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Obituaries: 16-31 August 2001

Begum Qudsia Aizaz Rasool, a prominent political and social figure of the country, died on 1st August 2001 after a prolonged illness. She was laid to rest with full state honours at her ancestral graveyard in Sandila, near Lucknow.
One of the most successful political icons among her peers Begum Saheba was the widow of Nawab Aizaz Rasool, the ruler of Sandila (U.P.) and daughter of Sir Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Nawab of Malerkotla (Punjab). She started her political career as a Muslim League activist but joined Congress in the aftermath of Partition and remained its loyal worker till the end. She was a member of the Constituent Assembly from 1946 to 1950. As a member of the assembly she actively took part in all its debates and was the member of its minorities and fundamental rights subcommittees. After the formation of the provisional Parliament she became its member in 1950-52. It is said that it was her vote by which the reservation in government jobs on the basis of religion was rejected. She was also instrumental, with Maulana Azad, in securing the abolition of the Muslim League in north India in the wake of Partition. From 1952 to '56 she was a member of Rajya Sabha . In 1958 she was elected to the UP legislative council on local bodies seat. From 1962 to 1968 she remained a member of the Rajya Sabha . She represented Sandila assembly segment in UP assembly many a times and was very popular among her voters which can be gauged from the fact that in 1977 when there was Janata Party wave she won the seat as an independent candidate
She was appointed minister in UP cabinet and held the portfolios of social welfare, animal husbandry, fisheries, waqfs and sports.
From the beginning of her political life she took keen interest in social work and worked tirelessly for women and children's welfare. She had been the president/office bearer of almost all women's voluntary organizations like All India Women's Conference,Council of Child Welfare, Council of Moral and Social Hygiene and Council of University Women etc. In the field of education she contributed her full might to spread it particularly among girls. She was the president of Karamat Husain Muslim Girls Degree College Lucknow, IR College Sandila and Aizaz Rasool Degree College, Sandila. She was fond of sports and did her best to popularize the same among women. She organized hockey tournaments amongst girls all over India and was the president of All India Women’s Hockey Association. It is due to her enthusiasm and dynamism that the social prejudice against girls playing hockey was removed .
She was also the chairperson of UP Minorities Commission and worked hard to solve the problems of minorities, always keeping in mind the national integration and national interests. She was the Commission's chairperson for ten years and resigned on moral grounds when Congress lost the election in 1989.
Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri, chief minister Rajnath Singh. Congress President Shri Prakash Jaiswal, UPCC administrative incharge DP Bora, former defence minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party leader Shiv Pal Singh Yadav, Ghayasuddin Kidwai (MLC) etc., have condoled her death.
- Obaid Nasir, Lucknow

Maulana Muhammad Usman M’arufi, editor monthly ‘Mazahir Uloom,’ Saharanpur, died after a sudden brain chord rupture. He was 75. A famous religious scholar, historian and a man of letters, he has written a number of books on history and sirat (Prophet’s biography). His popular works include Ek Alami Tarikh, Tarikh-e-Babri Masjid, Mukhtasar Sirat-e-Rasool, Hayatul Musannifin, Hayat-e-Tahir and Tadkiratul Funoon. He was a resident of a well-known town Pura Ma’ruf, district Mau of eastern U.P. He always supported Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind regarding national and religious issues and served the nation from Jamiat’s platform.
Maulana M’arufi was closely associated with Deoband and specially with the family of Shaikhul Islam Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani. Maulana Syed As’ad Madani president Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind expressed deep sorrow over his demise. He called it a great loss in academic and religious circles, a void that seems difficult to be filled in an era of dearth of such people. He requested Jama’at and madrasa people in particular and Muslims in general to pray for his forgiveness.

Vakil ahmad Kazmi, a reader in the department of civil engineering at Aligarh Muslim University died on 21 July. He is survived by his wife and three sons. He was 61. A meeting of the staff and students of the university expressed sorrow and grief over the demise of Mr Kazmi. He served the university with sincerity and utmost devotion to his profession.
The well-known Kashmiri litterateur, Akhtar Mohiyuddin died recently at his residence at the age of 74. Literary organizations, prominent scholars, authors, poets and artists of the state expressed their deep sorrow on his death and described it a great loss to Kashmiri language and literature. The governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Girish Chandra Saxena and chief minister Farooq Abdullah also expressed sorrow on his death.
Akhtar Mohiyuddin was an author, dramatist and critic of Kashmiri language of the first order. He was honoured with many literary awards. A few years ago both his son and son-in-law had also died during the on-going violence in Kashmir which had seriously affected him. He was leading a dejected life for the past so many years.

Maulana Abdur Rasheed Tahiri, a prominent religious leader and scholar of Kashmir, recently died after prolonged illness. He was 75. Thousands of people participated in his last rites.
Maulana Tahiri was a former leader of Ahl-e-Hadith. He worked for forty years for preaching and propagating Islam in Kashmir and led a very simple and pious life. He was held in great respect by all sections of society irrespective of their creed or sect.

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