Community News

Obituaries

Eighty-nine year old “Melody Queen of Kashmir”RAJ BEGUM, one of the foremost female singers of Kashmir and pioneer of female singing in public and on radio etc died in Kashmir’s Chanapora on 26 October after a prolonged illness. She was born on 27 March, 1927. About six deades ago she sang Gulrez (Persian for scattered flowers) a piece of Persian poetry translated by Kashmiri poet Maqbool Shah Karalawari, on Radio Kashmir, it touched the hearts of Kashmiri people. In those days women’s singing in public was considered a taboo but she broke that taboo and paved the way for other Kashmiri women to sing on radio or in public. Initially she used to sing on the occasion of weddings etc. It was then that the folk singer Ghulam Qadir Langoo’s penetrating eyes saw her talents and introduced her to Kashmir Radio which changed the life of this melody Queen of Kashmir’, despite the fact the she could neither read nor write either Kashmiri or Urdu. Songs and poems etc had to be recited to her which she memorised. She was honoured with Padma Shri in 2002 and with Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 2013. She died at her daughters’s residence (in Chanapora) and leaves behind two sons, one daughter and grand children. It is said that when Gulrez was broadcast on Kshmir Radio, traffic on the streets stopped to listen it.
Dr. SYED AUSAF ALI of Jamia Hamdard University, Delhi and first Director of Indian Institute of Islamic Studies was like an encylopaedia on Old Delhi because he was familiar with every nook and corner of Old Delhi where he lived for many years after coming to Delhi from Allahabd and also had a deep as well as extensive knowledge of a host of academic, literary and other worldly subjects and problems and could speak like a scholar and expert on many subjects like science, history, politics, poetry, philosophy, etymology, phraseology and so on. Because of these characteristics he was invited by many educational and other institutions in India as well as abroad, mainly from UK and USA for delivering lectures on a variety of subjects. Unfortuantley, because of some consumptive and and painful diseases, he remained almost confined to bed for about three years but even under such condition he used to give interviews for AIR every Thursday. He died on 1 October at the age of 83 years at his residence in Hamdard Nagar near Tghaqalabad after joining Hamdard Dawakhana and subsequently Hamdard University or Jamia Hamdard. Surprisingly, he never accepted any salary for the services rendered by him at Jamia Hamdard.
HAROON MOZAWALA, founder-member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and a popular social and milli worker died in a private hospital in Mumbai on 28 October at the age of 77 years. Basically he was a businessman but for the past about 10 years he had devoted himself completely for social and milli work after entrusting his business to his sons. As secretary of Khair-e Ummat Trust he used to distribute medicines free to poor and sick people almost daily and give financial assistance also to them for treatment. He was also a member of managing committees of many organisations of Mamon fraternity and a reputed and popular personality of Mumbai. He was laid to rest at Mumbai’s Marine Line graveyard. He leaves behind his wife, two sons and four daughters.
M. NAAG, whose earlier name was Mukhtar Sayyad, noted Urdu fiction writer and journalist died in Mumbai on 21 October at the age of 66 years. Born in Nagpur as Mukhtar Sayyad (as stated above) he changed his name subsequently to M Naag (M. For Mukhtar and Naag represents Nagpur). His three collections of short stories namely Dakoo tai karengay (daoits will decide), Ghalat Pata and Chauthi Seat ka Musafir are very popular whereas another collection of short stories titled Phati Kitab was under compilation when he died. He had written a novel also and had worked with many dailies like Urdu Times, Rashtriya Sahara, Sahafat, Blitz (weekly) Mumbai, Muslim Times (weekly). He leaves behind his wife, one son and one daughter.
Dr. FARAH, secretary of All India Urdu Talimi Board, Saharanpur died in this city on 28 October after a prolonged illness at the age of 48 years. She was a devout and kind lady and had opened a homeo clinic for free treatment of poor and helpless people.
Dr. ABDUL KARIM NAIK, noted social worker, physician and a reputed psychologist died in Mumbai recently. Rich tributes were paid to him at several meetings to condole his death. All India Milli Council’s M. A. Khalid said that after 1992’s fierce communal riots the way he boldly and courageously described the brutal and prejudiced attitude and actions of police in an interview to BBC is praiseworthy. He also worked hard and selflessly for welfare activities of the people.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 November 2016 on page no. 12

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