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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    Hyderabad : The Andhra Pradesh government has announced a cash reward of Rs.10 lakh for any credible information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of the Feb 21 twin-bomb blasts in the city.

    The state government has issued orders to this effect, said a statement from the office of the director general of police Friday.

    This is in addition to Rs.10 lakh reward announced by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the blasts.

    The twin-blasts near Rajiv Chowk at Dilsukhnagar killed 17 people and injured many others.

    The orders recalled that two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were suspected to have been tied to bicycles and operated using timer devices. More than three months after the terror attack, the police or NIA have not achieved any breakthrough in the case.


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    Hasan Rizvi, TwoCircles.net,

    Lucknow: Khalid Mujahid's death has shocked the country. Social activists, Muslim fraternity and others are demanding government's action on Khalid's death. Though state government has recommended a CBI probe, suspended all nine policemen who were escorting Khalid and a FIR too has been lodged against 42 policemen still there is a persistent demand for making public the Nimesh Commission report.

    TCN talked with the Muslim legislators in the state cutting across party line to get their opinion on this sensational topic. Strangely many of them admitted that there should be a thorough probe in Khalid's death incident but none of them has so far came forward to make this demand with the government.

    Abrar ahmed, the Samajwadi Party legislator from Isauli in Sultanpur when asked remarked: “Police is responsible for the death of Mujahid and if the jailor is accused he should be punished. Fair investigation
    should be done”.

    Shakir Ali, who has been minister in previous Mulayam regime and has defeated BJP's state president Surya Pratap Shahi from Patherdewa in Deoria remarked: “It was executed through a well-managed conspiracy; strong actions should be taken against the culprits. The mentality of the administration should be changed or else these things will happen again”.

    Ziauddin Rizvi, the SP legislator from Ghazipur opined: “SP government is committed to its promise to free all the innocents and case against Mujahid was withdrawn by government. But the changed circumstances have made it difficult. After the report of CBI inquiry everything will be cleared”.

    Haji Irfan Solanki, the young MLA of SP from Aryanagar Kanpur remained cautious. He stated: “It is premature to say anything before the completion of CBI probe but rules should be made to protect further incidents like this”.

    Abdul Mashood Khan, the SP legislator from Balrampur district however refused to comment on grounds that CBI will probe the matter.

    M. Asif Jafri, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator appeared most vocal. He remarked: “According to the Nimesh committee report Mujahid was not guilty but still he was been imprisoned. Responding to the statement of CM in which said, Mujahid was ill, Jafri asked, “If he was ill he should have been taken to hospital not court?” However, he did not reply when reminded that Khalid was arrested during Mayawati regime.
    Congress legislator Nawazish Alam Khan from Bulandshaher, Jamaluddin Siddiqui who is SP legislator from Farrukhabad, Aneesur Rehman of Peace Party representing Bareilly and Shah Alam of BSP from Azamgarh were also contacted but they did not have any comment.

    (TCN is doing a special series by trying to contact all Muslim representatives and record their reactions on this important issue. While some have responded, others chose not to, citing several reasons. In coming days, TCN will try to contact other Muslim representatives from the state as well.)


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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: A daylong symposium on grievances of minorities of India was organized by Sir Syed Minority Foundation of India on May 30, 2012 at social science conference, AMU under presidentship of Mohammad Adeeb, member of Rajya Sabha. The chief guest of the programme was Mohd Qutubur Rahman, president of Aligarh Alumini Forum and CEO, Asian Group of Companies.

    The programme started with the recitation of Holy Quran by Qari Abdul Khaliq Kamil,who is also Vice-President of Sir Syed Minority Foundation of India.



    Shams Rahman, President of SSMFI welcomed the chief guest, participant and others. He highlighted the aims and objectives the organization in detail. He said that the question of minority status of AMU is not a question of a university but much more.

    In his speech Mohd Allam, teacher of History at Minto circle said that now the time for Indian Muslims have to come to look their grievances different angles. He appealed the Indian Muslims to manage their vast resources of Zakat which amounted to Rs 10,000 crore per annum and Waqf properties amounted into billion. He said that Indian Muslims do not lack resources and men power but need management. He appealed that Indian Muslim instead of complaining should start working themselves on their problems as nothing happened in the last 65 years.

    Addressing to the gathering Maroof, General secretary Bihar Pradesh congress appealed the Muslims to march ahead to solve their problems. He said that Indian Muslims should work for the betterment of AMU and solve all those problems which hunting them from long.

    In his speech Vivek Bansal, an MLC of congress from Aligarh criticized the communal forces for blocking the path of development of nation. He appealed to Muslims to vote in power to congress with absolute majority and congress will try to restore the minority character of AMU. He said he is ready to do anything for the University.

    The Chief Guest of the program Qutubur Rahman highlighted the negative approach of Indian Muslims. He asked to youth to work for the development of the country. He narrated the happiness and sorrow on the achievement and misdeed of the politician abroad. He appealed the people to collectively work for the cause of the country. While Mohd Adeeb, member of Rajya sabha in his address very emotionally complaint the non-fulfillment of the promises done by the Congress in previous election. He said that for the four years he is waiting for the restoration of minority character of AMU by the congress. He appreciated the integrity and honesty of Sonia Gandhi and requested that by using her authority she would do more for AMU.

    The program was anchored by Ayyub Shabab, a good orator and ex official of AMUSU. The programme came to an end with Vote of thanks of Pervaiz siddiqui, the General Secretary of Sir Syed Minority Foundation of India. On this occasion Prof Rezaullah Khan, Khurshied, Prof. Nafeesh were also present.


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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: “A deep sense of respect to medical ethics, discipline and a will to develop one’s skill are the most important components of a successful doctor”, said Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah, Vice Chancellor while releasing the Sada-e-Hadi, Annual Hall Magazine of Hadi Hasan Hall, Aligarh Muslim University.

    Gen. Shah said that he had great respect to medical profession and medical students are the pride of Aligarh Muslim University. He urged the doctors to work like Army doctors who did not care for their safety during war times when they were on war sites for treatment of wounded people.



    AMU VC releasing the Hall Magazine of Hadi Hasan Hall

    Gen. Shah said that he was committed to solve the problems faced by the Aligarh Muslim University and he was trying to get more funds from different sources for this institution.

    Vice Chancellor said that he was not in favour of taking punitive actions but he made it clear that disrespect to teacher, financial bungling and misbehave with women would not be tolerated at any cost. He assured the students that a Cath Lab will be established at JN Medical College very soon.

    Prof. Shahab F. Hashmi, Provost of the Hall said the bringing out a Magazine reflects the incredible intellect of the students, their creative and academic potential and the spark of brilliance and diligence in expression of their views and thoughts. Prof. Hashmi said that the present Vice Chancellor have done a lot towards improving the residential condition of the Halls of residence.

    Dr. M. Salman Shah, Censor and Warden Incharge, highlighted the importance of extracurricular activities in student life.



    Mohd. Ashfaque, Editor in Chief, said that the Hall magazines provided a platform to the students to showcase their literary talent and creative skills. He said that the current issue of Sada-e-Hadi is aimed at satiating the intellectual appetite of students amidst hurly-burly routine of their studies and daily affairs.

    Inamul Fasih, Managing Editor conducted the programme. On the occasion Prof. Anis Ismail, Dean, Student Welfare, Prof. Syed Abrar Hasan, Prof. MH Beg, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Prof. RK Tiwari, Principal, Dental College and wardens of the hall were also present.


