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February 2005
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Community Round-up

Will Windsor Manor Check-Out?
By A Staff Writer
The 5-star hotel of the Welcom Group of Hotels is currently paying a paltry Rs. 5000 for a 1,65,000 square feet prime real estate which constitutes the Ali Asker Waqf Estate.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the five-star hotel, Windsor Manor should either vacate the Ali Asker Waqf property or re-negotiate the rent and bring it on par with market rates.

The 5-star hotel of the Welcom Group of Hotels is currently paying a paltry Rs. 5000 for a 1,65,000 square feet prime real estate which constitutes the Ali Asker Waqf Estate in downtown Bangalore. At current rates, the property should fetch Rs. 35 lakh.

In a ruling on the ongoing litigation between the Karnataka Board of Waqfs and the Windsor Manor for nearly two decades, the Supreme court observed in the first week of January that the rent on the leased property was below the market rate.

The Windsor Manor occupies the Shia waqf estate for nearly 24 years. Located at a stone’s throw from Bangalore’s sylvan Golf course and facing the Karnataka Chief Minister’s swanky official residence and Karnataka Government’s Kumarakrupa Guesthouse, it occupies the most scenic piece of real estate in the City of Garden.

In a chat with Islamic Voice, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Waqfs, Mr. Merajuddin Patel said that the Board was studying the implications of the ruling and would initiate action on it. He said he had taken steps to expedite the case immediately after he was sworn in last June, and put in charge of Waqfs portfolio. He said the Board had won the case at Karnataka High Court two years earlier and the Hotel had gone in appeal to the Supreme Court. He said the Board was not accepting the cheques being sent by the Hotel for the paltry amount of rent for the last six months. He informed that under the new Central Waqf Act 1995, the Chief Executive Officer of the Waqf Board was empowered to issue the notice for the attachment of the property.

The long drawn case is based on the fact that:

A Shia waqf estate, the four acre premises was mysteriously leased out to Monarch Hotels Limited in 1973 on a Rs. 10 stamp paper for 30 years by the mutawallis of the estate. The lease period was then twice expanded to 50 years and 90 years subsequently in 1974 and 1976. It also passed hands from Monarch hotels to Shivaram Hotels and finally to Welcom Group which built the grand edifice in around 1980. The hotel has hosted several heads of states including British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2002. A committee formed by prominent citizens of Bangalore two years ago had demanded immediate vacation of the premises by the Hotel which was serving pork and liquor, in contravention of the objectives of the Waqf. Its convener Mr Chikkarelinge Gowda said the pittance being paid by the hotel towards rent was lower than the daily tariff of the room which amounted to Rs. 20,000. He had said that the hotel should be charged at market rates in order to generate revenue for the education and development of Muslims to whom the estate was dedicated to benefit.

The Ali Asker Waqf Estate was dedicated to the heirs to the estates left by Agha Ali Asker, a Persian nobleman settled in Bangalore. Ali Asker traded in horses and Persian carpets and supplied them to the royal stable too. His son Mirza Ismail was diwan of Mysore Maharajas for 11 years. Two of his family members namely Agha Shahi and Agha Hilali migrated to Pakistan and rose to become Foreign Secretaries of the nation. One of the members of this family, Akbar Zahid Khaleeli was Indian ambassador to Iran for good many years.

