Book Release Function on 'Empowerment of Indian Muslim'
delivered by Mrs Sheila Dixit on the occasion of Book
Release Function held on March 9 ,2004 at Constitution Club, New
List of Seminars, workshops, symposia and orientation programmes
conducted by the IOS (1986-1999)
List of Discussions, Lectures and Sham-e-Muzakrah (Monthly
Lectures/Discussions) Programmes 1986-99
Report on Felicitation Ceremony
To honour Dr Shakeel Ahmed
Minister of State for Communications and IT held on June 23,2004 at India
International Centre,(Annexe), New Delhi
Institute of Objective Studies
and Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists felicitated Dr. Shakeel
Ahmad, on his assumption as the Union Minister of State for Communication
and Information Technology, on 23.6.2004. The programme was organised at
India International Centre. A large number of prominent people from all
walks of life attended the programme.
Prof. Z.M. Khan welcomed the
chief guest as well as introduced the IOS. He hoped that the nation and the
Millat would benefit from the new Minister of Communication and Information
Welcoming the honourable
minister, Prof. Nafis A. Siddiqui, the secretary of Indian Association of
Muslim Social Scientists (IAMSS) requested him to work for the welfare of
the minorities and the marginalized.
Mr. Manzoor Ahmad,
Vice-Chairman, IOS, introduced the speaker to the audience. Dr. Ahmad did
his MBBS from Patna and went to Canada for higher medical studies. He comes
from a respected political family of Bihar. His grandfather was an elected
member of Bihar Assembly in pre independence India. He had defeated the
Muslim League candidate on a Congress ticket. His father Mr. Abdul Shakoor
was member of Bihar Assembly for several years and served it as Deputy
Speaker for nine years.
Dr. Shakeel Ahmad was first
elected to Bihar Assembly in 1985. He was again elected to the Assembly in
1990, 1992 and 1999. He was first elected to the Parliament in 1998. This is
his second term in Parliament after winning in 2004 elections. In Manmohan
Singh ministry he is Union Minister of State for Communication and
Information Technology. Earlier he was Minister of Health in Bihar
Government. He has also held several important party positions including the
presidentship of Bihar unit of Congress. All through his career Dr. Ahmad
has been a straightforward politician. He is committed to serve the nation
and the Millat, remarked the IOS Vice-Chairman.
Speaking on the occasion Dr.
Shakeel Ahmad thanked the IOS. He urged upon the Muslim community to learn
to live in a plural society, to know the art of survival, to know its
interests and work accordingly. He opined that in order to punish some one
politically, the community should not harm itself. He appealed to the Indian
Association of Muslim Social Scientists to work for making Indian Muslims
politically mature. He said he would like to benefit from the researches
carried out by the IOS and hoped to receive suggestions and feed back in
order to serve the community and the nation.
In his presidential remarks
Dr. M. Manzoor Alam congratulated Dr. Shakeel Ahmad for becoming minister
and hoped that he would continue to work for all the marginalized sections
including minorities. He expressed the view that when a people are pushed to
the corner, they behave rashly. There is lesson to learn, for blaming them
would serve no purpose, remarked Dr. Alam. He further opined that the
marginalized sections have pinned their hope on young and dynamic leaders
like him. He also said that if this government does not work for five years
or fails to deliver, the communal forces would again come to power.
To honour Dr Shakeel Ahmed
Minister of State for Communications and IT held on June 23,2004 at India
International Centre,(Annexe), New Delhi
Mr Manzoor Ahmad,
vice-Chairman of the IOS presenting a memento to Dr Shakeel Ahmad, Union
Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology
To honour Dr Shakeel Ahmed
Minister of State for Communications and IT held on June 23,2004 at India
International Centre,(Annexe), New Delhi
Left to right: Dr Nafis
A.Siddiqui,Prof ZM Khan,Dr Shakeel Ahmad,Dr M.Manzoor Alam,Mr Manzoor Ahmad
and Dr Ishtiaque Danish
holds book release function on ‘Empowerment of Indian Muslims’
It was a pleasant surprise for people from academia and intelligentsia to
witness a gathering of around 400 people at a three-day seminar of Indian
Association of Muslim Social Scientists and Institute of Objective Studies at
Patna in November 1998. The academic gathering resulted in another academic
activity; the academia’s offered to come out with research-based books on
empowerment of Muslims in various domains across the country. The seminar
finally bore fruit this week when IOS came out with two books out of an
11-volume series on empowerment. Amid an intellectual congregation from
Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Jamia
Hamdard at Constitution Club in New Delhi. Institute of Objective Studies (IOS)
and Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists (IAMSS) New Delhi held a
function to release these two books on the subject at Constitution Club, Rafi
Marg, New Delhi, on 9 March 2004.
