IOS Silver Jubilee Celebrations Begin with International Seminar
The year-long Silver Jubilee celebrations of Institute of Objective Studies began on 15-4-2011 with a three-day seminar (April 15 through 17) on “Towards Knowledge, Development and Peace”.
The proceedings started with recitation from the holy Quran by Maulana Abdullah Tariq.
In his “A Few Words” to participants, the IOS chairman elaborated the correlation between knowledge, development and peace and asked for a better understanding of it.
Speaker: Dr M. Manzoor Alam, Chairman IOS
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam said: “We have to be able to put things in a moral perspective rather than functioning merely as a data-storage or data-processing system, or operating as a pre-programmed robot. Islam puts human beings at the centre of Creation, calling humans ashraful makhlooqat (the best of God’s Creation) because of our ability to create a moral order, not because we are clones of robots.”
Dr Alam observed that knowledge society and knowledge economy had no meaning without social enlightenment and inclusion as it would further act to the “disadvantage of the weakest of the weak and the most vulnerable of the vulnerable”.
Speaker: Dr. Veerappa Moily, Hon'ble Union Minister of Law and Justice
In his inaugural address, Union Law and Justice Minister, Veerappa Moily said that without social justice and fair play development would mean nothing. He mooted a “right to justice” law that could be enacted soon. The first draft of the Bill was ready, though it was yet to be circulated for feedback.
He rejected the idea that some castes and classes were brighter than the others saying that the so-called “less bright” Dalits, tribals and other weaker people were as bright as any other. It was only that the disadvantaged groups had been denied opportunity in education, jobs and access to financial resources.
He said injustice and anti-weak myth-making flourished in a secretive environment. That was why he had, as the chairperson of the Second Administrative Reforms Committee in 2006, recommended that ministers be administered an “oath of transparency” instead of the traditional “oath of secrecy”.
Mr Moily advocated that to take advantage of the opportunities coming its way India would have to democratise and universalise education. “We need a paradigm shift of power from a few to all, and knowledge is the key to this development”. He said that knowledge and excellence must be based on inclusion.
Speaker: Dr D Pundeshwari, Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Dr D Pundeshwari, said that India should unite on the basis of “cultural internationalism” rather than “cultural nationalism”.
Speaker: Prof. A R Momin, formerly of Bombay University
Prof. A R Momin, formerly of Bombay University, in his keynote address elaborated upon the broad features of “road maps for the future”, a focal area of IOS research.
Speaker: Prof. (Dr) Vinaysheel Gautam, founding director IIM (K) and professor and head of management studies IIT (Delhi)
Prof. (Dr) Vinaysheel Gautam, founding director IIM (K) and professor and head of management studies IIT (Delhi), was the guest speaker.
In his address Dr Gautam lauded the work of IOS, which was taking the Muslim community towards development and peace through imparting knowledge. That, he said, was a service to the nation as well.
Justice A.M. Ahmadi, Former Chief Justice of India releases IOS Souvenir
Earlier, Christian leader John Dayal, welcoming the guests, said “through its discussions, seminars, research and publications” the IOS had not only proved its objectivity and credibility, but also got the goodwill of academics in India and foreign countries.
Speaker: Justice AM Ahmadi, Former Chief Justice of India
In his presidential address former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India, Justice AM Ahmadi, said that India would not move forward without knowledge, development and peace.
The first plenary session discussed an important theme: Towards Knowledge: Outlining Roadmaps for the Future. Speaking on the subject, Prof. Faizan Mustafa, Vice Chancellor of National Law University, Orissa said that Islam was the first religion to create a knowledge society. The Holy Quran has put a great deal of emphasis on knowledge, rationalism, reasoning and thinking. The early Muslims followed the Quranic teachings and took knowledge to an unparalleled height. He also stressed on integration of knowledge and criticised the current examination system. He further said that Article 30 of the Indian Constitution needs to be energised to empower minorities educationally.
Speaker: Prof. Akhtar Siddiqi, Chairman, National Council for Teachers’ Education
Prof. Akhtar Siddiqi, Chairman, National Council for Teachers’ Education, said that globalization of economy has widened the market of knowledge. The economic strength of a nation depends on the development of knowledge sector. He stressed the need for reform in current knowledge system of the country. He also highlighted the importance of social cohesion so that all sections of the society will reap the fruits of knowledge. Knowledge must lead to development which is key to bringing about social harmony that can ensure peace in the society, he observed.
