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Indian Muslim

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    By Shaik Zakeer Hussain, TwoCircles.net,

    Bangalore: Recently, while inaugurating the upcoming satellite campus of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, said that the setup would open new doors to technical education and “would provide greater opportunity to students to access higher education in Urdu medium in the state.”

    But just as students in J&K were jubilant at the new announcement, the future of hundreds of students and student aspirants down south, in the Bangalore campus of MANUU looks bleak.

    The autonomous University has withdrawn courses in its Bangalore polytechnic College in Civil Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering and Computer Science, citing non-allotment of AICTE approval to the institute, sealing the future of mostly poor Muslim students.

    “It is because of the inefficient and lackadaisical approach of the management, especially the Vice-Chancellor that the centre is in this situation,” says an assistant teacher speaking to TCN on condition of anonymity, revealing the gross negligence of the University authorities in not pursuing to get AICTE approval for the institution.

    Established in 2009, with the intake of 40 students in each branch, the Polytechnic College had two batches pass out successfully with many of the students getting employed in companies across country. However, this academic year the University has withheld the admission for the new batches leaving the fate of many students' fate hang in balance.

    Surprisingly, MANUU has withdrawn all technical courses not only in Bangalore but also in Darbhanga, Bihar.

    When anxious teachers and students approached the Principal, he said the anonymous source, replied that he does not has any authority over the matter, as the decision to withdraw courses came from the University Head Office in Hyderabad.

    Dejected, the teachers sent letters to Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Qamr-ul-Islam, Minister for Urban Development, Minorities Welfare, Haj and Wakf, Karnataka and to K. Rehman Khan, Minister for Minority Affairs, but their desperate pleas have fallen to deaf ears.

    “MANUU is the only university offering technical courses in mother tongue to students, no other college or institute offers these courses in any regional language, except in English, so it is sad that these courses are withdrawn,” said Tousif Madikeri, State President, Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO). “The problem the Polytechnic branch has is lack of infrastructure; proper facilities, we urge the government to provide proper facilities at the institute, as MANUU was a government led initiative,” he added.


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    By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net,

    Bhopal: In a rare feat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Madhya Pradesh has posted the highest agricultural growth for second consecutive year. The state registered an impressive 13.33 per cent growth over previous year’s 18.91 per cent in year 2012. This is an all time record in the country.

    Madhya Pradesh produced 2 crore 31 lakh 12 thousand MT food grain in year 2012-13 against 2.03 crore MT of year 2011-12. With this Madhya Pradesh has surpassed Haryana in food grain production and now stands third after Punjab and Uttar Pradesh in this respect, an official release claimed.

    In the year 2012-13, Madhya Pradesh has contributed 9.50 per cent to country’s total food grain production of 2553.62 lakh MT. Madhya Pradesh has maintained its highest agriculturally growing state. Madhya Pradesh tops the country in gram and pulses production by posting a production of 31.99 lakh MT gram and 46.89 lakh MT pulses.

    Fruitful Efforts:

    The creditable achievements of Madhya Pradesh in the field of agriculture are a tribute to well-contemplated committed efforts of the state government for this. Madhya Pradesh is the only state in the country to extend farm loan at zero per cent interest rate to farmers. Last year loans to the tune of Rs.10 thousand 800 crore were advanced to the farmers. This year a target of providing Rs.12,000 crore loan has been set.

    Augmentation of irrigation facilities has played a major role in agricultural growth in the state. Over a period of only 6 years the irrigation facility has been increased from 7 lakh hectare to 26 lakh hectare, which is a record in the country. Fertilizers and seeds were made available to the farmers on time. The farmers were provided the facility of advance stocking of fertilizers which saved the farmers Rs.300 crore last year.

    Area under agriculture has also been increased considerably over the years. In the year 2008-09 a total of 196.60 lakh hectare was under agriculture in the state. This has increased to 223 lakh hectare, representing an increase of about 27 lakh hectare.

    For better coordination between agriculture and allied departments and to facilitate quick decisions regarding agriculture a Krishi Cabinet has been constituted in the state.


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    Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam,

    Of late we have seen media leaders concerned over the state’s alleged bid to curb media freedom, overt and covert attempts by the state to control media amounts to the negation of right to free speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution.

    This guarantee is reflected in Article 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that says the right to freedom of expression, including the general right to seek, receive and impart ideas and information of all kinds is a basic human right that nobody can be denied. Media represents this freedom of expression.

    Journalism and media operations do not work on an altruistic basis but are sustained by a business model. The huge expenses of running a media house can bankrupt some of the richest people if the business model is not correct. Undermining the business is as good or as bad as throttling the right to free speech and expression. Media persons have complained that government has been steadily nibbling away at media’s business foundations.

    Journalists and media owners suspect that the consistent and repeated exposures by media of corruption in high places, one after another, are behind the state’s sneaky moves to curb the media. This sounds like a plausible cause for government to undermine media through devious means. This much is understandable.

    However, people running media houses have to know that day in and day out they are sitting in judgment over others, which means over everyone, including government ministers and bureaucrats (but never against banks, advertisers and some businessmen).

    Media is a business, but it is not a business like any other. All other businesses are treated as business only, but media is treated as a public platform, a public trust in the sense of being a watchdog of common interest, and thus a moral authority that can stand up to the state’s authority.

    Today there is a growing feeling among people that corporate media is a thinly disguised front for corporate interests with little concern for lending voice to the voiceless. People have seen journalists, particularly from TV, trying to blackmail both rich and middle-class persons. We have seen some of the big names in journalism (given to irksome pontification and passing moral judgment) being involved in power peddling.

    The privilege of being the moral Fourth Estate entails some serious responsibility even though most of the classical media barons and press tycoons have been villainous characters with few moral qualms. Even the prestigious Times of London was in the business of blackmail in its early decades. After a century or so of respectability it passed on to Rupert Murdoch whose attitude to business is anything but moral.

    For media to stand up to the power of the state it has to be seen as credible, moral and on the side of the citizenry in its power struggle against the state, which is nothing but the citizenry’s constant struggle to protect its dignity vis-à-vis the all-powerful state. Here the media (except social media) have yet to prove their credentials.

    As Muslims we have found media quite often responsive to our difficulties. But as often they have helped create those difficulties. Example: no sooner than a bomb goes off somewhere (including in some mosque, dargah or in Samjhauta Express, where Muslims alone are killed and maimed), within moments the media go off on a tangent parroting police stories of all kinds of “Muslim” terrorist organisations. This continues for a couple of days. These are TV’s main stories for those days and are splashed all across the front pages of “national” newspapers. When the courts acquit the accused and censor the police for waywardness and irresponsibility (stopping well short of really punishing them) the media keep silent. Forget about the same play that was given of their “involvement” in the crime, even two-inch single-column mentions buried deep inside insignificant pages are rare.

