Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A rejoinder to hon.union minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu


A rejoinder to hon.union minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu

Honourable Union Minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu’s recent statement that “like Hindu society which abolished practices like child marriage, dowry and sati, Muslims should mull over putting an end to the triple talaq divorce system” is not based on facts. While of course sati is not in practice now, child marriage continues and the evil dowry system is actually on the increase to a great extent particularly in States like Andhra Pradesh from where the minister hails.

Islam has prescribed rules for divorce. It is said that Allah’s kingdom is shaken when this ugly word is pronounced. Islamic scholars continue to discourage divorce and ask couples to follow a policy of give and take for a happy married life. This is the reason why Muslims have lower divorce rate. If we go to the family courts, we can see what is happening there to the couples seeking divorce. The less said the better.

Muslim men and women strongly believe that Islamic laws are the best safeguards for them. Triple talaq and polygamy are very rare among Muslims and in fact on the decrease. They are pained to see every Tom, Dick and Harry interfering in their internal affairs. If any reform is necessary, it should come from within the community in the light of the holy Quran and Ahadees. The Muslim personal law should continue to be in existence in our country.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Chennai Leather Market - April 2017

CHENNAI LEATHER MARKET

V M Khaleelur Rahman

Hong Kong Leather Fair

Quite a large number of people connected with the leather industry from Chennai and other parts of India attended the APLF leather and materials fair held from 29 to 31st March 2017 in Hong Kong. There are reports of leading exporters having sold goat upper and lining leathers at almost the prevailing prices at around US 2.20 and 1.75 per sq. ft. respectively. It seems that only some highly reputed marks were on the move as in the present market customers are very particular about quality. Total business concluded during the fair was said to be considerable.

No doubt the popular Hong Kong leather fair provided a good opportunity for exporters, importers and others connected with the leather industry to exchange views on different issues facing them.     

AISHTHMA

The All India Skin & Hide Tanners & Merchants Association (AISHTMA), Chennai celebrated its Centenary year in a grand manner on 9th March 2017 and signed MoU with three East African countries – Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda - for trade development.

Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, President of Aishtma, explained in detail about the importance and necessity of cooperation and collaboration with these countries. He said that a high level delegation of Aishtma consisting of 10 members had visited these countries earlier, interacted with the leather fraternity there and paved the way for mutual co-operation.

Chennai Leather Market

In the Chennai leather market, business continues at around the following prices but volume of business done is not much.

Grain Selection: 5/8 sq. ft. Run Rs.95, Fifths Rs.80, Inf. Fifths Rs.70, LIF Rs.60,

Suede Selection: 4/6 sq. ft. Rs.47, 5/8 sq. ft. Rs.48

Lining Selection: 5/8 sq. ft. A Lining Rs.46, AB Lining Rs.44, ABC Lining Rs.42 and 4/6 sq. ft. ABC Lining Rs.42

Mesh Selection: 5/8 sq. ft. Rs.30

Cow and buffalo leathers, multi colours, export rejects are available in the market at around Rs.35.

All prices are per sq. ft.

Overseas Business

As regards overseas business, exporters here feel that there will be increase in demand as things cannot remain the same for long. This optimism is based on the inquiries received from European and Far East customers for different items of leather. Japanese importers are also slowly showing interest for sheep leathers.

Offers of exporters are at around the following prices:

S/C OR F/C GOAT LEATHERS

Material
Size/sq. ft.
Substance
Selection
Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Goat upper leather
 4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
ABC/DE
2.20/1.70
Goat milled leather
4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1
1.75
Goat suede leather
4/7
5/8
0.6/0.8 mm
0.6/0.8 mm
All Suede
2.00
2.10
Goat lining leather

4/7
0.5/0.7 mm
TR-1
1.70
6/9
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1
1.80

F/C SHEEP LEATHERS

Material
Size/sq.ft.
Substance
Selection
Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Sheep Cabretta leather
4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
ABC
2.00
Sheep Cabretta leather
6/9
0.8/1.00 mm
ABC
2.10
Sheep lining leather
4/7
5/9
0.5/0.7 mm
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1
TR-1
1.60
1.70
                                     
