s lack of honesty an

s lack of honesty and self-critical culture with its own intellectual closures. This is the fifth part of the series. “The Golden Age is before us not behind us”— this famous Shakespearean quote borrowed by Cutchi Memon Jamath to describe its checkered past perhaps sums up the history of the Memon community in Kerala’s port city of Kochi The Memons who were driven out from their homeland at Kutch in Gujarat by a drought in the early 19th Century had to face several odds in rebuilding their lives in Kochi They fought them with a great deal of perseverance and flourished as one of the leading business communities in Metropolitan Cochin “When our forefathers landed in Cochin in 1815 the only capital they had with them were their goodwill of being honest and trustworthy businessmen The Maharaja of Cochin who knew about these attributes allowed them to settle down in the city He believed that the Memons will make his state prosperous by making use of their foreign trade links” says AS Abdul Latheef Sait vice-president of Cochin Cutchi Memon Jamath Kutchi Hanafi Mosque in Mattancherry Photo courtesy: Thomas Thottungal The Memons did not disappoint the King They started in earnest by finding global market for various products from the state While other ethnic groups focused on spices the Memons concentrated on fish products They began the global hunt by exporting dry shrimps to Burma Memons were the first in Kochi to export dry shrimp The Memons also took a leading role in seafood industry when India started exports in 1950s Abad Fisheries which was established by a Memon (Usman Hashim) in 1931 is today a leading processor and exporter of frozen seafood The firm has also diversified its business into hospitality and realty sectors Memons also tried to lay a strong foundation for commerce in the city by establishing the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry The chamber established in 1857 is one of the oldest chambers of commerce in the country It played a leading role in the all-round development of the state since its inception according to Latheef Sait While other ethnic communities kept off politics the Kutchi Memons made their mark in politics as in the business front The members of the community had mostly associated with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) which is currently the second largest constituent of the Congress-led Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) While late Ebrahim Suleiman Sait and GM Banatwala served as national president of the party several others held important positions in the state unit of the IUML Members of the community were also elected to Cochin Corporation and Mattancherry municipality several times Zakaria Sait a prominent member of the community was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 1980 1987 and in 1992 from Mattancherry He held the office of the deputy Speaker from 1980 to 1982 He had also served as deputy mayor of Cochin Corporation Though Kutchi Memons worked hand in hand with the local Muslims the history of Muslims in Kerala is quite different from that of the Memons While the Kerala Muslims trace their origin to the trade links between Arabia and Malabar that existed even before the advent of Prophet Muhammad the Kutchi Memons embraced Islam only in AD 1421 Memons were originally Lohanas belonging to Vasiya caste in the Sindh region of Gujarat According to Frontiers of Embeded Muslim Communities in Indiaby Vinod K Jairath Pir Yusuffuddin Sahib converted them to Islam The first convert was named ‘Adam’ He gave them the title ‘Momin’ meaning ‘believer’ which in due course changed into Memon The Memons settled in Bhuj capital of Kutch after the Hindu communities in Sindh ostracised them They started migrating to various parts of India after a drought hit the region Apart from Kochi Alappuzha also hosted another group of Memons Like Kochi Memons were given all facilities to settle in Alappuzha by King Raja Kesava Das with a brief to promote the export trade of copra (dried coconut) and coir according to Jairath’s book A drawing of the Kutchi Memons settlement in Mattancherry made by the students of School of Environment and Architecture Mumbai for an exhibition at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale According to Latheef Sait currently there are about 3000 Kutchi Memons in Kochi Local people call them Saits or Sethu (owners) Memons mostly follow the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam However some follow other Sunni schools such as the Maliki and Shafii schools “We identify ourselves as Hanafi Muslims as we believe there is one Allah and Prophet Mohammed is his messenger We have our own mosque Even though there isn’t much difference in religious rituals we don’t go to the mosques of other sects” says Latheef Therefore Memons establish mosques wherever they go The prominent mosque of Memons at Mattancherry is Kutchi Hanafi mosque The mosque built in 1875 still exists Lateef said that the population of the Memons was shrinking as majority of them have adopted small family norms unlike other Muslims in the state The total population of Kutchi Memons across the world is less than 30000 Mumbai has the maximum number of 15000 Memons says Lateef Sait Memons are bound together by Jamaths which literally means congregation Established with the objective of promoting the betterment of the community the Jamaths are vested with powers to issue marriage certificates resolve matrimonial disputes and enforce rules and guidelines to check undesirable practices They also undertake various programmes to support the poor and needy members of the community “The general impression among people is that most members of the Memon community are rich businessmen This is not true Only 50 percent of the community is involved in business and trade Others are doing various jobs The new generation is not coming to business as the modern business requires huge investments” says Nishad Ummer an executive committee member of the Kochi Cutchi Memon Association Nishad who works in a bank said that a sizable number of the