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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-30 June 2002

Community: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 

Khuda Bakhsh Hosts Intl. Conference
Khuda Bakhsh Library, globally renowned for oriental education, hosted a galaxy of Persian scholars recently. All India Association of Persian Teachers convened an international conference in the premises of Khuda Bakhsh Library, Patna. Persian professors, scholars and litterateurs from Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Bangladesh and India participated in the three-day conference. The conference focused on the importance of Persian language and literature and emphasised the dissemination of Persian education, art, civilization and culture. It also deliberated upon the need to preserve rare Persian manuscripts. 
Dr Ziaudddin Ahmed Ansari, director Khuda Bakhsh Library, welcomed the distinguished gathering. Mementos were also presented to the scholars on the occasion. Later on messages from national and international dignitaries, holding key posts, were read out. Prominent scholars and professors who participated in the seminar include Prof Kasim Safi, Prof Kazim Lahdavi, Dr Syed Zadah, Prof Md Barani, Abdul Ghaffar Ansari, Prof Anwar Alam, Prof Hussain Faquihi, Syedah Bilqis Fatima, Maria Bilquis, Prof Qamar Ghaffar, Khanam Hijazi, Nahid Hijari and several others. The scholars presented their valuable reflections on wide range of topics. Dr Safwi presented his tribute to those who contributed to the development of Persian language and literature in Bihar. Prominent among them are Sharfuddin Yahya Muneri, Sultan Ahmed Charam Posh and Muzaffar Shama Balkhi. Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, Qazi Abdul Wadood, Syed Hassan Askari, Prof Syed Hassan and Prof Md Siddiq were also remembered for their valuable contributions to Persian language and literature. 
Professor Aazar Maidokht Safwi, presided over the conference and she delivered a profound title speech and remarked that Persian has been standard-bearer of love and peace in the subcontinent. She pointed out that Persian has given a rare culture to Indian social milieu. She also recalled that Persian connects us with our past and it has become an invaluable heritage. 

Self employment scheme for minorities’ women
New Delhi: Md Tarique Siddiqui, Director of Minority Financial Development Corporation, launched a scheme for women’s self-employment and ensured them loans from a fund of Rs 50,00,000. On this occasion, he distributed loan forms amongst women. Mr Tarique also thanked Sheila Dikshit, the chief minister of Delhi for having established the corporation. He assured the CM to discharge his responsibilities and try his level best in this regard.
The scheme will provide free training courses in tailoring and cutting. On the completion of courses, the corporation will award certificates and loan of Rs 5000 to ensure their self-employment. He stressed that self-employment and self-dependence empower women. Secretary of the Corporation, Syed Irfan highlighted the necessity for women’s education and awareness. 

NCM recommendations 
New Delhi: Dr Tahir Mehmood ex-chairman of National Minorities Commission took centre to task for not recommending high level judicial inquiry into Gujarat pogrom and criticised the Commission for being a powerless body. In a seminar on ‘Religious freedom and preserving religion’, Dr Mehmood pointed out that National Minorities Commission, National Women’s Commission and Human Rights Commission and the likes were ‘powerless’ bodies. He also condemned National Minorities and Human Rights Commissions which could not do worthwhile in Graham Staines murder case. The case has now been handed over to Justice Wadhwa Commission, a separate body. 
Presiding over the seminar, Romesh Bhandari ex-Lt. Governor of Delhi emphasised the need for communal harmony and secular values. He stressed that human and secular values must be inculcated in children. Shankaracharya Swami Madhava Anand Sarswati said that a few selfish organizations have misrepresented Hinduism which regards all religions as different routes to the same goal. Reverend Dominique Emanuel of Catholic Bishop Conference and S Farooque, chairman of Himalyan Drugs Company, were notable participants amongst others.

Govt refuses permission for Urdu D. Ed. College
Yavatmal (Maharashtra): Nasreen Jahan, Secretary, National Women’s Welfare Society, at Darwha, Yavatmal district in Maharashtra, has accused that the claim of Congress Party as ‘a secular party working with equal proportion for the development of minorities, according to its manifesto is misleading and hollow.
In a press release, Mrs Jahan disclosed that the Society had sought permission (NOC) from the government of Maharashtra to open a D.Ed. College at Karanja (Lad), Dist. Washim, in 1999, but Vilasrao Deshmukh government turned down the application forwarded for approval by the Society. The Society later on approached the State and National Minorities Commissions for the redressal of grievances. The commissions after considering over the matter recommended and gave decision that the Society must be issued an NOC. However, so far Vilasrao Deshmukh government has failed to act on the commission’s recommendations. 
Mrs Jahan said that the new academic session would be commencing from 1 July 2002, and the NOC needs to be submitted to the NCTE four months before the commencement of the academic session. However, the NOC has still not been issued by the state government, thereby questioning the intent, genuineness and seriousness of the state government’s policies towards minorities. Earlier, Mrs Jahan had also intimated about her case to AICC president Sonia Gandhi through the letter of 22 December, 2001. 

