Friday, May 28, 2021

Sir Syed of South India: Mumtaz Ahmad Khan is no more, now is the need to take forward his legacy

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Leading educationist, social worker and visionary, Dr Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, passed away on May 27, 2021. 

Called Baba-i-Talim in Karnataka for his achievements in setting up institutions and colleges, he was also lovingly termed as 'Sir Syed of South'.

Khan was considered a prominent social worker and educationist in the country. He was born in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu on September 6, 1935. 

His father Yusuf Ismail Khan was a lawyer and his mother Saadat-un-Nisa was also a graduate, in the pre-independent era. Both had got their degrees from AMU. 

In 1963, he finished his MBBS degree from Madras University. He did MS in surgery from Stanley Medical College, Chennai. At the age of 31, he set up the Al Ameen Society in Bengaluru. 

Under the society, 250 institutions are running all over the country. Al Ameen Hospital in Bangalore [now, Bengaluru] is also one of his achievement. He had realised that the need for institutions, educational as well as those in other important sectors.

Al Ameen Medical College in Bijapur is yet another example. For a long time, he was printer and publisher of Bengaluru's famous Salar Urdu daily as well. The newspaper carried the news at first lead. We are posting the front page obituary published in The Daily Salar. 

Not just colleges, schools and hospital but sports clubs, amaanat bank, ensuring mechanism to provide loan to needy without interest, scholarships to students who came from financially weak background and not keeping his work to just Karnataka, but expanding it outside too.

Al Ameen has presence in many other states, from Maharashtra to Gujarat, UP and North East. Setting up so many colleges, institutions and leaving behind a rich legacy! It took vision, commitment and sacrifices. Tens of thousands of students who come out of these institutions year after year, it's a testimony to the vision of Mumtaz Ahmad Khan sb.

Former Union minister K Rahman Khan said that his immense contribution and sacrifices led to setting up of the Al Ameen institutions, and he left them for the welfare of the comunity. M Aleemullah Khan, the honorary secretary of Salar Publications said that he set up institutions and took them to success.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Uttar Pradesh district map in Urdu: Map showing districts, just for educational purpose

This is a basic map of Uttar Pradesh in Urdu. 

It is purely non-commercial and for mere representational purpose.
The aim is that children, particularly, students in Urdu medium schools are able to identify places, theri districts and seek information. 
Apart from districts, the boundaries of the state and the names of the adjoining states are visible. 
Urdu is one of the two state languages of Uttar Pradesh, along with Hindi. Hence, there is need for map too. 
One, often finds that there is a lack of maps in Urdu. Hence, we are putting up the maps on the internet. This map is just for illustrative and representational purpose. The figure is not to scale and does not claim to represent geographical boundaries.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Saving India: Political parties must confront, take stand against hate crime, vigilantism, lynching incidents before seeking Muslim votes

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

The case of a youth in Jabalpur who was stripped, humiliated, beaten and later FIR registered against him, once again shows the  deterioration of institutions.

Also, yesterday's incident in Moradabad that witnessed brutal attack on a Muslim youth for carrying meat, is another example of such vigilantism. 

The point is that whenever such incidents occur--people in groups taking law in their hands, target 1-2 persons, thrash them brutally, the officials avoid taking action against the culprits, the vigilantes who commit such atrocities.

No one has right to attack, abuse, torture & humiliate any citizen. Unfortunately, after these incidents, the members of the right-wing groups go to police and even get FIR registered against victim. Cops too duly register the case, in fact, it seems that they just obey. 

Role of Opposition, 'secular' parties: Failure to take action against such groups

There is no system to counter-balance, stop or even deal with it. Opposition--Congress or SP, BSP, RJD, other parties & their wings don't take on these Dals.Not even opposition on paper. Result is that no justice, as vigilantes get so strong that the acts are not challenged. 

It was in mid-1980s that Bajrang Dal  emerged in a big way in India. Across India, boards of 'Hindu Rashtra' with Bajrang Dal 'prabhag, khand' of area', came up in N. India. In those days, mostly Congress governments. But they ignored, no action or FIR, allowed to grow. 

The result was that it became normal--any group of 5-10 persons with a 'gamchha' could do any thing. Their acts have damaged Indian democracy, state. For Muslims, the issue is that when it happens, no party or group to even reach police station, to tackle pressure or oppose. 

