Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Muslim clerics want radical march banned

M Tariq Khan,
Hindustan Times
Lucknow, February 28, 2012
First Published: 23:21 IST(28/2/2012)
Last Updated: 23:23 IST(28/2/2012)

Muslim intellectuals and clerics have demanded a ban on the March 3 rally by London-based Islamic group shairah4hind, which has denounced the Constitution and urged the community to gherao Parliament to press for implementing the shariah.
Acting on the suggestion of National Integration Council (NIC) member Navaid Hamid, who wrote to home minister P Chidambaram on this issue, the telecom department has blocked the organisation's website ('s letter also asked for the rally ban.
Denouncing the Constitution, the website had urged Muslims in UP to boycott the elections, the last phase of which is on the day of the proposed rally, and issued a fatwa against PM Manmohan Singh, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, BJP leader LK Advani and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.Hamid, who is also secretary of the South Asian Councilfor Minorities, has drawn the home minister's attention to the fact that a visa was granted by the Indian mission in the UK to Abu Baraa, chairman of the website, and Sheikh Anjem Choudary, website manager, allegedly without verifying their credentials.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed FarangiMahli, imam of the Eidgah, Lucknow, said: “Such hate mongers should not be allowed to vitiate the country's communal harmony.”\Page/Print/818604

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maya's last Sig(n)h!

Before quitting, Maya cleared crores for pet projects
Author: M. Tariq Khan
Date: 28/08/2003
Source: Hindustan Times
M. Tariq Khan
(Lucknow, August 27, 2003

Once bitten, twice shy. The last time Mayawati demitted office as CM, work on the Ambedkar Udyan was abandoned immediately. This time around, she has done her best to make sure that none of her pet projects meet the same fate.
On the Friday before she dropped her bombshell, she sanctioned funds for all her on-going projects. Officials were asked to submit detailed project reports and the principal secretary, finance, gave his approval the same day, sources said.
Funds to agencies executing these projects were being routed through the Lucknow Development Authority. So its accounts section staff was rushed to present the bills at the Collectorate treasury on Monday to ensure that the requisite sum was credited to the department's Personal Ledger Account.
Work on the Ambedkar Rally Maidan is almost complete. But, the Ambedkar Museum-cum-Memorial Centre and the Rama Bai Ambedkar Paryatak Sthal may run into rough weather under a new dispensation. The Prerna Sthal coming up adjacent to the BSP party office on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg could be another soft target for settling political scores.
The museum project had kicked up a political row at the outset, as it was mooted on the 25-acres of land adjacent to Udyan once earmarked for Indira Gandhi Pratishthan. Work on both these projects was taken up on a war footing, but half of the total funds allotted for them is still unused. "We have been told to adopt a go-slow approach by our bosses," admitted a Rajkiye Nirman Nigam official supervising work on the Ambedkar Centre.
Contractors hired for the job are also wary that their payments might get delayed now. "My payment for the statues I had supplied to the Udyan got stuck for over two years as the then CM Kalyan Singh had blocked all funds," said a sculptor, a favourite of Mayawati.
"The state government can alter, block or curtail expenses on a particular project anytime it wishes to do though the previous regime has released the funds," a senior finance officer said.

