Jamadi Ul Akhir 1422
Volume 15-09 No:177
The main temple (with flag hoisted on its domes) in the Sawai Bhoj temple complex in Asind.
The mosque demolished on July 27 existed next to it on the right side in the photo where a newly constructed platform is visible.
Jaipur: The demolition of a 16th century mosque in Asind town of Rajasthan has thrown up larger questions about the secular dispensation in the country. There are disturbing parallels between the episode at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 and last month. Those who have pulled down the mosque are brazenly questioning its status and terming it a “disputed structure”. Not only that, culprits were not arrested, the administration was seen begging with the culprits to agree for “a mutually agreeable solution” rather than using the force. The case was referred to a civil court while under the law it should have been referred to a Wakf Tribunal.
The Asind blazed a trail of desecration in Rajasthan. Following the shifting of idol from the mosque site, another mosque in Bhilwara district was desecrated by miscreants on August 13 in Pander village, involving arson and burning of a few copies of the Holy Quran. This aggravated the communal tension in the entire district.
The series of incidents has unnerved the government and people who pine for peace. The Rajasthan Government has failed to arrest any culprit involved in these incidents so far. However, acting under pressure, it transferred the district collector and superintendent of police of Bhilwara and placed three police officials under suspension following the Pander incident.
The Sangh Parivar’s response to the episode is reminiscent of Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Even here the common refrain is a “disputed structure” and the demolition is justified by contending that no namaaz had been offered there for the last 50 years. The Asind mosque points to the beaten path of success.
After the July 27 demolition of the Asind mosque came to light, the State Government went in for a political remedy. It persuaded the influential Gurjar leaders to shift the idol of Hanuman. The idol was removed on July 31 and installed beside the wall of a nearby temple in the Sawai Bhoj temple complex. The platform constructed at the site of the demolished mosque is still intact and there has been no change in the situation since then.
Meanwhile, the issue has become more complicated with the Sawai Bhoj Temple Trust and the Gurjar community approaching a court in Bhilwara and obtaining a status quo till August 28. The Additional District Judge of Gulabpura Baldeo Puri Goswami hearing the matter in his camp court at Shahpura has ordered that no alteration in the position in the Sawai Bhoj complex would be made till August 28 when the case would be heard again.
Had the State Government acted swiftly by shifting the idol in order to restore the previous status of the mosque and brought the culprits to book, it could have contributed much to save the situation. On the contrary, the Government was seen cajoling those responsible for demolition to agree to a “mutually acceptable” solution. The Home Minister Gulab Singh Shaktawat, and the Minister of State for Public Relations Jitendra Singh - who is himself a Gurjar leader - went to Asind to persuade them for reconstruction, but took no action to ensure that law takes it course.
Says Mohammed Salim, Ameer of the Rajasthan unit of Jamaat-e-Islami, “The Government is acting in a manner that creates doubts about its intentions and suggests that it is afraid of communal elements. Why is it not willing to restore the status quo and arrest the culprits who are roaming freely in Asind and openly threatening Muslims?” he asked.
The court order too lent a shocking twist to the episode. Under the Waqf Act, 1995, all disputes pertaining to Waqf properties are determined by the Waqf Tribunal established for the purpose and the jurisdiction of civil courts in respect of such cases is explicitly barred. The Rajasthan Waqf Board pointed out the legal position to the court, when the latter passed the status quo order.
The Gurjars, who had agreed in a Peace Committee meeting on August 6 to seek the opinion of the Waqf Board on the mosque’s status, have contended in the court that the demolished structure was in fact a Dhooni (hermitage) of monk Baba Roopnath.
But the State Government in its reply in the court has stated that the demolished building was a mosque which was “hundreds of years old” with its mention in column 39 of “registered property” declared by the Official Gazette dated July 14, 1966. The Muslims in Asind town have already admitted that they had discontinued offering namaaz in the mosque since around 1960, but this fact does not alter its status as a mosque.
Taking advantage of the Government’s lackadaisical approach, the accused have moved applications in the sessions court seeking anticipatory bail and the court has temporarily stayed their arrest. The culprits responsible for arson in the Pander mosque too continue to be at large. The standard response of police authorities in this regard is that the investigation is “in progress”.