It's not that action is not possible. But when all parties ignore, no delegation goes to meet top officials or 'question' over one-sided action, no one needs to act. Even statement is important because when you speak, oppose, then newspapers can write on its basis, follow up. 

 A 'system' has been devised that let there by any case of such attack, atrocity or public humiliation, victim will be further de-humanised and would be targeted, slapped with FIR. This to send message that let there be law on paper, see the reality--Second class citizen.

What's the solution, how to save democracy, ensure law-and-order

There is no solution to this issue unless there are citizens who want Indian democracy and law-and-order to survive, who decide at state level or city level to have certain forums for 'citizen rights', formal or informal. 

They have to raise voice, do their bit, some legwork, some efforts, monitoring and meeting leaders-officers, doing the most basic things that aren't tough. Secondly, those who seek your vote should speak, intervene. Else get your own party!

Living with respect & dignity is the biggest issue. Leave 'votes will be divided', this & that fear. Support a party, big or small, that is ready to take delegation to police, senior officials step by step, from CO-DSP to SP, IG to DGP, Home department, Ministers, take stand. 

Why Congress in Madhya Pradesh doesn't take stand on such atrocities, if not fight, at least raise voice and meet officials. Can Digvijaya Singh tell us why B Dal's such acts, are not countered or condemned by YC, NSUI, Sewa Dal or any other wing. Other parties too in MP, UP must speak. 

Why it is important to speak, give representations, act

What moves the 'system'. Sometimes fair officials too need representations, noise to tell bosses that action must be taken. They can't act on their own because of factors, regime 'soft' on groups. So there is need for parties, their wings to speak, act, meet. Silence is criminal.

It has reached here in 30 years. It won't go easily. It needs society to take strong stand to stop this culture of de-humanizing people. Parties deliberately allowed them to gain strength. If your cadre doesn't oppose RW vigilantism, then there is something terribly wrong.

Any party that wants your vote, must have to stand. Ask them the question, will they stand with you if you are attacked? If they can't, they must go and leave. We know we are on our known, so we will get beaten more, but learn, organise, stand and tackle.

 After incidents, locally stories floated to divert, dilute. Just like in case of lynching cases, this'd started-- 'X was moving in suspicious manner' or 'locals felt he was...' to 'justify' (sic) attack. You'll decide and act? What systems, police, judiciary are for? 

1. LINK: Vigilante attack on Muslim shopkeeper in Jabalpur

2. LINK: Muslim youth brutally beaten in Moradabad

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Role of Dr Abdul Jaleel Faridi and his Muslim Majlis in Uttar Pradesh, Muslim politics of North India

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

As we talk about Muslim politics and leadership, the role of Dr AJ Faridi and his party, Muslim Majlis, we need to first recall the circumstances that led to the formation of the party. 
We must remember that it was the series of communal riots post 1961, especially, Jabalpur riot, and inability of government to act, which led to creation of All India Muslim Majlis Mashawrat, a national platform.
Also, despite promises, Opposition, PSP or Swatantra Party leaders didn't raise issues in Parliament, Assembly or even show real concern. Dr AJ Faridi had floated party in this backdrop in UP.
Many people may not be aware today but Dr Faridi's Muslim Majlis was not just an experiment, it helped change the political atmosphere in North. 
In regions, towns with historical Muslim presence in all spheres, where Muslims felt besieged and powerless, the party boosted morale of Muslims, as far as organising rallies, events, protests was concerned [as even that had become difficult in the prevailing atmosphere].
The 'custodian' and land related issues, series of riots, PAC's excesses, many other serious issues were there, apart from growing bias in bureaucracy, denial of jobs, status of Urdu. Hence, Muslims had withdrawn from politics.
It was not about winning a few seats. They spoke, they were on streets, they made alliances, brought the community back in political arena. The fact that Dr Faridi was an eminent doctor, a specialist when TB was a dreaded disease, it helped. Even CM Sucheta Kriplana went to him.
Most of the prominent leaders whom we know including those who came up in seventies and eighties, learnt the basics of politics from Dr Faridi or initially contested on seats allocated on Majlis' quota in alliances. Either Azam Khan or Alam Badee'a Azmi, who won on MM quota from Azamgarh in late 1990s.
How people learn from experiments is important. Point was simple. You can't get things done if you are withdrawn or you don't have your own voice. If you see in vote percent or seats, you may not be able to see how it happened on the ground. 
But it's there, known, part of history, as it happened after the controversy regarding University character and the disturbances that impacted results in elections in 1962 Aligarh. BP Maurya's victory had stunned Congress as well as other parties, it was due to Muslim support. This was also a lesson. Politics, local factors.
For example, Chaudhary Charan Singh's views, the drastic change and his totally different views after 1960s, how it happened, and how it affected UP politics. You can't measure it in seats. But many see it as 'his style of politics'. No. He didn't say that you just ally with one set or leave another set.
The photograph of Zulfiqarullah, Fazlulbari and other members of Muslim Majlis in UP, after courting arrest against Moradabad killings, are examples of how the party because of its being an independent outfit, able to protest, not take 'permission' from high-command before issuing a statement or planning an agitation. 
Those who can't read Urdu books and are not aware of this long period of struggle, can read Mr Ghazali Khan's article to have an idea about Dr Faridi and Muslim Majlis in UP. Political parties are needed, that's the bottom line. The photograph above, courtesy Mr Ameeque Jamei.

