War of words ensues over Urdu Bhavan

May 29, 2018, 07:11 IST | Hemal Ashar

Accusations fly thick and fast between NGO and MLA over proposed first-of-its-kind language centre in city

Adil Khatri
Adil Khatri

A Mumbai non-profit, Jai Ho Foundation, which works for communal harmony, has been locked in a battle with All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Waris Pathan over the building of an Urdu Bhavan in the city. The Bhavan has been conceptualised for the promotion and propagation of the Urdu language.

Jai Ho's founders Advocate Adil Khatri and president Afroz Malik have said the Kalina university campus is the best site for Urdu Bhavan. But, Pathan has claimed that he has proposed to build the Urdu Bhavan at Byculla, and is working towards permissions for it. Pathan said that the Bhavan will come up on a 10,000 sq ft plot near Agripada police station and he is awaiting the government's sanction of Rs 50 crore for this.

Waris Pathan
Waris Pathan

'RTI shows no proposal'
Jai Ho has slammed Pathan as a "fake". According to Khatri, a Right to Information (RTI) query filed on May 8 by Afroz Malik revealed that there was no proposal to build an Urdu Bhavan at Byculla and no funds had been sanctioned.

He said, "There is no GR/ notification about any work regarding Urdu Bhavan at Byculla and there is no land allocated for it there." Both Malik and Khatri say Pathan is misguiding people.

'Proposal passed'
Pathan scoffs at this, saying, "The proposal for an Urdu Bhavan at Byculla has already been passed in two minority committee meetings earlier. We are awaiting sanction of R50 crore from the Centre. I have identified a plot near Agripada police station, and tenders will be floated for a private builder."

'Using my name'
Pathan slammed Jai Ho Foundation saying, "Khatri and Malik want publicity and the easiest way to get it is to use my name. They cannot digest my popularity." Khatri shot back with, "The RTI facts speak for themselves. Jai Ho is getting a lot of publicity for social work, we do not need to use his name." Pathan responded with, "Jai Ho has done no work, it is a sham."

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