SPECIAL REPORT: Land mafia in Bihar out to grab land of Muslim widow, family members slapped cases under SC/ST Act

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 30 June 2013 | Posted in , , ,

By Our Correspondent

New Delhi: In a shocking and heart rending incident, the land mafia in Bihar along with the support of district administration and police are making all efforts to grab the land of a Muslim widow Zahida Khatoon wife of late Abdul Gaffar, village Mahua Mukundpur, Thana Mahua district Vaishali Bihar. Her family members have also been framed in false cases and SC/ST Act slapped in order to compel them to voluntarily leave the land. And, all this is being done under the so-called secular government of Nitish Kumar.

Ms. Janvi Sharma, National Secretary & Office Coordinator of World Human Rights Protection Association (WHRPA), recently staged protest demonstraton along with her colleagues at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. "The 'secular' Chief Minister should immediately order an inquiry into the incident and punish the culprits including those in the district and police administration involved in harassing the Muslim widow and her family members and shielding the land mafia. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should also protect the interest of minority Muslims in Bihar," demanded Ms. Sharma.

According to Ms. Jhanvi Sharma, the heart rending story of Muslim widow Zahida Khatoon is as follows:

Widow Zahida Khatoon has been living on aforesaid address for last 50 years. She belongs to a poor family and has been still cultivating the land to fend for her living and those of her family members. A number of buildings have been constructed all around her land. Now, land mafia is targeting her as the land in that area has become costly.

For last six months the land mafia has intesified their efforts to grab the land. Failing to gain success in their motives, they have now sarted constantly harassing her, beating family members and threatening to kill them.

Widow Zahida Khatoon have been reporting the incident to district administration and Bihar Chief Minister, but no action is being taken. On 9th Febuary 2013, she wrote a letter to the DGP Bihar and SP Vaishali in this regard.

On 21 March 2013, the land mafia along with their goons and the support of Thanedar came on the land and looted Widow Zahida Khatoon's home and destroyed the cottage and attempted to kill the family members. In that course, goons beat all family members and stabbed Zahida's son Mehtab Alam and daughter-in-law. They were hospitalized.

After some days her son and daughter-in-law were granted leave from the hospital. Her son's injury was serious.

After several denial from the police, FIR was lodged. FIR No. 74/13 dated 21 March 2013 under Mahua Thana. The police was completely reluctant in filing the FIR and naming land mafia.

In the case Abhishek Chaoudhary, Rajesh Soni, Mukesh Rai, Suraj, Manto Choudhary and Amit were named under IPC, 147, 447, 341, 323, 307, 379, 427, 504, 506, and 354. But no arrest was made and the culprits are hovering around them freely. The police is completely hand in gloves with land mafia in the district.

After registration of FIR, when land mafia saw that they will be caught, on the very next day, they brought Sudhir Choudhary son of Narendra Parsad Choudhary who belongs to SC/ST community and lodged a false case of brawl between the sons of Zahida and Sudhir Choudhary. They case was lodged with the support of police and under the complete supervision of high ranked officer against them.

In his statement, Sudhir Choudhary says that he was beaten by Mehtab Alam, Mohd. Ladle and Khusbu Khatoon and others. He also alleged that they abused him.

On March 24, 2013, police registered a case under SC/ST Act-3 under secssion 389, 147, 149, 341, 323, 427 and 148.

The case was registered against Zahida's sons and family members to bring them down as to make them week financial and morally.

Police made the case true and arrested Mehtab Alam and Mohd. Ladle in the wee hour on 10th June 2013 and produced in the court and sent them to jail till now they have not been grated bail and police and land mafia is putting press on Widow Zahida Khatoon to leave the land and get her sons bailed. In this regard, several complains were written to SP Vaishali, but he is not heeding to them.

It is extremely painful that when Zahida sons were beaten and stabbed, no arrest were made and when a false case was registered, their sons were arrested and put behind the bar. It is done to grab her land.

Ms. Janvi Sharma has demanded that this case should be investigated by a sitting Judge of High Court to know the facts and bring the real culprit who is playing the game to snatch the land of Widow Zahida Khatoon. "The fact of the matter is that for grabbing the land SC/ST law is misused," she said.

Ms. Sharma said that the inquiry will bring out the facts and effective steps be taken to take strict action agains the land mafia in the district and bring them under control.

Muslims should not Negotiate Deals with communal BJP

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , ,

By Kaleem Kawaja

As the 2014 parliamentary election approaches I notice that a few Muslim activists are starting to ask BJP to spell out what is their program for the Muslims. They are saying that if BJP makes corrections for the demolition of the Babri mosque and the 2002 Gujarat genocide and agrees to give space to Muslims in their reign, Muslims may negotiate an arrangement with them. This is a potentially very harmful and disturbing strategy.

Muslim community activists should not make the mistake of negotiating deals with BJP people. Muslims must understand that from the beginning and uptil now BJP is continuing to be controlled by RSS which is an 80 year old right wing extremist Hindu supremacist organization. The games that Vajpayee played with Muslims and that Advani is playing with them now are tactical deceptive traps. The core objective of RSS and BJP is to discard the nation's secular fabric, polity and government and replace it with a theocratic, Hindu-dominant one and make India a Hindu theocratic nation. In that non-secular Hindu nation they may give a limited place on their terms to some Muslims; but the nation and all of its institutions will be Hindu, not secular.

Then India may become a mirror image of some non-secular and theocratic countries in the Middle East. The Indian nation and society may then become like Israel or Afghanistan and may become ghettoized. In that India a few namesake Muslims like BJP's Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Shahnawaz Hussain, late Sikandar Bakht or the other lesser known opportunist Muslims from BJP's Minority Morcha may be given places of honor, on the condition of them accepting the basic BJP/RSS philosophy of India being a Hindu Rastra - the century old dream of RSS stalwarts like Guru Golwalkar. BJP has never accepted that India is a composite nation.

BJP's concept of religious & ethnic minorities in the nation is like the Nazi concept of minorities in the Germany of 1930s-1940s, where they did have a limited space for some from the minority communities like Jews, Slovaks, Gypsies at the cost of equal citizenship for all belonging to the minority communities. As we saw during the six year BJP rule (1998-2004) in New Delhi, once they are in power it is not difficult for them to find collaborator Muslims who are willing to accept and applaud that being a Hindu Rashtra and discarding secularism is good both for India and Indian Muslims.

