Islamic Voice
Ramadan/Shawwal 1422
December 2001
Volume 14-12 No:180

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COMMUNITY ROUNDUP


BJP Bungles with Muslim Voters List!
Madrassas as Scapegoats!
Madrassas on the Fast Track
Tyagi on Trial
Burhani Foundation-NEERI Environmental Award for Moghe
AFMI Convention in Pune
Hyderabad loses two Stalwarts
Nine Muslim Corporators Emerge Winners
Muslim Cooperative Bank in Mumbai
Appointed

BJP Bungles with Muslim Voters List!

The BJP in Uttar Pradesh is back with its games in a bid to debar Muslims from their voting rights

By Andalib Akhter

New Delhi: Voting is a right, but the BJP-led state government in Uttar Pradesh does not think so! With efforts to marginalise Muslims and keep them away from the national mainstream, this time, they are being debarred from the very democratic process of voting. And all this is happening in Uttar Pradesh where there is a major chunk of Muslims. The state government here, in nexus with communal officials, is trying hard to debar Muslims and its political opponents from the voting right.

In its bid to consolidate its vote bank, the government in Uttar Pradesh is preparing a voters list of its own choice. Bungling and malpractice are evident in the preparation and updating of voting lists in the state. The constituencies where opposition parties have an edge over BJP, the name of Muslim voters have either been deleted or not upgraded. In the Muslim populated areas, names of youngsters above 18 years have not been included. On the other hand, with the help of BJP workers bogus names are being included in the voting lists. For instance, the Ayodhya constituency is surrounded by the Bikapur, Sohawal and Milkipur assembly constituences.

In 1996, the number of voters in Bikapur was 2,33,102 which rose to 2,40,224 in 2001, an increase of only 7122 voters. In Sohawal constituency in the last five years, there was an increase of only 8003 voters and in Milkipur constituency during the same period, only 505 new voters were added. In the constituencies where BJP has no supporting voters, the voter lists are stagnant or have increased very insignificantly, but the areas where BJP has its influence, the number of voters has increased. “Looking at the voter list of Muslim mohallas, it seems that the Muslim population has become stagnant. In the last eight years, 4,000 bogus voters were included in the Ayodhya constituency. The BJP government in UP with help of local party workers is including bogus voters in the voter list,” said chief of the Samajwadi party, Mulayam Singh Yadav. There is also tampering in the preparation of photo identity card. The prepared photo ID has been distributed to people who are the supporters of the BJP. It is alleged that the other cards have been either destroyed or shown on record as ‘distributed.’ All this bungling seems to be going on right under the nose of the BJP bigwigs in the state!

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Madrassas as Scapegoats!

The purported global campaign against terrorism, led by United States has resulted in a new crisis for madrassas in Rajasthan.

12madrasa.jpg
The sprawling courtyard of the Jamia Islamia Darul Uloom in Barmer,
whose huge building seems to have attracted the attention of intelligence agencies.

By A Staff Writer

The September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States of America have given a pretext to the Indian official agencies to browbeat the madrassas, functioning in the border states. These traditional centres of Islamic learning have been singled out especially in Rajasthan by both the Central and the State government agencies presumably because of the geographical location of the state.

Rajasthan shares over 1,000 km-long border with Pakistan and had witnessed the 1965 and 1971 wars between India and Pakistan in the Jaisalmer and Barmer districts. The desert region in the western parts of the state is almost identical to the desert in Sind on the other side of the border. The purported global campaign against terrorism, led by the U.S., has resulted in a new crisis for madrassas. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) of the Central government and the State Police have launched a campaign against madrassas by systematically and selectively targeting them. Their contention is that the madrassas are turning into a “breeding ground” for religious fanaticism.

The probe into the madrassas’ activities has taken place so far in the border districts of Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Barmer districts and the Muslim-dominated Shekhawati area near Jaipur. Under instructions from the Centre, the police and intelligence authorities are trying their best to prove that religious education leads to fanaticism among children and that madrassas are receiving funds from questionable sources. The madrassas functioning in western Rajasthan, near the international border, have rendered commendable services to the promotion of education and literacy in an area where the State government has paid scant attention in the field of education. While some of the madrassas are as old as 60, 80 and even 100 years, many of them are bereft of basic facilities and are being run in huts and under trees.

The behaviour of police officials has been extremely bewildering, ever since September 11. While on the one hand, police assert that madrassas are no threat to internal security, they harass the madrassa functionaries and disturb the madrassa schedule by hounding them regularly.

