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NEWSMAKERS: 16-31 January 2002

The father of Indian missile programme and former principal advisor to the government of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam after taking up charge of the professorship at the Anna University, Chennai is not going to sit and enjoy the post, but his young heart has unlimited dreams which he has seen in the young talents. In the words of HRD Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, ‘He dreams and then materializes his dream.’ Dr Kalam’s new mission is to produce hundreds of Kalams in the land. He has started approaching young talents in schools before they go to colleges to infuse in them the scientific vision and to see his long-cherished dream fulfilled. As he puts it, ‘I want India to be called a developed country, not a developing country.’ For his mission he has already addressed about 15,000 students from various states mostly in schools and has shared their imagination. The incentive behind his mission has been the letter of a 16-year-old Non-resident US Indian student, who lives in Atlanta, ‘I would sing Indian anthem the day India puts ban on other countries, i.e. India becomes an economic and military power. Let his dream be fulfilled. Dr Kalam said that he wants to train a hundred thousand high school students in science and technology by the year 2003.

In a meeting of the executive committee of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind held in Delhi Maulana Syed Mahmood Madani has been unanimously elected general secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind. Several people have welcomed the decision and have appreciated his appointment. Maulana Mufti Muhammad Tayyib, president of the Jamiat’s Saharanpur cell said that Mahmood Madani is an active and young man having great concern for society. Dr Abdul Majid Zuberi said that his appointment would a brilliant chapter in Jamiat’s history.

14-year-old Muhammad Munawwar bin Abdus Salam of Tamil Nadu, a student of M’ahad Usman bin Affan, an educational institute run by Abul Kalam Azad Islamic Awakening Centre, New Delhi, while exhibiting good performance secured second position in an International Competition of Hifz and Qir’at held in Dubai. He received a prize of 1.5 lakh (Emirate) dirhams. The chairman of the International Competition of Hifz and Qir’at Ibrahim Muhammad Bu Malha said that Munawwar’s performance was worth emulating as he made neither any mistake in hifz nor in recitation.

Mohammad Vakil, the promising 25-year-old ghazal singer from Jaipur has another feather to his cap Keh Do Keh Do, a new release of his musical album. Vakil was highly appreciated for his outstanding performance in the popular television programme Saregama some three years ago. Keh Do Keh Do features eight ghazals and songs composed by famous lyricists such as Hasrat Jaipuri, Qateel Shifai and the likes. This is Vakil’s second musical release after Kasak which was released in 1999. He received Master Madan Award at the age of 8 years. Later he received Shan-e-Mausiqi and Surnoor awards. The latest is the Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademy Award which was presented to him by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the State Arts and Culture Minister Miss Beena Kak in recognition of his achievements at a young age. Besides performing at several places in India Vakil has performed in Belgium, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Singapore. At present he is busy in recording for a television programme Gungunaate Pal to be shortly telecast on ETV Rajasthan. 

Naseeruddin Shah is a well-known multi-faceted actor who has carved a niche for himself in Bollywood and has been honoured several times with awards both at national and international level. After being chosen goodwill ambassador of HelpAge India a few month ago the thespian bemused the spectators for his scene-stealing performance in the set of Super Selector, a game show on ESPN-Star Sports which started on 21 September last year. Back once again into the film industry after a long gap of almost 3 years, he surprised the audience on the set of Sarfarosh. Now he has a new release to his credit Monsoon Wedding directed by Mira Nair in which he plays the role of a Punjabi father of the bride.

SABIR NAWAZ and ADAM MULSIM and eight others have been elected to the Calicut University senate from the students’ union general council. N ZAFARULLA was elected to the Kerala University senate. Sabir Nawaz represents the Muslim Students’ Federation (MSF) and Adam and Zafarulla represent Kerala Student’s Union (KSU) 

Former local amir of Jama’at-e Islami and chairman of Babri Masjid Action Committee Maulana Ataur Rahman Wajdi’s arrest has incurred much public anger in Saharanpur. According to information, Maulana Wajdi was arrested during a visit for medical treatment to Delhi, but the police claimed to have arrested him in Surat. Strongly condemning his arrest, about a dozen political parties have demanded his immediate release. Speakers in an all-party meeting have expressed great concern and said that his arrest is part of a plot to harass a particular group of people. The police have accused him of having links with the recently banned SIMI and of distributing its literature as well. But it is not clear how a 65-year-old person can be an activist of SIMI whose constitution does not allow anyone above 30 years of age to remain in the organisation. Maulana’s son Faisal told newspersons that since Maulana was sick, he had gone to Meerut for treatment where he was referred to Delhi. When he came to Delhi, he visited the office of his organization, Tahrik-e Sha’air-e Islam located in Zakir Nagar of South Delhi from where he was arrested and then taken to Surat and shown to be arrested there. Maulana is a well-know religious figure and is highly respected by people of every community. 

Former Janata Dal Secular MP Maulana Obaidullah Khan Azmi joined Congress on 3 January. Instead of sending his resignation to the Speaker of Parliament, Azmi sent it to Janata Dal-S president and former PM HD Deve Gowda. His term was to end in April next. 

Indian Information Service officer Muhammad Afroz Alam has been appointed Haj Officer for the year 2002. He will represent Bihar and Jharkhand during Haj. Alam was appointed Haj officer in 1999 too.

In the 64th Annual General Meeting of the Mumbai Mercantile Co-operative Bank, the board of directors have re-elected Dr AR Qidwai as its chairman and advocate Rasheed Matadar its vice chairman.

Dr SY Qureshi, a 1977 batch Haryana IAS officer who was recently posted in the office of the state chief minister has been appointed Director General of Doordarshan. He will serve for three years.

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