Monthly Archives: March 2016

UK to Defreeze Nizam of Hyderabad’s Rs 310 Crore


New Delhi :

The Nizam of Hyderabad’s Rs 310 crore lying locked up in a UK bank due to a dispute between India, Pakistan and his family for the last 68 years is likely to be opened soon. According to government sources, the final arguments in the case continued for five days in the High Court Chancery in London and judgment has been reserved.

“The case came up for hearing in Justice Henderson’s court on March 2, 3, 4, 7 and final argument was on March 17. We are hopeful that a judgment in the case will be pronounced soon,” a source said.

Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hrderabad
Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hrderabad

The dispute has its genesis in a 1948 transfer of GBP 1 million from Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan’s account in Westminster Bank (now NatWest Bank) to the account of then Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK, Ibrahim Rahimtoohla. The fund was allegedly transferred by the nizam’s finance minister without Khan’s knowledge. After the State of Hyderabad was annexed to India, the nizam brought a civil action against his finance minister and Rahimtoohla for illegal transaction.

House of Lords after Pakistan claimed sovereign immunity. In subsequent years, attempts to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels failed due to conflicting claims of beneficial entitlement to the funds by three parties: Pakistan, India and the nizam’s heirs. The bank also made it clear that it will not release the money unless the British court passes an order directing it to do so. The government  ofIndia had also participated in discussions with Pakistan since 1958 at various levels. According to sources, it figured in almost all foreign secretary-level meetings between India and Pakistan.

“The last such meeting was held on July 5, 2012, but no out of court settlement was reached. Pakistan was not too keen to even respond to our positive approach,” the source said.

On April 3, 2013, the Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK proposed to initiate a civil action against the bank for releasing the money, which is now worth Rs 310 crore, saying it indisputably has the legal title over the nizam’s money. On November 23, 2013, it again approached the court serving a notice of discontinuance of the proceedings, which the court had observed as abuse of legal process.

“In serving the notice of discontinuance, Pakistan was abusing the process of the court. The abuse lay in seeking to achieve a tactical advantage, which would place Pakistan in a better position than that to which it had already voluntarily submitted by bringing its action against the bank,” the court’s observation on January 16, 2015, stated.

Claims have also been put forward over the years by or on behalf of members of the Nizam’s extended family.

Though the bank refused to release the money without an order from the English court, it continued to send bank statements to the Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, solicitors for the High Commissioner for India in London and nizam’s heirs.

The money trail

■ The nizam’s Rs 310 crore is locked up in NatWest Bank

■ In 1948, the nizam’s finance minister transferred GBP 1 million to the account of then Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK without permission

■ The Nizam brought a civil action against his finance minister

■ The money is claimed by Pakistan, India and the nizam’s heirs

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> The Sunday Standard / by Yatish Yadav / March 27th, 2016

Abou Ben Adhems at Kalamandira


Abou Ben Adhem is a poem by Leigh Hunt. Some may say it is old hat. But, for ever its philosophy is relevant; in truth in today’s world of war, strife and self-obsession among people.

Abou Ben Adhem wakes up from his deep, peaceful sleep and sees an angel writing in a book. What are you writing?, asks Abou Ben Adhem.

The angel says, “The names of those who love the Lord.”

“And is mine one?, asks Abou

“Nay, no so,” says the Angel

Then Abou, humbly says, “I pray thee, then, write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

The Angel writes so and vanishes.

The next night, the angel appears again and shows the names whom God had blessed. And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest. This, even though Abou Ben Adhem, instead of saying “he loved the Lord” he had said he “loved his fellow men.” It simply means in this world it is more important to love fellow men rather than merely loving God. We all know what is happening in West Asia as a result of loving God too much and fellow men less.

Last evening, I was witness to a number of Abou Ben Adhems on the vast stage of Kalamandira. The occasion was the first award presentation to those who have “Loved their fellow men,” to use the words of Abou Ben Adhem, by the partners of city’s Ganesh Beedi Works under the auspices of their Charitable Trusts in the name of their parents M. Govinda Rao and D. Ramabai. It is known as Ramaagovinda Puraskar-2016.

Yesterday, I was caught in a web struggling to decide to which of the three programmes I was invited I must go — one wedding, a dinner at Palace in connection with MRC election and the function at Kalamandira. I decided on Kalamandira and happier for that. A memorable awards function indeed, made more memorable by the cultural event ‘Miracle on Wheels’ a performance by the specially-abled youngsters on wheelchairs par excellence.

There was yoga on wheels, Dashavathara on wheels, Bhagavad Gita on wheels and more. Performing with clock-work precision, timing of movement well synchronised as they criss-crossed the stage while the audience wowed wonder-struck. The accompanying music and song, mostly verses from Hindu Mythology, held the audience spellbound.

