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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-31 March 2001

Policemenin Kolkata ‘controlling’ Madrasa students protesting against West Bengal’s educational system

Another Shah Bano in the making?
New Delhi: A city court has directed a Muslim man to give maintenance to his wife until he proves that the divorce given to her was in accordance with Muslim law. While passing the direction, the court pronounced that the divorce was in violation of Qur'anic law under which giving divorce without pre-divorce counseling was a spiritual offence.
   The respondent in this case cannot be permitted to profit from the situation which he has created, held the judge, adding that the husband had divorced the wife at his own whims and caprices. Metropolitan magistrate Kamini Lau observed that ‘under Muslim law, the husband is not required to assign any cause of a divorce but there must be a reasonable cause.’
   The order is a follow-up to a maintenance petition in which the wife alleged cruelty, both mental and physical, against her husband. The alleged torture was on account of dowry demand. It has been alleged that the wife was thrown out of the house in 1999, seven years after the marriage, after her parents failed to meet her in-laws’ demands. The petition was filed on 5 August 1999 and a month later notice was issued to the husband. On 28 October the husband appeared before the court and was granted time to file a reply. But on the next date of hearing the husband failed to appear and moved an exemption application.
   While granting him the permission, the court asked the husband to pay maintenance to his wife, till the next date of hearing. Incidentally the couple’s minor son who was with the wife expired during the period. In another development husband informed that he has divorced the wife and sent mehr and talaqnama by registered post. But wife refused to accept talaqnama and said it was void to pronounce talaq in one sitting.

Qutub Complex being encroached
New Delhi: A six-feet high boundary wall is being erected to enclose a large portion of land in the south-west corner of the historical Qutub Minar complex.
   The Qutub Minar is a world heritage monument and several conservationists have objected to this encroachment. 'This construction is not only disfiguring the historic setting, but also seriously affecting the world Heritage status of the site' says OP Jain, convener of INTACH's Delhi chapter.
   INTACH has asked the authorities to put an end to this blatantly illegal encroachment. 'How is this construction being permitted adjoining a UNESCO designated World Heritage site' asked the INTACH's Delhi convener.

Kaifi Azmi's collection released
New Delhi: If it is Delhi, can politics be far behind?. Politics which apart from other things still means a particular set of ideas or commitment to a movement. The occasion was a release of a book of poems by Kaifi Azmi, once in the forefront of the Progressive Writers' Movement, famous Urdu poet and intellectual. The book Selected Poems by Kaifi Azmi, a Penguin publication, collects some of the writer's best. It is also a translation by Pawan K Verma, bureaucrat and writer.
   And there was this unabashed commitment to an ideology-from kaifi Azmi's own recitation of Doosra Vanvas which laments the destruction of the Babri Masjid to Shabana Azmi's mention of the role her father's poetry has played in inspiring her to work for slum dwellers. Then there was former prime minister IK Gujral, present there to release the book fondly remembered in chaste Urdu how Kaifi Azmi's wife Shaukat was involved in the making of the film Garam Hawa, which Gujral as information minister in Indira Gandhi's cabinet had stopped from being played. The ideology came in couplets-strong words wrapped in a beautiful language, Urdu. Reason enough why there was a need for a translation said Shabana Azmi-to give a wider audience to her father's poems.

Muslims help rebuild temple
Kozikode: Muslims have conserved a mandir in a village in this Kerala district that was on the brink of extinction.
   It is said that a vaid (ayurveda doctor) Wishwanath Swami wanted to rebuild the dilapidated mandir. He asked his patients to help him rebuild the mandir. Very few Hindus came forward for the cause. They were scared that some sprits may affect them. but Muslims came forward in a big way.
   It is said that first consignment of cement came from Mamu Koya, a local Muslim trader. Another Muslim trader Khalid Bhai helped construct the verandah of the mandir. This land was also owned by a Muslim that he gifted to the mandir for its expansion.

Coca-Cola under fire
Lucknow: It is not the Muslims in Middle east alone who have boycotted US products for assisting Israel, even Muslims in this city and other places too have decided to boycott the US products though for another reason.

   The quirk in the logo cannot be spotted but some have claimed that if you hold it up in front of a mirror and see the reflection of the logo, you can clearly see it is anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim. They claim that the mirror image of the logo reads ‘La Muhammad, La Mecca’ in Arabic-which means 'there is no Muhammad , and no Makkah.’ The upshot of all this is a two-month ultimatum to Coca-Cola to modify the logo or else…
   We at MG tried to read ‘la Muhammad, la Makkah’ in the Coke logo and failed... Here is are the possible mirror images of the Coke logo, try your luck!...