The Pander incident showed that Muslims’ places of worship can be vandalized and defiled without rhyme or reason. The mosque in Pander - which was the only one in the village -was built about 15 years ago on a piece of land bought for the purpose. There was no dispute about its status and the location. A nondescript orgnisation, Hindu Sangathan Manch has even demanded revocation of suspension orders against three police officials on charges of dereliction of duty. It even enforced a strikein Pander and nearby towns for several days to prevent the administration from taking any action against the culprits.
Tension is simmering in the entire Bhilwara district after a spate of communal incidents. There are reports that Muslims living in rural areas are migrating to towns, as they are feeling insecure in the tense atmosphere. A number of Muslim families have reportedly left their home and hearth in villages and taken shelter in Jahazpur (Bhilwara district), Deoli (Tonk district) and Kekri (Ajmer district).
It seems that the communal crisis in Bhiwara is far from over. The right-thinking people are evidently disturbed over the canards being spread and the way the events are taking shape. The once strong ties between Hindus and Muslims are degenerating. Unless some drastic action is taken, the tension may spread to entire Rajasthan and lead to a major confrontation.
Mumbai: Since last seven months Mumbai is witnessing one of the worst wrangling between the two groups of ulema representing two different sects. It seems history is being repeated. In the past discussions and arguments over frivolous issues had led to the bloodbath and the downfall of mighty Islamic kingdoms. The two groups involved in the current tug-of-war are Ahle Hadith and Jamiatul Ulema Hind. From backbiting, allegations, fatwa of infidelity to calling names, both groups have stooped to new low. Series of advertisements in Urdu dailies have alleged financial mismanagement, embezzlement and called for public debate to decide who is a true believer. Ironcially, all this is being justified in the name of Islam. Both groups claim to represent true and unadulterated Islam. The tirade against each other indulged in by both groups is leading to confusion amongst the youth. They consider these as the authentic difference of opinion about the interpretation.
But the actual fact is quite disturbing. In a recent discussion cum seminar on the controversy organized by a well known Islamic organization, there was consensus amongst the participants that the real issue is the favour of the Arab sheikhs. Till last year, both Ahle Hadith and Jamiatul Ulema Hind used to get their share of favours. “Of late the major chunk of it is bagged by one sect which has infuriated the other, revealed one of the speakers during the seminar. Islam which is the most flexible religion, where difference of opinion is not only respected but also led to the spread of Islam to the nook and the corner of the globe, is currently being presented as a very rigid, conservative and intolerant group of ulema, felt most of the speakers.
Shehzad Khandwani, 15, who regularly offered prayers today is quite confused. According to Shehzad, last month during a Friday sermon, Imam of the mosque where he offers the prayer regularly asked the congregation not to offer prayers in the mosque controlled by the other sect as they are not the true believers. “Usually as per my convenience I offered prayers in any mosque. But now I am totally confused. At least I miss two time prayers daily due to this restrictions imposed by our ulema,” said Shehzad. Amin Patel, a medical student has developed apathy towards Islam. “After reading Islamic literature by different scholars, I am at sea as to which version is the true Islam.
There is so much contradiction amongst the current Islamic scholars themselves. Henceforth, I have decided to restrict myself to Namaz-roza and not to go in details, said Patel. Reports of similar sectarian wrangling have been received from Bangalore, New Delhi and several cities of Maharashtra with certain extremist Ahle Hadith ulema even issuing diktats against intermarriage. In Bangalore, even handbills have been circulated among followers of one sect to asking its followers to raise embarrassing questions about the other’s faiths. This poster war was triggered after the two sects held mega-conferences in the city attended by even ulema from as far as Lucknow. In the past, ego has led to the fight amongst various ulema and followers of different sects, currently overseas favours are becoming the major source of confrontation. As in the past, even today respectable, sincere and learned ulema and Islamic scholars welcome difference of opinion and respect the rights of interpretation of shariah as per the varied circumstances. In the past the flexibility of the Islam was the major reason for its growth. Today rigidity and intolerance of its followers and interpreters is the sole cause responsible for its decline.
