Monday, April 21, 2014

Explore stunning Islamic architecture in historic Bidar, Karnataka

Ararb News posted Bidar News in its website..

The historic Bidar in the federal state of Karnataka in India now finds itself on the world map of heritage tourism as it figures in the 2014 World Monuments Watch list released by the World Monuments Fund (WMF), a New York-based NGO working for the protection of monuments. I was in Bidar last year especially to feel what a premier madrasa (religious seminary) would look like in the yore. It was in a Muslim country that the world’s first university was established in 859 in Fez, Morocco.
Madrasa Mahmud Gawan in Bidar, a university of repute in the 15th Century, still reverberates with sounds of teaching and reminds us that learning is at the core of the Islamic tradition. I could not hold my breath when my journalist friend Ramjan Dargah and I stood in awe in front of a massive structure, still intact with substantial damages. “This is Madrasa Mahmud Gawan,” my journalist friend proudly told me. Anyone who visits this site will seemingly get bowled over by the sheer magnitude and grace of this once great abode of learning.”
Dargah shared with me that this madrasa or college was built by Khwaja Mohammad Gilani, fondly called Khwaja Mahmud Gawan, a merchant who arrived from Persia in Bidar when it was ruled by the Bahmani kings in 1453. The splendid university, built in 1472, bears unmistakable testimony to the scholarly genius of Mahmud Gawan, who first came to Delhi as a trader from Gilan in Iran and moved to Bidar in 1453.

Remembering a titan of Hyderabad’s heritage

Remembering a titan of Hyderabad’s heritage

He played cricket and football for St Stephen's Delhi with distinction. He did his masters in English as well as Arabic and he topped Punjab University in Persian. And if you are to name a saviour of the cave art of Ajanta and Ellora it is him: Ghulam Yazdani, a Padma Bhushan awardee as well as a recipient of OBE (Order of British Empire).
As the Archaeology Department of Andhra Pradesh marks its 100 years the coming Friday, it is time to remember the man who created the department out of nothing.
If Hyderabad has a vestige of its heritage left, it is thanks to him. Deputed to Hyderabad as a Superintendent in 1914, he brought with him his expertise, energy and accountability. Not for him the claptrap of archaeology department doing the job of cataloguing and executing conservation work, Yazdani was a hands on man who got a road laid between Hyderabad and Bidar to protect the Bahamani heritage of Bidar and also between Toli Masjid and Golconda.
A man of sharp wit, he dismisses the decorative motifs of Toli Masjid as: "The impression made by such buildings overloaded with decorations is like the impression left by the ostentatious and lavish display of personal adornment, generally favoured by lowly persons suddenly become rich."
For the restoration of the Ellora cave art, he tried to get Luigi Cavenaghi, the man linked to restoration of Leonardo's Last Supper, to work on the paintings. Unfortunately, he could get only Lorenzo Cecconi, who applied shellac on the paintings, ruining them further. Ghulam Yazdani published a series of photographs and reproductions of the cave art with his explanations.
And by the way, Ghulam Yazdani's salary was ` 560 per month. And just recently, the Archeology Department found it fit to name its museum after YS Rajasekhara Reddy!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

There is cause of action to hold trial against Ashok Kheny: High Court

In a setback to Bidar South MLA Ashok Kheny, the High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday held there was “cause of action to hold trial” against him based on the allegations made in a petition that has questioned the legality of his election.

Justice K.N. Keshavanarayana passed the order, while rejecting an application filed by Mr. Kheny seeking dismissal of the petition. The petition was filed by T.J. Abraham, who contested against Mr. Kheny in the 2013 Assembly elections. Mr. Kheny, in his application, claimed that the material produced by Mr. Abraham did not show any cause of action to conduct trial to decide on legality of his election. The court observed: “It can’t be said that there are no triable issues in the case and it can’t be said that petition does not disclose a cause of action. By reading the petition as a whole, I am satisfied that it discloses cause of action and this is not a matter which can be thrown out at the threshold.” The petitioner had claimed that Mr. Kheny could not have been allowed to contest the elections as he ceased to be a citizen of India after voluntarily acquiring the citizenship of a foreign country as per the Citizenship Act. The petition also claimed that Mr. Kheny was disqualified from contesting elections under Section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as he had a business contract with the State government pertaining to the Bangalore–Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project in addition to “not [being] a voter” in Bidar South constituency.

Denying these allegations, Mr. Kheny said he was a citizen of India and was a voter of the constituency.