Category Archives: Leaders

Rayalaseema IG takes charge

Rayalseema, ANDRA PRADESH :


New SPs assume charge in Tirupati, Vizianagaram

Shaik Mohammed Iqbal took charge as Inspector-General of Police, Rayalaseema, in Kurnool on Monday from N. Sridhar Rao, who has been transferred.

DIG of Anantapur Range J. Prabhakara Rao, Superintendents of Police – Gopinath Jatti (Kurnool), Rajasekhar Babu (Chittoor), Attada Babujee (Kadapa) – APSP Battalion Commandant Samuel John, Regional Vigilance and Enforcement Officer Sivakoti Babu Rao, Additional SPs P. Shaik Shavali and I. Venkatesh, Circle-Inspectors and SIs welcomed Mr. Iqbal with bouquets.

Later the officials gave a warm farewell to outgoing IG N. Sridhar Rao by felicitating him with shawls and garlands in the police guest house here.

In Tirupati, Abhishek Mohanty, a 2011 batch IPS officer, took charge as the Superintendent of Police of Tirupati Urban police district, here on Monday. Speaking to the media, he said that their focus would be on implementing the ‘rule of law’ along with basic/professional policing.

In Vizianagaram, G. Pala Raju has taken charge as Superintendent of Police from his counterpart L.K.V. Ranga Rao on Monday.

Later, talking to media persons, Mr. Raju said that he would improve community policing and other programmes that his predecessor had initiated for the welfare of people.

In Kurnool, Traffic will be streamlined in coordination with officials of the Kurnool Municipal Corporation, Roads and Buildings, National Highways, citizens and NGOs, Kurnool Superintendent of Police Gopinath Jatti has said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Kurnool – July 04th, 2017

Tiger hunter turns tiger rescuer

Hyderabad, TELANGANA :

Hyderabadi shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan | Photo Credit: aranged
Hyderabadi shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan | Photo Credit: aranged

Maharashtra :

‘Man-eater’ successfully tranquillised

Reputed hunter from the city, ‘Nawab’ Shafat Ali Khan, who used to be frequently embroiled in controversies by shooting down ‘man-eating’ tigers, has, for a change, successfully tranquillised female tiger in Maharashtra that had reportedly turned man-eater.

The three-year-old tigress was captured alive on Monday evening from the outlying territory of Tadoba National Park, near Halda village, Mr. Khan informed over phone.

The tigress, named C-1 by the Forest Department officials, was from the spill-over population of 40 adult tigers and 19 cubs that struggled for survival in the Brahmapuri Division outside the national park, thickly populated with human habitations and sparsely with prey base.

The young feline had killed two humans and injured four, besides lifting away countless cattle and goats between April and June. After it had reportedly killed a man on June 21 and partially ate his body, villagers became furious leading to her being declared a man-eater, and ordered to be shot down.

Attempts by veterinarians to tranquillise the big cat turned futile, and Mr. Khan was invited by the Maharashtra Government to hunt her down. “I had noticed that the tigress displayed abnormal behaviour. She would kill the cattle during daytime, and when resisted, attack the villagers,” Mr. Khan recalled. However, he decided to capture her alive, after noticing from camera traps that she was beautiful and young. His team, including son Asghar, faced tough opposition from the villagers who wanted her shot down.

“They even attacked us once, seeing the tranquilliser guns in our hands. We had to sit with them, and make them understand our efforts,” he said. The cattle kills became very frequent, but almost always, the tigress abandoned her kills scared by the attempts to chase her away.

Tigress that was tranquillised.
Tigress that was tranquillised.

“After a futile attempt at Padmapur village on July 4, she disappeared up to July 9, only to resurface near Halda village where she was conceived by her mother. Our task became very difficult as her mother and two sisters roamed in the five square kilometre vicinity,” Mr. Khan said.

Painstakingly, the stripes on the tigress’ body were memorised, and her presence was ascertained further through her odd tendencies of abandoning her kills.

“Monday afternoon, she killed a cow and ate five kilograms of meat. We set up a ‘machan’, tied the carcass with ropes and awaited her arrival. At 5.30 p.m., she came tearing out, lifted the carcass snapping the ropes, and almost galloped away, but not before I took a very fast shot. The dart went in her neck, and she fled dropping her kill,” Mr. Khan explained. She was noticed 200 meters away, captured and brought back to the Forest Department’s camp at Ekara village.

“I visited the tigress on Tuesday morning. She was in healthy condition,” Mr. Khan informed.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Swathi Vadlamudi / Hyderabad – July 12th, 2017

Zaheer Khan: A profile of India’s new bowling coach, the best man for the job


Zaheer assumed the mentoring role even during his playing days with India. (PTI Photo)
Zaheer assumed the mentoring role even during his playing days with India. (PTI Photo)



  1. Zaheer took 311 wickets in 92 Test matches and 269 in ODIs over 15 years.
  2. Zaheer was the joint highest wicket-taker in India’s successful 2011 World Cup campaign.
  3. Zaheer wisely understood the importance of cutting down on pace for accuracy.


