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Veerappa Moily calls to liberate education from fetters of elitist class

Saturday April 16, 2011 09:49:00 AM, Pervez Bari,

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New Delhi: 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 Centre, (IICC).

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, she emphasized.

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 moaned.

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 this connection.

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.







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