    As a Muslim organization we have reminded some newspapers of their responsibility to publish the stories of specific cases of acquittal, but in vain. Urdu newspapers have regularly carried such news, but “national” newspapers seldom take the trouble. There have been some noble exceptions, and we duly acknowledge them. We wonder whether the reporters are mere police stenographers.

    We have also noticed that the media are actor-centric, not event or issue-centric. We have not seen much reporting on, or analysis of the 37 anti-Muslim riots in Akhilesh Yadav’s UP in the “national” media. Is it how media expect to be credible? Would the media have treated the issue with such grand indifference if the victims were from other communities in even one or two riots. It is not human suffering, or Indian citizens’ suffering that matters for media, but only a particular group’s suffering.

    We have another instance that comes readily to mind. The All India Milli Council ran a nationwide campaign against corruption in 1997, and many of us went all over the country carrying the message in a yatra. The yatra ended in Delhi with a huge rally. The “national media” ignored it. However, it went on a news binge when Anna Hazare started his noble movement on the same issue.

    Public perceptions about media, their wheeling dealing, their paid news and advertorials are only a little less negative than about politicos. The media should set their own house in order. Common people like us will always be on their side as they are closer to the citizenry’s sympathies than the state.

    (Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam is the General Secretary of All India Milli Council and Chairman of Institute of Objective Studies.)


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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Lauding Kashmiri poet Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said the revolutionary poet should have been honoured many years ago while Congress chief Sonia Gandhi stressed how he had delivered his message of brotherhood in the common's man language.

    Releasing a commemorative postage stamp in the poet's honour, the prime minister said Kashmir was known as the heaven on Earth not just because of its geographical beauty, but by "great spiritual personalities" who furthered "universal values those glorify human virtues".

    "I will briefly mention just two great personalities of Kashmir - Lalla Arifa or Lallashwari and Sheikh Nuruddin Wali, who are the champions of the soul of Kashmir and Kashmiriyat.

    "If I say the heart of Kashmir beats with these two great personalities, I would not be wrong. It is because of the spiritual and moral education of such great personalities that during most difficult times in history, Kashmiris have created examples of communal harmony," Manmohan Singh said in his speech delivered in chaste Urdu.

    "In 1947 also, Kashmiris did not lose their balance and did not allow the candle of their brotherhood to be extinguished. This was the reason that despite the all pervasive darkness, the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi saw a ray of hope in Kashmir.

    "In such difficult times, poets, men of letters and intellectuals have also discharged their role very well. In this respect, poet Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor was in the forefront. It is because of his great services that Mahjoor was known as the national poet of Kashmir," he said, calling it a "moment of pride" for him and his government by honouring him with a special postage stamp.

    In her address, Gandhi said Mahjoor was a great example of the country's great tradition and a social reformer of his times.

    "Mahjoor's contribution has been significant and it is because of his great contribution that he is known as the poet of Kashmir. He had progressive ideas and through his verses he delivered a message of universal brotherhood.

    "He had the capacity to deliver his message in a language the common man understood well and for this reason, Rabindra Nath Tagore had called him the 'Wordsworth of Kashmir'," she said in her speech delivered in Hindi.


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  • 06/25/13--09:48: Down on her knees
  • By GOIMonitor.com,

    Ignored, abused and unorganised, domestic helps remain the outcasts of urban India

    JUNE 16 was 'Father's Day' and lovely quotes on fatherhood spilled over from mainstream media to facebook and twitter. June 16 was also the 'International Domestic Workers' Day' and it seems nobody really noticed. A few women workers with placards marched on the streets of Chennai seeking fixed minimum wages but then again nobody was really interested. As long as houses were cleaned, dishes done and kids put to bed there was not much trouble in the world. No matter how essential the services of domestic workers are, the reality is as harsh as the respect given to their profession.

    Rough estimates suggest that we have around 50 million domestic workers in the country today, a growth rate of 681 per cent since the 2001 census which put the figure at 6.4 million. Paid domestic work remained a male dominated occupation in pre-independence India, but today women constitute 71 per cent of this sector making it the largest female occupation in urban areas. However, we still lack a comprehensive regulatory mechanism for this sector. The fact that a large number of domestic workers are migrant women belonging to lower caste or ethnic minority communities makes matters worse.

    Maid in India

    Fixed minimum wages, pay according to work, maternity leave, medical aid and other such basic essentials provided to any employee are still a mirage for domestic workers. While all other workers have their unions, domestic workers remain ill organised. In fact, at a recent meeting the Union Cabinet expressed apprehensions that if domestic workers are allowed to form unions they will lead to law and order problems. The Cabinet members seem to have taken to heart the jokes about maids keeping their employers to ransom.

    Not that forming a union is easy for domestic workers. Traditional places of work like factories and construction sites are open public spaces, but domestic workers can't be approached at their places of work. Targetting those staying in slums also leaves out a large number who are live-in workers and hence remain isolated. In India, domestic workers are not covered by most labour legislations because of constraints in the definition of either the ‘workman’, ‘employer’ or ‘establishment’. The nature of their work, the specificity of employee-employer relationship, and the workplace being the private household, excludes their coverage from the existing labour laws including the Minimum Wages Act 1948, Maternity Benefit Act 1961, Workmen's Compensation Act 1926, Inter State Migrant Workers Act 1976, Payment of Wages Act 1936, Equal Remuneration Act 1976, Employee's State Insurance Act, Employees Provident Fund Act, Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 etc.

    This is a reality in many other countries. A report on 65 countries by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says only 19 of them have laws or regulations specifically concerning domestic work. The same report found that in India domestic workers get only 31.6 per cent of the average wages for other workers. This was lower than not-very-impressive international figure of 40 per cent. Though some states in India, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Karnataka and Rajasthan, have fixed minimum wages for domestic workers, they have not been able to get desired result. “In many of these states, the minimum wages fixed are lower than current rate of wage and in others, the workers themselves are not aware due to lack of organisational support. In addition, there has been no concerted efforts to at least make employers aware through information in the media,” says Christine Mary of the National Domestic Workers' Movement.

    Organisations Vs Placement Agencies

    There is a dearth of rights-based organisations for domestic workers, but placement agencies are thriving in all big cities. As per broad estimates, there are over 800-1000 placement agencies in the capital city of Delhi itself. Most of these placement agencies are husband-wife partnerships running from one room apartments. Many agencies only have a phone number, usually a mobile phone, and no address. These middle men source workers from poor and tribal areas promising great work opportunities, house them at unknown places and take huge advances from employers. Many a times, the domestic workers are not paid due wages, wages are delayed or a part is retained by the agency thus creating the conditions of indentured labour. The involvement of these agencies in women and child trafficking has also come to fore many a times.

