Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

January 2005
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Community Round-Up

Rights of Minority Institutions
By Andalib Akhter
New Delhi:
After prolonged and heated debates, the Lok Sabha, finally passed the Bill for the establishment of the ‘National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions’. Opposing the Bill, the main opposition party, the BJP, walked out during the voting.

The Bill enables the creation of a National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, It creates the right of minority educational institutions to seek recognition as an affiliated college to a Scheduled University, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force and it allows for a forum of dispute resolution in the form of a Statutory Commission regarding matters of affiliation between a minority educational institution and a Scheduled University Speaking to this correspondent, the Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh said that the Bill would provide direct affiliation for minority professional institutions to Central Universities. Asaduddin Owaisi of Ithahadul Muslemin said that this was the first serious attempt made in the last 15 years for the implementation of a fundamental right provided in Article 30.
Seminar on Democracy and Minorities
The Milagres College here proposes to hold a seminar on ‘Democracy, Human Rights and Minorities: An Interface’ on March 18 and 19, 2005. The seminar sponsored by the University Grants Commission would discuss a broad gamut of issues under the theme. It envisages reworking on framework for minorities in the context of communal politics over the last two decades. Interested participants can contact Rev. Fr. Fred Mascarenhas, Principal, Milagres College, Kallianpur, Udupi, D.K. District, Karnataka.
Jamaat Enrolls Human Rights Activists
By A Staff Writer
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) had organised a nationwide campaign on the theme ‘Uphold Human Dignity’ from December 3 to 12, 2004.The socio-religious organisation enrolled 10, 000 youth from all religious and social communities across the country as human rights activists. These activists would intervene in all incidents of human rights violation across the country. “JIH’s campaign was aimed at conveying the message of human rights to 15 million people countrywide and reach another 10 lakh people through door-to-door contacts.,’’ JIH national president, Muhammad Abdul Haq Ansari told Islamic Voice, in Mumbai. Ansari, who was here to preside over a symposium on human rights, said human rights violations in Gujarat, especially in POTA cases, were the worst in the country. He said the Gujarat riots were not ‘’religious riots’’ and were ‘’actually a genocide’’ “Persecution of minorities like Muslims and Dalits and even women here has worsened in recent times,’’ he said. Dr Ilyas, convenor and spokesman of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board ‘s committee on Babri Masjid, said JIH plans to provide money to ‘’innocent undertrials’’ for bail payments so that they resume their family life in a dignified manner.
Ray of Hope
By A Staff Writer
Inspite of the set back in the Best Bakery trail because of the Zahira’s family turning hostile, there is still ray of hope for justice as all the other witnesses who had turned hostile in the Vadodara court have stood by their original statements in the special Mumbai court conducting the re-trial. Prosecutors in the Best Bakery re-trial are pinning their hopes on two eyewitnesses, Bharat alias Makio Iswar Tadvi, and Premlata Bhatt to strengthen its case against the 21 accused. The duo, who are residents of Hanuman Tekri, were the only independent eye witnesses when a mob of 1,200 persons set ablaze the Best Bakery on March 1, 2002. Special public prosecutor Manjula Rao said, “We are hoping these two eyewitnesses would stand by their statements made to the police.”

Bhatt, who resides opposite the bakery, had told the police that the mob carrying swords, rods and mashals had surrounded the bakery. She had also identified three of the accused, Tulsi Tadvi, Kamlesh Tadvi and Shailesh Tadvi. More important, however, will be the testimony of Bharat Tadvi, who had identified 17 of the accused. Tadvi, who witnessed the burning of the bakery, had told the police about the accused assaulting the victims, including Nafitullah and Nasibullah. Judge Abhay Thipsey reprimanded Zaheera for unexpectedly reversing her testimony, crippling the prosecution’s case in India’s most high-profile religious rioting trial against 17 accused.
Delhi Govt Ignores Urdu Schools
New Delhi:
Even as Delhi is being ruled by a secular government for the last two terms, yet the minorities, particularly the Urdu knowing populace is being ignored immensely. In fact, this section of the society is feeling alienated. Even after being granted the official status in the territory, nothing is being done for the promotion of Urdu in the state. Urdu schools are in doldrums. There are only 20 Urdu schools out of a total of 1400 schools run by the government in Delhi yet most of the posts of the Urdu teachers in these schools are vacant. In the last 15 years, only two teachers out of 100 vacancies have been appointed. Farid Ahmad, a headmaster of an Urdu school says that the government has completely ignored these schools. Siraj Sahil, a social worker in the city says that by ignoring Urdu schools, the government has failed in its duty. Meanwhile, Delhi’s education minister, Arvind Singh told this correspondent that soon he would convene a meeting of Urdu educationists, scholars and teachers to look into various aspects of the status of Urdu0 in the state.