Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Dr. Murali Kantharaj, a gynaecologist, who served the people of Ambur and its surrounding areas for more than 40 years in her K.M. Hospital after working as a doctor for sometime in the Bethesda Hospital, Ambur, is no more. She passed away on Sunday, 9th December 2012. She was very popular among all sections of the people because of her dedicated service and friendly nature. She was undoubtedly a doctor par excellence. She was above caste and religious considerations. I have seen people rushing to her house even in the middle of night in emergency cases to get treatment from her without any hesitation and difficulty as she was so kind and treated patients with a missionary zeal - the likes of whom are no doubt rare. Her passing away is a great loss to the people in and around Ambur and more so to the Muslim community here with whom she enjoyed a very good reputation and friendship.

May her soul rest in peace and may God give her husband Dr. Kantharaj, children and other members of her family courage to bear this irreparable loss.

                                                 V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

Saturday, October 27, 2012



By V. M. Khaleelur Rahman

The festival Id-ul-Azha, popularly known as Bakrid, is celebrated on the tenth day of Zul Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, in memory of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (Alaihis salam -AS) who is said to have lived about 4500 years ago. He was an embodiment of selfless sacrifice and deep devotion to Allah. Once dreamt as if commanded by God, he was ready even to sacrifice his only son Hazrat Ismail (Ishmael) who was also all the more willing to give up his life as per Divine order. But it was stopped as it was not what God wanted but he was only tested for his faithfulness and forbearance. In this connection the holy Quran says in its inimitable expression that it is not the "flesh and blood" that reach God but the devotion one has for Him.

The most important aspect, associated with this festival, is the Haj pilgrimage to Makkah. It is one of the five "pillars" of Islam. The others being belief in God, prayer - five times a day, fasting during the month of Ramadan and compulsory payment of 2.5% called "Zakath"on one’s assets to the poor and needy. It was Prophet Ibrahim (AS) who built the "sacred refuge" of Makkah-based Kaba, "the first House of worship, full of blessings and guidance for all mankind " and "Pilgrimage thereto once in one’s life is a duty people who can afford it owe to God"– i.e. if one is physically and financially sound - according to Islamic yardsticks.

The sacred "Zamzam" water which Haj pilgrims fondly drink and bring home for distribution among relatives and friends is from the place where a divine miracle had happened. It is recorded that when Hazrat Hajira (Hagar), wife of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and her infant son Ismail were taken to a rocky and barren valley in Makkah to settle down there, her son grew very thirsty. There was no sign of water anywhere in that vast uncultivable area. She did not know what to do and ran desperately helter-skelter seven times praying to God between two hillocks, Safa and Marwah, in search of water to quench her son’s thirst. Suddenly a spring of fresh water came gushing miraculously under his feet to her utter surprise. The pilgrims perform what is called "Saee" remembering this divine mercy by walking briskly seven times between Safa and Marwah – a distance of about 500 metres,

The Islamic equality and brotherhood of mankind is manifest in the mammoth gathering of more than two million Haj pilgrims, drawn from different parts of the world, irrespective of their colour, creed or country, joining together at a place, men in a white unstitched "uniform" of two pieces of cloth called "Ihram" and women with a head-cover and usual dress, doing "tawaf" (circumambulation) and praying to Almighty God with absolute devotion and wishing for world peace and prosperity. This spectacular annual assembly of Haj pilgrims, full of piety and Divine wisdom, is of great significance.

The holy Quran says: "O People! Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes only for the sake of identification and knowing one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is pious and God-fearing"( Al-Hujurat 49:13). It also says that "God does not love the proud ones" and Prophet Mohammed (Sal-am)’s warning is that "he who has a grain of pride in his/her heart will not enter heaven."

If the purpose of religion being love is properly understood and followed, we can get a just world order wherein one can live, develop and prosper happily in an atmosphere free from fear, oppression and exploitation and also make the other world hereafter, called "Aakhirah", a paradise. A Haji – one who returns after Haj pilgrimage – is expected to be as innocent as a child without enemies from within such as envy, greed, ill-will etc. and lead a life getting the pleasure of God.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012






Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) was a great visionary, statesman and Muslim reformer of the 19th century, the like of whom is rare. He wanted to make the community and country progressive and take them forward on modern lines. His supreme interest was intellectual development of the people through modern education. He was the first Indian Muslim to contribute to the intellectual and institutional foundation of Muslim modernization in Southern Asia. Interest of community and country was dearer to him rather than anything else. He was successful in making the Muslims understand the importance of modern education and endeavour their best to achieve it in order to stand on their own legs and live a dignified life in accordance with Islamic thoughts.

Dr. Allama Mohammed Iqbal says :

‘’Mubtalaayay dard koi azu ho roti hai aankh

Kis qadar hamdard saray jism ki hoti hai aankh’’

(The eye weeps for the suffering of any and every part of the body,

How sympathetic it is to the entire organism)

To the Muslim community Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was and is like the eye which weeps for the suffering of any and every part of the body. The sufferings of the community worried him. He took an oath to reform, educate and empower the Muslim community and was successful to a great extent in implementing it despite strong opposition from a section of the Muslim community which hated the British and their language. Today we can see the products of the Aligarh Muslim University adoring in every field of activity in India and neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh. They have earned a name for the community and country, thanks to the Aligarh movement.

