Indian Muslim News – INDIA ELECTIONS 2009 April 2, 2009Posted by indianmuslimsrediscovered in Indian Muslim News - INDIA ELECTIONS 2009.
Tags: 2002 Gujarat riots, Assam, Badruddin Ajmal, Bangalore, BJP, Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband, Fatwa, Hindu rituals, India Elections 2009, Janata Dal (Secular), Karnataka, Muslims, Nadwat-ul Ulema, Narendra Modi, Urdu
Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband not to issue fatwa on elections
This elections Muslims will be left to vote on their own free will and thus support any candidate of a party. The two biggest and reputed Islamic seminaries in India – Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband and Nadwat-ul Ulema – have decided not to issue any fatwa asking Muslims to vote for any particular party in the Lok Sabha elections.
“Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband will remain completely neutral during the elections. It will not issue any fatwa asking Muslims to vote for any particular party in the Lok Sabha elections. Dar-ul-Uloom is purely a theological centre and had no business with politics,” said Mohtamim (Rector) of Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband Maulana Marghoobur Rahman. Echoing the similar line, Rector of Nawat-ul Ulama Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi said that his institution also usually takes a neutral stand on electoral politics. Maulana Rabey is also the President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
It may be noted that recently Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav paid a visit to Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband and met the Rector and the President of Jamiat-ul Ulema-e-Hind Maulana Arshad Madani. Mulayam’s visit came in the wake of his alliance with ex-UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh under whose tenure Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. Kalyan Singh recently quit BJP to forge an alliance with Mulayam. However, Muslims have expressed anger towards Mulayam-Kalyan alliance and have decided not to support Samajwadi Party during current LS polls.
Urdu to become poll issue in four subdivisions of West Bengal
The language of Urdu is threatening to become a poll issue in at least four subdivisions of Kolkata, Garden Reach, Asansol and Islampur. Recently, representatives of various Muslim organisations under the banner of Anjuman Taraqqui Urdu (Hindi) staged a demonstration in Kolkata to press for their demand seeking 2nd official language status for Urdu in the respective four subdivisions. The move has come at a time when Left Front government in the state is struggling to keep its minority votes intact.
“Once Urdu is declared as an official state language then our children will have the opportunity to pursue their studies from primary to Masters level in one language. The students will be able take any state-level competitive examination in Urdu and this will open a number of employment opportunities for them. We want an Act to be passed in the Assembly declaring Urdu as the official state language. If our demand is not met then its effect will be seen in the elections. There are more than 60 Assembly seats where minorities play significant role during elections,” said Mohammad Sulaiman Khurshid, general secretary, Anjuman Taraqqui Urdu (Hindi). Besides declaring Urdu as an official language, Muslim organisations also want question papers of every subject in Madhyamik (matriculation) examinations to be printed in Urdu.
The four subdivisions where Muslim organisations want Urdu to be declared as an official language have nearly 20 per cent Urdu speaking minority population. Presently, there are about 100 Urdu medium schools in the state.
Earlier, the state government had promised to recognise Urdu as an official state language in the form of a Chief Secretary Executive order in 1981. However, no initiative has been taken in this regard ever since. Along with Bengali, the state government has accorded Nepali an official language status since 1961.
Meanwhile, Minister of Madrasa Education and Minority Affairs Abduss Sattar refused to comment on the issue citing model code of conduct for ensuing LS polls.
Attacked by mob during 2002 Gujarat riots, ex-cop Abdullah Ibrahim Saiyad joins BJP now
Abdullah Ibrahim Saiyad, now a retired Indian Police Service officer, who was attacked by a mob during the 2002 Gujarat riots, has now joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Addressing mediapersons along with his Hindu wife Geeta, Abdullah said, “I have joined the BJP because of Modi. I belong to the same Mehsana district as Modi. I admire Modi because he is one person who does what he says.” On being asked what led him to join BJP despite an attempt on his life by rioting mob, Abdullah says that Muslim community must move on with their lives and let the law takes its course in riots cases. “I joined BJP merely because of a ‘well-wisher’ who wrote a letter to L.K. Advani saying that the BJP should enroll educated Muslims like him. After a few months of my retirement I got a call from state BJP President Purushottam Rupala who told me that my entry into the party would be ‘timed properly’. I knew Narendra Modi from my days as Mehsana Superintendent of Police and I was always inclined towards the BJP,” Abdullah said. Among important assignment that Abdullah held after his promotion to the IPS in 1978 was as Officer on Special Duty to K.P.S. Gill who was appointed security adviser to the state government after the 2002 riots. Abdullah retired in May 2008 as an additional DGP.
