CAG gives clean chit to Aligarh Muslim University

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 30 May 2011 | Posted in , , ,

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has given a clean chit to the audit account of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for the year 2009-2010 as it has not found any discrepancy in the accounts submitted by the University for final clearance by the agency. The report of the CAG has thus negated the allegations of financial irregularities leveled by some vested interest.

According to Dr. Rahat Abrar, Public Relations Officer of AMU, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India observed in his audit report that proper books of accounts and other relevant records have been maintained by the University as required under Section 35(1) of the AMU Act 1920 in so far it appears from our examination of such books.

The report also specifically mentioned that the Balance Sheet and Income and Expenditure Account dealt with in this report are in the agreement with the books of account, Dr. Abrar said in a statement.

During 2009-2010, AMU received Grants/subsidies of Rs. 449.64 crores. In addition to this, the University earned income from sales/services, Fees/subscription, investments, Publications, interest and other income to the tune of Rs. 17.68 crores.

The CAG conducted audit in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in India. An audit includes examining on a test basis, evidences supporting the amounts and disclosure in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by the management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of financial statement, the statement said.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

Middle East Chapters of TNTJ donate 467 Units of Blood in a Single Day

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

By Nazeer Ahamed

Indian fraternity Group from South India named “Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath – TNTJ” has organized Blood Donation Camp on Friday 27th May 2011 in three cities of Middle East namely Riyadh, Dammam and Bahrain.

During these camps Riyadh chapter of TNTJ donated 230 Units , Dammam chapter recorded 157 and Bahrain contributed 80 Units all put together 467 units was donated.

Riyadh Chapter has conducted 11 camps, Dammam 12 camps and Bahrain 4 camps earlier and has donated 1000's of units of blood, which saves lives of many hundreds. These saved blood also used for the Hajj Pilgrimages and also during the cases of emergencies.

TNTJ conduct these camps injunction to the verse of noble Quran Chapter 5 verse 32 “Whoever saves a life will be as if he has saved entire mankind” which will create social harmony and razes hatred among us.

The group maintains to be the number one organization in blood donation in Tamilnadu and most of GCC countries. Tamilnadu Government has awarded a number of awards appreciating its social concern to serve humanity.

[Nazeer Ahamed is based at Dammam, Saudi Arabia. He can be reached at nazeerahamed.shaikh@gmail.com]

Govt of India approves confirmed seats for Haj pilgrims over 70 years of age and his/her companion

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

New Delhi: The Haj Committee of India is its press release issued here recently said that the Government of India has approved “Confirmed Seats for Haj Pilgrims over 70 years of age and his/her companion” with respect to the application filed by the Haj Committee of India vide Ref: HC-Quota/2011/SM-786 5th April, 2011.

The press realease said, “In terms of communication received from the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, dated 31st March, 2011, it has been stated that, "with effect from Haj – 2011, all intending pilgrims over 70 years of age and his/her companion shall be allotted confirmed seats by the Haj Committee of India to perform Haj".

As no provision has been made in the Haj application form for Haj – 2011 for inclusion of companion along with intending Pilgrims over 70 years of age, as such a stamp in the format given below has to be made and affixed on the application form for Haj – 2011 as under:

"Mr.___________________ S/o __________________, aged over 70 years has intended to go on Haj pilgrimage for Haj – 2011, with his companion Mr._________________ S/o
____________________, aged ______ years, who will be with the pilgrim during his visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Haj – 2011."

A prominent social activist Taher Mohammed Saheb expressed his happiness over the Government of India’s approval. He said that the move would prove to be a boon for the aged Haj pilgrims. “A consolidated list of such intended pilgrims, along with the names of their companions, Application Forms, Passports etc. may be sent to this office within the stipulated date for further course of action from this end,” appealed Taher Mohammed Saheb.

It may be noted that Haj Committee of India has no Quota for it as such the confirmed seats will be given to these Pilgrims and their companions against the allotted Final Quota of the State Haj Committees.

Some Hindi news channels refuse to be bound by the dry facts, and let fancy run free

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 27 May 2011 | Posted in ,

By Shailaja Vajpai

LET'S begin this week with a question: as a news viewer, would you rather watch news about the Taliban attack on the Karachi naval base or about Osama bin Laden's five wives who were at each other's hair and throats all the time?

Be honest. You may believe that everyone would be far more interested, indeed greatly concerned about the "hamla" on the Karachi naval base and the fear that Pakistan's nuclear installations may be the future target of a Taliban raid -but you might be wrong. That is what the Hindi news channels are gambling on -Monday night, while the English news anchors looked grim-faced and as though they were facing a nuclear warhead, channels like News 24 and India TV offered us the not-so merry widows of the alQaeda chief. It was a choice between doomsday scenarios (what if Pakistan's nukes are stolen by the Taliban?) and gossip girls (what did the wife Najwa have against the wife Amal?).

If news was to be judged for sheer inventiveness and creativity, the choice would have to be the old and young wives' tales. Citing some book, News 24 claimed that Osama could have been betrayed by his wives; that the oldest of them, Najwa, hated the others because -now hear this -they were educated and she was not. What did she want to do -send them letter bombs? India TV took up the story and gave it another twist: according to the channel, the other wives detested the young one, Amal, because Osama bin Laden was besotted with her. On the night of his death, she reportedly tried to shield him with her body but she was shot in the ankle and so she and her brave effort to save him, fell flat. This report was colourfully illustrated with comic reconstructions that did no justice to her reported bravery.