Yeh Dil Mange No More

Clerics ask Muslims to shun western brands

Source: Hindustan Times

Date: 12/10/2001

M Tariq Khan
(Lucknow, October 11, 2001
Shun Coke, Pepsi and other Western goods to protest against the US strikes in Afghanistan, prominent Ulema of both the Shia and Sunni sects have urged Muslims.
They also flayed the pro-US attacks resolution of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and have decided to send protest letters to the embassies of Muslim countries and urged the Centre to observe the policy of Non -Aligned Movement in the present conflict. The decisions were taken at a meeting attended by more than a dozen clerics held here late Wednesday night.
The clerics said the Muslims were feeling alienated from the world in the aftermath of the US strikes. Hence to chalk out a future strategy representing popular sentiments within the community they have mooted the formation of an All India Ulema Council (Majlis-e-Ulema).
A four-member team comprising Maulana Kalbe Jawad, a prominent Shia cleric, Maulana Ateeq Bastavi, Maulana Salman Nadvi and Maulana Sajjad Nomani has been formed to draft a resolution in this respect.
The ulema said there is great unrest within the community, especially among the youths, against US policies towards the developing countries. "The US' ouster from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and its recent walkout from the UN meet on racism at Durban are enough to reveal its hegemonistic intentions," Maulana Sajjad Nomani said.
"If there has to be a jihad then it should be against the policies and products of the US multinationals," he said.
Talking about the possible impact of Pepsi-Cola diktat, the Maulana recalled a similar call against McDonald's by clerics in UK last year. "The company's business in Europe plummeted by 27 per cent," he claimed.

Ayodhya Imbroglio: The Formula that Failed

Seer proposes Ayodhya co-existence

Source: Hindustan Times

Date: 22/06/2003 Type: Website Language: English
M Tariq Khan
(Lucknow, June 21, 2003
The Kanchi Shankaracharya has suggested the construction of a mosque and a temple side by side at the disputed site to resolve the Ayodhya deadlock. This was revealed by All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) sources to the Hindustan Times on Saturday.
Nadwa Rector and AIMPLB chairman Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi, who admitted to having gone through the proposal, refused to comment, saying he could not reveal the details of the letter before it is seen by the board.
The board's 51-member working committee is meeting on July 6 to discuss the proposal. The two-page letter, written in English on the Shankaracharya's letterhead, reached the Nadwa rector on Friday.
The AIMPLB source said: "The board has always maintained it is willing to consider a proposal which is honourable and just to ensure peace — and I think this proposal fits the bill."
"The details regarding the exact location of the two structures can be worked out mutually later provided we first create the right atmosphere," he added.
The AIMPLB believes that if the Shankaracharya's formula is acceptable to all, the issue of Kashi and Mathura mosques, each built adjacent to a temple, would not be raked up in future.
The letter reportedly makes no mention of offers reported in the media recently: opening up of ASI-protected mosques, reservation for Muslims and not raising Kashi and Mathura.
"From the contents of the letter I can say for sure that it has not been leaked to the media," was the cryptic reply of Maulana Rabey when asked about the reports.
Board member and All India Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jilani is not so sure of the offer. "If the seer really wants both the two structures to coexist, why did he go on record saying no mosque can come up within 8-10 km of the disputed site?"

Kanchi's letter reaches Muslim law board

Source: Hindustan Times

Date: 21/06/2003 Type: Website Language: English
Kanchi's letter reaches Muslim law board
M Tariq Khan
(Lucknow, June 20), 2203
The much-awaited formula from the Kanchikamkoti Shankaracharya to solve Ayodhya deadlock finally arrived at Nadwa College here in Lucknow on Friday but it is being kept under wraps.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMLPB) spokesperson Maulana KR Sajjad Nomani confirmed that the letter had arrived but said the contents would be divulged only after the return of Board Chairman and Nadwa Rector Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi, who is out of town and is expected back on Saturday.
He said the June 21 meeting of the Committee on Babri Masjid would be held on schedule and a special meeting of the Board's 51 member working committee would now be convened to discuss the seer's suggestions.
Convenor of the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) Zafaryab Jilani has said that the contents of the proposal should be made public soon. Before leaving for New Delhi to attend the committee meeting, Jilani told HT that he had already conveyed his opinion to the Board's co-spokesperson.
Maulana Nomani said the seer's letter was delayed because the address on the envelope mentioned only the Nadwa rector's name. "I received a call from the Kanchi seer's office inquiring if we had received the packet sent through courier. When I checked up with the courier, the packet was found lying undelivered because the address did not include the name of the Nadwa College," he said. Maulana Nomani escorted the courier agent to Nadwa for the delivery of the packet

UP Polls: The C(r)ore Value, February 21, 2012

Poll Vault: Lucknow takes a big leap, February 20, 2012

King's Lair February 18. 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Atal edge dulled, BJP keeps fingers crossed

Atal edge dulled, BJP keeps fingers crossed
Manish Chandra Pandey and M Tariq Khan, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, February 16, 2012

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the 13th Prime Minister of India, was born in 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP, for which Lucknow has been a stronghold mainly because of former PM AB Vajpayee, faces a litmus test this time.