Sir Syed’s educational caravan reached everywhere including Tamil Nadu from where I hail. It inspired and encouraged people to take to modern education by establishing educational institutions.


Sir Syed was born on 17 October 1817 in Delhi. His family was highly regarded by the Mughal dynasty. His maternal grandfather Khwajah Farid was a ‘wazir’ (minister) in the court of Akbar Shah II. His paternal grandfather Syed Hadi held a ‘mansab’ of the title of Jawwad Ali Khan in the court of Alamgir II. Syed Ahmed’s father, Mir Muttaqi was also close to Akbar Shah but rejected the position and titles offered to him due to his interest in mysticism. Perhaps he abhorred the way the materialistic world functioned. He died when Syed Ahmed was about 21 years of age. Mother, Azizunnissa Begum was, however, a strong willed woman of clearly defined principles. She showed extraordinary interest in the education, character building and upbringing of her son. She was a strict and God fearing lady.


Sir Syed received his education under the old system prevailing at that time. He learnt to read the holy Quran under a female teacher at his home. After this, Maulvi Hamidud Din, became his private tutor. He completed a course in Persian and Arabic, and later took to the study of mathematics, which was a favourite subject of the maternal side of his family. He later took interest in medicine and studied some well-known books on the subject. At the age of 19 his formal education came to an end but he continued his studies privately. He started taking a keen interest in the literary gatherings and cultural activities of the city.

The passing away of his father left the family in financial difficulties, and after a limited education he had no option but to work for his livelihood. Starting as a clerk with the East India Company in 1938, he qualified three years later as a sub-judge and served in the judicial department at various places.


The supreme interest of Sir Syed’s life was education in its widest sense. He wanted to create a scientific temperament among the Muslims of India and to make the modern knowledge of Science available to them. He championed the cause of modern education at a time when all the Indians in general and Indian Muslims in particular considered it a sin to get modern education and that too through English language. He began establishing schools, at Muradabad in 1858 and Ghazipur in 1863. A more ambitious undertaking was the foundation of the Scientific Society, which published translations of many educational texts and issued a bilingual journal in Urdu and English. It was for the use of all citizens and were jointly operated by the Hindus and Muslims. In the late 1860s there occurred some developments that were challenges to his activities. In 1867 he was transferred to Benares, a city on the Ganges with great religious significance for Hindus. At about the same time a movement started at Benares to replace Urdu, the language spoken by the Muslims, with Hindi. This movement and the attempts to substitute Hindi for Urdu publications of the Scientific Society convinced Syed that he should do something. Thus during a visit to England (1869-70) he prepared plans for a great educational institution. They were "a Muslim Cambridge." On his return he set up a committee for the purpose and also started an influential journal, Tahzib al-Akhlaq "Social Reform" for the uplift and reforms of the Muslims. A Muslim school was established at Aligarh in May 1875, and after his retirement in 1876, Sir Syed dedicated himself to make it a college. In January 1877 the Viceroy laid the foundation stone of the college. In spite of opposition to Syed’s projects, the college made rapid progress. In 1886 Syed organised the All-India Mohammadan Educational Conference, which met annually at different places to promote education and to provide the Muslims with a common platform. Syed advised the Muslims against joining active politics and to concentrate instead on education. Muslims generally followed his advice and abstained from politics. This advice is applicable even today. We have to concentrate our attention more on education for the uplift of the backward Muslim community. Many reports have clearly noted that the Muslims are educationally and economically more backward.

Throughout his life Syed Ahmed Khan showed concern with how Indian Muslims could adapt to intellectual and political change accompanying Western rule. His first mission became reinterpretation of Muslim ideology so as to reconcile tradition with Western education and science. He argued in several books on Islam that the holy Quran rested on a deep appreciation of reason and natural law and therefore did not preclude Muslim involvement in scientific methodology. These themes, mixed with a call for Muslim education, regularly appeared in his journals, the Mohammedan Social Reformer and the Aligarh Institute Gazette.

Syed Ahmed's ideas became institutionalized despite criticism from theologians. In 1862 he formed a scientific society, and 13 years later he assisted in establishing the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, which prospered and became the key intellectual center for Indian Muslims - The Aligarh Muslim University. The success of the college was largely due to his leadership and a curriculum embodying both Western and Oriental studies.


Sir Syed’s contributions for the betterment and empowerment of the Muslims are great. His position in the judicial department left him time to be active in many fields. His career as an author in Urdu started at the age of 23. In 1847 he brought out an important book "Monuments of the Great" on the antiquities of Delhi. Even more important was his pamphlet "The Causes of the Indian Revolt". His interest in religion was also active and lifelong. He wrote on the Life of Prophet Muhammad (Sal-am) and devoted himself to write several volumes of a modernist commentary on the holy Quran. In these works he explained how the Islamic faith could go with progressive scientific and political ideas of his time.