Reminiscing about his tenure during 2002 riots, Abdullah said: “I found myself mobbed in Vejalpur area of Ahmedabad in March 2002. Seeing my police vehicle with flashing red lights approaching, the mob stopped me to complain about stone throwing from the other side. Someone noticed my name on the badge and started screaming for revenge. As the mob stoned my car, the driver sped away to safety in a miraculous escape. Those in the mob were just mad people who had nothing to do with the BJP. I am thankful that God gave me presence of mind on that day. Had I opened fire with my service revolver, I would have been lynched.” Abdullah was then heading the Police training Academy at Karai near Ahmedabad.
Lately, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been trying to mend fences with the Muslim community ahead of Lok Sabha elections. Modi has also started seeing himself as another prime ministerial aspirant ever since the comments of Anil Ambani. He is also trying to position himself as an alternative to L.K. Advani in BJP. Modi’s recent move to appoint a Muslim DGP Shabbir Khandwawala as the head of Gujarat police is also being seen as an olive branch offered to Muslims.
Muslim candidate in Karnataka performs Hindu rituals for victory in LS polls
B.Z. Jamir Ahmed Khan, the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate from Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency, recently took part in the oblation (Homa) to invoke divine blessings for his victory. The ritual was organized by his supporter Venkatesh at his home in Sampangiramanagar in Bangalore recently. During the religious rituals, Khan wore a flower garland as per Hindu customs and offered prayer to the ‘Homa Kunda’ and performed other rituals under the guidance of a Hindu priest who conducted the formalities. Commenting on his actions, Khan said: “I have faith in the ritual of conducting the oblation and hence I took part in the rituals. Before being a Muslim, I am a Hindustani, Indian and Kannadiga. The country ranks first, as compared to religion.”
Assam’s perfume baron Ajmal loves swanky cars, gold
By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, April 1 (IANS) Perfume baron and Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) leader Badruddin Ajmal is not as rich as was generally believed, but the cleric sure fancies swanky cars and gold jewellery, if one goes by his declaration.
Ajmal declared in his affidavit accompanying his nomination papers for the Silchar parliamentary seat in Assam Tuesday that he has Rs.197,777 cash in hand and his wife Rizwana has Rs.567,329 – both together having little more than Rs.750,000 cash in hand.
But the maulana from the Deoband Islamic seminary in Uttar Pradesh, who sports a flowing beard and skullcap, also has a penchant for driving swanky cars. He claims to have two cars worth about Rs.4.6 million.
Another interesting characteristic: his love for gold and gold jewellery – which seems to be more than what his wife owns.
According to the affidavit, Ajmal declared that he possesses gold worth Rs.322,000, while his wife’s gold jewellery is estimated at Rs.224,000.
“I don’t believe in money power in elections?all I want is the goodwill and support of people, and of course prayers and blessings from everybody to help me win,” Ajmal told IANS.
Ajmal is contesting from two constituencies – Silchar in south Assam and Dhubri in the west.
Of the total eight seats where the AUDF is contesting this time, his younger brother Sirajuddin Ajmal is also contesting from two – Nagaon and Kaliabor.
Questions are, therefore, being asked if Ajmal is encouraging dynastic politics.
“We are considering the winning chances of the candidates while giving party tickets for the elections?there is nothing to suggest family politics in it,” said Hafiz Rashid Choudhury, working president of the AUDF.
Both brothers are legislators in the Assam assembly after the senior Ajmal floated the AUDF six months before the 2006 state elections in Assam.
