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NEWSMAKERS: 1-15 October 2002

Former vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, DR MAHMOODUR RAHMAN has been appointed chairman of Bombay Merchantile Co-operative Bank. He took over the charge on August 16 at the bank’s head office in Mumbai. He succeeds Prof. AR Qidwai, former MP and governor of Bihar and Bengal. Before being appointed vice chancellor of AMU, Rahman held high posts in Jammu and Kashmir. "People have trust in the bank’s performance which has been working for above 70 years which has 53 branches spread in eight states," Rahman said after taking over the charge.

Aligarh Muslim University has conferred Ph D degree on UBAID IQBAL ASIM on his thesis Maulana Zafar Ahmad: Life and Services. He completed his thesis under the guidance of Dr Abu Sufyan Islahi of the Department of Arabic, AMU.

A descendant of sufi family of Midnapore in Bengal, SMS ALQUADRI is head of the Department of Arabic and Persian, Calcutta University. His forebears migrated from Arabia and settled in Bengal. As a child he started learning Arabic as the traditional sufi family maintained that it was a way to evoke God’s blessings. After formal education he did MA in Persian in 1964. Again he did MA in 1966 but this time the subject was Arabic. He stood first winning, a gold medal. Quadri says that few would take up Arabic as a subject in those days but there is an inflow of students now and they have good job opportunities. Quadri has staunch faith in the secular fabric of India. While presenting a paper on "Non-Muslims’ Views on Hazrat Muhammad in India" at a seminar in Baghdad, he quoted Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Radhakrishnan, Swami Vivekananda and other religious and political giants of India, which amazed Arab scholars.

Former minister of education, Government of Maharashtra, DR RAFIQ ZAKARIA is a well known intellectual, educationist and Islamic scholar but he is least known as a poet. Zakaria wrote an Urdu song at a Congress session in Mumbai in 1964. Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri were present on the occasion. Kasam hai khoon-e-Gandhi ki…Koi bhi Jammu-o-Kashmir humse le nahin sakta, the line thrilled Shastri. As Zakaria wondered how could Shastri enjoy an Urdu song, he said with a laugh, "I am more proficient than you in Urdu." Zakaria’s patriotic song is being resuscitated in the form of an album to celebrate the 55th year of Kashmir’s accession to India.
Member of Legislative Assembly from Bhilwada constituency in Rajasthan, HAFIZ MUHAMMAD KHAN was recently appointed chairman of Rajasthan Minorities Commission. His term will be for three years. He has been given the rank of a cabinet minister. The post was lying vacant after Dr Nizam Muhammad’s term had ended on May 12. Hafiz Muhammad had earlier been a minister in Congress government.

Belonging to the historic land of Gaya, Bihar, a scion of respected landlord’s family, ALI KHAN is now-a-days busy in politics along with films and TV serials. He is quite popular in Laloo Prasad Yadava and Ram Vilas Paswan camps. He said in an interview, "Seeing the love among people for me I seriously think of contesting elections in Bihar." His popularity will ensure his victory but it is to be seen on which party’s ticket he will contest. In 1999 he contested election in Andheri West of Mumbai on National Minorities Party’s ticket. Ali, who started his film career with the important role of Habibullah in Khuda Gawah, has a long list of films some of which are: Dushmani, Indian, Kranti, Sarfarosh, Return of Ghader. Latest to be completed soon is Taliban. Tipu Sultan, Mahabharat, Akbar The Great and The Great Maratha are some of the TV serials in which his role has been highly appreciated.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi has recently conferred the highest degree of Diplomat National Board (DNB) on DR TAMKEEN RABBANI, a lecturer at the Department of Women’s Diseases, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College of Aligarh Muslim University. Rabbani is the first ladies’ specialist doctor of AMU to receive a DNB degree.
Physics reader at Women’s College, Aligarh Muslim University DR SABIRA KHATOON has been recently appointed director of Career Planning Centre. Her term will be for two years. She replaces Dr Nikhat Feroz.


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