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Eight Muslims Among This Year’s Padma Awardees

(L-R: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq & Ali Manikfan)

The Union Government has announced a list of 119 personalities who will be conferred the Padma Awards by President Ram Nath Kovind this year.

These awards cater to various disciplines including art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service. While ‘Padma Shri’ is awarded for distinguished service in any field, ‘Padma Bhushan’ is awarded for distinguished service of high order. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service. 

The list includes two renowned Islamic scholars; Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and late Maulana Kalbe Sadiq. Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award will be presented to Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, while Maulana Kalbe Sadiq will get Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (96) is a renowned Islamic scholar from Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh, who propagates his teachings and ideas through writing. He has written a commentary on the Holy Qur’an called Tazkirul Quran He also runs a monthly magazine called Al Risala which has a wide readership. He has also been conferred with several awards including Demiurgus Peace International Award, the Padma Bhushan (2000), National Citizens’ Award, Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award (2009) and others.

Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, who passed away in November last year was a prominent Shia scholar and Vice President of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

He was considered as a great ambassador of Shia-Sunni unity and devoted his life for this cause.

However, both Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and Maulana Kalbe Sadiq showed a neutral stance on the construction of the Ram Temple on the remains of Babri Masjid. They urged Muslims to give away their claim on Babri Masjid.

The awardees include, polymath Ali Manikfan, who has been awarded with the Padma Shri for his contribution in grassroots level innovations at Lakshwadeep. Born into an aristocratic family in 1938 in the Minicoy Island of Lakshwadeep, Manikfan is as marine researcher, ecologist, shipbuilder, agriculturist, and a polyglot.

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Gulfam Ahmed from Uttar Pradesh for his contribution in the field of Art, Lakha Khan for Literature from Rajasthan, and Ghulam Rasool Khan for Art from Jammu and Kashmir, Sanjida Khatun for Art from Bangladesh and Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir for Public Affairs from Bangladesh are among the recipients of the Padma Shri.

These awards are announced on the commemoration of Republic Day celebration each year. The awards are given by President of India at the ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan. This year in total 119 awards are announced comprising 7 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri, respectively. Out of which 10 awards will be conferred to women, 8 awards to Muslims and 1 to a transgender.

Written By

Ghazala Ahmad is the Delhi Correspondent for The Cognate.

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