Dawood Ibrahim is the other Hindi channel favourite. When they're out of "news", they turn to him. With Osama out of the reckoning, he's the man in focus as the new Public Enemy Number One.

Now if only someone could spot him. Apparently, this is tough because no one knows what he looks like any longer. India TV, therefore, speculated on his looks: they did a visual projection which showed a plump face with a greying, straggly French beard, puffy eyes and balding head. But then we were told that well-informed sources claimed the "Don" had changed the direction of his moustache! It was so preposterous that you watched, fascinated, at the sheer audacity of it all. And sometimes, just sometimes, it is better than the fatalistic pronouncements on English news.

In another corner is Baba Ramdev, who is launching his own news channel on Aastha.

There are regular news briefings on travels with Ramdev as he goes from village to village in Madhya Pradesh giving people his blessings and receiving their homage.
These days he teaches yoga less and politics more. As the date for his satyagraha against corruption nears, he's exhorting people to come out and join him because those who do not are as corrupt as those who are corrupt, if you get his meaning.

Apart from "kaala dhan", he's got land acquisition rights and state funding for elections on his mind, not pranayama.

He's also for changing the Constitution of India or so it seemed, when he asked his audience how many of them would like to directly elect the prime minister (they raised their hands as one). He's leaving nothing to chance for his showdown in Delhi in June. He helpfully provided a mobile number you can call to support these worthy causes. And he didn't forget to thank his sponsors, sorry, supporters: Lucky Cable, Aggarwalji, etc. It's said that you move from worldliness to spiritualism. Ramdev is headed in the other direction, but then he's good at headstands, isn't he?

Lastly, saw a good interview with K. Pathmanathan, the LTTE's former arms-procurer on CNN-IBN. He apologised for "the mistake" of V. Prabhakaran, for the death of Rajiv Gandhi. He cried. So now what?

And finally, is there a reason why the cricket commentators wore kurtas at the match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore (Sony Max)? If there is, can't think of what it could be. (Courtesy: Indian Express)

The writer is a well known columnist on current affairs and can be contacted on shailaja.bajpai@ expressindia.com

He was religious, but can’t call him a terrorist for that: Niaz mother

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 26 May 2011 | Posted in , ,

By Gopu Mohan

Madurai: On Sunday night, Fathima received a call from a relative asking her to check a news channel that was showing a report about an arrest in France. She surfed all channels without any luck. But by next morning, there was not one news channel that did not have the news about the arrest. It was about her son, Mohammed Niaz, suspected to a terrorist, now in the custody of the anti-terrorism wing of the police in Paris.

Life as she had known it till then changed dramatically from then on.

Anxiously waiting for any information at her newly constructed house in one of the interior streets in Melur near Madurai, Fathima is yet to come out of the shock.

Even as countless reporters and cameramen knock on her doors and call on her phone, Fathima has withdrawn to the empty insides of the house, unwilling to speak to those who termed her son a terrorist without any substantiation.

There is something surreal to watch oneself in almost all the news channels, which Fathima was facing now. “Some reports say Niaz was a SIMI activist, some others say he was even part of al-Qaeda adding that he apparently went to Algeria to train terrorists. But to my knowledge, he was not part of any such organisations here or abroad, and had gone to Algeria only as part of his job. Isn’t it common sense to ask how many private companies will give such a long leave,” she asked.

The last time Fathima met her son was in January, from the 15th to the 30th, when her husband I Abdul Rashid too came from Saudi Arabia where he has been working for over past two decades.

It was a special occasion as the family was getting together after seven years. The family had a minor disagreement with Niaz for marrying France-based Habibuniza, whom he met over the internet and fell in love with. But the ice was melting as days and months passed by.

“Niaz’s father specifically asked him to come during that time as they both had not met in many years. He came with his wife, Habibuniza,” Fathima recalled fondly.

Having completed his BE in mechanical engineering at MIET Engineering College in Tiruchy, Niaz had worked in a few companies in the Middle-east — in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar — before his marriage to Habibuniza took him to France about three years ago. He has since been working as a mechanical engineer at an oil company there.

“He was religious and pious, but making him a member of banned organisations and even borderline terrorist out of that is a baseless allegation that has helped only to wreck our family. If these allegations had even an iota of truth, the intelligence officials here who were said to be on his trail during his vacation would not have let him catch the return flight,” she said.

For a person who had very little education, Fathima is surprisingly well-informed, comparing her son’s case with that of Mohammed Haneef, the Indian doctor who was arrested by the Australian police on being suspected to be a terrorist.

“If he were indeed a terrorist, I myself would have handed him over to the authorities. I am certain that he will come out clean from this harrowing time, but I do worry about his reputation even after him proving his innocence. Such a taint of terror will not be easy to wash off.”

The stigma is already evident. Many of her relatives are scared to come over or even make calls to comfort her. Not many among the neighbours want to have any connection with the family.