The function was commenced by the welcome address, delivered by Prof. Z.M. Khan,
Secretary General of the Institute, in which he threw light on the subject and
explained the importance of the issue.
book ‘Empowerment of Muslims through Education’ by Prof. M. Akhtar Siddiqui of
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, was released by Mrs. Sheila Dixit, Hon’ble
Chief Minister of Delhi. On this occasion expressing her view she said “We
should seriously think if any community feels that it is being marginalised or
neglected”. She also appreciated what the IOS was doing in this field. While the
other book entitled ‘Empowerment of Muslims in India: Perspective, Context and
Prerequisites’ by Prof. A.R. Momin of Mumbai University, was released by Janab
Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi. Mr. Hamid at this juncture
felt that the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) should complete all eleven
volumes soon. In addition, he advised to prepare gist of the books that should
be translated in other languages like Hindi and Urdu. He urged the need to
further work on 4 points regarding the empowerment of Muslims: Illiteracy,
health, poverty, inter-community linkage an eminent speaker in the function. Mr.
Manzoor Ahmad, former Vice Chancellor of Agra University expressing his views
said that knowledge had always been regarded as real power of man. He wished the
eleventh volume would come up soon. It is of tremendous importance because it
would contain strategies and action plan in the field of empowerment.
Mr. Kamleshwar and Mr. Prabhash Joshi, both Sr. Journalists were among the
prominent speakers who urged the need to work on upliftment of Muslims in India.
Dr. Mohd. Manzoor Alam, Chairman IOS, delivered the presidential address in
which he vowed to do utmost for the noble cause of empowerment of Indian Muslims
for national benefit. He announced that the Empowerment series of eleven books
would be completed by the end of the year. The process of translation of the
books is in progress. He added that the other projects suggested by Mr. Hamid
were under IOS consideration. The programme was summed up by the vote of thanks
by Prof. Z.A. Nizami.
delivered by Mrs Sheila Dixit on the occasion of Book Release Function held on
March 9, 2004 at Constitution Club
Manzoor Alam is a very eminent scholar. Besides, his eminence as a scholar, he
is like a dear brother to me. I could not, therefore, resist the temptation of
participating in this function to release two very important books which are
part of the series of books which the Institute keeps publishing in the interest
of the community. More importantly, these books draw the attention of all of us,
whether in government or out of government, indeed, of the society as a whole to
the aspirations, the problems and struggles of the Muslim community to get the
place which it needs to have and ought to have, in the context of Indian civil
are very very important studies which I have occasionally tried out. Whatever I
learnt from the Institute and its able chairman makes me believe that this
institute is rendering a vital human service in terms of bringing about
intra-community and inter-community understanding. For those who are outside the
community it is extremely important to know and to analyse what is the situation
like and how we can meet the challenges, collectively as well as individually.
we are all at par with each other, socially we are friends and we live in peace
and harmony but peace and harmony gets disturbed off and on. Though
I am saying it, and I am a politician, I have no hesitation in saying that
the cause of these disturbances is political greed or, to put it more politely,
has to be acknowledged that those among the Muslim community who have had access
to education and have been educated are second to no body in this country.
Whether they are professors, scientists, artists, writers, administrators,
policemen or soldiers in the army – they have acquitted themselves creditably.
common mass of Muslim community, like many other parts of the society in India,
are deprived and neglected. We need to bring them into the mainstream, to make
them equal components and sharers of our national life. That is the
biggest challenge before this community. Education is an important part of the
endeavour to meet this challenge.
is not just a paramount need of a particular community. Muslims in this
case, but of all communities. Education is the key to success, the key to move
forward, the key to growth of as also the key to resource development. That is
the crucial area where the institute of objective studies is really doing
very good work. Empowerment comes with education but without empowerment
community feels it is being neglected, marginalised and sidelined.
think we need to have a relook why this feeling is developing; It is a very
serious challenge. It requires collective thinking in order to see that those
who are causing the marginalisation and those who are being marginalised come
together and reverse this situation, to convert it into a happy situation.
