Friday, April 22, 2011

Iqbal Abdulla: Another Azamgarh cricketer makes his mark in IPL

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has given chance to a whole lot of youngsters to exhibit their talent and burst on the national sporting scene.

This year IPL has already thrown up players like Paul Valthaty, Manoj Tiwari and Ambati Rayudu who would have otherwise hardly got the opportunity to emerge at the top level.

Iqbal Abdulla, who is playing for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is another cricketer who has so far performed well in the ongoing season of the IPL [2011].

The orthodox spinner who can made handy contribution with the bat hails from Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh, a town which is known for producing litterateurs, leaders and countless other 'Azmis' who have earned a name across the world.

Iqbal Abdulla, who sports the purple jersey for KKR has finally been recognised as a cricketer. He is not a novice though. He was one of the heroes of the Indian Under-19 cricket team's world cup victory in Malaysia. Fortunatel for him, the KKR is finally winning matches in IPL4.

In Azamgarh, Iqbal's father ran a small kirana shop. Worse, he hated cricket. But it was his coach's persuasive skills and the teenager's hard work, who slept in go downs and lived off a paltry sum in Mumbai, that he finally managed to get selectors' attention and was selected to play in the Ranji trophy.

The all-rounder who bowls left-arm orthodox spin had taken ten wickets at 13 apiece in the Under 19 world cup. Indian Express had then termed him 'real Iqbal' who scripted the young Indian team's victory on lines of Nagesh Kuknoor's critically acclaimed movie Iqbal, in which a Muslim boy overcomes disability to be part of the national squad.

With IPL, Abdullah is finally a recognizable face. Before him, Kamran Khan, another raw speedster, from Azamgarh, had earned name for himself. For a short while, a section of media had defamed Azamgarh, terming it a den of underworld shooters and nursery of terrorism.

Earlier it used to be poets, now its players like Khan and Abdulla who bring fame to the Uttar Pradesh town. They may not have got spectacular success as yet but the fact that players from humble backgrounds are making it to top teams and earning money, that is changing their families' lives, is a positive trend. More importantly, for Azamgarh.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Infosys must redeem itself, reinstate Muslim employee sacked on false terror charges

Rashid Hussain
India's leading software company Infosys may be a an IT giant but its action against an employee on false terror charges has finally been questioned by the court also.

Rashid Hussain was never charged, nor even arrested. However, he was one among the innumerable Muslim youths who were detained and questioned after the Jaipur blasts in the year 2008. The company had readily dismissed him.

The HR departments [Human Resources wings] of most companies [including Information Technology firms] in post-liberalisation era are known for their incompetency and buffoonery.

Most of the companies don't stand by their employees in cases of trivial nature but when it comes to top honchos who are caught red-handed in cases ranging from harassment to molestation or rape, they seem to go extra-mile to protect them.

It takes moral courage, honesty and lot of values to admit a mistake. Today NR Narayan Murthy is seen as an icon. If his company behaves in such a manner, it is shameful and disgusting. The Infosys Technologies Limited must redeem itself.

The issue is not of a job. It's about sending the right signal. Let's see if the Bangalore-based group takes a lead and undo the injustice meted out to the engineer, who even otherwise manages to eke out his living respectfully.

The procedures were not followed and his services were terminated. Hussain, however, chose to fight and after three years, the labour court has held his termination as illegal. The Patna-born computer engineer finally reached the Infosys office at Jaipur and handed over the order.

Now the officials of the IT major refuse to comment. Else they tell media persons that they are studying the judgment. If Infosys took a wrong decision in the past, its officials should have the courage to admit and take corrective measures.
Will the IT major, Infosys, admit its mistake?
If Infosys is known across the world, it will add more prestige to it by accepting its fault and reinstating the sacked engineer.

More so, he is an Indian engineer. How many times have the Indian Muslim to say that 'I am a Muslim but I am not a terrorist'?

The court has held that the company's action was malafide and violative of the rules, as he was removed without any notice. Isn't it shameful?

It's not Rashid Husain who needs the taint to be cleared. The company should also act responsibly and clear itself of the charges of Islamophobia, religious profiling and double standards by acting on an employee who had no FIR against him.

Already the action has shown the company in poor light and lowered its prestige. For the record, Hussain is now head of department of Electronics at a prestigious university in Rajasthan. Let's see whether the IT company has the moral courage to accept its mistake.

[Rashid Hussain's photo: Courtesy The Telegraph]