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NEWSMAKERS: 16-31 May 2002

Sadruddin Jhaveri, social worker in Hyderabad, would be helping Gujarat riot victims in a big way if things go according to plans. Mr. Jhaveri is seeking active cooperation and help of theatre personality Alyque Padamsee. Mr. Padamsee is at present communications advisor on social affairs to the Andhra Pradesh chief minister Narahari Chandrababu Naidu.
With the help of Alyque Padamsee, Sadruddin Jhaveri would soon be submitting a proposal to AP chief minister to grant 30 acres of land for the rehabilitation of Gujarat riot victims. If his proposal gets through, Jhaveri would be pumping in money to build houses and help dislocated people start their own businesses and enterprises. Jhaveri also hopes that in the future, fund-raiser events would be roped in to raise funds for those who have been affected in the violence in Gujarat.

At present, the face behind SAHMAT, Shabnam Hashmi, has undoubtedly come of age. The Gujarat riots have made Shabnam concerned to the extent that she can be seen garnering support, organizing marches, dharnas and street plays. "The forces of fascism are slowly and steadily poisoning the society, turning brother against brother, not unlike what happened in Nazi Germany", says a peeved Hashmi. Returning after a week-long visit to Gujarat where communalists and mobsters still rule the state, she said this is extremely horrific and appalling, and the scale of destruction is difficult to be quantified. 

Sahir Raza, a 15-year-old New Delhi school student, decided to visit the legendary land of Mahatma Gandhi, and capture in his frames the scars and scenes of blood, gore and violence which took Gujarat in its stride. "… And They Killed Him Again", a three-day photography exhibition organized at the Press Club of India in New Delhi, was the outcome of Raza’s visit.
"I had to wait for a long time before I could even dare to go to Gujarat and take photographs", he says. Being a student himself, Raza felt the pain when he heard the plight of a boy of his age when he said that he had not been able to sit for his examinations as he feared for his life on stepping out of his house. "Gujarat is in a terrible condition. People are trapped and have not returned home", says a saddened Raza. He had prominently clicked a number of photographs of Justice Diwecha’s house which was allegedly set on fire and destroyed by the rioters. Raza was in fact drawn towards this on finding that even high court judges were not spared by the rioting mobs. His photographs include an audacious banner put up by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad – "Welcome to the Hindu Rashtra", the picturisation of ‘future’ Bharat. Sahir Raza developed a passion for photography at the age of nine. This is his third major project. Earlier, he dwelt on the subjects of environment and the Yamuna river. 

It seems that authorities at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have finally donned the saffron grab. JNU officials have failed to re-appoint noted scholar Professor Imtiaz Ahmad to his post. Prof. Ahmad who turned 62, retired in April. Prof. Ahmad was associated with the Centre for Political Studies in the University. As per JNU convention, senior professors who have retired are given extensions. As such, this has been done several times in University’s history. Prof. Imtiaz Ahmad has been a scholar of national and international repute. He has also been publishing widely and is well-known across the academic spectrum. However, the administration’s step-motherly and biased treatment suggests that being a minority and that too a Muslim does not do good most of the time. 

Abdul Mabud Khan was re-elected president of the Ajmer Dargah Committee for the third successive term. Khan, who hails from Varanasi, was unanimously chosen. The Ajmer Dargah Committee looks after the dargah of the sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

Parvez Hashmi, Member of Delhi Legislative Assembly from Okhla constituency in South Delhi, has been appointed as Secretary in the All India Congress Committee (AICC). Hashmi was the state transport minister in the Delhi government, and was sacked in December last year following the Cabinet reshuffle. AICC sources said that Hashmi being a minority leader has been nominated for the post. In the latest AICC reshuffle effected here recently, minority leader from Gujarat and former AICC treasurer Ahmad Patel has been appointed the Political Secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Another prominent Congress leader and former president, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee Salman Khurshid has been invited as special invitee to Congress Working Committee.

Aziz Quraishi, who represented the Indian football team in the Asian junior championship at Tokyo in 1965, has been nominated as one of the six members to the technical committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Quraishi, in 1965, had also been a member of the senior Indian football team, and represented the country in an international tournament against Soviet Union at Bangalore. Besides, Quraishi has been a man of many parts -- sprinter and striker, writer and broadcaster, theatre and television personality. Quraishi had also acted in the popular ‘Humlog’, the first Indian soap opera produced by Doordarshan. He had also been involved in the production and direction of more than 20 serials and films. Former Olympian SS Hakim is also amongst the six other members of the technical committee.

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