Release Function (March 9, 2004)
Speech delivered by Janab Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi
One could hardly think of more significant and fruitful collaboration for a good
cause when the one forged between the Institute of Objective Studies and the
Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists on the theme "The
Empowerment of Muslims in India". The go ahead was given by a convention on
the subject held in November 1998 at Patna. It commissioned an 11 volume series
each volume dealing with various aspects of the theme. The first and second
volumes of the series viz. 1) the Empowerment of Muslims in India, Perspective,
Context and Pre-requisites and 2) Empowerment of Muslims through Education, are
being released today. The eleven topics have been chosen wisely and appear to be
fairly exhaustive designed to traverse most of the aspects germane to the
empowerment endeavor. I would however, suggest addition of Health Care to the
series. In the ultimate analysis no two things are more vitally relevant to
empowerment than education and health. The realization that the backlog in
education should be made up has albeit belatedly dawned on the Muslim community.
But the almost equally important attention towards health care continues to be
neglected with disastrous results. Before I proceed with my specific assignment
of this evening I would venture to make another suggestion, Judging from the
high standard set up by the distinguished authors of the first two books and the
very valuable information contained and analysed in the books I would strongly
urge that the Institute of Objective Studies prepare very brief digests of these
books and, to begin with, have translations of the digests published in Urdu and
Hindi and disseminated. The subject requires broad-based discussion and
I have had the privilege of going though both the volumes and being asked to
release the first volume that has been authored by Prof. A. R. Momin. I
read Prof. A. R. Momin's path-breaking book with rapt interest. Incidentally, to
call it a booklet, as has been done somewhere in the initial pages, I less than
fair, in fact it is sacrilegious. The quality of a book depends not on its size
but on the standard of scholarship it manifests the analytical acumen that it
displays and the objective standards it adheres to.
A scholar who has accepted the commission to write a book, particularly one in a
series that sets the destination for him, and to some extent predetermines his
approach, evidently works under a twin handicap; first, he forfeits some of the
freedom that his pen and his intellect are accustomed to; second, he runs the
risk of his style losing its wonted verve culminating in producing something
that turns out to be jejune. I am glad that A. R. Momin has surmounted the
handicap and steered clear of the risk, the first because the predetermined
design fell in live with his own thinking, the second because he possesses a
style fashioned by erudition and animated and enlivened by conviction. The
subject assigned to him elicits the sum total of his thinking and experience.
That the author is emotionally involved in the theme chosen for him is evident,
but that does not affect either his objectivity as a scholar or the detached
style in which is perceptions are conveyed. It is evidently due to his
reputation as an eminent sociologist that Prof. A. R. Momin has been asked to
kick-start this meaningful series, this race towards a destination that
continues, alas, to be clouded by uncertainly and unpredictability.
The scheme of the book reveals the author's scientific approach to a major human
problem. Instead of abruptly preparing road map for the empowerment of Muslims,
which a lesser person would be tempted to do, A. R. Momin prepares a level
playing field before the game starts. He begins by spelling out the concepts of
the three vital processes that are going to form the hub of the entire
discussion viz Development, Empowerment and Disempowerment. Then the proceeds to
deal, again conceptually, with the hurdles that the empowerment race in any
situation will have to surmount. It is in the last five chapters that the
specific situation of Muslims comes up for analytical discussion. In the first
two chapters the author, so to say, has hammered out the yardstick by which he
proposes to measure the group assigned to him for diagnostic scrutiny. In the
third chapter he spells out in all its depressing details, the magnitude of the
disempowerment that Muslims in post-independence era, have undergone. In the two
following chapters the author deals respectively with the external and internal
causes of disempowerment, acknowledging by definition the fact that the decline
and deprivation can nor and should not be laid at the doors of a blind cruel
fate or an unsympathetic Govt. or a hostile segment of the majority community.
These would not have come to pass but for the passivity and insensitivity of
Muslims. The author concludes by a) making well-informed suggestions for
creating circumstances conducive to the empowerment endeavor and b) the seminal
steps that the community should take to secure and perpetuate empowerment.