Sir Syed was a government civil servant and s scholar. The 1857 revolt was a turning point in his life. The following are his important works:

1) ‘’ASARUS SANADEED’’: It is an archaeological masterpiece providing a wealth of information on countless historical monuments in Delhi from the eight hundred long Muslim rule. This book was published in 1847.

2) ‘‘ASBAB-E-BAGHAWAT-E-HIND’’- (The causes of Indian Revolt) This book was published in 1859 after the 1857 revolt after witnessing the atrocities committed by the British on the inhabitants of Delhi. He saw an uncle, a cousin and an aunt dying before his eyes. He saved his mother but she died due to privations she had experienced. Muslims were the main targets of the government’s wrath.

3) THE ALIGARH INSTITUTE GAZETTE - It was an organ of the Scientific Society started in 1866. It made the people think and use their wisdom.

4) ‘’TEHZIB-UL-AKHLAQ’’ – It succeeded in making people realise the value of modern knowledge. It also gave new directions to Muslim social and political thoughts.


1) Sons (of MAO college later AMU)) shall go forth throughout the length and breath of the land to preach the message of free inquiry, of large-hearted toleration and of pure morality.

1. Acquisition of knowledge of science and technology is the only solution for the problems of Muslims.

2. Call me by whatever names you like. I will not ask you for my salvation. But please take pity of your children. Do something for them (send them to the school), lest you should have to repent (by not sending them)

3. We will remain humiliated and rejected if we do not make progress’’ (in scientific field)

4. Get rid of old and useless rituals. These rituals hinder human progress.

5. Superstition cannot be the part of Iman (faith).

6. The first requisite for the progress of a nation is the brotherhood and unity amongst sections of the society.

7. Yes the main purpose of this college (MAO) is to impart modern education to Muslims who are suffering because of lack of it but this institution is for all, Hindus and Muslims alike. Both of them need education.

8. We (Hindus and Muslims) eat the same crop, drink water from the same rivers and breathe the same air. As a matter of fact Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is Hindustan. Weakness of any one of them will spoil the beauty of the bride (dulhan)

9. We (Hindus and Muslim) have evolved a new language Urdu

10. I wish that youth of India should follow the example of young men and women of England who are religiously engaged in the hard work of industrial development of their country” (During the stay of Sir Syed in England).

11. Look forward, learn modern knowledge, and do not waste time in studies of old subjects of no value.

12. Ijtihad (innovation, re-interpretation with the changing times) is the need of the hour. Give up taqlid (copying and following old values).

13. Do not show the face of Islam to others; instead show your face as the follower of true Islam representing character, knowledge, tolerance and piety.

14. We should not (by remaining ignorant and illiterate) tarnish the image of our able elders.

15. All human beings are our brother and sisters. Working for their welfare is obligatory for Muslims.

16. Remember that the words Hindu and Muslim are only meant for religious distinction: otherwise all persons who reside in this country belong to one and the same nation.


Sir Syed's greatest achievement was his Aligarh Movement, which was nothing but an educational venture. He established schools at Muradabad in 1859 and Ghazipur in 1863. He also founded a scientific society in 1864. When Sir Syed was posted at Aligarh in 1867, he started the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental School in the city. During his visit to England in 1869, he studied the British educational system and appreciated it.

Sir Syed wanted MAO College to act as a bridge between the old and the new systems. His famous quote is that ‘’a true Muslims is one who must have the holy Quran in one hand and the science in the other’’. Today we can see the Aligarh Muslim University offering different courses like Medical, Engineering, Science, Arts, Management, Languages etc.

Sir Syed’s aim was not just to establish a college at Aligarh but he was interested in spreading education and empowerment among the people by establishing educational institutions in every nook and corner of the country. He, therefore, started an organisation called ‘’All India Muslim Educational Conference’’to achieve this goal. It motivated the Muslims to open a number of educational institutions in India.

Although the Indian Muslim community has made some good progress in the educational arena, still they have to go a long way to achieve the goal that Sir Syed visualised. Only the vision and enthusiasm of Sir Syed can help us - Muslims to improve our educational and economic conditions further. It is,therefore, incumbent for us to revive the Aligarh movement once again to make the people understand the value of modern education fully.

I take this opportunity to request the Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University to start a movement and come to the rescue of the suffering Muslim community in India. There is no point in blaming others. One feels that the main cause for our backwardness is lack of education. Education alone in the present context can empower us and nothing else. We can create a modern Islamic society only by taking Muslims to modern professional education like medical, engineering, teaching, management etc. No options or short cuts at all. God has given the eyes to see and mind to analyse. We must see what is happening around us and use our intellect to arrive at a conclusion. This is what Allah wants us to do. There is no point in toeing an outdated concept and blaming fate for every misery. Dr. Allama Mohammed Iqbal’s call should be taken seriously and march forward. He has said beautifully in the couplet which we read and hear quite often sometimes it echoes even in the Parliament but we do not give serious thought to it.

Khudi ko kar buland itna ki har taqdeer say pahlay,

Khuda banday say khud poochay bata teri raza kya hai

(Raise your position so much that God himself may ask you ‘’tell me what is it that you want?’’). It echoes the holy Quranic strong dictate that we should endeavour to achieve his rewards. In short we must develop a scientific temper among the people as the holy Quran says in different verses. We are mainly responsible for backwardness.

