British high commissioner to India James Bevan was in for a pleasant surprise on Wednesday when girl students of a madarsa answered his queries in flawless English. The young students enrolled in Nizamia seminary of Islamic Centre of India (ICI) in Aishbagh also shared their career choices with the special guest.
“Given the freedom to practice their religion and indulge in community work, Muslims in India are happier that those in other countries,” the imam of Eidgah, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, told the visiting high commissioner. Maulana Khalid, who is also the secretary general of ICI, said the economic condition of the minority community, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, was getting steadily better though the due share was yet to be claimed.
Bevan, who came especially to visit the ICI, called on Madarsa Nizamia, where boys and girls are being provided education separately. He also paid a visit to other sections of the centre.
“He was impressed by the girls communicating in English,” Maulana Khalid said.
Later, in conversation with Maulana Khalid, the visiting dignitary wanted to know about the success of polio eradication and breastfeeding campaigns, which are being run by the centre. He was told the polio cases among Muslims have come down to a large extent in the state. Bevan also enquired about the political aspirations of youth, their plans for higher education and administrative decision-making process.
This is the second time in the last six days that a top foreign diplomat has visited the state capital. On August 30, Nancy J Powell, the United States ambassador to India, met chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and said there was tremendous scope for US investment in Uttar Pradesh. She had also expressed the desire to strength en bilateral ties between the US and India, particularly in the context of Uttar Pradesh.