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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-31 May 2001

Gujarat Urdu Academy chairman Prof. Waris Alawi presenting Guru-puruskar award to poet Muhammad Jamal Qureshi

CHC promises to improve Haj facilities
New Delhi: Of the 1.15 lakh Indian Muslims who went to Haj this year, the Central Haj Committee claims to have facilitated the pilgrimage of 70000 people .
The chairman of the Central Haj Committee, Tanveer Ahmad, said though the government of Saudi Arabia had earlier fixed a quota of 1.20 lakh people for India as per proportion of Muslim population last year, with the efforts of the CHC this quota was enhanced to 1.27 lakh. This would allow many of us to help more people to take the pilgrimage each year, said Tanveer.
Speaking about the new proposals that are in the pipeline to facilitate travel of Haj pilgrims for 2002, Tanveer said that ' We are trying to add Lucknow, Nagpur and Bhopal to the disembarkation list to provide more connectivity'. Also to minimize the problems faced due to lack of awareness about the rules and regulations laid down by the government of Saudi Arabia, training camps for Haj pilgrims will be held to educate them about how to cope with their problems pertaining to travel and stay.
Regarding the construction of Haj houses in different states, Tanveer said during the last two years Haj houses were constructed at Ahmedabad and Hyderabad and work at Bhopal and Jaipur would begin soon.

Inter-Religious Group launched
New Delhi: A multi religious initiative for the regeneration of India was launched on 18 April in New Delhi by newly formed Dharmic Jan Morcha-an interfaith religious group-which has also given the clarion call for a 'Build India Movement'.
The crying need is to bring combined moral authority to sacred task of nation building. This religious forum will reinforce the moral forces of our society and build public opinion against corruption, communalism, casteism and undemocratic tendencies, president of the Vishwa Kalyan Parishad, Swami Madhavanand said.
Briefing reporters, Swami and the members- Maulana Sirajul Hasan Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jathedar Narendra Singh Namkhana and Pastor Victor David-said it would be their endeavor to promote active resistance to evils in public life.
As part of the effort, inter religious meetings are planned across the country in the near future. 'We earnestly appeal to each and every citizen irrespective of religion, race or creed, to come forward and extend all possible help and cooperation in this noble effort', Maulana Sirajul Hasan said.

Wouldn't Do It Again
Kolkata: Halim Ali Laskar, the teenage boy from Kolkata, at last got the cash reward announced by the Eastern Railway officials for averting a major train accident here last January.
On 9 January, hardly half an hour before the Kolkata bound Rajdhani Express was to cross, Laskar had spotted two bombs on the railway track. He immediately ran to the nearest railway cabin and informed the cabin man about the bombs. Railway officials were immediately alerted who then stopped train movement on the route. The bombs were later defused. Eastern Railway announced a cash reward of Rs 10000 for Halim for his timely action that helped avert a major train mishap.
Relieved to have finally got the reward, Halim however has not forgotten the bitter experience he had in pleading his case with the railway bureaucracy. Ab is train ke lafde mein nahin padne ka (I will not involve myself in such things), he says. During the last three months, Halim, a mansion helper in Kolkata and son of a rickshaw-puller made at least fifteen rounds of the Dhanbad railway division from Kolkata to collect the reward, only to be told to collect his due after a few days.

Hindi movies playing with women
Mumbai: Veteran actress and MP Shabana Azmi lashed out at new age Hindi cinema, which under the garb of celebrating the human body, subjects its heroines to male gaze.
'The business of the films is to create populist images. These images ostensibly celebrate the heroine's eroticism, while reducing her to a passive sex objects' Azmi said in her paper on the images of Women in Hindi Cinema-post 1950s' at the valedictory function of Frames 2001, an entertainment seminar.
With new permissiveness obliterating the divide between heroine and the vamp, the rigid dress code has also disappeared, Azmi said. Today's heroine dance with abandon as camera zooms in from one body part to another', she said, asking the film industry to incorporate a woman's way of thinking into films.
Azmi said: 'The heroine today seems to be questioning her slotting into a role in which any display desire was seen as negative and very unlike the values of Indian women'. Terming the change in image of women in Hindi cinema from Mein chup rahoongi to Sherni as a confused one, she stated that it was only cosmetic in nature.
She said it was amply evident that society and cinema could no longer close their eyes to the changing Indian woman. 'Self assured, confident women have started to break out of the economic dependence that had long suppressed them' Azmi said.

Muslims in OBC list
Bhopal: As many as nine Muslim communities have been included in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in Madhya Pradesh.
A decision to this effect was taken by the state cabinet which met under the chairmanship of the state chief minister Digvijay Singh on 5 April, an official release said.