But for all those supporters hoping to see Ajmal doling out cash lavishly during the elections, the Maulana’s cash position must have surely come as a shocker.
Indian Muslim News – FROM the STATES March 8, 2009Posted by indianmuslimsrediscovered in Indian Muslim News - From the States, Uncategorized.
Tags: Abdullakutty, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, AUDF, Badruddin Ajmal, CBI, CPI-M, Delhi Police, E. Ahamed, Indian Muslims, Indian Union Muslim League, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Mecca Masjid blast, Muslim Politics, Terrorism, West Bengal
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Finally, CPI-M expels its Muslim MP A.P. Abdullakutty
Kerala CM had refused to back Vijayan against whom CBI slapped charges of irregularities in awarding a contract to Canadian firm SNC Lavalin when he was the state’s power minister in 1997. Achuthanandan also kept away from Vijayan’s Nava Kerala March (New Kerala March), which started 2 February 2009. The CM, however, attended the concluding session of Vijayan’s rally on 25 February 2009 after much persuasion of CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and coalition partners, apparently keeping Lok Sabha elections in view.
CPI-M has finally expelled its sitting Member of Parliament (MP) from Kannur, A.P. Abdullakutty, for his reported allegiance to the Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan. Media reports said 7 March 2009. Abdullakutty was earlier suspended by the Kannur district leadership for anti-party activities and for publicly hailing Gujarat Chief Minister’s model of development. There were allegations that the expelled MP was siding with party’s detractors. The perceived detractor being none else than the Kerala CM himself who had been at loggerheads with state party secretary Pinayari Vijayan.
Abdullakutty convened a press conference at Kannur on 6 March 2009. He listed his achievements as MP during the past 10 years. Commenting about his dissociation with CPI-M, Abdullakutty said that after his suspension he decided not to renew his party membership. He said, “Now I am outside the party. Though I can approach the party Control Commission against the suspension, I will not. The issue is that I have no recognition within the party. If you are not respected in the party, not even a village officer is going to respect you as an MP.” He added, “CPI-M should consider inviting MPs and MLAs to party forums to ensure that there was more understanding between the leadership and legislators on various issues concerning their respective constituencies. Congress MPs and MLAs were always invitees in their party committee meetings.”
Earlier, the CPI-M had censured and demoted Abdullakutty for traveling to Makkah for performing Umrah [mini Hajj] in the first week of June last year. Abdullakutty, who was an area committee member, was demoted to a simple member in the local committee after the district committee took disciplinary action against him on 19 June. The party first “charge-sheeted” him for performing Umrah in Makkah. Later, conscious of the fact that the decision could invite backlash from the Muslim community, the party claimed Kutty was punished for delivering a speech against bandhs and hartals.
Abdullakutty, commenting on the party action, had then said: “Disciplinary action was initiated against me after I returned from Makkah. The so-called controversial speech is an old issue anyway. A number of leaders had aired the same view on bandhs and hartals.” Abdullakutty was elected as MP for the first time in 1999. He was aged only 28 years then, and was the state president of State Federations of India (SFI).
Abdullakutty has been welcomed to join the Congress Party-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state. He is also likely to contest parliamentary election from Kasargod, media reports said.
MoS for External Affairs E. Ahamed to contest from newly-formed Malappuram seat
The IUML also announced that former state education minister E.T. Mohammed Basheer will contest Lok Sabha polls from the Ponani seat. E. Ahamed was elected to the Lok Sabha from this seat in 2004. Basheer, 62, had been a four-time legislator. He was state education minister twice in 1991-96 and 2004-06. He, however, failed to get elected from Tirur assembly constituency in May 2006.
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has announced that the Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed will contest the current parliamentary elections from the newly-formed Malappuram Lok Sabha seat in the state. The announcement was made by IUML chief Panakkad Syed Mohammedali Shihab Thangal. E. Ahamed, 70, first became a Member of Parliament in 1991 representing the Manjeri seat. Before becoming an MP, E. Ahamed represented his constituency in the state legislature for five times. He was also the state industries minister from 1982 to 1987 in the Congress Party-led UDF cabinet headed by K. Karunakaran.
