Chapter -7, a momentary look on the Muslim’s social and cultural scenario of Azamgarh. By: Dr. Equbal Wajid] The inspection team of JAMIA TUL FALAH stayed at KOHNDA for complete 24 hours. How the lady teachers inspected the Girls School I don’t know but for the boy’s school we stepped in the campus, visited the class rooms, kitchen, hostels, and office. In a class room some chairs were set to hold a meeting with the members of the Managing Committee. We met the teachers and the students. It was an overall remark of all of us that this School is running tactfully and the sacrifice and efforts of the Managing Committee was visible on every step. I was also surprised how they succeeded to make a huge building for the School without any official help.
Not only KOHNDA, but in the entire AZAMGARH District the Muslim primary education is in Muslim hands. The villagers take the responsibility of the primary education in their village, manage and run private schools on their own social responsibility. As a result up the class Vth not a single Muslim student is seen in the Government Primary Schools. To run private primary schools in every village has become a social norm among Muslims in AZAMGARH District. This is what we can call it a step towards being self-dependent and self-reliant. No doubt that this social norm in the reign has been created by JAMIA TUL FALAH the giant institution of this locality. JAMIA TUL FALAH is running not merely just like an institution but a body of social change. I have witnessed a number Islamic social values twinkling in Azamgarh District, and I believe to say that JAMIA TUL FLAH is one of its main architects.
An institution is a social body that is established not only with the aim to educate the learners but with a broad objective of changing the norms of the society, so as the sociologist believe that an institution does more to change the society than leadership. Through JAMIATUL FALAH this ideology has become more and more common in the district that a Muslim boy must learn the Islamic basic teachings in his early childhood. When visited the Boys School at KOHNDA we were glad to see the strength and the infrastructure of the institution. The huge school building of the school was telling us the enthusiastic and zealous approach of its management committee. How zealous efforts could have been done to achieve the goal. The teachers to whom we met were the picture of sacrifice. Though their salaries were low but they seemed satisfied and contented. I prayed to Allah for their betterment.
Next day after breakfast we left KOHNDA. It was scheduled earlier, that the team has to visit LONIYADIH GIRLS SCHOOL in return. LONIYADIA was a Muslim village adjacent to the road that goes from MAHUL to Azamgarh via Phoolpur. We started from KONDA and within an hour we were at LONIYADIH. I failed to remember what the actual reason was, but I remember that I was asked to take a bus or a passenger jeep and go to Bilariyaganj. Therefore I got down of the Vehicle and looked for a Jeep that could carry me to Azamgarh. As I have mentioned, in Azamgarh District the road communication is much frequent. One has not to bother about paid taxi. He has to stand beside a road and he will get a Jeep very soon.
At JAMIATUL FALAH I was busy to draft a report of this educational trip. Anyhow, the report was prepared and the next day Dr.Khalil saw the report. I distributed the copies of the report among the inspection team and was ready to do the next task.
The list of the Villages of the area was given to me. I started my work. On Saturday I use to go on tour. One day in a week I started visiting one of the villages adjacent to Bilariyaganj, and on the other day I use to visit villages that are farther. The Villages that have circled Bilariyaganj are, Gulwan, Naseerpur, Alluddin Patti, Jaigahan, Mohiuddinpur, Bhawapur, Bankat, Jairajpur, Bindwal [the birth place of Allama Shibli Numani], Chandpatti, Zaidpur, Jee’enpur, Shekhopur, Khalispur Bhawapur, Cheeheen, Chichori [ new name Ahmedpur] and many other villages.
The first village that I visited was next to Bilariyaganj Market, as you will cross the Bilariyaganj Market in the north you will find a Village. You need not to bother for a Vehicle because it is an on foot journey. I walked there and visited the School. It was a lower Primary School. It was run by Rafiuddin Sahab a non-teaching staff in Shoba e Aala JAMIATUL FLAH. I remembered that for the first time I met him in Shoba e Aala he was not as polite, his outer looked like an egoistic man. He had big eyeballs to gaze everybody. When I was there in his School, by the time he also reached there and cooperated with me in collecting data. He asked me that FALAH has never given any aid to our School as it needs some financial help. The charity that comes in the name of the school is not sufficient. I asked him that I will put the matter before Dr.Khalil. Mr. Rafiuddin asked me for lunch which I refused but he managed some refreshment for me. I noted everything, the number of students in each class, number of teachers, number and size of the class rooms, names of the members of the Managing Committee and many other things.
By lunch time I was at JAMIA TUL FALAH. Today’s work was done, now I have to look for tomorrow. In JAMIA TUL FALAH even after 4 or 5 months I had not been allotted any separate or shared room. I was still living in the Guest room. So daily I have to see new faces. They were mostly the guardian of the students who come to see their child periodically. Some of them have seen me two or three times on the same room. Therefore I was lacking my own privacy. Little by little I was annoyed by this sort of life style but I never make myself a deep feel of it. -Adjustment -was the top lesson that I had learned from Dr. Syed Hasan. I said to myself that it is my test and I have to win it. After three or four months I was shifted in a staff room where few middle School teachers were living together. I remember one of my room partner Abu Sualeh Sahib from a nearby village who became closer to me. Abu Sualeh was working in the Kitchen Office. JAMIA TUL FALAH’S kitchen was not a merely a kitchen. It was a kitchen where the meal for more than two thousand students was being cooked. It had its own office and 4 to 5 clerical staff was working under the supervision of an In-Charge. Students deposit all kind of fees in this office. The students were never satisfied with food management.
In the beginning and end of the academic-session this office was over crowded with guardians and students. They have to clear off their dues before appearing in the examinations. Sometimes queues are formed automatically. Morning to evening the staff never get time to take rest. Two small buffaloes were being slaughtered as a daily routine in the Kitchen premises. The staffs were allowed to purchase meat if they like. Sometimes I buy two kilograms of meat and kook it without using spies. It was liked by my roommates who never wait for an invitation. There were servants to carry food from the kitchen to rooms. The rooms were divided among the servants, their responsibility was to bring food in the rooms and then collect the used utensils back after sometime. Food for Girls hostel was also cooked in the same kitchen. When the meal becomes ready it was separated in other utensils and was brought to Girls Hostel. The empty and cleaned tiffin-carriers of the girl students were put at a place and the servants have to distribute the meal in each container. The girls will take their food that is separated room wise and then again the empty Tiffin carrier is back to the kitchen. There was a gentle man named Shamshad Sahab form Hengaipur village adjacent to Bilariyaganj. In my time he was the main Cashier of the Kitchen Office. He was an honest man, and I know nothing against him. A canteen was also opened for the students. If anyone wants to enjoy he can buy fried items, Shakarpala and Jalebi from the Canteen.
Sweats are commonly used in Azamgarh. In the entire District it is one of their main traditions in all communities that simply water is never served to guests. Whoever he may be or whoever be the host, a sweaty item will be served definitely with the water. Regardless of a poor or rich it is common to all. As a result people don’t ask for water if they are at someone’s door. Water will come automatically along with sweats in a plate. Even poors keep some sweaty items compulsorily in their houses to serve with water to the guest or anyone who stops at their door. XXX [continued--..]
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