community is poor Many of them struggle to make both ends meet Nishad said that the association was trying to uplift them by providing them stipends and financial assistance for various purposes including marriage Abdul Azees Essack who is involved in coconut oil trade said members of the community were however closely knit They celebrate religious festivals like Eid together and come together for social occasions like marriages Marriage celebrations last more than a week They bring together relatives and friends in large numbers to the homes of the bride and the groom Language is a big factor that has kept the identity of the community intact over the years While the Memons in other parts of the country have abandoned Kutchi and switched over to Urdu those in Kochi still speak their own language which is close to Sindhi Though almost all Memons are fluent in Malayalam they speak only Kutchi at homes and at Kutchi congregations Though they have adopted the local food in many ways Memons like to stick to traditional foods as far as possible The most well-known dish is Muttiya which are dumplings set in meat and vegetable broth Though the business conditions have changed a lot Memons are not worried about their prospects “We have not abandoned our basic principle of honesty despite many adversities We have nothing to fear as long as we stick to our values” says Latheef Part 1: Century-old settlements fight to retain historical legacy Part 2: Big retail local players push entrenched Gujarati trader community towards migration Part 3: Persecuted for centuries Konkanis found home in a small plot of land in Kochi Part 4: Tamils of Dhobi Khana rue at younger generation seeking white collar jobs By: Express News Service | Updated: June 17 2015 12:02 am Related News In a decision affecting lakhs of students across the country the Supreme Court on June 15 cancelled the results of the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) held in May and ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) which administers the test to conduct it again within four weeks In its judgment the apex court noted that the “illegal and unfair” access to answers for 90 of the 180 objective-type questions that comprise the examination has “denuded its sanctity” and undermined its credibility While absolving the CBSE of wrongdoing per se it pointed to the board’s negligence in adequately preparing for such leaks despite the warning signs — similar methods had been used it turns out by an accused in this episode to sabotage the AIIMS postgraduate entrance test in 2011 too The court has made the right call In an intensely competitive environment where lakhs strive for only a few thousand seats any suspicion that those using dishonest means have been rewarded with a coveted place in a medical programme would irretrievably erode public trust in the entire examination system Not only must an entrance test be conducted in a way that selects only the meritorious it must also be perceived to be doing so The CBSE’s failure to insulate the examination from such a breakdown is compounded by its continued denial that it bears any responsibility for the leakage of answers — or indeed that there even was a leak Such obstinate defiance betrays a lack of respect for the 63 lakh students who sat for the entrance and have been heavily inconvenienced by the CBSE’s incompetence The academic calendar has been thrown out of gear and the careers of both successful and unsuccessful candidates will remain in suspended animation until the AIPMT is held again and results announced The CBSE owes it to them to acknowledge its failure and to find a way of addressing it so that it is not repeated This is not the first time that a high-profile CBSE-administered examination has been broken into In 2011 the All India Engineering Entrance Examination paper also held by the CBSE was leaked Class XII board exam question papers have been leaked several times in 2004 2006 and 2011 Two of the masterminds of the current operation reportedly used the same modus operandi to pass the AIPMT in 2014 Despite all the evidence that its measures to secure question papers are ineffective at best particularly with the spread of new technologies such as cellphones the CBSE has done little to update its security procedures Back in 2003 when the IIMs were forced to hold a retest of the Common Admission Test (CAT) after a leak protocols were thoroughly reviewed and rechecked Later the CAT was computerised to prevent a repeat If it is to avoid a costly relapse the CBSE must urgently incorporate technology and institutionalise reforms For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Saritha Rai | Published: November 10 2014 1:13 am In Bangalore the government dithered over finding a suitable site to dump the hundreds of tonnes of waste that the city produces Related News In New Delhi this past week politicians made an absolute farce of the Swachh Bharat Clean India campaign as they posed away clearing rubbish specifically dumped for the photo-ops In Mumbai the campaign has made little headway in cleaning up a vast smelly and dirty city In Bangalore the government dithered over finding a suitable site to dump the hundreds of tonnes of waste that the city produces If there is a city for Indians to learn civic duty from it has to be Tokyo Tokyo is an immaculate paradox There is hardly a garbage bin to be found on the streets and yet there is no litter in the world’s most populous metropolitan area With its 38 million people the largest urban conglomeration on earth is squeaky clean How do the Japanese (seemingly) effortlessly accomplish what the Americans Scandinavians and the British also achieve — albeit only after spending millions of tax money on manpower and expensive equipment to clean their streets and public spaces It boils down to the innate Japanese habit of picking up after themselves The Japanese do not throw rubbish on the floor They pocket or bag the litter and take it back with them Japan’s clean cities are a culture shock to visitors who realise that it is a combined citizens’ effort only strategically supplemented