Dr. Khalid Mirza highlighted the need for reform in the education system of the country.
Speaker: Dr. Kalbe Sadiq, Eminent Scholar and Vice President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board
Dr. Kalbe Sadiq said that the present world believes in excellence. So if we have to develop, we need to achieve excellence in knowledge.
Speaker: Prof. Manzoor Ahmad, Former VC of Agra University
Prof. Manzoor Ahmad, chairperson of the session appreciated the efforts of the speaker and expressed his own thoughts on some of the issues. He specially highlighted the need for giving students the opportunity to choose his/her subjects.
View of release of special issue of "Mutaliyat"
The second plenary session discussed the theme: Towards Development: Outlining Roadmaps for the Future. Speaking on the subject Prof. M. Kamal Hasan, former Rector, International Islamic University, Malaysia said that the prevalent world system is the one promoted by the secular and materialistic West. The progress achieved under the system is naturally materialistic and the ethical values have no role herein. He criticized the materialistic Western concept of development for breeding economic inequality among people and nations.
Prof. Kamal advocated to promote the Islamic concept of development, that is al-Falah, which means welfare in this world and in the Hereafter. He said this concept of development will counter-balance the Western emphasis on material aspect of life and promote economic equality and distributive justice all over the world. He lamented that today the Muslim countries are, more or less, following the Western model of development and are neck-deep in corruption. This burdens us with striving harder to promote the true Islamic concept of development, he said.
Speaker: Dr. Abusaleh Sheriff
Dr. Abusaleh Sheriff focused mainly on India, its economic development and the Muslim deprivation. He said that there is no denying the fact that India has registered high growth in recent years. But it is also a fact that India has the largest number of poor and malnutrition is rampant here.
Focusing on the educational scene of the country he said that education is the right of every citizen. Here not just the government but the Muslim community also has to play a role, he said. Making a distinction between literacy and education, he said that we need education with quality. Only quality education can work, he remarked.
Dr. Sheriff further said that illiterate Muslim workers relatively produce more than other illiterate communities, hence they need to be educated, not just to produce more but also to increase their own share and income.
Speaking about the higher education in the country Dr. Sheriff said that it was still dominated by the upper caste Hindus. Muslims lag behind in this sector as well. While the government is doing whatever it can, it is mainly the community itself to set its house in order and take to higher education in a big way.
Dr. John Dayal said that development must have an underpinning of justice. In our country, no doubt, development is taking place but its fruits are not being shared by all, he said.
Prof. Ziauddin Ahmad releases the IOS Journal "Journal of Objective Studies"
Prof. Ziauddin Ahmad, chairperson of the session, while appreciating the lectures and presentations of the speakers, said that everyone must think in terms of social interest and not in personal interest, and only such an approach would ensure that the fruits of development reach all sections of the society.
The third Plenary Session discussed the theme: Towards Peace – Outlining Roadmaps for the Future. The first speaker was social activist, Swami Agnivesh who wondered over women being few in the audience. He said that if we believe in God, we should know that He has not discriminated against women. There is no place for caste, gender and other discriminations in God’s scheme, hence no one should be discriminated against. He felt that with full women representation in public square things will be better and peace would surely prevail in the society.
Speaker: Prof. A.R. Momin
Prof. A.R. Momin highlighted the importance of peace and harmony for the development of human society. He said that without peace and harmony no ideal society can be created. He stressed on understanding the dynamics of social change. He said in India things are changing but not for every one’s betterment. There is wide-spread covert and overt discrimination which often breeds violence disturbing the peace of the society. Violence and disharmony hinder development as well as peace, he remarked.
A view of release of special issue of IOS Human Rights Today
He also said that there is no effective anti-discrimination law in India. Besides the existing legal provisions, more laws are needed to eliminate discrimination which mainly operates against the weaker and the marginalized sections of the society. He further said that in some societies, even in developed ones like in France discrimination against and marginalization of ethnic groups are breeding tension and conflicts. Therefore, it is essential to end discrimination in all its forms to achieve peace in the world, he said.
Speaker: Prof. Sudeep Jain
Prof. Sudeep Jain said that we need to stop some thing and start some things. That we should stop doing bad things and start doing things which are good for the country. He said we need to remove religious discrimination and casteism if we want to become a developed nation in the real sense of the word.
