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Published in the 16-31 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Shias too form their "board"

By Masood Hasan

Lucknow: Despite stiff opposition from all sections of Muslim community and the vice-president of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Maulana Syed Kalbe Sadiq, Shia Ulama have constituted on the pattern of the recently formed board by the Barelvi sect their own "All India Shia Board" with a firm determination to resolve the problems being faced by their community. The Shia religious leaders particularly Maulana Kalbe Sadiq have lambasted the AIMPLB for not taking up the issues of the community at the meeting of the MPLB. They opined that Maulana Kalbe Sadiq represented the Shia community at the Law Board but he least bothered to take up the issues of the community. The Shia religious leaders said that the Muslim Personal Law Board has totally failed to fulfill the expectations of the Muslim community for which it was constituted in 1972. They opined that the Muslim Personal Law Board was constituted to fight for the cause of the Muslims and to resolve their problems but it did not achieve the desired results for the Muslims. The Shia Ulama said that the AIMPLB had never raised the burning issues of the Shia sect since its inception.

Renowned Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said that the supporters of the new board are playing politics in the name of the community. Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said during BJP regime a religious leader had advocated "uniform civil code" and now there was a change in his stand. Jawwad said that those favouring uniform civil code should not talk about Muslim Personal Board. He said since the Shia ulama known for their proximity to the BJP should take permission from their saffron leaders before floating a new board". 

A committee of Ulama and intellectuals headed by Maulana Mohammad Athar has been formed to give final shape to the action plan. The action plan drafted by the committee will be approved at the Shia conference to be held soon in Lucknow. The committee had also been entrusted with the task of inviting ulama from all over the country to attend the conference. The conference was attended by Maulana Mohsin Jafar, Mohd Taqi, Yasoob Abbas, Khadim Hussain, Sadaf Zaidi, Ali Sajjad Nasir, Meesam Zaidi and Ali Muttaqi Zaidi and advocate Ibne Hasan.

Shia religious leaders have been trying hard since a long time to form a new Muslim Personal Board. Some Shia leaders who do not wish to disclose their names have dubbed it as a BJP-sponsored move, the proponents of Shia board have accused the rival faction of playing into the hands of the ruling Samajwadi Party. The Shia Ulama seem to be divided between the two political parties. 

Renowned Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said that the supporters of the new board are playing politics in the name of the community. Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said during BJP regime a religious leader had advocated "uniform civil code" and now there was a change in his stand. Jawwad said that those favouring uniform civil code should not talk about Muslim Personal Board. He said since the Shia ulama known for their proximity to the BJP should take permission from their saffron leaders before floating a new board". 

The simmering discontent among Shia Ulama in Lucknow may take a turn for the worse in the coming days as both groups are gearing up to pull the rug from under each other's feet. The religious leaders have been trying to implicate rivals of bungling in Auqaf properties. The vice- president of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Kalbe Sadiq has said Shia members on the board did not take interest in its proceedings. Shia Ulama have been heading towards a collision on various issues. 

But the Shia Youth Federation president Yasoob Abbas, who is in the forefront of the movement for a new Shia Board accused Kalbe Jawad of playing to the tune of the Samajwadi Party. He said after installation of SP government Jawad had withdrawn all his agitation on Hussainabad Auqaf and other issues. He questioned Jawad's silence on all these issues. Flaying Jawad for "misleading the community", Yasoob Abbas said the present board had done nothing for the community. He said there were only "few Shia faces" who never took up the community's cause at the board.

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