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NEWSMAKERS: 16-31 October 2001

APJ Abdul Kalam, chief scientific advisor to the government escaped unhurt in a chopper accident in Bokaro on 30 September. ‘It was a sheer chance. Or may be God saved my life to serve the nation,’ said APJ Abdul Kalam.
Dr Abdul Kalam, accompanied by the Jharkhand science and technology Minister, Sarmesh Singh and state government’s Science and technology department Secretary JB Tubid were on the way to Bokaro to attend the Jharkhand science and technology council meeting.
Kalam’s helicopter came down with a thud from a height of about 100 metres. President Narayanan has expressed happiness over Kalam’s narrow escape. Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi has ordered a probe into the circumstances that led to the accident.

Haji Zamiruddin Khan has been appointed general secretary of Delhi Congress Committee’s Minority Department by Abdur Rahman Antulay, chairman of All India Congress Committee’s Minority Department. M Afzal, former MP and All India Secretary of Minority Department informed Haji Zamir about it. Haji Zamir is a resident of Kucha Naharkhan of the walled city. He has been given this responsibility in view of his services.

Muhammad Iqbal Bhat of National Conference has been elected unopposed to Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council. This was announced by Muhammad Iqbal Ghanai, secretary and returning officer of the State Legislative Assembly.

Ammar Rizvi, a senior Congress leader, has been elected Deputy Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly unopposed. Omnesh of Lok Dal Party had earlier withdrawn his nomination papers and Rizwi was left alone.
It should be noted that this is the first time after the 11th Assembly when there would be a deputy speaker in the House. There would be no deputy speaker in the 12th Assembly. Rizvi has been served a show cause notice by Congress and will be expelled by the party.

Muzaffar Ali’s latest musical album Paigham-e-Muhabbat is what dreams are made of…not yours and mine, but of philosophers and poets who dream of a ‘United India.’
Paigham…has songs whose lyrics are penned by some of the Subcontinent’s most distinguished poets such as Ali Sardar Jaferi, Ahmad Faraz, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Jan Nisar Akhtar, etc. while the singers who feature include the likes of Abida Parveen and Moin Khan, whose talent defies boundaries. Certainly a corpus of work worth collecting. ‘Most of the music I get to hear is very subjective and lacks purity. My kind of music is addictive, where the singer has to be submissive to the creator and his creation. It is not consumer music that comes in disposable tumblers with instructions: use and throw. Global music brings hearts, sounds and countries together,’ defends Ali.
Paigham is quite different from the music Ali has been creating. It is ghazal with a very contemporary feel, essentially based on patriotism and voices the anguish of ‘People who suffered during the Partition and rejected artificial boundaries that divided their heritage and nostalgia.’ No one thinks of writing about their anguish within division - the geographical separation exists but it is the soul that is universal, says Ali, the film-maker-painter-composer-turned singer.

Zeba Amrohi is a famous artist, who has carved a name for herself the world over in a very short period. When she painted portraits of former Soviet Union President Makhail Gorbachev and his wife Raeesa Gorba, she was officially invited to Soviet Union. She along with her elder brother Tasnim Akhtar went to Soviet Union on a 25 day tour and visited various cities. It is interesting to know that besides MA in English she has not done any formal courses, but is equally skilled in paintings and portraits.
She is the only artist whose two life size portraits have been installed in the Central Hall of Parliament. She has great interest in oil painting. She has deep attachment with Rajastahni culture. So far she has organized four shows on Rajasthani culture.
One of her important performances is 30 portraits of Rajiv Gandhi, which were exhibited on 20 August 1991 at the 48 birth anniversary of the late Prime Minister at Parliament annexe. Another exhibition of her painting was held in June 1994 by the Department of Art and Culture, Himachal Pradesh at YWCA, which continued for 25 days. Later she was nominated life member of the Academy of Art, Language and Culture, Himachal Pradesh. Her paintings have been subjects of interest for Indian and foreign tourists.
Besides George Bush, King Hussain of Jordan and King Fahad, she has made portraits of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Shaikh Abdullah, which have been installed at various places in Srinagar.

Thespian Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) is now stable. He was admitted to Leelawati Hospital on 26 September and was in ICU. Later he was shifted to a private unit and now he is out of danger and was seen in cheerful mood. His wife Saira Bano was with him. Dilip Kumar experienced uneasiness, when he was out for a shooting in Loonawala, for suspected kidney problem.

Fatima Beevi, former Tamil Nadu governor has defended her action in appointing AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha as Chief Minister in May holding that she had taken the decision according to her understanding of the law as it stood then. ’The decision was my own. I took it after considering various aspects like law and order in the state and the election results giving a massive mandate to the AIADMK,‘ Beevi said.

Mansoor Usmani has been re-appointed secretary of Urdu Academy, Delhi following a court decision in his favour. His re-appointment has been welcomed. It is hoped that he would complete his tenure and foil the conspiracies of Urdu mafia.

MG editor Zafarul-Islam Khan, who was elected last month as the general secretary of the Movement for the Empowerment of Indian Muslims (MOEMIN), has now been selected as a member of the All-India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawart in the category of eminent individuals.
Dr Khan regularly writes for Arabic and English publications and appears on a number of radio and TV stations around the world including Al-Jazeerah Satellite Channel, Kuwait Radio and TV and the BBC Arabic Service, as a commentator and analyst for Indian and Islamic issues. Most recently he took part in an hour-long live programme of Abu Dhabi TV on Afghanistan. Dr Khan is the author and translator of over 40 books in Arabic and English, published since 1969, and holds an MA in Islamic History from Cairo University and a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Manchester.


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