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Published in the 16-30 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

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Unwanted advice: Pakistan ruling Muslim League president Chowdhury Shujaat Husain visited Delhi Jama Masjid on 1 April where he offered advice to Muslims to be “loyal” to India.

Unwanted advice: Pakistan ruling Muslim League president 
Chowdhury Shujaat Husain visited Delhi Jama Masjid on 
1 April where he offered 
advice to Muslims to be “loyal” to India. 


Bhopal: Bhopal unit of Youth Congress has claimed that 200 students of majority community appeared for Madhya Pradesh’s Madrasa Board examinations by dubious means and has demanded an inquiry as to how they appeared for madrasa examinations and whether they know Urdu and Arabic or not. Former president of Youth Congress, Ismat Siddiqi while talking to media persons accused Board’s additional secretary, Asma Naseer and said that in order to please chief minister Babu Lal Gaur and education minister Dhal Singh Bhaseen and also to hide her own misdeeds she permitted 200 majority community students of Satna district to appear for Board examinations. Casting doubts on the authenticity of affidavits which were given by a notary of Jabalpur though they live in Satna district, he asked if there are no notary lawyers in Satna. 

Bhopal: Speaking at a seminar on ‘Multi-religious Society: Problems and Solution’, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Islamic scholar said that a multi-religious society is like a multi coloured flowers garden. He said that followers of all religions claim to love God but all religions preach that love and service of the human beings is true love to God. Hence a society which preaches hatred against man is doing disservice to man, its own religion as well as to God. He said that emphasis on uniculturism will not lead a society to progress and this ideology will fail just as it failed in the former Soviet Union where even after killing 25 million people in 72 years its rulers could not succeed in enforcing uniculturism and after its break-up people again began to follow their respective religions. Similarly, he said the ideology of Indianisation will also fail just as the policy of Americanisation failed in America. He said that the solution of problems arising in a multi religious society is to tolerate what is intolerable. 

Claims about ownership of Taj Mahal 
Lucknow: If Sunnis and Shias can claim ownership of world famous Taj Mahal at Agra, why should BJP remain behind? BJP leader and founder of Bajrang Dal, Vinay Katiyar has now demanded that Taj Mahal should be handed over to Hindus because Taj in fact was Teju Mai Mahal of Raja Jai Singh where Shiva Lingam was placed in its middle portion.

Paying compliments to UP’s minister for Parliamentary affairs, Mohammad Azam Khan who recently had said that since Taj Mahal is a grave and there are mosques also, it is the property of Waqf Board and hence it should be handed over to Sunni Central Waqf Board, Katiyar said that it was good that he (Azam Khan) raised this issue. He said that in order to create awareness about this among the Hindus, a ‘Shankar Sena’ will soon be formed which will distribute damroo ( a small drum-like instrument) throughout the country. He further said that Mumtaz Mahal, whose original name was Arjumand Bano, was buried in Burhanpur and subsequently her mortal remains were also placed in the grave inside Taj Mahal.

It may be recalled in this connection that Sunnis had laid the claim on Taj Mahal because Shah Jahan was a Sunni, Taj Mahal is a grave or a mausoleum and there are mosques also. So it should be handed over to Sunni Waqf Board. Against this, Shias had claimed that Mumtaz Mahal was a Shia and the architect of Taj Mahal was also a Shia. So it should be handed over to Shias. 

Old Delhi Development Board
New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Mrs, Sheila Dikshit said in Delhi state assembly that Old Delhi Development Board on the pattern of Trans – Yamuna Development Board will be constituted soon. Speaking on the occasion of motion of thanks on the Lt. Governor’s address in the assembly’s budget session she said that Delhi state government is keen on all-round development of the Walled City.

She said that her government at first constituted Trans-Yamuna Development Board and thereafter Delhi Villages Development Board for the progress and development of rural areas in and around Delhi and now Old Delhi Development Board will be constituted soon because the Walled City represents our old civilisation and cultural heritage. 

She said in the House that government has succeeded in fulfilling the promises made to the people and whatever promises have remained unfulfilled, will be done soon. Meanwhile opposition staged a walk-out. 

Commission for minority COMMUNITY
New Delhi: According to a statement issued on behalf of Union ministry of social justice, government has set up a new National Commission for religious and linguistic minorities. This Commission will identify socially and economically backward sections of minority communities and after considering various measures including reservation for their uplift will submit its recommendations to the government. This 4-member commission includes the famous legal expert and former Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranganath Mishra, former chairman of National Minorities Commission, Prof (Dr) Tahir Mahmood, Principal of Saint Stephens College of Delhi, Dr Anil Wilson and director of Institute of Punjabi Studies, Dr Mahinder Singh. 

Arrangements are being made for an office and other facilities for this Commission which will start working shortly. 

