Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Leading Intellectuals debate reservation for Muslims (April 4, 2010)

From Zaidul Haque for TwoCircles

In a bid to woo West Bengal Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind leader Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury, whose mass movement for Muslim quota preceded the state government decision favoring the demand, and the decisive Muslim votes, a Cabinet Minister of the Left Front Government has invited Chowdhury to form a united Muslim front on the issue and called upon the Muslim community to get united for it.
“In West Bengal, Muslims should get united and make a new platform to pressurize the state government for reservation of Muslims in the state,” state Cabinet Minister of Land & Land Reforms Mr Abdur Rezzak Molla said yesterday here in a conference on “Why reservation necessary for Muslims in West Bengal?” Mr. Molla welcomed the Jamiat leader Maulana Chowdhury to form the front. The program was held at Muslim Institute Auditorium in Kolkata.

Land Reform Minister of West Bengal Govt. Mr. Abdur Razzak Molla,
Dr. M Nuruzzaman, Santosh Rana, Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhuri, 
Surajit Dasgupta, and Sukriti Ranjan Biwas

The conference called by a newspaper and an NGO was attended by intellectuals and politicians of all parties except BJP. The main speakers were Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury and State Minister Abdur Rezzak Molla. Among others who addressed the gathering were Mr. Sukritiranjan Biswas (Republican Party), Mr. Santosh Rana (CPI-ML), Dr. M. Nuruzzaman (State Chairman, Trinamul Congress, Minority Cell), Dr. Raisuddin (Jamat e Islami Hind), Journalist Mr. Ahmad Hasan Imran. The Chairman of this conference was historian Dr. Surajit Dasgupta. The conference offered a rare sight when CPI-M Minister was sharing the dais with ‘rival’ Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury.
Bastions of the Believers: Madrasas and Islamic Education in IndiaThe Madrasa in Asia: Political Activism and Transnational LinkagesIslam and Muslim History in South Asia (Oxford India Paperbacks)Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India
Trinamul Congress leader and Chairman of West Bengal Trinamul Congress Minority Cell Dr. M. Nuruzzaman said, communist left front in West Bengal should follow the Leftist Kerala that has given reservation to Muslims. He remembered his father late Hasanuzzaman, Muslim League MLA, who was the first to demand reservation for Muslims in West Bengal when he was in the Ministry in the 1970s.
Ahmed Hasan Imran, editor of Bengali language newspaper ‘Kalom’ said, besides the demand of Muslim reservation we should make a movement against the communal elements of West Bengal Govt. He gave the example of Hooghly Madrasa. He condemned Govt of West Bengal for trying to stop Islamic learning and close the historical Hooghly Madrasa. Chairman of the conference Dr. Surajit Dasgupta called upon Muslims to build up political power, only then they can overcome their problems.

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