Recent Programmes


Report on Felicitation Ceremony


Report on Book Release Function on 'Empowerment of Indian Muslim'


Speech delivered by Mrs Sheila Dixit on the occasion of  Book Release Function held on March 9 ,2004 at Constitution Club, New Delhi

Book Release Function (March 9, 2004) Speech delivered by Janab Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi

Report of the ceremony of  the third Shah Waliullah Award-2001 held on May 19,2003 at Hamdard Convention Centre Jamia Hamdard New Delhi

Report On The National  Seminar on ‘Fostering Inter-Community Linkages in India’ (28th-30th March, 2003)

Report On The National  Seminar on ‘American Attack on Iraq’ (21st March 2003)

"Issues and Problems of Muslims in India and the United States" A brief report of interactive meeting held with Dr Kaleem Khwaja a US based intellectual at IOS New Delhi

Special Programmes

List of Seminars, workshops, symposia and orientation programmes conducted by the IOS (1986-1999)

List of Discussions, Lectures and Sham-e-Muzakrah (Monthly Lectures/Discussions) Programmes 1986-99

Report on Felicitation Ceremony

To honour Dr Shakeel Ahmed  Minister of State for Communications and IT held on June 23,2004 at India International Centre,(Annexe), New Delhi

Institute of Objective Studies and Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists felicitated Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, on his assumption as the Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology, on 23.6.2004. The programme was organised at India International Centre. A large number of prominent people from all walks of life attended the programme.

Prof. Z.M. Khan welcomed the chief guest as well as introduced the IOS. He hoped that the nation and the Millat would benefit from the new Minister of Communication and Information Technology.

Welcoming the honourable minister, Prof. Nafis A. Siddiqui, the secretary of Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists (IAMSS) requested him to work for the welfare of the minorities and the marginalized.

Mr. Manzoor Ahmad, Vice-Chairman, IOS, introduced the speaker to the audience. Dr. Ahmad did his MBBS from Patna and went to Canada for higher medical studies. He comes from a respected political family of Bihar. His grandfather was an elected member of Bihar Assembly in pre independence India. He had defeated the Muslim League candidate on a Congress ticket. His father Mr. Abdul Shakoor was member of Bihar Assembly for several years and served it as Deputy Speaker for nine years.

Dr. Shakeel Ahmad was first elected to Bihar Assembly in 1985. He was again elected to the Assembly in 1990, 1992 and 1999. He was first elected to the Parliament in 1998. This is his second term in Parliament after winning in 2004 elections. In Manmohan Singh ministry he is Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology. Earlier he was Minister of Health in Bihar Government. He has also held several important party positions including the presidentship of Bihar unit of Congress. All through his career Dr. Ahmad has been a straightforward politician. He is committed to serve the nation and the Millat, remarked the IOS Vice-Chairman.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Shakeel Ahmad thanked the IOS. He urged upon the Muslim community to learn to live in a plural society, to know the art of survival, to know its interests and work accordingly. He opined that in order to punish some one politically, the community should not harm itself. He appealed to the Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists to work for making Indian Muslims politically mature. He said he would like to benefit from the researches carried out by the IOS and hoped to receive suggestions and feed back in order to serve the community and the nation.

In his presidential remarks Dr. M. Manzoor Alam congratulated Dr. Shakeel Ahmad for becoming minister and hoped that he would continue to work for all the marginalized sections including minorities. He expressed the view that when a people are pushed to the corner, they behave rashly. There is lesson to learn, for blaming them would serve no purpose, remarked Dr. Alam. He further opined that the marginalized sections have pinned their hope on young and dynamic leaders like him. He also said that if this government does not work for five years or fails to deliver, the communal forces would again come to power.


Felicitation Ceremony

To honour Dr Shakeel Ahmed  Minister of State for Communications and IT held on June 23,2004 at India International Centre,(Annexe), New Delhi


Mr Manzoor Ahmad, vice-Chairman of the IOS presenting a memento to Dr Shakeel Ahmad, Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology

To honour Dr Shakeel Ahmed  Minister of State for Communications and IT held on June 23,2004 at India International Centre,(Annexe), New Delhi


Left to right: Dr Nafis A.Siddiqui,Prof ZM Khan,Dr Shakeel Ahmad,Dr M.Manzoor Alam,Mr Manzoor Ahmad and Dr Ishtiaque Danish


IOS holds book release function on ‘Empowerment of Indian Muslims’

      It was a pleasant surprise for people from academia and intelligentsia to witness a gathering of around 400 people at a three-day seminar of Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists and Institute of Objective Studies at Patna in November 1998. The academic gathering resulted in another academic activity; the academia’s offered to come out with research-based books on empowerment of Muslims in various domains across the country. The seminar finally bore fruit this week when IOS came out with two books out of an 11-volume series on empowerment. Amid an intellectual congregation from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Jamia Hamdard at Constitution Club in New Delhi. Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) and Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists (IAMSS) New Delhi held a function to release these two books on the subject at Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi, on 9 March 2004.

