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COMMUNITY NEWS: 1-15 November 2000

Madrasa Alia crumbling
Rampur: Madrasa Alia is on the brink of closure. The Madrasa was established way back in 1774 by the Nawabs of Rampur with the establishment of the principality of Rampur. It was the time when the British government established Madrasa Alia in Calcutta, the jewel of Bengal. The curriculum of both the institutions was more or less the same and both attracted large numbers of students from around the country. Madrasa Alia of Rampur was better placed compared to the Madrasa of Calcutta as there was no dearth of funds. The principality was always there to shell out as much money as was required to run the institute. The generosity of the nawabs of the Rampur State is a well-known fact. Located just in front of the mammoth fort of Rampur, the Madrasa still tells the story of the era bygone. 
    After independence with the merger of Rampur in 1949 into the Indian Union, the Madrasa was given in the custody of the department of education of Uttar Pradesh and the name of the Madrasa was changed to the Government Oriental College. The Madrasa attracted in those times students from as far off places as Malaysia and Indonesia apart from students from all over the country. The degrees of the Madrasa were recognized by Cairo University, Ankara University and AMU, besides several other universities in the Central Asian countries.
    There are 37 posts for teachers in the Madrasa, but as of now there are only four teachers including the principal who teaches Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and English. The remaining 33 posts are lying vacant. No new teacher is appointed when any teacher retires from his job. The department of education also did not give any importance to the Madrasa. Qari Rashid Mujaddidi, the current principal, is also set to retire next year, then only three teachers will be left to teach in the Madrasa.
Due to the non-availability of teachers a number of students have shifted to other madrasas. This has reduced the importance of the madrasa a lot.

CPIM (ML) ON AMU
New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has condemned the Sangh Parivar affiliates and the BJP for their attempts to foment communal trouble in the Aligarh Muslim University.
    In a statement the party has demanded an inquiry into an incident in which a student was picked up by plain-clothes who arrived in a vehicle without a number-plate. The CPI (ML) said the Sangh Parivar including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal along with communal sections of the police and administration were set to vitiate the atmosphere in the university and create communal tension there.

IDOLS IN MUSLIM GRAVEYARD
Jahanabad: In Laloo’s Bihar not only innumerable temples have been built on government land or Muslim Waqf Board property, some people are also trying to acquire Muslim graveyard by the time tested method of planting idols forcibly and illegally in order to occupy a piece of land. According to Mr. Abdullah, a resident of Dawoodpur village under Makhdoom police station in Jahanabad, a group of people attempted on 6 September to install idols in the local graveyard. Abdullah said that there are 40 Muslim families in the said village who have been leading their lives peacefully along with non-Muslim brethren for a long time. But some people seem to be jealous of this peaceful atmosphere and want to create disturbance between the two communities. It is reported that information had been given to the circle officer and the local police officer in charge regarding this incident. But both of the two turned deaf ears to villagers’ complaint which has hurt their feelings. Later an information has been sent to the chief minister of Bihar in this respect (Afsar Ali, Jamshedpur).

Goonda Raj in Gujarat
Mumbai: Actor Farooque Shaikh is wondering whom to turn to for justice in India. Shaikh's ancestral home in Amroli village in Vadodra taluka of Gujarat was attacked by a mob of BJP workers on 24 September. His 102-year-old grandmother, uncle and two aunts were seriously injured in the attack.
    The actor rushed to New Delhi immediately after the incident to meet the union home minister LK Advani and senior BJP leader Sushma Sawaraj. He was assured of immediate action. Now after so many days Shaikh's family is still waiting for justice as no action has been taken against the culprits so for.
    The incident took place on 24 September, which was a polling day for the local Zila Parishad elections. A BJP leader, Bhil, from the adjoining village was campaigning for the local party candidate, who lost to his opponent from the Congress. According to Shaikh, the same night at around 9 pm a mob of around 70 to 80 people in trucks and jeeps led by the same leader arrived in Amroli brandishing swords and lathis. 'they had a tractor filled with rocks and stones' he adds. The mob was shouting anti-Muslim slogans and chose to target houses and shops of Muslims only. All the traders shut shops and fled the scene, but this leader started exhorting his men to drag out and beat up the women instead. The mob soon made its way to his ancestral house one of the largest house in the village where his family lived for generation. The mob was led by Bhil and two of his sons.
    They came and stone pelted his house. They were shouting anti Muslim slogans. They tried to break into the house, but the ancestral house withstood their assault. After trying for twenty five minutes they fled the scene. The rock and stone hit most of his relatives all of them above seventy. One of the cousin who was not in the house called the police, when police came a little while letter and said that they were following a complaint that a BJP worker was kidnapped by people in this house. 
    Next day his cousin accompanied with a Congress leader made a video of the scene and gave it with panchnama to police. But nothing has been useful in this case. Even meeting with home minister has not brought any succor to the beleaguered actor and his family. 