Muslim politics takes a turn in Kerala
By Arun Lakshman
Thiruvananthapuram: The Muslim politics in Kerala has taken a turn with the advent of the Popular Front, a political party floated with the support of four Islamic organisations of southern India.
The National Development Front, a hardline Islamic resistance movement, has taked lead to float a political party in the state.
The former NDF state general secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram is named as the state president of the Popular Front.
The Indian Union Muslim League was the only popular political party in the state taking the cause of the Muslim community and has been a part of the United Democratic Front for decades. IUML leader C H Mohammed Koya also served as the chief mnister of Kerala.
The Muslim League which is considered soft and moderate and a public face of the Muslim community is now losing its grip with the emergence of the fire-brand Islamic scholar and fundamentalist politician Abdul Nasser Madani, who was arrested as an accused in the Coimbatore blasts case. There were cries from the human rights activists on the detention of Madani in Coimbatore central prison without trial for nine years.
The NDF, which has its roots in the Jamaat Islami, was formed in the year 1993 after the Babri Masjid demolition with the aim of defending the Muslim community against the Sangh Parivar, according to its organisers.
The organisation has since been trying to rope in disgruntled Muslim youths who felt the Indian Union Muslim League had not done anything concrete for the Muslim cause.
The NDF has been systematically working among the Muslim community giving armed training to its cadres and has been trying to project itself as the only saviour of the Muslim community.
The advent of the NDF in the social sphere of Kerala has resulted in tensions in all the corners of the state.
There are already reports that the Popular Front with its support base from the NDF will not be ignored by the politicians of the state and political parties would be making a beeline towards the NDF and the Popular Front leadership during the general elections.
This could turn into a problem for the Indian Union Muslim League, so far the only moderate face of the Muslim community in the state.
LeT accomplice Abu Taher nabbed in Kolkata
The Special Task Force (STF) has succeeded in nabbing Abu Taher, an alleged associate of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), from Sealdah railway station in Kolkata. Abu Taher, 45, who was absconding for the past 10 years, was arrested on 6 March 2009 after a tip off from the Border Security Force (BSF). Taher was caught when he coming from West Bengal’s Murshidabad district by Lalgola Express. Kolkata Police joint commissioner (Special Task Force) Rajiv Kumar informed about his arrest. “Taher was an expert in making explosive devices and was staying in Bangladesh for the last few years. He is being probed whether he had ever brought explosives to India,” media reports said quoting police sources.
Jammu & Kashmir
Why can’t Kashmiri youths arrested as ‘terrorists’ but declared ‘innocent’ by CBI be released: Delhi HC
Delhi Police Special Cell is in the dock yet again. It has been issued notice by the Delhi High Court on 6 March 2009 asking to explain why Irshad Ali and Mohammad Qamar from Jammu and Kashmir arrested as ‘terrorists’ but later declared innocent by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cannot be released now. The CBI had given the two youths a clean chit in the case, which the Special Cell had filed in 2006. The trial court, however, last month declined the closure report filed by the CBI. This led Irshad Ali and Mohammad Qamar to approach the High Court seeking relief. The trial court rejected CBI’s closure report on the grounds that the facts submitted were not conclusive and needed a thorough trial. Currently, Ali and Qamar are languishing in Delhi’s Tihar Central Jail. The Special Cell has been asked to file a reply by April 20.
Irshad Ali and Mohammad Qamar were arrested by the Special Cell on 9 February 2006 from the G.T. Karnal Road bus terminal in Delhi. Both of them were branded as terrorists having allegiance to terrorist outfit Al Badr. After arresting them the police also said that pistols, RDX explosives, detonators and other ammunition had been recovered from their possession. However, the CBI refuted the charges of the Special Cell saying that the two were innocent and had been framed. The CBI disclosed that they were in fact ‘police informers’.