In those years of BJP rule in New Delhi, the then Education/ Human Resources minister Murli Manohar Joshi launched a massive nationwide campaign to change the very nature of universities, colleges, schools, national television,radio and a whole lot of cultural and educational organizations into theocratic Hindu-centric bodies. The culture and traditions of Muslims and Christians was systematically replaced with Hindu religious elements. In fact BJP degraded the secular practices in the country by labelling them pseudo-secular.

In its last six year rule BJP did not succeed in removing the secular structure of the nation because of the resistance that they received from about two-thirds of the Hindus. These secular (not irreligious) Hindus do not want India to become a theocratic nation like Israel or Afghanistan, and believe in giving minority Muslims and Christians equal space in the nation. They believe in a composite India and not a one-track India.

In India, Muslims with 15% of the population and Christians with 3% of the population total no more than 180 million Indians. This combined figure has very limited weight in the Indian polity. It is only when they are supported by two-thirds of the Hindus- about 500 million Indians, that their collective number approaches about 700 million. And that is too big an opposition for BJP to surmount.

But if Muslims start negotiating a separate deal for themselves with BJP, not only the total strength of the non-theocratic, secular forces in the country will dimnish significantly but it may cause many of the secular 500 million Hindus to get swayed to support the Hindu Rashtra lobby. And that may actually result in India becoming a theocratic Hindu Rashtra.

Once BJP is successful in making India a Hindu Rashtra, they can easily discard all those guarantees of protected rights that some Muslims had earlier negotiated with them. And then Muslims in India will become like Arabs in Israel - a helpless community with no way to resolve their isolation and helplessnes, despite promises of equal citizenship.

Indian Muslims should never negotiate like the pre-independence Muslim League and Jinnah, who were duped by the British into accepting a non-viable and truncated Pakistan comprising of two halves 1,000 miles apart. Jinnah himself said that he had received a moth eaten Pakistan. That kind of country with all the guarantees of sovreignty from India had basic fatal flaws and was bound to fail as it did in just 24 years.

Muslims should understand that half a dozen major regional secular political parties ruling half a dozen major states (Samajwadi Party or Bahujan Samaj Party in UP; Nitish Kumar's JD- United in Bihar; Mamta Bannerji's Trinamool Congress in Bengal; Navin Patnaik's Janata Dal in Orrisa; Jayalalitha's AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and the Forward Block coalition in Kerala) who have no love lost for BJP are a very formidable bulwark against the emergence of a BJP led government in New Delhi. These parties have come to power with substantial Muslim votes and thus they simply cannot act against the best interests of Muslims.

Muslims should monitor and manage these parties with tactical voting to ensure that communal forces do not gain power either in the states or at the Center. Muslim Community's' welfare lies in forming coalitions with these secular (not ireligious) forces and working with them, not negotiating deals with either sectarian Hindus or sectarian Muslims.

[Kaleem Kawaja, a community activist based at Washington D.C., can be reached on kaleemkawaja@gmail.com]

Deifying Narendra Modi: Miscalculations of the Coronation

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Dr. Amna Mirza

The applauses and celebrations at the BJP national executive meeting at Goa indeed sent vibrations all throughout the nation as the polity gears up for 2014 elections. Right from conspicuous absence of the right wing stalwart who led the party from a mere figure of two seats up to 182, alias L.K.Advani, and others like Uma Bharti, Yahswant Sinha owing to several reasons, the meeting caught up the attention of the masses in terms of the new brigade to watch out for. The much awaited decision finally came on the holy Sunday where Goa once again proved lucky for the incumbent Gujarat Chief Minister Narendre Modi (who was given charge for Gujarat in 2002 at Goa only) was made the chief for election campaigns in five states and at Union level.

The purpose of this writing is debate the iconization of Modi which needs to be contested. As far as it is an internal party matter to augment the vote share, the much hyped elevation of Modi sounds fine, but translation of it at realm of management of affairs of the nation is something which lacks logic and acumen.

Modi has seldom refused to talk about the contentious infamous Godhra riots which were by any standard a stigma on humankind. He often claims that he is misjudged by the media and civil society.

Though he may proclaim to be a leader which appeal to the global for a, one cannot also overlook instances where he was denied visa on pretext of his utter disregard for respect for communal harmony in the past. Development cannot be only plank from his armoury to shield him against this crude reality of being a mute spectator in process to destroy the united fabric of the society.

In the course of time, one may expect Modi to apologise and express remorse over the massacre of several thousand innocents. However, one citizenry is wise enough now to differentiate between honesty and opportunistic stunts to garner votes.

It is expected for the opposition to criticise the government. However, to locate the cause of all ills of the nation at the door of Congress, constant scorn and humour at office of Prime Minister and United Progressive Alliance chairperson smacks of absence of critical analysis. At his coronation speech, there was no word about his vision is for the nation. It is easy to criticize but herculean to present a solution. Further, looking at colossal problems facing the country which are of varied nature, it will be foolhardy to assume that a magic wand in one’s hand shall rectify them over night.

At the start of his fourth term, he voiced out his desire to rule over the nation so as to serve the motherland. The contentious problem with this ambition is that he is a polarising factor. The Sangh Parivar is against him. He seems to have subordinated the party so as to reach out at the top.

When one cannot contain the own house in order at the micro level as seen from abstaining of the dissenting voices at the Goa meet, the agenda to call the shots at macro level smacks of a shortsighted approach. An ambitious boy from a humble family, but today his invincibility seems to be the weakness.

The aura of Modi was about tough decisions and straight talk. However, today we need to contextualise Modi in a realm away from Gujrat. If the beginning of Modi is being dubbed as end of Vajpayee-Advani era, then one has to factor in that whether Modi be able to nurture consent amongst the varied nature of demands. If he cannot carry the entire team at the beginning, the remaining part of the story to come presents a bleak picture. This raise serious doubts and concerns that whether the staunch Modi identity is diluted in this process.

He may be first amongst equals at the state level. One has to prevent oneself from committing the fallacy that what may be applicable at particular shall apply to the general at large. Today India is way much heterogeneous than ever before. Coalition bargaining is a tough game. The brand Modi is yet to test the taste of the time- vis-à-vis other regional steadfast like Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu, or match up to the likes of resolute allies like Akali Dal in Punjab, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra to be the face of the government. There are states like Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, North east where his aura of the urban rising Gujarat may not cut the ice, owing to differences in customs, terrain amongst others.