With my limited experience I would place security, education and health as the
internal underpinning of the empowerment triangle. The devastating effect of
insecurity on the Muslim psyche would require a separate study. It has eaten
into the vitals of the community, lowered its morale and deprived it of positive
thinking. All this adds up to a tremendous incapacitation. This gnawing sense of
insecurity is much more pronounced in the rural areas than in the towns. In
those villages where Muslim population is spares the impact of unrelieved and
ever present insecurity is particularly debilitating.
Health care and health orientation of attitudes and habits requires much more
attention of the community than it has received. In the northern states the
majority of the patients in hospitals is drawn from the Muslim community. Its
habitations are marked by widespread disdain of hygiene.
With regard to education, even where consciousness of its need has been sparked,
both quality and continuity continue to be casualties. It is a distressing fact
that after Syed Ahmad Khan and the luminaries that gathered round him, Indian
Muslims did not produce any person who could take up education with organized
and conceptualized zeal. For educational effort to culminate in generating
quality Muslim homes need to be overhauled. In the towns they are generally
located in heavily congested mohallas which are anything but conducive to
pursuit of education and health. Such homes situated in suffocating areas cannot
produce persons who can compete with members of the better-situated and more
enlightened families. It is a very stultifying experience that whenever Muslims
tried to open out and set up residential colonies at a distance from the ghettos
that they live in, communal tension and riots have compelled them to roll back
and seek shelter in the mohallas they had left.
Muslim leaders have by and large been self-centered. They have shown total
indifference to education, health care, economic reconstruction and removal of
poverty and disunity.
The chapters dealing with the disempowerment of Muslims proclaim the author's
grip on the Muslim situation. The narration and the analysis are as realistic as
they are perceptive. Anyone who wants to get a clear idea and a synoptic view of
the Muslim situation in this country can do no better than turn the pages of A.
R. Momin's book which is a marvel of compression in the course of which no
significant detail has been excluded nor the correct perspective blurred. This
is a well-documented objective and analytical description of the status of
Indian Muslims. In also suggests steps for reconstruction. It serves with
competence the twin objective of identifying deficiencies and adumbrating
measures for their removal.
the ceremony of the third Shah
Waliullah Award-2001 held on May 19,2003 at Hamdard Convention Centre Jamia
Hamdard New Delhi
third Shah Waliullah Award was conferred on Prof. Nijatullah Siddiqi, a
pioneering expert on Islamic economics, in a befitting ceremony held on
19.5.2003 at Hamdard Convention Centre, Hamdard University, New Delhi. The award
is given annually to a scholarly person who has made outstanding contribution to
knowledge. The first and second awards were conferred on Maulana Abul Hasan Ali
Nadwi and Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi respectively.
programme started with recitation from the Holy Quran by Maulana Abdullah Tariq.
Dr. Sayyid Abdul Bari, who conducted the programme, threw some light on the
outstanding personality of Shah Waliullah. Maulana Abdullah Mughisi, Secretary
General, All India Milli Council, also highlighted the scholarly contribution of
Shah Waliullah. He said that the great 18th century scholar has
influenced almost all the organizations and individuals working for the Islamic
cause in the subcontinent.
M. Manzoor Alam, chairman, IOS, gave a brief introduction of the Institute and
highlighted some of the projects it has carried out till now. He also spoke
about the projects being pursued at the moment. He specially mentioned the
project on Asma-e-Husna, the 99 names
of Allah (SWT) and Empowerment of Muslim series. He said that the IOS has till
now published some 150 titles, both big and small. He appealed to the audience
to come forward with pragmatic and concrete suggestions and advises that might
help in improving the performance of the IOS.
Z.A. Nizami gave a detailed introduction of Prof. Nijatullah Siddiqi, throwing
light on his life, family background and intellectual contribution in a very
literary Urdu. The Citation, presented to Prof. Siddiqi in recognition of the
services he has rendered, also spoke
his life and personality. Prof. Siddiqi’s ancestors came to india from the
Arabian peninsula and served the Sharqi Sultanate in several capacities
including the coveted position of Qazi al-Quzat (chief Justice). His ancestors
later on settled in Azamgarh; his father, Hakeem Abdul Quddus, then, migrated to
Gorakhpur and settled over there. Prof. Siddiqi was born in this city on 21st
August 1931. He was 13 year old when his father passed away; his mother, then,
took care of him and gave him the best possible education. He passed his
inter-mediate examination in 1949 and, then, pursued religious and Quranic
studies at Rampur and Sarai Mir, Azamgarh. He did his masters from AMU, Aligarh
and wrote his Ph.D. thesis on “A Critical Examination of the Recent Theories
of Profit”. He served his Alma Matar, AMU, as lecturer, Reader and Professor.