The function was commenced by the welcome address, delivered by Prof. Z.M. Khan, Secretary General of the Institute, in which he threw light on the subject and explained the importance of the issue.

The book ‘Empowerment of Muslims through Education’ by Prof. M. Akhtar Siddiqui of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, was released by Mrs. Sheila Dixit, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi. On this occasion expressing her view she said “We should seriously think if any community feels that it is being marginalised or neglected”. She also appreciated what the IOS was doing in this field. While the other book entitled ‘Empowerment of Muslims in India: Perspective, Context and Prerequisites’ by Prof. A.R. Momin of Mumbai University, was released by Janab Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi. Mr. Hamid at this juncture felt that the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) should complete all eleven volumes soon. In addition, he advised to prepare gist of the books that should be translated in other languages like Hindi and Urdu. He urged the need to further work on 4 points regarding the empowerment of Muslims: Illiteracy, health, poverty, inter-community linkage an eminent speaker in the function. Mr. Manzoor Ahmad, former Vice Chancellor of Agra University expressing his views said that knowledge had always been regarded as real power of man. He wished the eleventh volume would come up soon. It is of tremendous importance because it would contain strategies and action plan in the field of empowerment.

Mr. Kamleshwar and Mr. Prabhash Joshi, both Sr. Journalists were among the prominent speakers who urged the need to work on upliftment of Muslims in India. 

Dr. Mohd. Manzoor Alam, Chairman IOS, delivered the presidential address in which he vowed to do utmost for the noble cause of empowerment of Indian Muslims for national benefit. He announced that the Empowerment series of eleven books would be completed by the end of the year. The process of translation of the books is in progress. He added that the other projects suggested by Mr. Hamid were under IOS consideration. The programme was summed up by the vote of thanks by Prof. Z.A. Nizami.


Speech delivered by Mrs Sheila Dixit on the occasion of  Book Release Function held on March 9, 2004 at Constitution Club

Dr Manzoor Alam is a very eminent scholar. Besides, his eminence as a scholar, he is like a dear brother to me. I could not, therefore, resist the temptation of participating in this function to release two very important books which are part of the series of books which the Institute keeps publishing in the interest of the community. More importantly, these books draw the attention of all of us, whether in government or out of government, indeed, of the society as a whole to the aspirations, the problems and struggles of the Muslim community to get the place which it needs to have and ought to have, in the context of Indian civil society.

These are very very important studies which I have occasionally tried out. Whatever I learnt  from the Institute and its able chairman makes me believe that this institute is rendering a vital human service in terms of bringing about intra-community and inter-community understanding. For those who are outside the community it is extremely important to know and to analyse what is the situation like and how we can meet the challenges, collectively as well as individually.

Constitutionally we are all at par with each other, socially we are friends and we live in peace and harmony but  peace and harmony gets  disturbed off and on. Though I am saying it, and I am a politician, I have no hesitation in  saying that the cause of these disturbances is political greed or, to put it more politely, political need.

It has to be acknowledged that those among the Muslim community who have had access to education and have been educated are second to no body in this country. Whether they are professors, scientists, artists, writers, administrators, policemen or soldiers in the army – they have acquitted themselves creditably.

Unfortunately common mass of Muslim community, like many other parts of the society in India, are deprived and neglected. We need to bring them into the mainstream, to make them equal components and sharers of  our national life. That is the biggest challenge before this community. Education is an important part of the endeavour to meet this challenge.

Education is not  just a paramount need of a particular community. Muslims in this case, but of all communities. Education is the key to success, the key to move forward, the key to growth of as also the key to resource development. That is the crucial area where the  institute of objective studies is really doing very good work. Empowerment comes with education but without empowerment community feels it  is being neglected, marginalised and sidelined.

I think we need to have a relook why this feeling is developing; It is a very serious challenge. It requires collective thinking in order to see that those who are causing the marginalisation and those who are being marginalised come together and reverse this situation, to convert it into a happy situation.