Fathima now has news channels for company besides one or two of her closest relatives.

Niaz wife allowed weekly visits

The French police have reportedly given access to the wife of Mohammed Niaz, one of the alleged members of a suspected terrorist ring there, to meet him once a week, according to his family members here.

According to Niaz’s mother Fathima, his wife Habibuniza was allowed to meet him on Monday, days after he was arrested by the French anti-terrorist wing police. Such visits will be permitted once a week, on Mondays.

Fathima added that Niaz has written a letter to his wife stating his innocence, and added in it that he was confident of coming clean once the investigation concludes. ((Courtesy: Indian Express)

Swami Laxmi Shankaracharya: the man who stumbled upon Islâm

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , , ,

By Syed Miraz Ahmed

In a fit to exploit the growing spate of terrorist activities branded as Islâmic Terrorism, born in 1953 at Kanpur Uttar Pradesh, Shri Swami Laxmi Shankaracharya authored a book titled “The History of Islâmic Terrorism.” The book written originally in Hindi was eventually published in English from Mumbai by Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thakarey.

All this was not to stop here. Swami enthused to furthermore expound the influence of Islâmic Terrorism in the Euro-American world began serious research studies. Surprised with the discoveries made henceforth Swami grew apologetic for what he gathered in his first book “The History of Islâmic Terrorism.” To denounce his belief he held about Islâm and the widespread opinions on Islâmic Terrorism he wrote his expository finds into “Islam: Terror or Principle?”

Swami born into a family of Brahmin educationists received education at Kanpur and later in Allahabad. He started life as a Contractor but soon sometime after he deviated towards constructive spiritualism and began to look around through the prism of Monotheism.

Swami credits the popularity of the phrase ‘Islâmic Terrorism’ to the media, the West and other countries who through what he calls ‘A Planned Conspiracy’ published innumerable books which claim that the roots of Terrorism are found in Islâm.

Recently the Assamese Islamic Literary Publication Committee (AILPC) under the aegis of the Jamaat-é-Islâmi Hind (JEIH) Assam North Chapter released the Translated Assamese Edition of the original Hindi Edition of the book ‘Islam: Terror or Principle?’ by Author and Guest of Honor Swami Laxmi Shankaracharya (Lucknow) at Pandit Tirthanath Sarma Auditorium at Chandmari Colony, Guwahati. The Assamese Edition of the book has been translated by Md. Abdul Hamid and Md. Nasim Ullah active members of JEIH Assam North Chapter.

The event saw the attendance of Speakers Dr. Ramesh Pathak, Retired Professor of Assamese Language (Cotton College, Guwahati) and Md. Kefayatullah, President Jamaat-é-Islâmi Hind Assam North Chapter among invitees, patrons and distinguished others.

Guest Speaker Dr. Ramesh Pathak elaborating the concept of Tauheed said Prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessings of Allâh Be With Him) is not a property of the Muslims as otherwise thought. Translator Md. Abdul Hamid held: “We must ask ourselves if we are Muslims. We must correct our incapacities at the earliest,” while Jamaat-é-Islâmi Hind Assam North Chapter President Md. Kefayatullah upheld the principles that define the existence of One God.

Significantly the kind of history which Swami came across in the VI Standard detailing Muhammad Sahabuddin Ghori till Aurangzeb created a different picture of Islâm and Muslims. To quote him ‘both Islâm and Muslims seemed to be a threat.’ Later when he went to Allahabad in pursuance of higher studies, the behavior of few Muslim brothers there further solidified what he perceived through history books. Following the misreportage of Islâm by the media in India and worldwide fuelled his opinion so much so that he wrote “The History of Islâmic Terrorism.”

Addressing a calm gathering Swami echoed: “But then after I realized that the book “The History of Islâmic Terrorism” is not in the interest of the country because if the crores of Muslims of this country and their Religion is associated with Terrorism a negative message would go in and the enemies of the country, the evil forces which want to weaken the country, which want to divide the country and burn the country, they would find opportunities to brainwash the Muslim youths of the country. I felt I should rethink on the bases I wrote the book linking terrorism to Islâm and there was another reason too. I was suggested to write a similar book for the Europe and Americas which pictured growing threats from Islâm and that the book should be downright authentic, not thin but fat in its volume. So that is why I started researching deeply on Islâm and it was during my researches it occurred to me that if it goes on like the way it is, a very negative message will be popularized and it shall put the country to threat. When after I began researching again I found that those very Ayahs of The Noble Qur’an which I connected with Terrorism are in reality meant to end Terrorism and that there are a number of similarities between The Srimad Bhagwat Geeta and The Noble Qur’an.”

When Swami saw this new face of Islâm he grew sad for his deeds and as a first step towards admitting his guilt he tried apologizing verbally to the people and then through the media, held meetings but concluded God wanted something else. He said: “God poised great hindrances, I introspected and I received inspiration from God that I give the reply to a book with a book. I wrote “The History of Islâmic Terrorism” and I had to give them a reply to a book in the form of a book. I wrote a different book ‘Islam: Terror or Principle?’ meaning there is no terror in Islâm but principles. The references and proofs which I furnished in this book and the references and proofs which I am now going to put forward to you are different. I do not want to give you references which attract your attention to only read. I am giving other references. Without references nothing is proved. For it the first thing which I want to say is that we have voted to power the governing leaders of this country so that they strengthen the social fabric of this country and establish equality and solidarity amongst the Hindus, Muslims and other religious communities. But those leaders for their own benefit, for their votes, for their politics gave birth to disbelief among the Hindus and Muslims by way of connecting terrorism to Religion. Hindu Terrorism, Islâmic Terrorism, Muslim Terrorism and all such things are only methods of acquiring votes.”

