“Education should produce socially responsible citizens beneficial for society,” opined Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. He was delivering the inaugural address of the students conference organised by Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) at Bandra Reclamation Grounds, Mumbai on November 25, marking the organisation’s 25th anniversary. The central theme of conference is “Redefining Education, Regaining Struggle, Renovating Society.”
“The major factor that today’s education system is lacking,” said the Maulana, “is the very aim and objective of education. All what students have in their minds is to make their life better and more enjoyable through education. This is the root cause of the pathetic immoral degradation in all spheres of life and society. SIO is the only students organisation in the country to inculcate the real objectives of life in students, training them in moral values and creating educational excellence in students,” added Maulana Umari.
“The sole purpose of education is to produce good citizens,” said Maulana Umri, “but this aim has been long overlooked in the so-called modern system of education. SIO reminds students and the youth of this very purpose of education and makes them aware that its aim is not merely to benefit oneself but the society at large.”
He further said that the education without moral principles is like a body without soul. He urged the students to make use of their student life.
‘During these few years decide the course of your life. If you waste them, the whole life will be wasted, and if you put these moments to constructive and fruitful efforts, the society will definitely benefit from your noble efforts,” said he.
Mr. Bishruddin Sharqi, President of SIO, presided over the function. Mr. Shaikh Mohd Shamil, President of Sri Lankan Islamic Students Movement and Mr. T.K. Ibrahim, Director Toronto Islamic Centre also addressed the conference.
A documentary CD on the history of SIO was released by Dr. Fazlur Rahman Faridi, a noted Islamic scholar and economist. Also present were all the former presidents, general secretaries and other dignitaries from various walks of life.
The central part of the conference was chaired by Dr. Abdul Haq Ansari, former Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. The introductory speech was given by Mr. Suhail K.K, Public Relations Secretary, SIO of India.
In his inaugural address, Mr. Ziauddin Siddiqui, Minister for Labour, Food and Civil Supplies of Maharashtra, said that the theme of the Students Conference is very timely and relevant. Along with the Urdu language studies in English are a must if we want to compete with the rest of the world. Education has become very commercial and educationists have become “barons or industrialists of education” and forgotten the noble cause of education.
In his speech Mr. P.A Inamdar congratulated all the previous office-bearers of SIO who made their earnest efforts to achieve the remarkable achievement in the last 25 years.
He advised the students to tackle the problems tactfully instead of emotionally. He further stressed that education with English medium should be promoted rather than Urdu medium especially the junior college and college education should be in English medium. We will have to march towards merit alone.
Dr. D.Y. Patil stressed the need for education in rural India especially those who are not in a position to go to school or college due to financial constraints.
In the Theme session, Mr. Sandeep Pandey, founder of Asha for Education, very boldly expressed that the present day education lacks humanitarian touch; nowadays more educated people have become more corrupt. “Education has been producing these people, whereas the main objectives of education should be to inculcate a deep sense of humanity in the students.”
Dr. Rakesh Basant, member of Sachar Committee, presented in brief the findings of Justice Sachar Committee and advised the participants to read this Sachar Committee Report. He appreciated that present-day Muslims are doing self introspection, which is a positive sign. He appealed to SIO to take up the issue of bringing the community in mainstream. He further opined that even though the sex ratio of Muslim men and women is good but the same is not translated into practice.
Mr. Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation said that college education has become so useless that we need to have ‘Quit University’. We do not want better Englishmen but better human beings. He questioned: Are we educating our children to become MBA for just selling Cola products?
The theme session was concluded with the presidential address by Dr. Abdul Haq Ansari, former Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
Prior to his address he inaugurated the students’ manifesto of SIO.
He clarified that we should understand our spiritual role as human beings and education should not be just education with the purpose to earning money. Our ideals should not be Bush or Modi instead of Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar. Our education should produce better human beings rather than mere graduates or post graduates. He further said that we are observing an extreme contrast: we are talking about becoming a super power but we have poor people who are starving and living on footpaths.
The last session opened with the address made by Mr. Nawab Malik, MLA and former Minister of Maharashtra. He said that there must be change in the present system of education by introducing moral values. But we are not able to bridge the gap between rich and poor. The rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer. Our education should create students who care for the poor. The student community is vulnerable and need government guidance for constructive work. They advised the students to promote and popularise the Islamic values of social justice.
Mr. T.K. Ibrahim from Toronto, Canada released the SIO Souvenir.
The Students Conference also adopted nine resolutions on the various issues confronting the community as well as the country.
In one resolution, SIO demanded that the culprits behind the recent bomb blasts in different cities of the country should be punished soon. SIO also demanded that no innocents should be mistreated in this regard.
In another resolution, SIO expressed great concerns over the recent development in Nandigram. “The development mania that evicts common people from their homeland and handing over all the resources of the country to MNCs should be controlled strictly,” it said.
SIO also demanded that Foreign Direct investment in the education sector should be strictly controlled. “A monitoring system is needed to check and control foreign institutions so that they won't influence the social, moral, political and economical spheres of India,” it said.
The central and state governments should stop the policies of withdrawing from the educational sector. SIO strongly demanded that at least 6% of GDP should be allocated for education.
SIO demanded that 27% OBC reservation in higher educational institutions should be strictly and immediately implemented. “SIO asks the Central Government to think seriously to introduce reservation for all Muslim students based on the findings of Sachar Committee Report.
In yet another resolution, SIO wanted the Central Government to bring a central legislation regarding professional education. “SIO asks the Govt to protect merit, social justice and minority rights in the same legislation,” it said.
SIO also demanded ban on campus politics implemented by certain state governments and high courts as it will lead to de-politicisation of campuses. “SIO strongly urges the govt to check the criminalisation of campus politics,” it said.
SIO urged the Central Government to withdraw from the proposed sex education programme that will lead to sexual anarchy and moral degradation. “SIO asks the government to reshape it family-oriented, and value-laden, if it is to be implemented.”
One more resolution demanded that proposals of Srikrishna Commission be implemented immediately. SIO also demanded that there should not be double standards in treating deferent sections of the society.