Thursday, March 10, 2011

IndianMuslims’ Indifference & Indolent approach to life have made them Vulnerable PERMIM Screwed it up because in their Pursuit of Power and Ego Gratification

If you let this filth and evil,

you deserve to get screwed
(likely from the back after witnessing
the penchant for posterior talents)
People get the governance they deserve.
(so think wisely…)

Click for larger image
uan Hj Dr. Syed Ebrahim Mohd Esmail
• PERMIM President 2005 to current
PERMIM organization

PERMIM organization STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES MY FOOT• Strengthen PERMIM organization with qualified and committed mix of professional and business people

• Create a cooperative environment within the community that could promote and enhance PERMIM’s legitimacy and supremacy to represent the community

Muslims are drenched in poverty and illiteracy not due to lack of funds available in the community but it is the indifference and indolent approach to life coupled with ignorance which have made them vulnerable in society and open to many vices.

real qualified and committed mix of professionl are shut out

 FORMER MIER’s Ariff: 2010 will be a tougher and more challenging year get ready to out of job

Like most ideas, this one did not have a single genesis. I’ve been thinking, and to some extent writing, about feminism for many years and in many guises. The word itself is controversial, with some damning it as the force that destroyed the family and others defending it as the movement that freed a gender. It is one of those terms that starts simply and rapidly gets tangled: if you look around the world and think there are inequalities between the genders, and that those inequalities are not biological and are unfair, you are probably a feminist. And that’s where the arguments begin

But definitions are only useful for what they illuminate, and the language of feminism, like the languages of democracy or freedom, has often been used to obscure.
So much of the discourse around the West’s relationship with the Muslim world has been framed through the language of women.
It was around women that early Christian Europe framed its opposition to the pleasure palaces of the “Mohammedans”, the barely disguised yearning for the exoticism of the Orient. The role of women in Egyptian society was cited by Napoleon as a wedge through which to enter the country; was cited again as a justification for the Anglo-American invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan, and is regularly cited as apparent evidence of a lack of commitment to equal rights in Muslim communities.
Within the Muslim world, discourse around women’s roles and rights remains highly charged. As much as some point to the treatment of women in Europe as evidence of the vanishing of the West’s moral compass, it is also the case that, across much of the Muslim world, women’s dress has become a way to impose a religious vision upon the society, even as Muslim women use the veil to reclaim their own identities.
And, still, in too many countries, internal social and cultural wars are fought on the battleground of women’s bodies.
So the question of what counts as feminism, as liberation, in the Arab and Islamic worlds is complicated and intricate. To try and answer it, I am leaving London next week for Beirut, the first stop on a journey that will take me thousands of kilometres across Arab and Islamic lands, through Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and to the very edges of Indonesia.
Through interviews, experiences and research, I hope to come close to an answer, and I’ve been immensely privileged to be awarded a Churchill Fellowship, the living memorial to Britain’s wartime leader, to fund this exploration.
What do I hope to find? Not easy answers, for sure. Even the idea of what counts as liberation is mixed.
I have called the introductory chapter of the book I am writing about this journey “The caged and the saved”, reflecting the two ways people think of what the Muslim veil does.
In it, I tell an anecdote of encountering these contrasting attitudes in real life, when, walking around London with a friend, she asked me, of a woman wearing a Saudi abaya, “How can she think she is liberated when she dresses like that?” It occurred to me another woman might ask the same question about the women around her displaying acres of flesh.
Nor is there a clear dividing line between political and religious perspectives. Earlier this year in Morocco I interviewed Nadia Yassine, of the banned Islamist group Al Adl wal Ihsane. As much as she spoke the language of women’s rights and of female liberation, she was reluctant to be pigeonholed as a feminist in the western understanding of the term. Her perspective, she said, stemmed from her faith. The imam and the activist can sometimes reach the same conclusions.
Within the Muslim world, as within the West, the idea of what feminism is, where it comes from, how relevant it is, what form equality ought to take are real, live debates. They come to us in snatches: harassment of women on the streets of Cairo, the wearing of trousers in Sudan, unsegregated university campuses in Saudi Arabia, the burning of girls’ schools in Pakistan.
And threaded through these snatches are less-regular glimpses of clear successes: the leadership of women such as Queen Rania, Benazir Bhutto and Lubna Olayan. And there is the immense lived experience of millions of women, who assert their own independence daily through their work, relationships, devotion to their family and faith.
The Arab and Islamic worlds are going through a period of immense change and the ideology that holds nations and regions together is altering. The big –isms of the world – nationalism, capitalism, Islamism – affect women in each country differently.
The outward symbols of faith are obvious illustrations of this, but the framework of the society is equally important.
The professor in Tehran and the village-woman in Indonesia will not only dress differently, they may also have different conceptions of the relationship between men and women. I expect to meet those who espouse feminism from a purely secular perspective, and those who say that Islam has provided a clear manifesto for women’s rights.
So I am not setting out with preconceived notions. I don’t begin from the assumption that one way of living is better than another, nor do I go in with the assumption that what occurs to one person in one country is indicative of a nation or a faith. But I do think it is possible to delineate between ways of organising a society: that if you look closely enough at a society’s history and people, it is possible to make fine, sensitive judgements. Though I expect differences, I also hope for some common ground.
The Arab world is a complex place; nations of Arabic speakers who think they are one but act like they are many. It is a place that defies easy categorisation.
I have lived, travelled and reported across many Arab countries over many years, but there are still times when I come across something – an event, a conversation – that makes me think I have barely scratched the surface.
Such has been the case with my conversations about feminism: I’ve often understood the word in terms of equality of laws, education and employment. But it is astonishing how varied people’s perceptions are around the Middle East.
If that is the case with the Arab world, with all its many commonalities, imagine the complexity of the Islamic worlds that stretch across Asia and Africa. That’s the reason I have broadened the journey out to encompass the vast non-Arab Islamic world: the Shia customs of Iran, the South Asian experience in Pakistan and the newer Asian traditions in Indonesia.
The exploration of these places will be a key theme, because no idea lives in isolation; all are shaped by the experience of their societies. I want to go beyond a purely intellectual discussion to understand the lived experiences of women in these societies.
I admit there have been times these last few weeks, as I prepare to leave London and skim through old books on the subject, that I have wondered if it is perhaps an overwhelming one. I have been incredibly lucky so far to have friends and colleagues who have helped me get started – I know I will meet many more over the next few months. What I don’t know is if I will find any answers, or even if there are any: that’s why I am going

