Thursday, December 31, 2009


By V.M. Khaleelur Rahman,

Chennai: Sama Urimai (Equal Right), a five-month-old Chennai- (India) based Tamil monthly magazine founded and edited by Mr. S. M. Hidayatullah, a well known leader and social activist, is fast becoming popular, thanks to its excellent editorials and thought provoking articles from eminent personalities like Mr. Kaviko Abdur Rahaman, a noted Tamil poet and Chairman, Tamil Nadu Waqf Board, who is its honourary editor. Its Executive Editor Mr. Aembal Tajammul Mohammed and Asst. Editor Mr. Abdul Khader are also endeavouring their best to make this periodical more and more useful to the society, particularly the Muslim community.

I like to give a glimpse of its latest editorial published in its December 2009 issue to readers for their information and appraisal of its authenticity.

“Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have deposited billions of Dollars in American banks and the accruing interest amount is quite large but they do not accept the same as it is haraam (prohibited) in Islam. The unfortunate state of affairs is that this forsaken huge money is diverted to Israel for purchase of arms and ammunitions. Saddam Hussain warned the Arab countries 13 years ago and wanted them to withdraw the amounts from the U.S. banks and deposit them elsewhere. Taken aback with this warning, America conspired and put an end to Saddam Hussain.”

The monthly has also said that there is also grapevine about the interest free deposits in some other countries being utilised for anti Muslim activities and suggested that the interest amount should be taken and given for charitable purposes. It says that there are even fatwas to this effect. Its further contention is that Islamic banking sytem can be the best solution for this and that we must join together to achieve it as it is the urgent need of the present time.

Another article in the issue which makes one ponder over is the write-up of the poet Mr. Kaviko Abdur Rahman in his column “Kaviko Page” which reads as follows:

“It happened ten years ago. Place: Viyasarpadi, Satyamurthi Nagar. One Abdul Majeed passed away. He had married a Hindu girl. In spite of that some Jamaat people wanted the mayyit (dead body) for burial in a Muslim graveyard. But it was turned down by his in-laws who were Hindus. His body was taken to the cremation ground and cremated.

What happened recently is: A woman passed away and her body was buried in a qabristan (graveyard) in Royapettah. Some people opposed it on the suspicion that she was a Qadiyani. Her body was taken back from the grave. She was buried in a cremation ground.

Another incident: He was a namesake Muslim, not by practice. He never prayed, never fasted and had no sign of Islamic values in him. He used to drink, gamble and even indulged in prostitution. He passed away. His body was taken to a qabristan and buried without any hesitation or opposition. It is not an incident. Such things happen in large numbers.”

Kaviko has not commented anything but just reported the happenings of the past and the present and made people search their hearts for truth and decide what should be our stand on issues like these.

The Tamil magazine is the mouthpiece of Islamia Ilakkia Kazhagam (Islamic Literacy Movement). I like to mention here that this movement organized one-day Islamic Tamil Literary Conference on December 13, 2009 in Sadaq Arts and Science College in Chennai by inviting Governor of Tamil Nadu Shri Surjit Singh Barnala and other eminent personalities. Many programmes such as seminars on different topics like theology, history, science etc. and patti manram (literary debate) were conducted by different Tamil scholars and were highly successful. Many leading literary and social activists were honoured in the conference. The noted revolutionary Tamil poet M. Mehta was honoured with Umar Pulavar Award consisting of Rupees one lakh given by Partheebanoor Marhoom Mohammed Mustafa Education Trust. Previous recipients of this award were Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Dr. Kalaigner M. Karunanidhi and Dr. Kaviko Abdur Rahman.

Islamia Ilakkia Kazhagam is an active welfare organisation which has conducted public meets to create awareness for better educatinal and economical improvements, helped people for giving tuition to +2 students, contributed much for achieving reservation for Muslims in Tamil Nadu by conducting a big Islamic Tamil Literary Conference, encouraged jamaats to start Baitul Maals by donating Rs.10,000/- to every jamaat which comes out with a Baitul Maal. So far it has helped more than 60 jamaats in different places in Tamil Nadu.

The Movement has also distributed pamphlets on Islamic thoughts meant for the reformation of the society. One of its write-ups says in bold Tamil letters as follows:

Prophet Mohammed (sal-am) who said Haj is one time in life performed Haj only once. When the divine verse "And pilgrimage to the House is a duty unto Allah for mankind for him who can find a way thither"(3:97) was revealed, people asked: “Is it for every year?” It was asked several times. Prophet Mohammed said, “No, only once.” At that time a divine verse was revealed which reads: “O ye who believe! Ask not of things which if they were made known unto you would trouble you but if ye ask of them when the Quran is being revealed they will be made known unto you. Allah pardoneth this, for Allah is forgiving, clement.” (Al-Quran 5:101). Prophet also said that “Give up what I have not said. People before you perished because of this. You follow what I have said as much as possible and give up what I have prohibited.” (Ali ibn Abi Thalib, Abu Huraira, Ibn Abbas - Sahih Bukhari, Abu Dawood etc.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009



          M. Mohammed Hashim sahib, President

           N.Mohammed Sayeed sahib, General Secretary

           M. Rafeeque Ahmed sahib, Convenor

It is heartening to know that an important meeting of Vellore district Masjid Muthawallis was held at Melvisharam in Tamil Nadu on 21st December 2009 and a common platform was formed with a view to reform the community and be helpful to it. Three industrialists M. Mohammed Hashim sahib of Melvisharam, N. Mohammed Sayeed sahib and M. Rafeeque Ahmed of Ambur were elected as President, General Secretary and Convenor respectively of the organisation and some others as Committee members.