In the limited way that one saw Modi as the face of the main opposition party in India, the analysis is far from away from giving him brownie points. He has been using a ‘pick and choose’ approach which may not work now. For instance, at the time when Uttar Pradesh state elections needed a leader, he did not campaign. In states like Himachal Pradesh where he was at front, the party had to concede to defeat. In recent Gujarat assembly elections also, there was increase in vote percentage share for the Congress.

So, as the electoral battle lines are being drawn, let us sit back to chalk out the errors of judgement in this anointment.

[Dr. Amna Mirza is Assistant Professor at University of Delhi. She can be contacted at amnamirza2002@gmail.com]

Uttarakhand Calamity: Maulana Mahmood Madani asks Muslims to donate to Prime Minister's Relief Fund

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

• Jamiat Ulama donate Rs. 2 Lakh to Uttarakhand CM Fund
• Relief camp near Jolly Grant airport for the rescued people

IMO News Service

New Delhi: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, the largest Indian Muslim organization, while expressing shock at the calamitous flash flood and landslides in Utrakhand that killed a large number of people and swept away property worth crores of rupees, said that it has been making extensive efforts in its own way to provide quick relief and humanitarian aids to the evacuated victims since the day one. It first organized camp at Haridwar railway station where the victims were given food materials and medical help.

At present, JUH state Unit at the directive of Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, is holding relief camp at Jolly Grant Airport where the victims are being served packed food, biscuits, mineral water etc. Jamiat relief team including Dr. Islamuddin, President, JUH Utrakhand Unit, Maulana Altaf, General Secretary, state unit, etc are working all through the day and night for providing relief and other necessary materials to those who visit the camp.

Besides, the JUH Utrakhand Unit has donated to the Chief Minister Flood Relief Fund through District Magistrate of Haridwar.

Jamiat is also planning to provide relief and rehabilitation for the affected villages of the hillside. JUH relief team will start relief work among them once the permission is granted.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani, while reiterating that JUH is standing with all those who are facing harrowing times, has asked the philanthropists within the Muslim community for donation to the Prime Minister Relief Fund to support the victims who have suffered widespread devastation.

AMU is again leading the educational development of Muslims throughout India

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , ,

A tribute on the occasion of the Federation of Aligarh Alumni Association's XII Annual Convention in Houston, USA (June 28-30)

By Kaleem Kawaja

The XII Annual Convention of the Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations (FAAA) in USA is being held at the Crowne Plaza - Houston River Oaks hotel in Houston, on June 28-30, 2013. The convention seeks to bring together a diverse cross-section of Aligarh Muslim University Alumni, various alumni associations and well-wishers of AMU to discuss issues related to educational, literary and social needs of the Indian Muslim and AMU community.

The theme of the 2013 convention is "New Generation Alumni & Aligarh Movement" and will be addressed by eminent personalities. Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah (Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University) will be the Chief Guest and Hon. P. Harish, Consul General of India (Houston) will be the Guest of Honor on this occasion.

On this occasion it is pertinent to reminisce AMU’s growth over more than a century from the small Mohammadan Anglo Oriental School to one of India’s premier universities. The modern history of the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent after the end of the 600-year-long Muslim ruling era in 1857, and their emancipation by acquiring modern education starting in late 19th Century represents a very courageous turning point for the Indian nation.

The widespread British suppression and degrading of Muslims of all classes following the failure of the 1857 revolution was savage and impacted all classes of Muslims. However, in the late 19th Century a few Muslim leaders across the country embarked on a path to emancipate the Muslim community through modern education by building modern Muslim educational institutions. One of them who succeeded brilliantly is Sir Syed Ahmad Khan of Aligarh Muslim University.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan built the Mohammadan Anglo Oriental School and College in Aligarh in 1874, where he introduced curriculum from the prominent universities of Britain like Oxford and Cambridge and employed British teachers to teach at the school. Today over a hundred years later the initiative in Aligarh has blossomed into the large and internationally renowned Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

After 1947 AMU suffered grievous discrimination for about a quarter century. Thus in post-independence India AMU became much more than a Muslim university; it became a symbol of the middleclass Muslims and a beacon of hope for the emancipation of the community.

Gradually over the years as the political parties and forces have realized the importance of Muslims as an integral part of India, AMU is again being looked upon by successive governments and parties in power as one of the major avenues through whom the Muslim community should be approached.

In the last several decades the educational backwardness of Indian Muslims and its contribution to the overall socioeconomic backwardness of the community has become an open gnawing wound. The 2007 Justice Sachar Committee report on this subject has put the government's responsibility to bring educational empowerment of the Muslim community on the front burner. It is this realization that led the government to plan the building of several higher educational colleges for Muslims in various Muslim concentration districts in the country that could grow in due course of time into Muslim universities, as recommended by the Sachar Committee.

However, the government faced a major problem that the Indian constitution prohibits building such facilities for only one religious community. That is when they thought of expanding an existing Muslim university by building its remote centers across the country. They had only two universities to choose from; AMU and Jamia Milia Islamia. AMU being far more well established with a well established system of instruction, curriculum, research, academic management, residential facilities for students, large colleges of Medicine, Engineering, Law, Business Management, Science etc. became the natural choice.

With the planned establishment of five AMU centers of higher education in places far away from Aligarh, two of which are now operating in Murshidabad (West Bengal) and Mallapuram (Kerala), and the third Center is in development in Kishanganj (Bihar), AMU is being transformed from being a single university for Muslims into a university system for Indian Muslims.

While AMU does not have a reservation for Muslim students it does have a reservation for "internal students". That means preferential admission of AMU's own students to its professional and higher science colleges. Since the dominant culture and ethos of AMU is Muslim-centric most students at higher secondary level where students are relatively young tend to be Muslims. That makes the internal student reservation an indirect reservation for Muslims.

This system of "internal student’s quota" has been upheld by the Courts as being legal, as under Article 30 of the Indian Constitution minorities are allowed to set up their own systems of management. Also this is not a reservation for Muslims as anyone is allowed to become an internal student at AMU. By virtue of being centers of AMU, the internal student reservation system can be easily extended to its remote Centers without infringing any laws of the nation. Thus the government is able to directly fund the establishment of the AMU remote centers.

The plan includes for the five AMU Centers to grow under the administration at AMU, Aligarh, transferring academic management knowhow, management of teaching and student bodies, curriculum etc from AMU to its remote centers. The plan at this time is to make the remote AMU centers soon become their own Muslim universities with assistance from the Government’s Minorities Ministry. Since all AMU remote centers are being built in heavy Muslim concentration districts it is natural that it will spread higher education in the educationally backward Muslim community. That will bring empowerment and socio-economic growth to the backward Muslim community all over the country in due course of time.