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    By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

    Guwahati: The result of Assam Madrassa Title (M.M.), M.M. (Previous), F.M. (Final), F.M. Part I and Intermediate Examinations of 2013 held in March, 2013 under the State’s Madrassa Education Board will be declared in all the Examination Centres of the State simultaneously on June 5, 2013 at 11:00 am.

    The Heads of the Madrassa and Arabic Colleges of the State have been asked to collect the Result-Books and Mark sheets from their respective Centre Superintendents on the same day, i.e., June 5, 2013, and declare the results at 11:00 A.M. They are also asked to distribute the mark sheets amongst the examinees of their institutions on the same day.


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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: On the appeal of Ravi Nitesh from Mission Bhartiyam, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken cognizance over death of Pakistani prisoner Sanauallah in Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu and Kashmir, and has forward the complaint to State Human Rights Commission, J&K.

    After this attack by fellow inmates and followed by struggle for life in hospital, Sanaullah lost his life.

    Ravi Nitesh, in his appeal told that a day before Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner died as a result of attack by Pakistani prisoners in Kot lakhpat jail, Lahore, Pakistan. After the incident, government was well aware about the jingoism among India and therefore put high security at many places in India. After the Sarabjit case, government must be aware that Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails are not safe and could be used by fellow Indian prisoners to take revenge.

    “In this view, government through its ministry must be exercised adequate security arrangements for Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails, while after the attack here, it became clear that government became failed to do so,” he had noted.

    In view of the prisoner’s rights and in view of the advance probability of such things, government could not arrange adequate security provisions for prisoners. This incident not only exposed the loopholes in prison conditions, but also extend probe on officials of prison who were on duty.

    NHRC, while received the case filed by Ravi Nitesh of Mission Bhartiyam (vide http://nhrc.nic.in/display.asp?fno=188/9/5/2013) and also by Suhas Chakma, Director, Asian Centre of Human Rights (vide http://nhrc.nic.in/display.asp?fno=178/9/5/2013-AD), took the serious concern over attack and security in prisons and asked SHRC to investigate the matter further.


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    By IANS,

    Dubai: As Indian prisoners in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prepare to get transferred to some Indian jail under a bilateral prisoner exchange agreement, some of them are ashamed to take up the offer due to the nature of their crimes.

    Those jailed for immoral crimes like trafficking women and forcing them into prostitution fear that they won't be able to face their own people when they go to some jail in their own country, The National reported Saturday.

    “People caught for immoral activities will not want to show their faces at home,” a prisoner, identified only by his initials BA, was quoted as saying.

    He is serving 10 years for murder and hopes to serve his remaining three years in India.

    “For people involved in that business, it will be difficult to go back because there is too much shame,” he said.

    However, he said that he knew at least 200 Indians jailed in the UAE for murder and all of them want to make the move to a jail back home.

    Last month, UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had ratified a deal that allowed the transfer of prisoners between his country and India.

    The decree endorsed an agreement on the transfer of sentenced prisoners signed by the two sides in November 2011.

    The agreement was signed to allow the prisoners to serve the rest of their sentences among their own communities

    New Delhi believes there are 1,200 Indian prisoners in jails in the UAE.

    Another prisoner, identified as KB, who has 10 years of his jail term left, too hopes to shift to a jail in his home country.

    “We have been told that if we are eligible, we can return in the next three months,” KB said.

    “The agreement was signed in 2011. I hope it doesn't get delayed any more.”

    However, according to the report, Indian jails are mostly full and space constraints may further delay the process.

    “Prisons in India are full and any jail these men choose must have space to take them," K. Kumar, head of the Indian Community Welfare Committee who helped to distribute more than 200 forms at Dubai Central Prison this week, was quoted as saying.

    “We will also include a second choice in the forms so there is an option if the jail they choose close to their home is full. Otherwise the paperwork will go back and forth,” he said.

    The forms require an inmate's name, reason for imprisonment, time served and passport details.

    However, those convicted of drug offences, financial crimes or are required to pay blood money in murder cases are not eligible for the scheme.

    Each case will be scrutinised to assess if it meets the terms of the agreement, according to the report.


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    By Ras H. Siddiqui, TwoCircles.net,

    Citrus Heights, CA (USA): The Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM) held its Spring Banquet and fundraiser at the Citrus Heights Community Center recently. SALAM’s events are usually high profile but this time some of their own benchmarks were surpassed as a few members of the ‘Who’s who’ of Sacramento’s political and media groups were in attendance including Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly member Roger Dickinson, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones along with Edie Lambert and Stephen Magagnini. Other big attractions for many in attendance were the keynote speaker, Professor John Esposito from Georgetown University and comedian Dean Obeidallah.

    Emcee for the evening Asif Haq started the event with confidence. “It is going to be a memorable evening,” he said. Adnan Syed presented the opening Qur’anic recitation followed by its English translation by Muzhda Ferouz. A short welcome address by SALAM Board chairman Farrukh Saeed briefly mentioned some details of the Masjid project, its funding challenges and the services that the organization currently offers to the community including its regular and weekend schools, Friday family night, matrimonial services etc. Incidentally Farrukh recently received the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award on behalf of SALAM, another good reflection on the Sacramento Muslim community.



    Professor John Esposito deliver's SALAM Keynote

    SALAM’s Executive Director Dr. Metwalli Amer next took the opportunity to introduce Professor John Esposito and invited him to the stage. One of the foremost public intellectuals (he is an expert on religions) in America today, Dr. Esposito’s appearance and talk here at SALAM, to which he returned after a 15 year gap, was greatly anticipated. He started off by saying, “Much of what you are doing needs to be duplicated.” He said that tragedy at the Boston Marathon which included the murder and maiming of innocent civilians horrified our nation and was denounced by all Americans, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. He added that every major Muslim organization condemned this act but still regrettably, it unleashed anti-Islam and anti-Muslim Islamophobes and organizations, including far right media commentators on Fox television, and self-serving politicians like Rep. Peter King.

    On the current state of American Muslims, he said that “After Jews, Muslims are the most educated religious community in the US. Muslim women (unlike their Jewish counterparts) are as likely as their male counterparts to have a college degree or higher. 40% of women have a college degree as compared to 29% of Americans overall.” He added that “American Muslims are more optimistic about their future than the average US population.” But everything has not been great in the post-9/11 period. American Muslims have experienced and are concerned about the impact of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim attitudes and behavior.



    Steinberg, Jones and Dickinson at Sacramento event

    Dr. Esposito shared statistical data, the results of polls to reflect on the mainstream’s attitude towards Muslims and Islam. “Failure to distinguish between the actions of religious extremists and terrorists and the vast majority of Muslims and their faith has reinforced a belief in the collective guilt of American Muslims and their faith,” he said. He added that by compromising Muslim freedoms and civil liberties, – the rights of American Muslim citizens and of Muslim organizations, threatens the very fabric of American democracy itself. “In the words of Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s most prominent Founding Fathers: “He who sacrifices freedom for security is neither free nor secure.” (Certainly words to ponder over in America today).



    Dean Obeidallah

    Professor Esposito had some advice for the American Muslim community and encouraged young people to seek careers in government, the media and in education. Space constraints here limit what else he suggested but this writer would add that the Muslim community itself has unfortunately made it a habit not to encourage its own media, especially in the past decade where it needed the most help.

    After the keynote speech, local luminary Rashid Ahmad, a retired State of California Civil Engineer was presented the SALAM Distinguished Award for his many years of service to the local Muslim community. Rashid Sahib has certainly been a bridge builder between faiths in the Sacramento area. He helped in the establishment of the U.C. Davis Medical School’s Shifa Medical Clinic for the disadvantaged needing health care. He is also one of the founders of the CAIR Sacramento Valley. In his speech he thanked the local dignitaries present and members of the mainstream media.



