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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-30 November 2000

Be careful
Deoband: Madrasas are facing tough times these days. There are elements that are trying to get these educational institutions closed by making allegation against these educational institutions that played marvellous jobs during the freedom struggle in the country. This was stated by Maulana As’ad Madani in a meeting of Rabita-e Madaris-e-Islamia Arabia, organized at Darul Uloom Deoband on 12 October. He added that the management of these institutions should perceive the severity of the condition and give utmost importance to the safety of these institutions. He also said that they should be extremely careful in taking any step and should avoid anything that could give an opportunity to their adversaries to implicate them or their madrasas in anything.
    He has appealed to all madrasas and their respective management to give permission to strangers to stay in their madrasas. He has advised them to be extra-careful on this count and in otherwise case has warned of dangerous results.
    The delegates condemned the anti-madrasa policies of the government. They also criticized the UP Religious Places Bill also that has not been scrapped so far.

Javed AkhtarDON'T GIVE UP HOPE: Akhtar 
Mumbai: Relations between India and Pakistan are at its lowest. There has been no break through in relations between the two warring nations for quite a long time. The Lahore declaration also failed to make any real change and the military takeover has done more harm than good to it. It seems that things are not going to change.
    But not all people think so. Laureates, poets artists and other people have not given up hopes. They think that things are not that bad and there is every possibility of things to improve in the days to come. Among them Javed Akhtar is a prominent name. He represents a class of politically conscious icons of modern Indian arts who are worried about the depleting secular ethos of the country. Javed Akhtar is critical of rising fundamentalism. An ardent advocate of equity, social justice, democratic values and peace he believes that these things should be given to every humankind in the world.
    Javed Akhtar says that fundamentalism always has some vested interest behind it. In the name of religion or faith, certain privileged sections wish to maintain a status quo so that their position and power remains unchallenged. 
    Javed Akhtar who was a part of the famous Lahore delegation that visited Lahore is still hopeful for better ties with Pakistan. He says that Lahore declaration failed but we must not give up hope. He adds that rationalist and sensible men of both the sides of border must think about development.

A symbol of religious harmony 
Erwadi: the Erwadi dargah built around the tomb of Qutub Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed is about 300 years old, though the mazar itself is about 900 years old. The dargah was built by Nawab of Arcot Ehtebar Khan. But the dargah was probably established with an endowment made by the sethpathy Raja of Ramnathpuram about 350 years ago. Legend goes that the raja was childless and hence approached the dargah and offered prayers. He was blessed with a child. In return the Raja donated 6000acres of agricultural land to Mujavir Nalla Ibrahim, the head of the family that ran the tomb. Subsequently the family of Raja visited the dargah for all the ailments and in fact received succor for all the ailments. From then the dargah acquired fame as a holy centre for all the faiths and people started thronging the area for all the things they confronted.
    Then the nawab of Arcot built the dargah structure and since the last 200 years, people have been flocking to the place regularly in large numbers. This dargah even today is governed by the descendants of Mujavir Nalla Ibrahim.

Headless Raza Library 
Rampur: Kazim Ali Khan, MLA in the UP assembly and a member of Raza Library Board has made an end to the speculations that the appointment of director for Raza Library is to be appointed shortly. He has clarified that the director will be appointed in or after December. It is to be noted that for a long time the Library has no director and it is functioning under Waqarul Hasan Siddiqi, an officer on special duty (OSD). The news received from Lucknow say that Dr Gopi Chand Narang who was given the responsibility by the central government to recommend a director for the library has said that he does not see anyone eligible to head this library. The central government has frozen any appointment for one year so it seems that no director will be appointed for the library in the immediate future.

Qabristan under occupation
New Delhi: the problem of Khera graveyard has every masala to turn into a very hot issue. It is a boiling pot that may blast anytime. There has not been any breakthrough in this connection. The meeting of Delhi Waqf Board officials with the Lt. Governor of Delhi did not prove fruitful either. The Waqf Board could not present any file to the governor on the issue. It also failed to prove that this graveyard was at any given time under Muslim's control.
    The main ingredient in this drama is that Durga Puja was celebrated in this graveyard with great fanfare by the Hindus and the effigies of Ravana was burnt here too. The more embarrassing thing is that this all was photographed and is not any secret.
    Muslims every year offer Eid prayers on the plot. The issue may boil into a big controversy any day. Bu the Waqf board officials have no time to give required attention to it.
    Earlier the village was in Meerut commissionery, but in 1960 it was included in Delhi and in 1965 the Delhi Waqf Board acquired the place. The property dealers all along devoured a large chunk of the graveyard land and a whole colony can be seen on this land now.