Just as in the pre-1947 era AMU was a leader of higher education for Muslims in the Indian subcontinent and Muslims came from all over the country to study there, today AMU is again becoming the leader, leading the resurgence of higher education in the backward Muslim community all over the country, from West Bengal to Kerala. In the process AMU is also on the path to lead the socio-economic emancipation of the depressed Muslim community on an all-India basis.

Indian Muslims and alumnus of AMU have enthusiastically welcomed this initiative. More than anything AMU is responding to the challenge that the extraordinary educational backwardness of the Indian Muslim community represents, and is leading the path forward to the uplift of the entire Indian Muslim community.

The expansion of the AMU umbrella over the entire country also represents the fulfillment of the vision of the century old Aligarh Movement and of the founders of AMU who saw AMU's future not just as one college but as a catalyst for the establishment of clones of AMU in Muslim communities throughout the country that will emancipate the entire community. Just as the AMU anthem says, “The cloud that emanates from AMU; that cloud will shower its blessings over the entire community”.

[Kaleem Kawaja, a community activist based at Washington D.C., can be reached on kaleemkawaja@gmail.com]

Litigant’s interest is still supreme in India: Hussain

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , ,

By Muhammad Mujahid Syed

Jeddah: Former Additional Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh (UP) Syed Hussain said the litigant’s interest is still supreme in India, while highlighting the court’s lead role in the politics-dominant state.

Uttar Pradesh, one of the most populace states in north India, has also played a key role in Indian politics.

Hussain, while speaking to Saudi Gazette, the courts role as an impartial facilitator is accepted by both the majority and minority communities and use it as a recourse for succor.

He cited the example of the case of Varun Gandhi’s hate speech against Muslims in Pilibhit, which was dealt with fairly by the courts but was muddled by politics.

“When former Chief Minister of UP Mayawati was warned by her party men that any bold stand in Varun’s case would cost Bahujan Samaj Party many assembly seats she didn’t care for the consequences and took a serious note of the speech.

“She instructed officials that no one should be allowed to use the podium for Muslim-bashing, hate-mongering and breaking constitutional norms. After details of the speech appeared in the newspapers, Mayawati asked for the recorded CD of the speech and instructed the district administration to file a suit against Varun.

“The FIR was lodged and Indian Penal Code Article 153A was implemented against Varun, who was charged for provoking one community against another and disturbing communal harmony. Varun was arrested and sent to jail.

“Justice Murtuza of Allahabad High Court rejected Varun Gandhi’s bail quoting many offensive excerpts from this speech. Varun got bail from the Supreme Court due to the grounds of his election campaign,” said Hussain.

Hussain was born in Madarpur, District Faizabad (Ambedkar Nagar) in 1952 but received his education in Lucknow. He, a holder of B.Sc. from the Christian College and LLB and LLM from Lucknow University, was the Additional Advocate General in the Mayawati government and now is a senior lawyer of civil side constitutional matters, service matters and criminal cases.

In his interview, as a law expert, he tackled the matters that are of immense importance for the rule of law. According to him “hate speech” is a major offense, if not checked, could spread like wildfire and can ruin a nation’s fabric.

Varun Gandhi’s case would have been a lesson for irresponsible politicians that poison the minds of innocent people for their political interest and damage the nation’s secular mosaic. But it was not so.

Politics in UP proved dominant as Mulayam Singh paved the way for his release by directing the district administration to abolish the lawsuit. As a result, in the case 28 government witnesses including ADM, City Magistrate, SDM and many police officers were pressurized to hold their witness account. The witnesses turned hostile and due to lack of proof, Varun Gandhi was released.

In the second case 82 witnesses did not go to the court against him and after three days he was released.

Asad Ahmad, an advocate, filed an individual appeal against this judgment. In the meantime due to public pressure, Akhilesh Yadav’s government too filed an appeal in the court and it was suggested to the court to refuse Assad’s appeal since UP government had filed an appeal.

But Assad expressed his fear that if his appeal was rejected the UP government withdrew its appeal thereafter, and requested the court to attach his appeal with the UP government’s plea.

“These are the intricacies of the law,” Hussain said, as he explained that law and politics sometimes go hand in hand.

He remained optimistic that the legal branch of the system would play its role clearly and cleanly and said that if the government does not play with the law the Indian judicial system could provide justice to everyone.

While answering on the custodial death of Khalid Mujahid, Hussain accepted that Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasimi were arrested on false charges of terrorism in the time of Mayawati’s government but he added that when Mayawati was informed of the fact that these two were innocent Mayawati set up the R.D. Nimesh Commission.

Later on the Nimesh Commission in its report highlighted in these words, “The arrest of Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasimi with objectionable items in the morning of 22nd Dec. 2007 in Barabanki looks doubtful and the statements of the witnesses of the prosecution cannot be believed fully,” said the commission in its report.

The commission recommended legal action against the officers who implicated the duo in the case. “Therefore, it is recommended that the officers and staff who played key role in the conspiracy and thus violated the laws should be identified and legal actions should be taken against them.”

The Akhilesh government should have produced commission’s report in U.P. Assembly and it should make public its action taken report in this regard, Hussain said. Instead of taking concrete steps the government is still silent.

According to him “the whole exercise of the investigation of the custodial death of Khalid Mujahid is a futile exercise because the chief minister in his statement had already declared that Khalid had died due to illness.”

He said, “If Khalid Mujahid was so sick the government could have asked for relief from the court.” The application for the release of Khalid Mujahid was lodged under public pressure and it did not meet the legal standard that was required in such cases. Such half-hearted moves only gave wrong signals to the officers involved in the investigation.

He said the Muslim population in UP is not 18 percent of the total population as it’s shown in government statistics but around 24 percent, approximately 50 million. Muslims in UP can be compared with the concentrated Muslim population of Indonesia or any other Muslim-majority country.

In India they can be called not minority but the second largest majority. Muslims were lagging behind for years but he observes that the “Muslims have overcome many difficulties and self-employment has given them a respectable place and to some extent prosperity also; and that resulted in educational progress. During the last two decades Uttar Pradesh Muslims have progressed and now are demanding their democratic rights.