Swami holds that whenever a leader talks about Hindu Terrorism among Muslims they only intend to harvest votes. He continues: “These leaders do nothing, they do not work, they only construe vote math to capture votes. In this issue we are not going out of our issue by discussing these because it is essential to tell you who gave birth to Terrorism, it is necessary to go to its roots. When they go among the Muslims and talk about Hindu Terrorism they effort to trap wholesale Muslim votes and when they go to the Hindus and talk about Islâmic Terrorism, Muslim Terrorism they thus effort to trap their wholesale votes. These are traps. And today we have a leader who is the Minister for Home who found the color of Terrorism called Saffron Terrorism and our Mr. Tagodia started seeing Green Terrorism. One found Saffron Terrorism while the other found Green Terrorism. Now the factor is Hindu Terrorism, Muslim Terrorism, Saffron Terrorism, and Green Terrorism; is there any truth in it?”

Swami offered a comparative report on Sanatan Vedic Religion and Islâm wherein he cited that according to the Vedas Ahimsa (Non-Violence) is the greatest Dharma (Virtuous Deed) and to be slanderous is the greatest Adharma or Sin. There is no greater a Sin than to backbite on someone’s religion, one’s person, or society. The education that connects to God is Yog and there are Eight Steps of Yog. To connect to God it is necessary to complete the Eight Steps: 1) Yam 2) Niyam 3) Asan 4) Pranayam 5) Pratyahar 6) Dharna 7) Dhyan and 8) Samadhi.

He further illustrates: “In this the first step is Yam. And what we have in the first step? (1) Ahimsa (Non-violence) (2) Satyam (The Universal Truth that God is One and He Alone is Worthy of Worship / La Ila ha Ilal Lah) (3) Astayam (To curb greed) (4) Brahmacharyam (To practice monogamy. Chastity in thought, word, and deed, always, and in all conditions) (5) Dayajagam (To instill kindness) (6) Kshyama (To be forgiveful) (7) Dhritim (To be patient. Sabr. According to the Qur’an Allâh is with those who have patience) (8) Nikahara (To eat less. It is said in the Vedas that 3/4th of the stomach should be filled and 1/4th kept empty. The Apostle of Allâh (May Peace and Blessings of Allâh Be With him) said that food for 3 persons is enough for 4 persons) (9) Saucham (To be physically and mentally clean) (10) Chae eao yama dus Without acquiring these 10 qualities no one can step over the first step towards connecting with God. This is the Sanatan Vedic Religion and can people who follow such a religion with orthodoxy be terrorists? Can such people who follow such a religion with orthodoxy be a danger to the country? To decide is up to you and the media.”

Talking about Islâm, he took to reference The Noble Qur’an, the Hadith and Life of Hadhrat Muhammad (May Peace and Blessings of Allâh Be With Him) citing Surah 3, V140 of The Noble Qur’an which states: “…and Allâh loveth not those that do wrong.” Surah 5 V32: “…that whoever kills a soul …it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” Surah 26 V183: “And do not deprive people of their due and do not commit abuse on earth, spreading corruption.” Surah 26 V184: “And fear Him Who created you and (Who created) the generations before (you).” Surah 28 V66: “But seek, through that which Allâh has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allâh has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allâh does not like corrupters." Surah 28 V83: “That home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous.” and Surah 41 V34 states: “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.”

Swami queried: “What else can be a greater principle than this? The highest of principles are contained in The Noble Qur’an. Can those who abide by these principles be a threat to the country? Can those who abide by these principles be terrorists?”

In his attempt to reach out to his Hindu brethrens through the audience and the media he clarified that with context to the Surahs of The Noble Qur’an which he narrated; it’s that the Muslims are not free to abide or not to abide by them. “In every situation a Muslim is supposed to abide by them. This is Allah’s Word and is strictly ordained,” he said.

With a hint to Religious Fundamentalist he opined that a Muslim who fundamentally stands for Practical Islâm; can a person who fundamentally stands for the mentioned Surahs be a threat to the country? Can he be a terrorist? To him this is one of the biggest questions.

He extolled: “Once The Apostle of Allâh (May Peace and Blessings of Allâh Be With Him) said “By Allâh he is not a Muslim, By Allâh he is not a Muslim, By Allâh he is not a Muslim.” He was asked “O Apostle of Allâh, who?” He answered: “He by whom his neighbor is in trouble.” If because of some Muslim his neighbor is in trouble, he is not a Muslim. Once The Apostle of Allâh (May Peace and Blessings of Allâh Be With Him) said: “Help your brother whether he is a tormentor or an oppressed.” He was asked: “O Apostle of Allâh, if a brother is oppressed we know how to help him, but if he is a tormentor, then how should we help him tell us?” He ordered: “Hold his arms and save him from Hell Fire. This is his help.” In Surah 21 V107 of The Noble Qur’an Allâh reminds: “O Muhammad I have sent you as a mercy upon the entire universe,” and The Apostle of Allâh (May Peace and Blessings of Allâh Be With Him) spent his lifetime in accordance with the Ayahs of The Noble Qur’an.”