Speaker: Dr. H.P. Gangnegi
Dr. H.P. Gangnegi focused on achieving supreme happiness for which it is necessary to promote moral values. He specially highlighted the importance of family values in ensuring peace in the society.
Justice Rajendra Sachar releases the special issue of Religion and Law Review
Giving his presidential remarks, Justice Rajendra Sachar said that injustice is the source of all social evils. India is a multi-religious society and all religions and their followers must get equal respect and no injustice should be done to anyone. This is the only way to achieve peace in India, he remarked.
Speaker: Justice Rajendra Sachar
Three parallel sessions were held in the afternoon of 16-4-2011. The first parallel session discussed the theme: Prospects of Creating Knowledge Societies in the 21st Century. Dr Arshi Khan observed that the purpose of education is not to increase the number of educated people, rather it ought to be making people responsible or preparing better citizens. For achieving such a lofty goal education has to be of quality and purposeful.
Speaker: Prof. Hameed Naseem Rafiabadi
Prof. Hameed Naseem Rafiabadi focused on how a knowledge society can be created in present time. He criticized the prevalent modern educational system which focuses more on producing goods for customers and gives less importance to preparing and producing quality literary and intellectual works.
Prof. Alauddin Ahmad opined that the purpose of education is to develop a full-fledged, complete personality for which a knowledge society needs to be created. Knowledge is prerequisite for development and peace, he remarked.
Speaker: Dr. Kumar Rajiv and from left to right Prof. Afzal Wani, Prof. Qamar Ahsan, Prof. Vinaysheel Gautam
The second Parallel Session discussed the theme: Development Strategies in Contemporary World. It was chaired by Prof. Qamar Ahsan and the speakers who deliberated upon the above theme were Prof. Vinaysheel Gautam, Dr. Kumar Rajiv and Dr Tahir Baig.
The third Parallel Session was devoted to discussing “Peace in the Era of Globalization”. The session was presided over by Prof. Z.M. Khan and conducted by Dr. M.M. Verma.
L-R: Prof. M.H. Qureshi, Dr. M.M. Verma, Prof. A.K. Pasha, Dr. M Manzoor Alam, Prof. Z.M. Khan
Speaking on the subject, Prof. M.H. Qureshi said that two things have brought in the era of globalization: information explosion and revolution in transport techniques. He said globalization means as many things to as many people. He found no difference between globalization and colonization. Globalization has weakened the weaker nations which suffer continuous exploitation, he said. He further said that three Cs and three Ds characterize globalization. The three Cs are competition, consumption and corruption. He said that consumerism leads to violence-generating competition and it also leads to corruption. The three Ds are: discrimination, deprivation and disparity. Discrimination leads to deprivation that causes disparity, he said.
A view of book release
Prof. A.K. Pasha said that in one or another form globalization has existed in most periods of history. Civilizational globalization has specially existed since long, he said. But the present globalization has some new dimensions like exploitation and interference. The weak is being exploited and the World Bank and IMF, the instruments of the powerful nations, are interfering in every country’s economic affairs and policies. He also criticized the so called big powers for disturbing peace in the name of eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction and fighting the so called War on Terror.
Dr. M. Manzoor Alam said that by and large the Muslims have failed to understand the phenomena of MNCs and as a result their exploitation continues unabated.
Giving his presidential remarks, Prof. Z.M. Khan said that the Muslims need to get rid of the situational aspect of peace and globalization. They need to think if their religion can play any role to bring them out of this quagmire or if the Islamic ideology can enlighten the path forward and whether they can provide any solution to the problems faced by humanity today.
L-R: Maulana Mohsin Usmani, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Maulana Abdul Wahhab Khilji, Maulana Jalaluddin Umri, Maulana Saeedur Rahman Azmi, Maulana Anis Chishti, Mr. A.R. Agwan
The third Business Session was devoted to discuss “Towards Knowledge, Development and Peace in Islamic Perspective – Outlining Roadmaps for the Future”. Speaking on the subject, Maulana Jalaluddin Umri, Ameer-e-Jamat-e-Islami, said that Islam has put a great deal of emphasis on knowledge and acquisition of knowledge. He elaborated that it is incumbent on every Muslim to acquire knowledge. Acquisition of Islamic Knowledge is essential, for it leads to Tazkiya, development, he said. He wondered why in the so called era of knowledge man is facing so much problems and crises. His answer was that today’s prevalent philosophy of life is materialism which is responsible for all the problems of man today.