They have come out of the shadow of Meerut-Maliyana massacre, the Babri Mosque demolition tragedy and Gujarat massacre. The Sachar Committee Report and the Rang Nath Commission report had not only highlighted the pathetic condition of the Indian Muslims but also had provided a wake-up call for the Muslims.

“All the parties have used them as vote banks and have done nothing for them. Muslims have least representation in government services so they are trying hard to make up their loss by engaging themselves in self-employment and private sector,” he added.

“During the 18-month Samajwadi government rule in UP the Muslims have seen riots in Kosi Kalan, Bareilly and Faizabad. There were 27 big and small communal riots but the fear-psychosis can do no harm to them and Muslims have proven capable of facing adversities,” he asserted.

“The Muslim backward class that falls in the OBC category should be given 9 percent of the 27 percent but since the quota is not separate the whole benefit goes to the non-Muslim OBC. If the quota is separated according to the ratio of the Muslim population it can change backward Muslim’s condition but the government is providing only lip-service. Well-placed Muslims in Akhilesh government, who are aware of this problem, should come ahead and help in this regard,” he said.

Hussain condemned the attack on Muslim lawyers and said, “Muslim lawyers like any other Indian lawyer have every right to practice and defend innocent Muslims that are victim of the false terrorism charges. If the lawyer community gets divided on the basis of religion it will be the blackest day for glorious Indian secularism and democracy that we are proud of.”

He was all praise for the Kingdom’s grace period to the illegals and advised Indians to correct their status before the July 3 deadline.

(Courtesy: Saudi Gazette)

Modi's youth conclave in Gandhinagar includes Islamic scholars

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

By DP Bhattacharya

Gandhinagar: As the BJP's campaign for 2014 election is rearing to gain momentum, the chairman of the campaign committee has initiated the laboratory test for the juxtaposition of development and inclusiveness.

A Youth Conclave involving strictly invited youth from all over the country has been scheduled for Saturday at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. What makes the convention significant is the fact that out of 200 invited guests, around 30 are from the minority community, including some of the eminent Islamic scholars.

The programme is also being attended by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, who along with Narendra Modi will participate in interactive sessions with the youth.

"The people who have been invited are below 45 years of age and well settled professionals from all over the country," said an organiser of the event. The event which is being called Young Indian Leaders Conclave will deliberate upon "how Government and business can change to provide better opportunities for Indian youth", said the organiser.

"The guests will include Muslim youths from Kashmir, Hyderabad, Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai, Lakshadweep apart from Ahmedabad," said prominent industrialist Zafar Sareswala, who has been involved with the organisation of the event. "Further there would be eminent young Islamic Scholars like Mufti Aijaz Arshad from Darul Ulum Deoband and Mufti Mubin Madni, a graduate on Islamic Jurisprudence from Madina University, Saudi Arabia," he added.

The event will also be addressed by Dr. Syed Zafar Mehmood, President, Zakat Foundation of India on the subject of "Ek Bharat".

"There has been overwhelming response to this event and I have never seen such participation of Muslims in events of this nature before," he added.

It may be mentioned here that BJP is now all set to release a vision document for minorities to woo Muslims ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and the cyber campaign mangers of Narendra Modi are also gearing up to unleash a blitzkrieg on the internet highlighting the achievements of Narendra Modi governments in bettering the lives of Muslims in Gujarat.

In keeping with the tune of the proposed vision document, Sareswala said that the event de-facto is an endeavour to bring the Muslims into the mainstream. "This is a good start,' he said. "Muslims also need to be a part of the mainstream and this is a step in that direction," he added.

The event would have Modi interact with the youth directly and unveil his vision for development, said an organizer adding that Modi will be delivering his address on how to create "Shrestha Bharat" for Indian youth.

(Courtesy: India Today)

Kerala govt modifies circular on Muslim Wedding Age

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

Thiruvananthapuram: Faced with severe criticism, Congress-led UDF government in Kerala today modified its controversial circular issued to legalise marriages of Muslim women in age group of 16 to 18 and men below 21, making it clear that the order will not have prospective effect.

The new circular issued by the Local Self-Government department clarified the marriages of women in the age of 16 to 18 and men under 21 took place till June 27 would be valid but the weddings of women below 18 and men 21 from today onwards would be invalid.

The earlier circular was not meant for any exemption for new marriages. It was only for regularising marriages of men under 21 years and girls below 18 but over 16 that had already been solemnised, it was stated.

The state cabinet, which had met on June 26, decided to have a re-look at the circular as it felt that the order's true intent had been "misunderstood" and "misinterpreted".

The government also made it clear that child marriage would not in any way be encouraged and strict action would be taken in such cases as per law.

The earlier circular authorised civic authorities to legally register the marriage of Muslim women above 16 years of age.

Left parties and their women and youth outfits have come out strongly against the circular, alleging it was meant to reduce the marriage age by circumventing legislations passed by Parliament and the orders of Supreme Court on the matter.

The department had justified the circular on the ground it was meant to overcome difficulties posed to Muslim couples already married in getting passports and other documents for migration to foreign countries for work.

The circular assumed a political dimension as Local Self Governance department is under Indian Union Muslim League, the second largest partner in the ruling coalition led by Congress.

(Courtesy: Outlook)

Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath organizes blood donation campaign in Riyadh

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Riyadh: Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath (TNTJ), a social organization based in South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, recently organized a blood donation camp at KFMC Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

The Riyadh division of TNTJ teamed up again with King Fahad Medical City Hospital (KFMC) and organized a major blood donation campaign at KFMC Blood bank in Riyadh on 28th June 2013. Almost 125 liters of blood was collected from around 283 donors, while a large number of expatriates mostly from Tamil speaking community from India pledged to donate on a regular basis.

Explaining the purpose of such a campaign, Mohamed Maheen, Spokesperson of this campaign for TNTJ, said that a good number of Umrah pilgrims who suddenly fall ill or meet with accidents require blood and this contribution will go long way in helping such section of the pilgrims. Arrangements will be made with the hospital to dispatch the collection to be sent to blood banks in Makkah.

Riyadh TNTJ is well known in hospital circles not only for conducting campaigns but also for its frequent blood donations on urgent basis.

Last week, Riyadh province TNTJ has conducted a mobile blood donation campaign teaming up with Olayya branch of TNTJ for five days where around 107 units of blood were donated by voluntary donors of various nationalities including Saudis.

