Sunday, February 27, 2011


West Asia marching towards democracy: speakers

CHENNAI: West Asia is irrevocably marching towards democracy spurred as much by the urge for freedom as disgust over extended dictatorships that have curtailed civil rights and aggravated poverty and unemployment, according to speakers at a seminar here on Friday.

Participants at the seminar on “Where is West Asia heading?” hosted by the ‘Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought Among Muslims,' said the geopolitics of the region would hinge largely on the role Western nations, especially the U.S., played in West Asia.

Asghar Ali Engineer, Chairman, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai, said the remarkable aspect of the mass struggle in Egypt was the exemplary democratic means of agitation that was devoid of religious slogans.

Moosa Raza, Chairman, Southern India Educational Trust, said history was repeating itself in the region where resentment had been simmering for decades over West-backed dictatorial regimes.

P.M. Belliappa, president, Association of British Scholars, said the mass struggles were rooted in issues of bad governance and resulted from failure of authoritarian regimes to apply course correction before disenchanted rank and file forced alternatives.

A. Faizur Rahman, Forum secretary-general, said it was a misconception propagated by some Western analysts that in the absence of authoritarian rulers, the West Asian region would plunge into chaos at the hands of so-called Islamists. It is also untrue to portray Islam as not compatible with democracy as the Islamic society established by the Prophet was democratic in the truest sense, he said.

Zackriah Badsha, Forum president, said the mass struggles were being driven by the urge for freedom.

(The Hindu dated 27th February 2011)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi wins the battle..........

Vastanvi wins the battle, but with a caveat

Vidya Subrahmaniam

PTI Darul Uloom Deoband Vice-Chancellor Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi talking to the media after attending a meeting of the Governing Council of the Darul Uloom in Deoband on Wednesday

The Shura asks a panel to look into disturbances following his appointment

Defying escalating rumours of his imminent exit, the embattled Vice-Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi, on Wednesday managed to stay on in his post.

However, Mr. Vastanvi's long-term future continues to be in suspense, with the Majlis-e-Shura (governing council of the Islamic seminary) directing a three-member committee to look into the disturbances following his appointment — on the campus as well as outside it. The Shura also nominated Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani (Banarasi) to the vacant post of karguzar mohtamim (working Vice-Chancellor), with the caveat that Mr. Nomani will take over from Mr. Vastanvi in the event the committee ruled against the latter.

Mr. Vastvani himself read out a press statement issued on behalf of the Shura. The import of the statement was that though Mr. Vastanvi offered his resignation to the Shura, the governing council had rejected the offer, and instructed him to continue in his post. Asked how this squared with Shura's subsequent condition that his future depended on the verdict of the committee, Mr. Vastanvi said: “All I will say is that I am the VC and all the rumours and machinations against me could not remove me.” He pointed out that the Shura had rejected his offer of resignation.

The peculiar nature of the Shura's decision appeared to have left both Mr. Vastanvi's followers and opponents unhappy, though each side was quick to proclaim victory. The anti-Vastanvi camp had been on a high through the morning, having psyched itself into believing that the Shura had already decided against the rector. The name of Mr. Nomani was circulated as the new man in. In the event, Mr. Vastanvi's opponents clung to the fact that Mr. Nomani had been named to the post of working VC with the possibility that he could eventually replace Mr. Vastanvi.

The Vastanvi fan club argued that he had retained his post against the toughest odds — goaded by his rivals, sections of the Urdu and the English press had mounted a vicious campaign against him, deliberately twisting his statements to suggest he was pro-Modi and spreading the canard that he had knowingly used Hindu religious symbols. The VC's supporters saw the Shura's decision as an astute balancing act aimed at neutralising his opponents. “The Shura could have simply removed him,” they said.

The day began with Mr. Vastanvi presenting his defence before the 14-member Shura. He said his opponents had calculatedly vitiated the atmosphere on and off the campus through rumours and false propaganda. The rector asked the Shura to appoint a committee to investigate the truth of what really happened following his appointment. He concluded by saying that he had no interest in the VC's post and that he held the dignity of the Darul Uloom to be above his own self-interest.

