In the name of harmony

KOSI Kalan, a town in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, witnessed communal violence earlier this month. It resulted in three people losing their lives and several got injured. The normal life was affected and the market reopened only after 22 days on the 22nd of this month.

On 24th June, when the passenger train from New Delhi arrived at Kosi Kalan Railway Station, people heard a different noise that was strangely attracive. It came from a compartment from which a team of young and energetic youths was coming down. They were singing ‘Insaan ka insaan se ho bhaichara, yahee paighaam hamaara’. (A popular hindi song promoting love and harmony from the movie Paigham.) The group also distributed pamphlets to general public on roads to spread message of humanity, peace and harmony. Continue reading “In the name of harmony”

Scholarships galore for minority students

THE months of June and July are probably two months of the year in which most of the government scholarships for minority students open. It happens year after year, and yet, the percentage of Muslim students applying for it increases by a fraction compared to the scholarships available. The Government of India, in the past five years has more than doubled the scholarships after Justice Sacchar Committee report.

Mass awareness of the various scholarship schemes is the need of the hour for our community. Lots of parent and students worry as they seem to apply but don’t receive any funds. Some just blame the system and that the babus in the Minority Department demand “suvidha shulk” to process the scholarship.

But there is a way out! Students can apply for scholarships online. Once they submit the various documents online and get a application Id generated, then no one can stop them from getting one.  And those who come across “suvidha shulk” problem can contact me, and we will do something together.

I have compiled details of various government scholarship schemes available to the students (from Class 1 to College):

a. For Post Matric Scholarship –  http://momascholarship.gov.in/postmatric/

b. Merit – Cum – Means Scholarship – http://momascholarship.gov.in/minority_scholarship/

c. Pre – Matric Scholarship – http://www.minorityaffairs.gov.in/prematric
(Download the Application form and then apply)

d.  Free Coaching Tuition Assistance – http://www.minorityaffairs.gov.in/free_coachin

e. Government Order Copy to the UP State Government: http://minoritywelfare.up.nic.in/2012-13/post/post%20matric%20online.pdf

(Ajaz Farooqui is part of a charity trust which works for the upliftment of Muslim minorities in India)

What makes the muslims angry

Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
—Barack Obama, 44th President of USA

THE  year 1979 holds special importance. It was the year that saw two  significant happenings in the Muslim world. The events occurred in two  states holding contrasting views on Islam but triggered by a common  enemy, the US. One was the hostage crisis in the Shiite ruled Iran,  which was covered quite extensively by the press, the other being the  lesser known and reported uprising at Islam’s holiest shrine in Mecca,  the city under the control of Sunni Muslims.

There  was a fundamental difference though between the two events. The embassy  takeover in Tehran was a student initiative against the US for its  meddling in the country’s politics. The siege of Mecca was the rebellion  of a Muslim group against the policies of the ruling family in Saudi  Arabia which were influenced by the US.

The  rebellion in Mecca combined with the events in neighboring Iran forever  changed the equation of Muslims with the US, and the west in general. Continue reading “What makes the muslims angry”

Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz – A Journey of Love, Hope and Nationalism

IT WAS 1935. The union hall of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was brimming with excitement. A young man in sherwani stands up to recite a poem ‘Inquilab,’ in his inimitable style –

“KohsaaroN ki taraf se surkh aandhi aayegi
Ja-baja aabaadiyoN meiN aag si lag jaayegi
Aur is rang-e-shafaq meiN ba-hazaraaN aab-o taab
Jagmagaaega watan ki hurriyat ka aaftaab”

[A red storm is approaching from over the mountains
Sparking a fire in the settlements
And on this horizon, amidst a thousand tumults
Shall shine the sun of our land’s freedom]1

The hall reverberates with a thunderous applause. Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz by now was already making waves in the literary circles. Continue reading “Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz – A Journey of Love, Hope and Nationalism”

Mohd Azharuddin – The Rise And Fall Of An Indian Idol

The commentator on the telly said, “Ye naujawan kaafi dinon se bhartiye cricket team ke darwaaze pe dastak de raha tha. Aaj aakhirkaar inko mauqa mil hi gaya.” [This young man has been knocking on the Indian team’s door for quite some time. Finally, he has got the opportunity!] It was December 31, 1984. The English side was touring India.

The young man was a tall, lanky, and shy 21 years old working as a clerk at SBI in Hyderabad. The Englishmen had never heard of him. And so did I! The young batsman showed tremendous concentration and skills. The experts were reminded of the wristy Gundappa Viswanath! He went on to score a hundred in his very first match. A remarkable achievement by any standard. More was to follow. Continue reading “Mohd Azharuddin – The Rise And Fall Of An Indian Idol”