Nursery of Politicians
Home for Homeopathy
Interview: Abu A. Shaikh
Nursery of Politicians
Anjuman Islam, Hubli is today a pale reflection of its glorious past. Visionless people steer its destiny. Every conceivable muscleman, auto driver and scrap dealer finds a berth on the general body. Consequently decline and decay are palpable.
By Maqbool Ahmed Siraj
Anjuman Islam's Shopping complex in Hubli
The fact that every head of Anjuman ends up becoming an MLA or MLC has triggered a race for Anjuman leadership. So its elections are fought fiercely. Those who enroll the members on the election eve carry the vote.
More than financial resources, it is the mental bankruptcy that stunts the growth of the Anjuman.
It is an Anjuman that is on the verge of celebrating its first centenary. It has been run democratically for most part of its tenure. It is fairly representative of the people it is meant to serve. It has several politicians, MLAs, MLCs, ministers, possibly MPs besides their former counterparts on its governing body. Yet it fails in fulfilling its basic purpose.
Steeped in politics, filthiest one at that, Anjuman Islam in Karnataka’s northern city, Hubli, has failed to live upto its glorious past. One wonders if the Anjuman heading for its centenary will have the credibility and confidence to claim release of a commemorative postage stamp with the same elan and gusto any other body of comparable history would have done.
For the third year in a row, over two-thirds of the boys and girls appearing for SSLC examination from schools run by the Anjuman Islam in Hubli have failed. Principals of all the three principal educational institutions run by the Anjuman, contacted by this correspondent, failed to recollect how many first classes their institutions produced this year. Almost all the members of the Hubli Muslim elite acknowledge that the Anjuman elections are a big farce and stay away from even the sniffing distance of the Anjuman premises on the appointed day. It is widely known that those who enroll new members on the election eve carry the vote. And it is almost a recognised fact that all those who manage to get to the top post of the Anjuman, end up as the local MLA or MLC. No wonder then why Anjuman elections are fought so fiercely.
However, one would argue that it is nothing new for the heads of the state’s countless educational bodies to aspire for the political positions. But there is a difference. Any other body of the comparable history would have much more to its credit. Is it not a fact that educational bodies in Karnataka such as KLE or HKES today run a string of professional institution and a proportionately vast network of schools?
Anjuman Islam is today a pale reflection of what its founder, Sardar Mahboob Ali Khan of Shahnoor riyasat, had originally dreamt it to be while founding it in 1903. Ninety-seven years after its founding, Anjuman Islam, Hubli shows all signs of stagnation, paralysis, nay decline and decay. While educational societies of recent origin have empowered their communities and launched their youth into leadership role in all fields of activity, Anjuman is a picture of gloom and misery.
Founder Mahboob Ali Khan was a visionary. He stewarded the Anjuman till 1940 and during his life time founded the Anglo Urdu High School and instituted scholarships for Muslim students to study medicine and engineering. He even set up a bank. He devised a system whereby sarpanches of all Muslim mohallas and mutawallis of all Hubli mosques were made members of the managing committee of the Anjuman. This tradition continues to the present day. But his modern day “worthy” successors have packed the body with every conceivable muscleman, scrap merchant and auto driver in order to tilt the election to their side. The general body is today 1700 strong. The 147-member educational council and executive councils scarcely fulfil the quorum.
All that the Anjuman has acquired during the 60 years since founder’s death is a girl’s school, a college, a TCH college and a nursery school. The shopping complex constructed with Central Wakf Council loans yields insufficient revenue for the institutions. Even as the Muslim population of Hubli has been steadily rising, Muslim elite have been sending their wards to missionary run institutions. Ironically, every office bearer considers this progress to be sufficient.
A look at this year’s performance of the two schools would perhaps be a better commentary of the lot of the Anjuman institutions that are the arena of the Muslim politicians who made the Anjuman their ladder to political success. 215 boys appeared from the Anglo Urdu Boys High School and only 32 per cent could come out successful. In Anglo Urdu Girls High School, of the 493 girls who appeared in the SSLC exams, only 134 could pass. The PUC second year results of Anjuman Islam Nehru College should therefore not surprise anybody. It recorded only 30 per cent overall passes with 400 candidates appearing for the exams. Obviously with the kind of standards the two main feeder institutions maintain, the college could not have done better.