Sir Syed also brought out a journal ‘Tehzibul Akhlaq’ and succeeded in infusing a new desire amongst Muslims for acquiring modern knowledge.

Sir Syed finally reached to the conclusion that lack of education was the main cause of the backwardness of the community.

Sir Syed became successful in his mission and gave a firm foundation of Aligarh College (Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College) which afterwards became Aligarh Muslim University by an act of the government. It is meant for all- Muslims as well as non-Muslim students. All live and study here in a friendly and peaceful atmosphere. It has got a rich cultural heritage, which is its special and inimitable one.

The intellectuals produced in large numbers by Aligarh Muslim University served and continue to serve the country in various capacities. The first graduate of this University was the great revolutionary Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh. The late Dr. Zakir Hussain, former President of India and Dr. Syed Mahmood were also Aligarh educated dignitaries. The university has produced innumerable doctors, engineers, teachers, scientists, poets, writers, journalists, etc.


The Aligarh movement launched by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan influenced the Muslims in the country, particularly in South India. The Souvenir brought out on the occasion of the Centenary Celebration of Ambur Muslim Educational Society on 4th September 2006 mentions as follows inter-alia:

Sir Syed organised the Mohammedan (later Muslim) Educational Conference. Its branches were established in cities and towns to report on the educational needs of the community. This conference used to meet annually at several important cities in the country and carried the message of modern education far and wide.

The 5th session of the Conference was held at Madras in 1901 and set in a brainwave all over the South. Like their brethren in other parts of the country the Muslims of the Madras presidency were also antagonistic towards the English education and therefore they were far behind their other fellow countrymen in public service. Nawab Mohsinul Mulk Mohsinud Dowla from Aligarh inspired the Conference with the saga of adventure which Sir Syed has brought into being in the North.

On 16th December 1905 the Management of the Chowk Masjid madrasa which was in existence then was taken over and later re-named as Madrasa-e-Mazharul Uloom. Janab T.Abdullah sahib visited Aligarh, observed the educational developments there and inspired by it prepared a plan for a Muslim school in Ambur meant for all religions and communities without any discrimination whatsoever. It was primarily his aim to create for young Muslims a good institution for their educational, cultural and social developments.

Many educational institutions came up in Tamil Nadu as a result of the Aligarh movement. Today by the grace of Allah there are 11 (eleven) full fledged engineering colleges and hundreds of Science and Arts Colleges, Higher Secondary and Elementary Schools in difference parts of Tamil Nadu. Many Muslim organisations like All India Islamic Foundation, Sadaq Trust, The South India Education Trust, The Muslim Educational Association of Southern India, Ambur Muslim Educational Society, Vaniyambadi Muslim Educational Society etc. have been playing a very important role in establishing institutions and imparting modern education to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.


Muslims were in the forefront in the struggle for freedom. They suffered a lot. Many Ulema (religious scholars) were hanged in Delhi and other places. Sir Syed was worried. He was of the view that Muslims should not be so vigorous in opposing the British at their own cost and ignore everything including education and government placements.

Sir Syed wanted Muslims to have friendship with the British if they want to take their due rights. He quoted the examples of other religious communities benefiting from the government. While he tried his best to convince the British that Muslims were not against them, he persuaded the Muslims repeatedly to befriend the British to achieve their goals. He also wrote many books and published journals to remove the misunderstanding between Muslims and the British by writing booklets like "Loyal Muhammadans of India" and "Cause of Indian Revolt". Sir Syed asked the Muslims of his time not to participate in politics unless and until they got modern education. He was of the view that Muslims could not succeed in the field of Western politics without knowing the system. He was invited to attend the first session of the Indian National Congress and to join the organization but he refused to accept the offer. He gave importance to the education of the Muslim community and succeeded in it. His institutions such as the College and the Muslim Educational Conference continued to influence intellectuals till this day and will continue to do so in the years to come unhindered.


1) Dr. Allama Iqbal:

‘’The real greatness of the man (Sir Syed) consists in the fact that he was the first Indian Muslim who felt the need of a fresh orientation of Islam and worked for it’’

2) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehruji:

‘’Sir Syed was an ardent reformer and he wanted to reconcile modern scientific thought with religion by rationalistic interpretations and not by attacking basic belief. He was anxious to push new education. He was in no way communally separatist. Repeatedly he emphasized that religious differences should have no political and national significance.’’

3) Mr. Inder Kumar Gujralji

‘’Sir Syed’s vision and his laborious efforts to meet the demands of challenging times are highly commendable. The dark post 1857 era was indeed hopeless and only men like Raja Mohan Roy and Sir Syed could penetrate through its thick veil to visualize the Nation’s destinies. They rightly believed that the past had its merits and its legacies were valuable but it was the future that a society was called upon to cope with.

I offer my homage to Sir Syed for his vision and courage that withstood all obstructions both from the friends and the foes.’’

This great visionary and reformer, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, whose relevance is felt even today and who will always remain green in our memory inspiring wise thoughts and absolute principles in the right Islamic thinking passed away after a brief illness on 27th March 1898 and was buried the next day in the compound of the mosque in the College. May his soul continue to live in peace.