(Writer’s e-mail id: vmk1234@yahoo.com)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lessons of Uttar Pradesh 2017 results

Indian Muslims

Uttar Pradesh 2017 results deal a body blow to their political aspirations

By SIRAJ WAHAB | sirajwahab@gmail.com

The results of Uttar Pradesh elections in which Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scored a landslide victory are devastating to say the least. The colossal defeat of anti-Modi parties indicates that the majority community has decided to punish anybody that is seen as even remotely connected with or slightly sympathetic to Muslims. There was a time when Muslims would consider themselves as kingmakers. There was a time when 20 percent Muslims would decide the outcome of elections in Uttar Pradesh. That is no longer the case.

The myth of the Muslim vote is completely exploded. They are the new untouchables. They are the new undesirables. In fact, when Congress conducted an internal survey of the reasons behind the party’s defeat in the 2014 general elections — the elections that brought Modi to power in Delhi — it was revealed that the Congress Party paid the price of being seen as soft on Muslims. The inquiry was conducted by A.K. Antony. Muslims were very upset with those findings. Their anger was fuelled by the fact that they suffered immensely under the Congress rule — a rule under which hundreds of young, educated Muslims across the country were put behind bars for the flimsiest of reasons, a rule under which all that was promised to Muslims was not delivered (Sachar Committee recommendations, Ranganath Misra Commission recommendations, promise of reservations, etc.). Despite all these injustices, anti-Congress parties ran to town screaming about the alleged appeasement of Muslims.

Muslims were caught in the crosshairs. They were angry with Congress and hated the BJP for very obvious reasons. Their near-total support for Congress in the 2014 general elections despite all that the party did to them was like a poison chalice for the party. Their support alienated the majority community from the Congress Party. That same thing has now happened with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). They both openly courted Muslims. Samajwadi Party joined hands with Congress to assuage Muslim anger for the Muzaffarnagar riots. The BSP gave tickets to nearly 100 Muslim candidates. All this helped the majority community and its various castes and sub-castes to consolidate behind Modi’s party.

The BJP strategists implemented what is now known as the “60 percent formula.” According to this formula, Modi and Amit Shah concentrated on non-Yadav and non-Jatav communities. They realized that 22 percent Muslims would in no way vote for the BJP. So essentially 20 percent Muslims and 10 percent Yadavs (SP's core vote base) and 10 percent Jatavs (Mayawati’s core vote base) were isolated. They worked on the remaining 60 percent of the voters and succeeded in garnering 40 percent of this vote.

The BJP strategists constructed a narrative in which they cast Muslims as anti-nationals and painted any party that had and have any association with the Muslims as anti-Hindu. This strategy worked wonders and the parties that Muslims vocally supported were reduced to scraps.

There is another alarming aspect. In constituencies where BSP and SP fielded Muslim candidates, the non-Muslim votebank of these parties refused to vote for them. For example, in a constituency where the BSP fielded a Muslim candidate, the BSP's core Jatav voters went with the BJP candidate. As a result the Muslim candidate lost. Similarly, in a constituency where the Samajwadi Party fielded a Muslim candidate, the Samajwadi Party’s core Yadav voters migrated to the BJP candidate. Muslims became a liability for all non-BJP parties. BSP’s decision to grant 100 seats to Muslims became their undoing.

This in short has what has happened in Uttar Pradesh.

There is an avalanche of criticism within the Muslim community that the split in their votes — among SP, BSP and other smaller parties — has led to the victory of Modi. This may be true in some constituencies, most notably in Deoband. But for the sake of argument, let one assume that Muslims lost roughly 75 seats because of such division. Even then that would not have stopped the BJP from forming the government on its own. It won more than a staggering 300 seats.

Of course, Muslims need to draw their conclusions but there would be no point in self-flagellation. It will only deepen the sense of despair. There is no need to lose hope. There is a need for the community to reinvent itself and construct a new narrative to become relevant in Uttar Pradesh’s electoral politics. This is not the job of ulema or the clergy. This task requires dispassionate and intelligent young Muslims who understand the modern tools and modern idiom and modern medium, and whose belief in democracy and the country’s constitution is unflinching.

