Author Archives: Ali Hasan
MILLIONS of AMU students and alumni around the world sing the university tarana every year. It brings back so many Aligarh memories to me and countless others. The tarana itself is a fine piece of Urdu poetry and the story behind it is an interesting one.
One of AMU’s most famous student and an Urdu poet of the highest calibre, Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz, attended the University between 1930 and 1936.2 It was 1936 when he penned his famous poem Nazr-e-Aligarh.1 Majaz first recited it the same year in the Union Hall, in the presence of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (PVC) A.B. Ahmed Haleem. Haleem stopped the recital when Majaz reached the lines “YahaaN ham ne kamandeN daalii haiN, Yahan hum ney shabkhooN (night raids) maaray haiN; YahaN hum nay qabaayeN nochii haiN, yahan hum nay taaj utaarey haiN” (Trans: We have scaled buildings here and ambushed here, We have torn garments here and removed crowns here4), and walked out. The huge gathering of students asked him to continue but Majaz did not. He had to relent later, and completed it in the Union Hall’s lawns (between Morrison court and Union building).3
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In a state where there’s no dearth of candidates with a criminal case against them, Alambadi comes across as an exceptional politician. Three times winner from Nizamabad, 73 year old Alambadi travels through his constituency on foot from 9 to 5. His agenda for UP 2017 elections, is toilets for women and improved water availability in his area. This is the beauty of democracy. All you need is a will. Good luck sir!
MUQEEM Ahmad comes across as a quiet man but is a mason par excellence. A resident of Amroha in UP, Muqeem singlehandedly renovated and at times recreated structures and floral designs on some old Imambadas and the Shia Jama Masjid in the town.
Born in 1956, Muqeem has been working for the last 45 years. He worked a few months in Delhi and Punjab before moving to UP. Since the last 25 years or so he has been mostly working on naqqashi or floral decoration. Read the rest of this entry
THE picture shows the biggest Gurudwara under construction on Thandi Sadak in Amroha, UP. But it has a background that needs to be shared. The land on which the Gurudwara is coming up was a Waqf Noorul Hasan, Danishmandan, property once. After a prolonged case that dragged on for 10 years (1980-90), the dispute was amicably resolved between the Sikh and Muslim communities in 1990. The Shia community donated the space reserved for an Imambara to their Sikh brethren. The Sikh community returned the favour by donating 12 bigha of land nearby for the Imambada.
This is a shining example of how sensitive issues could still be handled in India. Read the rest of this entry
Rudauli is a town 40 kms away from district Faizabad. Amongst its inahabitans is Mohammad Salman who lives in a thatched house in Ghosiana. Salman was taking care of his family as a tailor until paralysis hit him. For three years now he has been confined to bed. To make matters worse the hospital bills at Lucknow’s KGMU hospital piled up. So much that the family has no more money for his medication.
Salman’s wife is working as a domestic help to make ends meet. His eldest daughter Kaneez Fatima got married three years ago. Kaneez’s seventeen years old brother Ali took up tailoring after his eighth standard. Fifteen years old Aasmaan Baano is the youngest in the family. She too stopped going to school after her eight standard due to lack of funds. Read the rest of this entry
Every government in India has either created new welfare schemes or continued with existing ones. That these schemes have failed to reach the masses can be gauged from the following four stories.
Salauddin Qureshi’s family seems to be living a normal life. The truth is otherwise.
Living in the Urdu Bazar area of Darbhanga, Bihar, Qureshi, like many others, sleep every night on hope. His modest one room abode is home to eight members of the family. Salauddin finds it difficult to manage meals but makes sure that his children attend a barely functional government school.
Government schemes have not reached this family and neither is the government listening to Salauddin’s woes. The village head has nothing for him and the society shows no respect. “In such circumstances, I struggle to find a job,” says Salauddin. “If I miss one day of work, my kitchen stops. It’s not easy to earn two meals a day and at the same time send your kids to school!”
“Girls are not a burden but poverty has forced us to think differently! I wish God ends this life and spare us from further misery. I’m not a pessimist but somebody has to come forward and see our plight. So far I’ve only heard of schemes – we’ve never benefited from them. I send my kids to school so that they learn a few wordly tricks and get out of this mess.”
Salauddin’s wife Shajra Khatoon shares her own struggles. “The day seems to last a eternity. Till the time he is not back from work, I keep thinking whether the kids will have anything to eat for the day. As adults we can control our urge but how does one handle hungry little souls in your arms. Sometimes it’s mere request and assurances that the kids have in place of a meal.” Read the rest of this entry
Amidst the usual interest and misrepresentation of facts related to Indian Muslims’ population, the following figures tell a different story altogether.
As per the latest Census of India (2011) the Growth Rate of Indian Muslims have gone down sharply from 29.52% (2001 Census) to 24.60%. The areas with the highest literacy in India are the state Kerala (93.91%) and the Union Territory (UT) Lakshadweep (91.85%). It’s interesting to note that Kerala’s Muslims account for 26.56% of the total population, in Lakshadweep they are in absolute majority at 96.58%. Incidentally Kerala also has the Best Sex Ratio (1084 females per 1000 males). Read the rest of this entry
The outcome of the recent assembly elections in Maharashtra is surely a sign of changing times. Against odds, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen won three seats. The result meant that Owaisi brothers have finally succeeded in expanding the party’s base outside its stronghold in Andhra Pradesh.
Fighting elections in the name of religion is nothing new in India, neither is the exploitation of a persecution complex in minorities. What’s new is the emergence of a Muslim led and governed party. It reflects the level of dissatisfaction of the Muslim minority with mainstream political parties.
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Three news items caught my attention recently: A suicide bombing in Afghanistan killed 89 people, blowing of religious places by ISIS in Iraq and a letter by a prominent cleric in India to the ISIS chief. All three incidents involved Muslims!
This is the state we are in today as a community. Even during the holy month of Ramadan we’ve not given peace a chance.
While nobody claimed the bombing in Afghanistan, it’s mostly Taliban behind such attacks in the country. Which Muslim would do that in such a month! If it’s indeed Taliban then they have further alienated themselves. This has been a trend of sorts during the last few years in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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