Focusing on the history of India he said: “The British ill projected the history of this country. They succeeded governance from the Muslims and well knew they had to face them too and so entangled them in a fight. They wrote such history reading which large sections of Hindus begin to hate the Muslims, fear the Muslims and regard them as their enemies. History was written so out of proportion that reading it till today a feeling of negligence towards Islâm has grown. Any amount of advocacy from a Muslim does not work well because a Hindu thinks if at all history is incorrect than why at all it’s being taught and whatever is being taught is perceived authentic. The British left and when the country gained independence in 1947 it came into the hands of such a person who called himself a great historian. He wrote a book named Discovery of India.”

He questioned into the merit of such the mammoth historian who failed to correct history. “Why till date the same incorrect history being taught?” he retorted. “This is a big conspiracy and the Muslims of this country got snared to this conspiracy. The question is why this conspiracy? It is because it was well known that the Muslims governed for comparatively a longer time span and in every possible manner to be kept away from becoming politically strong and to cut them off from the majority Hindus it was necessary that the history they wrote prevailed. So the divide and rule policy which the British made stayed on even after they left in 1947 and the leaders in whose hands governance passed over stole it and continued with it. It is in existence even today. The big matter is that since August 15th 1947 to August 15th 2010, it has been long past 63 years. Of these 63 years the BJP governed for 5 years and there has been 58 years of secular governance; even after this why is the same history being taught? Who are responsible for this; those who have been ruling for 58 long years or those who ruled for 5 years? Muslims have been entrusted a great responsibility by Allâh in this country and they should carry it with success,” he feels.

He surmised to the media that Jihad is that which efforts to contain Untruthfulness, Injustice, Torture, Terrorism; to employ all possible means in self defense is Jihad the limiting step of which is war. To do away with the misgivings Swami thoroughly studied Islâm and thinking that writing books alone will not suffice formed the Hindu Muslim Jan Ekta Manch (HMJEM) under which a number a programs are on countrywide yielding wonderful results. When asked if HMJEM will push matters to correct the history of India which is perceived authentic he said that HMJEM shall address the issue and make people aware of it. On the sideline invitee Samrat Bora Assistant Professor Biology Arya Vidyapeeth College, Guwahati and General Secretary of the North East Writers’ Forum felt and ardent need to address the Hindus and opined that they be told to become better Hindus.

Finally, Swami’s message to the Hindus: “If you want to know about Islâm you must look at Islâm and not at the Muslims and the media.”

(Courtesy: Assam Times)

Gujarat govt has adopted policy of inclusive growth for all six crore Gujaratis, says CM Narendra Modi to Muslims

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi told a delegation of Muslim community, led by Zafar Sareshwala, that the State Government has adopted a policy of inclusive growth for one and all the six-crore Gujaratis.

Mr. Modi said that no society could progress without all round development and no family could progress without the spread of education. The government is keen to provide equal opportunity to all.

A special attention is being given to the Juhapura locality in Ahmedabad for providing more facilities in education, as well as in other socio-economic parameters.

Mr. Sareshwala welcomed the government’s efforts in this direction. He said there is a newfound awareness among the Muslim community for education and development. They are keen to be partner in Gujarat’s development, he said.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

Union Carbide's toxic wastes in Bhopal can be burnt at DRDO: Jairam Ramesh

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: About 350 tons of toxic wastes strewn in and around the abandoned Union Carbide pesticide factory ever since the occurrence of industrial disaster can be disposed of by the Defense Research and Development Organization, (DRDO). It is believed that DRDO can easily destroy the waste materials without posing any threat to environment.

The decisions to this effect was announced by the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh while interacting with newspersons after a meeting of the Oversight Committee held at Directorate of Gas Relief here on Wednesday. The Minister Defense Minister in this regard.

It may be mentioned here that the Committee has been constituted by the Central Government with a view to dealing with environmental damaged caused by gas tragedy. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh amid the presence of Gas Tragedy, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Babulal Gaur and Environment and Water Resources Minister Jayant Malaiya. Besides, scientists from Union Environment Ministry, State Government, Central Pollution Control Board, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Mrs. Rashida Bi of Gas Victims Organizations were also present.

It was decided at the Oversight Committee meeting that a symposium would be organized by the Madhya Pradesh State Government in the forthcoming month. An open discussion will be held on the recommendations of Peer Review Committee constituted for disposal of tons of toxic wastes of Union Carbide. The decisions will be taken after the conclusion of symposium. Representatives of voluntary organizations, intellectuals and citizens will be invited to take part in the symposium.

The Union Minister informed that reports on chemical waste of Union Carbide by National Environmental Engineer Research Institute, (NEERI), and I.I.C.T were sent to 50 scientists, institutes and Peer Review Committee for final conclusion. A total of 32 reports including that of Peer Review Committee have been received. The final decisions will be taken after the conclusion at symposium proposed to be organized at Bhopal.