With Supreme Court having given its ruling, it is expected either the property would be vacated by the Windsor Manor or rent will be brought on part with the market rates thereby adequately compensating the losses so far. It is still not known if the new rate of rent would be applicable with retrospective effect.
FEMWOB Awareness Campaign
FEMWOB (Federation of Muslim Women Organisations of Bangalore) launched an awareness campaign in Karnataka on January 15 in collaboration with the Ahmedabad based NGO Sanchetana. The first meeting in the series was held in Yarabnagar. FEMWOB president Prof. Hasnath Mansur, Bazm-e-Niswan activist, Farrukh Khaiser, Prof. Nazneen Begum, journalist Maqbool Ahmed Siraj spoke about attaining modern education along with religious values, being conscious of health and hygiene, communal harmony and tolerance. Maulana Muttahar Siraji recited the verses of the Quran in the beginning. Nearly 80 Muslim and non-Muslim women gathered for the occasion. Representatives of IEFS, Ms. Jacintha and Vimochana participated in the meeting. In another meeting held under the aegis of NGO, Sabeel-India, nearly 100 Muslim women got an insight into the Muslim women’s right under Muslim Personal Law at the Primary Health Care Centre at K. G. Halli on January 16. Ms. Soumithra from the National Law University of India University and journalist, Maqbool Ahmed Siraj spoke on the issue. The programme was inaugurated by a Home Secretary Mr. A. R. Infant, while Member-secretary of the Karnataka State Women’s Commission Ms. B. B. Cauvery took part in the deliberations. Several women expressed their woes due to domestic violence, early marriage and inadequate economic conditions.
Free Health Camp by Hilal Trust
Nearly 510 people were examined here at the free health camp conducted on January 16, by the Hilal Welfare Trust in collaboration with the CSI Memorial Holdsworth Hospital and Rotary Mysore. The camp held at the Hilal High School complex in Ghousianagar was inaugurated by Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Dr. H. C. Mahadevappa. Rotary President, Mr. Mahalingaiah said they were contributing medicines worth Rs. 35,000 for free distribution among the poor and the ailing. A team of 10 doctors and 12 paramedical staff rendered their services. Taj Mohd. Khan of Rifahul Muslimeen Trust, Lokesh, Secretary of the Rotary Mysore, Shameem Ahmed and Mushtaq Ahmed, trustees of Hilal Welfare Trust attended the camp.

In another event, the students of Hilal School collected Rs. 6,000 by selling snacks at the ‘Tsunami Fun Fair’ organised by the school to raise funds for the victims of the Tsunami havoc on the coast. The fair was held on January 8.
Al Ameen B.ED Course
Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University, Dr M.S.Thimmappa inaugurated the B.ED course of the Al-Ameen College, 2004-2005 here. With over 33 years of teaching experience, Dr Thimmappa in his address stressed on “ quality education” and suggested that teachers should link all subjects they teach, to life, so that it generates the spark and the spirit among the students. Syed Sadaqath Peeran, chairman, Al-Ameen Educational Society addressed the students advising them to imbibe the qualities of the Prophet (Pbuh). M.A.Ataulla, Director-Campus, gave an insight into the stress management that students undergo as a result of a heavy syllabi. K. Ramesh was recently appointed as Principal of the Al-Ameen B.ED College of Education.
Increase in Scholarships
New Delhi:
The number of Scholarships given under the Maulana Azad National Scholarship Scheme for meritorious girl students belonging to minorities has been increased from 1200 to 3000. Distributing scholarships to the recipients in Delhi, recently, minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Meira Kumar announced special scholarship packages for Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir from this year in addition to the sanctioned quota. She said that the number of scholarships has been substantially increased in case of Gujarat from 28 to 500 and for Jammu and Kashmir from 40 to 400.
Cremation Ground for Hindus
The Government of Punjab province in Pakistan has conceded the request for setting up a cremation ground for Hindus in this city on the banks of Ravi river.

Though Hindus in Lahore burn their dead bodies on the banks of Ravi, hitherto there was no designated cremation ground known as ‘Shamshan Ghat’ for the Hindu community to dispose off the corpses according to the rites of the religion. The request was conceded following meeting of a 5-member delegation of Pakistan Balmiki Sabha headed by its leader Munawwar Chand with Punjab Awqaf Minister. The Minister said a plot of land near Sangian Bridge on Ravi would be allotted for the purpose.