Evidently, the police and intelligence officials hardly know anything about the madrassas’ immense contribution in creating generations of erudite scholars. They are also ignorant of the significance of the courses based on the Holy Quran and Hadith and the degrees awarded by madrassas.

Maulvi Mohammed Hashim Naim Mohtamim of Jamia Islamia Darul Uloom, Barmer, speaking to Islamic Voice, regretted that the fundamental education system of Muslims was being targeted in an unwarranted manner.

The Jamia Islamia is the biggest madrassa in Barmer district and is 20 years old. All the children studying in the institution are from the villages in Barmer and Jalore districts. Most of the madrassa teachers and custodians have been travelling collecting Zakaat for their respective institutions during the month of Ramadan. But the intelligence authorities do not seem to be convinced that the madrassas are run on the Zakaat funds.

The Madrassa Islamia Darul Uloom in Pokhran - where India exhibited its nuclear power by carrying out two explosions - is about 100 years old. Police have not spared even this institution. It has sought a list of the students and staff and even probed into the sources of funds. The chief of the madrassa, Maulvi Rashid Ahmed, pointed out that a middle-school - named after Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani established by the madrassa had a few non-Muslim teachers. As a philanthropic gesture, the madrassa has also constructed the Assalam Hospital adjacent to its building to provide maternity services to the people belonging to all communities in the town. In the Shekhawati belt, the local police have carried out a survey in Sikar district to find out the number of madrassas and have objected to the presence of teachers and Imams in mosques from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. According to police, the “outsiders” may create some disturbance and then disappear without leaving any clues.

Muslims here feel that the intelligence and police agencies are targeting the madrassa system with no logic or reason. Muslims feel that madrassas in Rajasthan are being made to pay the price for the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the U.S. This ill-conceived drive will in all probability discourage Muslim children from going to madrassas and distract the madrassas from adopting the path of modernization towards which they had been moving forward recently.

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Madrassas on the Fast Track

The HRD ministry is all set to offer a huge sum in a bid to modernize madrassas all over the country

By Andalib Akhter

New Delhi : At a time when Madrassas are being branded as the breeding ground of Muslim extremism, interestingly the Union Human Resources Development Ministry (HRD) has realised the importance of Madrassas in educating the poor sections of the society. The HRD ministry has decided to offer a huge sum in a bid to modernize Madrassas all over the country and to bring them into the national mainstream.

The Union government has started implementing an ambitious plan to modernize and computerize Madrassas in the right earnest. It is also in the process of recruiting science teachers and funding their computerization programmes. Minister for human resources development M M Joshi recently sanctioned 800 science teachers for Madrassas apart from a number of computers. He also appealed to the Muslim philanthropic bodies to encourage madrassas to adopt the mainstream education system along with their theological training. The HRD Ministry report says that the government is spending Rs 12 crore annually on Madrassas compared to Rs. 2 crore every year earlier. It also noted that the remuneration for teachers in Madrassas has also been doubled to Rs. 3000. The budget of the National Bureau for Promotion of Urdu Language has been substantially raised from Rs 5.5 crore to Rs 8 crore this year in order to encourage IT education among the minorities.

So far, 100 computer centres have been set up in the 67 districts in 22 states in which 7000 students are being trained in computer application annually. One part of this weaning exercise has to focus on language, considering that Urdu and Arabic literature form the core of the studies in most madrassas. Joshi also confirmed that the government also provides them with more funds for translating books in Urdu and all NCERT books will now be available to the madrassas in Urdu.

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Tyagi on Trial

After three months, the Tyagi case gets committed to the sessions court

By M H Lakdawala

Mumbai: A Magistrate committed the 1993 case of multiple murders against former city police commissioner R D Tyagi and 17 cops to sessions court for trial on November 20. All the accused were present before additional chief metropolitan magistrate, A A A Kidwai who committed the case to sessions court for trial. On August 27, the Special Task Force had filed a charge sheet against Tyagi and 17 policemen, accusing them of opening fire at the Suleman Bakery on January 9, 1993, that led to the death of eight people. It has taken almost three months for this simple process to be completed as Tyagi's absence had delayed the process, due to his hospitalisation. The case caused a lot of drama in court as Magistrate Kidwai more than once came down heavily on the public prosecutor of the Special Task Force and Tyagi's lawyer for not making written applications as required. At one stage, he pointedly asked the public proscecutor whether he was representing the accused-that is Tyagi.