Dr. Syed Salauddin Pasha
Dr. Syed Salauddin Pasha

The innovator-choreographer of this extraordinary show by the specially-abled performers was Dr. Syed Salauddin Pasha, a Kannadiga from Anekal near Bengaluru, now settled in Delhi. I learn he is a follower of Sufism. No wonder he came on the stage wearing a dhoti and a white manila bush coat, crimson nama glowing vertically on his broad forehead. He looked younger for his fifty years. But for his name you wouldn’t know he is a Muslim.

It was revealed by himself that as a student he was given a Quran by his parents and sent to school but he would go to his Brahmin friend’s house and return as Pasha Iyer ! From what he spoke from the stage it was clear that he has mastered both Islamic studies, Hindu Mythology and religion. He was so eloquent in chanting the sacred verses the audience applauded him with clapping ever so often.

Star of Mysore had published about his achievements on Saturday, 19th March, 2016. If Karnataka Government has not recognised him with a Rajyotsava Award or some other award, he indeed deserves one because he is a Kannadiga who speaks impeccable Kannada with ease and eloquence and wants to shift to Bengaluru for good for love of his roots.

Be that as it may, I must conclude this column by appreciating two anecdotes one of the awardees, Sanskrit scholar Lakshmisha Tolpadi, narrated to underscore two values of idealism in our lives:

There was a guest who had come to the house at lunch time but there was no rice ready to cook. There was paddy, though. The housewife, being alone in the house and believing in the ideal ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ (Guest is Divinity incarnate) requested the guest to wait till she cooked food.

She then starts pounding the paddy. Realising that the clinking sound of her bangles in her hands would betray her pounding of the paddy which would make the guest know that she was taking extra trouble, she quietly removes all the bangles, makes rice out of paddy, cooks food and serves the guest.

Moral: Let not others know the trouble you take or trauma you undergo while helping others. Never say ‘I suffered so much to help you.’ Such help is no help; just craving for appreciation or sympathy. It makes the beneficiary disgusted with himself for being the cause for another’s inconvenience and makes one guilty of troubling others.

Another anecdote relates to one Pakru, an old, poor nonagenarian, known for his knowledge of Tulu Language, a dialect in Dakshina Kannada. Once one Venkataraju, a research scholar collecting Tulu words and vocabulary, went to see Pakru in order to write an article in the newspaper. Venkataraju took a photograph of Pakru using flash. Pakru innocently asked Venkataraju, “What are you doing? What is that flash of light?’’

When told that he was taking his photograph for publishing in newspaper, Pakru innocently said, ‘‘Why photograph when I am here in your presence.”

This kind of innocence of the noble and a simple person, the modern man of education can’t understand, said Lakshmisha Tolpadi.

This incident reminded me of what my friend M.P. Prabhakaran in New York had written in his latest book, sent to me last week, titled ‘‘My Thirty-Day European Odyssey’’ about a similar situation.

Prabhakaran lands in Stockholm airport. He sees a larger-than-life picture on the wall of a statue of Birger Jarl, the founder of Stockholm. It had an imaginative, tourist-friendly caption: ‘Welcome to my hometown.’ Prabhakaran was not sure if he could take a photograph of it for security reasons and asks a fellow traveller, a local person, if he could take a photograph.

He asked: “How long are you going to be in Stockholm?”

“Three days,” said Prabhakaran.

“Then go to the City Hall one day. The statue of Birger Jarl you are seeing in this picture is there in front of the city hall. Instead of taking a photograph of a photograph of the statue, why not take a photograph of the statue itself?”


source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Abracadabra….Abracadabra… / by K. Ganapathy / March 30th, 2016

Muslim Women Personal Law Board Head Meets RSS Chief


Lucknow :

In a significant development, All-India Muslim Women Personal Law Board president Shaista Ambar met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat here on Tuesday.

Ambar said she was present at a function in the Post-Graduate Institute area where Bhagwat was visiting. She sought an appointment with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief that was immediately granted.

“He was very gracious and in his address he spoke of nation building and character development,” she said.

Ambar also said she requested Bhagwat to visit the mosque which they have got constructed, and he readily agreed to do so.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Nation / by IANS / March 29th, 2016

Mangaluru: Sunni Yuva Sangha holds mass weddings

Mangaluru, KARNATAKA :

Mangaluru :

Sunni Yuvajana Sangha state president, K P Hussain Saadi on chairing a mass wedding ceremony said, “The SYS is holding weddings of poor girls and constructing houses for the poor.” The mass wedding ceremony was held under the aegis of Sunni Yuvajana Sangha, KC Road unit at Kotekar private auditorium on Sunday March 27.

“Besides providing social service, the organization intends to strengthen religious knowledge among the youth. These days the world faces financial problems and it has become impossible for parents to conduct weddings of their daughters. Mosques and Jamaat committees are finding it difficult to run Madrasas under them. Hence SYS with the help of donors has successfully conducted weddings of poor girls,” he added.