Muslim lady built Mahadev Mandir 
Varanasi: Sri Rudeshwar Mahadev Mandir at Kundawa, a rural area 15 kilomtres away from Varanasi and built by a Muslim lady, Noor Fatema, was inaugurated by Supreme Court judge, Justice Tarun Kumar Chatterjee on 8 March on the occasion of Shivratri. Justice Chatterjee while inaugurating the temple said that this is a unique example of national unity and communal harmony.

Noor Fatema, a lawyer by profession, said that she has seen Bhagwan Shiva several times in dreams which motivated her to build this temple.  

Personal Law Board 
Bara Banki: Former Union minister and presently a BJP leader, Arif Mohammad Khan while addressing a press conference at Moghul Darbar here said that in a country where all matters pertaining to Muslims are decided in courts, there is no need of Muslim Personal Law Board. In reply to a question about multiplicity of Personal Law Boards, he said that his stand from the very beginning has been that all legal system in this country is approved and passed by Parliament and applicable to people of all religions and under such circumstances what is the need for a Personal Law Board, he asked.

He said that way back in 1986 he had made a speech in Parliament which was strongly criticised by some religious leaders but now the same thing is incorporated in the ‘Hidayatnama’ (pieces of advice) of model Nikahnama being prepared by Muslim Personal Law Board. He threw up a challenge and said that even if a single point of the speech delivered by him in Parliament in 1986 is found contradictory to Islamic teachings, he will bid good bye to politics. 

Verdict on Taslimuddin further delayed 
New Delhi: Supreme Court’s verdict on Union minister, Mohammad Taslimuddin of RJD Party who is facing a trial on charge of involvement in a murder case, has been further delayed. It may be recalled that last year just before general elections, Rabri Devi government of Bihar had withdrawn the criminal case against him in anticipation of his acquittal. The withdrawal of his case was challenged by an NGO, Delhi Study Group which filed a petition in the Supreme Court. When this case came up for hearing in the apex Court on 2 March, a Bench consisting of Justice N. Santosh Hegde, B.P. Singh and S.B. Sinha adjourned it for two weeks in order to enable the concerned parties to file some more documents. Taslimuddin’s political future, irrespective of the Court’s verdict, now depends on the new government that may take over in Bihar because it may or may not toe the line of Rabri Devi government on withdrawal of his criminal case. 

Girls gymnasium in Jamia Hamdard 
New Delhi: International Women’s Day was celebrated in Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi on 8 March when several programmes were held to mark the occasion. A new gymnasium of Razia Sultana Girls Hostel was inaugurated by Delhi University’s professor of history, Prof Tanika Sarkar. The services of Hakeem Abul Hameed, founder of Jamia Hamdard who had initiated a number of steps for providing higher education and training to women, were remembered and complimented. Vice chancellor Siraj Husain and sports secretary, Dr Anwar Husain Khan detailed a number of programmes to carry forward the mission of late Hakeem Abul Hameed of promoting education of women. 

Sale of Waqf properties criticised 
New Delhi: Hannan Mulla, member of Parliament strongly criticised the sale of some Waqf properties in Tamil Nadu and in a latter to the Union minister for social justice and empowerment, Mrs Meera Kumar, requested her to stop this immediately. In his letter he said that Tamil Nadu Waqf Board, after selling 50 percent of the Waqf properties, is using the sale income for improving and developing the remaining 50 percent properties. He further said that this was stated by Tamil Nadu Waqf Board chairperson, Mrs Badar Sayeed herself in a conference in Delhi recently when the honourable minister was also present. 

Mulla clarified the position by saying that Waqf properties, which are the properties of the entire community dedicated to Allah, can neither be sold nor purchased by any body and so far no one has done so because no body can be the legal owner of Waqf properties. He further said that if the chain of sale and purchase of Waqf properties is started a day will come when all Waqf properties will disappear. He said that it is also doubtful whether Muslims will favour or accept the process of sale and purchase of Waqf properties. In his letter to the Union minister, Mulla requested her (Meera Kumar) to take necessary action in this matter after carefully considering all aspects of this problem. 

Urdu, Persian, Arabic education 
Lucknow: UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said in reply to a question by Dr Arun Kumar Mehrotra that in Lucknow University there are arrangements for the teaching and education of Urdu, Persian and Arabic whereas in Pundit Deen Dayal Upadhya University, Gorakhpur, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University, Faizabad, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut and Bundel Khand University, Jhansi there is arrangement for teaching of Urdu.

He said that there are no arrangements for teaching and education of Urdu, Persian and Arabic in Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar University at Agra and Sampoornanand Sanskrit University. He further said that in the year 2003 there were 4637 students of Urdu, in 2004 there were 4563 and in 2005 there are 5058 students of Urdu. Similarly, in 2005 there were 185 students of Arabic and 62 students of Persian. He further said that no information has been received about education in Arabic, Persian and Urdu subjects in Jyoti Ba Phule Roohelkand University, Bareily, Veer Bahadur Singh Poorvanchal University, Jaunpur Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi and Allahabad University.

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