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 Published in the 1-15 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Community News: 

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Bhopal Muslims offering Eid al-Adha prayers 
at the Moti Masjid on 21 January 2005


New Delhi: All India Talimi wa Milli Foundation’s and its two seven-member and five-member teams are busy in providing relief work to the large number of people badly affected by tidal waves in the states of South India Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, Kerala etc. The Foundation said in its report that people affected by Tsunami are badly in need of even few drops of water though they are surrounded on all sides by water. There is great shortage of clean drinking water, food and medical facilities. According to Foundation’s team members, government has alloted land to the affected people but they have no means to build their houses. They are totally deprived of their means of livelihood. The team members are doing whatever they can to mitigate their difficulties.

Jeddah: Among the 1,27,000 odd Haj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia from India, at least six are a hundred years old and above and the eldest among them is 111-year-old Fatima Begum from Hyderabad who had performed Umrah a few years ago also. Since performing Haj is a tiresome job, specially for the old and infirm, external affairs minister Natwar Singh on knowing about these centenarians, asked the Indian Consul General in Jeddah to make available all possible facilities to them especially health care. The Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia has set up two 20-bed hospitals, one each at Makkah and Madina and 13 mobile dispensaries with round the clock service.

Alami Urdu Conference, an institution created by late Ali Siddiqui about two decades ago proposes to revive and invigorate its activities for the promotion of Urdu language and literature among school, college and university students through a series of written and spoken contests and prizes. The Conference proposes to hold a seminar on the theme ‘Importance of Urdu in the promotion of Indian film and television industry’ in April and to give awards to distinguished film, TV and music personalities. It is also planning to honour an outstanding personality from the world of Urdu language and literature every year with Urdu Ratna Award. The names of the persons for Urdu Ratn and other awards will be announced soon in Mumbai and Delhi. 

Hindi editions of Urdu books released
New Delhi: Three books were released recently one after the other at short intervals. Renowned short story writer, Mushtaq Anjum’s collection of short stories Andhi Khirkee’s (Blind Window) translation in Hindi by Dr Hari Kumar Rai was released by well-known Hindi poet and writer Dr Sayyad Mahfooz Hasan at a function at Shahi Imambara, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Road, on 31 December last year under the auspices of Shabd Sanskriti Manch, Matia Burj, Kolkata. Besides, Hindi edition of Bharat ka Jiyala Supoot Mohammad Ali Jauhar, which was a project undertaken by Mohammad Ali Jauhar Academy, was released by Justice V.N. Khare, former Chief Justice of India on 8 January at Ghalib Academy, Nizamuddin, New Delhi. On this occasion an All India Mushaira was also organised to mark the 74th death anniversary of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar. In another function at Ghalib Academy on 11 January monthly magazine, Rafeeq Manzil’s special edition Akhlaqiaat was jointly released by Delhi Urdu Academy vice chairman, M. Afzal and Urdu Council’s director Hamidullah Bhat. 

Dowry deaths increasing among Muslims
New Delhi: It is unfortunate that cases of dowry deaths are increasing in Muslim society. Three such cases have been reported within a short period. In Jamshedpur Sabra Khatoon, daughter-in-law of 65-year old Rasoolan Bibi was burnt to death in 1992 for not being able to meet the demands of her in-laws and specially of mother-in-law Rasoolan Bibi for not bringing a TV and enough money. Rasoolan Bibi was sentenced to life imprisonment last December by Additional Session Judge, M.C. Varma. In another dowry death case a newly wed Shaheen hailing from a village in Ghazibad was murdered on 1 January because she had the audacity of telling her in-laws and her husband Raees not to make more demands because her poor father was unable to meet their demands. In the third dowry case, Zahida from Agra, was maltreated and beat up for her parents inability to meet the demands of her in-laws for a scooter and Rs 50,000 in cash. Eight years after her marriage her in laws tried to kill her by setting her on fire on 10 January. Her neighours came to her rescue and admitted her in hospital with 80 percent burns. 

BOOK ON GHALIB released 
New Delhi: Ghalib had once said about himself ‘Hoga koi aisa ki jo Ghalib ko na jaanay, Hai aadmi to achchha per badnaam bahut hai’. Film maker, poet and lyricist, Gulzar was recently in Delhi for the launch of his book titled Ghalib: A Biographical Scenario, a book on Ghalib’s life and poetry. Gulzar himself is a great admirer of Ghalib. Gulzar describes himself as a khadim (servant) of Ghalib. He said that his book is based on the TV serial Mirza Ghalib which was telecast on TV in 1988. He described ‘Ghalibiyat’ (the study of Ghalib’s life and works) as a solar system in which Ghalib himself is the sun and his critics and researchers are the planets revolving round the sun. 

Mohammad Ali Library 
Kolkata: Mohammad Ali Library of Kolkata is now in 75th years of its existence. This library is neither so large nor very famous but it has some very old and rare newspapers and magazines. Some of its possessions are old issues of Awadh Panch, Urdu edition of Ramayana published in 1901, Tahzeeb-e-Niswaan, a magazine for women which was published in early 20th century. The library was established in 1930 but unfortunately no one knows who was the founder of the library. The assistant secretary of the library said that it has some members whose grandparents were patrons of the library. 

Muradabad: In Muradabad, where the largest number of Muslim children were suffering from polio not long ago, 8 lakh children were administered pulse polio drops on 9 January. Many social organisations had been trying to create awaking among the people there asking them to give polio drops to their children below 5 years. A team of students from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi was also there to create awareness about the disease. 

Aligarh: A delegation of students of AMU’s Ahmadi School for the Blind and the office bearers of National Forum for the Blind met AMU Vice Chancellor Naseem Ahmad recently and presented him a set of demands such as appointment of blind candidates to three per cent posts of the university, arrangements for better meals for students of the school and clean toilets. The VC assured them that he would take into consideration their demands after constitution of a committee which would look into their problems like admission, employment and providing better facilities. He added that there was a proposal for setting up a computerised library for the blind students.  

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