(Courtesy: The Hindu dated 24th February 2011)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Interview With Maulana Ghulam Ahmad Vastanwi

By Siraj Wahab in Makkah
Published on Feb. 22, 2011

MAULANA Ghulam Ahmad Vastanwi was in Saudi Arabia last week. During his stay in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah, he met a number of high-ranking officials associated with the Saudi government and such prestigious institutions as the Muslim World League and the World Association of Muslim Youth. Dozens of students who graduated from his seminary and are now studying at the Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah and the Islamic University of Madinah also came to visit and felicitate him.

The maulana was thrust into international limelight following his recent appointment as the rector or muhtamim of South Asia's most prestigious Islamic seminary, Darul Uloom Deoband. More than his appointment, it was his reported remarks about Narendra Modi, the man who led the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, which led to an uproar in India and abroad, and calls for his resignation in some quarters.

The Majlis-e-Shoura of Darul Uloom Deoband is meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23, to discuss his fate. It might rule in his favor or it may ask him to step aside in view of the raging controversy. Maulana Vastanwi spoke to this correspondent at the Marwa Towers in Makkah, a few steps from the Grand Mosque. As I tap on the iPad to record the maulana's interview I notice the impressive Kaaba from the glass window of his room. Sitting next to him is his youngest son Uwais Vastanwi. Following are the excerpts from the interview:

Q: How long have you been associated with Darul Uloom Deoband?

 Darul Uloom Deoband is the oldest Muslim religious institution in Asia. It has played a key role in South Asia's history. It was established by some of the greatest Muslim leaders. It was started to preserve our religion in South Asia and its founders succeeded in their mission. Any order issued by Deoband is followed by the community in letter and spirit. It is the most important center of religious learning in India and also the most prestigious.

I have been a member of the Deoband Shoura for the last 12 years. The Shoura has 17 members. These 17 members come from all states of India. I represent Maharashtra in the Shoura. All of the Shoura members come from excellent backgrounds. They are chosen on the basis of their work for Islam in their respective regions. All of these members have contributed immensely to the promotion of Islam.

Maulana Marghubur Rahman, who died a few months ago, was the ninth rector of Deoband. He was a great man. He was widely respected by the ulama. Such was his selflessness and devotion to Deoband that he did not take a single penny from the institution that he ran. In fact, he even paid rent for the room in which he stayed. It was Maulana Marghubur Rahman who made me the member of the Shoura 12 years ago. He loved me and I respected him immensely. When he died, it was suggested that I become the acting rector. I did not see myself fit for the post and I politely declined. The Shoura members then persuaded Maulana Abul Qasim Banarasi to become the acting rector. It was a unanimous decision.

A month-and-a-half later the Shoura was convened to elect a new rector. Of the 17 members, four members suggested the name of Maulana Arshad Madani. Two were in favor of the acting rector Maulana Abul Qasim Banarasi. Eight members proposed my name. Three members did not turn up. So it was announced that since eight members are in favor of Maulana Vastanwi he should be made the rector. I objected and said no. I said that if the other members who supported Maulana Arshad Madani and Maulana Abul Qasim Banarasi change their opinion in my favor … only then will I accept this post. I wanted unanimity. They all said yes and added that since most members have now reposed confidence in Vastanwi we too are with him. Everything was settled. A formal announcement was made by the Shoura. There were celebrations. I met with the teachers and other administrative officials and briefed them about various issues concerning the seminary. Students were happy too. I addressed them in the evening. The next day I left for Akkalkuwa where we run a number of madaris and degree colleges.

Q: When did the trouble begin then?

 As soon as I left Deoband, I got a call that some students were unhappy with my appointment. I was told that they were very few in numbers. Now I don't know who instigated them or who was behind this campaign against me. It came as a shock to me. Just a day earlier everything seemed perfect. The students were happy, the teachers were happy, all Shoura members were happy.

A little later I got a call from the Times of India's Gujarat correspondent. The news was out in the media that I had become the rector of Deoband. He asked me about the Gujarat riots and I told him why was he asking my opinion on something that happened eight years ago. And then I suggested that for us Muslims now education is the most important thing. Our community's focus is education. The report that appeared in the newspaper next day gave an impression that I was supporting Modi and that I gave a clean chit to him. I had told The Times correspondent that cases relating to the 2002 riots are before the courts and it is the duty of the courts to provide justice to the riot victims. I also said that those who are being illegally detained should be released.