    A group of local leaders at the event

    Farrukh Saeed returned to share SALAM’s fiscal situation. The formal fundraising segment of the evening began next as SALAM’s very own Imam Azeez conducted made the call for generosity with a little help from guests and volunteers. Over $175,000 was collected by the time dinner was served and comedian Dean Obeidallah appeared on the stage.


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    By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net,

    Bhopal: The Indian Government’s dream to become super power can never fructify until and unless Muslims are made part and parcel of inclusive growth and equal partners in the country’s all round development.

    This was declared by Hazrat Maulana Mohammed Fazlur Rahim Mujaddidi, Chairman of SEE, (Strive for Eminence and Empowerment), while delivering key-note address in the National Conference entitled “21st Century’s Socio-economic Challenges” at Surat the other day.



    Hazrat Maulana Mohammed Fazlur Rahim Mujaddidi, Chairman of SEE, (Strive for Eminence and Empowerment), while delivering key-note address in the National Conference entitled “21st Century’s Socio-economic Challenges” at Surat.

    Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth Maulana Qari Rashid Ahmed Ajmeri presided over the conference while Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid was the chief guest on the occasion.

    Maulana Mujaddidi, a noted Muslim cleric and also member of the steering committee of Planning Commission of India, said in the 20th century the basic need of all Indians was “Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan”. While in the 21st Century these needs have transformed into decent meals (nutritious); “Pukka Makaan” with electricity, safe drinking water, Quality Education, Health Care & Economic participation.

    Maulana Mujaddidi opined Muslims don't enjoy much social status in the state of Gujarat. At least 50 per cent of Muslim population is backward and lives below poverty line (BPL) in the state. Here Muslims are denied pre-matric scholarships which is their right.

    Lambasting the rightist Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), ruled Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Maulana Mujaddidi said, Modi’s claim of Gujarat shining is a hoax. He questioned if he (Modi) talks about 60 millions Gujaratis then why is it that he ignores Muslim community? Every state provides pre-matric scholarships of Federal Indian Government to Muslims, except Gujarat. Implementation of welfare schemes in Gujarat, compared to other states is very poor. If Gujarat has to become a vibrant state, it has to focus on inclusive growth and include Muslims too in its plan, he added.

    Maulana Mujaddidi said that the 12th Plan which has been signed by chief ministers of all states belonging to Congress, BJP, BSP, SP etc. is not a document of all these political parties but it is “Bharatvarsh Ka Plan”. Planning Commission has accepted Muslims as most backward then why Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi after signing the 12th Plan document has not been giving pre-matric scholarships to Muslim children and the courts had to intervene in the matter, he pointed out.

    China will overtake US to become the world super power. India is the fastest growing economy of the world after China. During the year 2011-12, GDP growth rate was 6.5 per cent adding approx. Rs.50,00,000/- crores to the exchequer. This rapid growth in India is likely to slow down after 2020. Those having an eye upon the economic matters are familiar with the variance in the growth rate of an economy. According to expert economists it is not a steady phenomenon, but has a trend of inconsistency in it. When infrastructural critical gaps are outsized, it has a propensity to increase, and with the filling of these gaps, it tends to slow down. It is anticipated that in our country these spaces will be filled up after 2020. As a consequence, he said, the government will accordingly spend lesser amount in social sphere, and eventually it will be moved in the private hands. This trend is to some extent is manifested in the 12th Plan. Briefly it can be said that in 12th and 13th Plans there will be huge expenditure in the educational and health like sectors, which is not likely to be further replicated, he opined.



    A view of a section of the audience.

    Continuing Maulana Mujaddidi in his about 90 minute address exhorted Muslims to keep themselves ready and be in a combative mode to face the 21st Century challenges, problems and ideas in favour of qualitative change from the previous century. He urged Muslims to remain vigilant and keep an eye on the various government schemes for minorities, to make sure that Muslims could achieve the maximum benefit. He made a fervent appeal to Muslims to acquire modern education and while expressing satisfaction with minority chapter of 12th Five Year Plan he said that proper implementation of welfare schemes can bring dramatic changes in due course. He exhorted Muslims to remain alert and make it a political demand/agenda and ask their members of Parliament (MP), members of legislative assemblies and Corporators about their welfare. They should act as a Millat and not as individual/group/Bradaries. They should look at the deliveries and not commitments made by the people’s representatives or government of the day, he added.

    Maulana Mujaddidi, however, lamented that one year has elapsed in the implementation of 12th Plan but he Ministry of Minority Affairs has not made road map for development of infrastructure for minorities dominated areas.

    Speaking as chief guest on the occasion Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid endorsed Maulana Mujaddidi’s mission in favour of Muslims upliftment by suggesting them not to fell prey to emotional issues. He compared Surat Conference with Wardha Scheme of Mahatma Gandhi’s era and expressed hope that proper implementations of various welfare schemes as suggested in 12th Plan can bring dramatic changes in due course.

    Khurshid said only education has the power to bring about change in the socio-economic status of the community. Reservation should be given on the basis of backwardness and not religion, he added.

    Mrs. Luis Khurshid wife of Salman Khurshid offered a piece of land to Mr. Mujaddidi to establish a secondary school in Farrukhabad (UP). Congress Spokesperson Meem Afzal, ex-MP Irshad Mirza Baig, Zakir Qureshi, SM Hilal and others also spoke on this occasion. (pervezbari@eth.net)


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    By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net,

    Jaipur: A National Conference on the topic of “7 Years After Sachar” is being organised here on June 2 at Birla auditorium from 10.00 a.m. onwards.

    Maulana Mohammad Fazlurrahim Mujaddidi, chairman of SEE (Strive for Eminence & Empowerment) will deliver the key note address at the National Conference. The dignitaries who have given consent to participate in the conference include: Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid; Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal; Dr. (Mrs.) Syeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission of India; Dr. (Mrs.) Rita Bahuguna Joshi, ex-president Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, (UPCC); Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui, chairman, NCMEI; Janab Sahibzada Aimududdin Khan alias Duru Mian, Minister for Health, Rajasthan; Brij Kishore Sharma, Education Minster, Rajasthan.

    Maulana Mujaddidi, who is also Rector of Jaipur-based Jamea-tul-Hidaya, said that after the 60 years of Independence, huge socio-economic gaps are visible among different regions, castes and communities. The socio-economic development policy ignored the Muslims most, while the historically deprived SCs/STs under constitutional safeguard were on the highest priority. The system forced the Muslims to concentrate more on sentimental issues, leaving the socio-economic development aside, while the others mainly concentrated on it. The net result of this complex situation was clearly reflected in Sachar Committee, Justice Rangnath Mishra Commission and other reports. The Muslims are now below the SCs strata and rubbing their shoulders to maintain socio-economic parameters with STs.

    The UPA Govt. in its first stint after the Sachar Committee report promulgated the PM’s New 15-Point Program for the educational and economic upliftment of Muslims. The 11th FYP, for the first time, made a concerted effort to reverse some of the trends that plagued the minorities in general and Muslims in particular. These positive policy instruments showed desirable results in a short period of time, and raised the expectations of various communities across the board. However, there were teething problems in implementation and it is expected that the stumbling blocks and flaws experienced in this Plan would be fully taken care of, so that they may not be replicated in the ongoing Five Year Plan, the Maulana opined.

    Meanwhile, a Concept Note on the topic of the conference said that the Sachar Committee’s report is an extremely valuable document on the Social, Economic and Educational status of Indian Muslims for two reasons.