New Delhi :

Late on Tuesday evening, news broke from the BCCI that Ravi Shastri was indeed the new coach of the Indian cricket team, capping a frenzied few hours when speculation had been rife about whether or not the former India allrounder, who was team director from August 2014 to April 2016, was stepping into the shoes vacated by Anil Kumble last month.

When the confirmation came, it was no surprise. What did cause a flutter was news that former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan had been appointed bowling coach of the team, for this was not widely foreseen. Add to it the pedigree and tactual nous of Zaheer, India’s fourth most successful bowler in Tests and ODIs, and this was a major announcement. India’s pace bowling stocks has arguably never been better, with Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya all capable of clocking 140kph, and the likes of Dhawal Kulkarni, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat followed by the promise of youngsters such as Mohammed Siraj and Basil Thampi.

While he has no formal coaching experience, the 38-year-old Zaheer brings a vault of experience to his most high-profile role since he retired from international cricket in October 2015. He will rank as one of India’s best fast bowlers and, for two periods in his international career, was on par with the best in the world. From an Indian context, on a thin list of genuine fast bowlers, Zaheer rightly occupied a place because of his wickets and skill with a cricket ball in his hand, new and old.

The highlights reel of Zaheer’s career makes for special reading. A total of 311 wickets in 92 Test matches and 269 in ODIs over 15 years. A World Cup winner, in 2011 when he was the joint highest wicket-taker. A leading role in a rare Test victory in England, and a supporting role in India’s only two on South African soil. In between, there was success in Test wins at home and in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and in the West Indies.

A tall, sturdy fast bowler with a smile to put you at ease, much was expected of him when he burst onto the scene with those yorkers to the Australians in Nairobi in 2000. Here was an Indian bowler regularly able to clock in excess of 140kph and bend the ball back in. That he was a left-arm pace bowler made him all the more appealing and exciting. This was a unique talent in the Indian scenario. Of course, comparisons with Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath , who at the time was starting his decline, were inevitable. Thankfully, for a couple of seasons fans of Indian cricket got to see Srinath and Zaheer bowl in tandem, most effectively in the 2003 World Cup, and what a treat it was.

To watch him move the ball at Trent Bridge in the summer of 2007 and be sucked into the TV screen, to gasp at deliveries that curved away from prodding bats. To see him appeal with a clap when he was certain a batsman was lbw, eyes crinkled as a celebratory smile began to form, then slap your thigh in excitement. To throw your head back in marvel when he went through the defences of Brad Haddin and Brett Lee with successive deliveries bowled with the old ball, getting it to reverse delectably. Was there a better exponent of the old ball for India? With all due credit to Manoj Prabhakar, no. That ability to swing the old ball and new and extract reverse swing was Zaheer’s hallmark. He was a master of bringing the ball back into the right-hander and moving it away sharply from a left-hander by the name of Graeme Smith. Later in his career, Zaheer wisely understood the importance of cutting down on pace for accuracy and the results were, for the most, very satisfactory. Think 2010, and fine bowling performances in Mirpur, Mohali and Durban.

Twice in his international career Zaheer made the hard climb back to the top. First in 2006 after a stint at Worcestershire when 78 wickets propelled him back into the Indian team, and then late 2013 when he worked hard in his fitness and bowling to return for the Test tours of South Africa and New Zealand. On the occasion of his first return, Zaheer proved the perfect foil for Sreesanth in South Africa, before moving past him to reclaim his status as India’s pace spearhead with an unforgettable nine-wicket performance in Nottingham in 2007 that secure India’s fifth Test win in England.

On the second, in what proved his final chapter with India, he bowled more with his head than with pace, which was expectedly down, and with almost Zen-like poise slipped into the role of mentor to the rest of the pacers on and off the field. Five wickets in Johannesburg were testament to his craft and helped India, during South Africa’s first innings, to exhibit control over the hosts. He struggled in the second Test, but nine wickets in two Tests in New Zealand hinted at something more. In the first Test in Auckland, Zaheer was part of the attack that bowled New Zealand out for 105 in their first innings, which he termed one of the best collective Indian bowling efforts he’d been a part of.

It is that Zaheer which this Indian team, as it prepares for a full tour of Sri Lanka starting later this month, can hope to be enriched with. The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising Sachin Tendulkar , Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman – each of whom has played a lot of cricket with Zaheer – has made a wise choice in pushing for his appointment as bowling coach.

source: / The Times of India / News> Sports> Cricket / by Jamie Alter / July 11th, 2017

Chronicler of the mundane: Ranjith Kally documenting Indians in the anti-apartheid movement


Born into a family of ‘coolie Indians’, Ranjith Kally was important in documenting the role of Indians in the anti-apartheid movement

Monty Naicker, Nelson Mandela, and Yusuf Dadoo at the Treason Trial, Pretoria, 1958.
Monty Naicker, Nelson Mandela, and Yusuf Dadoo at the Treason Trial, Pretoria, 1958.

