to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University. ‘You have read his stories in books but I have heard them. They have been passing through generations,’ says the 67-year-old Ahmad. He relates an incident concerning Asarus Sanaadeed, authored by Sir Syed. ‘While writing the book on inscriptions of historical buildings in Delhi, it was necessary to see the inscriptions on a building. Sir Syed was a bit heavy and could not climb stairs. So he got a lift made of ropes and four men would pull it up.’ Sir Syed’s home in Daryaganj was sold in 1940. ‘When I go to Old Delhi, I deliberately cross his haveli,’ he says. Ahmad’s desire is to see his grandchildren study at Aligarh Muslim University.

Manpreet Akhter has made a name as a singer of sufiana and folk music. ‘Sur is something which comes straight from the heart,’ she says. She enthralled music lovers with her numbers, Tujhe yaad na meri ayee and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Though the song became popular, the voice has remained relatively unknown.
A lecturer of music in a college in Sangroor, Patiala, Akhter plans to take up singing as a fulltime career. Akhter mesmerized Delhiites during a recent performance at India Habitat Centre.
Influenced by veteran melody queens like Noorjahan and Runa Laila, Akhter started singing at an early age by hearing them over the radio and imitating their voices. ‘These melodies were not only registered in my ears, but deep down in my heart, I needed to listen a song but once, and the song remained in my mind since then,’ she says.
She has sung for Punjabi films and won the mega-finals in Meri Awaz Suno, a popular music shown on DD.
Akhter now plans to shift to Mumbai and establish herself in playback singing. She is ready to mould herself with time and does not mind trying out pop, light classical and ghazals too. Her ultimate wish is to be remembered as a name among names.

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