Friday, October 5, 2012



V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

After holidays customers abroad have started dealing with exporters of leather and leather products and some volume of business is taking place here. The prices fetched are said to be almost the same or slightly higher. Exporters continue to struggle for covering their requirements of raw hides and skins from domestic as well as overseas market as their availability is limited everywhere particularly for good selections.

It is learnt that some exporters have sold their goat upper leathers 3/5 sq. ft. RUN at around US$2.40, Fifths at US$2.00 and Inf. Fifths at US$1.70 per sq. ft. whereas goat lining leathers TR1/2/3 have been sold at around US$1.50/1.40/1.30 per sq. ft. There is good demand for goat suede leathers. 4/7 sq. ft. All Suede leathers are sold at around US$2.20.

There are also reports of business in Sheep leathers 4/7 sq. ft. ABC Suede at around US$2.30 and 3/5 and 4/7 sq. ft. Linings TR-1 at around US$1.70 per sq. ft. Overseas market for sheep leathers is slow but domestic market is almost unchanged and producers of leather products continue to buy these leathers.

At present exporters are offering at around the following prices:

                               F/C AND S/C GOAT LEATHERS
Size/sq. ft.
Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Goat upper leather
3/5 and 4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
Goat suede leather
3/5 and 4/7
0.5/0.7 mm
Goat milled leather
0.5/0.7 mm
Goat lining leather
0.5/0.7 mm
TR-1/2/3 combined

                                              F/C AND S/C SHEEP LEATHERS
Size/sq. ft.
Price US$ per sq.ft. C&F
Sheep Suede/cabretta leather
0.6/0.8 mm
Sheep Suede/cabretta leather
0.8/1.00 mm
Sheep lining leather
3/5 and 4/7
0.5/0.7 mm

In a recent statement Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports has said that Indian companies are focusing on high-end fashion garments and accessories and newer areas like manufacture of women’s and children’s shoes and hence we need to develop marketing particularly in the biggest China market and other markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Latin America which are developing considerably.

Indian leathers have been going to China in good volumes and there is good possibility of increasing their exports many folds. It was reported some time ago that some European tanners established their units in China because of the favourable situation there. A tanner pointed out that “China is a big market for all types of leather and leather products”.

Arrivals of tanned goat skins continue to be restricted in the Chennai market. Exporters show interest for grain selection ABC and All Suede at around Rs.65 and 55 per sq. ft. respectively whereas Linings A/B/C are salable at around the combined price of Rs.42 and Rejections at around Rs.30 per sq. ft.

(VMK in Indian Leather, October 2012) 

TOI:Tweak laws to allow Islamic banking:

Tweak laws to allow Islamic banking: RBI

Nandita Sengupta,TNN | Oct 4, 2012, 06.54AM IST 

PUDUCHERRY: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has written to the government to "restructure" or "amend" the laws to allow Islamic banking in India . Speaking at a local event, RBI governor D Subbarao said: "Islamic banking is allowed in many parts of the world, but the Banking Regulation Act of India does not conform to Islamic banking because it allows banks to borrow from and deposit money with the RBI on interest. But we are in correspondence with the government on how our laws can be restructured or amended so that they are in conformity with Islamic banking."

The RBI governor's statement comes on the back of a rising clamour to allow Islamic banking in India, which would fetch billions of dollars in investments from countries in the Middle East. Islamic banking is an interest-free system that is allowed in many developed economies, including European markets like France, Germany and the UK.

Law minister Salman Khurshid announced recently that he had written to the Planning Commission and RBI on the issue. RBI's stand on the matter so far has been that it is not possible within the current statutory and regulatory framework.
The entire RBI top brass — including deputy governors Subir Gokarn, K C Chakrabarty , Anand Sinha and H R Khan — are in Puducherry for a board meeting and were interacting with local students at an interactive event. The RBI team also stressed financial inclusiveness and the role that mobile banking can play in expanding the banking footprint in rural India. "Mobile penetration is large in rural India and we can leverage that technology for financial inclusion," said deputy governor Khan.

RBI is prioritizing electronic payments to reduce the economy's dependence on cash. "India is the fifth largest in cash-to-GDP ratio and we are taking a series of steps on both retail and wholesale payment's side to reduce this," said deputy governor Chakrabarty . One of the interventions , he said, was the decision to reduce merchant discount rates (MDR) drastically on debit cards to encourage usage. The RBI recently capped MDR in debit card transactions to 0.75% up to Rs 2,000 and 1% beyond Rs 2,000 — a sharp cut given that debit and credit card MDRs have been similar in India so far.

Convenor, National Commitee on Islamic Banking
General Secretary, Indian Centre for Islamic Finance (ICIF)
D-309, Abul Fazl Enclave, Jamia Nagar,New Delhi-110025
Mob: +91 9444075501

Convenor, National Commitee on Islamic Banking
General Secretary, Indian Centre for Islamic Finance (ICIF)
D-309, Abul Fazl Enclave, Jamia Nagar,New Delhi-110025
Mob: +91 9444075501

Thursday, September 27, 2012


                                                                  MERI MAA
Khuda hum par zaroor
meherban hua hoga
Tabhi to usne aap ko
Humare paas bheja hoga

Aap jaisi beti, aap jaisi biwi,
aap jaisi maa, ek saath
Is duniya mein
Doosri koi nahin

Aapki ek muskurahat
Poore ghar ko roshan karti hai
Aapki har masti
Hum sabko hasati hai.

