Union Law Minister Dr. Veerappa Moily has given a call for
liberating education which has been in the clutches of a handful
of the elite class for centuries who deprived the masses from
enjoying the fruits of knowledge. Education arms one with
knowledge which in turn brings prosperity along with peace and
tranquility in the society.
Dr. Moily, made the above call while delivering the inaugural
address at the three-day International Conference on “Towards
Knowledge, Development and Peace---Outlining Roadmaps for the
Future” which began on Friday evening to mark the start of the
year-long Silver Jubilee celebrations of think tank Institute of
Objective Studies, (IOS), here at the India Islamic Cultural
Dr. Moily in an emotional and charged manner said: “For ages and
ages together education has been in the cages covered by the veil
of secrecy by the so-called elitist class. For centuries knowledge
was not accessible to general people. This has now to be liberated
so that knowledge is available to each and every segment of
society and none remains left out still to wade in the morass of
illiteracy and poverty”.
He congratulated and commended IOS for completing 25 long years of
meaningful and eventful journey in the field of education and
social service bringing about awareness of its importance in the
masses. He said the knowledge agenda of IOS was a national agenda
provided every section of the society got a space.
“IOS should get success, and if it gets success, India would get
success,” declared Moily spiritedly. He further said that the
principle of universality could come only by democracy and
transparency, and people in a democracy were governors, not
governed. He also recalled: “When I was the Chief Minister of
Karnataka I proposed a quota for the entire Muslim community, it
was said there would be bloodshed. Then, I firmly declared I am
ready to shed my blood first.” He concluded democracy and
communalism could not exist together.
Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development Dr. (Mrs.)
D. Purandeswari averred nation should be bonded by cultural
internationalism instead of cultural nationalism. She said man had
been reduced to a status of a consumer.
Dr. (Mrs.) Purandeswari said: “if we are really serious about
peaceful and orderly development the galloping horses of humanity
which are at the moment being goaded and whipped to run as fast as
they could in order to win the heights of material success have to
be reined in by the collective assertion of an awakened humanity
which has a right to a danger free existence. A frightening aspect
in to-day’s growth scenario is the sad fact that man is nowhere in
the reckoning now. He has been pitiably reduced to the status of a
consumer; he is a consumer first and a consumer last”.
She said that at this period of history, in the 21st century, when
the process of globalization is becoming a reality, new road-maps
for the future have to be drawn up. These road-maps should reflect
the changing paradigms, aspirations, hopes and beliefs of the
entire humanity; covering the whole spectrum of human activities,
be it economic, social, cultural or political. Humanity should
grow up as a single people with a common destiny in a peaceful and
just global society which is waiting to be born, sooner or later,
India is a vast country consisting of people who represent
multifarious interests and background. In order to take the
country firmly on way to development, we have to ensure that such
development is inclusive, she opined.
She said that education is an indispensable component of human
resource development and is fundamental to informed decision
making, personal empowerment, and participation in the local and
global community. It is also necessary to carry forward the
national agenda and to contribute productively to a
knowledge-based society. It is therefore, an article of faith with
us and we must continue our endeavours with full vigour and
commitment, if we want to realize the ideal of abiding
international peace and amity which has so long proved illusory
for mankind to attain. The task is no doubt gigantic and
challenging, which requires sustained efforts on the part of all
of us, but the magnitude of the problem need not dampen our
spirit, she added.
Dr. (Mrs.) Purandeswari lamented that never before in human
history there came such a predicament when everything is being
measured in terms of per capita income or GDP or the relative
purchasing power or such other material considerations. This
preoccupation on the part of the twenty-first century man has
created a situation where family ties, inter personal, cultural,
ethical, and even religious and social relations have been
relegated to the background. Nobody to-day seems to be worried
about the manner in which all finer graces of human civilization
have ceased to receive priority attention from those who control
our lives. On the contrary the mighty tides of consumerism and its
mesmeric abilities are being whipped up to enslave the material
part of human character to ensure permanent dependence on, and
help the emergence of, new scenario of unlimited material growth,
She observed that societies must undergo transformation in a
direction that the elements of societies understand and practice
higher values of life. Education can only correct this evil.
Ignorance of the self has to be dispelled from the minds of the
children by providing them the right guidance to differentiate the
real from the transient. If the conscience of man is muddled, the
ropes of rules and ethics cannot tie him because the spirit of all
legality remains firmly grounded in the conscience of man. Only
education must aim at yielding honest and truthful individuals and
this is possible only through education being imparted to all and
sundry, she asserted.
Presiding over the inaugural function, former Supreme Court Chief
Justice A. M. Ahmadi said nation could not go forward without
knowledge, development and peace. He lauded IOS initiatives in
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, chairman IOS, while speaking on the
occasion said that somewhere along the way our young people are
given some moral education before they end up as medical,
engineering or management graduates. He said :“We have to be able
to put things in a moral perspective rather than functioning as
merely a data-storage or data processing system, or operating as a
pre-programmed robot. Islam puts human beings at the centre of
creation, calling humans “Ashraf-ul-Makhlooquat” (the best of
God’s creations) because of our capability to create a moral
order, not because we are clones of robots.”
Eminent sociologist Prof. A. R. Momin, Head Department of
Sociology & Anthropology, University of Bombay delivered keynote
address wherein he dwelt in detail the roadmaps for the future.
Prof. (Dr.) Vinaysheel Gautam, Founding Director IIM (K) and Prof.
& First Head of Management Studies IIT (Delhi), the guest speaker
said whatsoever IOS was doing was a remarkable mission to take the
Muslim community towards development and peace through knowledge
in particular and the country in general.
Six eminent personalities were felicitated on the occasion. They
were Mr. Sirajuddin Qureshi, president of India Islamic Cultural
Centre; Padamshree Prof. S. Zahoor Qasim of Antarctica fame; Prof.
Manzoor Ahmad (educationist); Maulana Abdullah Mughaisi, president
of All India Milli Council; Prof. (Dr.) Vinaysheel Gautam and Dr.
Asma Zehra, an eminent surgeon.
Prof. Z. M. Khan, Secretary General IOS, gave an introduction of
IOS journey to the guests. Earlier, Dr. John Dayal while welcoming
the guests said through discussions, seminars, research,
documentation and publications IOS has not only proved its
objectivity and credibility but had also gained the goodwill of
the academics not only the country but across the globe.
At the outset Maulana Abdullah Tariq recited verses from the holy
Quran to herald the opening of the International Conference. The
programme was conducted by Mr. Agha Sultani with aplomb.