Choudhary to launch political forum
Calcutta: Saifuddin Choudhary who was recently expelled by the CPIM is in touch with smaller socialist and communist groups and is reported to be trying to launch a new forum shortly. Choudhary was expelled for spearheading a campaign for more inner party democracy.
He is reportedly in touch with leaders of the Communist Revolutionary League of India, and a few other smaller parties in West Bengal who would be part of his socio-political forum. He is reported to have said that his forum would finally be converted into a full-fledged political party before the election.

Prem Chand remembered
New Delhi: 'Munshi Prem Chand was the torch-bearer of the mixed civilization of India. He was great artist and traditions left by him are guiding us', it was expressed by all the leading laureates in a program organized on the 64th death anniversary of the renowned poet, writer on 8 October.
    The National Council Barae Farogh-e-Urdu Zaban had organized a seminar on the topic ' Prem Chand and the Indian literature' on the 64th death anniversary of the great laureate. On the same occasion Kulliyat-e-Prem Chand was also released by the senior Bollywood director Gulzar. The Council has planned to publish his Kulliyat in 22 volumes. on the same occasion another book Fiction ke fankar Prem Chand was also released. The book has been authored by Prof. Shakeelur Rehman.

Calligraphy exhibition 
New Delhi: Iran Culture House organized a four-day-long exhibition on calligraphy under the title, Wafa-e-Qalam in Iran Culture House from 9 October. 
    On the first day several leading personalities including the agriculture secretary of the government of India Dr RD Choudhary, Dr naseem Akhtar, Moosa Raza, Prof. Zaheer Dehlawi, director of National Council Bara-e Farogh-e Urdu attended the exhibition. The cultural councilor Issa Razazade thanked the visitors. The exhibition was organizes with the help of National Council Bara-e-Farogh-e-Urdu Zaban, ministry of HRD. 

DARGAH COMMITTEE TO ESTABLISH 
EDUCATIONAL COMPLEX
Ajmer: Shakeel Ahmad, the new in-charge of Dargah Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti (ra) has said that the Dargah Committee will construct a Khwaja Nawaz Educational Complex and establish a computer training centre, Khwaja Model School and construct a new hostel for the students of Madrasa Aminiya, an institution being run by the Dargah Committee. 

GERRYMANDERING MUSLIM AREAS
Badot (Baghpat): The population of Badot township is approximately 0.1 million. And the town is divided in twenty-five wards. 
The town administration is trying to gerrymander it so that Muslims get less representation in the local municipality. It has angered Muslims.
    The Arya Nagar mohalla of the town has only 2000 voters and it is divided in three wards. In the forthcoming elections of Nagarpalika, three members will be elected from this area. This is a predominantly a non-Muslim area. On the other hand there is a Pathankot mohalla, a predominantly Muslim populated area with five thousand voters. But the area is divided in only one ward. These five thousand voters will elect only a single member for the forthcoming elections. In another predominantly Muslim area of Eid Gah there are around forty-two hundred voters but it has been made a single ward. This has angered Muslims beyond any count. They are taking it as a well-planned strategy to reduce Muslim's representation in the local self government.

MUSLIM DEGREE COLLEGE
Meerut: The age-old educational institute of the city, Faiz-e-Aam inter college has been given the status of a degree college and the degree courses have been given a go ahead in the college. The college has got another shot in the arm when the human resources development ministry gave go ahead to the proposal of setting up a computer centre, Faiz-e-Aam Institute of Computer Studies. It will work directly under the HRD ministry.

COMMUNAL VIRUS IN PEETAL NAGRI
Moradabad: After suspecting Muslim students AS ‘ISI agents’ and anti-nationals in different areas, the virus has reached the Peetal Nagri also. A few weeks back a student of Madrasa Qasimul Uloom and one of his friends was beaten black and blue by the retired DSP Jaswant Singh, his two sons and his family members in Jigar colony of the city. Those students were branded as ‘ISI agents.’ They later handed over the duo to the police who also beat them up. They were released later when local Muslims gathered around and protested against the assault.
    Muslims of the city have taken strong note of this provocative action. A delegation of influential Muslims of the city met the district magistrate in this connection and demanded harsh action against the perpetrators of the crime. They have also said that if any untoward incident takes place in the response of such provocation, Muslims will not be responsible. 
    The delegation that comprised of Imam of the Jama Masjid, Syed Masum Ali, former minister Hafiz Siddiq, convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee Saleem Ahmad also told the district administration that Muslims will not take lightly such accusations against their educational institutes and places of worship. 

GIRLS EDUCATION STRESSED
Lucknow: The minister of state for education in UP government Sheema Rizvi has stressed over educating the women, she said that without education they cannot enjoy their rights fully.
    She was speaking at a prize distribution ceremony organized by Imamiya Educational Trust on 26 September. She also said that it is high time when everyone get education. She added that the government is trying its level best to increase the literacy level in the country.

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