A view of book release "Ham Ars Duniya aur Hindutani Musalman" by Dr. Ausaf Ahmad
Maulana Abdul Wahhab Khilji said that peace, real peace must prevail in human society, for without peace there can be no development. In his presidential remarks Maulana Saeedur Rahman Azmi Nadwi said that knowledge has a key position in Islamic scheme of things.
L-R: Prof. A.R. Momin,
The Valedictory Session was chaire by Dr. M. Manzoor Alam. In his speech Prof. A.R. Momin highlighted some vital aspects of Islamic culture. Mr Sayyid Shahabuddin, former MP, appreciated the works of the IOS. Mr. Fakhruddin made a visual presentation on the Institute’s proposed “Objective University”. Mr Justice Dhulakia of Uttarakhand High Court highlighted the importance of peace. Delivering the keynote address Justice Markande Katju of the Supreme Court highlighted the fact that India was a country of migrants. He also said that Muslims have contributed greatly to the development of composite culture.
A view of book release "Ham Ars Duniya aur Hindutani Musalman" by Dr. Ausaf Ahmad
Prof. Faizan Mustafa read out the resolutions which were passed unanimously. The adopted resolutions are as follows:
1. The conference notes with a degree of satisfaction the rise in literacy rate as per the latest census figures but expresses its dismay on absence of enlightenment which is essential for developing a versatile personality. We do believe that though the education is spreading the world over it is not bringing refinement, broad vision, intellectual and moral richness as well as happiness in human lives. The conference urges all concerned to promote the goals of enlightenment as enshrined in the preamble of the Indian Constitution.
A view of audience
2. The conference, being concious of the fact that the future of country lies in the knowledge revolution, demands the Government of India, all the state governments and other stake-holders to radically change the present educational system which is based on testing memory rather than understanding. The conference urges major reforms in the examination systems, curricula development, faculty recruitment, governance of education and accountability of teachers and administrators. In this connection, the conference urges the Government of India to implement recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission, the Sachar Committee and Justice Ranganath Mishra Committee Report.
3. The conference resolves that the knowledge revolution will remain an empty slogan if access to knowledge remains limited to a priviledged few excluding the large masses of the poor and the downtrodden. The conference also urges all concerned to give priority to the spread of education amongst minorities and the marginalised sections of the society. We, therefore, urge establishment of more and more minority institutions by the minority communities and simultaneously demand the Central and State Governments to take appropriate steps to set up adequate numbers of educational institutions of the state in the minority-concentrated areas. The conference also believes that no meaningful education would be possible without recognising due importance of primary education being imparted in the mother tongue.
4. The conference resolves that the real knowledge is at the intersection of the disciplines and therefore rather than erecting the walls of separation between various disciplines, it urges integration of knowledge as one of the most important goals of our knowledge reform.
5. The conference resolves that education is the key to empowerment. Knowledge alone can bring about sustainable development which must be based on generational equity and should be fully inclusive. This inclusive development, the conference, urges should be based on preservation of India’s rich diversity.
A view of audience
6. The conference resolves that inclusive growth is not possible without equal opportunities being given to all sections of the society particularly minorities and other marginalised communities. The conference therefore urges the Government of India to take immediate steps to set up an Equal Opportunity Commission.
7. The conference resolves that so long we have injustices in our society, no meaingful development or peace could be achieved and therefore to attain the lofty and cherished goal of peace through knowledge and development, we must strive to eliminate all forms of injustices and create a truly just, humane and egalitarian society. The roadmap of future in a knowledge society should, therefore, be based on expansion, inclusion and excellence.
8. The conference resolves that lasting peace can be achieved through enlightenment and knowing each other and appreciating distinctive identity of each other. The goal of attainment of peace will remain a dream till we achieve peace between and within various religions, castes, tribes and groups.
9. The conference urges the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan to release all prisoners of Pakistan and India respectively who have been falsely implicated particularly Dr. Mohd. Khaleel Chisti and Sabarjit Singh. The conference urges the use of pardoning power to ensure release of two prisoners. The conference resolves world peace can be achieved if lasting peace is ensured in the Indian sub-continent. Release of prisoners of each other country will create most conducive environment for peace.