Besides, the Madhya Pradesh State Government will invite global tenders for the appointment of independent contractor to search out 350 metric ton toxic waste in Union Carbide and strewn around 70 acre in the compound. Central Pollution Control Board will send its recommendations after selecting contractor. Central Pollution Control Board will draft bid. The Board will also test garbage buried before and after disaster and ground water.

The work of examination of toxic wastes and ground water will be assigned to either one or more than one efficient contractor. The Central Pollution Control Board will take a final decision in this regard.

However, no decision was taken to destroy MIC tank No. 610 and structure of Union Carbide. The Union Minister Mr. Jairam informed that the Group of Union Ministers constituted under the chairmanship of Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram and other scientists are of the opinion that the structure of the factory must be destroyed but the State Government and Gas Victims Organizations are dead against it. Protesting the demolition of structure, the Gas Relief Minister Mr. Babulal Gaur said that the factory should be turned into a memorial site. Rashida Bi also seconded the proposal of Mr. Gaur.

Mr. Gaur informed that the as per norms of Gas Disaster Act 1985, the Central Government is responsible for the disposal of the toxic materials of Union Carbide. As far as State Government is concerned, it will extend all possible cooperation to Central Government. The Central Government is more competent to deal with the waste materials technically and scientifically.

Jairam Ramesh informed that a proposal from DRDO has been received for the disposal of 350 metric tonnes of toxic wastes in Union Carbide. It will take two years for entire disposal. After the discussions with Defense Minister, it will be decided as to how to transport the chemical waste to the DRDO centre 80 km away from Nagpur city.

Principal Secretary Environment Iqbal Singh Bains, Secretary S. R. Mohanty, Dr. Harigopal on behalf of Government of India, Aniruddh Mukherjee, Environment and Forest Ministry Joint Secretary Rajiv Gaba, Central Pollution Control Board Chairman S. P. Gautam, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board Chairman N. P. Shukla, Director Gas Relief Muktesh Vashnerya were present at the meeting.

Jairam Ramesh made a courtesy call to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Those present during the meeting at the CM House included Joint Secretary of Ministry for Environment and Forests Mr. Rajiv Goba and Secretary to CM, Mr. S. K. Mishra.

Meanwhile, it may be mentioned here that a technology known as Plasma Thermal Destruction Recovery, (PTDR), of a company christened as PEAT International, is available in India to clean up the Bhopal Union Carbide plant’s toxic waste effectively and cleanly at site itself without having to transport the hazardous material to any far off place for its disposal. It can be disposed off at the site within the premises of the Union Carbide factory at Bhopal without creating any collateral damage to the environment and/or the people living in the surrounding areas of the facility.

According to Pradeep Mathur, CEO India for PEAT International India, if the said technology is adopted for the treatment of this waste, then the problem will be completely resolved, requiring no further treatment and without any requirement of land filling, the company claims. The facility once constructed will be available for treating other wastes even after the treatment of the waste is completed.

Talking to this correspondent Mr. Mathur said the cost of the treatment is also very nominal. For about 350 MT toxic waste, PTDR-100 unit would suffice and the cost may come around to Rs. 5 to 6 crore (50-60 million) only.

It is interesting to note here that the Union Government has earmarked Rs. 300 crore (3000 millions) for the 350 MT toxic waste kept in the factory godown. Thus, this cost amount of Rs. 5 to 6 crore would be just 1.5 per cent of the sanctioned amount Rs. 300 crore which is very cheap.

It may be pointed out here that PEAT International (“PEAT”), which is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, its chairman being Mr. Joseph Rosin, is a waste-to-resources company specializing in the deployment of its proprietary PTDR technology for the treatment and recycling of a wide range of waste feed-stocks, including: industrial, universal and medical waste.

According to Mr. Mathur the novel and patented PTDR technology uses heat generated by plasma torches in an oxygen starved (pyrolysis) environment to first pull apart (dissociate) the molecules that make-up the organic portions of the waste, then, depending on the composition of the waste stream, a controlled (stoichiometric) amount of oxygen is added to reform the dissociated elements of the waste into a synthesis gas ("Syngas"), consisting mainly of Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Hydrogen (H2). The Syngas can then be used in a variety of ways: as a fuel for thermal or electricity production or as a feedstock for the production of liquid fuels (i.e. ethanol).

Mr. Mathur said PEAT’s PTDR 100, a 60 kilograms-an-hour system, would be ideal for the 350 MT toxic waste. The PTDR 100 is an ideal, turn-key solution for treating this kind of waste on-site without undertaking the danger of moving this dangerous and volatile waste to a treatment facility. A PTDR 100 unit costs approx. Rs. 40 millions as initial Capital Cost. The treatment Cost would be about Rs. 20 per kg. The PTDR 100 unit takes only about 100 sq. metre of space and can be stalled in 6 months time. Operating at 60 kg / hr PTDR-100 can finish the 350 MT in about 10 months time from the start of the toxic waste treatment, Mathur revealed.