Hidayatnagara Al Hidaya Jumma Masjid, Khatib Assayyad, C T M Aleem Porkoya Thanjal, conducted dua. Mani Darul Irshad Education Center president Zainul Ulama Abdul Hameed Musilyar led the weddings. District Wakf president S M R Rashid, S J M Talapady zonal president Ibrahim Madani Talapady, Abdul Hakim Madani Uchila, K C Road Masjid Madarris, Munir Sakhafi, SYS weddings committee president, U B Mohammed Haji, Taluk panchayat member, Siddiq Talapady, Dr Abdul Khader Haji, Talapady, SMA Talapady president, Bava Haji Panjala, SSF Talapady unit president, Abdul Hakim and others were present.

In the study camp, on the unity of the organization held after the programme, Hamza Madani Mithur presented the subject. At the mass weddings, Khatijathul Kubra-Nasrulla and Umaira Banu-Sayyad Abdulla were wedded. SYS, K C Road unit president N S Ummar Master delivered the keynote address. Chief secretary Usman Palla proposed the vote of thanks.

“Though we had plans of holding five marriages last December, we could only conduct three as there were no couples to be wedded. Jewellery and clothes for two couples were set aside and weddings of two more couples were held today,” said N S Ummar Master.

source: / / Home> Karnataka / by Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru(DV) / March 28th, 2016

Mangaluru: Abdul Aziz elected as president of Saw Mill Owner’s assoc

Mangaluru, KARNATAKA :

Mangaluru :

Abdul Aziz was elected as the president of Saw Mill Owner’s Association in the Saw Mill Owner’s meet, held at a private hotel here on Friday March 25.

Honorary president, Haji Abdul Y Kunhi, secretary Mohammed Haji, vice president- Faizal, secretary Vishwanath Nayak, joint secretary, Mukthar, treasurer Govindha Bhai Patel, legal advisor Bhaskar were also elected during the meet.

From Sullia, Harish Kamath, Puttur-Haji Kunhi Mohammed, Mangalore-North-Nasir, Mangalore South- Abdul, Mangalore-Dinesh, Bantwal-Rithesh Baliga, Belthangady, Vaikunta Baliga were elected as the office bearers on the occasion.

The newly elected president Abdul Aziz gave a brief note on the need of the association in contemporary scenario and problem faced by the Saw Mill Owners in the society.

Abdul Nasir compered the programme.

source: / / Home> Karnataka / by Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru(DV) / March 25th, 2016

Rafick & Co. shine

Kolkata, WEST BENGAL :


The Pro-Am event of the Kolkata Classic 2016 was won by local professional Rafick Ali Mollah’s team.

The Pro-Am was played in the Texas Scramble format where the team’s best ball was chosen on every shot including the putting green.

Rafick led his team to victory with a score of 57.1 points. Rafick’s team comprised amateurs Atul Bhalla, Venky Rao and Jaydeep Chitlangia.

Feroz Ali Mollah’s team helped his team finish second with a score of 57.2 points. Feroz’s team comprised amateurs G S Baweja, Hiranmoy Chatterjee and Hirak Dasgupta.

The prize for the longest drive on hole no. 15 was won by Gaurav Ghosh whose drive landed at a distance of 293 yards, while the prize for the closest to the pin on hole no. 2 was won by G S Kohli whose shot landed 12 feet from the hole.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Front Page> Sports> Story / by The Telegraph Bureau / Sunday – March 27th, 2016

Award for special children

Chennai, TAMIL NADU :


The Surabi Trust presented its Seva Achiever Award on Friday to recognise social workers.

Chairman of the state linguistic minorities federation CMK Reddy gave away awards to Mohammed Rafi of Anbagam, a school for special children and Iyappan of Sri Arunodayam, a home for the homeless and handicapped.

The award ceremony saw a musical performance by Vadya Sangeetha Sangamam. TN

source: http: // / The New Indian Express / News Home> City> Chennai / TNN / March 28th, 2016

Qazi to lead Ujjain Kumbh parade

The Ujjain Simhastha in 2004. Picture by Raj Patidar
The Ujjain Simhastha in 2004. Picture by Raj Patidar


Bhopal :

When Ujjain city qazi Khaleel-ur-Rahman returned home from juma prayers yesterday afternoon, he was surprised to see a posse of visitors, mostly Hindu seers heading various akharas (monasteries).

Led by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad head, Acharya Narendra Giri, the visitors asked Qazi Khaleel to lead the peshwai (procession) that marks the beginning of the month-long Simhastha, starting April 22 this year.

The Ujjain Simhastha is one of the four legs of the Kumbh Mela, each occurring by rotation every 12 years, the other three being the Kumbhs at Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag) and Nashik.