Salman Khurshid, Karnataka Information Minister Prof. B.K. Chandrashekar and
Rahman Khan at the inauguration of the Delhi Public School, Bangalore.
Bangalore: The Delhi Public School (DPS) has entered the Bangalore scene by opening its branch in the city. The campus was inaugurated by Mr. Salman Khurshid, the president of the DPS Society.
In Bangalore, the DPS is being run in collaboration with the KK Educational and Charitable Society headed by Member of Parliament Rahman Khan. The beautiful 4-acre campus is located in the city’s outskirts of Kankapura Road. According to DPS Bangalore secretary Aejaz Ilmi, 430 students have been admitted in five classes from LKG to 3rd standard this year. The school will be upgraded to 12th standard by 2003.
Salman Khurshid announced that all the 61 DPS schools in the country would be linked with satellite communication and special classes and programme being staged in one particular schools could be watched all over the network.
Of the 61 schools run by the DPS Society in the country, 56 are run in 18 states of India while five others are located in Qatar, Kuwait, Nepal, Indonesia and Sharjah. Khurshid said the Society intends to open more branches in far flung and border states in order to play an integrative role in the country.
According to K. Rahman Khan, the DPS will have another school at Yelahanka in order to cater to the needs of northern parts of Bangalore city. This is likely to be a residential school.
Aejaz Ilmi told Islamic Voice, the DPS Bangalore intends to introduce Anubhava Shiksha Kendra in the same campus during evening for the children of the underprivileged sections from nearby slums. This will be supplemented with programmes on health and nutrition, hygiene and basic cleanliness, first aid, immunization and environment. The programme will be financed by corporate houses.
Bangalore: The 16th Al-Ameen Community Leadership Award has been given to noted music director Allah Rakha Rahman. The award was presented to Rahman by Al-Ameen Education Society chairman Syed Sadaqath Peeran at a function on August 27 at the Al-Ameen campus near Lal Bagh.
Speaking at the occasion film maker M. S. Sathyu expressed concern at the kind of films being made currently at the behest of Union Government where character of Muslim community is being tarnished. Delivering the Tipu Sultan Shaheed Memorial Lecture which coincides with the award presentation ceremony, Sathyu said films like Gadar, Sarfarosh, Fiza and Refugee etc were produced to propagate the agenda of the Union Government to create communal hatred. Sathyu who had produced the film Garam Hawa in 70s, said his film had presented the impact of partition on the people of the two countries in a correct perspective. He said the India and Pakistan should resume cricketing ties and films, sports, music and cultural exchanges should be kept above politics.
Musician Rahman thanked the Al-Ameen Society for the award and said he had embraced Islam due to the spiritual guidance of a Muslim saint and he attributed his success to Almighty Allah and his mother Kareema Begum.
Bangalore: The Karnataka Muslim Muttehada Mahaz held its first interactive session with MLA of Jayanagar assembly constitutency Ramalinga Reddy on August 14 here. Mahaz, a non-party organization of Karnataka Muslims for arousing political consciousness held the session at Bannerghatta Road. Muslims participants connected with 50 different organizations and 42 mosques in the area presented their civic grievances to the MLA. Mr. Reddy brought with himself officials from Municipal body, water and sewage board, police inspectors of the stations under the area and road and lighting departments. Several organizations pleaded for allotment of land for Eidgah, Graveyards and provision of Urdu schools in the extended urban areas of the constitutency.
Mr. Reddy assured to look into the cases filed against 150 Muslim youth of the area following violence on the issue of the Jayanagar Eidgah in 1997. Convener Mohammad Nisar said since the Eidgah controversy has been amicably settled, the false cases filed against innocent youth be withdrawn. Ghulam Ghouse modrated the session.