He was appointed professor of Islamic Studies in 1977. He also served as
Director, Institute of Islamic Studies at Aligarh. He joined Department of
Economics, King Abul Aziz University, and Jeddah in 1978. He was Fellow at
Centre for Eastern Studies at California University in 2001. Since November 2002
he is Visiting Scholar at Islamic Research and Training Institute of Islamic
Development Bank, Jeddah.
Siddiqi became greatly influenced by the writings of Maulana Abul Aala Maududi
in his student's days and joined Jamat-e-Islami Hind. He was imprisoned during
the emergency period in mid 1970s and remained in Jail for several months as a
prisoner of conscience.
Siddiqi has been honoured with several awards; he was given the Shah Faisal
Award for Islamic Studies in 1982; American Finance Award and Takaful Forum New
York Award in 1993.
Siddiqi is the pioneer scholar of Islamic economics. From an early age he
realized the economics influences human life more than any other social science.
His studies also revealed on him that bank interest, which the Quran has
prohibited, is the bane of man’s economic life. He, therefore, concentrated on
researches that ultimately led to the concept of Interest Free Banking in
Islamic perspective. This is no longer a concept now; it is operational in most
parts of the world.
Siddiqi has written extensively on Islamic economics and other aspects of Islam.
He has written in English, Urdu and Arabic. He edited the islamic Thought for
several years and has been on the editorial board several international journals
including the Journal of Objective Studies. Prof. Siddiqi was member of the
Governing council of the IOS for many years. Infact, he has always been
associated with the Institute as a patron and well wisher.
Siddiqi’s greatest contribution is his successful attempt to introduce Islamic
economics, specially interest free banking as a viable alternative to the
traditional banking. It is because of his efforts along with those of a few
others that Islamic economics is taught as a respected subject in the
universities both in the East and West.
Siddiqi also spoke on the occasion after Justice A.M. Ahmadi presented him the
memento and Mr. Mahmood Ali gave him a cheque of Rs. 100,000/-. Thanking the
Institute for honouring him he enunciated some of his ideas on Islamic
economics. He said the Islamic and economic thoughts have been serving human
life for centuries but the two have come as close in the 20th century
as never before. The books being written on the history of economic thoughts now
acknowledge the contribution of Ibn Khaldun who lived some 400 years before Adam
Smith. The Ulama, toom have been writing on the prohibition of Riba and other
economic issues like agriculture, market demand and pricing etc. But it was Adam
Smith’s contemporary, Shah Waliullah who presented an analytical study of the
economic evolution of human society through his famous discussion on Irtifaqat
in his magnum opus, Hujjatullahil Baligha. Some two hundred years after Shah
Waliulalh there developed the idea in the Indian subcontinent, which is known as
“Islamic economic in the world today, said Prof. Siddiqi. Islamic economics,
unlike the traditional economics, has the advantage of benefiting from the
divine guidance. It deals with those areas of human life, which are affected the
most by ever-developing technologies. That is why Ijtihad, intellectual reasoning, is always needed here, said Prof.
the beginning of the 20th century Allama Iqbal wrote a book on
economics in which he dealt with the problems of farmers in Punjab. AT more or
less the same time Mufti Muhammad Abduh was thinking about Shirkat
wa Mudharabat in view of the interest accuring from the money deposited in
post office. After a few decades when the conflict between Capitalism and
Marxism intensified in the Muslim world and India the ulama and Muslim
intellectuals started thinking about the economic teachings of Islam and authors
like Anwar Iqbal Quraishi, Manazi Ahsan Geelani, HifzurRahman Seharvi, Sayyid
Abul Ala Maududi and Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr produced their valuable works which
may be regarded as the beginning of the Islamic economics. However, formally the
subject was initiated on international level when the first international
conference on Islamic economics was held in Makkah in 1976. And now when the new
century has just started its journey, this subject is respectfully taught
Siddiqi said that some two hundred years ago a project was taunched to
“free” economics from moral values and social objectives and make it a
subject like Physics. However, the project, being unnatural, failed miserably.