The Minister said the Krishna Temple near the Ravi river would be renovated under a State Government sponsored project.
Touheed Trust's Education Session
Touhid Education & Charitable Trust, Raichur, Karnataka organised its 2nd Annual Education function on 16th January 2005. Ameen-e-Mudassar, Career Counsellor, M.S.W - Career Guidance & Information Center, Bangalore gave a detailed presentation on careers after 10th & 12th standard. During the 3- hour session attended by over 120 students, teachers and parents, several careers were discussed. This was the first time that most of the audience had ever heard of these courses. The students were motivated towards selecting a career by choice rather than “by chance”. Touhid Education and Charitable Trust has been a pioneer in initiating various activities like free health check ups and adopting Urdu schools for pre-primary, in this backward district.
Regret Error

In the December 2004 issue of Islamic Voice, we carried a news item -”Falah launches Mobile Clinic.” The name of the organization which launched this mobile clinic is Falah Education Society, Vidya Nagar, P.O. Talapady 575024, Mangalore D.K. (established 1986). Falah runs the following institutions:

Falah English Medium High School, (1 to 10th STD), Falah Kannada Medium School, Falah Higher Primary School, Adarsha Kannada Primary School, Falah Nursery School. Falah Anganvadi, Falah Juma Mosque for school children’s and community.

The report wrongly mentioned that the Mobile Clinic was launched by Jamiyatul Falah, Kankandy Mangalore D.K. 575002 (Established 1989), which is a separate organisation..
The Error is regretted. Editor.
Award for M.J.Akbar
The Al-Ameen Educational Society has conferred the All India Community Leadership Award 2004 to M.J.Akbar, Editor, The Asian Age. Known for his balanced views on issues related to the community, Akbar has authored many books and the most popular has been “In the Shade of the Sword.”
Consultation on Muslim Women's Problems
Karnataka State Women’s Commission will hold a one-day consultation on ‘Muslim Women’s problems’ at the Senate Hall in Central College on February 16, 2005. The consultation would formulate recommendations to the State Government to address the issues and grievances of the Muslim women in the field of development. It will be inaugurated by Chief Minister N. Dharamsingh. Aspirants for participation can contact: Ms. B. B. Cauvery, Member-Secretary, Karnataka State Women’s Commission, first floor, Cauvery Bhavan, Kempegowda Road, Bangalore-560001. Phone: 22291925, 22216485.
Book on Ambedkar and Muslims
The Kannada translation of book titled ‘Ambedkar and Muslims’ will be released on February 5, 2005 at Mythic Society in Bangalore on Nrupthanga Road. The original book was authored by Dalit researcher, Anand Telthumble while the translation has been done by Prof. P. Gangadhar Murthy, Dalit Sangharsh Samiti activist and a retired professor of English at National College. The 80-page book has been priced at Rs. 80 and has been published by Samata Prakashana. More information can be had from Khasim A., Ph. 98458-80508.
AICMEU Launches Employment Portal
The All India Council for Muslim Economic Upliftment (AICMEU) launched a portal for ‘Employment & Placement’, which would also serve as a ‘Talent Search Tool’ recently in Mumbai. Named as””, which is a free website for job seekers and employers, it is very comprehensive and packed with many features- like the job seeker can continuously keep updating his CV, its free of cost for the employers and would- be employees, its totally transparent, it would also cater to skilled and semi skilled segments of the society, candidates would be able to generate a hard copy of their own CV, inbuilt programme for matching and auto mailing to concerned parties, and most important, it would generate a tremendous ‘talent-database’ which has been missing all along. While Nawab Malik, minister of Labour, government of Maharashtra was the chief guest, Mr Sami Khatib, CMD, Medley Pharmaceuticals presided over the launch programme. Dr Rahmatullah is the Chairman of the AICMEU Trust. For further insight, get in touch with Moin Don. Email:
Keralite Haji Sets a Rare Record
Hassan Abdullah, 60, a pilgrim from Kerala, has set a record for a pilgrim when he entered the holy Kaaba for the 29th time this Hajj. He has visited Makkah more than 110 times and performed Haj 40 times. He considers himself lucky because as a leader of Indian scout, he has been able to visit the inside of the holy Kaaba along with presidents and diplomatic groups from foreign countries. He has fond memories of rubbing shoulders with kings and presidents and cherishes the photo taken with King Faisal during one of his visits. (Source: Arab News).