25 years of inculcating positive, pragmatic, secular, progressive and inclusive values among marginalized
New Delhi, January 2 “The American Federation of Muslims of Indian origin (AFMI) will now emphasize upon inclusiveness while uplifting the marginalized sections of the society, particularly Muslims in India in education and literacy and bringing them at par with others”, declared the new AFMI chief, Dr Khutb M Uddin here today, in an exclusive interview to weekly “Chauthi Duniya”, a day after two-day silver jubilee international convention of the AFMI held here on 31 December2016–1 January 2017 at the Kedarnath Sahani Auditorium, S P Mukherjee Civic Centre.
Dr Khutb M. Uddin – a well-known Indian origin psychiatrist from Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) – said he would strive to consolidate and take forward what has been achieved so far in recognizing the talent of the students in different parts of India. “My focus would be on a new vision inculcating positive, pragmatic, secular, progressive, inclusive and intellectual, not emotional ideas and thinking in the new generation of my country of origin,” declared the new AFMI chief.
Earlier, Dr Abdur Raheman Salehbhai Nakadar, founder-trustee, AFMI, a senior-most cardiologist in Detroit, USA and originally hailing from Kadi, Gujarat, said he was still not satisfied of the impressive results of enthusing and recognizing the talents of thousands of students in several states of India, and wanted to reach the marginalized sections of Muslims, as identified by the Sachar Committee, Rangnath Mishra Commission and other documents. “We won’t stop until and unless we fulfill the target fixed at the time founding the AFMI to have an access to the students in each and every part of India,” asserted the 81-year old activist and father-figure of AFMI, in an interview to the weekly.
Recalling the participation of Chauthi Duniya Chief Editor Santosh Bharatiya in the 2008 national convention in New York, Dr Nakadar said “he came and honoured us as well as benefited us with his noble thoughts and ideas during his visit to the AFMI meet in New York, and this time also he devoted his lot of time in the two-day Silver Jubilee International Convention On Education and Gala Award function held in New Delhi. We are thankful to him and hope to coordinate with him and his Urdu weekly in raising the condition of the Muslim community.”
Besides, Dr Aslam Abdullah, a trustee of AFMI and teaching at the University of Nevada, USA and also editing “Muslim Observer”, visited the head office of Chauthi Duniya at Noida, a day before the convention and discussed with Santosh Bharatiya several issues facing the nation and Muslim community, in particular.
The two-day silver jubilee international convention on education and gala award function in India’s capital were held on 31 December 2016 and 1 January 2017 to recognize and honour brilliant Muslim students from all over India who scored highest marks in SSC and HSC this year. The convention was hosted by the Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA), headed by Mohammed Nayeem. On this occasion, Ayub Khan, the past president of AFMI: said: “At this landmark event we celebrate the achievements of our youth while at the same time we reflect on the persisting challenges. We are hopeful that through the collective efforts we will soon realize our dream of a 100 per cent literate, skilled, inclusive, and empowered India.”
More than 50 educationists, social activists, public figures, political leaders and media personalities, including Dr S. Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India; Justice Rajinder Sachar, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court; Anil Swarup, IAS, Secretary Education and Literacy; M. Naseem Ahmad, Chairman of National Commission for Minorities; Akhtarul Wasey, Maulana Azad Urdu University, Jodhpur; Santosh Bharatiya, Chief Editor, Chauthi Duniya; and several others participated in the inaugural function.
Presiding over the inaugural function, Justice Rajinder Sachar said: “We have to fight together the battle for equality. Equality is so important for the overall development of a nation that we recommended for the Equal Opportunity Commission, already existing in countries like United Kingdom. But unfortunately, this is still a dream to be fulfilled.” He wondered how a community whose holy book Quran began with the word “Iqra”, meaning “Read”, had to be asked to pay more attention towards literacy and education. He urged for restoring communal harmony as a nation could not progress if there were conflicts and discords in the society.”In this country the Muslim community had the same rights the other communities are enjoying”, asserted Justice Sachar. He also expressed surprise how several Muslim majority areas were declared scheduled caste constituency areas in different states, including Uttar Pradesh?
Former Chief Election Commissioner Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi too exhorted for paying special attention to the marginalized Muslim sections of the society. NCM chairman M. Naseem Ahmad appreciated the roles of AFMI and other organizations in raising the literacy and promoting education in the Muslim community.
135 students from several states received gold, silver or bronze medals as well as scholarship money in recognition of their achievements. Dr S. Y. Quraishi and the Anglo-Arabic Senior Secondary School, Ajmeri Gate, were honoured by AFMI Excellence Awards while Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Award was given to the social worker A Kaderbhai Sopariwala as well as Meer Taqi Meer Award to rekhta.com founder Sanjiv Saraf for promotion of Urdu language and literature.
A musical evening was also organized on 31 December 2016 in which Jatinder Sharma (Las Vegas, USA) and his group presented a tribute to the famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. His debut album “Nazrana” was released by Santosh Bharatiya, who along with his wife Reena Bharatiya had specially come to grace the occasion.
Instituted 25 years ago, the medal distribution has motivated thousands of students from all over India. So far, AFMI has served more than 2500 students many of whom are serving India in different capacities.
Formed in 1989 in Detroit with the objective of serving India through its Muslim community in the field of education, AFMI has been working to bring about 100 per cent literacy among the Muslims of India through its international and regional conventions as well as through motivational programs. Its previous conventions were attended by three prime ministers of India as well as by several chief ministers and other policy makers and public representatives. During the last 27 years of its existence, AFMI has sponsored, partnered and supported hundreds of educational, relief and rehabilitation projects in several states. AFMI has mobilized Muslims of Indian origin all over the world to rededicate their efforts to bring about educational uplift of the Muslims of India.