Thus, it is the responsibility of the elite in the Muslim Ummah, who have been blessed by the Almighty Allah in all respects, to come forward and help their co-religionist to fight the challenges of life spiritedly.

The above observations were made by Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood, president Zakat Foundation of India, (ZFI), while making a Power Point presentation in a workshop. The Delhi-based ZFI organized the 11th National Workshop for “Economic Empowerment of the Deprived through timely information and its utilization” here inBhopal on Tuesday at the Noor-us-Sabah Palace Hotel.

The purpose of the workshop was to create awareness among the participants about the welfare schemes launched by the governments of the day for the minorities and impart training as how to use the Right to Information, (RTI), Act to monitor the implementation of these schemes.

Along with Dr. Mahmood, the others who graced the dais included: Justice (Rtd.) Mr. Faizanuddin, Mr. Iftakhar Ahmad, MD of Bhopal Glue factory; Mr. Sikandar Hafeez Khan, chairman of Reliable Group of Industries; Mr. Nisar Ahmad Tamboli, a social activist from Maharashtra, Tariq Qamar, Head of the Monitoring Department of ZFI;  and Mr. Wasim Akhtar (IAS Retd.). 

Dr. Mahmood through his presentation impressed upon the participants that it is imperative on the elite class to devote their precious Time, Resources, Assets, Income and Love, which he abbreviated and coined as “TRAIL”, for others in the community who belong to the have-nots category to uplift their lot.  He quoted profusely the various Ayats from the Holy Qur’an, effectively interspersed with couplets of Allama Iqbal to suit the situation, to arouse the moral obligations of the participants to at least part away with one-third of their TRAIL for the needy who have not been fortunate enough to have two square meals a day in peace.