For most Indians with some awareness of the history of South Africa, India’s connection with the country begins and ends with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. As Nelson Mandela famously put it, India sent Mohandas to South Africa and received a ‘Mahatma’.

If the province of Natal was one of several places around the globe where the epic of Indian indentured labour was writ large, South Africa was nearly distinct as the site of an unusual and inspiring solidarity between black people and Indians in the equally epic struggle against racial oppression. Photojournalist Ranjith Kally, who died at the age of 91 in Johannesburg this June, was the great chronicler of both Indian life in Natal and the resistance to apartheid.

Kally was born near Durban in 1925 into a family of ‘coolie Indians’. His grandfather worked on a sugar plantation; his father, likewise, left for the fields early every morning. As was common in his generation, Kally was educated only up to Class VI. He worked in a shoe factory for 15 years and stumbled upon a Kodak Postcard camera at a rummage sale. In 1956, Kally procured a job as a photographer with Drum, a magazine that had been launched to give expression to the lives of black and coloured people.

Chronicling a struggle

Kally’s first photographs of anti-apartheid figures would be taken in the late 1950s. One of his favourite subjects was Monty Naicker, an Indian who trained as a doctor before turning to political activism. At a break during Pretoria’s Treason Trial in 1958, Kally captured Naicker with a young Mandela and the venerable communist leader Yusuf Dadoo in the background. Kally’s many photographs of Fatima Meer, another titanic figure in the anti-apartheid struggle, furnish insights both into how women assumed political roles in the public sphere and the little-discussed role of South African Indian Muslims in shaping secular narratives of freedom.


In one photograph, taken in the early 60s, Kally seated Meer’s daughters, Shamin, Shehnaaz and Rashid, around their buoyant-looking mother in Durban’s Botanical Gardens. The photograph was intended for Ismail, Meer’s husband, who was then in detention, as a keepsake of his family. There is no hint here of anxiety, fear, or the oppressiveness of racial terror. But Meer was also godmother to Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s children, giving them a home and hope at a time of despair.

Kally knew better than most that the story of the anti-apartheid struggle was not only one, or even mainly, of ‘great’ figures. In a rigidly racist society, the occasions for transgression were many and the outcome generally was painful for those animated by the desire for equality and social justice. The anti-miscegenation laws were severe, but, as one of Kally’s most stunning photographs shows, this did not prevent Syrub Singh and the dazzling Rose Bloom (seen emerging from a court hearing) from joining hands in matrimony.

Courting the everyday

What is striking in Kally’s large and still largely unknown body of work is his attentiveness to the quotidian life of Indians in and around Durban. Close to half a century after the end of the indentured system, the greater majority of Indians still lived below the bread line. In one photograph, an Indian woman scrubs dishes outside a group of shacks; a very young girl, clutching a toddler, stands by her side. Kally closely observed young Indian boys and girls working in the cane fields.

His 1957 photograph, ‘Children Gotta Work’, is illustrative of not only Kally’s approach to the grittiness of Indian life in Natal but of the self-reflexivity in much of his work. Four Indian children, some unmistakably teenagers, are on their way to work in the fields. Shovels are flung across their shoulders; two of them firmly grasp lunch boxes in their hands. They walk barefooted in the morning light. The photograph resonates with pictures of Partition, but there are also shades of the historic march of Indian miners from Natal to the Transvaal in 1913. Workers on the move, the daily walk, the look of determination: all this is part of the ensemble.

I didn’t know Kally well enough to say whether he was a man of sunny optimism, but his photographs nevertheless suggest an eye for the whimsical and a zest for life. The whimsical touch is nowhere better captured than in his photograph of a boy with a large tortoise on his head.

The wide grin on the boy’s face reveals the unmistakable fun he is having in ferrying his slow-moving companion. The boldest expression of this element of joie de vivre in Kally’s work is a photograph called ‘The Big Bump’. Two men, both amply endowed at the waist, are rubbing against each other. Each man seems to be saying, ‘My tummy is larger than yours, and all the better for it.’ Kally’s camera paves the way for understanding the extraordinariness of the ordinary.

That is not an inconsiderable gift.

Professor of History at UCLA, the author has the distinction of being listed among the 101 Most Dangerous Professors in America.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Society> Spotlight – History & Culture / by Vinay Lal / July 08th, 2017

Palmyra of the Deccan

Vijayapura (formerly BIJAPUR ) , KARNATAKA :

A view of Gagan Mahal in Vijayapura.
A view of Gagan Mahal in Vijayapura.

The Adil Shahis made Bijapur (now Vijayapura) a city ahead of its time in terms of infrastructure development and security. This well-planned city had two fortifications, one around the principal Adil Shahi administrative and residential buildings, and a larger one around the rest of the city. Both were roughly circular and had moats and several gateways. To further strengthen the defence of the city walls, the Adil Shahis built many bastions and about 96 gigantic cannons were placed on them. Only a dozen of these canons exist today. Most of them are placed in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) museum housed in the Nagaad Khana in front of Gol Gumbaz and some of them still sit atop the surviving bastions.