    On the other hand, there are organisations like Nirmala Niketan, a rights-based organisation functioning like a cooperative of tribal women who train and place tribal girls for work in different areas of Delhi. In the weekly meetings at the Nirmala Niketan office, these girls are encouraged to befriend other domestic workers in their colonies, who have found work through other placement agencies. Vulnerable cases among them are reported and rescued. However, such organisations are very few and far between.

    Policy or law?

    The Indian government woke up to the plight of domestic workers in 2009 when the Ministry of Labour and Employment set up a task force for formulation of a national policy on domestic work. One of its earliest proposal to extend Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) has already been approved by the Cabinet and related guidelines issued while the draft national policy is still under deliberation. The policy intends to converge health and maternity benefits, death and disability benefits and old age pension for domestic workers on the same platform.

    However, not everybody is impressed. “The very premise that a policy can bring a substantial change is a hogwash. A policy can never have a mandatory character and will be flouted rampantly. What we need is a central law specifically addressing needs of domestic workers,” says Subhash Bhatnagar, the legal adviser to Nirmala Niketan. A petition to the Prime Minister by the National Platform for Domestic Workers seeks enactment of a sectoral law on the lines of Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act 1948, and The Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996. “The reason these legislations work is that they all mandate establishment of a tripartite board comprising representatives of workers, employers and the government. The board is responsible for registration of workers for social security, collection of employers' contribution to the welfare fund and regulation of related organisations like placement agencies. Such a set up helps manage an unorganised sector more efficiently than a policy which is not mandatory,” says Bhatnagar.

    But more than a law, it's the social respect and recognition given to the profession which will make the real difference. The fact that our economic analysts ignore the contribution of domestic workers to the national GDP underscores the shortsightedness we suffer from.


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    Abdul Gani, TwoCircles.net,

    Guwahati: Political parties and other organizations have demanded security and justice for the coal workers after unidentified miscreants killed eight workers from Assam in the Garegittim and Nongalbibra areas in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills district.

    After that panic-stricken workers, around 5, 000 from Assam, have left the areas of Garo Hills region in western Meghalaya fearing fresh attacks on non-indigenous workers.

    The incident took place on Sunday night when unidentified assailants had launched a series of attacks on the labourers leaving eight coal miners dead and three others injured. Seven of the deceased in last night’s incident are from Goalpara district of Assam and one from Bilasipara in Dhubri district of Assam. The murdered workers are identified as Babul Ali, Madan Ali, Ajur Ali, Jiarul Islam, Moral Hussain, Ismail Ali, Ajad Ali and Shahjahan Ali. While, Jakir Ali, Moinal Ali and Alibur Ali sustained injuries.

    “This is an unfortunate incident. This is due to the negligence of the respective state government as several such incidents have taken place earlier also. But so far the government has not taken any step to nab the culprits who has taken the lives of innocent workers,” said Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Qasimi, general secretary of All Indian United Democratic Front (AIUDF) said on Tuesday.

    AIUDF also demanded that Assam government should take some stern measures to stop such attacks on the people of the state in the outside places.

    “The government should try to find out a permanent solution to this instead of offering Rs 2 or 3 lakh for the victim families. This is a too small amount compared to the lives of these people. The government should at least give Rs 10 lakh for the death and Rs 5 lakh for those who have sustain injuries. If the government do not take any step, we will be forced to take the path of agitation,” he added.

    According to the police of Meghalaya, a group of around 50 men armed with weapons attacked three coal mines in the Garegittim-Dobakol region of Nangalbibra around 11.30pm with an intention to rob.

    South Garo Hills district administration has also imposed Section 144 under the CrPC throughout the district to avoid more violence.

    MY-FACTS (Muslim Youths Forum Against Communalism, Terrorism and Sedition) also strongly condemned, what it called, “the mindless act of violence” on Muslim labourers of Assam. It added, “The brutal killings of 10 Muslims in three days exposed the design of a BTAD like ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Meghalaya.”

    MY-FACTS today also submitted memorandum to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Minority Affair Minister demanding immediate deployment of Central Para-Military forces in Garo hills. It also demanded from the PM to ensure:

    1. safety and security of native Muslims of Meghalaya.
    2. Safe passage of Muslim labourers of Assam to their home.
    3. Immediate relief and rehabilitations of the victims and their families.

    Char Sapori Sahitya Parishad (CSSP), a literary body of the state has also condemned the incident and demanded justice from the respective state governments. “This is a complete failure of the governments of the both states. Proper investigation should be done on the whole incident to find out who are involved to kill these innocent workers,” said CSSP president Hafiz Ahmed.

    All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) too has condemned the incident and demanded proper action to be taken to stop such activities. The students’ body has also threatened to carry out economic blockade to the state of Meghalaya if the government do not immediate step regarding this incident.

    Meanwhile, Assam government has taken up the issue with Meghalaya government. The Assam government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh to the keen of each of the victims. The Meghalaya government had also announced Rs 4 lakh as ex-gratia to families of each of the victims.

    “Our government has taken up the matter seriously with its Meghalaya and asked them to beef up security so that no further untoward incident takes place. We have condemned the incident in the strongest possible terms and asked the government of Meghalaya to strengthen security in the area where the unfortunate incident occurred on Sunday night,” an Assam government official said.

    In May this year, suspected militant outfit in Garo Hills have killed five migrant labourers at Darangdura, 10 kms away from Nangalbibra in the district. A similar incident had also taken place in 2011, where five coal labourers were gunned down in the Goka coal dumping site in South Garo Hills.


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    By TCN News

    Dubai: Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Sharjah, through a press release today, announced that it shall raise Rs.10 million for those affected by the recent floods that hit Uttara khand state in India.

    The initiative has been approved by its governing board, said Mr. Aggarwal, Chairman IBPCSharjah.

    The funds shall be raised from the members of IBPC and Indian community in UAE and shall be distributed to the affected people in rebuilding their lives. Shri Sudesh Aggarwal said that this is a humanitarian effort and whatever we can do to alleviate the sufferings of the people, we must come forward to contribute.
    Mr. Aggarwal also mentioned that IBPC shall ensure that the funds reach directly the people who are affected.

    It should be noted that IBPC Sharjah has raised funds for humanitarian causes and have helped many Indians in distress.

    Those who wish to contribute can do so by contacting the IBPC Sharjah office on 06- 5304404 or by email: ibpc@eim.ae
    Link:
    http://www.ibpcshj.com/html/home.htm


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    By TCN News,

    Lucknow: Several women activists and representatives’ of women groups participated in Rihai Manch dharna outside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on June 25, demanding justice for Khalid Mujahid. Demosntrators today put a black band commemorating the anniversary of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975 on the same day.