To drive home the point he quoted Ayat of the Holy Qur’an 2.219 which says give to others what is beyond your needs to emphasize on the participants that they have been blessed by Allah’s bounty both intellectually and materially as compared to a rickshaw or a cart puller who has to labour hard all day for his sustenance. So, the poor have right of their share in whatever we have and we are not supposed to hold it back. So, Islam says whatever we have extra than our own needs should be parted away for the poor in the community so that wealth circulates in the community for the benefit of the have-nots in the Ummah. Quoting another Ayat No. 5.8 from the Holy Qur’an: “Fastabiq-ul Khaeeraat” which means to vie with one another in good deeds, he tried to motivate and impress upon the participants the piety of their acts.

Dr. Mahmood, who was Officer on Special Duty with Sachar Committee, said it is very vital for the citizens to monitor the government’s welfare schemes to see that these are implemented in letter and spirit for the benefit of the minorities. He urged the participants to wake up from deep slumber and realize their responsibilities towards society. The RTI Act is a powerful tool now available with citizens to put pressure on the bureaucracy to implement the welfare schemes in fixed time frames without indulging in dilly-dallying tactics, he emphasized.

He moaned that in the Indian Civil Services, judiciary and government jobs only about 1 to 4.5 per cent Muslims presence are there. It is not due to any bias but lack of interests, attitude and approach shown by the community as only 0.5 per cent of the 13.4 per cent official Muslim population, according to 2001 Census data, take the examinations, he pointed out.

Dr. Mahmood revealed that Jain community which is a miniscule as compared to Muslims has collected 13 million dollars for preparing their youth to appear in the Civil Services examination. He said that if Muslims take up the challenge and exhort their youth in large numbers to prepare for these examinations such as IAS, IPS and other allied services then their ratio in the bureaucracy would increase. This in turn will upswing the affect on the overall improvement of the condition of the community. “It is the bureaucracy which plays a pivotal role in overseeing the implementation of national policy and resource allocation of the government”, he remarked.

He said ZFI is running Sir Syed Coaching Centre in New Delhi wherein it selects and sponsors the coaching of a limited number of ‘ZFI Fellows’, i.e. academically meritorious and financially deserving candidates with an interest in appearing for the highly competitive Civil Services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission of India (UPSC). The candidates are selected after an extensive application, test and interview process. They are encouraged to gain admission to premier coaching institutes of Delhi such as Vajiram, Synergy, Sri Ram, Ensemble, Interactions. Their fee is paid by ZFI directly to the institutes.

Now, ZFI intends to establish its own coaching centre in its own building for preparing 500 students every year for civil services and other competitive examinations for which funds are needed, he added.

The backwardness of Muslims economically and educationally is not due to lack of funds but the community’s virtual ignorance about the different welfare schemes run by the governments at the Centre and the state level. The Muslim Ummah fails to take advantage of these schemes as a result of which funds worth crores of rupees gets lapsed, he opined.

He said in order to instill awareness in the Muslim community ZFI has offered to establish a furnished reading room-cum-information centre having a computer with internet facilities in Masjids all over India wherever a room or a hall is made available to them. This will be christened as “Darul Mut’ala-wa-Markaz-e-Ittela’aat”. The Masjid committees can contact the ZFI with applications to this effect. About 100 applications have been received from all over India so far for this project, he added.    

Dr. Mahmood lamented that the Ministry of Minority Affairs turned down the recommendation of forming Indian Waqf Service to create a new cadre of Waqf officers, on the lines of the civil services, so that the state Waqf boards and Central Waqf Council would be managed better. The Ministry turned down the recommendation, saying a new cadre is neither practicable nor legally feasible, he pointed out.

He revealed that using the RTI Act he filed an application and found how the recommendation was rejected without discussing its merits. It was found that a deputy secretary with Ministry of Minority Affairs had struck down the recommendation for an Indian Waqf Service in three sentences,” he said.

The Deputy Secretary, Virendra Singh, had in his noting had observed: “The state Waqf board has the autonomy to decide the number of personnel, their deployment status or pay. The state boards do not have a defined relationship with the CWC (Central Waqf Council) unlike the position between the states and the central government and, therefore, replication of an all-India cadre on the lines of the IAS is not practicable. Amendment to the Waqf Act to induce the envisaged centralisation may neither be legally feasible nor desirable.”

Subsequently Cabinet note had only four words: “This is not recommended.” As such it was not felt necessary at any higher level to hold any discussion, Dr. Mahmood said.