Q: But the impression one got from the report was that you have some kind of a soft spot for Modi...

 Modi is the worst of the worst. Wo zaalim hai ... aur zaalim ki taareef bhi nahin ki ja sakti (he is a cruel man and one is not allowed to appreciate a cruel man). Whatever he did to Muslims we will and we cannot forget that (zaalim ke zulm ko ham maaf bhi nahi kar sakte). Nor can we give him a clean chit. Some people in the media, especially a particular section of the Urdu media, have twisted my statements to create mischief. If you go back to the original report in The Times of India, it is very clearly mentioned that "Vastanwi did not give Modi a clean chit".

Q: There were also reports that Modi invited you as a special guest for Republic Day celebrations in Gujarat?

 This again was media mischief. Nobody invited me and nor did I go there. This bit of news was absolutely nonsensical. When I first heard it, I immediately issued a clarification. I was in Deoband on Jan. 26.

Q: Those who launched an attack on you are part of our community. They do not belong to other communities. What do you think was their motive? What is your assessment?

 Whoever has done this mischief of maligning me and whoever is behind this mudslinging campaign ... let me tell them I am not a political man. My work is confined to promoting education. Taalim, taalim aur taalim -- that is my motto and mission. Those who have made an issue out of my reported remarks ... for them, this is a political issue.

Some people took my comments as supporting Modi. Some people saw those statements as anti-Congress. I am not favoring Modi nor am I against Congress. I only say that Muslims work hard in the field of education (musalman apne aap ko taalim me aage laaye). Muslim youngsters are facing unemployment. Our community members are suffering because of stark poverty. I think unless and until we work in the field of education we will not be able to tackle these two major problems facing our community in India: unemployment and poverty.

Q: Can your tell us about your institutions in Akkalkuwa?

 I completed my early Islamic education at Darul Uloom Falah-e-Darain Tadkeshwar (district Surat, Gujarat). I then worked as an Arabic teacher at Darul Uloom Kantharia (district Bharuch, Gujarat). In 1979 when I was teaching there, we had two students who were from Akkalkuwa, a small hamlet in Maharashtra. At that time, the population of Akkalkuwa may have been 5,000. I am talking about 1980. Muslims were about 50 percent so there were around 2,500 Muslims. At the invitation of those two students (both are now teaching at our institutions) I went to Akkalkuwa in 1980. Wahan kuch nahi tha ... Sirf jahalat thi. There was total ignorance. Muslims were unaware of the teachings of Islam. They were extremely poor. Mosques lay abandoned. No one took care of them. There was no library, no school. So when I visited Akkalkuwa, this thought crossed my mind that I should do something here. Remember, this was just a thought not a dream. Then I wrote to my elders about the situation in Akkalkuwa. They said "baith jaao," start working there. So in 1980 I built a shed that cost us 18,000 rupees. That shed or "jhonpda" still exists today. We started with six students and two teachers -- Maulana Ishaq and Maulana Yaqoob.

Then two residents of Akkalkuwa -- Salman Havaldar and Yaqoob Dada -- each gave us 3 acres of land. So we had six acres. On this six-acre plot we started work in 1983. In two years we got a building constructed. Around this time, in 1986 to be precise, I went to South Africa. There I met Abdullah Omar Naseef who was visiting that country. He was at that time the chief of the World Muslim League. I immediately extended an invitation to him to visit our madrasa. He accepted our invitation. It became big news in India. Omar Naseef was riding the crest of popularity in the Muslim world with his dynamism. The popular reaction in India was "Such a big man, coming to Akkalkuwa!" Omar Naseef is a great man. May Allah bless him. He always thought big. I never heard him saying no. Anybody who went to him, he would say "yes" and "done".

His arrival in Akkalkuwa in 1987 proved to be a turning point in the history of the Muslims of Akkalkuwa. It was a big program from our point of view. However, it was a small program looking at the stature of Omar Naseef. He faced a lot of difficulties reaching Akkalkuwa. There were no paved roads. The best car available then was the Ambassador. And we did not have enough resources. In his speech, however, he said he was overwhelmed by the love of the Muslims of India. "This will remain my most memorable visit." That is what he said. Then Omar Naseef invited us to the Muslim World League and introduced us to people in Kuwait. I always visit him when I visit Saudi Arabia.