First line of defence

The fortifications have crumbled due to neglect and the moats are overgrown with thorny shrubs and in some places, they are filled with sewage and garbage. The only gateway that the citadel still has is on the south. This was the principal gateway into the citadel but now wears an abandoned look. Just inside this once splendid gateway are the remains of guardrooms constructed entirely of pillars from Hindu temples mostly belonging to the Vijayanagara period.

One of the surviving bastions is the Sharza Burj or Lion Bastion which is also the largest bastion in the city. It is famous for housing the cannon Malik-i-Maidan or Lord of the Plains, which was a war trophy won after the defeat of the Vijayanagara Empire at the Battle of Talikota. The cannon is made from a special alloy and can fire not only cannon balls but also metal slugs and copper coins.

Nearby is Haidar Burj which is the highest gun platform in Vijayapura and is a very conspicuous solitary structure.

It is also called the Upri or Upli Burj by the locals. It was built in 1583 by Haidar Khan, a general during the reigns of Ali Adil Shah I and Ibrahim Adil Shah II. A spiral stairway leads to the top which houses two long cannons. The tower was most probably customised for the guns which needed to be fired from a height so that they can have a long range.

The Adil Shahis wanted to transform their capital city to match the Mughal cities in the North by building imposing courtly structures, gardens, wells, waterways and granaries. While most of the structures have fallen to ruin, some have been converted to government offices and only a handful are open to tourists. The Gagan Mahal was built by Ali Adil Shah I as a palace and an audience hall. Only its structural skeleton remains today. A short walk from the Gagan Mahal is the Sath Manzil (Seven Pavillions) or Haft Manzil built by Ibrahim II as a pleasure pavilion. Only a few storeys survive now and there is no way to go inside. Just opposite this is Jal Mahal or Water Pavilion that has been decorated exquisitely and is crowned by a dome. It is set in the middle of a square pool which is now dry and filled with garbage. Again, there is no way to go inside.

Reservoirs & stepwells

Water was and is a precious resource for Vijayapura and the Adil Shahis built a complex hydraulic system to bring water from distant sources into the city and supplemented this with reservoirs and stepwells. Only a few stepwells and reservoirs survive today and the system of aqueducts and horizontal wells are lost. The Taj Baoli is the biggest stepwell in Vijayapura and was built by Malik Sandal, a Persian architect, in honour of Taj Sultana, the wife of Ibrahim Adil Shah II. Sadly the well, its gateway and the gallery around it are in a very bad state. It won’t survive for long if no action is taken immediately.

Another well-known stepwell present here is the Chand Baoli. The stepwell was built by Ali Adil Shah I in honour of his wife Chand Bibi and it served as the model for Taj Baoli. Chand Bibi is best known for courageously defending Ahmednagar and Bijapur against the attacks of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. She was the regent of both Ahmednagar and Bijapur and was known to be a good warrior, musician, linguist and artist. The structure is now completely cordoned off from the public. One can only see it through the grill gate.

Present-day Vijayapura would have benefited if the administration had preserved the hydraulic system of the Adil Shahis and used the many stepwells and reservoirs instead of letting them turn into garbage dumps. Waking up to this, the Minister for Water Resources, M B Patil announced in April that starting with Taj Baoli, around 20 wells in Vijayapura will be rejuvenated at the cost of Rs 4.25 crore. As a part of the rejuvenation process, the dirty water present in the wells is being pumped out, the garbage is being removed, and the well is being desilted. Additionally, there are plans to repair the structures around them. When fresh water accumulates, it will be pumped and stored in tanks, from which people can collect water for domestic purposes apart from drinking. This will ease the water scarcity the city is facing to a certain extent.

Unless people surrounding these monuments understand their historical importance and realise that a clean baoli can help face water scarcity, all efforts to revive the heritage structures will be futile.

source: / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Spectrum / by Rijutha Jagannathan / July 04th, 2017

Azharuddin, the evergreen legend in nostalgic mode

Hyderabad, TELANGANA :

“Do you know I can read and write Telugu fluently? I can write the script as good as anyone else. I had a tuition teacher for my Telugu language,’’ Azharuddin said.



The magic, mystery and awe were unmistakable as Mohammad Azharuddin strolled into the Telangana Today newsroom on Tuesday evening. The white T-shirt with the collar up and light blue denims marked the legend’s customary style well-known to his lakhs of fans. Many journalists — some with generous amount of grey and some others much younger — greeted him with eager enthusiasm, bringing alive memories of his incredible batting many years ago.