Aapke pyar ne
Aapki duaaon ne
Hum sabki zindagi ko
Khushiyon se bhar diya hai

Har mushkil ko aapne
Pal bhar mein aasan kiya hai
Har dard ko aapne
Chutki mein mitaya hai

Mujhe ek saheli ki zaroorath
Kabhi nahin padi
Kyonki meri sabse achchi saheli
Mujhe aap mein mili

Khuda kare ki aap jiyen
Hazaaron saal
Poore sehath
Aur taakath ke saath

Dard aapko chu bhi na paaye
Har takleef yun gum ho jaaye
Khushi aur muskurahat se
Aapka chehra sada jhalke

Poori ho aapke dil ki
Har tamanna, har armaan
Aur har din laaye aapki zindagi mein
Khushi aur aaraam.
                                                                                     AMINA KHALEEL

Monday, September 24, 2012



By V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

It gives us a great pleasure to know that Dr. Sumayaa, the Principal of the Kilakarai based Thassim Beevi Abdul Kader College for Women (Autonomous) was honoured with “THE BEST SOCIAL WORKER AWARD FOR WOMEN’S WELFARE” in recognition of her continuous yeoman service towards the welfare and well being of women by the government of Tamil Nadu. She received the award from the honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. J. Jayalalithaa on 15th August 2012 in the 66th Independence Day Celebrations at Fort St. George, Chennai.


Dr. Sumayaa has not only been administrating the college very efficiently as a Principal for the past 25 years but has also involved herself in social welfare activities as a Programme Officer of the Seethakathi NGO. It is learnt that she collected a sum of Rs.18,41,000 as donation in Ramanathapuram district and distributed scholarships and financial assistance to 840 women through the Muslim Women Aid Society there.
Besides all this, she also created awareness among men about drunkenness and its consequences through the self help groups as a result of which many broken families were reunited. She also initiated Vocational training such as Entrepreneurship Training and Training for the production of Marine Organisms to enable the members of SHG to generate income.

She has also been creating awareness among the people through self help groups about important issues such as Family Planning, Eye Donation, Blood Donation and AIDS. She also has the credit of monitoring the Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Project (ETRP) and Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Project (RGRP) programme in Ramnad district for some time. She has also served in the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, New Delhi and contributed significantly all over India by being its Committee Member on Girls’ Education during the years 2007-2009 and 2010-2013.

Dr. Sumayaa is an inspiration to the Muslim community. Allah loves those who love His creations.


Sunday, September 9, 2012



By V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

A seminar on “Strengthening Indian Secular Democracy” was held in Chennai on 6th September 2012 jointly by Church of South India Inter-Faith Dialogue Centre, Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought and Rajaji Centre for Public Affairs.

Rev. Viji Varghese Eapen, Director, Ecumenical Relations & Ecological Concerns, Church of South India welcomed the gathering and A. Faizur Rahman, Secretary General, Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thoughts, introduced the speakers.

Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Javed Anand, Subhashini Ali, Dr. Patrick Gnanapragasam, Dr. K.V.S. Habib Mohammed, Moosa Raza, Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Mehdi Khan, Baskara Bharathi and G. Narayanaswamy spoke on the occasion highlighting the importance of secular democracy and stressing the need for its improvement.

While the Prince of Arcot said that secularism is like oxygen without which our country cannot survive,  Baskara Bharathi said that it is in the blood of the Tamil people whatever may be their religion. Dr. K.V.S. Habib Mohammed cautioned that communalism is on the increase and there is need for everyone to do the needful and try for amity and communal harmony among the people. Javed Anand explained the success in the legal battles relating to the anti Muslim riots in Gujarat and criticized the protest meeting held in Azad Maidan, Mumbai to protest against the riots in Assam in which two Muslim youngsters lost their lives in police firing. He said that the organizers of the meeting did not have the courtesy of even going to the parents of the deceased and consoling them. What is the use in conducting such meetings which cannot be beneficial to anybody but create further problems? He questioned. He also found fault with the way a Urdu paper reported news in Mumbai. His aim was to make Muslims realise that their grievances can be solved only through joint efforts of people belonging to different communities.

The seminar was highly successful. 

The following is the Press Release issued jointly by the above mentioned three organizations:

India’s Constitution declares our country to be a socialist secular democracy. This was thought almost impossible in 1947 when India fell prey to communal politics and was tragically partitioned. But the visionary framers of our Constitution saw to it that our country did not go the Pakistan way. They gave us one of the best Constitutions in world which brought about the unity and integrity of our nation through the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity and ensured the sovereignty of the people by providing for a Parliamentary form of government. And despite monstrous incidents of anti minority violence dotting its post partition history the idea of India has never come under serious threat.

