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26 March 2013

Muslims must shun emotional issues, engage in dialogue: Maulana Mujaddidi

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National Conference on ‘Unpacking The 12th Five Year Plan’ held at Lucknow

By Pervez Bari

Lucknow: “Muslims should save their energy from sentimental and emotional issues, which often leads to violence, and concentrate more on socio-economic development and engage themselves in dialogue and negotiations with the policy makers which has great relevance & importance in today's atmosphere. No nation can boast of development if Muslim community, which is about 20 per cent of India’s population is allowed to lag behind.

The responsibilities of the Muslim community is to create more & more community-based NGOs as it has fewer number of NGO's working for the empowerment and social upliftment of the community. Most of the Muslim NGOs are un-organized and they either lack infrastructures, proper guidance and have negligible information about the welfare schemes. They lack in initiative for proper petitioning for allocation of welfare funds, constant monitoring & state affirmative actions.

The NGOs can play an effective role in acting as a bridge between the needy people and the Government for an effective utilization of the public funds. Their involvement would increase the accountability of the system. The NGOs can establish partnerships with the Government to share their models rather than create islands of excellence”.

The above views were expressed by noted Muslim cleric Maulana Mohammed Fazlurrahim Mujaddidi, chairman of SEE, (Strive for Eminence and Empowerment), while delivering the keynote address through Power Point presentation in the National Conference on the topic of “Unpacking The 12th Plan (Minorities Chapter)” here at Ganna Sanstha on Sunday last. The conference was organized under the aegis of SEE, which is a New Delhi-based organisation working for the educational uplift of Muslims.

11th Plan slogan ‘Inclusive Growth’ & 12th Plan’s slogan ‘More Inclusive Growth’

In his more than 50 minute address Maulana Mujaddidi spoke about Muslims, the largest minority group among the Minorities in the country, with special reference to education alone. He elaborated the actual position of Muslims with facts and figures along with graphs.

He pointed out that the 11th Plan slogan was “Inclusive Growth” and the 12th Plan’s slogan is “More Inclusive Growth” which means that the government has itself accepted its failure that the targets in the last Plan could not be achieved. The exclusion of Muslims from Education has resulted in low representation in Administration he emphasised.

He explained that the social exclusion keeps a social group outside power centers and resources. It takes the form of segregation from the social, political, economic, cultural, educational and religious domains of society.

The socially excluded people are denied the opportunities available to others to increase their income. They escape from poverty by their own efforts. So, even though the economy may grow. They often do participate in economic growth processes, but they do so on unequal terms. The powerlessness of excluded groups is exploited and at the same time their disadvantaged position is reinforced.

Dr. Maulana Saeed-ur-Rehman Azmi Nadvi, Principal of world renowned seminary Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow presided over the National Conference. Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid was the chief guest at the conference. While Union Minister for HRD Pallam Raju; Dr. (Mrs.) Syeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission of India; Dr. (Mrs.) Rita Bahuguna Joshi, ex-president Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, (UPCC); Rajesh Pati Tripathi, vice-president UPCC; Zahid Ali Khan, Editor of Siasat Daily, and Dr. Masood Ahmad (Rtd. IAS) were guests of honour on the occasion. Many important dignitaries, academicians, social activists, NGOs and delegates from all over India participated in the programme.

Ph.D. in 11th & 12th Plans

Continuing Maulana Mujaddidi recalled that on January 19 last in a function honouring Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid he had said in a lighter vein that while making rounds of the Planning Commission of India for the last four years and interacting with the Planning Commission members and officials and others when the process of preparation of 12th Five-Year-Plan (2012-2017) was on he had obtained Ph.D. in the 11th Plan and the Planning Commission.

In an emotionally charged manner the Maulana said: “Main Raaton Mein Tadapta Rahta Hoon Aur Kai Raaton Ki Meri Neend Udjati Hai Jab Main Apne Qaum Ki Ma’ashi Halaat Par Nazar Dalta Hoon. Alhumdulillah “11th Plan Mein Maine to Ph.D. Karliya Hai” Lekin Ab 12th Plan Mein Hindustan ka Har Musalmaan Ph.D. Karlega Insha’Allah. Isliye Humne Azm Kiya Hai Ke 2017 Tak Jab 12th Plan Poora Hoga Aise programmes Ka Tasalsul Jaari Rahega Taake Har Hindustani Musalmaan Ko Apne Huqooq Ka Ilm Hojai Kyunke Jab Apne Huqooq Ka Ilm Hi Nahin Hoga To Usko Hasil Kaise Karega”. (I become restless with sleepless nights when I ponder over plight of Muslims. As such I have resolved to organise a series of such programmes till 2017 when the 12th Plan ends to guide, educate and make aware the Muslim masses of their rightful claims enshrined in the 12th Plan document).