The former Indian cricket team skipper went down memory lane with the effortless ease which he displayed in the wrist-flicks in his prime. Reminiscing his Vittawaldi days, he recalled those glorious times as an upcoming cricketer. “Do you know I can read and write Telugu fluently? I can write the script as good as anyone else. I had a tuition teacher for my Telugu language,’’ he said.

Azharuddin continued: “I miss those golden days. The roads were empty. It was easy to drive. But, now the traffic is so chaotic. Basically, the people are not disciplined. If told, they would disagree with you.’’

The former stylish cricketer said there could have been a better planning while constructing the metro rail. “It is in the middle of the road and the pillars are very dangerous. If you see in other countries, the metros are positioned to a side, away from the motor roads. It looks scary here.’’

He also revealed his love for the bikes. “I always liked ‘Jawa’, particularly the red ones. It had a royal look. We had a few in and around our streets in Himmayatnagar. Those days owning a Jawa or Yezdi was a big thing.’’

Going to his younger days as cricketer, he said he first played for Deccan Club. “I think I joined in 1977. I remember playing on the bumpy outfields of Parade grounds. It was horrific. We usually played without helmets. But it was enjoyable and there was a lot of camaraderie. I learnt my game from this ground. At times, it was challenging.’’

Azhar said he always enjoyed fielding. ”Somehow, fielding came naturally to me. I would attack the ball. We should be focused and should not shy away from the ball. You know, if a fielder is scared, the ball will chase you. I never flinched from hard work and I used to make it a point to put in extra hours in my training session for fielding.’’

In a lighter vein, he even cited the example of Indian women fielding better than their male counterparts. “In Champions Trophy, our fielders missed some easy run outs while the women ran out six batters in the World Cup,’’ he made a tongue-in-cheek statement.

source: Telangana Today / Home> Sport / by N Jagannath Das / July 05th, 2017

Aligarh Muslim University: a great seat of learning


Sir Syed Ahmad Khan dedicated his life for the Hindu-Muslim unity in the country and worked all his life for the educational upliftment of the community and for the strengthening of a pluralistic society of a modern India. He stressed on making education a medium to transform people into good human beings.

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) represents the secular Ganga-Jamuna culture and the AMU community is committed to preserve this identity of this great seat of learning. Sir Syed avoided too much emphasis on religious subjects in his writings, focusing instead on promoting modern education.

As we know, the AMU is an academic institution of international importance offering more than 300 courses in both traditional and modern branches of education. Academic excellence and cultural ethos of AMU needs to be projected and propagated worldwide more effectively in a positive way. In the fast changing technological world, the role of media has become very important in disseminating the information to have a maximum reach.The supreme interest of Sir Syed’s life was education in its widest sense. He wanted to create a scientific temperament among the Muslims 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; they 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 Varanasi, a city on the Ganga with great religious significance for Hindus. At about the same time, a movement started in the city 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 — 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.

To carry the legacy of the great reformer, the AMU has got a dynamic and intellectual person as vice chancellor in the form of Prof Tariq Mansoor, who had been associated with the university for more than three decades. Mansoor has been the principal of the J N Medical College since 2013. He had been the secretary of the University Games Committee for about seven years.

Besides being the president of the Association of Surgeons, he has been a member of the Medical Council of India (MCI) since 2015 and that of the AMU Executive Council for 12 years. Mansoor is a recipient of the senior surgical award from the Association of Surgeons of India. He is also given credit for the overall development of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College. He served as an advisor in the Union Public Service Commission and as an assessor for the MCI.

Mansoor, in his vision, posted on the University’s website clearly stated that he will implement “Sir Syed’s vision of imparting modern education and will be focusing on “preparing students to qualify in competitive exams for central services, armed forces, IITs, IIMs and leading industries. We will also aim to produce top professionals in medicine, engineering, law, management, sciences and humanities”.

Appeal to alumniIt is unique and very positive to have a team of highly intellectual and academicians of repute to run the University. It is important for the progress of an academic institution that it should run by the academicians of high repute.

In an open letter to the AMU alumni who are holding important positions in different organisations worldwide, the vice chancellor has made an appeal to them to contribute both academically and financially.

To me, this is a very good move and initiative that will certainly help the students in getting employment in national and international market. Alumni support will also help in developing the infrastructural facilities of high standard as we have seen the contribution by Frank Islam, an AMU alumnus based in the US.The way newly appointed vice chancellor has taken the initiatives so far clearly shows his vision and plan for the betterment of the university. However, it would be more interesting to see his efforts in days to come. His biggest challenge would be maintaining the law and order situation in the campus. His long association with AMU would certainly be helpful in understanding the dynamics of the campus and in maintaining the law and order situation.

However, I would suggest that the VC should have an IPS officer on deputation basis as proctor of the University with power to handle the law and order situation independently. Another issue he may face would be regionalism and groupism in the campus but I am happy to mention that he already stated clearly in his vision that he will eliminate factionalism and groupism from the campus. It is high time for the AMU community to support the vice chancellor in making the University as one of the best in the country.