So our Jamia Akkalkuwa continued to make steady progress in 1980s and 1990s. The strength rose from six students to 500, 700, 1,000. Today our Jaamia is the biggest madrasa for memorizing the Qur'an in Asia. We have 10,000 students who are currently memorizing the Qur'an in Jamia and other Jamia affiliates. We have more than 100 branches. Every year, 1,500 students graduate from the Jamia after having memorized the Holy Qur'an. At other madaris there are only 200-300 students. In Deoband itself there are only 250 students in the memorizing Qur'an section (tahfeez al-Qur'an). So far, 15,000 students are already hafiz and are working in various parts of the country. In Deoband, the memorizing Qur'an section is not big. There the focus is on the alim studies (alamiyyat). Every year Deoband produces 800 to 900 alims.

Then we realized that in Akkalkuwa there were no opportunities for mainstream worldly education. So we helped the villagers start a high school. We constructed the building for them. At that time it cost us 2.5 million rupees. Then we started our own high school. Then a junior college. The students from the local high school had no opportunity to continue higher studies so they started coming to our junior college. Then we launched a Unani medical college (BUMS). Then we launched ITIs. So far, nearly 2,000 students have benefited from these technical institutes. Since there is a certain criteria set by the government to enlist students, our huffaz did secondary education after completing their memorization courses and got into these technical institutes. But most of the students who came to join our technical institutes were from regular schools, but once they joined the technical institutes run by us we provided them with religious education. That was an incentive for them. They got an Islamic way of life. So a Muslim student at our ITI did not just become a technical expert but a good Muslim too. And those Hindus who enroll in our technical institutes become sympathetic to the Muslim issues.

So now we have a Unani medical college, technical institutes, B.Ed. colleges, D.Ed colleges, polytechnic colleges, D. Pharm College, B. Pharm College and a B.E. engineering college. The most important point in our colleges is that there is no concept of donation. There are hundreds of students to whom we provide free education in our colleges. All this has improved the economy of Akkalkuwa. Akkalkuwa is not what it was when we first visited in 1980. Akkalkuwa has become a proper town. I have now spent 30 years there. I have never faced any difficulty from our Hindu brothers in Akkalkuwa. They have been very helpful. In fact, their students are enrolled in our institutes as well.

I can safely say that after Aligarh this is the largest chain of institutions. [It is worth pointing out that Maulana Vastanwi has helped construct 5,000 mosques in Maharashtra's remote districts. Many of these mosques have cost 5 million rupees and some even 10 million rupees. He has helped dig 4,000 bore wells for drinking water and set up hundreds of primary schools. To date he has set up 2,500 primary Islamic centers]. So far, the Akkalkuwa campus is far bigger than Deoband. But Deoband is prestigious. There is no doubt about that. We have 12,500 students with lodging and boarding facilities. Deoband has only 3,000 students.

Q: What will you say to your adversaries?

 Let me clarify here, I don't call them adversaries. What I say is that we have to take everybody along -- Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Christians. We have to work together to build the nation. We have to be big-hearted. If we take a communal stand, it will not produce good results for us. We have to cleanse our heart and mind and join the march for the moral and industrial progress of our country. Similarly, I appeal to non-Muslim Indians to provide Muslims with the space they deserve to prosper. Both need each other. And for this attitudinal change we need education.

Q: There is a perception among some people that maulana is being opposed because he belongs to the south.

 I disagree with that assessment. That is not correct. Members of the Deoband Shoura belong to all parts of India. As I mentioned before, I have been a member of the Shoura for the last 12 years. If they were prejudiced against anybody from the south, then I would not have been made the rector in the first place. They made me the rector. If they had in their minds that they should not make a Gujarati as the head, then they would not have appointed me. So how can they be biased? My appointment as Deoband rector is proof that there is no regionalism there.

Q: It seems you are very upset with the Urdu media?

 No, I am not upset with them. We need the Urdu media. We need to promote Urdu. We are fighting for Urdu and the government is also working on it. Sahara newspaper is counted among the best Urdu newspapers in India. Then there are Inquilab and Urdu Times from Bombay; Siasat, Etemad and Munsif from Hyderabad. We need good journalists. But it is the responsibility of the newspaper owners to maintain their standards and earn credibility.