The qazi – an arbiter for Muslims’ personal matters – said he was “overwhelmed” by the offer. He said he greatly valued the gesture at a time some people were following divisive agendas.

“This is the first time we have formally invited the shahr (city) qazi. The objective is to create goodwill and communal harmony,” Acharya Giri told The Telegraph.

He said that he and the other akhara heads had thought of personally visiting and inviting Qazi Khaleel to “send out a strong signal of communal harmony from the Simhastha”.

For the first time, the transgender community too has been given its own place at the Simhastha – amid resistance from the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex body ofakharas.

The Ujjain administration has earmarked five acres of land where around one lakh transgender people would be put up during the Simhastha.

Transgender people from 22 states have formed the Kinnar Akhara for this purpose, said its convener, Rishi Ajay Das.

Traditionally, various akharas take out the peshwai about a fortnight before the Simhastha begins formally with a shahi snan (royal bath). The heads of dozens of akharas join the procession, sitting on silver thrones on elephants, while armed sadhus (ascetics) ride horses and camels.

They are followed by other hermits, monks, priests and devotees on foot while thousands line both sides of the streets. The procession ends at Ram Ghat on the banks of the river Kshipra, which turns holy during Simhastha.

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government and the various akhara heads have agreed to hold three shahi snans during the Simhastha, on April 22, May 9 and May 21.

More than five crore pilgrims are expected to gather and take a dip in the river. The occasion is called Simhastha because of a rare, 12-yearly configuration of planets with the Sun entering the Aries sign and Jupiter in Leo (Simha).

State minister Bhupinder Singh said that Chouhan had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a spiritual gathering during the Simhastha.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta, India / Front Page> Nation> Story / by Rasheed Kidwai / Sunday – March 27th, 2016

Mehbooba Mufti stakes claim to form government in Jammu and Kashmir

Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti.
Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti.

PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday met Governor N.N. Vohra and staked claim for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Ms. Mufti later thanked the BJP for extending support to her for formation of the new government.

Ms. Mufti said focus of her new government would be on peace, reconciliation and development in Jammu and Kashmir.

She said the date for oath-taking is being finalised.

Leader of the BJP legislative party Nirmal Singh also met the Governor and handed over letter of support from the BJP to Ms. Mufti.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News / b y PTI / Jammu – March 26th, 2016

Life and times of Iqbal

A scene from Sir Iqbal.
A scene from Sir Iqbal.

M. Sayeed Alam’s “Sir Iqbal” will be staged in the Capital this Sunday

The most sung poet and perhaps the most sung song in India “Saare Jahan Se Accha” written by Allama Muhammad Iqbal is all set to ignite the imagination of theatre lovers in Delhi. Playwright and directors, M. Sayeed Alam and Danish Iqbal’s spring time production ‘Sir Iqbal’ is a biographical work on the life, times and scholarship of Allama Iqbal who continues to be misunderstood in India but is celebrated in Pakistan as the man who came up with the idea of a separate nation for Muslims.

“Iqbal’s love for India which clearly comes through in the poem ‘Saare Jahan Se Accha’ and yet his choice of living in Islamic Pakistan over a secular India is in itself a study in contrast, a paradox that has pushed him far away from public memory in India. Iqbal died in 1938 much before the idea of Pakistan even took shape. Doctored history, misapprehensions about Allama being a fanatical Muslim who chose to live in a Muslim dominated undivided India needs to be closely looked into. My play is an effort to demystify Iqbal and clear some perceptions about the great poet, philosopher and politician and above all a humanist who has given India its most enduring patriotic poem yet remains forgotten in the country,” said Alam in the midst of rehearsals for the play which opens to public on March 20 at Sri Ram Centre.

“From what I have read about Iqbal’s political philosophy, he never demanded a separate home for Muslims outside India. Iqbal’s formulations somehow suited the supporters of Pakistan and they hailed him as the ideological father of the country – something that many Indians came to detest and therefore Iqbal remains forgotten whereas his poem as a song is sung everyday in schools all over the country. Our play brings out this dichotomy,” said Alam.

“Sir Iqbal” had first premiered in Kolkata in November last year to much critical acclaim. The one and half hour play with a 15-member cast will see Alam himself essay the role of Iqbal. The play is centred around the poet and philosopher’s life. In the play, Iqbal’s story is narrated by his trusted servant Ali Baksh who enjoyed Iqbal’s confidence and had witnessed many events in his life. Set in British India in the backdrop of the first half of the 20th Century, ‘Sir Iqbal’ will mirror the socio-political churnings during Allama’s times till his death in 1938 in undivided India. The play will perhaps set some records straight and clear many perceptions about Iqbal, who for many Indians still remains an enigma.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by Anasuya Basu / March 18th, 2016