Bhopal: Bhopal- capital of Madhya Pradesh is one city where old and new co-exists with perfect harmony. The city has some of the best monuments and buildings, which were mostly constructed during the reign of Shah Jahan Begum, who ruled this state from 1868 to 1901. Shah Jahan Begum’s 100th death anniversary was observed recently. However, the upkeep of old monuments and buildings have never been in any one’s list of priorities. One such building is Taj Mahal- a splendid complex of palaces with a garden courtyard. Which is in shambles and had been encroached from all sides by the people. The ceiling of the building has also collapsed. Earlier it was known as Raj Mahal, but was renamed Taj Mahal just before the visit of the Prince of Wales on the suggestion of the Viceroy to Shah Jahan Begum. But this building one of the finest examples of architectural excellence speaks its own story of callous attitude of the authorities concerned. On one side the state archaeology department has decided to renovate Taj Mahal, but on the other side state government has accepted the possession of local Congress leader Sheila Hukku in a part of the building. The recent cabinet decision has empowered her to sell the part of Taj Mahal or to use it for commercial purpose.
This building constructed in Rajasthani architectural style has 120 rooms. Spreading over eight acres of land, the building was used for rehabilitating Sindhi migrants in 1960s. But was vacated from them few years back. The state archaeology has been making efforts to declare it as state preserved monument.
But the decision of the state government in favour of Sheila Hukku came as a shock for them. In the decision, government has accepted control of Hukku in about 12,500 square feet land worth about Rs. one crore. Despite she was not having any document for the claim.
Bangalore: The Millat Management Society here will publish the directory of nearly 400 mosques in the city. It will also contain information on the attached institutions such as baitulmals, schools, computer centers, sharii panchayaths, convention centers, libraries etc. It has already completed survey of 260 of the nearly 400 mosques in the city.
The Society is also introducing Millat Resident Registers in the mosques to keep the basic data about the residents of the locality, status of their education and health, their addresses and phone and e-mail addresses, births, deaths and marriages. Addressing a meeting of its directors on August 15, Society’s secretary Prof. Salam Musheer informed that Registers would enable the community to assess problems such as unschooled children, widows, old aged people, handicapped persons and aging spinsters. He said the Registers are being introduced to manage the community in a manner that it could assess its assets, resources and deficiencies and address them. More information can be had from the Secretary, Millat Management Society, S-3 Hameedsha Complex, Cubonpet Main Road, Bangalore-560002, Ph. 2290226.
Chennai: The Jamaate Islami Hind in Tamil Nadu sought a ban on production, sale and consumption of alcohol while welcoming the ban on smoking in public places. The state conference held on August 19, expressed concern on saffronisation of education through distortion in history textbooks. It deplored the trend of pompous marriages in the Muslim community. The conference on Hayya Alal Falah (come to success) theme, also witnessed the release of audio cassette on collection of Tamil Islamic songs titled Yellai Illa Arulala and a video cassette on questions and answers. Nearly 5000 people attended the conference.
Hyderabad: A meeting of the management of the Muslim educational institutions held here on August 20 has felt the need for including the religious education in their curriculum. The meeting was co- sponsored by the Khan Bahadur Khan Foundation and Al-Furqan Society.
Addressing the gathering Ms. Uzma Naheed, executive director, Iqra Education Foundation, Mumbai said that while there was a need to include religious and moral education in the modern schools, there was also a need to bring in changes in the curriculum of madrassas in the country, keeping in view the demands of the modern day life. She pointed out that there were 20,000 and odd madarssas in the country which were producing five lakh students every year. “Even today these madrassas are following the 150-year old curriculum which required immediate upgradation in accordance with the modern day needs”, she stressed.
Ms. Uzma who is daughter of Mohammad Salim, the current rector of the Darul Uloom (Waqf), Deoband, informed the meeting that US -based Iqra International Foundation had developed a comprehensive course of Islamic education for modern schools. It covers Quran, Hadith, Seerah, faith, morals, ethics etc. “120 books of this course have been prepared by 200 scholars keeping in view the child psychology and they were being taught in 40 countries”.
She also had a bit of advice to the Muslim parents: when your wards want to listen a story, narrate the true stories from the Islamic history and not the stories of ghosts and spirits. The former state minister for higher education Basheeruddin Babu Khan chaired the meeting.