Mumbai Central Haj Committee office unjustified
New Delhi: All India Haj Sewa Samiti has declared that it is against the public interest to reject the bill on shifting Central Haj Committee office from Mumbai to Delhi. The bill was approved by Rajya Sabha. The president of All India Haj Sewa Samiti, Hafiz Naushad Ahmed Azmi, in a press release, refuted the statement of Omar Abdullah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs that the central Haj office in Mumbai caters to the basic requirements of pilgrims. The infrastructure of Mumbai office was set up keeping in view the pilgrimage by sea route.
Mr Azmi said that Delhi is a better place for several reasons and the offices of external affairs and civil aviation are located in Delhi. Delhi can serve the pilgrims’ interests better because 75 per cent of them belong to North India. Office of central Haj Committee in Mumbai therefore holds no justification. Mr Azmi also appealed to the people’s representatives and religious leaders to be steadfast on their demand to shift the office to Delhi. Meanwhile, prominent Muslims leader Syed Shahabuddin, in his letter to Omar Abdullah also reminded that Mumbai Central Haj Committee office was totally unjustified in the present circumstance. Previously 90 per cent of pilgrims used to go by sea route. But today 100 per cent of pilgrims prefer to go by air. Above all he focused on the fact that the pilgrims could easily contact the concerned ministry offices. The offices of external affairs, home affairs, finance and civil aviation are located in Delhi. Mr Syed Shahabuddin has been associated with the preparation of revised Haj Act 1978. 

Salar Ghazi Mela commences
Bahraich (UP): ‘Jeth Mela 2002’, popularly known as ‘Salar Ghazi Mela’ (Salar Ghazi Fair) commenced from 30 May. 2 June is the special day of the fair when the marriage procession of Salar Ghazi will arrive. The fair is marked for its communal harmony. Nearly one million devotees converge at the tomb. "All arrangements have been made for the fair and top priority has been given to people’s conveniences", said Md Yunus, a receiver appointed by the High Court who is also the supervisor of the fair. Administration PS vigilant and police force have been deployed. Water, electricity, medical camps and sanitation have also been well managed. 
The fair would have several attractions such as big stalls, shops, circus, theatre, cinema, music shows, zoo, stunt-show, etc. The event would be telecast live by different television channels like Sahara TV, ETV, and Door Darshan. Akashwani and several other media persons have also been invited to cover the event. The District Magistrate finalised the agenda for ‘Jeth Fair 2002’ and assured that the pilgrims would feel at home. 

Temple at Gujarat victim’s house
Ahmedabad: Two temples have now been constructed at the place which once used to be riot victims Waheeda Sheikh and her family members’ house at Nagorini Chali, almost 100m away from the Gomtipur police station here. The victims’ house and the saloon have been completely razed, and they are presently sheltered at one of the relief camps at Chartoda Kabrastan area in Ahmedabad.
"How can one just construct a temple in place of our house", asks Waheeda. In the same vein she says that neither Hindu nor Muslim religion preaches to indulge in such practices. From amongst the two temples built at Waheeda’s razed house, one is dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

Step-motherly treatment for Urdu 
Baghpat (Western UP): Maulana Wasim Ahmad Kandhowlvi has charged the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh of not giving clear indications of its policy regarding Urdu. Not only this, the government is hellbent on constantly ignoring Urdu, he charged. Maulana Kandhowlvi was addressing Muslim intellectuals here. He is touring the districts of Baghpat, Meerut and Muzaffar Nagar in connection with ‘Awareness of Community’ campaign. He also said that keeping Urdu alive in our dwellings and society is our prime responsibility and according it legal government sanction should be our demand, he stressed. He regretted that Muslims have been so insensitive during the last 50 years that they could not equip the present generation with their own mother tongue. "Our generation is being almost deprived of mother tongue", he lamented. 
Maulana Kandhowlvi said that Urdu teachers in government schools are being gradually removed and the slots are not being filled. He also said that whereas teaching of Sanskrit has been made compulsory from class III onwards, Urdu, on the other hand, has not been included in the Syllabus.

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