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Muslims should intervene in development issues: Intellectuals

By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi: One of the main reasons for the backwardness of Muslims in India is they have till now invested all their energy on own safety; and haven’t taken interest in mainstream issues. It’s high time now the nation’s largest minority community concerned itself with development policies say for education, health and employment. This was the general opinion that emerged at a national meet of Muslim intellectuals here yesterday.

It’s high time the community became self-reliant and tried to intervene in policy matters. This was one of the prominent messages that came out on day one of the two-day (8-9 January) meeting of All India Muslim Think Tank (AIMTT) here at the convention center of Hamdard University. AIMTT is a Bangalore-based organization consisting of professionals like social scientists, academicians, social activists, doctors, engineers, advocates and industrialists who have come together to work for the socio-economic empowerment of the Muslim community.

QR Ilyas addressing the gathering

One of the prominent reasons for the backwardness of Muslim community has been that till now it has been investing its complete energy on its safety and security because of which it couldn’t work on developmental issues, said Qasim Rasool Ilyas, member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Indian Muslims have by and large limited themselves and are concerned only with a set of their own problems which they want the government to solve. The community doesn’t think the need to intervene in developmental policies in general, when those policies are getting conceptualized by the government; for instance government’s general policies on education, health, employment. The need of the hour is that, “we should talk about the general policies of the government, precisely because they equally affect us also,” Mr. Ilyas further said.

He stressed the need for the community to monitor not only the centre of policy makings but also the centers of policy implementation; for instance community leaders need to monitor the implementation of the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme at the level of implementation.

Other reason for the community’s backwardness is that it has consciously or unconsciously withdrawn from all the power centers. In order to be a part of the mainstream it needs to engage with these power centers, media for instance.

The AIMTT meeting is focused on how to alleviate the socio-economic backwardness and how to implement its Vision-2025. The Vision-2025 is a goal set by the AIMTT to achieve 100% education, employment and good health for all Muslims, to groom and produce community leaders, to remove discrimination at all levels by working as a pressure group and to ensure safety and security of the community in the country.

Audience during the think thank meeting

“Still we have very poor level of girls’ education which we can’t afford to ignore at any cost,” said Ayesha Wajid, chairman of the AIMTT monitoring committee on education while addressing the gathering. She proposed establishment of adult education centers across the country.

The gathering of intellectuals and scholars was also addressed by Syed Zafar Mahmood, president, Zakat Foundation of India, Sirajuddin Quraishi, president, India Islamic Cultural Center, and others.

The meeting will conclude on Sunday 9th January, when eminent Muslims will discuss problems of the community in India and their solution, and AIMTT state chapters will make a presentation on the implementation of India Muslim Vision-2025.