Hyderabad: (From Omar Farooq), Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the lone Muslim party based in Hyderabad, opened its account in the just concluded Gram Panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh by winning four posts of Sarpanch, five posts of vice sarpanches and 50 ward members in districts of Rangareddy, Nizamabad, Mahbubnagar and Adilabad. The districts held elections for the post of 21,000 village Sarpanches and more than two lakh ward members.
The elections were held on non-party basis but the political parties had announced their support to various candidates. It is first time that the MIM had shown interest in the rural elections.
Interestingly many of the MIM backed elected representatives of villages are from non-Muslim communities. MIM is headed by Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, member of Parliament representing Hyderabad constituency. The party has four MLAs in Andhra Pradesh Assembly, two of them being sons of Owaisi.
Hyderabad: Jamia Nizamia, has set up a research department and introduced a doctoral course for the senior students. The secretary Syed Ahmed Ali said that ten students have been admitted in the first batch of doctorate and they were working on thesis on various modern challenges to Islam.
In his report on the occasion of 125th convocation , he said that the newly established women’s wing was also growing rapidly and 250 students were studying there. He said the Jamia was going ahead with the construction of a nine-storied commercial complex in Gunfoundry area in Hyderabad. The Jamia has an annual budget of Rs 1.37 crore and finances its activities through the contributions from all over the world.
Bangalore: The Bazme Sualihat, Bangalore will hold an Islamic Quiz competition for girl students in English on September 22 at Darussalam on Queens Road. Winners will be given cash prizes. Aspirants should contact secretary Dr. Ruqaiya or Tamanna at Bazm office at 103-Banjara Summit, 2-Wheeler Road, Bangalore-5, Tel: 080- 5300708.
Hassan: The Islamia Arabic College at Alur, 11 kms from here, would hold one-year crash course in Islamic theology for students who have passed SSLC and are aged between 20-25. A stipend of Rs. 1000 will be paid each month to the entrants beside board and lodging facilities. The course will enable the participants to lead the namaz and deliver sermons on Fridays. The course commences from September 1. Aspirants can send in their application to the Secretary, Mansoora Educational & Welfare Trust, Mansoora, Alur-573213, Hassan Dist, Phone 08170- 28249, 28272
Qazi Jaseemuddin Rahmani has been nominated the new Qazi Sahriat of the Imarat e Shariia, Bihar and Orissa by Ameer e Shariat Maulana Syed Nizamuddin. Qazi Mujahidul Islam who was the chief Qazi for the last 38 years, currently ailing, has been elevated to the rank of Qazi ul Quzzath, said Naqeeb, the weekly newsletter of the Imarat from Phulwari Shariff. It did not say if the Qaziul Quzzath is a new position.
Awarded: Eminent jurist Maulana Mujahidul Islam Qasimi has been presented the second Shah Waliullah Memorial Award for his lifetime services to the promotion of Islamic jurisprudence. The Award which carries Rs. one lakh and a citation is presented by Delhi based Institute of Objective Studies. The Award was presented by former Supreme Court Chief Justice M. A. Ahmadi. The second award has gone on predictable lines after the late Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi was posthumously named for the first Shah Waliullah Award.
Bangalore: Mohamad Nadeem Ahmed stood first in the All India Entrance Examination conducted in January this year for admission through central quota in post-graduate courses. He has taken admission in G. S. Seth Medical College/ KEM Hospital, Mumbai in MD(Radio Diagnosis).
Mumbai: Abdul Hameed Ansari Squash Academy was inaugurated here on August 14 in Andheri Sports Complex. The Academy has been set up by Midday Multimedia Limited, the Publisher of Urdu Daily Inquilab and English daily Midday. It has been named after founder of Inquilab, Abdul Hamid Ansari.