    Rihai Manch (Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism) is on indefinite dharna outside the UP Assembly since May 20 demanding arrest of police officers involved in Khalid Mujahid's murder, issuing the RD Nimesh commission report and action report, and the immediate release of innocent Muslim youth imprisoned in the name of terrorism.



    State president of All India Progressive Women Association, Tahira Hassan said that this struggle is not just for Khalid Mujahid but for all the deprived section if the society and against those state machinery and intelligence officials who prosecute and harass innocent minorities, tribals and other downtrodden in the name of security.

    Rihai Manch had invited and appealed to women organisations and activists to come in support on 25th June to extend their support. Rihai Manch spokespersons have drawn comparison between the fake encounter case in Gujarat and arbitrary arrest of Muslim youths like Khalid Mujahid.

    Khalid along with Tariq Qasmi was arrested by Special Task Force (STF) on 20 December 2007 from Barabanki. Huge explosives were also shown as recovered from his possession. STF claimed that he was involved in the serial blasts which occurred in Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Lucknow. Later, Nimesh Commission was constituted headed by Justice R D Nimesh who in its report raised fingers over STF's claim about the place of arrest.



    Khalid had died under mysterious circumstances on his way back from Faizabad near Ram Sanehi Ghat on May 18. He was declared brought dead by the doctors at district hospital in Barabanki. Later, on the complain of his uncle Zahir Alam Falahi, a case was registered against 42 police officers including former DGP Vikram Singh, ADG Brijlal and others who were on duty during the time of Khalid's arrest.

    Rihai Manch is leading a sustained demonstration against the UP government for last 34 days demanding actions on its poll promise of releasing innocent youths languishing in jails in fabricated terror charges. Several rights groups and individuals have also expressed their solidarity with the Manch demonstration and on different days made token participation.


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    By Manzar Imam, TwoCircles.net,

    New Delhi: It seemed like another world where people sat calm and composed to listen to the words of wisdom by ulama exhorting them to lead ideal lives and set examples of a corruption-free and peaceful world where values are more important than mere words and social service and sacrifice are the most sought after virtues.

    The occasion was the annual gathering of Madrasa Abdur Rab in which five students had to be honoured with the degree of fadhilat at the successful completion of a formal course that certify them to be maulanas.



    Located at Delhi’s Kashmere Gate, Madrasa Islamia Arabia Abdur Rab has a long history. It was established in 1292 A.H., just 9 years after establishment of Darul Uloom at Deoband. Famous figures like the former Shahi Imam of the historic Jama Masjid, Maulana Syed Abdullah Bukhari had studied there.

    The last lesson, or Akhri Sabaq as they call it, of Bukhari Sharif, considered as the most authentic collection of large body of hadith or traditions of Prophet Muhammad, is generally taught along with advisory notes to the graduating batch how to lead life when they go out to face the world outside the premises of their respective madrasas. The last lesson of Bukhari is also generally attended by local Muslims and sometimes even students and ulama of nearby madrasa.

    Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Saeed Qasmi Madani, sheikh-ul-hadith, Jamia Sirajul Uloom, Dhule, Maharashtra, taught the last lesson. Before explaining the meaning and message of the lesson, the hadith teacher shed elaborate light on the life, work and sacrifices of Imam Bukhari, the compiler of Bukhari Sharif. In the life of Imam Bukhari, said Maulana Madani, there are lots of lessons for us. As against the general trend of poor or mediocre families who send their wards to madrasas, Imam Bukhari’s family was very rich. But his mother decided to send her son to study hadith and Islamic sciences and thus was produced a great aalim whose knowledge spread far and wide.

    Imam Bukhari led an exemplary life and never compromised with the identity and dignity of an aalim and scholar of hadith even at the cost of huge personal loss. Such examples need to be followed by all ulama, said Maulana Madani.

    Speaking on this occasion, Member of Parliament, Maulana Mohammad Asrarul Haque Qasmi mentioned about some pioneering ulama of Delhi and the sacrifices they had made in facing the challenges of their times. He asked graduating students of madrasas to be ready to face similar kind of challenges. He also briefly mentioned about the old madrasas of Delhi and drew people’s attention to the needs and requirements of madrasas.

    Maulana Iftikhar Hussain Madani, head of the Academic Council of Madrasa Abdur Rab presided over the proceedings. President of the Administrative Committee, Haji Muhammad Harun, members Dr. Muhammad Yusuf, Haji Sadiq, Haji Nazirul Haque Paracha besides many ulama, students and others were present. Maulana Zafruddin Qasmi coordinated the programme and it ended with vote of thanks by Mufti Abdul Wakil Qasmi.

    (Writer is a journalist based in Delhi. He may be contacted at manzarkhalil@gmail.com)


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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : A group of militants shot dead a businessman in north Kashmir's Sopore town Wednesday morning, police said.

    The militants shot Kifayat Hussain from a close range in Shankergund area of Sopore, some 55 km from here, a senior police officer said.

    "He was talking to someone on phone near a petrol pump in Shankergund area of Sopore when militants fired at him from close range. He succumbed to his injuries while being taken to hospital," the officer said.

    Hussain had unsuccessfully contested the 2008 assembly elections from Sopore constituency as an independent candidate. He was provided with two armed security guards. The guards were reportedly not with him when the attack took place.

    Police said the militant who fired at Kifayat fled in a waiting vehicle.

    The attack has come at a time when the security forces have sounded a state-wide high alert in view of the two-day visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi that ends Wednesday.

    On Monday, the guerrillas carried out a deadly ambush in Srinagar, killing eight army troopers and injuring 13 others.


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    By Shamsul Islam,

    Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee (1901-1953) is a prominent Hindutva icon for the RSS/BJP camp. It was he who, on the advice of M.S. Golwalkar, founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) in 1951 and became the first president of the political arm of the RSS. He died in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on 23 June 1953, when he was under arrest. His death is mourned every year as 'End Article 370 Day' and 'Save Kashmir Day'.

    This year too, meetings were organized to highlight the 'sacrifice' of Dr Mookerjee for Jammu and Kashmir. L.K. Advani and Narendra Modi addressed gatherings at Delhi and Madhopur, Punjab, respectively. Dr Mookerjee was lauded as a great nationalist and patriot. Advani in his blog (http://blog.lkadvani.in/blog-in-english/salutations-to-a-great-martyr) on 23 June 2013, under the title SALUTATIONS TO A GREAT MARTYR, apart from giving details of Dr Mookerjee's founding of the BJS, the Kashmir campaign, his arrest at Madhopur and subsequent death at the state hospital in Srinagar, declared him to be 'a great leader' and a 'great patriot right from his birth'. He went on to add that 'We in the BJP owe our position in India's politics to the sacrifices and exertions of thousands who have preceded us, and above all to the vision and martyrdom of Dr Mookerjee.'



    Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee [Photo Courtesy: narendramodiarmy.in]

    On the same day, Narendra Modi wrote the following, which was reproduced in the blog of Advani:

    “Today we remember the great Syama Prasad Mookerjee, a statesman, thinker and a patriot who devoted his life towards strengthening national integration. The founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, he left us on this day exactly 59 years back in 1953…Remembering him, Advaniji has penned a heart-touching blog today “SALUTATIONS TO A GREAT MARTYR!” which I would like to share with you.”

    The rhetoric of these two ‘Iron Men’ of the RSS/BJP camp needs to be cross-checked with the contemporary documents available. The perusal of these documents clearly shows that the claim that Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee was a 'great leader' and a 'great patriot right from his birth' is a farce. Dr Mookerjee did not participate in the Freedom Struggle launched to liberate India from British rule. If patriotism means being part of the Freedom Struggle and making sacrifices, Dr Mookerjee not only kept aloof from it but also betrayed it by siding with the British rulers and the Muslim League. He was a great votary for partition of Bengal on the eve of India’s independence.

    In pre-Independence times he was a prominent leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, which was led by V.D. Savarkar. When in 1942 during the Quit India movement the British rulers were asked to quit India, they responded to this mass movement by unleashing a reign of terror. While hundreds of people died in police firings, the Hindu Mahasabha, with the Muslim League led by M.A. Jinnah, ran coalition governments in Sind, Bengal and NWFP. This is corroborated by the following words of 'Veer' Savarkar (from his presidential speech to the 24th session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Kanpur in 1942):

    “In practical politics also the Mahasabha knows that we must advance through reasonable compromises. Witness the fact that only recently in Sind, the Sind-Hindu-Sabha on invitation had taken the responsibility of joining hands with the League itself in running coalition Government. The case of Bengal is well known. Wild Leaguers whom even the Congress with all its submissiveness could not placate grew quite reasonably compromising and sociable as soon as they came in contact with the HM and the Coalition Government, under the premiership of Mr Fazlul Huq and the able lead of our esteemed Mahasabha leader Dr Syama Prasad Mookerji, functioned successfully for a year or so to the benefit of both the communities.”

    In Sind, the Hindu Mahasabha entered into an alliance with the Muslim League and formed the government after the great secular prime minister (at that time chief ministers were designated prime ministers) Allah Baksh was dismissed by the British Governor for his support to the Quit India Movement. He headed the Ittehad (unity) Party government. It was a mass based secular party consisting of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs which did not allow the Muslim League to enter Sind, a Muslim majority province. He was murdered by Muslim League goons in 1943. Later on a coalition government between the Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha was formed in NWFP also.

    In a more shocking development, the Hindu Mahasabha of Dr Mookerjee decided to help the British rulers in World War II. It was the time when Subhash Chandra Bose, known as Netaji, was organizing the INA (Azad Hind Fauj) in a military campaign to force the British out. The extent to which the Hindu Mahasabha was willing to help the British masters is clear from the following directive issued by Savarkar as President of the Mahasabha:

    “So far as India's defence is concerned, Hindudom must ally unhesitatingly, in a spirit of responsive co-operation, with the war effort of the Indian government in so far as it is consistent with the Hindu interests, by joining the Army, Navy and the Aerial forces in as large a number as possible and by securing an entry into all ordnance, ammunition and war craft factories.... Again it must be noted that Japan's entry into the war has exposed us directly and immediately to the attack by Britain’s enemies. Consequently, whether we like it or not, we shall have to defend our own hearth and home against the ravages of the war and this can only be done by intensifying the government's war effort to defend India. Hindu Mahasabhaites must, therefore, rouse Hindus especially in the provinces of Bengal and Assam as effectively as possible to enter the military forces of all arms without losing a single minute.” [Cited in V.D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p. 460]

    The Hindu Mahasabha was in direct contact with the then British Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief of the British armed forces for organizing resources, both human and material, for the British war effort. It organized armed forces recruitment camps. Savarkar even called upon all those Hindus who had offered to join British armed forces to “be perfectly amenable and obedient to the military discipline and order which may prevail there provided always that the latter do not deliberately aim to humiliate Hindu Honour.” [Cited in A.S. Bhide (ed.), Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's Whirlwind Propaganda: Extracts from the President's Diary of his Propagandist Tours, Interviews from December 1937 to October 1941, na, Bombay, 1940, p. xxviii]

    It may not be out of place to say here that I posted a comment on Advani's blog referring to Dr Mookerjee's participation in a Muslim League government in Bengal, as narrated by Savarkar, on 23 June 2013 at 9.14 a.m., requesting for his comment. In a short while it was removed. I reposted it at 10.43 but the same story was repeated. It is true that the blog belongs to the RSS/BJP leader, Advani, and that he has the absolute right to decide what appears on it. However, I feel that since he had put up statements he should have responded to my query, 'Was Dr Mookerjee a patriot for a democratic-secular India?’ His silence suggests to me that he knows that bluff has its limitations.

    It is not that I am unsympathetic. Even a master of sophistry cannot deal with the contradiction that the Hindu Mahasabha helped to run provinces for the British rulers precisely when a much larger number of Indians was asking the British to leave India. Even Advani cannot explain away the eagerness of Dr Mookerjee's mentor, Savarkar, to aid the British war effort when countless Indians so badly wanted 'the Jewel in the [British] Crown' to be their own land again that Subhas Bose even undertook military action. We should never forget that when Hindu Mahasabha led by Savarkar and Dr Mookerjee were facilitating the colonial masters’ war efforts, the freedom fighters were raising the slogan, “na ek bhai, na ek pai’ (not a man, not a paisa for the War).

    Finally, as a student of Indian politics and history, I request Advani to reveal his source of information that Dr Mookerjee was a 'great patriot right from his birth' about which no one else knows anything. I have been denied my right to be responded by Advani in latter’s blog but hopeful that this write-up will secure the explanation from RSS patriarch to enrich the nation’s memory about Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee.

    [With thanks to Mr Mukul Dube for suggestions]


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    By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen will carry out relief work in flood ravaged Uttarakhand and announced distribution of Rs. 78.75 lakh relief material for the victims.

    At the party headquarters DaraulSalam MIM chief and Hyderabad M.P. Asaduddin Owaisi termed Uttarakhand cloud burst as national disaster where nearly thousand has been killed and many more are still stranded. He pledged to help the victims and for that purpose MIM will be sending a delegation of its party leaders to oversee the distribution of its relief material and to help the stranded victims.



