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Published in the 1-15 Oct 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Engineer gets Right Livelihood award

Asghar Ali EngineerAsghar Ali Engineer, noted scholar and activist has been selected for this years prestigious Right Livelihood Honorary Award in recognition of his unceasing work for social justice and communal harmony. Swami Agnivesh a social activist has also been selected for this award. 

Baron Jacob Von Uexkull, Founder-Chairman of Right Livelihood Award Foundation, announced this on 20th September. The award will be presented on 9th December in the Swedish Parliament. He said that the award was given for their strong commitment and cooperation over many years to promote the values of coexistence, tolerance and understanding in India and between the countries of South Asia. 

The speaker of the Swedish Parliament presents the award, which is popularly known as alternative Nobel a day before the Nobel Prize is given. 

Dr. Engineer thanked the Foundation for the recognition. He said that he was working on promoting communal harmony among different sections of the society who were social groups central to preventing the spread of communal ideas and communal violence. 

Dr. Engineer is known for his attempt to interpret Islam for a larger number of lay audience and for his work to build communal harmony over the last three decades. He has established the Institute of Islamic Studies and the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai He has authored over 47 books. He first came into prominence when he questioned the head of the Dawoodi Bohra community at a meeting in Udaipur in 1977 and for this he was ostracized and ex-communicated. 

A civil engineer by training, he worked for Municipal Corporation of Mumbai before becoming involved with the reform movement within the Dawoodi Bohra community.

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