An accident killing three persons in its Teesside power station in the UK has exposed political links of the controversial US power giant Enron. It has been alleged that a ban on gas fired power station was lifted in 1999 to allow Enron to set up the Teesside plant a year after it donated 15,000 sterling pounds to sponsor a dinner at a Labour party conference. Later, it was permitted to set up another project in Kent and campaigners against its environmental policies were surprised when the chairman of Enron Europe, Mr. Ralph Hodge, was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). British daily The Independent said it was no stranger to controversy or buying its way through donations either in Britain or the US where its chairman, Mr. Kenneth Lay, believed to be an energy adviser to the President, Mr. George W. Bush donated 200,000 sterling pound to the Republican cause.
Hasan Suroor, in The Hindu dt. August 11, 2001
A Hindu girl whom I met in a crowded gali selling women’s clothes in Karachi, took me home to Narangapura Dalit basti of some 10,000 people. Her father, Ram Das, who workd as a messenger in a bank, said that before independence their children were not allowed to go to school, but now their children went to school with Muslim children and they had ‘all the facilities’. The family had been to India two or three times on teerth, but never wanted to stay on there because India mein mandir ke andar nahin jaane dete hain, aur yahan Musalman gale lagaake rahte hain, sath khate hain. A few families from the bastis had gone to India after their temple was damaged by Pathans brought in from Lyari as ‘revenge’ for Babri Masjid, but now they wanted to come back. On impulse, I asked the family whether they cheered for India or Pakistan at cricket matches, “Both”, Ram Das replied, and then thinking I was a guest and perhaps a bit disappointed at his answer, winked at me kindly and said “but a little more for India”.
Sociologist Nandini Shankar in Sunday Times of India dt. June 17, 2001 on impression gathered from her recent trip to Pakistan
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s foster daughter Nameeta Bhattacharya kept her date at the tomb of Haji Ali in Mumbai. Nameeta prayed at the tomb following successful operation of second knee of Vajpayee in the second week of June. She had vowed to return to the tomb when she had first visited it in October 2000 when Vajpayee was operated upon for his first knee.
Inquilab Urdu Daily, Mumbai, June 15, 2001
A Calcutta University history textbook in 1928 claimed that 3,000 Brahmins committed suicide after Tipu sultan forcibly tried to convert them to Islam. This claim was withdrawn later from the textbook when considered proven false but reinstated in a 1972 Uttar Pradesh junior high school textbook.(Udaykumar)
In our textbooks, Hindus are reported to have massacred Muslims after partition while Muslims are not shown to have treated the Hindus in the same manner. India is portrayed as an enemy waiting to dismember Pakistan. The secession of Bangladesh in 1971 is portrayed as proof of this rather than the result of the domination of West Pakistan over East Bengal. The 1948, 1965 and 1971 ware blamed entirely on India and Pakistan is shown to have won the 1965 war. (Rahman)
Two observations by leading Indo-Pak amity activists in Libas, a lifestyle magazine published from London, Volume 14.Top
Elected: Dr. A. Jameela Begum, Professor, Institute of English, University of Kerala and President, Indian Association for Canadian Studies has been unanimously elected as Secretary General, International Council for Canadian Studies, a body of 30 countries across the world, in a recently held conference at Ottawa. A luminary in the academic world, Jameela has many works to her credit. She heads the women’s wing of the Muslim Educational Society (MES) in Trivandrum. She was earlier conferred with honour from Kerala Sahrudaya Vedi. (from K. Yoonus).
Appointed: Dr. N. Ahmed Pillai has been appointed as Commissioner for Physically Handicapped by the government of Kerala. Dr. Ahmed Pillai who headed the Corporation for the Welfare of Physically Handicapped some time back is closely associated with several social welfare activites. The position enables him to oversee and guide all the activities of welfare for the physically handicapped in the state. He was earlier professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. (from K. Yoonus)
Signed : Zinedine Zidane, the most expensive footballer of the world has signed for the Real Madrid club of Turin in France for a fee of 47 million sterling pound. The midfielder who helped France grab the Football World Cup 2000 and the European championship the same year, will however receive only 3.4 million sterling pounds. Zidane’s agent Alain Migliacio would receive 3.5 million pounds. Real Madrid president Florintino Perez is busy raising the world’s best football team by buying the best footballers from all over. Zidane is son of a poor Algerian janitor who grew up in southern French town of Marseilles.