The colossus, who won here from 1991 to 2004, is not in the thick of action. But his mere appeal for votes had ensured smooth sailing for his protégé and successor Lalji Tandon in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.

Without Vajpayee, the BJP lost its Lucknow (west) citadel to the Congress in the 2009 bypolls. Sensing the party’s uncertainties, the Congress is now concentrating on Lucknow — going to polls on February 19 —  with general secretary Rahul Gandhi holding a road show here on Thursday.
Of the five segments in the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, the BJP has always managed to wrest at least four since the 1993 elections.
“Undoubtedly, he was the tallest political icon of his time. Why only the BJP, no political leader for that matter commands that kind of clout or respect across the political spectrum in the country,” admitted BJP leader Amit Puri. “The party was a major contender in all the assembly seats here. In fact, the battle of the ballot was mostly the BJP versus the rest till 2007, when Vajpayee addressed his last public meeting in Aliganj,” pointed out another BJP office-bearer.
A lot is at stake for the BJP in the state capital, where the party has fielded senior leader Kalraj Mishra from Lucknow (east), Lalji Tandon’s son Ashutosh from Lucknow (north) and three sitting MLAs in the city’s central, west and cantt assembly constituencies.
Even when Vajpayee was around, the winning margin of its three sitting MLAs had started dipping. Vidya Sagar Gupta, a three-time MLA from Lucknow (east), had won by around 36,000 votes in 1996, when Vajpayee’s popularity was at its peak, but in the subsequent polls of 2002 and 2007 he scraped through by wafer-thin margins of 300 and 600-odd votes. This time he has shifted to Lucknow central.
With Vajpayee’s written appeal not having come so far (the BJP may manage that still), the party is still looking to him to bail it out again. If the BJP does well here, it will merely establish what top party leaders
had admitted during their June meeting — that the party is still struggling to find a replacement for its magic man.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

UP Polls 2012

Array of tainted candidates limits voter option

M Tariq Khan

LUCKNOW: February 04, 2012

Taint binds all six candidates for the Mehdawal seat in Sant Kabir Nagar, a district named after the 15th-16th century poet-saint. The irony of having to choose from the array of six facing criminal charges is not lost on the constituency’s voters, who are not alone in their dilemma in Uttar Pradesh.

The electorate’s choice in 41 other assembly constituencies — out of the 114 that go to polls in the first two phases on February 8 and 11 — is equally limited, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch.

The citizen watchdog’s scrutiny of candidates’ affidavits shows Kushinagar district tops the dubious chart with the highest number (21) of tainted candidates.

Despite the holier-than-thou posturing on criminalisation of politics, most parties have opted for the field a thief to trounce a thief mantra.

In Mehdawal, Peace Party nominee Anil Kumar faces 13 charges including of attempt to murder. Madan Narain Singh of Congress is facing murder charges. Chandra Shekhar Pandey of Janata Dal (United) has four cases. Laxmikant of the Samajawadi Party, Mohd Tayyab of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party and Rakesh Singh Baghel of the Bharatiya Janata Party have one case each for rioting and assault.

Percentage wise, muscle power appears at its peak in Mau, where 13 of the 22 candidates including MLA don Mukhtar Ansari face criminal charges.

The presence of tainted candidates could be higher because the citizen watchdog has assessed only 634 candidates of more than 3,000 in the fray in the first two phase.