Urdu in MP
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh after much dilly dallying has announced the name of the Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy Chairman. Aziz Quraishi has been appointed its chairman. The program where the name of the new chairman was announced was attended by a number of Urduphiles and academics besides leading laureates.
The unannounced arrival of the chief minister Digvijay Singh in the meeting also gave it more attraction. Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi said while speaking in the colorful meeting that the chief minister has contributed greatly in the development of Urdu language in the state. Justice Ajaz Suhail, a judge in Delhi High Court said that at a time when Urdu's future seems bleak in a number of areas in the country, it seems bright in the state. He said that the credit must go for this to the chief minister.
The chief minister on this occasion said that we have decided to appoint an Urdu teacher in schools where even 250 Urdu speaking people live in the area. He added that we have registered three thousand schools after setting up Madrasa Board. The chief minister added that the Urdu education will be started in schools now from primary classes. He made a promising announcement when he said that the state government is planning to accord second language status to Urdu in the state. He said that studies in this regard have been initiated.

Minority institutions open to government interference
New Delhi: In a major ruling, the Supreme Court has held that though the Constitution does not provide for any limitation on the right of the minority community to administer its educational institutions, the government can make regulations to maintain the institution's character.
'Even though, Article 30 of the Constitution does not lay down any limitation upon the right of a minority to administer its educational institutions, that right cannot be said to be absolute and the right must be subject to reasonable regulations consistent with the national interest', the apex court said. This ruling was given by a bench of Justice GB Patanaik and Justice DP Mohapatra while dealing with a question as to whether dismissal of an employee of a minority institution required government permission.
Answering the question in negative, Justice Patnaik, writing the judgement for the bench, said that Article 30 of the Constitution confers right on a minority community to set up and administer educational institutions of their choice.
The rights emanated from Article 30 are the rights to establish an institution and right to administer engrafted under article 30 would not however confer to mal-administer, the bench said.

Compensation eludes victims
Jammu: The controversy of killing of a young Delhi girl in the shootout outside the Srinagar airport between Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Lashkar-e-Toiba has resurfaced. Father of the deceased Nasreen has moved the Delhi High Court seeking its intervention in the killing of his daughter and direction to the authorities for giving adequate compensation.
Hearing the petition, Justice Vijender Jain has issued notices to the Union Government and others. Justice Jain asked the Central Government standing counsel Maninder Singh, who accepted the notice, to file the replies on behalf of respondent by 18 September this year.
During hearing Justice Jain was not convinced with the submission of the petitioner's counsel. But when assisting the court, senior advocate Kapil Saibal said that even the Government had admitted its lapses in the Parliament , Justice Jain issued notice on the petition. The petition filed by late Nasreen's parents alleged that their daughter was killed in shootout outside Srinagar airport , where 11 people including CRPF personnel and militants had been killed. 'In order to hush up the killing of the innocent girl, the CRPF authorities branded her as the member of the LeT, who was there in the Fidayeen mission without making any inquiry and playing their mind. The CRPF had sufficient time to verify the credentials of victim, especially when the security forces had prior knowledge that LeT might execute fidayeen attack. Nasreen was identified by her business partner and police admitted its lapses that it had killed an innocent girl and pretended that it all happened due to mistaken identity' the petition said.

Dilip Kumar in Controversy
Mumbai: Thespian Dilip Kumar said on 26 April that he had no involvement in the dealing of MS Geekay Exim (1) Ltd, a company whose cheques issued to Credential Group of Companies for Rs 18.9 crore in 1996 had bounced. Credential Finance Ltd had then initiated legal action against Geekay Exim.
The Bombay High Court had dismissed his plea seeking discharge in the case involving the company in which he was the non-executive chairman. The judge upheld an earlier court ruling that no application could lie for recall of process once the charge was framed by a court and the plea of the accused.
The veteran actor who has not been keeping too well said, ' I wish to clarify that I was associated with the company Geekay Exim (I) Ltd. in the capacity of being its non-executive chairman. I had no concern with the day-today business of the company or its transactions. I signed no cheques, nor was I party to any of the business dealings. I have also relinquished the position of non-executive chairman since July 2000.
Dilip Kumar alias Yusuf Khan said he was extremely distressed because he was in no way responsible for the conduct of the company's business. 'My name is being unfairly dragged into this dispute' the septuagenarian actor said.
Yusuf Khan also inserted advertisement in leading newspapers to clarify his stand on the issue. The Geekay Exim (I) Ltd also inserted another advertisement on the very same day, i.e. 27 April that said that he is not a party in any way and has quit the company as non-executive chairman last year.

AN ALL KASHMIR ELECTION
Srinagar: The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Amanullah Khan, has supported the suggestion of Muhammad Yasin Malik, member, executive committee of the All Party Hurriyat Conference that true representation of Kashmir be elected through polls to be held in kashmir under international supervision.
Malik who was on a visit to the US for medical treatment has been advocating the need for enabling the people of the state to negotiate a settlement to the Kashmir dispute. In a statement Khan said Malik's suggestion was reasonable and could remove many hurdles for a peaceful and equitable solution to the Kashmir issue.
The JKLF chairman said that the proposed election should not be limited to Indian controlled part but should also be held in 'Azad Kashmir' and Gilgit Baltistan. Such an election would enable them to claim to be the true representative of the 15 million people of the entire Jammu and Kashmir state and the world would be compelled to accept their representative character.

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