    Firstly its findings are a shocking testimony to six decades of institutional neglect and bias that has left the country’s Muslims far behind other Socio-Religious Communities (SRCs) in the areas of education, employment, access to credit, access to social and physical infrastructure and political representation. Thus, the report thoroughly exposes the Sangh Parivar’s baseless propaganda of “Muslim appeasement”.

    Secondly, the recommendations contain the seeds of a major socio-economic transformation of 15 crores Indian Muslims. If the recommendations were to be honestly implemented, it can bring dramatic changes in the life of Muslims just as action on the recommendations of the mandal Commission did for the OBCs. (pervezbari@eth.net)


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    By TCN News,

    Lucknow: Indefinite dharna for arrest of Khalid Mujahid's killers, release of Nimesh Commission report and release of innocents in the name terrorism completed its eleventh day on Saturday with Khalid's uncle Zaheer Alam Falahi and Tariq's relatives accusing Abu Asim Azmi and ‘paid’ ulema of trying to protect the Khalid's killers.

    Tariq Qasmi's uncle Hafiz Fayyaz said that he'd refused to accompany Abu Asim Azmi to meet Tariq in jail, when he contacted Tariq's father in law, who also refused. Azmi's men forcefully took away Hafiz Fayyaz's brother, Mumtaz at 1.30 in the night, he alleged. He said that leaders like Abu Asim Azmi were misleading the Muslim masses and that if the government really wants to make amends, they should refrain from using leaders like Azmi as pawns and starts a CBI enquiry into Khalid's murder and release the Nimesh report. Tariq's father in law and Khalid's cousin also attended the dharna.



    Addressing the dharna, President of All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat and editor of The Milli Gazette, Dr. Zafar-ul-Islam Khan, said that the questions being raised about terrorism all over the country has left the central and the state governments speechless and brings shame to the world's largest democracy. He said that if the SP government really intended to release innocents imprisoned in the name of terrorism, why it had not acted on the 11 demands even after 11 days of the indefinite dharna. He added that the commission was a public inquiry, paid for by the public, hence entitling the masses to see its findings which not only protects the guilty police officers but infringes on the public's democratic rights.

    Tasleem Rahmani, Welfare party's national vice-president said IB's national anti-Muslim agenda in a democracy and shielding the same IB officers was reflected in the government's treatment of Khalid's murder. He said it could be understood from the government's propping of paid ulema and leaders like Abu Asim to claim that Khalid's death was due to disease.

    Talking about the CRPF camp attack that occured 5 years ago, where CRPF men drank and shot at each other and three men were falsely implicated in the attack, namely, Jangbahadur's son, Sher Khan, from Moradabad, Sharif's brother Shahin, from Rampur, Kunda, Pratapgarh's Kausar Faruqi's brother said that government's spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said in November that the case against Rampur would be taken back, but nothing has been done uptil now. They said they'd been demanding a CBI enquiry into the case but the government isn't ready to take up the matter.



    Abu Amir, brother of Mohammad Habib from Azamgarh, who is imprisoned in Samabarti Jail in Ahmadabad, said that the government had been indecisive in its statements and dozens of Muslims, including 7 from Azamgarh had been accused of trying to make a tunnel from the jail using pens, plates and spoons. The length has been varying from 20 to 220 meters in various official statements but the state government which had promised every possible assistance to the falsely implicated youth has been mum on this serious incident of custodial death.

    The dharna attended by several other leaders and activists from the state and across country.


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    In Howrah bye-election just one Muslim in fray out of 13.

    By Zaidul Haque, TwoCircles.net,

    Kolkata: In the Howrah bye-elections for being held today there is just one Muslim candidate in the fray out of total 13 candidates trying their luck. Trinamul Congress and CPIM and Congress are the main rivals. Although a BJP candidate had filed nomination, he later withdrew.

    The lone Muslim candidate Jamal Ahmed is contesting as an independent.



    Jamal Ahmed

    Howrah parliamentary constituency covers seven Assembly constituencies Bally, Howrah Uttar, Howrah Madhya, Shibpur, Howrah Dakshin, Sankrail (SC) and Panchla.
    In 209 General election Ambica Banerjee of Trinamul Congress had won the seat by 37392 votes against the CPIM candidate Swadesh Chakraborty. BJP had bagged 37723 votes. The seat was vacated recently after his death in April.

    According to the state Election commissioner, there are 1851 booths in Howrah Constituency and 8884 government poll workers have been engaged.

    More than 30 % of Howrah voters are Muslims, however, of the seven MLAs from the district only one representative is from the minority community; Gulshan Mullick of Trinamul Congress had won the seat at Panchla in Assembly election 2011.

    The bye election in Howarh is a prestigious fight for Congress, CPIM and Trinamul Congress. This is the first bye-election for a Lok Sabha constituency after the alliance between the Congress and TMC collapsed.

    Arjun Prize winner Footballer Prasun Mukherjee is contesting on the TMC ticket, Sridip Bhattacharya of CPIM and Sanatan Mukherjee is fighting on the Congress tickets.

    In last parliamentary elections 15 candidates had contested.
    Amongst Muslim candidates, Abul Momin Sheikh had bagged only 1176 votes, 0.12 percent of total polled.

    There is little hope of Jamal Ahmed of winning many votes.


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    By IANS,

    Bangalore : The three-week-old Congress government in Karnataka faces the state legislature for the first time Monday with Governor H.R. Bharadwaj outlining its policies for the year.

    Bharadwaj would address the joint session of the assembly and the legislative council at the majestic Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat building in the state capital. Shortly after the address, the two houses would begin their separate sessions which are scheduled to end June 7.

    The governor's speech is expected to touch upon the state's financial position, the government's plan to shore it up, and policies to promote social justice, official sources told IANS.

    The Congress, which wrested power from the Bharatiya Janata Party in the May 5 assembly polls, has been accusing the previous government of mismanaging the state's finances, resulting in "bankruptcy".

    The Congress is expected to face some embarrassing times in the legislature, as one of its ambitious plans - cheap rice for the poor - did not take off on June 1, as announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah May 13.

    The first announcement of Siddaramaiah, who alone had taken oath May 13, was that his government would provide 30kg rice at Re.1 a kg for the BPL (Below Poverty Line) card holders from June 1. This was a promise the party had made in its election manifesto.

    The scheme would now be implemented from July 1, Siddaramaiah promised on June 1. He said the expected supply of rice from the central government did not come in time, causing the delay.

    With the Congress heading the central government, this development is handy for the two major opposition parties, the Janata Dal-Secular and BJP, to taunt Siddaramaiah and the treasury benches.

    Both these parties have been accusing the Congress-led central government of "discriminating" against Karnataka in providing funds, power from central grid and ensuring justice in sharing the waters of inter-state rivers.

    The Congress, having won 122 seats in the May 5 election, is in a comfortable position in the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated member.

    The JDS and BJP have 40 seats each. The remaining 22 seats are shared by smaller parties and Independents.


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    By Tanvir Salim,

    Your voice is your strength in a democratic setup. The more you are, merrier you are. Muslims are in a good number in India, but their voices are not heard, because of their insignificant presence in the Lok Sabha, which was also noted by Justice Venkatchallia, Chairman of the Constitution review Commission, and wasstated in paragraph 10-11-2 of the report:

    “At present the political representatives of Minority communities in legislatures, especially Muslims, has fallen well below their proportion of population. The proportion of BCs among them is next to nil. This can lead to a sense of alienation. It is recommended for political parties to build up leadership potential in the minority communities including BCs, SCs and STs among them for participation in political life.”



    To get a better understanding of the above quote, let’s examine the representation of Muslims in the Lok Sabha, as illustrated in the Table below:

    Lok Sabha No.