(The writer, a linguist, teaches at Washington University in St Louis, USA)

source: / Deccan Herald / Home> Panorama / by M.J. Warsi / July 03rd, 2017

From Fergana to Delhi



A Babur-focussed Uzbeki cultural project is using a common heritage to create a dialogue.

In July 1501, the great-great-greatgrandson of Timur (Tamerlane), Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur — the founder of Mughal empire — left his home in Fergana Valley in present day Uzbekistan. Five hundred years on, the Uzebki government is tracing his journey to India and his Indian connections as part of Cultural Legacy of Uzbekistan in Art Collections of the World project which began last year.

An effort to piece together the country’s history, researchers are connecting with international museums documenting the antiquity and artifacts connected to them. Till date, the Uzebki government has released 10 volumes and several short films on the cultural legacy of Uzbekistan with the help of information from leading museums in Russia, North America and Australia. “What they are doing is a first. They are not raising a dispute or demanding return of any antiquity. Instead, they are taking a holistic approach — using the common heritage to create a dialogue instead of stoking controversy,” says independent commentator Shashtri Ramachandaran, who participated in a two-day congress on the study organised by the Uzbek government.

An average Indian will be more familiar with United Kingdom, having followed their parliamentary and administrative methods or would be familiar with the cultural milieu of the United States, having developed an appetite for American TV shows. But barring academics, few are aware of the shared heritage between India and Uzbekistan that spans across centuries. A team of researchers from Uzebkistan visited the National Museum this April to piece together this lost history. “Their aim is to document material related to the Mughal era primarily. Once they present a formal proposal which is vetted by the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Culture, they can start documenting work,” said Dr BR Mani, Director General, National Museum, who met with the Uzbekistan’s Ambassador last week to discuss the project.

The Uzbeki interest in the founder of the Mughal dynasty comes at a curious time, given that Babur’s successor Aurangzeb’s name was removed unceremoniously off Delhi’s roads for being an “invader”. Union Minister V K Singh even suggested that his grandfather Akbar should meet with a similar fate. In February this year, the BJP-led government in Rajasthan backed a proposal to rewrite history taught at the university level to attest that Rajput warrior-king Maharana Pratap won the Battle of Haldighati against Akbar’s Mughal army led by general Man Singh, despite historical evidence suggesting otherwise. In the same vein, RSS ideologue Indresh Kumar recently suggested that Babur and his army general Mir Baqi should be tried in court for destroying Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

History suggests that Babur lived in India for only four years and died at the age of 47 in 1530 after successfully ousting Ibrahim Lodhi (in the Battle of Panipat in 1526). But his legacy lived on. The Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992 triggered the campaign to decry the Mughals as invaders. “Labeling the Mughals as “invaders” is bogus, historically. But Hindu nationalists do not use this label as a historical claim,” says Professor Audrey Truscke, who received severe backlash over her recent book Aurangzeb: the Man and the Myth. She adds that maligning Mughals is only a means to fuel “anti-Muslim sentiment in the present”. “It is a shameful business, especially at a time when vigilante violence against Muslims is on the rise,” she adds.

Babur was not Indian, even less an Uzbeki. He tried at least thrice to win Samarkhand but failed. “Babur took Samarkand one last time with help from the Safavids of Persia in 1513. However, as he had to publicly acknowledge his support for Qizilbash Shiism, his subjects turned against him,” explains Professor Ali Anooshahr from the History Department of the University of California.

During his time in India, Babur influenced architecture, culture, warfare and even introduced Indians to the sweet melons of Fergana. When Babur reached India, he was disappointed that the only fruit available was mango. It is said that he personally monitored planting of watermelons and musk melons. “In Babarnama, Babur writes about the apricots and pomegranates of Marghilan, fruit trees of Isfara, the melons of Bukhara, and the apples of Samarkand. He also recalled with pleasure, the various flowing rivers and brooks in that region,” adds Prof Anooshahr.

At the museum, the Uzbeki experts are particularly interested in manuscripts of the Holy Quran, scribed in Uzbekistan, which were presented to the Mughal emperors, as is evident from the royal seals on the cover page. Also of interest are 15 illustrated folios of the Baburnama. He wrote his autobiography in Chagatai language, the spoken language of the Andija-Timurids. It was during the reign of Akbar that the work was completely translated in Persian. According to Prof Anooshahr, the most comprehensive copy of the original is the Hyderabad manuscript. “Although I do not know where exactly that copy is located right now,” he adds.

The Uzbeki researchers are now looking at sources beyond the National Museum. “It is gratifying to realize that the culture of such a great country is connected with ours. We are planning to publish a couple of albums in India, depending on the results of our work,” said Professor Andrey Zybkin, the Uzbeki project coordinator.