However the anti national forces have not slackened their efforts to make India a theocratic state. But the discerning citizens of this great nation have been through the evil designs of these pseudo nationalist and have consistently rejected their appeals to baser human emotions. Nevertheless the recent Assam riots involving the Bodos and Muslims have given a fresh opportunity to some right wing groups to sow seeds of disharmony amongst the people. Rumours were generated that Muslims were plotting to attack the northeast  Indians to avenge the Bodo violence against the Muslims. This resulted in the mass exodus of northeasterners from several Indian cities. Not surprisingly, the rumours were proved to be intentionally circulated to engineer a situation in the country through which the divisive forces could further their fiendish agenda. The hostility towards Biharis in Maharashtra may also be viewed in this context.

Apart from this, it was recently seen that courts of law acquitted several Muslim youths arrested on charges of terrorism. The arrest and torture of such innocent men has engendered a feeling of immense disappointment among Indian Muslims who now think that they are being unfairly demonised and suspected without any basis.

In these circumstance, the Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought, the Church of South India Inter-Faith Dialogue Centre and the Rajaji Centre for Public Affairs have come together to organize this seminar. The idea is to send out a strong message to the anti democratic forces both within and outside India. The message is that Hindus, Muslims, Christians and all other minorities stand united as Indians, no force on earth can divide them and thereby enable vested interests to shake the foundations of our secular democracy. The government is also urged to dispel the feeling of alienation among the minorities, particularly the Muslims, by seriously addressing their legitimate grievances and helping them in their efforts to join hands with their co-citizens to not only build this country but also defend it against all forms destabilizing ideologies.(VMK in 

Friday, September 7, 2012



V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

A two day event of the South Asian countries particularly, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was held during this month in Chennai on “strengthening the competitiveness of South Asia in leather and leather products” in which leading policy makers, industrialists and others from these countries participated and discussed strategies to combat the raw material shortage and price crunch due to recession in European markets and create a regional brand image. It was organized to highlight a UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) study as part of a project on development oriented integration in South Asia.
Mr. Rajeev Kher, additional secretary, minister of commerce, said in his inaugural address that it is unfortunate that the leather industry is not adequately integrated in its production network as any other sector in the South Asian region and that a framework for regional organization that would foster integration is the need of the hour.

Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports, said that South Asian countries particularly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are not able to face the competitions abroad due to lack of co-ordination within the region and that customers abroad use this situation to play off one manufacturer against the other to cut down prices to their own advantage and suggested that South Asian countries should have a regional association to integrate industry and identify areas for co-operation.  He also said that movement of specific raw materials and components from one country to another will help grow leather product exports from the region.

The industry representatives were for having a regional association for the benefit of the leather industry in South Asia. Mr. S.M. Naseem, Chairman, Pakistan Tanners Association and Mr. Syed Nasim Manzur, Managing Director, Apex Adelchi Footwear Ltd. Bangladesh were among the important exporters who spoke on the occasion. The general consensus was for free movement of raw materials within South Asia for integrated growth of the industry and collaboration. Surprisingly the industry is by and large unaware of even this important event. 

One feels that the CLE Chairman has expressed his views very frankly without any reservation. It is a fact known to everyone in the industry that there is more cut throat competition among exporters now  in all fields of activity particularly in buying and selling and overseas customers are taking advantage of this situation in covering their requirements at their prices which many a time are unworkable to tanners and exporters here. When enquired about it a tanner pointed out that “irrational approach” is the main cause for the problems many tanners are facing.

After detailed discussions the consultation meet decided to form a regional industry association called Leather Industries Association of South Asia (LIASA) to be headed by Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports, India. It also decided to form a working committee of 8 members for exchange of ideas and identification of areas of co-operation.

(VMK in Indian Leather, September 2012)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk by Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation and author

                               Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary People
Sudha Murty, chairperson, Infosys Foundation and author, is known for her ability to glean interesting stories from the lives of ordinary people and weave these narratives into a unique blend of anecdote and fable.

Her latest collection of stories, 'The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk', features a fascinating cast of characters, each of whom made
an indelible impression on the author.
 Extracted here is a nugget from 'Bombay to Bangalore', one of the most   heartwarming stories in this collection:

It was the beginning of summer. I was boarding Udyan Express at Gulbarga railway station. My destination was Bangalore. As I boarded the train, I saw that the second-class reserved compartment was jam-packed with people. I sat down and was pushed to the corner of the berth. Though it was meant for three people, there were already six of us sitting on it...

The ticket collector came in and started checking people's tickets and reservations.. Suddenly, he looked in my direction and asked, 'What about your ticket?' 'I have already shown my ticket to you,' I said.
'Not you, madam, the girl hiding below your berth. Hey, come out, where is your ticket?' I realized that someone was sitting below my berth. When the collector yelled at her, the girl came out of hiding.

She was thin, dark, scared and looked like she had been crying profusely. She must have been about thirteen or fourteen years old.She had uncombed hair and was dressed in a torn skirt and blouse. She was trembling and folded both her hands.. The collector started forcibly pulling her out from the compartment. Suddenly, I had a strange feeling. I stood up and called out to the collector. 'Sir, I will pay for her ticket,' I said.