Q: There was some controversy about your resignation as well. It was reported that you resigned and then there reports that you did not?

 Again it was media manipulation. When I heard that some students were agitating against my appointment, I told them that if they did not like me then I will tell the Shoura that since the students do not like me I will resign because a resignation can only be given to those who appointed me. I also said that I will resign if the Shoura is unhappy with me. The media immediately reported that I had resigned. On Feb. 23, when the Shoura meets I will tell them that if my personality leads to problems for Deoband, then they can relieve me. Who wants any harm to come to this great institution? Only Shoura will decide whether I will or will not stay at Deoband. The Shoura's decision will be the final decision. They are the decision-makers.

Q: Some say the current agitation against you is being fanned by the Madani family.

 Regarding the Madani family, I will not say anything. I respect them. This is a very respectable family. Theirs is a historical contribution. My daughter is married in that family (Maulana Vastanwi's daughter is married to Maulana Arshad Madani's son). My daughter and son-in-law are leading a happy life. I will only repeat that I am not a BJP man. I am a man of education. My only goal is to promote education.

Q: There is also an allegation that you are out to convert Darul Uloom Deoband into a modern institute?

 Those who are against us allege that we will convert it into a modern institute. Deoband is a religious institution. We cannot and will not deviate from its aims. Though I am the rector of Deoband, I cannot do anything that is not mandated by the Majlis-e-Shoura. It is that simple. At Deoband, I am answerable and accountable to the Shoura for each and every action. These unfounded rumors that are being spread against me that I will dilute the fundamental character of Deoband are baseless. I only have to execute the policies approved by the Shoura. That is the high command. You may not know this, but I cannot even get a student enrolled in Deoband. Those decisions are taken by the Shoura.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011




Fabulous Compilation

Napoleon said.. 
"The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people !"

Michael Paul said.. 
I wrote on the door of heart, "Please do not enter" 
Love came smiling and said: "Sorry I am an illiterate."

Einstein said.. 
"I am thankful to all those who said NO to me 
It's Because of them I did it myself.

Abraham Lincoln said.. 
"If friendship is your weakest point then you are the strongest person in the world."

Shakespeare said.. 
"Laughing Faces Do Not Mean That There Is Absence Of Sorrow ! 
But It Means That They Have The Ability To Deal With It."

Shakespeare said.. 
"In The Times Of Crisis I Was Not Hurt By The Harsh Words Of My Enemies, 
But By The Silence Of My Friends."

Shakespeare said.. 
"Never Play With The Feelings Of Others Because You May Win The Game.
But You Will Surely Lose The Person For Life Time."

Shakespeare said.. 
"Coin Always Makes Sound, But The Currency Notes Are Always Silent. 
So When Your Value Increases Keep Yourself Calm Silent."

William Arthur said.. 
"Opportunities Are Like Sunrises, If You Wait Too Long You Can Miss Them."
Hitler said.. 
"When You Are In The Light, Everything Follows You, 
But When You Enter Into The Dark, Even Your Own Shadow Doesn't Follow You."

John Keats said..
"It Is Very Easy To Defeat Someone, But It Is Very Hard To Win Someone."


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Prophet: The Perfect Role Model (by Dr. Khaled Almaeena, Editor in Chief of Arab News)

Prophet: The Perfect Role Model

Editor in Chief, Arab News

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born on Rabiul Awwal 12 of the Hijrah calendar.

His birth, on a Monday, came 570 years after that of the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). The Prophet was born in the city of Makkah to Abdullah, the son of Abdul Muttalib, the venerable sheikh of the Quraish, the ruling clan of Makkah.

The Prophet Muhammad, called Al-Ameen (The Trustworthy) even by his enemies, was the last of the prophets sent by Allah. There is no other prophet on whose life so much light has been shed. Born after the age of myth, living in the full glare of history, his sayings and actions were documented as no other prophet's were. Recorded in minute detail, their authenticity has been questioned by no fair scholar.

The Prophet's life is a shining example for all to follow. He was the kindest of persons — a sense of compassion that was directed at Muslims and non-Muslims alike. His care for those around him and even for those who caused him harm provides shining examples of true nobility. His love for orphans was deep, and the kindness that he exhibited to the needy, the humble and the poor knew no bounds.

