By Danish Ahmad Khan
Muslims and Prophet Muhammad are fair game for insult these days. Whether it’s the Western countries or those in the East, this has become a regular phenomenon, and rather Muslim hatemongering is increasing at a frenetic pace across the world. In the recent past this has been evident in the speeches, writings and cartoons. And, all this is being done under the garb of Freedom of Speech or in the name of Fight against Terrorism and is solely directed against Muslims.
When insult to Muslims, Prophet Muhammad or Islamic traditions occur in a non-Muslim media or non-Muslim dominated countries and institutions, it can be very well understood and something that is expected as a matter of course. But what would you say when Prophet Muhammad is insulted in a Muslim institution, and that too no less than Hamdard Public School (of which Hakeem Abdul Hamid was the Founder and was managed by former Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and Chancellor of Hamdard University Saiyid Hamid till he died). And, it is utterly surprising and the pain rather becomes unbearable when the perpetrator of the insult, a Hindu teacher, is rewarded by the school management (of which SaIyid Hamid’s son Samar Hamid is now the sole in charge). It may be noted that Hamdard Public School, Talimabad, has acquired the status of a Muslim Minority educational institution by the Delhi Government.
The matter relates to a particular (Hindi) teacher, Mrs. Jaya Deb, currently working in Hamdard Public School, who had set a question paper for Class 3 students in Hindi. Here is what the students were asked to reply after reading a passage on Prophet Muhammad for examination conducted for Session 2014-15.
The passage goes thus: “Eid mukhya roop se Musalmano ka tyohaar hai. Yeh Bharat mein badi dhoom dhaam se manaya jaata hai. Hazrat Muhammad sahib ne Islam dharm banaya tha. Who Makkah mein ek mahina tak bhookey rahe they. Duniya bhar ke Musalman unki yaad mein ek mahiney roze rakhtey hain. Yeh tyohaar Ramzan ke mahine mein aata hai. Isi mahine mein Quran sharif likha gaya tha. Eid ke din roze purey hote hain. Ghar mein sewaiyan banayee jaati hain. Isey meethi Eid bhi kahte hain. Is din Musalman naye kapdey pahantey hain. Purush namaz padhney Masjid mein jaatey hain. Sabhi ek dusrey se galey milkar Eid Mubarak kahte hain. Eid ka tyohar prasannata, bhaicharey aur propkaar ka sandesh deta hai.”
Its English translation goes thus: “Eid is mainly festival of Muslims. It is celebrated in India with much fanfare. Prophet Muhammad founded the religion of Islam. He remained hungry in Makkah for one month. Muslims in the entire world are on fasting for one month in its remembrance. This festival falls in the month of Ramadhan. Holy Quran was written during this month. Fasting is completed on the day of Eid. Sewaiyan are prepared in homes. It is also called Meethi Eid. On this day Muslims wear new clothes. Males go to the Mosque to pray. People hug each other and say Eid Mubarak. The festival of Eid gives the message of happiness, brotherhood and prosperity.”
When such distorted views come from a non-Muslim teacher in a non-Muslim school it is understandable. But when such distorted picture of Prophet Muhammad and Islam comes from the same Hindu teacher Mrs. Jaya Deb repeatedly in a Muslim minority school then it is quite alarming and raises serious doubts on the standard of education in Hamdard Public School and the kind of wrong teachings about Islam and Prophet Muhammad being imparted to the students
Mrs. Jaya Deb, who has now been promoted as HoD of Primary Section of Hamdard Public School, is not new to such controversies. She had committed a similar grave mistake during one such examination held in the year 2007. The Hindi question paper provided to the students carried a picture purported to be an image of Prophet Muhammad with garbage being thrown on the image. A lot of hue and cry was made and Saiyid Hamid who was overlooking the affairs of the school as Secretary of Hamdard Education Society had then informed that the concerned teacher had been suspended. However, the suspension was short-lived and the school management said that they have reinstated the concerned teacher after an apology and a promise not to repeat such grave mistake and be careful in future.
Doubts were raised then as to whether the school management had truthfully told of the action taken. It has now been learnt that the concerned teacher was never suspended by the school management. In fact, the school management by its action of shielding the concerned teacher proved this to be a classic example of befooling the school staff and threw dust in their eyes. The school management had simply covered the attendance of the concerned teacher for two days with a correcting fluid to show that the concerned teacher was not coming to duty in the school to corroborate suspension, and later on the attendance was promptly restored.
To add insult to injury, the school management has now chosen to overlook many senior teachers and recently appointed Mrs. Jaya Deb as HoD and also the teacher representative on the executive body of Parent Teacher Association.
It still remains a mystery and the onus solely lies on the school management to explain as to why Mrs. Jaya Deb has been protected despite insulting Prophet Muhammad and now showering her with favors instead of removing her from the school itself. It may be recalled that this is not for the first time that Mrs. Jaya Deb has insulted Prophet Muhammad. She was involved in a controversy of similar nature and the matter was even reported by New Delhi-based Urdu daily “Rashtriya Sahara” on August 7-8, 2007.