This is a very onerous task —  one that is challenging but not impossible, provided the community does not indulge in recriminations and blame game. The time for that is over. Now is the time for serious introspection.

The way forward

The lessons that Muslims in North India need to learn from Uttar Pradesh in 2017 is that they should not seek tickets from any party. They should not launch or promote their own party/ies — that only helps in consolidating the majority votebank. They should reduce their visibility in the political sphere. Once they make themselves less visible, it will take the attention away from them, and then there will be less polarization. At the moment, Muslims should outsource their leadership tasks to the good people from the majority community.

Of course, other leading lights of the community will have other constructive and better suggestions and solutions. Pressure needs to be brought from within the community to bear upon the religious and pseudo-religious leadership to keep away from making political statements. The pulpits of mosques and madrassas should not be used to issue any political statements.

The community’s focus in North India should be totally on education; modern education. For this to happen, Muslims need a conducive atmosphere. For conducive atmosphere, the community needs to cultivate the ruling party which now happens to be its arch enemy. The community will have to swallow the bitter pill and convert this defeat into opportunity. How they go ahead and who takes the lead in opening the channel of communication with Modi will have to be done by the sober and articulate members from within us. Again, this is just one of many thoughts. If there is no consensus among Muslims on talking to Modi, this option should be immediately discarded. Others can come up with better suggestions and the community should welcome them.

The Muslims of India have been through very bad times in the last two centuries. They lost in 1857. They lost in 1947. And now they lost in March 2017. All this while they survived — of course, not in the best of shapes — through their grit, determination and patience. But they did.

Democracy can provide the best revenge provided Indian Muslims know how to practice this art subtly and without attracting any undue attention. Their time will come only through this instrument of democracy and they will again become the kingmakers that they have been in the last four decades in independent India.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

CHENNAI LEATHER MARKET - MARCH 2017

CHENNAI LEATHER MARKET

V. M. Khaleelur Rahman

The 32nd India International Leather Fair 2017 (IILF) inaugurated on the evening of 31st January and held from 1st to 3rd February 2017 was as good with glittering paraphernalia as always in the previous years despite slow domestic and international market conditions. It attracted quite a large number of participants as well as business visitors from India and abroad. According to participants it was highly successful.

In the inaugural function Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu, Shri K. C. Karuppannan was the Chief Guest. The Council for Leather Exports presented Export Excellence Awards 2015-16 to the exporters of leather and leather products who performed well in their exports. The Awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in overall exports went to 1. K. H. Exports India Private Limited, Chennai  2. Tata International Limited, Mumbai and 3. Mirza International Limited, Kanpur respectively.  Awards were also given to other exporters who performed well achieving valuable foreign exchange by their exports in categories like Leather Footwear, Leather Goods, Leather Garments, Finished  Leather etc.

When questioned an exporter pointed out that business concluded in the fair may not be big in volumes, but it is believed that there will be increased demand for leather products particularly for shoes and leather goods in the coming months. Another exporter  optimistically said  the leather industry which has seen many ups and downs will endeavour its best with new strategies to improve and boost its exports. 

As far as Chennai leather market is concerned, prices for E.I. Tanned goat and sheep skins are almost unchanged.  Some big exporters of leather and leather products are in the market covering their requirements. It is hoped that market may pick up in the days to come.

Ruling prices of E.I. Tanned Goat skins are given below (approximate)

Grain selection: 

5/8 sq. ft. Run Rs. 95, Fifth Rs. 80, Inf. Fifth Rs. 70 and LIF Rs. 60

Suede Selection

4/6 sq. ft. Rs. 46 and 5/8 sq. ft.  Rs.47

Lining Selection

5/8 sq. ft. AB Lining Rs.45 and ABC Lining 42
4/6 AB Lining Rs.39 and ABC Lining Rs.37

Mesh Selection

5/8 sq. ft. Rs.31

Rejection

Rs. 18

All prices are per sq. ft. 