    MIM worker Naveen Yadav giving one lakh check to Asaduddin Owaisi as donation for party's relief work

    MIM in its press release stated that party will contribute Rs. 6 lakh to Prime minister Relief fund (Uttarakhand victims rehabilitation package). And Rs. 20 lakh worth medicines will be distributed in the flood hit areas.

    Apart from it, 5,000 kits worth 52.75 lakh containing essential commodities will be distributed in the rehabilitation camps. Each relief Kit contains.

    S No.

    Item

    Quantity

    1

    Rice

    5 Kgs

    2

    Dal

    1 Kg

    3

    Onion

    2 Kgs

    4

    Salt

    1 Kg

    5

    Sweet Oil

    1 Kg

    6

    Red Chilli Powder

    200 gms

    7

    Haldi Powder

    200 gms

    8

    Ginger & Garlic Paste

    250 gms

    9

    Sugar

    1 Kg

    10

    Milk Powder

    1 Kg

    11

    Tea

    200 gms

    12

    Colgate Powder

    200 gms

    13

    Hair Oil

    5 pouches

    14

    Washing Soap

    2 Nos.

    15

    Bath Soap

    2 Nos.

    16

    Cotton Kurta & Pyjama

    1 Nos

    17

    Saree Blouse

    1 Nos.

    18

    Slipper

    2 Nos.

    19

    Blanket

    1 Nos.

    20

    Bed Sheet

    1 Nos.

    MIM will be sending a 25 member delegation of its party leaders and municipal councilors, under the leadership of ex-councilor S. Raj Mohan to manage the relief work, the delegation comprises off: 1.Mohammed Ghouse (Corporator, Charminar) 2.Bhanumati Narsing Rao (Corporator, Borabanda) 3.Mohd. Mukarram Ali (Corporator, Moghalpura) 4. Samad Bin Abdad (Corporator, Uppuguda) 5. Habeeb Zain Arif (Corporator, Shivrampally) 6.Mohammed Jani Miyan (Co-opted Member) 7. Zakir Baqri (Corporator, Murad Nagar) 8. Alampalli Pochaiah (former Mayor, Hyderabad) 9.Chinna Srisailam Yadav 10. Rajesh Agarwal 11. Muzaffar 12. GVJ Naidu (Jubliee Hills constituency in charge) 13. Naveen Yadav 14. Mukesh Kumar Agarwal 15. Praveen Navender 16. Rakesh Agarwal 17. Promod Jain 18. Krishna Yadav 19. Sundeep Solanki 20. Mallikarjun Yadav 21. Sai Venkati Yadav 22. Durga Singh (Ex-Corporator) 23. Deepak Pandit 24. Natti Kumar 25. Ram Chander Madiga.

    It can be recalled that last year during Assam riots MIM had provided extensive aid to many of the victims, Asaduddin Owaisi commenting on the relief initiative of his party in Uttarakhand said, “In this time of grave difficulty of our fellow countrymen, we will try to help the victims even from our limited means, MIM will stand with them shoulder to shoulder on this challenging period.”


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    By IANS,

    Banihal (Jammu and Kashmir) : The people of Jammu and Kashmir are fed up with violence and are eager to taste peace and development, UPA chief Sonia Gandhi said Wednesday.

    She told a public rally here also addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Indian democracy had the strength to overcome conflicts through dialogue.

    The rally was held shortly after Manmohan Singh inaugurated a key rail link between the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region.

    "The people in Kashmir are fed up with violence. They want peace and development.

    "The large turnout of people during the Panchayat elections in the state is a proof of the people's desire for peace and development.

    "I know very well that painful incidents happen here occasionally, but our democracy has enough scope to sort out issues through dialogue and negotiations."

    Gandhi said the "hardships faced by the people of the state during the winter months are now a thing of the past.

    "Today's inauguration of the all-weather link between Jammu and the valley is a part of the UPA's (United Progressive Alliance) commitment to the peace and progress of the people here."

    Gandhi said the National Conference-Congress government in the state had done commendable work in the last five years.


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : A member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said Wednesday it has received 35,523 complaints against police while other activists expressed grave concern over atrocities by security forces.

    "Out of 107,655 complaints received by the NHRC in 2012, 35,523 were against police, of which 366 pertained to torture," said Satyabrata Pal, a member of the country's statutory apex panel for human rights.

    "Not for a moment do we believe that these were the only instances of torture. These were only cases reported to us (NHRC)," Pal said here Wednesday.

    "The armed and paramilitary forces argue that in some exigencies, torture is the only means through which they can extract information which they need to save civilian lives, and is therefore justified," Pal said.

    He was speaking at the International Anti-Torture Day Observation Programme in the capital.

    Other human rights activists also expressed concern over the atrocities being allegedly perpetuated by the armed forces, especially the Border Security Force.

    Colin Gonsalves, founder of Human Right Law Network, said: "The armed forces rape and kill so many with impunity. They kill people and portray them as militants."

    Journalist John Dayal said the media must play an important role in highlighting these issues.


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    ANU has already sent a medical team to help mitigate the suffering of the stranded pilgrims.

    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The Executive Committee of Aligarh Muslim University Teachers' Association (AMUTA) in its meeting expressed deep sense of shock and grief over the loss of lives and damage to properties in the aftermath of unprecedented flood and landslides caused by the torrential rain in Uttarakhand.

    Dr. Aftab Alam, Secretary of the AMUTA said that the Executive Committee of the teachers’ body offered heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved families, shared their sorrow and wished the injured a speedy recovery. The AMUTA fully stood by the victims and their families in their hour of crisis. Aligarh Muslim University has already sent a medical team to help mitigate the suffering of the stranded pilgrims.

    The association urged the central and state governments to speed up rescue and relief operations disregarding the extreme weather conditions. It further urged the members of AMUTA to donate generously, at least one day basic salary, for relief and rehabilitation of the victims in the flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand.

    Dr. Alam said that the magnitude of tragedy is not known as the number of dead is uncertain and the loss is yet to be ascertained. Over several thousand people are believed to have perished in this nature induced man-made disaster. Damage to bridges and roads has left over 100,000 pilgrims and tourists trapped in various places waiting to be rescued. The unprecedented fury of water has virtually effaced roads, bridges, electric polls and communication links and severely damaged the Kedarnath Shrine.

    The Association further urged all political parties not to politicize the relief operations.


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    By TCN News,

    Bhopal: The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has expressed its deep anguish, anxiety and pain at the devastating loss of life, livelihoods, and homes in Uttarakhand and beyond caused by flash floods resulting from extremely intense rainfall which swept away mountainsides, villages and towns, irrigation canals, domestic water sources, dams, roads, bridges, and buildings — anything that stood in the way.