He claimed that the PTDR technology has received numerous regulatory approvals throughout the globe, including: Taiwan Environment Protection Agency; Taiwan Ministry of Education; Kaohsiung Department of Environment Protection; Virginia Department of Environment Quality; Alabama Department of Environmental Management; City of Huntsville Natural Resources Division; San Diego Air Pollution Control District; Sacramento Air Pollution Control District; Indiana Department of Environment Management; Michigan Department of Environment Quality; California Department of Public Health and Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

It may be mentioned here that the ghost of disposing off the toxic waste is haunting the Madhya Pradesh Government, the survivors of the gas tragedy and the NGOs working for them alike. The Government is concerned only about the 350 MT stocked in the go-down of the factory. While the survivors and the NGOs are very much perturbed over the enormous quantity of the waste amounting to 18,000 to 25,000 MT or may be even more spread in the campus of the factory and in the solar evaporation ponds which has leeched into the soil and contaminated drinking water reserves of the people living in the vicinity of the factory. There is an urgent need to detoxify the soil in order to stop contamination of water.

The point of contention is how to dispose off this toxic waste without harming the environment and the populace together with carrying it this highly poisonous material safely to any far off disposal site ruling out possibility of any mishap. The huge cost involved to carry out this operation is another overriding factor. If the enormous quantity of the waste amounting to 18,000 to 25,000 MT spread in the campus of the factory and in the solar evaporation ponds is taken up then the cost would be mind boggling.

If the survivors and the NGOs stand is taken about the enormous amount of toxic waste being 18,000 to 25,000 MT or more then PTDR 100 plant would not be suitable. At PEAT International there are two larger plants – the PTDR 500 / which can treat 9 tons per day, and the PTDR 1000 / which can treat 30 tons per day. A PTDR 500 would require 2,000 working days – whereas the PTDR 1000 would require 600 days. The type of waste is not an issue – because all PTDR units can handle all types of poisonous materials.

A PTDR 500 – the Capital Cost is approx. Rs. 250 millions and it requires about 750 sq. metre of space. The PTDR 1000 – the Capital Cost is approx. Rs. 800 millions and it requires about 2,850 sq. metre of space. Depending upon the type of waste – the above units would also generate surplus Electricity for supply to the grid.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

Who controls US Diplomacy?

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

It appears US president Barack Obama is facing an extra predicament because he finds it difficult to cover up his own crimes against humanity.  Earlier, Obama the shrewd politician gave the world the impression that he would soon bring peace to the world.  Now is clear that the relevant Obama rhetoric is his contribution to US gimmicks- starting from Sept-11 terror gimmick. Now he is damn sure that the CIA-Pentagon gang controls White House almost 100 percent. Hence world witnesses a balanced Obamaism in favor of Zionism! 

Obama has already insulted those who recommended and selected him for Nobel Peace Award by escalating illegal terror wars in Islamic world and initiating his own illegal war over sovereign Libya, killing Muslims in thousands.  An experienced and pampered black politician enjoying American life and presidency thinks the terrorism plank remains the sturdiest pig iron tool to get reelected to the White House and Israeli lobby can cause enough damage to his survival as the president of the top dictatorial regime on earth in the long run if he antagonizes Israel in real terms as sincerely he pretends.

Peace gimmicks being pursued by Washington are an old known story for Tel-Aviv that it does not take them seriously at all; after all, pro-peace rhetoric automatically makes Israel the chief beneficiary of US special aids in terror goods and cash.  That is the contemporary history of US diplomacy in Mideast.

Israel is effectively a part of United States as it 51th state and Washington shields the fascist regime and Zionist crimes as its fundamental duty.  In fact many nations even wonder why the USA officially does not incorporate Israel into USA.  The reasons are both American and Israeli and extra alarming: Jews in Israel and elsewhere including USA think they should exist independently so that Israel can bully USA and Arabs and by being a part of USA Israel won’t be able to directly attack Palestine and other Arab nations. More importantly, Americans, including the top leaders, are in fact afraid of constitutionally annexing a dangerously fanatic Israel for fear of backlash from Jews as a major “union” ramification.

The catastrophe is that Israel has the extra capacity to expand, implode and destroy even the USA which even the mighty Soviet Union could not. This was the key consideration for the Western powers in the post-WW-II era to push the Jews into the Mideast and impose Zionist regime in Palestine.

All terrocracies, including India, Israel, USA-UK terror twins, posing themselves to be democracies exist on pure gimmicks and kill innocent people on fake pretexts.

Obama does and speaks exactly what the CIA wants. Maybe Obama, like Bush Jr and his ally Osama, is also extra cleaver. Otherwise how could he become the supremo of US politicians, corporate world and mafias? Then are the highly educated, extra civilized Americans white fools?

[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism. He is Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs (CIA). He is former university Teacher, Analyst in International Affairs and an Expert on Middle East. He can be contacted at abdulruff@gmail.com or on his Mobile # +91-9961868309]

NGOs working for Bhopal Gas Tragedy survivors charge Peer Review Committee with helping Dow Chemical

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Pervez Bari

Aerial view of abandoned Union Carbide Plant
Bhopal: Leaders of five organizations working for the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal have condemned the recommendations of the government appointed Peer Review Committee, (PRC), on remediation of toxic contamination in and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory.