    Election Year

    Muslim Representatives (#)

    Muslim Representation

    (%)

    1

    1952

    11

    2

    2

    1957

    19

    4

    3

    1962

    20

    4

    4

    1967

    25

    5

    5

    1971

    28

    6

    6

    1977

    34

    7

    7

    1980

    49

    10

    8

    1984

    42

    8

    9

    1989

    27

    6

    10

    1991

    25

    5

    11

    1996

    29

    6

    12

    1998

    28

    6

    13

    1999

    31

    6

    14

    2004

    34

    7

    15

    2009

    30

    6

    From the above Table, it is not difficult to comprehend what Justice Venkatchallia was referring to. There was only a single occasion when Muslim representation percentage went up to double digits, and that was the seventh Lok Sabha in 1980. The picture of Muslim representation is disheartening,because it is not in proportion with the total Muslim population (12% plus) in the country.

    As an additional exercise, let’s get a flavor about the lack of representation of the Backward Caste (BC), which was also quoted by Justice Venkatchallia above. One can look at the 13th Lok Sabha, where out of 31 Muslim representatives who got elected, there was none from the BC. Similarly, for the twelfth Lok Sabha, out of the 28 Muslim representatives, there was none from the BC. Considering the fact that BC compromises 85% of the total Muslim population, lack of BC representation is a serious issue which should be considered by political parties who harp on the plank of social justice.

    There may be many reasons for pitiable Muslim representation in Lok Sabha, but the most important reason is the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950. This order was issued by the President of India, under Article 341 of the Constitution, and is in criminal violation of the secular constitution of India, because it restricts the benefit of reservation to Hindu’s only. As a result Muslims (along with Christians) are not allowed to contest the 84 Lok Sabha seats reserved for Schedule Castes. Hence, Muslims can only contest the 413 seats out of total seats of 543 in the Lok Sabha. This way for Muslims, the “starting line” is much far behind than others when the race begins. Hence, they start the race with a hurdle, which is imposed by the government in their path.

    If this is not enough, then there is another challenge that comes into play, and that is the composition of the constituencies which are solely “reserved” for the Schedule Caste representatives to contest. These constituencies are pre dominant Muslim constituencies. Hence, the constituencies from where Muslim representatives have a better chance to win are the ones where they can’t even contest. This fact was even noted by the study group that was set up under the leadership of Justice Sachar.

    With these obstacles in place, there is nothing to wonder as to why the representation of Muslims in Lok Sabha is so low.

    …………………………

    (Author is a US based Nuclear Engineer, who is presently in India and can be contacted at www.tanvirsalim.com)


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    By Dr. Syed Ahmed, for TwoCircles.net,

    Imphal: Md. Hellaluddin Shah, who topped the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) Examination 2013, conducted by Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE), was felicitated by various bodies of Manipur. One such felicitation function was held on May 30, 2013 at Sagang Bazar in Bishenpur district, the native district of Md. Hellaluddin.

    The function, organized by the Kumbi Block Congress Committee (KBCC), Kumbi, was graced by State Agriculture & Fisheries Minister Md. Abdul Nasir, President of Bisnupur Block Congress Committee S. Buddhichandra, President of KBCC N. Chandra, Upa Adhyaksha, Bishnupur Zilla Parishad A. Brojen and MLA of Kumbi Assembly Constituency S. Bira Singh as Chief Guest, Guests of Honour and President respectively. The function was attended by local leaders and public, including students.



    Felicitating Md. Hellaluddin

    Speaking at the function, Abdul Nasir applauded Md. Hellaluddin on his extraordinary feat and announced that he will bear all the expenses for his Class XI and XII.

    MLA Bira Singh also congratulated Md. Hellaluddin and encouraged him by rewarding an amount of Rs. 50,000.

    All Manipur Muslim Students' Organization (AMMSO), with the support of All Manipur Muslim Organization Co-ordinating Committee (AMMOCC) and United Manipur Women’s Development Organization (UMWDO), had also felicitated Md. Hellaluddin Shah at a function held on May 26, 2013 at the Conference Hall of Hotel Orient at Hafiz Hatta in Imphal.

    Speaking at the felicitation function, Advisor of AMMSO Md. Quayum and President of AMMSO Md. Farid Khan lauded Md. Hellaluddin for his laudable achievement and presented him gifts. They also wished him success in his further studies.



    AMMSO welcoming Md. Hellaluddin

    Farid Khan said, “We are really happy to see many Muslim students doing extraordinarily well in the Class X and XII exams over the last few years. Last year Md. Ismat from Lilong Haoreibi Mayai Leikai in Thoubal district, had made the State and the community proud by topping the CBSE-AISSCE 2012 securing 99.6%, scoring 495 marks out of 500 in the Science stream. This year Md. Hellaluddin and other Muslim rank-holders in the recently announced Class X and XII exams conducted by the State have again made all of us proud. We hope that their achievements will surely boost the morale of the Muslim students who are going to appear these exams in the near future. Their accomplishments have also shown that hard-work pays.”

    Md. Hellaluddin, a student of M.G.M. Higher Secondary School, Dimapur, secured 96.16%, scoring 577 marks out of 600. He is the son of Md. Islauddin Shah and Sanarembi, a resident of Borayangbi, in Bishenpur District. He stays with his father in Dimapur. His father works as a teacher in a private school. He is the fourth among five children. He has been studying at Dimapur since Std. I.


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    By Abdul Gani, TwoCircles.net,

    Guwahati: Popular German rock band Scorpions’ one of the songs go like this ‘Sometimes I think I'm going mad/We're losing all we had and no one seems to care/ But in my heart it doesn't change/We've got to rearrange and bring our world some love/Cause we all live under the same Sun /We all walk under the same Moon’.

    Here, in one of the remotest parts of Assam in a tiny hamlet called Amtola in Kamrup district bordering Meghalaya, there is a true listener to this song in the form of one Abdul Rahim. The poor carpenter has proved that there is still ray of hope existing even in the crisis hours of humanity. When the air was filled with hatred in the hour of BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Area Districts) violence in the state during 2012 Rahim set up a supreme example by adopting an unknown woman deserted in the streets to prove that humanity was always at the top.



    Rahim family with Janmoni Boro.

    And the rest is the history as Mamoni Boro got a new life at the caring hands of Rahim and his family. One year after she was found on the Guwahati-Shillong road with mental imbalance, Mamoni has become an integral part of Rahim family. She also got a new name in the form of Janmoni out of love and affection by the neighbours. Janmoni is an Assamese name which is generally addressed to one’s beloved.

    “We had no idea that she was, leave alone the religion or caste when we found her back in 2012. She was just a human being in crisis and I did what I should have done being a fellow human. Initially, when we did not know her identity my family and neighbours used to address her as Janmoni,” small time carpenter Abdul Rahim told this correspondent at his residence on the bank of Umkhri river which is some 15 kilometer from Guwahati.

    Now, she is like any other member of their family and takes part in their household activities after undergoing a series of medical treatment at Shillong and Guwahati Medical College Hospital during the last one year.



    Janmoni Boro taking part in the house hold activities of Rahim family

    “We feel extreme delight to see her talking and be happy but we are sad that she is yet to get fully recovered. There is also a sense of feeling like her family must have been in search of her. If somehow her family members can take her we will be happy,” Rahman said. He, however, added that his family will be even happier to keep her along if she continues to be happy with them.

    Though Janmoni could not remember all the details of her past, she said that she was from a village Doloigaon in Rangia. She also remembers the names of her parents and husband.