We congratulate all concerned for this formation and hope that the Muslim community which is educationally and economically backward will receive the required support and guidance from this organisation. We suggest to the organisation to take up the following agenda and do the needful:

1. To create awareness among Muslims for the importance of higher professional education and help the meritorious poor and needy students to get it.
2. To reform the community from evils such as dowry, triple divorce etc. by imparting Islamic values and thoughts to them.
3. To make Jumma sermons in masjids useful to the society and achieve the above objectives.

One of the issues discussed in the meeting was the recently enacted registration of marriages Act 2009 of Tamil Nadu.

We all know that the Tamil Nadu government has brought in registration of marriages Act 2009 vide its G.O. Ms. No.987, Home (Courts –IV), effective from 24th November 2009 for all religious communities in accordance with the Supreme Court invocation and in consonance with the U.N. General Assembly convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women held in 1979 and ratified in 1993. It is said that our country agreeing in principle that registration of marriages was necessary had expressed its reservation as ours is a plural country with different customs, traditions, castes, creeds, religions and educational levels.

In spite of the reservation expressed by India in the above convention, the supreme court in Seema vs Ashwini Kumar case noted with concern that in large number of cases some unscrupulous persons are denying the existence of marriage as there is no official record of the marriage in most states and hence invoked the need for registration of marriages throughout the country. All the states including the union territories felt that it is highly desirable particularly for the prevention of child marriages which are prevalent even now in almost all parts of the country.

According to reports available, most of the states have framed rules regarding registration of marriages with varying degrees of emphasis. While in Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat etc. registration of marriages is compulsory, it is not so in some other states like Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Meghalaya etc.

It is also a fact that Muslims in India particularly in Tamil Nadu have been maintaining records of marriages since pre-partition days. One feels that if the registration of marriage is nothing but just giving information about every solemnised marriage, it should be welcomed as it will be beneficial to the Muslim community.

The Corporation of Chennai records all birth and death details given by hospitals, individuals etc. and make them available in its website. Anybody can have the certificate of birth or death from the website anytime and use it. Things are so simple now, thanks to the technological advancement. If marriages are registered, it will be on record in the website and be useful to all. Generally speaking the registration of marriages Act seems to be beneficial to the community as it is meant to eradicate many evils of the society such as child marriages.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009





Leather market in Chennai is somewhat active now as there is some demand for items like E.I. tanned goat skins, wetblue goat and sheep skins, sheep nappa for garments etc. Leather goods, garment and shoe manufacturers are in the market covering their requirements. While tanned goat skins are sold at slightly higher prices due to its limited availability, other items are sold at almost unchanged prices.

It is learnt that while tanned goat upper, suede and lining are sold at around Rs.50, 45 and 30 per sq. ft., wetblue goat suede and lining are sold at around Rs.40 and 25 per sq. ft. respectively. Some business is also taking place in goat crust garment suede at around Rs.46 per sq.ft. Tanned goat skins heel grip and Rejection are sold at around Rs.20 and 18 per sq.ft.

Wetblue cowhides are slow in movements even in popular centres like Erode, Ambur and Ranipet. Many shoe units are interested mostly in higher selections in this item which are not easily available and there are only a few takers at reasonable prices for lower selections available in plenty.

Many overseas tanners and agents are more interested in selling their hides and skins to India. A recent offer in wetblue goat skins is given below to indicate the state of affairs in the present market.

Wetblue ivory coast goat skins, tanned with Italian supervision,
Abour 30,000 skins, average size about 7 sq.ft. per skin and
About 10,000 skins, average size about 8 sq.ft. per skin
Thickness 0.8/+ mm - Lining / partial shoe upper selection.
Price : US$0.65 per sq.ft.

As far as export of finished leather is concerned, only a small volume of business is taking place as regular customers in Europe, Far East and other countries are not in full swing in their purchases. Exporters are quoting at around US$1.50 and 1.40 for goat upper and suede leathers and US$1.10 /1.00 / 0.90 for goat lining leathers TR1 /TR2 /TR3. Goat garment suede leathers are quoted at around US$1.60 (All prices are per sq.ft. C&F by sea).

The shoe and garment units are trying their best to increase their production and export as much as possible in the present difficult situation which has to be appreciated very much. Their service is great in keeping thousands of skilled and unskilled employees particularly in rural areas in their units without much retrenchment.

Many analysts and industrialists say that the leather and leather products industry deserve more and more support from the government to enable it to march forward and reach the targets in growth and export at the present difficult time when there is stiff competition from different countries like China in the world market.


The Dubai crisis has shaken the world including of course our country India at the time when according to many reports it is recovering from the global recession and improving its economy. The Dubai crisis is that a government owned flagship firm Dubai World is in the doldrums with a debt of US $59 billion for which it has sought time till the middle of 2010 for payment. It only proves that all glitterings are not gold and we should be careful while dealing with other countries. Nobody expected that a Dubai based and government owned company like Dubai World would face the sort of crisis we are witnessing today.

Many economists and analysts have taken a serious note of the Dubai crisis. A Saudi economist says that it is a very serious and severe problem that is likely to shake up the Gulf financial system as a whole and analysts from the Bank of America caution that if the Dubai crisis spread to other emerging markets, the world economic recovery could see a major setback. The lesson we must learn is that a very big company in an advanced or oil rich country need not necessarily be a sound one.

The hon'ble finance minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has said that “ it will not affect India much as our stake is so small and the amount involved compared to the world economy is miniscule “. It is also noteworthy that 40% of Dubai’s population is of Indians even though our country’s financial exposure is not much. The assurance of the hon’ble minister to the country that “the government is keeping a close watch and will act to prevent any fallout” speaks a volume. It means that we cannot rule out its adverse effect at least to some extent on our country.

(Indian Leather, December 2009)