Then he looked at me and said, 'Madam, if you give her ten rupees, she will be much happier with that than with the ticket.'

I did not listen to him. I told the collector to give me a ticket to the last destination, Bangalore, so that the girl could get down wherever she wanted.

Slowly, she started talking. She told me that her name was Chitra. She lived in a village near Bidar. Her father was a coolie and she had lost her mother at birth. Her father had remarried and had two sons with her stepmother. But a few months ago, her father had died. Her stepmother started beating her often and did not give her food. She was tired of that life. She did not have anybody to support her so she left home in search of something better.

By this time, the train had reached Bangalore. I said goodbye to Chitra and got down from the train. My driver came and picked up my bags. I felt someone watching me. When I turned back, Chitra was standing there and looking at me with sad eyes. But there was nothing more that I could do. I had paid her ticket out of compassion but I had never thought that she was going to be my responsibility!...

I told her to get into my car. My driver looked at the girl curiously. I told him to take us to my friend Ram's place. Ram ran separate shelter homes for boys and girls. We at the Infosys Foundation supported him financially. I thought Chitra could stay there for some time and we could talk about her future after I came back from my tours.

I was not sure if Chitra would even be there. But to my surprise, I saw Chitra looking much happier than before. Ram suggested that Chitra could go to a high school nearby. I immediately agreed and said that I would sponsor her expenses as long as she continued to study. I left the shelter knowing that Chitra had found a home and a new direction
in her life.

I got busier and my visits to the shelter reduced to once a year. But I always enquired about Chitra's well-being over the phone. I knew that she was studying well and that her progress was good.. I offered to sponsor her college studies if she wanted to continue studying. But she said, 'No, Akka. I have talked to my friends and made up my mind. I would like to do my diploma in computer science so that I can immediately get a job after three years.' She wanted to become economically independent as soon as possible.. Chitra obtained her diploma with flying colours. She also got a job in a software company as an assistant testing engineer. When she got her first salary, she came to my office with a sari and a box of sweets.

One day, when I was in Delhi, I got a call from Chitra. She was very happy. 'Akka, my company is sending me to USA! I wanted to meet you and take your blessings but you are not here in Bangalore.'.

Years passed. Occasionally, I received an e-mail from Chitra. She was doing very well in her career. She was posted across several cities in USA and was enjoying life. I silently prayed that she should always be happy wherever she was.

Years later, I was invited to deliver a lecture in San Francisco for Kannada Koota, an organization where families who speak Kannada meet and organize events. The lecture was in a convention hall of a hotel and I decided to stay at the same hotel. After the lecture, I was planning to leave for the airport. When I checked out of the hotel room and went to the reception counter to pay the bill, the receptionist said, 'Ma'am, you don't need to pay us anything. The lady over there has already settled your bill. She must know you pretty well.' I turned around and found Chitra there.

She was standing with a young white man and wore a beautiful sari. She was looking very pretty with short hair. Her dark eyes were beaming with happiness and pride. As soon as she saw me, she gave me a brilliant smile, hugged me and touched my feet. I was overwhelmed with joy and did not know what to say. I was very happy to see the way things had turned out for Chitra. But I came back to my original question. 'Chitra, why did you pay my hotel bill? That is not right.' suddenly sobbing, she hugged me and said, 'Because you paid for my ticket from Bombay to Bangalore!'

Saturday, August 18, 2012




Eid-ul-Fitr or Ramadan Eid is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving to God after successful completion of the month-long fasting from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and on sighting the crescent moon of the 10th month called Shawwal. Ramadan is meant for fasting, worship and charity, and also for self-introspection for the purpose of purification of one's soul and body by giving up bad and attaining good things. The Holy Quran says, "Fasting is prescribed to you as it was to those before you so that you may learn self-restraint." Fasting brings people together and creates a sense of camaraderie among them. It inculcates in them righteous conduct, to be good people and brotherhood of man by eradicating evils such as anger, greed and malice.

Prophet Mohammed (Sal-am) has said, "Do not belittle even the smallest act of kindness even if it is no more than meeting your neighbour with a smiling and cheerful face. We should not consider any charity small or not worth doing. Charity, big or small, should be given in a pleasant manner without hurting the feeling of its receivers and with the thought that we are only discharging a religious duty from the wealth God has given us." According to Islam even our day-to-day acts, like being kind to others at home and outside, are charity and it makes a big difference in our relations with them.

Once when Prophet Mohammed (Sal-am) was on his way to Idgah for Id prayers, he saw a poor boy about five-years-old sitting on the pavement sadly. He went near him and asked, "Why are you alone here, my dear boy?" The boy started weeping and said, "I am an orphan with nobody to care for me." The Prophet could not bear the pathetic words of the poor boy and consoled him saying, "From now on you can look to me as your father and Ayesha as your mother," and returned home with him. When his wife Ayesha fed him and dressed him well for Id prayers the Prophet lifted him on his shoulders and said, "Ayesha, this is the happiest Id for me. I experience true happiness at the happiness of this little orphan boy." He was a great benefactor of humanity and his mission right from the beginning to end was to see that every individual maintained his self-respect free from any sort of slavery.