It appears the institution heads have mastered the art of passing the buck on to the feeder institutions. Mr. S. S. Savanur and Mr. Asundi, principals of Girls and Boys High Schools respectively, point out that the feeder government primary school do not even teach alphabets and nothing better could be done at the high school level. So also with College Principal A. D. Shiledar. But has the Anjuman done anything to improve the feeder institutions? Says A. R. J. Pathan, former secretary of the Anjuman, “We established the Sardar Mahboob Ali Khan Primary School.” Just one primary school to feed two huge high schools when the city’s growing Muslim populace demands 10 such schools for its primary educational needs. No wonder then this infant school is bursting at seams with 4000 students on its rolls. Even the high schools are in poor shape. In the Girls High School, five girls have to squeeze themselves in space meant for two. Teachers are unable to summon enough lung power to reach classes teeming with 100 and odd girls. Yet the politicians who preside over their fate are oblivious of their plight. Politicking takes a heavy toll. Last year two Muslim girls were denied admission into the TCH training college run by the Anjuman because two candidates recommended by a Congress bigwig were to be accommodated. Hubli Muslims consider such fishy deals a part of routine drama played by the politicians who preside over the their fate.
Currently, Mr. Jabbarkhan Honalli is the president of the Anjuman and the local MLA. He was a teacher in a Government school and used to combine real estate dealing with the job. The Al-Falah College of Pharmacy set up by him in league with Dr. S. A. Qadri at Rayapur in the outskirts of Hubli has now become defunct and financial institutions are threatening to recover outstanding dues through legal action against property at the deserted campus. The Maulana Azad Homeopathy Medical College run by Sheikh Akbar and advocate Nizamuddin Watchmaker also met a similar fate and was closed amid controversy and media publicity of the plight of the students who had paid huge sums in donation. The two were in custody for eight days. These two independent ventures having failed, the Hubli Muslims are wary of any new institutions and look towards Anjuman for better leadership. It can also be recalled that the Eidgah controversy was triggered by the late father of a Hubli politician, who is currently MLC. The man had thrown spanner into the works by asking the respected swami of a local Mutt to stay away from laying the foundation stone for the commercial complex on the Eidgah land way back in 1972. The swami had earlier been invited to lay the foundation stone. Slighted, the swami asked a host of his followers to file PIL suits against the change of land use and saw to it that the complex gets mired into litigation and controversy.
Anjuman’s annual revenue currently stands at around Rs. 50 lakhs, mainly from the shopping complex. Several of Anjuman properties yield low rents. Interestingly, one of the Anjuman tenant, furniture merchant Mr. F. M. Kittoor has huge outstanding dues against him.
Yet he is a member of the Karnataka Board of Wakfs. This provides little room for expansion of activities particularly when the Hubli Muslims are a picture of abject poverty. But the fact that the Anjuman suffers from bankruptcy of imagination and planning contributes to the misery. Most of the leaders seem to be clueless about any programme of action. MLC Ismail Kalebudde, who headed the Anjuman for close to seven years, was unable to provide any details about professional profile of the community in the city in response to questions from this correspondent.
Anjuman Islam Nursery of Politicians
|Anjuman Office Bearers|| Political Positions Held
|Raziuddin H. Goodwal |
President 1944 - 56
Karnataka Minorities Commission
| MLA Bombay Assembly
|F. H. Mohsin |
President 1958 -68
| MLA, 5 times MP
Union Dy. Home Minister (South Dharwar)
|A. M. Hindasgeri |
President 1983-86 & 1986-89
| Twice MLA, Now MLC and
|Ismail Kalebudde |
Incharge president 1988-95
| Now MLC
|Jabbakhan Honalli |
| Now MLA|
Maqbool Ahmed Siraj profiles an educational institution engaged in silently setting trends in a field that does not normally attract attention.
Shaikh Homeopathic Medical College, Belgaum
If you ever had notion about Homeopathy being an unserious business, you better visit Belgaum’s A. M. Shaikh Homeopathic Medical College. You will be a convert. This college, first ever in India to acquire the ISO 9000 from the Germany’s TUV Management Services Gmbh, is a trendsetter in many ways. The swanky campus located in the breathtakingly picturesque and cool climes of Belgaum can sweep away from their feet any of those who may have had any ignoble notions about homeopathy. But be ready for more surprises. The no nonsense administration would insist you obtained a visitor’s pass for the appointed visit. Even the college chairman wears his nametag on the collar.
That may all be part of formalities. As you get inside, it dawns that the college works like a machine right from the word go. The college entrance proclaims its mission statement boldly in English, Hindi, Urdu and Marathi. Uniformed doctors and pert nurses strut about the corridors wheeling patients in and out of wards or operation theatres. A green house here or a garden for medicinal herbs there, the campus is spick and span, a far cry from the normal visage of homeopathy clinics or hospitals.