The project was initially adopted because it presented the hypothesis of
maximizing individual wealth with the help of mathematics. However, what was not
realized was that often hypotheses become started scales and thus affect human
life. This new economics thus gave approval and sanctity to capitalism,
intensified colonial expansion and ultimately the conflict of interests led to
the outbreak of two World Wars. After a great deal of damage and destruction, it
was decided to put brakes on market forces, which gave birth to the idea of
welfare state. However, this, too, would die its natural death under the weight
of its own weaknesses, said Prof. Siddiqi. He also said that apparently the
world has achieved tremendous economic development but inequitable distribution
of wealth has also increased both at national and international.
is the reason that the hypotheses of economics and its methodologies are being
reviewed today. The return to moral values is also a reflection of this
“review mentality”. Nobel Laureate Amratya Sen’s ideas on drought and
starvation are also being viewed in this very perspective. However, still a
puritanical traditionalist economist finds it difficult to accept that his
science of economics should have any business with morality and religion, said
Siddiqi also said that Islamic economics is not against the search for
efficiency and development; it only wants to tie it with social justice and the
satisfaction of heart. It believes in maximization of wealth but it also wants
the equitable adjust distribution of wealth both between individuals and
nations, said Prof. Siddiqi. He also threw light on globalization and its bad
effects on the Muslim world. He said globalization is a by-product of
communication revolution and because of this the world is changing. However,
America’s hegemonistic mentality has hijacked the agenda of globalization
because of which it has become harmful to the Islamic and third world. Prof.
Siddiqi, however expressed the hope that that this situation would not last for
long. Because the communication revolution the world has become like a global
village where only a system that ensures justice, equality and democracy would
survive and not the one that seeks to establish the hegemonic domination of any
particular nation, said Prof. Siddiqi.
Seminar was a 3-day National Seminar and it was held from 28th to 30th
March, 2003 at Hamdard Convention Centre, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi.
The seminar was organized by the Institute of Objective Studies in
collaboration with Hamdard University, New Delhi.
3-day seminar discussed at length ‘India’s Composite Heritage, Composite
Culture, National Integration in the Constitutional Framework, National
Identity, and Restoring Inter-Community Linkages: Role of the State, Civil
Society, and Media’ in different sessions.
delegates/contributors and the participants of this seminar were from a wide
ranging persons of repute including former Prime Minister of India, former Chief
Justice of India, former Union Minister, Educationists, Intellectuals,
Journalists, Judges, Advocates, Social activists, Bureaucrats and other
Luminaries from different parts of the country. The dignitaries include Prof.
Lord Bhiku Parekh from U.K.; Shri I. K. Gujral, former Prime Minister of India;
Hon’ble Justice Mr. A. M. Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India; Shri
Chaturanan Mishra, former Union Minister and Senior CPI Leader, and Saiyid Hamid,
Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard.
the start of the Inaugural Session of the National Seminar all the delegates and
participants maintained a two-minute silence to mourn the massacre of 24
innocent Kashmiri Pandits at Nandi Marg in the state of J&K.
the Inaugural Session on March 28, 2003 Dr. M. Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Institute
of Objective Studies, New Delhi, in his Welcome Address said “Our Constitution
stresses the need for a pluralistic society while providing equal freedom and
opportunities to each community—religious, linguistic and regional. But it is painful that the notion of a pluralistic, federal,
accommodative and composite National Identity is under assault.
As is obvious, in a pluralistic and multi-cultural society like India,
national identity can’t be based on a homogeneous national character simply
because a homogeneous national character does not exist in India.
also said, as the Member of British Parliament, Lord Bhiku Parikh once
perceptively observed, political or national unity did not require cultural
homogeneity and was preserved in climate of flourishing and self-confident
cultural diversity. According to
him, sadly over the last 54 years, there were too many infractions.
Trauma of partition inflicted a blow.
Thereafter, the country saw a chain of riots. The latest was the pogrom in Gujarat. According to the data presented in the country’s
Parliament, the report of the Home Ministry and Newspaper reports, about 14000
communal incidents/riots have occurred during the period: 1953—2003.
Chaturanan Mishra, former Union Agriculture Minister, in his Inaugural Address,
agreed to the opinion expressed by Dr. M. Manzoor Alam in his Welcome Address
and said that India is a country of 28 states and 7 Union Territories, 6 major
religions, 18 major languages, 1600 minor languages and dialects, 6 main ethnic
groups, 52 major tribes, 6400 castes and sub-castes, besides 29 major festivals.
