This was my reply to mr Masum Karolias email circulation to lot of Aliporeans , just after he lost his arguments at the AGM of AMA.UK, on Alipore or Alipur, Jan 09.(it’s back to Alipore Muslim Association.)

Mr M Karolia argue that we are all going backwards by calling our village Alipore, hence he argue and gives an example of change over from Bombay to Mumbai and so on…..

Come on Masum for God’s sake don’t show your ignorance,Bulsar always have been Valsad,Baroch always have been Bharuch and Mumbai never a Bombay. I can give 100 examples of similar names.

Just tell me,do the present generation of Aliporeans call their village Alipur? Did our generation ever called it Alipur? Did our parents or grand parents ever called it Alipur?Just look at your birth certificate, does it say Alipur? look up at any official document, does it say Alipur? The answer is big NO.

Now let me give him a history lesson, by looking at the Bombay scenario. Bomaby always called Mumbai by the Two communities who lived there, namely Maharashtrians and Gujaratis. It’s always called Mumbai well before the arrival of the British, of course it’s the British who wanted the wholesale changes in India, and leave some sort of permanent mark all over India, so they changed the names of hundreds of towns and villages the way they can pronounce and write. Hence they changed Mumbai to Bombay, Valsad to Bulsar, Kolkata to culcatta and so on….
Let’s stay with Bombay and look at the facts, what happened and why it was changed back to Mumbai.

After about 40years of independence, the local population, remember it’s mainly Maharashtrians and Gujaratis, asking the question, why do we call our city Bombay when the British have gone long time ago and we never ever called our city Bombay anyway,so why when it come to official documentation, we have to write Bombay? Soon the movement took it’s own path and as it only happen in India, the local government has to accept an argument by the majority of the people and it’s been officially changed (1995)to its rightful original name of Mumbai.

Sorry I almost forgot about calling our village Alipore or Alipur. Using the same argument I wonder when did the majority population of Alipore ever called their village Alipur? May be over 200 years ago?A tough question for Mr Karolia? Or does he want to opt for an emotional argument and play a Muslim card? come on Salim, a Muslim card? Explain yourself will you please!

It’s simple sir, when you loose an argument or reasoning we always use the final card under our sleeve, which Mr Karolia just did by saying “we should be proud of our Islamic name”. Just because its end with PUR? Now you have to prove all the names which ends with PUR are Islamic.How about Rampur? This is nothing but pure blackmail. You are now engaging people on an emotional level by telling them “come out of the dark ages to modern era” ! What new era? I wonder..! you are pushing us back to the dark ages by calling our village Alipur. I have no problem with those who have Hindi/Urdu mother tongue calling our village Alipur, but for the rest of us gujjar. I am afraid it’s AAlipor all the way. I am sure no Aliporens going to accept your arguments, remember you lost it by big big majority on the day.You only got 18 votes out of over 150 present at the AGM.
Let me quote a wonderful few words from a very good friend, reading Mr Karolias arguments just sent me.
“ANY ARGUMENT IF ILLOGICAL AND UNETHICAL AND HAS BEEN LOADED WITH EGOISM ARE THE ARGUMENTS THAT MISLEADS US ,HENCE ARE NOT THE ONE INTELLECUALS USES”

I have written 3 articles on History of Alipore, if anyone interested, let me know and I will pass it on .
Salim Loonat.

ALIPUR OR ALIPORE (pronounced Aalipore)

Our organisation was originally established as Alipore M.A. UK. (Please see old records)

With the annual change of Executive Committees, and a few people’s agitation, the name was changed from Alipore M.A. UK. To Alipur M.A. UK.and from Alipur to back to Alipore. During 80’s once again it became a discussion subject for a few individuals, and then, at the General Meeting in 1987, it was agreed unanimously to use the word Alipore instead of Alipur. At present we in discussion to form our new constitution, and once again the question of naming our Organisation have become an unnececry an issue. So let us view a brief history of Alipur or Alipore.

Alipur (Urdu/Hindi) Ali … Great, Beautiful Pur … Village, Population

Aalipore (Gujarati) Aali …Great, Beautiful Pore … Village, Population

This definition shows that Alipore is not an altered word, it’s the root word in Gujarati language, and that no changes in the meaning take place. It’s unique. There are one or two people misleading the Aliporian community, even accusing them who call or pronounce their village as Alipore that they have bastardised the name Alipur.This is nothing but an insult to all Aliporians who proudly call their village Alipore

It has been discovered from Aalipore’s brief history that this village was established years ago by the Sayyad community.(Please read my other research paper on this subject) Their language was Urdu / Persian, so the village acquired the name Alipur. Increeases in the population of the Vohra community eventually reached the area of South Gujarat. Their original language being Gujarati, the Vohra community started calling it AAli-por. Both communities referred to it for many years by both names, Alipor and Alipur. And later became just Aalipor. People from South Africa add E at end and started to spell as Alipore. At present there are only a few houses left in the Sayyad community in Aalipore.

