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Foundation stone laid for Hajj House in Bhopal

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: The long cherished dreams of Muslims of having a Hajj House at Bhopal was fulfilled when its foundation stone laying ceremony was performed here at Singarcholi near the city’s airport with much religious fervour. Muslims from all over the state in large numbers converged to witness the ceremony.

Maulana Peer Saeed Miyan Mujaddidi, Rector of Bhopal-based Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom at Taj-ul-Masajid, unveiled the curtain of the plaque and offered “Dua” in the presence of rightist Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), ruled Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to mark the occasion. Minorities Minister Ajay Vishnoi, BJP state president Govind Singh Tomar, state Hajj Committee chairman Dr. Sanawwar Patel, Bhopal Shahar Qazi Maulana Syed Mushtaque Ali Nadvi including Qazis from towns all over the state graced the opening ceremony.

On the occasion, people with excellent service to community were conferred state-level awards. Mrs. Firoza Khan received Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan Award, Azizuddin got Abdul Hameed Khan Memorial Award while Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Memorial Award was conferred on Shaikh Riyazuddin Patel. Chouhan presented shawl, memento and a cheque of Rs.1 lakh to each one of the awardees.

A cheque worth Rs.1 lakh was presented to Messrs Mehboob & Associates, whose design of the proposed Hajj House was adjudged the best. Er. Mahboob-ul-Hasan received the cheque.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Chouhan directed to complete construction of Hajj House at the earliest. He said that work for another Hajj House would start soon at Indore also. He assured that Hajj flights will be operated from both Bhopal and Indore airports to dispel the apprehension from the minds of the people of Indore that they may be left out in matters of Hajj embarkation point.

Chouhan said that the Madhya Pradesh Government is committed to strengthening minorities and ensuring their progress through education, skill development and maximum job opportunities.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan touches heart of Muslims

The hallmark of Chouhan’s speech was that he highlighted and referred to Islamic principles and beliefs which touched the hearts of the assemblage which mostly comprised of Muslims. He stated that interest is forbidden and there is ban on consumption of liquor in Islam and then correlated some of his policy decisions to these Islamic provisions. He pointed out that his government has decided to extend interest-free loan to farmers and not to allow new liquor shops and factories to be opened in the state.

He gave the credit of Hajj House to come up in Bhopal to Almighty’s decision and he himself was just a tool and via media to implement it. “Zameen Par Aik Patta Bhi Nahin Hilta Ooperwale Ke Ishare Ke Beghair. Main To Aik Sevak HooN Jisse Ooperwala Kaam Leraha Hai. Aaj chief minister Hoon Kal Chala Jaaonga”, he remarked.

Greeting Qazis and guests from all over the state, Chouhan said that brotherhood, equality and mutual affection are the foundations of life. Religion teaches to live for and serve humanity. He said that service to poor is the noblest deed. For this, steps like supply of wheat at the rate of Re. 1 and rice at Rs.2 per kg and electricity supply to the poor and interest-free loans to farmers have been initiated.

Minorities Welfare Minister Ajay Vishnoi said that even the Union Government has lauded Madhya Pradesh government for implementation of programmes for minorities’ development. Efforts like training to Hajj pilgrims, scholarships to students, imparting vocational training and extending financial help for higher education have proved effective. They have strengthened minority community. The government has also taken initiative to honour people working in the interest of the community.

Meanwhile, Arif Masood, a prominent Congress leader of the city, after the Hajj House foundation stone laying ceremony in another function felicitated Chief Minister Chouhan for his government’s gesture towards Muslims. He honoured Chouhan by putting a pink “Pagri” (traditional head-gear) on his head and offered sweets in his mouth.

It may be recalled here that Arif Masood and his band of followers had been agitating for Hajj House in Bhopal for last many years and even gave call to court arrest for the cause.

Ex-Union Minister Arif Beg, local MLAs Vishwas Sarang, Jitendra Daga and Dhurvnarayan Singh, office-bearers of Minorities Welfare Commission, Madarsa Board and Hajj Committee, Qazis and Maulvis from various cities and large number of minority community people were present on the occasion.

Madhya Pradesh Hajj Committee chairman Dr. Sanawwar Patel proposed vote of thanks and Badar Wasti compered the programme with aplomb.

Meanwhile, it may be stated here that the Madhya Pradesh Government has sanctioned Rs. 6 crore 11 lakh 25,000 for construction of the Hajj House. Of this, Rs.1 crore has been paid as grant to State Hajj Committee.

For Bhopal Hajj House, 2.01 acre land has been allotted at village Singarcholi. The Hajj House will be constructed in 45,000 square feet area. It will have four storeys. It will house about 1500 pilgrims and will have facilities of training etc. Office of the State Hajj Committee will also be set up on its premises. The construction under the supervision of Capital Project will be completed by the end of year 2014.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]
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