Besides, there exist the climatic diversity of a continent and the flora and
fauna of two continents, he said. Therefore,
there was always a lead to pay a special attention to keep the social fabric
united. And in this great task only
the symposia and seminars would not be enough.
“We will have to come out openly against those forces who are spreading
communal venom and counter them effectively and have to go to the masses to
awaken them”, he added.
Mishra, who is a prominent leader of Communist Party of India, also said that
what rights have been enshrined in the Constitution of India with regard to
minorities were comparable to such rights in any country of the world.
They were in accord with the UN Charter.
He also said that the tragic happenings in Gujarat last year were a blot
on the face of our country. He
opined that they could not just be termed as “communal riots”.
According to him, this incidence was a pogrom.
Siraj Hussain, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, said that a crucial discussion on
such topic was the need of the hour. And
this could only be done through social and political mobilization.
Abdullah Mughaisi, Secretary General of All India Milli Council, averred that
the entire humanity was in peril due to various internal and external factors.
“Therefore, we the different communities of India should develop such a
mechanism by which the gap between different communities is not enhanced and a
bond of confidence, trust and mutual cooperation should continue”.
community in India has the right to survive with its separate and independent
identity. The principle of
pluralism calls for identification and preservation of the values, traditions,
and culture of different communities. There
should not be dominance of one community over another.
At the same time minorities’ rights should also not be suppressed”.
the above views in his Presidential Address at the Inaugural Session of the
National Seminar (28th March, 2003), the former Chief Justice of
India, Hon’ble Justice Mr. A. M. Ahmadi said that this could be possible only
by social and political mobilization and for this we will have to go to the
masses and get them awakened.
eminent jurist said it was ironic that unfortunately some people or groups were
of the view that they could achieve their ambitions by the use of might.
According to him, this trend was being seen since early 90s.
He also said that for a cultural development, the economic &
educational development is an essential pre-requisite.
day second (March 29, 2003) in the first Business Session: India’s Composite
Heritage, the former Member of British House of Lords (UK) and presently the
Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh,
delivering his Key-note Address said “if we are really serious, we should try
to make the composite heritage and culture a living reality. For this religious leaders of all the communities would have
to come closer and try to raise common platforms and devise common
strategies.” Lord Parekh averred
that the above steps would help fostering the inter-community linkages in India.
noted historian, Prof. Bipan Chandra (Chairperson of the 1st Business
Session), agreeing with Lord Parekh said that there had been a change with
regard to the inter-community linkages in the country after different religious
reform movements started in the 19th century. According to him, prior
to this period, there was an appreciable communal harmony among different
communities. He recalled that no
marriage in a state like Punjab could be solemnised without the presence of
other religious leaders before the 19th century.
“There have been both positive and negative impacts upon this society
following the religious reform movements of the 19th century.
The positive impact was that there started a discussion on the evils of
traditions like sati and caste system. Its negative impact was that some groups
began to give a call to go back to the extreme past for the revival of ancient
religious traditions, which resulted in the revivalist and extremist movements
of the modern time. He further
opined that what is lacking now in the sphere of inter-community relations,
could be traced back to the 19th century religious reforms and
both Lord Bhikhu Parekh and Prof. Bipan Chandra termed the last year’s Gujarat
pogrom as the most unfortunate incident. They
were of the view that it did occur due to the indifferent attitude of the state
government and administrative bureaucracy.
According to them, if the inter-community linkages had been strong, the
situation there would not have deteriorated to such an extent.
the 2nd and 3rd Business Sessions (of 29th
March, 2003): India’s Composite Culture, and National Integration in the
Constitutional Framework renowned persons participated, while in the 4th
and 5th Business Sessions (of 30th March, 2003): India’s
National Identity, and Restoring Inter-Community Linkages-- Role of the State,
Civil Society, and the Media, noted journalists, bureaucrats and distinguished
educationists participated in panel discussion and discussed the subjects at
the conclusion of the 3-day National Seminar on “Fostering Inter-Community
Linkages in India” at Hamdard Convention Centre on Sunday (30th
March, 2003), Shri I. K. Gujral, former Prime Minister, in his Valedictory
Address, called for a war between obscurantism and modernism.
Without naming any group or referring to any incident, he said that
opposing obscurantism did not mean support to the West.
However, his assertion led to a lively debate when IOS Chairman, Dr. M.