    SDPI national president A. Sayeed in a statement has conveyed his party’s sympathy and condolence to the victims and bereaved families who have been devastated by the catastrophe of flash floods and has extended support to those still fighting for survival. The rescue operations put in by various agencies of the central government and some NGOs should be appreciated in this hour of crisis which is no less than a national calamity, he added.

    Sayeed said excessive rainfall provides only a partial explanation for why the Himalayan hill States of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have been battered beyond measure in recent days. For man’s excesses and follies have also been a factor in the destruction that nature has wrought. It is evident that the problem of poor soil stability on the steep slopes in this fragile region has been compounded by man-made factors like indiscriminate deforestation and mindless construction. Hundreds of buildings along the banks of the Alaknanda and the Bhagirathi have been swept away in Rudraprayag district alone, he stated.

    He pointed out that a 2011 notification to declare as eco-sensitive a zone extending to a distance of 130 km from Gomukh where the Alaknanda begins, up to Uttarkashi, remains unenforced to this day. The Uttarakhand government’s misgivings on this move, based on the argument that it would impede development, need to be re-examined in an informed manner. Strategies to ensure better overall management of water resources in the region are needed. However, observations by the Comptroller and Auditor General in 2010 expressing concern over disturbance to the natural ecology and destabilisation of hill slopes caused by the construction of hydel projects along the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda, and over the failure of the administration to plant enough trees to mitigate risks arising out of soil degradation, have a fresh resonance at this point.

    SDPI has demanded that (i) the governments at the central and state level retreat to a low carbon pathway of development that has equity, decent employment, and sustainability at its core; (ii) the planning and construction of dams in the entire Indian Himalayas be reviewed, and all construction be halted until such a review is carried out; (iii) the use of explosives in all such infrastructure development works is completely stopped; (iv) the stretch from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi be declared an eco-sensitive zone without further delay and (v) a river regulation zone be enforced such that no permanent structures are allowed to be constructed within 100 metres of any river.

    Sayeed said that the destruction caused by the heavy rains across north India is a grim reminder of how woefully unprepared India is to respond to natural calamities. Laws defining the state’s role in such situations must be framed right away. As the scenario in flood-hit Uttarakhand is heading towards being disastrously grave, one has reasons to wonder whether our disaster management efficiency meets the international standards, or even the very least required standards.

    The statement said that India is one of the most vulnerable nations in the world when it comes to the state’s role in combating natural disasters — disaster preparedness, disaster mitigation, disaster response, and rehabilitation and recovery. The preparedness level to combat natural calamities too makes a difference. This level of preparedness is a direct product of public policy towards natural disasters. India’s disaster management is still based on archaic post-disaster rehabilitation and damage control.

    As such to prevent the kind of losses that Uttarakhand is experiencing, the Government’s approach towards disaster has to be turned upside down. Pre-calamity operations must be set off to minimise the losses and casualties in case of a natural disaster. The relief machinery lacks adequate training and management and is often found wanting in pre-planned contingency measures, relying, thereby, mostly on ad hoc measures that diminish the efficacy of its operations, the statement stated.


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    By Dr. Syed Ahmed, TwoCircles.net,

    Imphal: The literary society of the Manipuri Muslims, Writers’ Union, Manipur released a book on folk-songs of Manipuri Muslims at a function organized at Agriculture Department Training Hall, Sanjenthong at Imphal on June 23, 2013.

    The function was graced by renowned musicologist of the State Laishram Birendrakumar Singh as Chief Guest and Professor of Manipuri Department, Manipur University Dr. Oinam Ibochouba Singh as Special Guest. President of Muslim Writers’ Union Mohd. Abdur Rahman presided the function. Some of the well-known literary figures and scholars of the State attended the function.



    The book titled “Pangalgi Khunung Eshei” is a collection of folk-songs sung by the Manipuri Muslims in the past, written by Mohd. Abdur Rahman and Kayamuddin Pukhrimayum.

    Introducing the book, S.M. Sheikh said, “The Manipuri Muslims, locally known as Pangal (believed to be a corrupt word for Bangal), used to sing different types of Manipuri folk-song in the past. These folk-songs were almost similar to those sung by the Meities in style, rhythm and tune. These traditional folk-songs, composed by the ordinary folks on various themes, were sung by both men and women during festive occasions and while engaging in work. They were sung with great enthusiasm during wedding ceremonies. In the past, a day before the marriage the friends of the bride and the groom gathered at night to sing the Manipuri folk-songs, along with Urdu ghazal and qawali, as a form of entertainment. The Muslim folks had orally transmitted these songs through generations.”

    The book has samples of different forms of Manipuri folk-song sung by the Manipuri Muslims, namely thabal esei, jagoi esei, fagi esei, khulang louta esei, pangal wari libasinggi esei, pangal khullang esei, etc. The book has also a collection of ghazals sung by the Manipuri Muslims in the past. It is noted in the book that Manipuri Muslims started singing Urdu Ghazal, composed by Urdu poets of mainland India, from the early part of 20th century during marriage and other socio-cultural functions. Qawali also became popular among the Manipuri Muslims after the Second World War.



    Abdus Salam presenting Manipuri folk-songs

    A specimen of Urdu ghazal, titled ‘mast,’ given in the book:

    Aaj dilbarko khwabme dekha/nure hak-ka hijabme dekha/khud fana hoke jatme milna/ye tamasha hubabme dekha/aapko sokhat gairko lajjat/ye majaham kabab me dekha/baithkar shair mulk-ki karna/ye tamasa kitab me dekha/hak piyale me mast ho jana/ye tamasha sarab me dekha

    Jab husna ajjal par woh emkaname aaya/har rang bahrang har ek sanme aaya/hur matse malaikane jisse sajda kiya he/jis waqtki woh surte insanme aaya/gul hi wahi samban wahi nargis heiran/apne hi tamaseko gulistan me aaya/awwal wahi akhir wahi jahir wahi batin/majkur yahi ayate quranme aaya/qanun wahi saj wahi talba wahi he/har tar me bola ki har ek tanme aaya…

    Urdu nat, songs sung in praise of Prophet Muhammad, also became popular from the early part of 20th century. Today nat are composed in Manipuri. Marifat, a form of devotional song which deals with Islamic mysticism, also became popular among the Manipuri Muslims. This particular style of singing, without any musical instrument, was introduced by the Manipuri Muslims of Cachar district.

    Ibochouba Singh, who reviewed the book, analyzed the folk-songs academically and said that the authors of the book have done a very pioneering and praiseworthy work. We have to appreciate the meticulous work that the authors have done. These folk-songs are gems for the Muslim community which will certainly help in constructing the history and identity of the Muslims in Manipur, he added.