"This is 24th such blood drive of this nature for Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath (TNTJ) - Riyadh province. Nearly 333 donors participated in previous Hajj campaign which held last year," said Abdur Rahman Navlak, Secretary TNTJ Riyadh. “The noble act of donating blood will not only give a new lease of life to many, it also heightens our common sense of social responsibility by serving the humanitarian and social needs of our local communities,” he added.

The group maintains to be the number one organization in blood donation in Tamil Nadu and most of the GCC countries. Tamil Nadu Government has awarded a number of awards appreciating its social concern to serve humanity.

Pakistan to follow UP's formula for polio eradication

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

By Shailvee Sharda

Lucknow: Though India is quite close to being declared a polio-free country, the threat of the disease looms large as the next door neighbor Pakistan is still reeling with it. In fact the nature of problems being faced by vaccinators and health officials in Pakistan is more or less the same. And so, Muslim clerics from Uttar Pradesh, who played a crucial role in pulse polio awareness in the state, are now all set to help Pakistan combat the challenge.

Under the aegis of Muslim Ulama Committee, the clerics have offered to visit Pakistan and share the Indian experience to help their counterparts in Pakistan convince the people to let the volunteers administer anti polio vaccine. The rotary international has planned the entire thing. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of Rotary International's Polio Plus Committee held last month. The decisions became loud and clear with the social sector organization formally offering help to Pakistan. Stating that health officials in Pakistan are keen to follow UP's formula for polio eradication, member of Rotary's national committee for anti-polio advocacy and social mobilization, Ajay Saxena said, "after clearance from Bob Scott, chairman Rotary International, our counterparts in Pakistan have decided to adopt UP's formula for polio eradication through community mobilization."

He informed that community mobilization effort undertaken in UP was unique. "A committee was formed at the state, divisional and district level to spread the message. The committee had representation from all sects — such as Deoband, Bareilly, Shia and Sunni — of the Muslim community. The composition of the committee gave it a universal colour which left no room for any further argument. The strong structure helped the committee combat individual challenges at micro level," said Saxena. He added that till now, effort by volunteers in Pakistan was fragmented.

Rotarians believe that the helping hand from UP can do wonders for Pakistan which has lost several polio volunteers to resistance by people after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Citing Aziz Menon, a senior Rotary functionary in Pakistan, Saxena said, "People governed by the Taliban believe that a house to house polio volunteer informed the American spies about the location of Laden which led to his killing. Then, some of the residents also believe that volunteers are working at the behest of the American government to control their population. Considering the mistrust of the people, the experience from Uttar Pradesh can help the implementing agency win over the confidence of the people."

Regarding the experience in UP, member of the Muslim Ulama Committee, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali said, "Except for the laden story, polio volunteers in UP got a chance to hear every thing else. The fear of population stabilization and boys turning impotent were the most common ones. We actually went to the fields and gave public speech to convince the people. We administered the polio drops from our own hands to prove that there was nothing wrong in our deed." On why can't clerics in Pakistan undertake the same effort, the Maulana said, "the fear of losing life has not let them take the initiative. Also, many of the members in the Ulama Committee have an international appeal."

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

Pakistani leaders demand Musharraf trial from October 1999

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

By Abbas Kassar

Hyderabad (Pakistan): The newly-elected Pakistan government headed by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has made announcement in parliament to initiate action against former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf under high treason.The people in parliament, media and civil society have hailed this announcement. Even those mediapersons and anchors who had supported General Musharraf in imposing army rule in the country on 12 October 1999 toppling the then elected government headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are now backing Musharraf's trial. It may be recalled that Nawaz Sharif was first sent to jail and then under a deal sent to Saudi Arabia where he passed 8 long years in exile.

Apart from the case of high treason, Mushraf has also been indicted in two cases of murder. One case is related to assasination of former Prime Minister Ms. Benazir Bhutto, who was killed on 27 December 2007 at Rawalpindi at same place where first Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated. Both the above cases are being heard in anti-terrorist courts.

However, the government instead of initiating case of high treason under article of constitution for deposing elected govt on 12 October has taken step against Musharraf for his declaration of emergency on 3 November under which judges of superior courts were detained in their homes for 18 months.

The leaders of various political parties including Syed Khurshid Shah of Pakistan Peoples Party and the leader of opposition in national parliament, Maulana Fazal Rehman Amir Jamiat Ulema Islam, Makhdoom Shah Muhammad Qureshi of Tehrik Insaf and others while making speeches in parliament demanded Mushraf trial from Oct 1999. According to them, the main crime was of toppling elected government and parliament and imposing emergency was lesser crime. Ms. Asma Jehangir leader of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also demanded Musharraf trial from 1999. Farooq Sattar MNA of Mutehida Qaumi Movement demanded in parliament that all past army dictators should also be tried since 1956 when General Ghulam Muhammad had imposed Martial Law in Pakistan for the first time. It may be noted that PPP government during past five years did not bother to bring Musharraf to book, but offered him farewell with guard of honor. The caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso also avoided to ask court to try Musharraf.

Now the brunt of burden has been thrown on shoulders of government of Pakistan Muslim League headed by Mian Nawaz Sharif that also at a time when party has hardly been in government since last only 3 weeks and also when the government has formed National Security Council comprising both civilian and military leaderhip in it with military having upper hand.

Ahmed Raza Qasuri, the lawyer of Musharraf, has said he would submit the list of 527 persons who collaborated and abetted with Gen. Musharraf in imposing army rule in the country. He has also said that he would submit this list in Supreme Court to try all these as co accused with Musharraf. He said that the Corps Commanders in 1999 who all endorsed Martial Law of Gen. Musharraf, the parliamentarians who passed 17th amendment in constitution to indemnify army action and Supreme Court judges who validated his action, all should be tried with him.

However it seems to be very difficult to believe that the army would not react on trial of their former chief. The proceedings seems to be lingering on until the present army chief General Pervez Kiyani, President Asif Zardari and Chief Justice Iftikhar Chowhdry (who are all to retire before the end of 2013) are replaced. The proceedings under high treason against General Mushraf seems to be no more than lip service and to befool the people who are interested in two square meals and end of power loadshedding that has reached 18 hours out of 24 hours. They want the end of largescale unemployment and price hike. They want elimination of terrorism that has been eroding the Pakistani society from within.They want safety of their lives, properties and honor.

[Abbas Kassar is a Jounalist in Hyderabad, Pakistan and presently working as bureau chief of daily Messenger Karachi and Lahore Times (online) and is a member of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and European Journalism Center. He can be reached at kassar_hyd@yahoo.com or on his phone at 92 3453585137]

Should amnesty be extended in Saudi Arabia?