    “My father’s name is Seniram Boro and mother’s name is Jayanti Boro. Dilip Boro was my husband,” said Janmoni in very soft voice. She also wrote down the name of her school as Balagaon Lower Primary School. She also said that she wants to go back to her native village to be back again at her new place.

    Now, she is still undergoing medical treatment. “I don’t want to count how much money I had spent with her. She has become just like a family member and I’ll be happy she recovers soon,” Rahim said.

    It was way back in June in 2012 when one Saleha Begum found Janmoni to be lying on the road. She brought her and handed her over to Abdul Rahim. To make the matter worst she was seventh months pregnant during that time. “She gave birth to a healthy baby girl who was adopted by a neighbour as Janmoni was mentally imbalance during that time,” said Majida Begum, Rahman’s wife.



    Abdul Rahim, who took the responsibility to take care of Janmoni

    Initially, the family had to face lot of problems as some of the neighbours used to question their gesture as having some hidden agenda. “People use to say too many things. Some even did not like me bringing her to my home. But how can a helpless woman can be left alone on the streets,” Rahim who is the sole bread earner of the family said.

    Then the happier days start to begin when one day suddenly a word ‘Maa’ came from Janmoni’s mouth while she was taking bath in the river. “I got pretty excited when we heard her uttering a word. While taking bath when she was pushed in a light moment she shouted maa and that’s the beginning and after that she gradually started to speak,” he remembered.

    Thanks to Mother Teresa who had a deep influence on Rahim when he was a teenager at his school. “I was lucky enough to come across Mother Teresa and that episode has changed my life forever. I can sense the pain of being lonely and unwanted,” an emotional Rahim said.


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    By Musaddique Thange,

    To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity– Nelson Mandela

    One of the world’s leading human rights organizations, Amnesty International, released its 2013 annual report in May on the state of the world’s human rights. The report is a shocking exposé of human rights violations, from repressive measures of military dictatorships to horrific crimes against humanity committed in ethnic and sectarian conflicts across the world. Amnesty’s report includes some eye-opening facts about the human rights situation in India.

    Tragic Indifference

    With passing coverage in the media, the report’s findings have failed to move the establishment. With some notable exceptions, mostly in civil society, the tragic indifference to human rights was duly noted by Amnesty – “Victims of human rights violations and abuses were frustrated in their quest for justice largely due to ineffective institutions and a lack of political will.”

    India’s reluctance to confront human rights abuses within its borders, was evident by India’s refusal to facilitate a visit by the UN Special Special Rapporteur on torture and by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

    Impunity

    Perhaps the most damning indictment of the human rights situation in India, is the pervasiveness of impunity across various states. The report notes: “Impunity for human rights violations remained pervasive, with no repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or the Disturbed Areas Act. Both Acts grant excessive powers to security forces in specified areas, and provide them with de facto impunity for alleged crimes.” The report also refers to enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Assam (in 1998 and 2001), Manipur, Nagaland, Punjab (during 1984-1994) and in Gujarat (during 2003-2006).

    Feeding this culture of impunity is the inaction and ineffectiveness of state institutions. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) closed its inquiry into alleged unlawful killings and mass cremations by police during the Punjab conflict without recommending criminal investigations, while CBI’s report into these killing remains unpublished. In August 2012, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir rejected the state Human Rights Commission’s recommendation to use modern forensic techniques to identify more than 2,700 unmarked graves in northern Kashmir.

    While Amnesty notes the recent conviction of former minister Maya Kodnani in Gujarat, it is emphatic that “ten years after the 2002 Gujarat violence in which 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed, the majority of victims and their families had not secured justice.”

    Ethnic and Caste-based Violence

    Amnesty’s Report notes that the ethnic violence between Bodo and Muslim communities in Assam in July and August 2012, in which over 400,000 were temporarily displaced across 270 camps was marked by inadequate response from the state authorities.

    Amnesty noted that Dalit communities continue to face discrimination and attacks, and special laws to prosecute suspected perpetrators were rarely used. “Adivasi (Indigenous), fishing and other marginalized communities continued to protest against forced eviction from their land and habitats…”

    Violence against Human Rights Defenders

    “People defending the rights of marginalized communities continued to be targeted by state and non-state actors – as highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders in February,” noted Amnesty, listing specific cases of violence and intimidation of human rights activists:

    1. In July 2012, environmental activist Ramesh Agrawal was shot and injured in Chhattisgarh, for his work in exposing environmental and tribal rights violations linked to mining projects.

    2. Adivasi Soni Sori’s case of torture and sexual harassment by the Chhattisgarh police during her custody in 2011 is now being considered by the Supreme Court.

    3. Adivasi rights activist Dayamani Barla was imprisoned for two months, allegedly targeted by Jharkhand authorities for protesting against the forced eviction of farmers at Nagri.

    Omissions in Amnesty’s Report

    While Amnesty’s Report covers a wide range of human rights violations in India, it is incomplete, and fails to highlight some of the most repressive measures against minorities by law enforcement in various states:

    1. Although Amnesty’s report covers the period from January through December 2012, the issue of illegal detentions and fake encounters is mentioned only in the context of the Supreme Court ordering new investigations into 22 alleged extra-judicial executions in Gujarat, mostly of Muslim youth, during 2003-2006. The fact that this repression is widespread, and covers multiple states is a glaring omission in Amnesty’s Report. Some of this is covered in the special reports of twocircles.net called “Terror Tales”, and before that in ANHAD’s report “What It Means to be a Muslim in India Today.”

    2. While Amnesty correctly puts the death toll of the Gujarat pogrom at 2,000 it fails to mention that the carnage was characterized by some of the most brutal forms of sexual violence against women, many of whom were burnt alive after being raped or gang-raped. The report also fails to mention that an amicus curiae appointed by the Supreme Court had recommended the prosecution of state Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

    3. The report does not mention that the State of Gujarat has managed to keep on its statute laws that clearly discriminate against religious minorities, such as the “Freedom of Religion Bill” which actually curtails an individual’s right to convert to the religion of his or her choice.

    Wake-Up Call

    WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

    JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

    LIBERTY, of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

    EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;

    and to promote among them all

    FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

    [Preamble to the Constitution of India]

    Despite its shortcomings, Amnesty’s Report is a wake-up call to the establishment as well as civil society in India. Without adequate safeguards to protect human rights of every citizen, the promise of India, enshrined in the preamble to the Constitution, remains a distant dream.

    Without a genuine commitment to safeguarding the life and dignity of every citizen, the nation’s secular fabric will continue to be torn apart by ethnic, sectarian and caste-based violence, and the state will become little more than a tool to manipulate and subjugate an unwilling populace. The issue of human rights deserves active engagement of every branch of government and of people of conscience from all walks of life. At stake is the nation’s future.


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    By IANS,

    Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph will visit Saudi Arabia and Kuwait this week to monitor arrangements for the smooth transfer of Keralites who have to leave these countries due to their new labour laws.

    An official at the minister's office told IANS that Joseph will be in Saudi Arabia June 7-8 and in Kuwait June 9. He will discuss with Indian embassy officials steps to be taken to send back Keralites who will be forced to return after the Saudi and Kuwaiti authorities decided to enact new labour laws.

    "The official amnesty period ends this month in Saudi Arabia," the official said.

    Last week, a dozen Keralites in Kuwait who did not have proper labour documents, were deported to India without the Indian embassy's knowledge.


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    By TCN News,

    Lucknow: As the Rihai Manch’s indefinite dharna entered the 12th day, it has now turned into a relay fast.

    Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism, Rihai Manch is on indefinite dharna demanding arrest of police officers involved in Khalid Mujahid's murder, issuing the RD Nimesh commission report, and the immediate release of innocent Muslim youth imprisoned in the name of terrorism, completed its twelfth day in Lucknow on Sunday.



    In its statement, Manch said that the government dares not file cases against the likes of Togadiya and Varun Gandhi but is hell-bent on acting against burning the effigy of Abu Azmi. They said it reflects their anti-Muslim outlook to governance.

    Abu Amir, brother of Mohammad Habib from Azamgarh, who is imprisoned in Samabarti Jail in Ahmadabad, submitted a memorandum addressed to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav through the indefinite dharna.

    Starting a kramik upwaas (relay fast) opposing the government's claims of natural death of Maulana Khalid and the protection of the guilty officers. Rihai Manch Azamgarh incharge, Maseehuddin Sanjari, said the government wanted to mislead the masses and the CBI by not producing all the documents needed and used SP leaders and paid ulema to protect Khalid's killers. He said the government wanted to give the issue of release of imprisoned youth a communal color and announced that the indefinite dharna would now be in the form of a kramik fast.

    Condemning the lawsuit by the government for burning the effigy of Abu Azmi in Azamgarh, Manch speakers said it was a representation of the government's fear of the movement for justice for Muslims and its policies would prove costly for it in the upcoming 2014 general elections.

    Rihai Manch leader and Awami Council Secretary-General Asad Hayat said the government was against their appeal against the Varun Gandhi case and termed it a proof of collective work of the communal forces in polity and the SP government. He said the fact that Asthan, Pratapgarh's Muslim homes were looted and set on fire by rioters in the presence of Praveen Togadiya but the police did not register a case under Section 153 A, 295 A of the IPC.

    Different, wrongful sections were applied by Inspector Namwar Singh and Sections 147, 148, 149 were removed from case no. 95/12. Also, the reports of innocents whose houses had been destroyed weren't lodged at all, they were labeled gangsters instead.

    He added that communal government's rioters involved in Faizabad, Kosi Kalan and Ambedkar Nagar were roaming free and the government had no will to indict them.

    Abu Amir from Azamgarh, whose brother Mohammad Habib is imprisoned in Samabarti Jail in Ahmadabad, presented a memorandum addressed to the CM and said he had met him during the2012 assembly elections and he'd promised to release his brother Habib if he gained political power.

    He asked Akhilesh Yadav to intervene and act in the Sabarmati Jail tunnel case where 7 Azamgarh boys are under severe scrutiny and ensure the innocents' release.

    Manch speakers said on the thirteenth day of the dharna Akhlaq Ahmed, Abu Bakr of APCR from Delhi and Indian National League president Mohammad Sulaiman are going to participate. Also showing solidarity tomorrow would be the kin of Shakeel, who was abducted by state authorities under the SP regime a year ago.

    Sanjarpur Sangharsh Simiti from Azamgarh and All India Backward Society Party supported the dharna today.


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  • 06/03/13--00:45: The strange tale of Dr Aziz
  • By Naved Masood for TwoCircles.net,

    This ‘tale’ is about Dr Aziz-ur Rahman (1928-73) an Indian Chemist who left the country on account of career related frustrations and found name, fame and meteoric rise in of all the place in Argentina, becoming a Vice Chancellor and one of the founding fathers of research in Chemistry in that country. It is also a tale of the strange quirks that life took in a particular family. The moral of our story is that it proves that truth is indeed at times stranger than friction.

    Even a small biographical essay on this maverick scientist cannot start without a minimal reference to his extraordinary family history. In 1856 the then ruler of Bhopal, Nawab Sikandar Jahan Begum undertook a voyage for Haj with an entourage which included her principal Adviser (Vizier) Munshi Jamaluddin (of Phulat near Meerut) who was a disciple of Syed Ahmad “Shaheed” in his Jihad against ‘infidel Sikhs’ in what is now the border of Pakistan with Afghanistan. Like his old mentor, Jamaluddin was an adherent of Ahle Hadees sect which his son in law “Nawab” Siddiq Hasan Khan (later to be the second husband of Sikandar Jahan) did much to expand in India. Jamaluddin appears to have induced his employer to terminate the sea voyage at the Yemeni port of Al Hodeidah (then recently established by the Ottoman Government) instead of the more convenient Jeddah with a purpose. Hodeidah was a center of learning Hadis under its Qazi Shaikh Mohammed who was a prominent pupil of the great Yemeni Scholar Allama Mohammed Al Shawkani (1759-1834). Jamaluddin is believed to have persuaded the Qazi to send a member of his family with the ‘Bhopal party’ for Haj and thence back to Bhopal to propagate knowledge and teaching of Hadis. The Qazi agreed to let one of his younger brother Zainul Abidin accompany the pilgrims to Hejaz and then to Bhopal where he was designated the Qazi of the State. Zainul Abidin was later joined by another elder brother Shaikh Hussain who started teaching Hadis in an institution run by Bhopal State. The brothers kept traveling back and forth to Yemen till they permanently settled down in Bhopal with their families in 1879.



    Dr Aziz-ur Rahman

    Dr Aziz-ur Rahman’s father Habibur Rahman was the grandson of Shaikh Husain. Dr Rahman was born at Bhopal on 29th March, 1928 a few months after his father, a qualified Civil Engineer, working as Building contractor, was found mysteriously murdered at Raisen in Bhopal State – apparently by a business associate whose corrupt practices he had exposed. Dr Rahman’s mother, Memooda Begum, went back to her parents in Lucknow along with her two children. Young Aziz had his entire education in Lucknow completng High School and Intermediate courses from the Christian College with First Division in 1941 and 1943 with a good grounding in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics along with Persian language and literature. He did his B.Sc and M.Sc in Chemistry from Lucknow University in 1947. At that stage Dr Omar Farooq Professor of Chemistry at AMU took him under his wings as a research scholar. Prof Farooq was much more than a research guide – he was in loco parentis to the young man barely out of his teens who had seen no father – indeed, till his departure for Germany Dr Aziz continued to stay at the place of Dr Farooq. The large-scale migration of teachers in the wake of partition of the country led to his appointment as Lecturer in Chemistry at AMU in 1947 itself. He became prolific researcher publishing his works co-authored with his mentor. He obtained the degree of PhD from AMU in 1953 and proceeded to the University of Tubingen for research in Biochemistry under Professor Alfred Butenandt (1903-1995) recipient of Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1939 and equally well known as among the few top-notch scientists who had formally become Nazis by joining the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. He obtained the degree of Doctor of Natural Sciences (Dr.rer.nat) of that University in 1955. While in Germany he married Hilde Garcia with whom and a young daughter he returned to Aligarh apparently with the intention of carrying out and guiding research of international standards.

    He started doing research in right earnest in Aligarh despite financial constraints of a family with a European spouse at the measly salary of a Lecturer in an Indian University which led him to supplement his income reportedly by doing some work for some industry in the city. While coping thus he underwent the trauma of being denied promotion to the post of Reader when a senior colleague, with no research degree, was preferred over him. The trauma appears to have been aggravated as its ostensible source was someone who was a father figure to him. Speculations aside he was determined to make a break with the institution which according to his lights he had served well and which had let him down for no good reason. Around that time he attended a conference in the US where he met Dr Lelong, a Franco-Argentinean who had just joined as Director of the newly established Department of Chemistry at the National University of Bahia Blanca. Dr Lelong seeing a disgruntled, experienced teacher and researcher made him the outlandish offer of a Research Professorship at the nascent University apparently promising him all the infrastructural support. Argentina then was a major magnet for professionals wishing to leave parts of Europe that had not yet fully recovered from the after-effects of the World War II – in the words of his son it was the “emerging US of Latin America” – in short a land of hope and opportunity where the disappointed young scientist from Aligarh dreamed of building up a career as a teacher and researcher. The migratory genes which brought his great-grand father from Yemen to India apparently made him take the plunge in terra incognita of Argentina.