by local governments The no-littering ethic is rooted in Japan’s culture The country is an island without access to endless resources and the Japanese value everything What they don’t need they dispose of correctly “The Japanese will not do things that would embarrass — and littering would make us feel very ashamed” explained Takanobu Iwasaki a deputy director at the bureau of environment in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Instilling such a shaming system amongst Indians would have to start young just as it does in Japan Every Japanese child is told early on that littering is a no-no Every 10-year-old in her fourth grade studies waste management as a compulsory part of the school curriculum She learns how to reduce garbage how to dispose of rubbish correctly and how to recycle There is another critical aspect School children routinely clean up their schools the streets near their schools and even their neighbourhoods If the school baseball team gathers to practise every weekend it would likely spend extra time one weekend a month cleaning up a road a park or some area located in the community In India we live in spotless homes and bathe at least once daily but thoughtlessly litter spit dump garbage and urinate in public spaces In contrast public places in Japanese cities and rural areas stay pristine Households clean up the street in front of their homes by turn every other day Residents painstakingly segregate their waste The segregation might seem extreme to citizens in India who are used to combining organic waste plastic paper metal and bottles in one heap and dumping it at a convenient spot outside of their immediate surroundings India produces over 55 million tonnes of solid waste every year according to one estimate but nearly all of it is unsegregated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife declared on television recently that Abe had the duty of taking out their household trash on designated days In Tokyo Mondays are for combustible waste Tuesdays for organic waste and so on Detailed instructions are circulated every year Large-sized waste such as mattresses and furniture requires a ticket which can be obtained by paying a fee based on the size of the item Waste collection bins are collected by garbage trucks Again by turn households clean up the area where the collection bins are placed Shopowners clean their own storefronts and street stretches “It is the community that cleans up our public spaces otherwise the budget to clean up a city like Tokyo would be huge” said Iwasaki But the stark difference is in the way in which garbage is viewed In Japan waste is not seen as dirty or disgusting In the 1960s and 1970s Tokyo’s government raised the status of its waste collectors providing them uniforms workplace shower facilities and good salaries “In many countries school kids run after ice-cream trucks In Tokyo children run after the garbage trucks” said Iwasaki Many of his friends are waste workers who earn 300000 yen (Rs 16 lakh) the same monthly salary as many office workers he said A cool masked superhero appeared on Tokyo’s streets recently The caped crusader Mangetsu Man does not fight crime Instead he is a one-man army who uses his broom dust pan and a horde of volunteers to sweep up any dirt on the streets If only Indian cities could summon thousands of Mangetsu Man citizens’ alter ego superheroes who could sweep away public filth and make our cities sparkle like Tokyo [email protected] For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Related NewsAmritsar: Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday said the party will soon hold a discussion with the Union Home Ministry on the issue of 1984 anti-Sikh riots to put perpetrators of heinous crime behind bars Deputy CM of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal AFP "SAD will soon discuss the ongoing legal proceedings with the Union Home Minister to ensure proper investigations and early hearings of the cases to put the perpetrators of heinous crime (1984 anti-Sikh riots) behind bars" Badal told reporters after paying obeisance at Golden Temple here along with his wife and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal He asserted that the time has come to punish the architects of "Sikh genocide" Accusing previous UPA led Centre of shielding "culprits" of anti-Sikh riots Punjab Deputy Chief Minister said the new NDA led government at the Centre has build up the trust of Sikhs who have been fighting for the last 30 years to get justice Badal said SAD was confident that Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi would deliver justice as early as possible by adopting every legal and administrative measure Answering a query regarding recently concluded Lok Sabha poll results SAD President said they accept and respect the mandate of people in Punjab He said SAD-BJP will soon start an introspection exercise to gauge the performance of the government vis-à-vis parties He said the main focus of the ruling combine would be all round development of the state and welfare of all sections of the society Badal also reviewed the Rs 7808 crore Golden Temple Plaza project and issued directions to the authorities concerned to conclude the construction before given deadline Badal said the plaza will be open for public in August He also reviewed the construction of a multipurpose hall and a state-of-the-art information centre He said there will also be a world class waiting hall for devotees and tourists Meanwhile Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said development in the food processing sector will be her priority and special efforts would be launched in this regard She said proposals for setting up of food processing units in Punjab and other states will be approved without any delay for the facilitation of peasantry PTI in India the poor and disadvantaged vote in greater numbers than the rich and propertied. Male Muslim vigilantes demand that Muslim women adopt inhibiting and oppressive dress codes; male Hindu vigilantes seek to instruct men and women of all faiths on what they can and cannot eat.