No wonder then why most aspirants for degree in Homeopathy medicine rush for Shaikh Medical in the western region of India. The German body certifying the ISO 9000 status was in a dilemma when the college approached them for the same. Till then they had not rated an educational institution. So the college and the TUV worked together to first develop standards for the same. The college management has also invited the National Accreditation and Advancement Council (NAAC) to evaluate the college. Shaikh Medical College was the brainchild of Dr. A. M. Shaikh, an IAS officer of Karnataka cadre who headed many a government department between 40s and 60s. The man had developed fascination with alternative system of medicine and devoted nearly 30 years of his post-retirement life for the promotion of the system and the college which he developed by sacrificing his hard-earned money.
According to the current chairman Abu A. Shaikh, homeopathy attracted his father just because the system could offer some relief to his asthma-inflicted mother. Allopaths took two years to diagnose the ailment. Says Abu Shaikh, his father’s logic was: “If it takes a system two years to merely diagnose an ailment, then it is not too difficult to learn it. He became fanatically dedicated to the cause and family became secondary to him. This college is a monument of his hard work for three decades.”
The senior Shaikh tinkered with the homeopathy medicine all through his IAS career and took up teaching the system after he retired in 1962. The teaching began in local Congress Bhavan with 14 students. His tireless efforts and help from some of those whom he could convince, enabled him to set up the college in 1985. The man was said to be strict disciplinarian, knew 14 languages and worked 15 hours a day. The government grants came only in 1996, only two years before he died.
Today the Shaikh Homeopathic Medical College teaches all that an MBBS students learns with Homeopathic medicinal system and has the state-of-the-art 125-bed Hospital with diagnostic and surgical facilities for radiology, physiotherapy, endoscopy, ophthalmology, dentistry etc. The major difference occurs in pharmacology where the homeopathy makes a drastic deviation from the very concept of therapy. At least ten allopaths with MBBS suffixed with their names could be seen among the faculty members.
Address: A. M. Shaikh Homeopathic Medical College, Nehrunagar, Belgaum-590010,
Ph.: 0831-473253, 470486, Website: www.shaikhhomeo.org e-mail: email@example.com
'Focused Attention Makes a Difference'
|Abu A. Shaikh heads the A. M. Shaikh Homeopathic Medical College, Belgaum as its chairman. An engineer by training and qualification, Abu is a thoroughbred administrator with an eye for the latest and strict evaluation standards. He talked to Islamic Voice about the college and the system of homeopathy medicine.
Q: About the Founder
Q: Where does the Shaikh Medical College excel?
A: Founder A. M. Shaikh was a man to whom promoting homeopathy was a mission. A man of simple habits, he pursued it single mindedly. He was a man who would do any thing about which he was determined to do. I had taken French as a language in school. When I did not do well in French, he first learnt the language in order to coach me. He continued to do this till I started doing well.
A: Most homeopathic colleges are not run seriously. You need to have a fanatic at the top. Focused attention and qualitative education only can make a difference.
We are the trendsetter in many a field. Besides the ISO 9000 and NAAC Cagenew it ivps. Our medical waste disposal is based on vermiculture. All heating in the hostel and the hospital is done by solar heating. We have a system of batch mentor whereby a student’s progress is monitored by a professor throughout his career in the college. We have computerised the entire administration.
Under the Japanese Kaizen system we encourage all employees to suggest improvements in any department. We receive on an average 73 suggestions in a month. We have Performance Appraisal System under which every single employee’s work and performance is monitored and need for further training is identified. Even the bosses are scrutinized and audited. As a minority institution, one-third of our intake is from among Muslims. Due to this stress on quality, there is a rush for seats in Shaikh Homeopathic Medical Colleges while seats go abegging in other colleges.
Q: Some instances of success of your alumni?
A: Majority of principals of Homeopathic colleges in Maharashtra and Karnataka are our former students. We have 2500 former students practising in India and abroad.
Q: We have not heard much about new research in homeopathy?
A: Though a lot of research is going on in Germany, it is not much heard about and it is not lucrative. Moreover, homeopathy research is done on healthy persons where ailment is first induced and cured because it is based on the principle of “like begets like”.
Q: Despite so much of talk about qualities of homeopathy, the fact is that the system is nowhere taken as seriously as allopathic system?
A: Homeopathic system does not suppress the symptoms. Secondly, treatment is person specific. Third, homeopathic pills are small and look and taste alike. So there is a lot of psychological resistance in its acceptance. Fourth, the powerful pharmaceutical lobby in the world sustains the popularity of the allopathic system. There is a mutual vested interest between the pharmaceuticals and the medicine manufacturers. No other system of medicine can challenge it in the foreseeable future. Finally, such is the credibility crisis with homeopaths that they are found wanting in motivation to carry forward the system with confidence and soon switch over to Allopathic system.