Tufail Ahmad Ansari, who topped the SSC exam in night schools in Nasik division (Maharashtra), is the son of a tea kiosk owner. He appeared in the examination through Urdu medium.
On the left is the photo of Tufail, who helps his father in running the kiosk. (I am sorry about the quality of the photo). And he is not alone. In over all SSC exams, the topper in Pune division was Maghribi Bibi from Anglo Urdu Girls High School who attained 95.69% and Sheikh Tanzila was ranked second.
In Nagpur division, Asma Jabeen, a student of Zakir Husain Urdu High School, secured 94.61% marks and came first in the division. In Amravati division, Reshma Shekh secured second rank with 95% marks.
In eight boards across the state, three toppers in night schools were Urdu medium students (read Muslim). Apart from this, in most divisions, Urdu medium studnets have done exceedingly well. In night schools, Asma Begum, Anees and Minhaj Bano are other toppers across the state.
Commenting on the academic excellence of Muslim students in Maharashtra, Jyoti Punwani had said in 2003 that,'In Pune, the Oxford of East, the Joshis, Gadgils and Abhyankars have been replaced by Ansaris, Mistris (Bilal Mistri) and Karigars (Wajida Karigar)'.
It all started in 1997, when Tanvir Maniyar topped in entire Maharashtra, beating lakhs of students of English, Marathi and Hindi medium. Ever since, Urdu medium students have been figuring in the toppers' list across the state. Neither medium is any constraint, nor their humble background.
The success of Mohammad Qaisar Abdul Haq, who secured 32nd rank in the Civil Services exam recently is proof that Urdu medium is no constraint. I wrote a post about it at Indian Muslims here. Just that there should be will and dedicated teachers who can guide the students.