Madrasas Centres of peace 
New Delhi: 'Madrasas are centres of peace and harmony' it was stated by the health minster of Delhi government in a program organized by the students union of Jamia Rahimiya. The minister added that blaming these madrasas for something else like anti national activities and helping anti national elements is a great sin. He further said that blaming such institutions is a symbol of anti nationalism. 
    The programme attracted several luminaries from Delhi and others. Important among them were Shuaib Iqbal MLA, Subodh Kant Sahai former home minister, Dr Ashok Walia health minister Ramesh Datta municipal councilor and Hafiz Matlub Karim general secretary Youth Congress Delhi Pradesh. 

Muhammad (pbuh) for all
Sirat conference
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Delhi and Haryana organized a one-day Sirat conference on the life of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) on 15 October in the Jafferabad area of North East Delhi.
    The well attended conference was addressed by several prominent Muslim leaders and scholars and was attended by people of all schools of thought. The speakers repeatedly said that if Muslims follow the life and teachings of the prophet and try to play their role according to the teachings of the prophet then the darkness that has covered the world from all around will vanish. They also said that the teachings of prophet alone are capable to give peace and tranquility to the people in this world that has become increasingly selfish and rude. The people are searching for a way of life that could provide them peace of mind and could satisfy their intellectual needs. Islam alone is capable to do this great job. But for this purpose we will have to reach out to all the people with the life and teachings of the prophet of Islam (pbuh).
    The speakers also emphasized on the rights of the women ensured by Islam. They lamented that though Islam has ensured a respectable, just and equal place for women they are being deprived and exploited by the followers of Islam. 

Suri's Mausoleum a target for everyone 
Suri's MausoleumSasaram: Is the mausoleum of the great Sher Shah Suri going to be mired in a controversy for ever? The answer is yes if the circle office of the Archeological Survey of India (Patna) region is to be believed. Patna circle of the ASI has expressed grave concern over the ongoing construction of a temple in the premises of Sher Shah Suri's tomb here. the official apathy has stalled all the efforts of the ASI to stop the construction. 
    The superintending archaeologist of the Patna unit of the ASI Muhammad KK has written to the chief secretary that, ' It is distressing to inform you that on 3 October the local police refused to accept an FIR against the new construction. The ASI representative at Sasaram had approached the local police to lodge an FIR against the resumption of the construction of temple. He has also informed the district magistrate Rohatas, the district in which the town comes. 
    Alleging the connivance of the local police the officials state the illegal construction of the temple had begun even earlier, but was stopped when the matter was brought to the notice of the administration, a few months ago. However the construction work is now going on uninterrupted despite fresh complaints to the local administration. the ASI laments that despite the efforts of their representative in Sasaram, no action has been taken to stop the illegal construction and now the work for casting the RCC roof on the temple is in progress. The refusal of the police to register the case makes it clear that encroachment upon government land and the construction of the illegal temple is with the active connivance of the police' the letter says.

Families in peril
Jaipur: Malpura riots have cast shadow on a large number of people. It has not spared even well-to-do and highly educated Muslim families in the town and the areas surrounding it. 
    The violence was sparked off in Malpura, in Tonk district after the killing of a person Kailash Mali who was involved in the killing of a number of Muslims in the riots in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, but its ripples reached the Adarsh Viddya Mandir. In this school Husain and his daughter were both teachers. Threat letters trickled in, suspicious stares greeted them until 12 August when the local Bajrang Dal brazenly pasted a notice on the school wall asking him to resign.
    He quit the same day. His daughters and two other Muslim teachers quit after armed goons entered the school campus, shouted slogans against the minority community and disrupted Independence Day celebrations. The main accused in the Independence Day incident was booked but was later let off with a mere warning. Peace was restored but today Husain's story is a story of how a family has suddenly been pushed to margins. Husain had never felt the hostility or alienation during the four years he is serving the school as principal. It was just a matter of a few weeks before he and his colleagues began to feel hostile undercurrents. Soon he started getting warnings and threats. Husain said that he did never feel like staying any more.

Women delegates at the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board


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