Few sites of the Babur era have stood the test of time. Some of them include, West Delhi’s Babur era mosque, the Babri Masjid and Ram Bagh in Agra. But it is not just the Mughal era that is of interest. India and Uzbekistan go as far back as the Kushan Dynasty. The Kushan Empire, spanning an area of 37 lakh kilometres, extended from Bihar to southern Uzbekistan. It was an era when the Indian sub-continent saw extraordinary exchange of art and ideas. “At present we do not have first-hand information on the Kushan period artifacts found in Uzbekistan. It will be interesting to see how the pottery, social behaviour and culture changed from Fergana valley to Mathura,” Dr Mani added.

Apart from the Mughals and Kushans, there are other points of convergence between the two nations. Gujaratis had close trade ties with Uzbekis, so did Parsis and Armenian Christians. Professor A K Pasha from JNU explains that somewhere this search for their history is part of a “resurgence of old identity”. “For years, the Uzbeki culture was subjugated and overpowered by Russians. The Islamic feeling is growing which is why they want to resurrect their old identity,” explains Pasha.

source: / Mumbai Mirror / Home> Others> Sunday Read / by Sobhana K Nair, Mumbai Mirror / June 18th, 2017

Free media, a necessity in a free society: Ansari


Vice President Hamid Ansari, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during the release of National Herald’s commemorative publication, “70 years of India’s Independence” on Monday. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during the release of National Herald’s commemorative publication, “70 years of India’s Independence” on Monday. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Bengaluru :

Vice President Mohammand Hamid Ansari, on Monday, said a free media is not only beneficial but also a necessity in a free society and any attack on press freedom will result in jeopardising citizens’ rights.

Mr. Ansari, who launched National Herald’s commemorative publication – “70 years of India’s Independence” – in the presence of All India Congress Committee Vice President Rahul Gandhi at a function here, said the State should not impede the free flow of information.

When faced with unjust restrictions and the threat of attack, self-censorship in the media could have the opposite effect, aiding the covering up of abuses and fostering frustration among marginalised communities.

Mr. Ansari also said the Constitutional framework provided for required intervention by the State to ensure smooth working of the press and society; but the laws state that it should only be in the interest of the public at large. “The media, if it is to remain true to its calling, has to do likewise. In an open society like ours, we need a responsible press to hold power to account. This is why freedom of press under Article 19 (1)(A) of the Constitution is subject only to reasonable restrictions in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, public order, decency, contempt of court, defamation and incitement to an offence.”

The Supreme Court has held that ‘freedom of speech and of the press is the Ark of the Covenant of Democracy’ because public criticism is essential to the working of its institutions. In this age of ‘post-truths’ and ‘alternative facts’ where ‘advertorials’ and ‘response features’ edge-out editorials, “we would do well to recall Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision of the press playing its role of a watchdog in democracy and look at the ethos and principles that powered his journalism.”

Noting that Nehru, who started National Herald newspaper, believed that media was a pillar of democracy, Mr. Ansari said he envisioned a free, unfettered and honest press. “Nehru watched over the interests of media persons in independent India.”

The Working Journalists Act, which tried to give a degree of protection to journalists, to ensure freedom of press, was largely Nehru’s doing.” However, the Act, I believe, is now in disuse, and short term contracts, that make journalists beholden to the ‘preferred lines’ of the publications, are in vogue.”

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it was heartening to note that the Associated Journals Ltd. is reviving National Herald by launching its English website and resuming phased publication as a multi-media outlet, focusing primarily on a news presence in digital form.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Bengaluru – June 12th, 2017

Mubarez-ud-Daulah’s era: Of passion, rebellion and conspiracy

Hyderabad, TELANGANA (formerly ANDHRA PRADESH ) :

A view of Golconda Fort in Hyderabad Photo: G Ramakrishna
A view of Golconda Fort in Hyderabad Photo: G Ramakrishna

The Wahabi Conspiracy of prince Mubarez-ud-Daulah is a forgotten chapter in Hyderabad history

While the attack of Turrebaz Khan on the British Residency in Hyderabad during the 1857 Revolt is well documented in the pages of Hyderabad’s history, a similar bold revolt planned to overthrow the British by Prince Mubarez-ud-Daulah, the younger brother of the Nizam, though foiled in the last moment, is hardly remembered.

The Wahabi conspiracy in Hyderabad was a serious secret movement aimed against the English around 1838. Prince Mubarez-ud-Daulah had the support of Rasool Khan, the Nawab of Kurnool, who like Mubarez also hated the presence of the British. But as ill-luck would have it, before they could strike, the British were able to unearth the conspiracy through their intelligence agencies and the entire plans, went awry. Mubarez was imprisoned till death and Rasool Khan was captured, exiled and his territory, confiscated. However, the well-planned attempt they made served as an inspiration at a time when the very idea to oppose the British authority was in a nascent stage in these parts of the country.

Wahabi Movement was a 17th century reform movement that began in Persia with a view to see the basic tenets of Islam were followed strictly and with sincerity. The movement was started by one Wahab in the 18th century and therefore it was named after him. Wahabi movement was popularised in India by the Islamic religious leader, Shahwaliullah. Wahabis opposed the British presence in India and their slogan was: “Jan ko denge- vathan ko bachayenge” (Let us sacrifice our lives; but safeguard our motherland”).