EXPORT OFFERS ARE AT AROUND THE FOLLOWING PRICES:

                                      S/C OR F/C GOAT LEATHERS

Material
Size/sq. ft.
Substance
Selection
Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Goat upper leather
 4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
ABC/DE
2.10/1.60
Goat milled leather
4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1/TR-2/TR-3
1.60/1.50/1.40
Goat suede leather
4/7
5/8
0.6/0.8 mm
0.6/0.8 mm
All Suede
1.95
2.05
Goat lining leather

4/7
0.5/0.7 mm
TR-1/2/3 combined
1.50
6/9
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1/2/3
Combined
1.60
                                                       
                                   F/C SHEEP LEATHERS

Material
Size/sq.ft.
Substance
Selection
Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Sheep Cabretta leather
4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
ABC
1.90
Sheep Cabretta leather
6/9
0.8/1.00 mm
ABC
2.00
Sheep lining leather
4/7
5/9
0.5/0.7 mm
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1/2/3
TR-1/2/3
1.50
1.60

F/C sheep leather

All Suede 4/7 sq. ft. JY 200 and 5/7 sq. ft. JY 210 per sq. ft. C&F

Rejection Suede 4/7 sq. ft. JY 110 and 5/7 sq. ft. JY 120 per sq. ft. C&F

(Writer’s e-mail id: vmk1234@yahoo.com)


Friday, February 3, 2017

Chennai Leather Market - February 2017

CHENNAI LEATHER MARKET

V M Khaleelur Rahman

There seems to be no change for the better in the Chennai leather market. Activities are slow as in the past few months in tanned as well as wet blue goat and sheep skins. Prices of raw hides and skins are also almost unchanged and transactions slow everywhere in the country.

Local prices for E.I. Tanned Goat Skins are as follows approximately.

Grain Selection: 5/8 sq. ft. Run Rs.95, Fifths Rs.80, Inf. Fifths Rs.70, LIF Rs.60,

Suede Selection: 4/6 sq. ft. Rs.46, 5/8 sq. ft. Rs.47

Lining Selection: 5/8 sq. ft. AB Lining Rs.44, ABC Lining Rs.40, 4/6 sq. ft. AB Lining Rs.38, ABC Lining Rs.35

Mesh Selection: 5/8 sq. ft. Rs.30

All prices are per sq. ft.

Raw Skins: As far as raw goat skins are concerned, In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh the prevailing prices are from Rs.100 to 130 per piece. However in some other places like Miraj where quality is better prices are from Rs.150 to 200 per piece depending on size and quality. Some big exporters are covering their requirements from these high quality centres. 

Offers of exporters are at around the following prices:

                                      S/C OR F/C GOAT LEATHERS

Material
Size/sq. ft.
Substance
Selection
Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Goat upper leather
 4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
ABC/DE
2.10/1.60
Goat milled leather
4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1
1.75
Goat suede leather
4/7
5/8
0.6/0.8 mm
0.6/0.8 mm
All Suede
2.00
2.10
Goat lining leather

4/7
0.5/0.7 mm
TR-1
1.60
6/9
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1
1.70
                                                       
                                   F/C SHEEP LEATHERS

Material
Size/sq.ft.
Substance
Selection
Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F
Sheep Cabretta leather
4/7
0.6/0.8 mm
ABC
1.90
Sheep Cabretta leather
6/9
0.8/1.00 mm
ABC
2.00
Sheep lining leather
4/7
5/9
0.5/0.7 mm
0.6/0.8 mm
TR-1
TR-1
1.50
1.60

Although exports have been down during the past some months, exporters are optimistic that things will change and exports will pick up during this year. As exporters of leather are facing problems at the Customs on identification of finished leather, many small tanners and exporters are not willing to enter into contracts. This is considered to be one of the reasons for the exports coming down. At this time of a sort of crisis in the leather industry, some small scale tanners demand that the 15% export duty on E. I. Tanned goat and sheep skins should be removed to enable them to carry on their business in this age old leather item which is nothing but “finished leather”. Although there is a strong case for this, divided opinions are the main hurdles in the way of the government making the E. I. Tanned skins duty free.

(Writer’s e-mail id: vmk1234@yahoo.com)