Inquiry into dead end
Ranchi: An official inquiry into the police firing here on 28 December in which three Muslim youths were killed, appears to have reached a dead end, with no members of the public coming forward to volunteer information about the unfortunate incident.
   The inquiry is in the initial stages, Shila Kisku Rapaz the divisional commissioner of the Chota Nagpur area said recently while talking to the media recently. The Jharkhand government had directed Rapaz DIG of the area to probe into the firing near Rajendra Chowk in Doranda area and submit a report within a month.
   Consequent to the state government order, Rapaz and the DIG have had at least two meetings and inserted an advertisement in the local dailies on 6 January inviting people to apprise them of information about the incidents within ten days.
   But so far nobody has reportedly turned up to depose before them. we would like to reinsert the advertisement. We would also appreciate if media persons come forward to enlighten us with information about the firing, said Rapaz. The violent incidents were sparked off after an eight-year-old girl Arfin was run over by a truck of the Bihar Military Police on Eidul Fitr.

Contribution to the PM Relief Fund
New Delhi: Khwaja Hamidullah, chairman of Priyadarshani College of Computer Sciences has donated fifty-one thousand rupees in the Prime Minister's relief Fund for Gujarat victims. He presented the check at Prime Minister AB Vajpayee residence in the Capital on behalf of his college.

Ayodhya may cause bloodshed
New Delhi: Former Uttar Pradesh governor Romesh Bhandari has said that a wrong decision on the Ayodhya dispute will cause severe bloodshed in the country. Warning the Indian leadership Bhandari said that a wrong decision could cause sever damage to the country’s future.
   He said on 19 February that he has warned every big and small leader including the prime minister AB Vajpayee on the danger looming over the country in case any wrong decision is taken. He also said that the government should pass an order in the Budget session of the Parliament that entitles it to confiscate all the material collected to construct the Ram temple on the site of the mosque.
   He also said that the Sangh wants to make the environment so critical in the country that it becomes necessary to hold midterm polls in the country and it could ensure a huge victory for the BJP.

Destroying national culture
Muzaffar Nagar: Dr Masood, president of the national Lok Tantrik Party has accused that the BJP and the RSS are bent upon destroying the composite culture of the country and brandishing Muslims as anti-national.
   Addressing a public program Dr. Masood said that the BJP is trying to suppress Muslims and other minority communities in the country.
He also said that the BJP and the RSS are trying to brand the mosques as the hideouts of the ISI and the Muslim youths as its cadres. He accused the police of killing Muslim youths by labeling baseless cases against them.
   He also said that his party will not allow the fascist organizations to succeed in their heinous designs with the help of the secular people of the country.

Pay compensation to Irshad family
New Delhi: the National Human Right Commission NHRC has asked the Delhi government in a notice sent by it as to why three lakh rupees should not be given to Irshad’s family, a twenty-five year old youth killed by the Delhi Police. The NHRC has asked the Delhi government to send its reply by 16 March. Commission has said that this notice is being sent to the Delhi government after receiving the report of the DCP of eastern Delhi. The report says that Muhammad Irshad was beaten to death mercilessly by the Delhi police cops.
   Meanwhile the cops responsible for his murder have not been granted bail. They will remain in the prison till the medical report of Irshad is submitted.

Western Culture spoiling youth
Saharanpur: Former Vice-Chancellor of Allahbad University, Prof. Waheed Malik, while describing the harmful and destructive effects of Western civilization, said that the glamour of this civilization is pushing our new generation towards destruction. He was expressing his views as the chief guest at a function of Jain Degree College here.
   Making western civilization the target of his criticism, he said that it is not in conformity with India’s lofty moral values and glorious traditions. Praising the superiority of Indian civilization, he said that the teachings of ‘sufis’ and saints and Rishis Munis are the foundations of our civilization, which teach the entire world lessons of humanity and have projected our personality and identity on the world map. He also highlighted the shortcomings of present educational system and said that this system is proving unsuccessful in developing the personality of our students, which needs attention and action.
   The college principal, RR Azad said that we shall have to pay special attention on the education of new generation in order to utilize their capabilities for the progress and development of the country.

Saifuddin finally has own party
Kolkata (Calcutta): The wait for disgruntled Marxists ended on 21February as Saifuddin Choudhary launched his much publicized political outfit Party for Democratic Socialism. Choudhary said that he has launched the new political outfit to end the polarization between the Left Front and the Trinamul-BJP.
   The PDS is against all forms of dictatorship of the proletariat and will work for democratic socialism, Choudhary the party president said at the first party conference.
   The CPI(M) dismissed the PDS as one more party adding to the national tally of 44. The CPI(M) has more than 227000 members and not even half a percent will be swayed by the PDS said Anil Biswas, CPI(M) state secretary.
   Choudhary criticized the CPI(M) which he said was not only desperate to cling on to power but was also ruthless in suppressing minority views within the party. What sort of democratic party is the CPI(M) that drives away members who have sacrificed a lot for it just because their views did not conform to those of the ruling coterie, Saifuddin Choudhary said.


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