In a chocked voice he declared: “Programmes Ka Ek round Poora Karne Ke Baad Humne Doosre round Mein programmes Ka Lamba Khaka Banaya Hai. In programmes Ka Har Qeemat Par Sisila Jaari Rahega Chahe Iske Liye Mujhe Bheek Mangna Pade, Chahe Qarz Lena Pade Ya Chahe Apni personal property Bechna Pade Main In programmes Ko Jaari Rakhunga.” Thereafter, the auditorium resonated with a loud applause of “Wah Wah”.

Continuing Maulana Mujaddidi exhorted Muslims that after being armed with the knowledge of their rights to come forward and engage themselves with the powers that be which are entrusted with the job of implementing government programmes and policies as enshrined in the 12th Plan document. They can, thus, keep an eye on the delivery system and the social workers, community, political and religious leaders will be questioned by the beneficiaries about the implementation of the Government of India policies and programmes by the bureaucrats.

“Musalmaano Aau aur dialogue ke Zariye, Muzakarat Ke Zariye Apni Baat Rakho, Insha’Allah Tumhari Baat Zaroor Suni Jayegi,” he pleaded.

He said the community leaders can play an important role in society, especially in promoting greater interaction amongst themselves for the objective of promoting awareness of Welfare Schemes and its effective implementation. The NGOs must pool the resources and expertise for the welfare and development of the people. The NGOs must learn participation in a large-scale socio-economic development system. The NGOs must improve documentation and research and then their influence can move to a more strategic plan in the future, he added.

The Maulana profusely thanked Dr. (Mrs.) Sayeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission of India, for her leading role in drafting the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans with reference to Minorities. He said that history will remember her for the 11th & 12th Plan, the architect for Chapters on (i) Minority Empowerment; (ii) Women & Child Care and (iii) Universal Health Care.

In education, Muslim women were ahead of Hindu women at time of partition

Maulana Mujaddidi quoting HRD Ministry’s NCMEI (National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions), December 2012 report said that in 1947, 8.5 per cent of Muslim women attended college, compared to just 2.4 per cent today. Thus, “Clearly, Muslim women were quite ahead of Hindu women at the time of partition.” However, now “Muslim women are the worst off, especially the rural ones”.

Pointing out discrimination against minorities he quoted the HRD Ministry’s NCMEI December 2012 report which said that one government scholarship offers on average Rs.120,000 each year to minority students pursuing a higher professional course, which is 90 per cent lower than the average allocation for scheduled castes, of Rs.963,507.

While, according to the 2010 All India Survey on Out of School Children, (OSC), has brought out that the percentage of out of school children was highest among Muslims (7.67 per cent). The rate of reduction in the proportion of OSC is also low among Muslims (from 9.97 per cent in 2005 to 7.67 per cent in 2009) as compared to other social groups (ST: 9.54 per cent to 5.60 per cent).

The solution of the pathetic position of Muslims, who are worse than the STs/SCs, is the proper implementation of the 12th Five Year Plan. In education at the all India level at present Muslims at the Graduation level is 3.6 per cent while in the 12th Plan the target is 25 per cent.

High percentage of Muslims lodged in jails

Maulana lamented that a high percentage of Muslims, far above their share in total percentage, are lodged in jails. This fact has been deleted from the final Sachar Committee report according to Indian Express news story. The link of the news is http://www.indianexpress.com/news/too-many-muslims-in-prison-sachar-edits-this-out/17275/0. The Muslims in jails in some of the states are as follows:- (i) In Maharashtra Muslims share in population is 10.6 per cent, in jail 32.4 per cent; (ii) In Gujarat Muslims 9.06 per cent, over 25 per cent of all jail inmates; (iii) In Assam Muslims 30.09 per cent, in jails 31 per cent; (iv) In Karnataka Muslims 17.5 per cent, in jails 12.23 per cent; (v) In Delhi Muslims 11.7 per cent of the population, in jails 29.1 per cent.

Dr. Maulana Saeed-ur-Rehman Azmi Nadvi, Principal of world renowned seminary Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, in his presidential speech urged Muslims to demand only justice from the country while become men who give to others in all walks of life. He demanded that all innocent persons from any religion, caste or creed who are languishing in jails should be set free forthwith to provide justice to them.

