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17 April 2013

Collective effort needed for AMU Kishanganj

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By Manzar Imam

Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi: Human Chain, a newly-formed registered society has been growing in strength and making its worth felt. Although the present team of the society has been socially active for long, but that has been on individual front. Their collective effort began with forming of a pressure group to demand early land acquisition, fund allocation and establishment of a centre of Aligarh Muslim University at Kishanganj, Bihar under AMU Coordination Committee. The Committee, formed three years ago, still retains its name. However, an active group of the independent individuals with a vision to bring change in society and demand justice and equal treatment to the people of one of the highly marginalized regions of Bihar commonly referred to as Seemanchal, envisaged Human Chain.

This well-educated, technology-savvy group has tried to draw attention of the government authorities to some important issues confronting the people of the region.

Manzar Imam adressing the meet
It is in this backdrop that Human Chain convened a meeting of media persons on the topic of “The Role of journalists in development of society” here at the Scholar School auditorium at Abul Fazl Enclave, Jamia Nagar on Wednesday, 10 April, 2013. Over a dozen journalists associated with different newspapers and websites along with some people associated with radio and multi-media attended the symposium. Most of them largely commended Human Chain’s effort and spoke about the obstacles and duplicity of the government about AMU Kishanganj.

Mohammad Aslam Alig, chairman of the society lambasted the government for not taking the AMU Kishanganj issue seriously. As media has deep penetration in every sphere of society he termed the role of the media inevitable for raising the issue of AMU. He said that there was high politics involved and discriminatory treatment meted out to the people of Seemanchal.
Mumtaz Alam, national bureau chief of Muslimmirror.com stressed the need for more Muslim media professionals in the language press and said that media reports pressurize governments to take action. He lamented Muslim media’s negativity and said, “There are hardly any Muslim media that bring out stories of development”. Most of them write about emotional issues, added he.

Maulana Mutiur Rahman Madani, chairman of Kishanganj-based Tauheed Educational Trust spoke about the educational need of the Seemanchal region. Ali Raza Siddiqui, bureau chief of Urdu daily Qaumi Tanzeem appealed Muslim youngsters to join media as agents of social change.

Manzar Imam, Special Correspondent of the IndianMuslimObserver.com spoke about the need for collective struggle for AMU Kishanganj. Speaking about regional bias and governmental negligence to Seemanchal and especially the Purnea Commissionerate, Imam, who is also founder member of Banat Education & Welfare Society, Bhopal and Director, Public Relations, Anjuman Foundation, Gaya said that every Commissionerate of Bihar had at least one university, some even had more than two univerisities, whereas the Purnea Commissionerate did not have a single State or Central university. He further said that there were very less number of colleges in the entire Commissionerate and held both the State and Central Governments accountable for the poor literacy rate of the region. Journalists need to take into consideration the hopes, aspirations, needs and requirements of the society, he said adding that media’s role in that respect therefore must be positive.

Senior journalist Abid Anwar called journalism the medium of awareness and said that issues would not be resolved unless there was awareness about them. He called to develop internal strength of the society in order for the authorities to pay heed to its need. He also called in question the role of individuals for corrupt practices which made fairness a difficult task. He said that the Seemanchal area faced both economic and mental backwardness which was further exploited for lack of leadership.

Abdul Qadir Shams Qasmi of the Sahara group lauded the Human Chain for its efforts in highlighting some of the important issues faced by people of the region and said that there was need for more than one university in Seemanchal. Shams Ramzi of Hamara Samaj stressed the need for at least sectarian harmony among different Muslim groups as unity among them seems to be impossible.

Mumtaz Alam Rizwi, Delhi bureau chief of Urdu daily Inquilab spoke about the importance of belief, passion, courage and commitment that a journalist had to have while reporting.
Dr. Khalid Mubashshir of Human Chain had a crucial role to convene this journalists’ meeting which was coordinated by Mohammad Mudassir Alam, associated with the Times of India. Mohd Mujahid Akhter, Tarique Sufyan and others of Human Chain, Dr. Tauqir Rahi of NCPUL, Syed Zubair Ahmad, Editor of Muslimmirror.com, Nakshab Manwi of IBN.com, Khisal Mehdi of Inquilab, Iftikhar Uz Zaman of All India Radio, Mohammed Anas of the Sunday Guardian, Shah Jahan Azmi and others were present.

[Manzar Imam, a Delhi-based Journalist, is Special Correspondent of IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at manzarkhalil@gmail.com]

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