Bhopal: Poignant scenes were
witnessed as the first batch of 245 Hajj pilgrims from Madhya
Pradesh boarded the buses at the transit camp in the premises of
the historic Taj-ul-Masajid on their way to Raja Bhoj
International airport to embark for their lifetime cherished dream
to perform Hajj.
The first flight carrying the Hajj pilgrims took off from the
airport over three hours behind schedule at about 3.30 pm. The
flight was delayed due to late arrival of the aero plane from Ras
al-Khaima, one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE),
in the east of the Persian Gulf, due to sandstorm, it is said.
Some of the Hajj pilgrims and their near and dear ones became
nearly hysterical while they hugged and kissed each other with
tears rolling down their cheeks as they departed to board the
buses at the transit camp for the airport. The men-folk in raised
voices while women in lower decibels chanted the Talbiyah:
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik
Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka Labbaik”
(Here I am at thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at thy
service and thou hast no partners) as they moved towards the buses
parked at a distance within the precincts of the transit camp.
The air at Taj-ul-Masajid complex with spiritual fervour and
reverted with the Talbiyah as the whole scene became quite
emotional with tears welling up in eyes of one and all who came to
see off the Hajj pilgrims.
Madhya Pradesh Minorities Welfare Minister Ajay Vishnoi and former
Chief Minister & Bhopal Member of Parliament Kailash Joshi reached
the airport to send off the pilgrims but due to delay of flight
returned without flagging off the flight. However, they met the
pilgrims at the airport. Vishnoi wished a happy journey to Hajj
pilgrims by presenting bouquets to them and urged them to pray for
peace and prosperity. Principal Secretary Backward Class and
Minorities Welfare Anil Shrivastava, Madhya Pradesh State Hajj
Committee, (MPSHC), Chairman and Executive Officer Dr. Sanawwar
Patel and Mr. Dawood Ahmed Khan respectively, were also present on
the occasion amongst others.
Speaking to the Hajj pilgrims on the occasion, Vishnoi said that
the arrangements of direct flights for Hajj pilgrims, which have
been made available from Bhopal and Indore, have been lauded in a
letter by the Saudi Arabian government. He said that even the
Union Government is lauding the welfare works undertaken in the
state under the guidance of Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj Singh
Chouhan. From time to time, the Union Government has praised the
works being undertaken for minorities' welfare in Madhya Pradesh
and has written to other states to emulate Madhya Pradesh, he
Vishnoi informed that two acres of land have been identified for
construction of Hajj House. He hoped that the process constructing
will start by next year.
Meanwhile, state Chief Minister Chouhan could not reach the Hajj
pilgrims transit point at Taj-ul-Masajid to send off the pilgrims
due to his busy schedule. It was for the second consecutive year
that he failed in reaching to the Hajj pilgrims on the occasion.
However, Maulana Peer Muhammad Saeed Miyan Mujaddadi, Rector of
Dar-ul-Uloom Taj-ul-Masajid, blessed the pilgrims. As the busses
rolled out of the transit camp MPSHC chairman Dr. Sanawwar Patel
was in the vanguard sitting in chauffer driven car.
It may be recalled here that last year, though he reached to
receive the pilgrims on their return but his absence was
conspicuous from the scene at the time of departure of the
pilgrims. This time round not only the Chief Minister but the
Muslim leaders of his Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), were also
suspiciously absent from the scene. Prominent Muslim BJP leaders
who missed the occasion included state minorities cell president
Mr. Hidayatullah Sheikh and Madhya Pradesh State Minorities
Commission Chairman Anwar Mohammed Khan.
Meanwhile, Congress dominance was witnessed at the airport to see
off the pilgrims as scores of Congress leaders from the State
capital including Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, (MPCC), media
committee chairman Manak Agarwal, Bhopal District Congress
Committee president and former legislator PC Sharma, MPCC
secretary Nasir Islam, leader of Opposition in the Bhopal
Municipal Corporation Sagheer Ahmed, Corporators Rehan Ahmed and
Syed Shahid Ali were especially present to see off the pilgrims at
the airport on the occasion.
According to Executive Officer awood Khan out of the total 245
pilgrims who left on the flight on Wednesday, 232 were from
Bhopal, two from Jabalpur, and five each from Morena and Rajgarh.
The senior most pilgrim, who boarded the flight on Wednesday was
100-year-old Saghira Begum, wife of Mehboob of Morena, while the
youngest pilgrim was three-year-old Aquib Ali Khan, son of Ali
Khan from Bhopal. A total of 4,410 pilgrims from the Madhya
Pradesh would embark on Hajj journey this year through the MPSHC,
of these 2,205 would go from Bhopal and a similar number from
Indore. A total of 18 flights nine each from Bhopal and Indore
will ferry the pilgrims to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia till October 30.