With two primary suspects presumed dead, Mecca Masjid blast case is also ‘dead’ now
“There will be no further investigations in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case in Hyderabad now as it has turned ‘cold’ with the two primary suspects being dead. The case is being investigated by the CBI but in police language the case has turned cold since we think that two primary suspects in that case are dead,” said Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on 6 March 2009. Chidambaram, however, added that though the CBI is working on the case but as of now it is not possible to take that forward unless more clues come up. A bomb blast took place at the historic Mecca Masjid on 18 May 2007 during Friday prayers, which killed nine people. Further, the subsequent police firing on protestors outside the mosque also claimed five lives.
According to the police, a resident of Hyderabad Shahid Bilal, who was also a key suspect in the case, was killed in an encounter in Pakistan just after a few weeks when the blast in Mecca Masjid took place. Shahid was alleged to have been working for Bangladesh-based terror group Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI).
Assam’s AUDF eyes national stage via Muslim vote
By Khalid Akhter
New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) A seller of perfumes by profession, he has been emboldened by his surprise electoral wins in Assam in 2006. Maulana Badruddin Ajmal is now hoping to translate the millions of Muslim votes in the country into a significant victory for his party in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“Since independence, political parties have not delivered what people, especially Muslims, had expected from them,” said Ajmal, 50, who is the AUDF president.
Ajmal’s Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF), which won 10 assembly seats within six months of its birth, is eyeing the key high Muslim population states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Jharkhand besides Assam.
“The condition of Muslims is deplorable, they have voted and tried every party but nothing has changed. I am trying my best for the political empowerment of the community,” Ajmal told IANS.
He said contesting from these states would facilitate the AUDF to acquire the status of a national party. According to the 2001 census, Uttar Pradesh has an 18.5 percent Muslim population, Bihar 16.5, Maharashtra 10.6 and Jharkhand 13.8.
Ajmal, who has made a fortune by exporting ‘ittar’, or traditional Indian perfume, primarily to the Middle East, said: “Like the way we worked hard in Assam, we will do here.”
He said his party would also work for other marginalised sections. “Along with Muslims, we will work for the sections that have remained on the periphery after independence. The head of the party in a state can be a Hindu as well depending on the local conditions,” he added.
Currently, two of the 10 legislators of AUDF in Assam are Hindus.
Zafarul Islam Khan, editor of Milli Gazette, said: “From what I gather through discussions with the party leadership, I can say though the core group and top leadership is Muslim, they would be working for other communities as well.”
The party is, however, banking mainly on Muslims, who form 13.4 percent of India’s total population as per the 2001 Census. Muslims comprise half the population in 18 of the 593 districts in the country and have decisive votes in 80 of 543 Lok Sabha seats. Their population is 30.9 percent in Assam, where the AUDF put up a stunning show three years ago.
Ajmal, who studied at the Dar-ul-Uloom seminary in Deoband town of Uttar Pradesh, said since the outfit was not a registered national party it would field candidates under the banner of the Uttar Pradesh-UDF, Bihar-UDF in Bihar and so on.
Ajmal said his party would not have any pre-poll alliances but could tie up with secular parties after the elections expected in April-May.
Political analysts are, however, sceptical and see it only as a pressure group. And then two such parties, All-India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimmen in Andhra Pradesh and Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala, have not been able to cross the territorial boundaries of their regions.
Amir Ali, associate professor of political science at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said: “Such parties mainly try to play on rhetoric, but the voter has become intelligent and does tactical voting. The Muslim voter’s primary concern is to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power.”
Ali also said that such parties were likely to be branded communal and would end up helping the BJP to consolidate its vote bank.
Political scientist Sudha Pai said: “It is too early to say, but if they do sustained work among the community then they might develop their vote base. Also, another factor that would matter would be the alliances that the party forms in different states.”
She said the party had done well in Assam and might have some impact in regions like eastern Uttar Pradesh if they take up issues like terrorism.
Pai said: “If they develop a mass following, they will definitely impact parties like the Samajwadi Party and Congress, for whom Muslims have traditionally voted but have apprehensions about now.”