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

The issue of illegal workers is an emotional issue in Saudi Arabia, but the logistical challenges to addressing the problem cannot be ignored

By Tariq A.Al Maeena

There’s an unmistakable buzz in the air. In less than a week, Saudi Arabia’s amnesty for expatriate workers to correct their residency status will expire. On July 3, a few million of those foreigners whose papers have not been corrected to reflect their true status of employment will have to make plans to leave the country.

The Asian expatriate workforce is the most affected by the crackdown on labour by the Saudi authorities, and their relatives in neighbouring Gulf countries are following the events in the country very carefully. Asian diplomatic missions are feverishly appealing for an extension to the amnesty period to allow those in the process of correcting their papers a chance to do so. Some missions have organised job fairs to facilitate direct recruiting by companies seeking labour.

Diplomats have also cited a number of mitigating factors in their appeal. These include the unexpected large number of foreigners living in the country on illegal status, the diverse group of nationalities, the lack of preparation by correction authorities to deal with such large numbers, the massive crowds camped at these severely understaffed offices, and the Ramadan and the Umrah season that would tax many already overworked government departments with extra duties.

In the appeal, most requested an extension until the end of the year as a reasonable amount of time to allow residency status corrections, considering that the annual Haj pilgrimage is not far away. Whether these voices will be heard is not yet known. The decision to grant the extension was taken by the Saudi king and it would take no less an authority to extend it.

Saudis have mixed feelings to calls for extending the amnesty period. Many support such a move, while others feel it the kingdom should stick to the July 3 deadline.

One Saudi observed: “Pressure is mounting on our generation to take up jobs monopolised by foreign manpower. These pressures are based on a simple calculation: 600,000 unemployed Saudis against seven million foreigners working in the kingdom. This problem could be solved in a matter of few months by deporting a sufficient number of foreigners and replacing them with citizens after training and rehabilitation. This idea is workable and practical and will address a growing problem in our midst. An extension will only delay the process.”

A Saudi teacher said: “What extension? How can we then ask our youth to take any available job currently held by the unskilled and semi-skilled expatriate workforce without protecting their self esteem from our own society when they take menial jobs that are currently being occupied by the foreigner? They should be given the respect they deserve and the government must appreciate their service by facilitating and prioritising loans and housing projects for them first. Only when this happens we can get Saudis to join the semi-skilled workforce and get rid of unemployment.”

A Saudi physician added: “Most of the illegal residency cases are often caused by those who fled the excessiveness of some Saudi sponsors who do not shy away from depriving the foreign workers of their legal rights. Such sponsors take advantage of the labour system and its regulations which grant them absolute powers over the foreign workers.

“The worker comes from his country only to find himself under the mercy of his sponsor who can force him to work in a job which he is not contracted to do, or ask him to work longer hours, or delay his salary or even prevent him from enjoying his annual vacation. For this reason, it would only be fair to extend the period and allow justice to such people.”

An official at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce said, “We are quite sure that the correction of the labour market will be of benefit to us all, but the difficulty for all of us is the short period of three months and the revised regulations concerning residency rules in the system. The grace period intends to correct faulty labour practices that have been prevalent for the last 30 years but to have them all corrected in such a short time would be very challenging. I support a move to extend it, and I trust that our benevolent King Abdullah [Bin Abdul Aziz] will come through.”

Mai, a Saudi housewife is against any extension.“The law is the law, and once it is declared it has to be fully implemented. Otherwise there would be no respect for future laws. We are burdened by illegal residents who contribute to rising crime and other social ills in our society. Something is now being done to amend that, and I do not want to see any changes to the effect. The amnesty period is until July 3, and I hope that the authorities maintain that deadline.”

So which sides of the fence will illegal residents would find themselves on after July 3? At the time of writing this column, it is a difficult call.

[Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@talmaeena]

(Courtesy: Gulf News)

OIC opens office in Brussels to strengthen cooperation with EU

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

Brussels: The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) , Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu , Tuesday officially opened the OIC Permanent Observer Mission to the European Union in Brussels saying the 57-member organization is keen to develop relations with the 27-member European bloc.

"There is also a growing and developing interest on the highest level in the EU to cooperate with the OIC," he told the gathering of diplomats and officials from Europe and the Muslim world present at the inaugural ceremony.

He noted that the OIC is the second-biggest organization after the United Nations having 57 members in four continents. Ihsanoglou said the OIC signed an agreement with the Belgian foreign ministry in 2011 to open the mission in Brussels and in November of the same they purchased the building in which the office is now located.

"I think our relations with the European Union on the different agenda items that we share will benefit all of us. There is a need for the cooperation between the Muslim world and Europe and the OIC as a collective voice of the Muslim world which stands for modernization and moderation will be the proper institution to deal with the EU," he stressed.

Hugues Mingarelli, Managing Director for North Africa and Middle East in the EU foreign service, known as the European External Action Service, said that EU High Representative Catherine Ashton was to be present at the opening of the office but she was held up at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

"There are a number of reasons why we should intensify our relations," he said noting that the two sides have to cooperate to promote "our common values for tolerance, mutual understanding, respect for belief and religion." "If we want to be effective in addressing a number of crises starting with the Syrian tragedy, we have to strengthen our cooperation because alone there is very little that we can do," he added.

"I hope the opening of this mission in Brussels will be a new milestone in the intensification of the relations between the OIC and the EU," stressed Mingarelli.

Francois de Kerchove, Director of the Belgian Foreign Minister's cabinet, expressed a "high degree of satisfaction" over the opening of the OIC office in Brussels.

He noted that the EU and OIC share two common objectives which are shared values and practical issues such as the ongoing tragedy in Syria.

"I hope the EU and the OIC together will be able to address these issues better, "he said and wished the OIC success in its cooperation with the EU and Belgium.

For his part, Saudi Ambassador to the EU and Belgium Faisal Trad told the Kuwait news agency (KUNA), "I believe this is a very important step in the recognition of the Islamic world." "I believe the opening of an OIC observer office in the heart of the EU is a plus to the great work that Islamic countries and the OIC are doing. I believe the relations between the Islamic world and Europe are very, very important," said Trad.

He noted that the population of the EU is about 450 million and the Muslim world population is 1.5 billion and therefore it is important that the EU and Belgium should have a better recognition and communication with the OIC, he added.