    Aziz-ur Rahman joined the University of Bahia Blanca on 1st February, 1959 as Professor with no knowledge of Spanish, the medium of instruction. According to his student Professor Julio Podesta during the first year he would deliver his Lectures in German or English with someone doing simultaneous translation in Spanish! By the second year he picked up enough Spanish to be able to manage on his own. He started his researches in right earnest and within a year the University emerged as a significant center of Chemical research in Argentina. He ensured that two of his research students at Aligarh, Ausat Ali Khan and Mohammed Sami Khan were given Fellowships to continue their researches under him at Bahia Blanca. These two young Indians thus became pioneers of Chemistry research in Bahia Blanca! The Department of Chemistry of the University soon became the epicenter of quality research in Argentina. The young Professor enthused with his success decided to throw his lot with the country that had provided him with all that was denied to him in his ‘home country’ obtained the nationality of Argentina.

    The maverick Indian did not go un-noticed either, President Arturo Frondizi (1905 – 1995) himself from an Italian migrant family, appointed the Indian migrant as the Rector (Vice Chancellor) of the University, a post which he held with distinction till 1967 though with a tumultuous termination. By all accounts the young Rector rose to the occasion and soon his University claimed a position of excellence in teaching and research in several disciplines. In 1964 he was also appointed President of the Inter University Council of National Universities i.e. Central Universities of the country – a position that gave him a role in evolving higher education policies and maintaining standards of tertiary education in his adopted country. The position of leadership did not dampen his penchant for research; during his tenure as Rector he contributed as many as 15 papers as the first author for International journals and continued to guide research making the Department of Chemistry of the National University at Bahia Blanca the preferred destination for serious students of Chemistry in that country. A recent historical review of education and research of the subject in Argentina identifies Prof Aziz-ur Rahman as one of the chief benefactors of Chemistry education in that country.

    Argentina, like much of Latin America saw acute turmoil in the 1960s. Quite apart from radical leftist movement in the wake of the Cuban revolution and the exertions of the charismatic Ernesto “Che” Guevara (1928 – 1967) throughout the region, the country bore the additional burden of that confused ‘hybrid ideology’, Peronism and a politically ambitious military, the country became a cauldron of strife. Dr Aziz being a rank outsider had occupied a necessarily ambivalent perch: While his lack of political affiliation was an asset; it was also the Achilles heel with his imperfect understanding of local history and culture. With Universities in the 1960s becoming the crucible of all political movements – after all students in the 60s of the last century were the storm troopers of political uprisings all over the world – the Rector, born and brought up in genteel Muslim middle class of India, was increasingly at sea. He tried to come to grips with a situation that was obviously alien to the Chemist cum academic administrator. He tried in vain to stand his ground with the radical leftist students. It all resulted in his losing the position of head of the University sometime in 1967. He attempted to retrieve the lost ground by trying to buy peace with the then President, the dictator Juan Carlos Ongania, (1914 – 1995) to no avail. As his son Prof Shahid Rahman puts it; “The Peronists saw him as an enemy; the radicals did not like that he had an interview with the dictator; the dictator mistrusted him; and the left wing students (who had supported him) felt betrayed.”

    His last few years in Bahia Blanca were an anti climax – a reversal of the first eight years. The family became increasingly isolated and his colleagues minimized their contacts for fear of falling foul of the establishment. A few years later he accepted an offer of a Visiting Professorship – ‘Invited Professor’ – at a Private University at Guadalajara (Mexico) to be away from a violence ridden Argentina where the family was feeling insecure on account of threats from various quarters. The unpredictable man that he was, Dr Aziz also enrolled himself as a Medical student! The family has the impression that he had in the meantime applied, and secured, Professorship in Munich. At any rate he succumbed to a heart stroke on 9th July, 1973 where his mortal remains were interred.

    The subsequent story of the privations suffered by a now impoverished family are beyond the scope of this piece; suffice it to say that the family had to return to Argentina and his elder son (three siblings, a daughter and two sons) had to work as a cleaner in the University Library where his father was the Rector with the family supplementing his meager earnings by letting out a part of their house.

    This brings us to the end of a most unusual, or shall we say a strange, story. The story has many facets – the unusual enterprise of a scientist who, having found himself wronged, thought nothing of transplanting himself in a completely alien soil; the strange course of the life of his paternal family; his own destiny which took him to the right place at the right time and left him stranded at the wrong place at the wrong time! At a different plane it is an instructive story of the feudal mindset that prevailed – and continues to prevail – in older Indian Universities. We are told to refrain from hypothesing about what would have happened had a particular event not taken place or taken a different course. We will, therefore, not attempt to surmise the course of the Dr Aziz’s career if he had made it as a Reader in Aligarh in 1958 – may be he would have ended up in places like Libya or Nigeria like many of his contemporaries or he would have stayed put as a venerable Professor in Aligarh much like a couple of other scholarly souls with European spouses. Since we are not allowing ourselves the liberty to speculate, we may conclude that the tale is indeed strange and the likes of Dr Aziz-ur Rahman appear but rarely on the scene – certainly not amongst the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent.

    Acknowledgements and Notes

    This brief piece has taken almost two years to complete though the idea germinated more than a decade back during a chance conversation with the late Prof Gurbux Singh an eminent Chemist (in fact, the first Indian with a PhD in the subject from Harvard) and former Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad Central and Delhi Universities. The late Professor regarded the exit of Dr Aziz from Aligarh as symptomatic of the ills of AMU.

    Prof Julio Podesta a student of Dr Aziz and one of the most distinguished Chemists of his country, was most helpful. His article on history of Chemistry Department University of Bahia Blanca was most helpful. I am grateful to Dr Shad Naved for translating the relevant portions of that article from Spanish to English.

    Prof Shahid Rahman, the eldest son of our ‘hero’ and Professor of Epistemology and Logic at the University of Lille, France was kind enough to have not only shared many family details but also patiently replied to many queries of this writer. Indeed in remembering the times past he had to re-live many painful memories. I had the minor satisfaction, however, of putting Shahid in touch with a few relatives of Dr Rahman.

    Late Mr Yahya Ansari of Chicago, a cousin of Dr Aziz, was someone whom I never met but his Urdu book “Gulzar-i-Yaman” (Karachi 2001) provided many insights into the Yemeni diaspora of Bhopal. I could also seek his advice through the mail. It is a great pity that he passed away last January before this piece could be finalized.

    Mr. S.M Afzal, Inspector General of Police Madhya Pradesh kindly arranged to get hold of the last available copy of “Gulzar-i-Yaman” from Bhopal.

    Dr Mohammed Sajjad furnished the title of PhD thesis of Dr Aziz from AMU Library.

    Prof Hisamuddin Faruqi former Professor of Zoology of AMU shared many snippets about Dr Aziz including the juicy bit that his students affectionately referred him as “Aziz Bitya” (on account of his loveable nature and rather short physical stature).

    Lastly, a couple of retired teachers of Chemistry also deserve ‘mention in dispatches’ for their reticence to speak about the circumstances leading to the departure of our ‘subject’ from Aligarh out of touching devotion to the mentor of Dr Aziz in Aligarh. Their sense of loyalty/ decency is admirable at one level – it does, however, indicate a mindset where the feudal notion of honour makes truth and objectivity subservient to notions of ‘honour and loyalty’.


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