Meanwhile, Dr. (Mrs.) Syeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission of India, speaking on the occasion said that the chapter on minorities in the 12th Five-Year Plan was written with the greatest care, ensuring that it defined a roadmap to fill the developmental gaps for the community. A very important instrument of filling these gaps is the prime minister's 15-point programme, which requires that each of the 11 identified ministries reserve 15 per cent of their total allocations for minorities. Another instrument is the pre-matric and post-matric scholarship plan, which is to ensure that no child is denied an education for the lack of means. A third is the multi-sectoral development plan for 90 minority concentration districts to correct the development deficit.

PM acknowledged perception of alienation among Muslims

Dr. (Mrs.) Syeda said for the first time ever, the commission, led by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, has acknowledged the perception of alienation among Muslims, which needs to be addressed.”

She explained: “If we leave these well-thought out policies in the pages of the Plan, they will stay there for the next five years. They need to be explained, piece by piece, to the whole country. Muslims, and all Indians who believe in the importance of inclusive growth, have to understand these policies and put their strength behind them”. The Muslim community has to move away from the usual emotive subjects and concentrate its collective energies here. The tragedy of the Muslim community is that it often gets swayed by emotions, at the cost of reason, she moaned.
“It is time now for Muslims as a community to espouse development over emotion and stop reacting to provocations,” she stressed.

She cautioned that these emotive issues provide a ready stick for hardline groups and the media to use on Muslims. In our state of emotion, which is created and whipped up by the print, visual and social media, we Muslims do not see that we are playing into the hands of the very forces that are out to hurt us. The more we show our anger, the more the TV anchors bait us, the more we fall into the stereotype created about us, and so we are condemned to remain on the fringes of sane society.

Dr. (Mrs.) Syeda, a great-grandfather of noted Muslim cleric Maulana Altaf Husain Hali, who raised his voice for the girl child, women's education and the plight of widows in his writings 150 years ago, said she has studied the works of Maulana Hali, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Allama Iqbal and is greatly impressed by their personalities and the work they did for the uplift of Muslim Ummah.

Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that the decline in the growth rate over the past two years, which was now at 5.5-5.75 per cent, was a matter of concern. “In the coming two years, as stated by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, we will try to take the growth rate up to 7 per cent,” he said, adding that touching 8 per cent was crucial for the country.

Khurshid favoured reservation for marginalised Muslims, who make up at least 9 per cent of the total 19 per cent Muslim population in the country. He said the UPA government was in favour of providing quota to backward Muslims like the Andhra Pradesh government but confusion was spread over this issue by some political parties and minorities quota in states, including UP.

Without naming anyone, Khurshid said instead of blindly following some leaders, if the Muslims forced them to raise their real issues of illiteracy, unemployment and injustice it would be more effective way of changing their situation. In an apparent bid to woo Muslims towards Congress, Khurshid said that it was up to the community to create its own platform or associate with those who heard and took care of them.

Union HRD Minister Pallam Raju spoke on the issue of education for minorities saying the progress on that front left a lot to be desired. “To reverse the dropout rate in Muslim-majority areas, we are giving special incentives and have also introduced midday meals in madarsas and maktabs. Attempts are on to increase concentration of teachers in Muslim areas and more teachers will be appointed in 90 Muslim-majority districts,” he said.

Maroof Khan, chairman Uttar Pradesh Minorities Commission, speaking on the occasion congratulated Maulana Mohammed Fazlurrahim Mujaddidi for getting the total allotment outlay for Minority Affairs hiked from Rs.7,283/- crores in the 11th Plan to Rs.17,323/- crores in the 12th Plan which is 137.85 per cent increase. Muslims keeping away from politics have harmed the cause of the community. They should send at least one of their wards into politics so that power centres remain within the reach of the community members, he added.

Akhtar Husain Akhtar, general secretary Momin Conference of Uttar Pradesh, threw light on National Conference’s aims & objects. Dr. (Mrs.) Rita Bahuguna Joshi and S. M. Hilal of Foundation of Civil Liberties also spoke on the occasion. Arshad Azmi, chairman of Minority Welfare Programme Monitoring Unit, (MWPMU), welcomed the guests at the start. Three books related to 12th Plan brought out by SEE were released on the occasion.

During the National Conference three resolutions were unanimously passed. They were on (i) 10+2 Schools in Minority Concentration Areas; (ii) Scheme for Promotion of Education in Minority Concentration Towns/Cities and (iii) Participation of NGOs.

At the outset Maulana Qari Riaz Nadwi, recited verses from the Holy Quran. Mohammad Iqbal Khan, Director, Crescent Academy, New Delhi, anchored the programme with aplomb.

Meanwhile, the conference was webcast live through the links http://www.cacademy.org & http://atysvideo.com/index.php?option=com_hwdvideoshare&task=viewvideo&Itemid=1&video_id=68. The Sahara TV channel also relayed it live.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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