    Hamidun Begum presenting Manipuri folk-songs

    In his speech, Abdur Rahman said, “I along with late Kayamuddin Pukhrimayum (he passed away in 2003) had collected the folk-songs which were existing orally. This way we could preserve these valuable songs for posterity. We publish the collection as Pangal Khunung Esei in 1986. This book immensely helped the young research scholars who were doing researches on the society and culture of Muslims in Manipur. We do not have any more copy of the book now. However, scholars come to ask for the book. S.M. Sheikh has also over the recent years collected a good amount of folk-songs from the Manipuri Muslims. So the Writers’ Union, Manipur decided to compile all these and publish again. We hope the readers will welcome our efforts.”

    Abdus Salam and Hamidun Begum, well-known folk-singers, entertained the gathering by presenting different types of Manipuri folk-song sung by the Muslims in the past.


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    By Anjum Alam,

    Every year, India produces lakhs of engineers in various colleges of the country. This number is increasing day by day in terms employed as well as unemployed human resource. A significant number of these engineers work in different fields and do excellent as well. In recent times, calculation and observation reveals some significant facts about those engineers who worked for different companies for many years but they often get tired from their respective jobs and end up with dissatisfaction. They start a new journey in search of new paths which can satisfy them and give them eternal happiness.

    At this stage, it seems important to understand what is eternal happiness and joy which a person looks for. Is it something which can be achieved by monetary power? Is it position or certain post which gives the joy or the all the luxury stuffs which a human desires for in his life, gives the lasting happiness? The answer is quite simple; all the above given factors cannot give you lasting happiness because they are temporary. There is someone within you who can guide you, what you really want from your life and what exactly you are looking for your eternal happiness and joy.

    Luckily, I have come a across some engineers who started their journey with handsome salaries in reputed companies but ended up with dissatisfaction and discouragement. During study at National Institute of Rural Development, I got an opportunity to interact with chunk of talented young professionals from different backgrounds. Most of them are full of enthusiasm, aspirations and with innovative ideas of change and development. A significant number of them are engineers, who have come with the same intensity and thoughts to bring a lasting change in the society. They are eager to unleash the untouched rural potential for achieving the eternal happiness.

    I will tell you the story of an engineer who has also challenged the society as well as his family for a greater cause and joy. Senthil Kumar, an Electrical engineer, started his professional journey at Wipro Technologies and then joined the Infosys Limited with lucrative salary. He worked there for a 3 years. But lucrative salary and corporate culture did not give him eternal happiness. He quit the job from Infosys to follow his dreams by working with the deprived communities. He got admission in National Institute of Rural Development to realize his dreams. Now he, is just about to complete the PGDRDM course and is ready to contribute towards the communities where his efforts are best utilized, appreciated, recognized and become reasons for smiles of many faces.

    Senthil is not the only engineer who dares to walk on this difficult path but there are numerous youths having different background who to take up this ambitious mission to change the face of the Indian society, to empower them rural community, to equip them with modern technology and with innovative ideas for betterment of Bharat. Certainly, these professionals are not attracted to this cause due to sympathy and emotions but because of empathy and realization. Most importantly, they have discovered their cause and race in which they want to run for achieving the joy and eternal happiness in the life.

    We have live examples of many individuals who have adopted a different path against their professions like; last two Magsaysay prize winners from India (Deep Joshi and Harish Hande) both engineers with management degrees worked with economically deprived communities and made remarkable contribution. Unfortunately, most of the time, this is not acknowledged by our families and society.

    Coming to end, eternal joy and eternal happiness cannot be achieved through worldly stuffs. It’s something which you have to discover and explore within yourself. Once you recognize the race and purpose of your existence in this world, your journey of life will become easier. You will able to decide anything in the life with efficiency and confidence. Certainly this is the level in the human beings’ life when people get the eternal happiness.

    (Anjum Alam graduated from a madrassa as an Alim before joining Jamia Millia Islamia where he completed masters and started working in social sector. He is currently a student at the National Institute of Rural Development.)


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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Undeterred by the spurt in militancy in the Kashmir valley over the last three days, about 130 champion rallyists from all parts of the country are rolling into Srinagar for the fourth Mughal Rally.

    The rally gets its name from the road used by Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan to traverse Kashmir to go to Lahore. The rally is India's first hill climb motorsport battle and will be held June 28-29.

    There are 28 teams in Rally Xtreme (4X4), nine riders in Xtreme (Motorcycles), and 32 teams in Rally Enduro. Rally Xtreme is all about speed while Enduro follows the time-speed-distance (TSD) format. The vehicles will be scrutinised Thursday.

    Amanpreet Ahluwalia, second at 2012 Raid De Himalaya and first in 2013 Sub-Himalayan Rally, said he has been preparing his vehicle for the last three months.

    "What I want now is to rally, drive fast and safe and get the winner's trophy," said Ahluwalia, part of Delhi-based Team Terrain Tigers, who are coming with six teams in Rally Xtreme and one in Rally Enduro. Each team comprises a driver and a navigator.

    Other top rallyists converging for the event include Amittrajit Ghosh, winner of 2012 Mughal Rally, Suresh Rana of Team Maruti, Satish Gopalkrishnan of Bangalore, Jagmeet Gill of Chandigarh and biker Mohit Verma.

    The rally also has four women's teams this year in the TSD category.

    The hill climb race will be held across two of the highest peaks of the track - Pir Ki Gali and Sinthan Pass. Pir Ki Gali is the highest point on the Mughal Road at an elevation of 3,505 metres approximately while Sinthan Pass, at an altitude of 3,748 metres, is on National Highway 1B.


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    By IANS,

    Mumbai : Two accused in the 2006 Malegaon bomb blasts in Maharashtra Wednesday moved a plea seeking discharge from the case over discrepancies in chargesheets filed by various probe agencies, a lawyer said.

    Accused Mohamed Ali Shaikh and Asif Bashir Shaikh are also facing similar charges in the July 7, 2005 Mumbai serial train blasts case and are currently in custody.

    In their application before a Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) special court here, they pointed to various alleged contradictions and discrepancies in the earlier chargesheets filed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad, the Central Bureau of Investigation and later the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which took over the probe in the case.

    The court posted the matter for hearing June 29.

    The two accused contended that they had been implicated in the case and their alleged confessional statement which was used as a vital piece of evidence against them was discarded by the NIA.

    The NIA had concluded that the confessional statement was not voluntary and was obtained from the accused under duress, said their lawyer Shahid Nadeem Ansari, who is providing free legal aid to the duo through the Jamiat-Ulama-e Maharashtra.

    "After this, we shall be filing similar discharge appeals for all the seven other co-accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, who are currently out on bail," Ansari told IANS.

    The court had earlier granted bail to the seven accused facing charges in the Malegaon blasts after the NIA probed the case and submitted its primary report in November 2011.

    The Sep 8, 2006 blasts left 35 people dead.


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