LUCKNOW, January 27 (Pervez Bari): A community’s development and progress is generally is assessed by the parameter or factor of education it is armed with. The community which is highly educated and qualified and the illiterate population in its fold being at the minimal is considered to be as most advanced and well established in society.
The above view was expressed by noted Muslim cleric Maulana Mohammed Fazlurrahim Mujaddidi, chairman of SEE, (Strive for Eminence and Empowerment), which is a New Delhi-based organisation working for the educational uplift of Muslims. He delivering a lecture via a Power Point presentation on the theme of “Assessing Governmental Schemes for Minorities” in the training programmes organised for the Principals of minority managed educational Institutions in India at the Integral University in Lucknow (UP). A similar lecture was delivered sometime back at Hyderabad in Maulana Azad National Urdu University, (MANUU), by Maulana Mujaddidi on the same topic.
This programme was organized under the scheme of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (HRD Ministry, Govt. of India). The Short Term Course on Academic Leadership was organised by the Centre of Academic Leadership and Education Management of Aligarh Muslim University’s UGC HRD Centre.
Maulana Mujaddidi said that Muslims are the most backward community in terms of education and as such their backwardness is visible in all spheres of life, be it social or economic. While other communities have progressed in leaps and bounds but Muslim community has lagged behind in development. This stunning reality was revealed explicitly in the Sachchar Committee Report in 2006 which said Muslim community’s condition has slipped downwards unabatedly since India’s Independence and has nose-dived to be placed worse than the Dalits now.
Quoting Justice Ragunath Mishra Commission Report, the Maulana pointed out that students drop out in Muslim community which has 65.31 per cent presence at the Primary level is 3.6 per cent at the Graduation level with a dropout percentage plummets to 61.71. In between at the Secondary and Senior Secondary levels the presence is 10.96 per cent and 4.53 per cent only and the dropout rates being 54.35 per cent and 60.78 per cent respectively. This steep slide in standard of literacy rate is the root cause of all round backwardness among Muslims, he opined.
Maulana Mujaddidi said all over the world the norm is that wherever any section or group of society lags behind and becomes backward educationally, socially and economically as compared to other developed communities then the government of the day brings in special package to uplift and bring it at par with others so that it remains a part of the main stream. This is done because if any section remains insulated then the overall development of that country as a whole becomes victim of backwardness. As such without lifting Muslims from the morass of illiteracy and poverty India can never become a developed nation and its cherished desire to be a Super Power would remain a pipe dream, he underlined.
He said that Muslim children take admission in Primary schools in large numbers. However, their dropout rate being very high their number plunges abysmal depths at the graduation level. One of the main reasons for this is the financial health of Muslims being very poor. Citing figures from the Sachchar Committee Report, he said that 55 per cent of Muslims, whose wards are intellectually capable, can spend only about Rs.0-500/- per month on education; 35 per cent only Rs.501-1,000/- per month while only 10 per cent of them are in a position to shell out Rs.1,000 + per month on education pursuits. The average household MPCE (Monthly Per Capita Expenditure) is a proxy for income and reflects the living standard of a family.
In such a scenario it is very difficult for ordinary Muslims to arm their children with the jewel of knowledge. The 10 per cent bracket group can only get their wards admitted in institutes of higher learning but for this mindset is very much necessary which many a times is not there, he stated.
It may be noted here that Maulana Mujaddidi, who was a member of the Steering Committee of the Planning Commission, played a stellar role in the formulation of 12th Five-Year-Plan (2012-17) vis-à-vis the welfare of minorities, especially the Muslim community. As a result the recommendations submitted by his NGO SEE to the Planning Commission was accepted and included virtually verbatim in the 12th Five-Year-Plan draft.
In his about an hour lecture 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 said that the former UPA Government at the Centre in the light of the Sachchar Committee Report had initiated many schemes in the 12th Five-Year-Plan to undo the backwardness of Muslims in education and socio-economic field. These can be beneficial to Muslims only when they come forward in a big way to take advantage of it and keep a close eye to track it as to where it is going. If these are monitored well then the results could be much better. For example when the Scholarship Scheme for Minorities was monitored then in 2007 the amount of just Rs.2500 crore was distributed but in 2014 this amount increased to more than Rs.5, 000/- crores, he said.
He pointed out that the 11th Plan slogan was “Inclusive Growth” and the 12th Plan’s slogan is “More Inclusive Growth” which meant that the government had 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 centres 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. 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.
Maulana Mujaddidi, who is also Rector of Jamea-tul-Hidaya, a prominent Madrasa of the country in Jaipur advised: “Muslims should save their energy from sentimental and emotional issues, which often leads to violence. They must 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”.
He emphasised that the responsibilities of the Muslim community is to create more & more community-based NGOs as it has fewer numbers working for the empowerment and social upliftment of the community. Most of the Muslim NGOs are un-organized and lack infrastructure, 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, he added.
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 emphasised.
After the lecture Syed Mohammad Hilal, a prominent and a senior member of SEE, fielded questions from the participants of the Short Term Course about the lecture.
At the outset Prof. Parvaiz Talib of Department of Business Administration in AMU introduced Maulana Mujaddidi and threw light on his activities as a social activist and his great role in the formulation of the 12th Five-Year-Plan with regards to Minorities welfare schemes. He said that the Maulana is the first Muslim cleric in the country who has taken bold steps to impart modern education to his community children along with religious knowledge. He runs Jamea-tul-Hidaya Madrasa with vocational training and also English medium Imam Rabbani Senior School in Jaipur. Apart from this he is running a coaching institute known as Crescent Academy for IAS aspirants in New Delhi. In a nutshell he is a role model for the community to emulate, he added.
In the end Integral University Pro Vice Chancellor Prof. T. Usmani proposed a vote of thanks. (email@example.com)