The management of Hamdard Public School currently is basically a one-man show. It is being wholly managed by Samar Hamid, son of Saiyid Hamid, Secretary of Hamdard Education Society and Chancellor of Hamdard University (Jamia Hamdard), who died few months ago.
Samar Hamid, who was earlier appointed Manager of the school by his father, is now holding the position of Additional Secretary of Hamdard Education Society as well. He is also reported to be drawing a salary of Rs. One Lakh per month and accommodation within the premises of Hamdard Public School for rendering his valuable services, though the sources said that he claims to be working free of cost, and the matter therefore needs to be investigated.
Samar Hamid doesn’t hold this position because of his exceptional services or educational skills, but owes it solely to the large-heartedness and benevolence of his beloved father Saiyid Hamid, who acting like a Dhritrarashtra appointed his unemployed eldest son as Manager of the school during his lifetime. The Indian Muslim Observer even published some exclusive stories highlighting the corruption and goings on in Hamdard University, misdeeds of Samar Hamid and how Saiyid Hamid had closed his eyes on all these that were taking place right under his nose.
Ever since the death of his father, Samar Hamid has now become the sole authority in all the matters pertaining to Hamdard Public School and has not allowed the formation of any Managing Committee whatsoever to run the affairs of the school as is the usual norm with every Muslim minority managed institution. Samar Hamid even went ahead and appointed Mrs. Zakia Majid Siddiqui as Vice Principal.
Much to the chagrin, ever since Mrs. Zakia Majid Siddiqui was appointed the Vice Principal Samar Hamid did not think it fit nor so far allowed to a appoint a regular Principal. Apart from being the Vice Principal, Mrs. Siddiqui is also discharging the duties of Officiating Principal and also the School Manager. In fact, it may be said that Mrs. Siddiqui is beholden to Samar Hamid for all her positions, and is, therefore, Mr. Hamid’s rubber stamp in all matters. This also perfectly suits Samar Hamid in carrying all his activities, legal or otherwise. During the lifetime of ailing father, Samar Hamid used to call the shots in managing the school without ever being questioned, and even after the death of his father now he continues to exploit the position of late Saiyid Hamid, and that too for mysterious reasons.
The closeness of Mrs. Jaya Deb and Mrs. Zakia Majid Siddiqui to the school management, i.e. Samar Hamid, is a mystery. Nobody knows whether this dalliance is personal or related to the institution. In the recent past three women teachers had to leave the school for reasons unknown. According to sources, preferring to remain anonymous, Samar Hamid had faced a turbulent marital life and a broken marriage. Some of the women teachers on condition of anonymity said that Mr. Hamid is known for his close affinity with women teachers.
It remains a matter of conjecture to arrive at the truth as to why Mrs. Jaya Deb continues to hold an important position in Hamdard Public School despite having repeatedly insulted Prophet Muhammad in examination papers. After all, what is the special quality in this concerned teacher that Samar Hamid continues to favor her even after having committed unforgivable blunder? Is Samar Hamid indulging in exploitation of any kind? Or, for that matter is there some quid pro quo!
Despite all these, the biggest questions after all remain to be answered. What qualifications does Samar Hamid really hold to claim such a coveted and important position as that of Assistant Secretary of Hamdard Education Society, except being the unemployed son of Saiyid Hamid, who acted like a Dhritrarashtra in appointing him first as Manager of the Hamdard Public School and later as Assistant Secretary during his lifetime? Has Samar Hamid ever worked for the larger cause of Muslims of India? If so, let Mr. Hamid recount his services rendered so far for the beleaguered Muslim community. Can anyone please answer as to why is Samar Hamid going scot free instead of being immediately sacked and asked to leave the Hamdard Public School campus where he is currently putting up before the atmosphere in the school is further vitiated? There is an immediate need to carry out in-depth investigations regarding Mrs. Jaya Deb and Mrs. Zakia Majid Siddiqui as well and take appropriate disciplinary action.
But the million dollar question still remains. Who is going to bell the cat? The so-called Muslim organizations and leaders have so far chosen to remain mute spectators for reasons best known to them. Muslim institutions are these days known for rank nepotism and corruption. Since many Muslim organizations and institutions in India are currently afflicted with this malaise, we can only expect the condition of great institutions like Hamdard University and Hamdard Public School to deteriorate further because of selfish agenda of the management and internal politics. Are the people listening? Will people come forward to save these institutions and free them from the clutches of people like Samar Hamid? Even the handful of community media being run online or otherwise in India have so far refrained from exposing the nefarious activities going on in the Muslim institutions / organizations in the country, and continue to highlight only those issues in which Muslims are portrayed as eternal victims at the hands of fascist elements. However, the Indian Muslim Observer has always remained at the forefront in exposing the wrongdoings in Muslim institutions / organizations and is committed to do so in the future as well. There is a need for Muslim media to rise to the occasion and save the community from being befooled and ditched further.
[Danish Ahmad Khan, a native of Gaya, Bihar and currently based at New Delhi for more than a decade, is Founder-Editor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on his Mobile # +91 9990179721 / 9868778453]
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