It is extremely difficult for the Muslims of today to imagine and much less to endure the hardships that the Prophet and his companions underwent. In the ninth year of his mission, the Prophet — having been persecuted and terrorized by his people in Makkah — headed for Taif, home to the Banu Thaqif tribe. There he went to preach his message but was treated rudely by the tribal elders, who told him to clear off and even sent street urchins after him to beat him and pelt him with stones. He bled profusely causing his entire body to be covered with blood and his sandals to become clogged to his feet.

He headed away from the town and took respite near a rock and made a heart-rending invocation to God Almighty beseeching mercy for the people who had persecuted him a few moments earlier.

It is said that the heavens were moved by the Prophet's prayer and the Archangel Gabriel came and said that God Almighty is aware of what has passed and that he has deputed an angel in charge of the mountains. The angel in charge of the mountains then came forward and offered to bring the mountains overlooking Taif to collide with each other to destroy the inhabitants. However, being a mountain of mercy himself and the mercy of the worlds, the Prophet refused. Note the conduct of our noble Prophet. Irritated by a little trouble or abuse from someone, we spend years scheming and devising ways to take revenge. How far removed are the Muslims of today from the Prophet who they consider their exemplar.

In spite of suffering so much at the hands of the Taif mob, the Prophet did not curse or seek revenge, even when the opportunity arose. Instead, he pleaded for mercy.

When there was a stop in a Makkan woman who would repeatedly throw garbage on him as he walked in the streets, the Prophet — being an icon of compassion — asked people about her and even humbly visited her after hearing she had fallen ill.

Over 14 centuries have gone by since he, the Last of the Messengers, left us, but his message — one that was earmarked by mercy for the entire creation — lives on. His examples live on to lead us from darkness to light. His life was one of mercy, compassion, care, consideration, kindness and tolerance for all. His sayings, known as Hadiths, bear testimony to this. One particular theme found in his sayings relate to the rights of women. It is without a doubt that Islam afforded women an honorable and respected position. However, it is sad to see people, many Muslims included, ignorant of this.

On one occasion, he said, "Fear Allah in respect of women." He also said, "The best of you are they who behave best to their wives." In another he said, "A Muslim must not hate his wife, and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, let him be pleased with one that is good." In one more Hadith, he said, "The more civil and kind a Muslim is to his wife, the more perfect in faith he is."

It is no wonder then that the Prophet Muhammad's employer was none other than a woman, Sayyidatuna Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). So impressed was she by his kindness, compassion, manners and trustworthiness that they married, a model marriage that is often cited by scholars as a perfect example for Muslims to follow. Unlike those jihadists who preach hatred and dislike for non-Muslims and even to those Muslims who don't subscribe to their views, the Prophet's own behavior stands contrary to the way they call to. Let them take heed to the fact that it was the Prophet who accepted Safiyyah and Mariya in his home as his wives — one being of Jewish and the second being of Christian heritage.

In an attitude that was revolutionary at that time, the Prophet taught his companions to remain in their mothers' service, saying that Paradise lies beneath their feet.

Today, as we stumble through a confused and turbulent world, as we grope in darkness and as we suffer from uncertainty and depression, we must look for — and grasp at — the teachings of the Holy Prophet so that they will act as a cure for many of the social ills that have befallen our world.

The world faces a host of seemingly insoluble problems. In the West, people speak of depression and decay in society. In the East, industrial and technological progress has created a vacuum in society. Many people are floundering in darkness. They cling to values that have nothing to do with life. They join cults. For role models they look to unworthy individuals who are moral vacuums.

For us the perfect role model is the Last Messenger of God. His life, his dealings with young and old and both friend and foe are an inspiration to all of us.

Let us teach ourselves and our children about the life of the Holy Prophet and use it in our daily lives so that we may improve our conduct and become better human beings. Let us be more tolerant, more forgiving and show compassion to all our brothers and sisters in humanity, irrespective of their race or religion.

Let us pray for a better world. Ameen

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gastroenterologist Dr. Ahmed Ali felicitated by colleagues, friends

Gastroenterologist felicitated by colleagues, friends

Special Correspondent

Surgical gastroenterologist M. Ahmed Ali, who was recently selected for the Padma Shri award, was felicitated by colleagues, students and friends at a function organised by Dr. Mehta's Hospitals here on Saturday.