(Courtesy: KUNA)

Realizing the importance of moral education

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

By Md. Abdullah Al Helal

Moral is defined as right conduct, not only in our immediate social relations, but also in our dealings with our fellow citizens and with the whole of human race. It is based upon the possession of clear ideals as to what actions are right and what are wrong and the determination of our conduct by a constant reference to those ideals. People with a strong sense of morality generally are considered good or thoughtful types of people, with moral knowledge already ingrained from an early age. Some people, depending on how they are brought up, don't have a strong moral compass, and have no problem hurting people physically or emotionally. People lacking morals may say or do things to people that are cruel, calculating and uncalled for.

Moral education is becoming an increasingly popular topic among the conscious people in the recent periods. Media reports of increased violent juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, and suicide have caused many to declare a moral crisis in our nation. To sketch an example, Jean Piaget is among the first psychologists whose work remains directly relevant to contemporary theories of moral development. In his writing, he focused specifically on the moral lives of children, studying the way children play games in order to learn more about children's beliefs about right and wrong. According to Piaget, all development emerges from action; that is to say, individuals construct and reconstruct their knowledge of the world as a result of interactions with the environment. Based on his observations of children's application of rules when playing, Piaget determined that morality, too, could be considered a developmental process.

In fact, we are now faced with such kind of students who are growing up with the Internet age, compared with students in the traditional sense their vision is broader and more extensive access to information. Schools and teachers are no longer their only source of information and sources of influence. As a new generation of young people, they are no longer blind obedience to the authority of teachers and parents only rather they are assertive and independent learners which pose a serious challenge for the present day teachers. In this perspective, imparting moral education to the present day learners gains ground.

Doubtedless, moral education is the essential building block of our character and nature and the sum total of our character and our nature is what we all are as human beings. They are the very basis of distinction between a human being and other creatures, and also it has lifted our species above its origin. Moral education gives us a sense of understanding things and enabling us to choose between what is right and what is wrong. A man without moral values is like a lost ball in the high weeds.

Moral education is extremely important for overall well-being of a man which is produced from religious value and consisted of honesty, compassion, courage, modesty and forgiveness.

Honesty makes respectable. Compassion makes sympathetic to others. Courage gives the bravery to overcome life’s challenges. Modesty keeps focused and humble. Forgiveness allows to be emotionally stable because you don’t hold onto anger and resentment. Along with, effective moral education helps people to understand and apply values such as care, doing your best, fair go, freedom, trustworthiness, integrity, respect, responsibility, understanding, tolerance etc.

Moral education enables children and young people to explore the world’s major religions and views which are independent of religious belief and to consider the challenges posed by these beliefs and values in one hand and supports them in developing and reflecting upon their values and their capacity for moral judgment on others. This awareness and appreciation will assist in countering prejudice and intolerance as children and young people consider issues such as sectarianism and discrimination more broadly. The experience and outcomes of moral education lead children and young people far beyond the local context to national and international contexts.

In addition, moral education plays a major role in developing our young people’s understanding of citizenship. Active participation in the life of their school and local community, through moral education courses, can enable them to experience a sense of personal responsibility for themselves and others. Engaging with the beliefs, values and traditions of the world’s religions and philosophies can challenge young people to think more deeply about their own beliefs and values. This is an aspect of learning which can be further developed through effective teaching in moral education. It provides a wide range of learning experiences which promote links with the home and family life.

Apart from these, moral education is needed to strengthen social harmony, to encourage cultural development, to instill democratic qualities and to combat social evils and injustice. Moral education can strengthen peoples' self esteem, optimism and commitment to personal fulfillment. It is needed to give direction to one's social, moral and spiritual development, thus to bring quality to life.

From the above the discussion, we can consider moral education as an umbrella term for two quite different tasks and approaches. The first, which might better be called moral “socialization” or “training,” is the task of nurturing in children those virtues and values that make them good people. Of course, good people can make bad judgments; it's often not easy to know what is morally right. The second task of moral education is to provide people with the intellectual resources that enable them to make informed and responsible judgments about difficult matters of moral importance.

The cruel reality is that, our present system of education is geared towards producing technocrats, scientists of the highest caliber. But the development of morality is receiving less attention. Every year hundreds of thousands of students are churning out from our schools, colleges and universities who are experts in the fields of science, art, commerce or technology, teaching but apart from moral character. Despite being higher educated, involvement is found with corruption, illegal business and numerous anti social activities. Not only the government officials, but all educated communities whether doctor, engineer, teacher or others who have opportunity to be involved in corruption or gaining interest beyond illegal way, do not hesitate to do so. It proves that our existing education system is absolutely failed to create morality in a person. The fundamental cause is absence of moral education. We give them materialistic education, not moral one. But until and unless moral education is imparted to the students the country cannot expect true service from them.

If we pay attention to past history, it shows that, during the British regime colonial education is treated as the era of molding moral education. The British government introduced their education system for their self interest in the Indian sub continent. After framing the education system

Lord Macaulay, founder of the English education system, quoted, “being educated through this education system a person will appear as Indian in blood but English in taste, in opinions, words and intellects”. We are still following the colonial heritage of education. However, after liberation war, governments of Bangladesh adopted several education policies in different times where moral education got less attention ever. Furthermore, a small fraction of moral education of the big curriculum is taught in a slapdash fashion where the quality of the instructors is questionable. For the reason, people are being educated in clothing and overt expression but not in mind and soul as education is the harmonious development of body, mind and soul.

A meaningful education should target the total development of learner's personality. But in the present system emphasis has given to transmission of knowledge and cultivation of occupational skills. This has created a moral vacuum in the life of the individual. Inculcation of desirable values in the upcoming generation is felt essential for finding out answers to so many problems that humanity face today.

In fine, the most important assets of a nation are the citizens themselves. If the citizens are healthy, patriotic, honest, and sincere, the nation will progress at a much faster pace. For this reason, it is very essential to have moral education in schools, colleges and higher educational institutions, where moral education and liberal education cannot be isolated in single courses but should be integrated into the curriculum as a whole. Last but not least, along with liberal education, special concentration has to be paid on moral education too in order to get an enlighten citizen who will ensure bright future of Bangladesh and will uphold its positive image in the world arena.

[Md. Abdullah Al Helal is a senior lecturer in Social Work, Centre for General Education, Northern University Bangladesh. He can be contacted at helalabdullah@gmail.com]

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