Role of Mubarez-ud-Doulah


Mubarez–ud–Doulah, the Hyderabadi prince was one of the first in south India to come under the influence of the Wahabi movement. Mubarez, born in 1800, was the second son of Sikander Jah, the Nizam of Hyderabad (1803-1829). As Mubarez had greater access to wealth and also had a private army of more than a lakh, he could devote all his time and resources for the Wahabi movement in Deccan.

From his childhood, Mubarez disliked the presence of the British in Hyderabad. As a result he was imprisoned for nearly five years from 1815 by his father, Sikander Jah at the behest of the British. Mubarez was incarcerated once again, this time during the period of his brother, Nasir-ud-Doulah (1829-57). In 1830, Mubarez collected a large army of Arabs and Afghans and started an insurrection against the British. Then a contingent of British troops under Col. Stewart marched against Mubarez and arrested him. The prince was sent to the fort of Golconda and imprisoned for several months in 1830.

The hatred of Mubarez-ud-Daulah towards the British, even as an young boy was such that once his father Sikandar Jah wanted a British sentry to be posted as a guard at his palace. But the young Prince replied that he would prefer to die rather than to see a British guard at his palace gate.

Alliance with Nawab of Kurnool

Rasool Khan the Nawab of Kurnool too was attracted towards the Wahabi movement. When Mubarez came to know of Rasool Khan’s opposition to the British, he sent his men to strike a secret alliance with the Nawab of Kurnool. Rasool Khan agreed to establish a secret arsenal to manufacture arms and ammunition that was needed for any concerted insurrection which they contemplated. Mubarez, on his part assured monetary help for the manufacture of such arms. Rasool Khan, being of the same age as Mubariz was drawn close to the Hyderabad Prince as both hated the presence of the British power.

The activities of the Wahabis greatly increased by 1838 when it was widely believed that the Russian troops were advancing from Central Asia towards India. It was the plan of the Wahabis that Mubarez will take command of the combined armies at Kurnool and overthrow the British through insurrection. Wahabis also believed that the Shah of Persia would appoint Mubarez-ud-Doulah as the Subedar of the Deccan after driving away the British and deposing the Nizam, Nasir-ud-Doulah.

Gen. Fraser, the then British Resident at Hyderabad, as soon as he came to know of the suspected involvement of Mubarez–ud-Doulah, ordered a strict watch on him. Mubarez started sending his emissaries to several places like Lahore, Sindh, Gwalior, Bombay, Kurnool, Madras, Sholapur etc. Fraser spoke to the Nizam, Nasir-ud-Doulah and convinced him of the conspiracy being attempted by his brother against both the British as well as the government of the Nizam. Mubarez-ud-Doulah was taken into custody and put under guard in the fort of Golconda. All his close associates who were involved in the spread of Wahabi movement, numbering 46 were captured and imprisoned.

Judicial Enquiry Commission

The Resident, instituted a Commission of Enquiry consisting of 6 members; three were nominated by the Resident and the other three were the nominees of the Nizam’s administration. The Commission finally found that Mubarez was engaged in a conspiracy with the Nawab of Kurnool and several others with a view to overthrow the Nizam and declare himself as the ruler and also to bring an insurrection against the British.

Network of spies

The Enquiry Commission became central in unearthing the contemplated insurrection of the Nawab of Kurnool. There was a letter written by Mubarez to the Nawab of Kurnool that was intercepted by the British agents. Mubarez in that letter had spelled out his plans for the final assault on the British requesting the Nawab to dispatch the needed arms for such an attack. If only that letter has reached the Nawab, and had he acted, the Enquiry Commission felt, “the results would have been very disastrous”. The letter was concealed in an amulet and was to be delivered to the Nawab of Kurnool. But on the way to Kurnool, fearing the capture by the British, Muhammad Khan the spy, tied the amulet to the hand of an old beggar woman living in a sarai, where he himself took shelter in the guise of a traveller. The amulet was recovered by the guards while combing the area and thus the entire conspiracy came to light. The letter thus brought to light the role of the Nawab of Kurnool, in the conspiracy against the English.

The British at Madras, immediately sent a large military contingent to deal with Kurnool. The Nawab’s armies were defeated in October, 1839 and the Nawab was deported to Tiruchirapalle (formerly Trichinopoly in English), where he was imprisoned and Kurnool was taken over by the Company administration. Rasool Khan was murdered by one of his own servants in the prison.

The Enquiry Commission also felt that Mubarez, apart from being a hand in glove with the Nawab of Kurnool, also tried to spread sedition among the Muslim sepoys stationed in Secunderabad. As a result, Mubarez had to spend the rest of his life as a prisoner in the Golconda fort till he died on June 25, 1854.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Society>History & Culture> Living Hyderabad / by K S S Seshan / June 10th, 2017