In early 1900 when Postal services were established in every village during British rule, its management responsibility was given to the village school’s Head Teacher. So the Head Master also became part time Post Master. The village had Urdu medium school, (changed to Gujarati School just before Indian independence) and the Head teacher’s language was also Urdu. Hence it was given the name Alipur on Postal Stamp. Hindi become the national language after the independence, hence road signs are marked as Alipur in Hindi and Aalipore in Gujarati/English.

There are very few villages in Gujarat state having PUR at the end of the village, but there are ample villages which have a name ending with POR e.g. Manekpor, Lajpor, Lilapor etc.It is quite common in states like U.P, Rajasthan, Maharastra to have villages and towns having names ending with PUR e.g. Jaipur, Nagpur, Sholapur, Udaipur etc.

Let us now look at some facts on who is using Alipur, and Aalipore.

Alipur

  • Alipur word is still in use on the postal stamp of the now run down Alipor Post Office and its pin code 396409, but Aalipore is used in all its records and all writings of the main Post Office.
  • Sometimes the Mohtamim of Darul Uloom in the middle of the village still use the word Alipur, but teachers, staff and the management of the Darul Uloom use the word Aalipore.
  • Fund collectors, especially the Scholars from U.P. and Bihar use the word Alipur. They are all Urdu/Hindi speaking.
  • No one has come up with one single piece of evidence to show that the village and all its residents now call itself Alipur.

Aalipore

  • Men and women living in Aalipore, and those who emigrated to UK and South Africa; 100 %, of them use the word Aalipore.They all proudly say I am Aaliporean.
  • The village Panchayat (Council) is known as Aalipore Gram Panchayat.
  • The word Aalipore is used in all Government Offices, and the Executive Office.
  • The word Aalipore is used in the village’s Land Register, Official Documents, Birth /Death Register, and other Government communications.
  • The word Aalipore is used in Government approved map.
  • The recently established hospital is called Aalipore Hospital.
  • The water works displays its name as Aalipore Water Works.
  • Both the Primary and High school, Cricket team, famous Dairy, Bank and all other institutes uses the name Aalipore.
  • The trust which runs Alipore hospital is also called Alipore Social Welfare Trust.
  • The trust which helps the poor and widows is also called Alipore Welfare Fund.
  • Aalipore is referred to as such by the entire population of the surrounding villages.
  • All Aliporeans write Alipore in their personal and business documents.
  • Official name of our village is recorded as Alipor.

This is a brief story of Alipur and Alipore that’s worth knowing. Share it with your Parents and if you are lucky enough with your Grand parents. I would love to meet one single person who calls him or her self alipuree.

Yours sincerely salim@loonat.com
Salim Loonat. www.myalipore.com
2nd update Jan 09.

Did the South African Aliporean ever called our village Alipur?

Alipur Muslim Association, South Africa was established in 1942, at the time of “Quite India” Indian independent movement throughout India. Hindu/Muslim issue at its peak. In South Africa apartheid was a way of life.

All the founding members of AMA came from India and all of them were an ex students of the then primary School(Urdu) in Alipore, the only village school in Alipore.During the British rule it was common for majority population of all the villages a choice of either urdu for Muslims or Gujarati for Hindu in their school. Sadly Urdu is phased out from all the school in Gujarat .

Later on the AMA registered itself as a charity in South Africa and in Mumbai, India.
Why Mumbai? The elders must have anticipated difficult time ahead, and wanted a permanent income source for the village hence they purchased a property in Mumbai in 1961 and were required to register the building as a charitable trust thus the charity was registered as the Alipur Muslim Association.

So far so good, but does that make the village Alipore in to Alipur? Did the Aliporeans in South Africa ever called or refer to their village as Alipur?

Let us examine some of the AMA, South Africa’s annual reports in order to prove Aliporeans in South Africa ever called their village Alipur?

I have seen many SA annual reports over the years, and all are consistent in style and reports of their president and the secretary, one factor that remains consistent throughout is that whenever the president or secretary mentions Alipore in India they have always used the word Alipore.

Let us take for example their latest annual report2011.Take for example the header,’Alipur Muslim association’, great that’s how they named their association way back in 1942. Let us examine little further as to how the AMA referred to the village by examining the Presidents report.The very first time the president was required to refer to Alipore, he choose the spelling Alipore ”Whilst we continue to honour our commitment to the people of ALIPORE in India… page 5

How about the Secretary of AMA? Let us check his references. The secretary referred to AMA SA as Alipur MA consistently within his report. But surprisingly the minute he addressed the village in India, just like his president, he used the spelling Alipore… “Be it as it may, we should be proud of ALIPORE India on the fact that we can boast….”

It is just natural for all Aliporeans to refer to their village as Alipore.
This year the AMA have published some photographs, under the banner “Alipore now and then” once again, it is Alipore not Alipur.

I have examined letters belonging to my father and grandfather along with other relatives from South Africa, all of which refer to my home village as Alipore in their correspondence

As I am writing this article, the The AMA SA has launched their new website and has rightly changed their name to ALIPORE MUSLIM ASSOCIATION, SOUTH AFRICA. Which has placed final nail in to the Alipore /alipur coffin? Anyone with next argument?

Salim Loonat