In a letter submitted on Wednesday to the Chairman of the Oversight Committee on Bhopal Environmental Rehabilitation, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, who was here in Bhopal on Wednesday to chair the meeting of Oversight Committee on Bhopal Environmental Remediation here, the five NGOs charged that the recommendations of the PRC were unscientific, unilaterally decided and were designed to help Dow Chemical get away from its Bhopal liabilities by paying a pittance for environmental remediation.

The five NGOs protesting the recommendations of the PRC are: Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, (BGPMSKS); Bhopal Group for Information and Action, (BGIA); Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, (BGPNBSM); Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, (BGPMPSM); & Children Against Dow Carbide, (CADC).

Goldman Environmental prize winner Rashida Bi of BGPMSKS who took part in the meeting organized by the Oversight Committee today, said that two of the members of the PRC have direct links with Dow Chemical Company, USA that, as 100 per cent owner of Union Carbide, USA is legally liable for the toxic contamination in and around the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal.

She pointed out that the Mumbai-based Institute of Chemical Technology, whose director Prof. G. D. Yadav is a PRC member, has jointly instituted an award with Dow Chemical since 2009. Similarly, another member of the PRC, Dr. Rama Rao is a member of the advisory board of InnoCentive Corporation of which Dow Chemical is a member. A third member of the PRC, Dr. Arbinda Mitra works with the NGO, India US Science & Technology Forum, which was set up with US$7 million from the US government, Rashida Bi said.

Satinath Sarangi of BGIA said that majority of the seven-member PRC have long association with the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, (NEERI), and the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research, (CSIR). She said that the bias of the PRC is evident by its deliberate disregard and out of hand dismissal of adverse comments by experts from the Indian Institutes of Technology in Mumbai, Chennai, Kharagpur, Delhi and Kanpur on the environmental assessment report by NEERI and other CSIR agencies.

According to Balkrishna Namdeo, President of BGPNBSM, seven Bhopal survivors’ organizations had presented a scientific review of the NEERI report by waste management experts from The Netherlands, Australia and UK but the comments of these experts have been dismissed out of hand by the PRC. He said that the PRC has run roughshod over critical opinions of the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, Hazards Centre, New Delhi, Greenpeace International and other non-governmental agencies.

Calling for the immediate scrapping of the PRC’s recommendations and reconstitution of the Committee to ensure that there were no members with conflict of interest, Nawab Khan of the BGPMPSM stated that the survivors of the Bhopal disaster will not allow the implementation of the recommendations of the PRC at any cost.

He said that thousands of victims of Union Carbide will physically stop the transportation of 350 MT of Union Carbide hazardous waste till they are satisfied that they will be safely disposed off. The Oversight committee was sent strong comments by independent experts stating that there was no incinerator in the country able to incinerate the Union Carbide waste without the release into the atmosphere of heavy metal vapors and dioxin - the most toxic chemical known to man, he revealed.

Nawab warned that any move to dismantle the factory structure will face the wrath of the victims who insist that the structure is conserved as a memorial to the world’s worst industrial disaster. The PRC has also ignored the positive interests shown by UNESCO in preserving the Union Carbide plant site as a modern industrial heritage site, he added.

He was reacting to the Jairam’s reported announcement that Centre is contemplating to demolish the building of the now defunct Union Carbide factory in Bhopal due to mercury contamination. However, a final decision in this regard will be taken only in July-August this year after the Madhya Pradesh State Government and NGOs present their case before the Centre, he added.

Mr. Ramesh has said that the State government and the NGOs were free to put their point across and make a presentation against flattening of the Union Carbide factory’s building.  

It may be recalled here that on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, 40 metric tonnes (MT) of poisonous Methyl Iso-cyanate spewed out from Union Carbide's pesticide plant in Bhopal killing thousands of people and maiming nearly half a million others. The fall out of the disaster has been that people who inhaled the gas have been dying and death over the years has crossed 25,000 mark and is still counting.

Meanwhile, it may be mentioned here that a technology known as Plasma Thermal Destruction Recovery, (PTDR), of a company christened as PEAT International, is available in India to clean up the Bhopal Union Carbide plant’s toxic waste effectively and cleanly at site itself without having to transport the hazardous material to any far off place for its disposal. It can be disposed off at the site within the premises of the Union Carbide factory at Bhopal without creating any collateral damage to the environment and/or the people living in the surrounding areas of the facility.

According to Pradeep Mathur, CEO India for PEAT International India, if the said technology is adopted for the treatment of this waste, then the problem will be completely resolved, requiring no further treatment and without any requirement of land filling, the company claims. The facility once constructed will be available for treating other wastes even after the treatment of the waste is completed.

Talking to this correspondent, Mr. Mathur said the cost of the treatment is also very nominal. For about 350 MT toxic waste, PTDR-100 unit would suffice and the cost may come around to Rs. 5 to 6 crore (50-60 million) only.

It is interesting to note here that the Union Government has earmarked Rs. 300 crore (3000 millions) for the 350 MT toxic waste kept in the factory godown. Thus, this cost amount of Rs. 5 to 6 crore would be just 1.5 per cent of the sanctioned amount Rs. 300 crore which is very cheap.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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