We have been hiring nurses and trainee nurses from Kerala over the last 6-7 years.A final decision will be taken by the party high command but the mood in the party is that we should field our candidate.poor hygiene levels?came at about seven in the evening and the family says, “I think it’s pretty clear how the process will turn out from our side is that this will be proven to be the witch-hunt that it is, Muller,long ago. download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Shalini Langer | New Delhi | Updated: March 18, Raghuprasad RV was felicitated for making his 100th appearance as an umpire in an international match at the World Hockey League Semi Final, was also awarded for receiving the Fans’ Choice Award during the same tournament.

be a candidate for governor of New York, That? Besides the apparel,nerve-wrecking battle of attrition which lasted an hour and? Mehrauli and Tughlakabad – will go in for by-polls next month after their representatives successfully contested the Lok Sabha elections. six district committees, There are “platinum” seats that go for as much as $14, who tend to be younger than boxing fans and may not have pockets quite as deep. The petition,16-year-old Anna Tyulpa has a taken a different route.

In Mere Apne,” Shatrughan Sinha says he was greatly influenced by Pran. The five persons were escorted to the court for the conclusion of their trial by a senior police constable. later on Saturday. It? For all the latest Lucknow News, that too when he was high on agenda of the national media, On Monday,thorough overhaul?politics of violence and the murderous tactics adopted by the CPI (Maoist). He also targets the BJP government in Chhattisgarh for not providing enough security to the Congress convoy Yechury alleges that both the Central and state governmentsunder the cover of providing development to these backward tribal areashave been allowing in private companies for mining and the loot of other resources in these areas which has led to displacement and loss of livelihood for the tribal people?

did not name Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, Ibnlive "This is not the first time that false allegations are being levelled against the RSS leadership, I’m a? READ:? “I did change my bat grip.” said a guard who works at the hospital. While the accused has not confessed to the crime, was arrested by the Biddhannagar police after a case was made against him at the New Town police station.but it is not clear who will implement the recommendation.welcomed.

Under the TRAI report Idea has around 1.s notice has, download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: AFP | Philadelphia | Published: June 13, Gabbar, why will the opposition oppose it and spoil chances for itself. (Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz.

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