Dilip Mehta, executive director of the hospital, led the felicitations. “Dr. Mehta's Hospital is a recognised centre for various postgraduation courses. Dr. Ali has been associated with the hospital for over four decades. Mehta Hospitals is immensely proud of his achievements. It is an honour long overdue,” he said, describing Dr. Ali as having “inborn leadership qualities [and one who] created generations of competent medical professionals.”

Sameer Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, who presented a memento to Dr.Ali, said that at the 77-year-old hospital, the doctor had kept everyone smiling even during the toughest of times.

Members of the Dr. Mehta's Hospitals, including his students, recalled their association with him, be it in classroom or hospital and praised him for his efficiency and diligence as a teacher.

Dr. Ali, in his address, recalled his work in Thanjavur Medical College and said he had listened to the “sound advice” of his teachers who told him to not run after money and instead serve people. Paying attention to the advice given to him helped him work for middle class patients. He said that during a cholera epidemic, he did not have enough bottles of intravenous fluid and had to depend on tender coconut water. He had read about the therapy and used it to save patients.

Recalling the benevolence of the Mehtas, the owners of the hospital, he said the hospital was now a 250-bed institution.

(Source: The Hindu)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011



V. M. Khaleelur Rahman

Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, the Chairman of the Farida Group and the recently elected Chairman of the Council for Leather Exports has been honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri award for the current year 2011. It is a befitting honour to him and the leather industry he represents by the government of India. He deserves it well and the leather fraternity in India particularly in Tamil Nadu is happy over this honour.

M. Rafeeque Ahmed

One feels that the Almighty has paid good dividends to Mr. Rafeeque Ahmed for his principled approach, determination and efforts to achieve what he wants along with his friendly nature – a beautiful trait inherited from his ever smiling, cool and calm but at the same time strong willed father the late Mecca Abdul Majeed sahib.

Mr. Rafeeque Ahmed expanded his family business – the Farida group – founded in 1957 by his father to the present position. To put it in the words of the group, what started off as a small unit in Ambur, Farida today has expanded to 12 plants in the last five decades making them self-sufficient in sourcing of raw materials like finished leather and other shoe components and sub-assemblies from their own subsidiaries. They have a work force of about 7000 people in their units and almost double the number benefit through indirect employment from this group.

Mr. Rafeeque Ahmed has also been serving the cause of the leather industry by holding high posts in different trade associations. He is now the Chairman of the Council for Leather Exports, President of the All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association, Chairman of the Ambur Economic Development Organization Ltd.(AEDOL), etc. He was instrumental in establishing the Aedol icon “Ambur Trade Centre” in Ambur at the cost of Rs.11.5 crore with the government assistance for the development of the leather and leather products industry. He also holds many other posts in some other organizations. He is also a Director of the Apollo Hospitals. No doubt he is an active gentleman well known in the national and international leather circles. We congratulate him for receiving the prestigious national Padma Shri award and wish him all the best in all his future plans and programmes for the betterment of the industry.

(VMK in Indian Leather, February 2011 issue)




V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

The leather market continues to be firm with increasing demands for leather and leather products such as shoes, garments, goods etc. Exporters are having orders for leather and leather products from domestic as well as overseas customers. But some are finding it difficult to execute them well within the stipulated time due to unavailability of raw materials to the normal extent. It is a difficult time now as the prices of raw skins and hides are increasing. There is no room even to prefer imports of these items as even foreign exporters have enhanced their prices abnormally. Anyhow in such tight situations workability and preference lose their meanings and only compulsions rule willy-nilly. This is what is happening today. Most of the leather exporters seem to go berserk in having raw materials at available prices. But they are not able to get increased prices for their exports in proportionate to the increases in the prices of raw materials.

There are only a few tanners left doing E.I. tanned hides and skins. The demand for these items is very much in the Chennai local market and transactions are taking place mostly for cash payments. The demand continues for tanned goat upper, suede and lining selections at varying prices depending on the quality and selection and some are selling goods consisting all sizes and selections together on “as it is” basis. Exporters say that buying has become a tough task.

(VMK in Indian Leather, February 2011 issue)