NOTE: Senior journalist Mr Ghazali Khan's article must be read to understand the politics of Muslim Majlis

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

How the term 'Ganga Jamuni' symbolising communal harmony became controversial, invites ire online


Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

The term 'Ganga Jamuni' has been in vogue for a long time.

It symbolized communal harmony or a composite culture, basically--mutual respect and coexistence.

People these days interpret it differently. To some it means 'equal respect for each others faiths'. 

Some feel that it has come to reflect 'co-opt or get absorbed as the smaller stream joins the river and becomes part of it, losing its own identity'.

Though the term was commonly used in Awadh, it was equally in circulation in Bhopal, Deccan or many other parts of India. In fact, not just UP, in any district of Rajasthan-MP too, papers write, 'our city has a ganga jamni culture', even if city has seen numerous conflicts or never even witnessed a single riot. 

So it became common over the years. The term is frequently used & understood differently by different people. But basically it should be about harmony and mutual respect. Doesn't mean that any Muslim will go to temple or a Hindu has to visit mosque or attend-host 'iftaar'. 

There should not be any onus, anything to prove. It's more about the concept of 'yours to you, mine to me', just that I wish you well on your things. But then somehow people came to believe that it means, 'I need to do those things to please you'. No. Not to do certain things just to adapt, 'co-opt' or 'fit in'.

Wish each other well, respect each other, that's all

On your festival I wish you well, on my festival you may wish or not even that's your choice. But to expect that someone else will follow your rituals is totally wrong. If anyone in individual capacity does anything, it's their choice. But to brand entire regions, areas then point fingers is incorrect.

It's a vast country, local cultures. For example, pictures about Muslims taking part in certain celebrations, come from Maharashtra every year. So you can't pass judgment on entire Maharashtra Muslims or Uttar Pradesh Muslims or Hindus or anyone else. It's sad that people just make up mind and then target entire regions, people and refuse to see beyond it.

Don't generalize: Opportunist people misuse, push own agenda, expose them

A crafty person can play any role, to suit his personal agenda or for political reasons, but this doesn't mean that you count 5-10-15 people and blame 'all'. Idea should be of goodwill, do things that help everyone, people from your and other communities, no need for subjugation.

Opportunism of people or politicians' attempts to please others and go extra-mile, can not be linked to a term and then used to target people of an entire state, create impression that these people do nothing, are just involved in poetry, fun and happily see their own decline. 

This has gone for too long. Name the opportunists, who do it, NOT everyone. Don't generalize. For example, there were comments when a politician who became Governor was performing puja, and lot of people termed it 'Ganga Jamuni'. 

Author Yusuf Ansari says it clearly, "This has nothing to do with “Ganga-Jamuni” which is about accommodation. It is not about assimilation based on compromise, skullduggery, batshittery and downright treachery; all things this vile, despicable man (don’t even want to take his name) has perfected into an art form".

It is basically, whataboutery and media manipulation that has affected society. Otherwise, in any society, there is need for basic mutual respect among communities. No one needs to follow others' rituals. There must not be any compulsion or force to prove something. 

Ideally, there should be 'rule of law' in real sense. Those who indulge in hate speech, dividing society and spreading communalism or discrimination need to be dealt with sternly. Especially, those who, even after taking vow of constitution, cause a divide in society. [The photo is merely for representational purpose]

READ: Hindu wearing skull cap or Muslim performing Hindu ritual must NOT be an issue