Jamadi Thani 1424 H
Volume 16-08 No : 200
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By A Staff Writer
Bangalore: A ceasefire has been brought about between Mr. K. Rahman Khan, Rajya Sabha MP and Mr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, chairman and founder of the Al-Ameen Education Society and current chairman of the Amanath Cooperative Bank. The two sides have stopped hurling allegations against each other and issued a statement on July 12 signed by all the directors of the Bank in the Urdu daily Salar, the spokesman of the Al-Ameen group. The statement which carried photographs of the entire board of directors, said ‘certain misunderstandings between Mr. K. Rahman Khan and other directors have been resolved in the overall interest of the Muslims in particular and others in general. Alhamdulillah.’
While it is to be seen how effective would be the ceasefire in the days to come, it will not be out of place to mention that the warfare that ensued between the two leading Khans of Bangalore dredged out a lot of muck and dirt on the streets. Several reputations were maligned and the general esteem of the group came several notches down. A general Muslim depositor came to suspect that the interiors of the bank are not as gleaming and transparent as the chromium glass façade of the Bank’s headquarters in downtown Bangalore.
Exit of Mr. Rahman Khan from the Bank saw him being kept out of the Al-Ameen circle at all levels. The sudden exile and banishment from the pages of the Daily Salar forced Mr. Khan to bring out a new spokesman of his own, Urdu weekly Tarjuman-e-Junoob. In a recent column penned by him in the weekly, Rahman Khan grieved that the role of several prominent Muslims in the pioneering of the Al-Ameen movement had been ignored and the movement had been branded with the label of just one person. He also expressed his desire to write the history of the movement afresh with the due acknowledgement of role of leading lights such as Haji Muneer, Begum Abbasia Makki, late Azeez Sait, former minister A. K. A. Samad, Ibrahim Khalilullah Khan, Justice Mir Iqbal Hussain, Abid Sharif, Humayun Mirza etc.
Files listing generous doling out of loans, mostly unsecured, to kith and kin of Mr. Rahman Khan running to the tune of nearly Rs. 75 crore, were mysteriously circulated by the new dispensation of the Bank during the last six months after the exit of Mr. Rahman Khan as the Bank chairman. In return, Mr. Rahman Khan also dispatched letters to several prominent Muslims of Bangalore dishing out a list of beneficiaries who are currently out of the adverse glare of the media. All this led to the general belief in the community that skeletons could be ferreted out from the cupboards of each of the director who has been closely associated with the Bank during its 25 years of existence. While the Bank was saved from the brink of collapse eight months ago, everything does not seem to be hunky-dory with it. Crores of rupees are said to be outstanding with several builders in the city who are also on the bank’s board of directors. Morever, the expulsion of the former General Manager and his arrest later, calls for serious scrutiny of the bank’s functioning. While most Muslims have welcomed the ceasefire, there is a rankling sense of disenchantment among depositors about the probity of the people at the helms of affairs. They feel that the erring, even if they are not exposed, should not go unpunished, bad loans be recovered even at the cost of auctioning of personal properties and the directors should come clean about their dealings with the bank which has attracted deposits from countless Muslims who have toiled hard in the West Asian deserts. The dirt should not be pushed under the carpet in the garb of ‘resolution of misunder-standings’.
There is also this feeling that a set of honourable men have governed the Amanath Bank which has seen steady progress in the last 25 years. Moreover, Mr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan has been awarded the Padamshree from the government of India for his service to the community. Similarly, Mr. K. Rahman Khan was conferred the “Al-Ameen Community Leadership Award” only two years ago in a glittering function in the Al-Ameen College premises. Such reputations need not be maligned in the dust raised by the scandals that have received wide publicity in the media, all of which may not be well intentioned. The best way to restore credibility would be to make public the actual health of the bank and make sincere efforts to introduce high standards of probity. That would be the surest guarantee to ensure longevity to the bank and saving the confidence of the general public.