Manzoor Alam said that there should be balance while linking and delinking the
present and the past, otherwise, it might create a lot of problem, particularly
in the present context. Then Shri Gujral replied that he had become a perfectionists
while expressing his views in the valedictory session and he had nothing in mind
with regard to present situation.
On The National Seminar
The Institute of Objective Studies
organised a 1-day national seminar on ‘American Attack on Iraq’,
jointly with Association of Indian Africanist held on 21st
March 2003, at India International Centre, New Delhi.
this seminar leaders from various political parties, MPs,
academicians, Journalists and the people from all sections of society
participated, prominent among whom were--Shri Chaturanan Mishra,
former Union Minister and Senior CPI leader; Shri Romesh Bhandari,
former Foreign Secretary, former Lt. Governor of Delhi & former
Governor of U.P; Shri Nilotpal Basu, M.P. & CPM leader ; Dr. A.K.
Pasa, Director, Gulf Studies, JNU ; Dr. K. K. Panda, former Registrar, Delhi University and Dr.
Arshi Khan of Jamia Hamdard. The
Chief Guest in the seminar was Shri Eduado Faleiro, MP. and former
Minister of State for External Affairs.
participants at this seminar, recognising peaceful co-existence,
non-interference, mutual respect, sanctity of human lives, and
establishment of a just world order among the comity of nations as the
foremost, paramount and inviolable principles of human civilisation,
considered the ongoing attack on Iraq by the U.S.A. and its allies a
totally unjustifiable violation of International Law aimed at
establishment of neo-colonialist world order. All the participants of
"Issues and Problems of Muslims in India and the United States"
(January 6, 2003)
A brief report of
interactive meeting held with Dr Kaleem Khwaja a US based intellectual
at IOS New Delhi
An interactive meeting with Dr Kaleem Khwaja, a
US based intellectual was held on January 6,2003 at IOS New Delhi.
In this meeting representatives of different IOS associate bodies,
and leading academicians were present.
Kalim Khwaja hailed from Kanpur did his Engineering Education from IIT
Kharagpur before migrating to USA. Now he heads a US based Indian Muslim
Association (formed 17 years back) at East Coast. which is one of the
leading associations of Indian Muslims based in USA.
M.Manzoor Alam, the IOS chairman, who presided over this meeting
introduced Dr Khwaja and welcomed him. He also welcomed other
dignitaries like Syed Shahabuddin who grace the occasion.
inaugurating his talk Dr Kaleem gave a brief introduction of his US
based Association of Indian Muslims.He described about its activities
and the role it played during Gujarat riots.
maintained that the US Muslims are doing well and gave social background
of different US based Muslim organisations, and its leaders. He
highlighted the role played by Alijah Mohammed, Malcom X etc. He
particularly described about their social background of their
associations. He put it that the acceptability of Muslims in the US
society is evident from the fact corroborated by the presence of some
Muslims in the US State Assemblies. Regarding Indian Muslims he said
that there are 1.5 lakh Muslims out of total 4-5 millions of Muslims.
They are doing well.
describing the role of media he said that the US media is not portraying
a correct picture. For example there are so many peoples in USA who do
not subscribe to present US anti Iraq policies. There are strong
sentiments about the war against Iraq. Unfortunately US media portray
other side of picture.
that new developments and changes are taking place in USA.
concluding part of his discussion he said that now there is a big need
to strengthen the ties with Indian Muslims and their US based Indian
counterparts. While a social event is a big link between the ties of two
peoples. He said that there is a need to develop a policy to guide us
about it We (US based Muslims) need guidance in this context.
ZM Khan the secretary general of IOS briefly outlined the institute's
activities he said that IOS is also busy in this direction and trying to
link different groups. In this context he referred that the IOS is
organising a seminar on Inter-community Relations and Linkages which is
schedule to be held in March,2003
described his experience about his recent visit to USA.He advised that
there is a need to strengthen links between US based Indian Muslim
community and other sections of USA which should be beneficial for
Mahmood Ali and Prof. Sanghasen Singh also participated in the
meeting was concluded with the Chairman's remark (Which incorporated
some suggestions) and vote of thanks.
| Organisational Structure | Current
Affairs |Announcement |
Events & Updates | Data-Bank
| Journals | Newsletter
| Research |Scholarship
| Resources | Recent
Programs | Calendar
view | About Us | Contact Us