Meanwhile, it may be pointed out here that Justice Rajendar Sachar, who headed the Sachar Committee that prepared a status report on Muslims in India, had said: “There is no legal hurdle in creating the Indian Waqf Service”. The Article. 312 of the Indian Constitution clearly provides that Parliament may by law provide for the creation of one or more all-India services common to the Union and the states.

Rajendar Sachar had said his committee had found “a severe shortage of senior government officers who are Muslim to manage Waqf affairs. A separate cadre would mean officers who are not only permanent but also qualified enough”.

Most of the 27 state Waqf boards are headed either by not-too-highly qualified CEOs or by government officials holding the post as additional charge. The Sachar Committee had said: “up to 200 Group A officers are needed to service the Waqf affairs across India” and recommended, “The government may, therefore, consider creating a new cadre of officers to be recruited by the UPSC so that they can deal with the specific affairs of the Waqfs efficiently.”

It is observed that some of the Waqf board heads in the country are very poorly educated personnel. For example the Puducherry Waqf Board chief is  A Sherfuddin, who is only a matriculate while that of Andaman and Nicobar Mr. Mohammad Akhtar Hussain is only higher secondary and is in ex-officio capacity. The Tamil Nadu Board chairman is a literary figure viz. Mr. Khaleelur Abdul Rahman, who is a poet and a writer.

It may be mentioned here that as per Sachar Committee Report there are 6 lakh acres of Waqf properties across India of which total area of 4.9 lakh registered. The Book Value written a century back was Rs. 6000 crore which translated into the current market value is whopping Rs. 1.2 lakh crore. The current annual income of the properties is Rs. 163 crore while the potential annual income should be around Rs. 12,000 crore, the Sachar Committee Report noted.

Meanwhile, spurred by the exhorting of Dr. Mahmood and his other team member’s presentations the participants came up to form an ad hoc body at the end of the workshop to work for Muslims in Bhopal and later in Madhya Pradesh on the lines of ZFI to uplift the community from the morass of ignorance and poverty. The members of the ad hoc body are: Mr. Iftakhar Ahmad, Mr. Sikandar Hafeez, Mr. Wasim Akhtar, Mr. Mazahir Malik, Mr. Ishrat Siddiqui, Prof. Fauzia Arshi, Mr. Pervez Bari, Mr. Nadeem Anwar and Mr. Abdul Tahir (convenor).

Justice Faizanuddin speaking on the occasion stressed that the information and knowledge gained at the workshop should be utilized for the betterment of the community then only it would become meaningful. He state that three things viz. (i) economic condition, (ii) educational condition and (iii) social status of any community go to shape its place in society. If economic strength is the backbone of a community then Muslims are without a backbone which is quite evident to one and all seeing their poverty, he opined.

Mr. Wasim Akhtar said that this era being of information and networking it should be utilised tactfully to uplift the minorities, especially the Muslim community which is lagging far behind in all walks of life. He called to replicate the ZFI success story which is doing a yeoman’s service to make Muslims live a life of dignity.

He said to have faith in government sector as he has been part of it. Sharing his experiences when he was posted at Jhabua as District Collector, he said Self Help Groups are success stories of society which he minutely observed in the Scheduled Tribes which is a monolithic society. He stressed on the universalisation of primary education and called upon Muslims to take advantage of government infra-structure instead of opening their own schools.

Earlier, Mr. Nisar Ahmad Tamboli explained at length the various schemes, Acts, policies, funds, institutions, scholarships etc. available for minorities at the Central and state levels. While, Tariq Qamar gave a detailed Power Point presentation about the various schemes for the welfare of minorities.

The proceedings in the workshop were conducted by Mr. Tariq Charlie with aplomb while Mr. Abdul Tahir proposed vote of thanks.

This is the 11th in the series of the workshops held all over India. The workshops were successfully completed, earlier at Delhi, Bahraich, Lucknow & Rampur (all three UP), Patna (Bihar), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Mumbai (Maharashtra), Kolkata (West Bengal), Malappuram & Calicut (both Kerala). Now, after Bhopal it would to be held in Srinagar (J & K) on March 20.

It may be mentioned here that Zakat Foundation of India was established in 1997 as a grassroots level organization by concerned residents of New Delhi. It is a Non-Governmental/Non-Profit Organization which collects and utilizes ‘zakat’ or charity for socially beneficial projects in a transparent and organized manner.

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