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Friday, December 18, 2009 07:13:57 PM, Aleem Faizee,

Mehrun is a small place in Jalgaon – an emerging Industrial city in North Maharashtra. For years, it remained an important place for Mehrunnisa, daughter of the Great Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb where she used to come for hunting. The place hence attributed as Mehrun now is the residing place for most of the 20% Muslim population in Jalgaon. And much like other Muslim dominated places of the country, Mehrun too lacked a good school. Realizing this, Abdul Karim Salar, Founder President of Iqra Education Society along with fellow founder members, especially A. Gaffar Malik started a Pre-Primary School here in 1986. The small school has now been converted into a giant Educational Hub having almost every stream that is in offing today.


After the Sachar Committee presented its Report, when most of the Muslims were showing a kind of helplessness, Karim Salar with his friends revived the hope among the Muslim masses in this area and propagated his mantra, loud and clear in his mind, to use whatever resources Muslims have today effectively for their revival while pressing the Government for the immediate implementation of the Sachar Report.

Leaving behind the dark memories of totally new form of atrocities against the Indian Muslims, one more year has passed and for them, the problems appear to be escalating by every passing day. Even worst, while the Government once again failed in doing anything concrete for the beleaguered community as anticipated at the backdrop of the Sachar Committee Report, the Anti-Muslim forces in India, day in and day out, are adopting new methods to subjugate the Muslims further. And the Muslims in India, though depressed and the danger from this section of the country looming large over them, began the year keeping all hopes once again in the Government and believing, it will ultimately realize its constitutional duties to provide, if not the better means for a better livelihood, the security and safety to whatever means they already have.


At the same time, rightly for the Muslims in India, a section of the community, though small in number, is taking lead in doing their own bit for the betterment of the community. These are the people like Sayyed Hamid and Abdul Karim Salar and their colleagues in their mission. When Sayyed Hamid was traveling across North India to make people aware of the Sachar Report, Karim Salar traveled all across North Maharashtra with his colleagues to do the same.


He condensed the Report, got it translated into Urdu and distributed it to the people. “Search for one acre of land in your village and arrange for half of the payment. We will pay the rest half and assist you in starting a school”, he urged at every village and paved the way for opening several secondary schools.


Considering that his approach and reading of the Sachar Committee Report, if followed properly, can work to the benefit of the Muslims in India, we spoke with Karim Salar in Jalgaon about his analysis of the Report and his own activities afterwards. The excerpts:


Sachar Report makes me feel proud of Indian Muslims

“Since we belong to North Maharashtra - already a backward area, we have seen people undergoing lot many things that are mentioned in the Sachar Committee Report”, Karim Salar says while his colleague Gaffar Malik nods in agreement. “Yet the Committee has done wonderful job. The responsibilities of the Government have in fact increased after its submission to the Prime Minister. But it is very unfortunate that the Government, instead of devising concrete proposals for the community is playing again with the same old tactics vis-à-vis the Muslims in India”, he adds.


“Nonetheless, does it mean we sit idle while waiting for the Government to do something for us?” he asks and then replies on his own, “It will be a mistake. The mistakes which we are repeating again and again since last many years. If we are really interested in working for the betterment of the community, we should analyze the Sachar Committee Report with a new angle. You do this and you will not only find some solutions but it will make you feel proud of the Indian Muslims.”


"Still, you won’t find any Indian Muslim in this Report, dumping the country because of the injustice. Despite the challenging conditions, they are part of the country. They are loyal to the nation."

A new angle indeed and he goes on to justify his approach, “The report has shown the Indian Muslims far behind at every level. Behind even the Dalits. It has admitted, the Muslims are facing the atrocities since many years. There is no job guarantee for them. Their Industrial Clusters are systematically being destroyed, during the riots and sometimes by other means. What’s more, we have seen the community being subjected to even genocide. Still, you won’t find any Indian Muslim in this Report, dumping the country because of the injustice. Despite the challenging conditions, they are part of the country. They are loyal to the nation. Sachar Report does not find the Indian Muslims in the list of the traitors. And this is what makes me feel proud of the Indian Muslims.”


'Government has failed not the Indian Muslims'

“The time has come to show to the world how the Indian Muslims are contributing for the country despite being at loggerheads for decade”, he asserts and then elaborates, “The Government is formulating various laws to combat the increasing cases of abortion and the deliberate killing of the female fetus in the womb. It has even resulted in gender imbalance. But fortunately for them and for the Government, there is no gender imbalance among Muslims. Even though they know it will be difficult for them to feed the newly born they are not into abortion killing. The death due to malnutrition that has become a challenge for the Government of late is almost zero among the Indian Muslims despite their poor economical conditions.”


“We should advise the Indian Muslims for observing total restraint so that the Anti-Muslim forces in the country don’t get any chance to incite communal violence."

“Even on the economical front”, Karim Salar says, “When they were denied the incentives and supports that the Government normally gives to others, instead of opting for unlawful means the Muslims in India chose to earn their livelihood by legitimate means using the industries which normally no body opts for”, he says adding, “And the Muslims, though in trades like scraps and waste materials, they are helping the Government in its campaign for eco-friendly ambiance by recycling the major chunk of the wastes in the country.”


“These facts reveal that the Sachar Committee report has in fact highlighted the failure of the successive Governments. Not the Muslims”, he asserts and says in a very clear term, “The Indian Muslims, despite all odds, are not only providing foods to their families but are also contributing for the nation as others are doing in the country.”


'Indian Muslims, morally very strong despite all odds'

“Economically, the Muslims India are very poor”, he says, “But morally, they are very strong. So strong that they cannot even think of sending their parents to the old-age homes, a trend spreading so fast in the country that the Government is proposing laws to combat even this.”


“Moreover”, he says, “We are not ashamed that the representation of our women is low in the jobs. In fact this is perfectly in line with our policy where we consider the male members of a family responsible for providing the bread and butter for their kin.”


'Awareness, Key for the Revival'

Describing that most of the Muslims are not even aware of the statistics mentioned in the Sacchar Committee Report, he says, “We should vigorously campaign for making the people aware of these statistics. Once this is done, I believe, the community has the potential of reviving on its own. Provided, of course, if the Government guarantees the safety and security of their establishments.”


“And on our parts”, he concludes, “We should advise the Indian Muslims for observing total restraint so that the Anti-Muslim forces in the country don’t get any chance to incite communal violence. We should remember that the riots are meant not only for the destruction of our properties and industrial establishments but they are also meant for making the Muslims an easy target for the police.”










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