Manjari Mishra ,[ Sunday, March 19, 2006 01:13:37 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
LUCKNOW: A fixed quota for Muslims in Uttar Pradesh police force and administrative jobs and making Urdu compulsory for Muslim children in the state are the two important demands listed in the agenda of the newly-formed Joint Uelma Board.
The decision to set up a body comprising both Shia and Sunni clerics and scholars to press for non religious issues relating to socio-economic development of Muslims was taken at a meeting of prominent clercis at Teele Wali Masjid on Friday.
The meeting was attended by 30 ulema who after much deliberation and discussion agreed to form an official joint front to ensure that Muslims get their share of pie in UP, said Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, one of the founder members and a prominent Shia cleric.
"If the experiment succeeds, the Board will fan out to other states as well," he added. Jawwad told TOI in absence of proper rahnumai (guidance), minority community has often been taken for a ride by politicians.
"They are promised the moon during the time of elections and later all promises are forgotten. All political parties in the state have been using Muslims only as mere vote banks."
The board will fight for power sharing by Muslims, elaborated Jawwad. "This certainly does not mean inducting two Muslim ministers in a jumbo cabinet. What we propose to demand is a proper representation and not just a symbolic gesture of pacification."
Jawaad said the body will root for compulsory Urdu teaching for Muslim students all over UP regardless of the institutes. This, he clarified must begin at the primary level.
Meanwhile efforts are on to induct Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadwi, rector of Nadwa and Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, senior Shia cleric and scholar as the patron of the body.
The Board, Maulana Jawwad, explained feared no competition or rivalry from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. "AIMPLB is meant to deal with the shariat matters and and we don’t expect to tread on that territory," he clarified.
And even as the new outfit tries to garner support from the community, a section of ulema has hit out at the trespass of their colleagues in ghair mazhabi (non religious) issues.
Giving voice to his displeasure, Maulana Khalid Rashid of Firangi Mahal said that interference of ulema in social reforms was unwarranted and would only confuse the masses.