This was when an application was made on behalf of Tyagi seeking exemption from personal appearance in court, by the STF through the public proscecutor. This marks the end of one stage of the case. Tyagi was arrested on August 14 at Bombay Hospital where he was undergoing treatment for cardiac problem. The Srikrishna Commission of inquiry into the communal riots of 1992-93 had recommended stern action against Tyagi and others and indicted them for their alleged role in the firing. The Democratic Front government constituted the Special Task Force to implement recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission. Accordingly, STF filed a First Information Report against Tyagi and others on May 25 this year.

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Burhani Foundation-NEERI Environmental Award for Moghe

Mumbai: Dr P P Moghe, senior scientist of the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune has been conferred the second Burhani Foundation- NEERI Environmental Award for outstanding and socially relevant R & D in environmentally sound technologies. The Burhani Foundation (India) a registered Trust established by Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, Head of the Dawoodi Bohra community and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), a Nagpur based premier Institute of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has conferred this award on Dr Moghe for his outstanding work on the development of process for separation of lignin and colour from black liquor waste of paper mills. The Burhani Foundation since its inception in 1991 has encouraged and supported various institutes in creating ecological awareness. Burhani Foundation (India), Amatullah Manzil, 2nd Floor, 65, Bazargate Street, Fort, Mumbai-400001. Ph: 2678480/2632852

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AFMI Convention in Pune

Pune: The American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI) will hold its Tenth International Convention on Education on December 29-30, 2001, at Haji Gulam Muhammad Azam Trust in Pune, More than 300 meritorious students, parents, teachers, social activists, public officials, educationists, from all over India as well as some 50 delegates from USA, UK, Europe, Middle Eastern Countries, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and other parts of the world will participate in this Convention. This year AFMI has also instituted the “Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Award” and the recipient is Dr. Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor Jamia Hamdard and the “Maulana Ali Miya Nadvi Award” and the recipient is Maulana Mujahidul Islam Qasmi, according to a press release by A. S. Nakadar, Secretary General AFMI. Contact M. Peerbhoy / Inamdar for further details on 020-6352040/6352288. Email: afmi11@aol.com

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Hyderabad loses two Stalwarts

Hyderabad: The demise of Moulana Syed Shah Azam Ali Sofi and Moulana Hafiz Mohammed Taqiuddin has left a vacuum in the field of education in Hyderabad. Moulana Azam Ali Sofi, who advocated and encouraged imparting of modern education along with religious education. He was a highly popular orator and preacher, amalgamating modern scientific knowledge with the Islamic religious teachings. Apart from being a member of a highly respected family, he was a commerce graduate from Osmania University and advocated equal educational opportunities to women. Moulana Mohammed Taqiuddin, whose weekly programmes of Tafseer-e-Quran were popular among the people, was among the top religious scholars of Hyderabad and had established several institutions and religious schools.

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Nine Muslim Corporators Emerge Winners

Bangalore: Only nine Muslim candidates could make it to the 100-ward Bangalore City Corporation. Of those elected, six belong to Congress, two to Janata Dal(S), while the ninth is an independent. There were 10 Muslims during the previous tenure of the civic body. Only one Muslim corporator could retain his seat. The Congress had put up 12 Muslims, Janata Dal(S) 10 and NCP and the BJP had given tickets to one each. In the newly elected body, known as Bangalore Mahanagar Palike, the Congress has 56 seats, BJP has 15, Janata Dal (Secular) 13, Janata Dal (United) 5 and nine are independents.

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Muslim Cooperative Bank in Mumbai

Mumbai: The Muslim Cooperative Bank based at Pune has opened its first branch in Mumbai which is the bank's 17th branch. According to the chairman of the bank, P. A. Inamdar, 30 per cent of the bank's profits are being given to the Golden Jubilee Education Trust which spends the money on the education of youngsters in the Muslim community. The Trust has so far helped 2000 boys and girls. He said the loans extended by the bank have helped the Azam Campus of Pune to accommodate many talented youngsters from the community.

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Appointed

Prof Muzaffar Shaikh is the new principal of the Poona College of Arts, Science and Commerce run by the Anjuman Khairul Islam. He succeeds Dr. S. N. Kotwal who retired on October 1. Prof. Shaikh has been teaching Commerce in the college since 1972.

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