Book Release Function (March 9, 2004)

Speech delivered by Janab Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi

    One could hardly think of more significant and fruitful collaboration for a good cause when the one forged between the Institute of Objective Studies and the Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists on the theme "The Empowerment of Muslims in India". The go ahead was given by a convention on the subject held in November 1998 at Patna. It commissioned an 11 volume series each volume dealing with various aspects of the theme. The first and second volumes of the series viz. 1) the Empowerment of Muslims in India, Perspective, Context and Pre-requisites and 2) Empowerment of Muslims through Education, are being released today. The eleven topics have been chosen wisely and appear to be fairly exhaustive designed to traverse most of the aspects germane to the empowerment endeavor. I would however, suggest addition of Health Care to the series. In the ultimate analysis no two things are more vitally relevant to empowerment than education and health. The realization that the backlog in education should be made up has albeit belatedly dawned on the Muslim community. But the almost equally important attention towards health care continues to be neglected with disastrous results. Before I proceed with my specific assignment of this evening I would venture to make another suggestion, Judging from the high standard set up by the distinguished authors of the first two books and the very valuable information contained and analysed in the books I would strongly urge that the Institute of Objective Studies prepare very brief digests of these books and, to begin with, have translations of the digests published in Urdu and Hindi and disseminated. The subject requires broad-based discussion and enlightenment.

    I have had the privilege of going though both the volumes and being asked to release the first volume that has been authored by Prof. A. R. Momin.  I read Prof. A. R. Momin's path-breaking book with rapt interest. Incidentally, to call it a booklet, as has been done somewhere in the initial pages, I less than fair, in fact it is sacrilegious. The quality of a book depends not on its size but on the standard of scholarship it manifests the analytical acumen that it displays and the objective standards it adheres to.

    A scholar who has accepted the commission to write a book, particularly one in a series that sets the destination for him, and to some extent predetermines his approach, evidently works under a twin handicap; first, he forfeits some of the freedom that his pen and his intellect are accustomed to; second, he runs the risk of his style losing its wonted verve culminating in producing something that turns out to be jejune. I am glad that A. R. Momin has surmounted the handicap and steered clear of the risk, the first because the predetermined design fell in live with his own thinking, the second because he possesses a style fashioned by erudition and animated and enlivened by conviction. The subject assigned to him elicits the sum total of his thinking and experience.

    That the author is emotionally involved in the theme chosen for him is evident, but that does not affect either his objectivity as a scholar or the detached style in which is perceptions are conveyed. It is evidently due to his reputation as an eminent sociologist that Prof. A. R. Momin has been asked to kick-start this meaningful series, this race towards a destination that continues, alas, to be clouded by uncertainly and unpredictability.

    The scheme of the book reveals the author's scientific approach to a major human problem. Instead of abruptly preparing road map for the empowerment of Muslims, which a lesser person would be tempted to do, A. R. Momin prepares a level playing field before the game starts. He begins by spelling out the concepts of the three vital processes that are going to form the hub of the entire discussion viz Development, Empowerment and Disempowerment. Then the proceeds to deal, again conceptually, with the hurdles that the empowerment race in any situation will have to surmount. It is in the last five chapters that the specific situation of Muslims comes up for analytical discussion. In the first two chapters the author, so to say, has hammered out the yardstick by which he proposes to measure the group assigned to him for diagnostic scrutiny. In the third chapter he spells out in all its depressing details, the magnitude of the disempowerment that Muslims in post-independence era, have undergone. In the two following chapters the author deals respectively with the external and internal causes of disempowerment, acknowledging by definition the fact that the decline and deprivation can nor and should not be laid at the doors of a blind cruel fate or an unsympathetic Govt. or a hostile segment of the majority community. These would not have come to pass but for the passivity and insensitivity of Muslims. The author concludes by a) making well-informed suggestions for creating circumstances conducive to the empowerment endeavor and b) the seminal steps that the community should take to secure and perpetuate empowerment.

    With my limited experience I would place security, education and health as the internal underpinning of the empowerment triangle. The devastating effect of insecurity on the Muslim psyche would require a separate study. It has eaten into the vitals of the community, lowered its morale and deprived it of positive thinking. All this adds up to a tremendous incapacitation. This gnawing sense of insecurity is much more pronounced in the rural areas than in the towns. In those villages where Muslim population is spares the impact of unrelieved and ever present insecurity is particularly debilitating.

    Health care and health orientation of attitudes and habits requires much more attention of the community than it has received. In the northern states the majority of the patients in hospitals is drawn from the Muslim community. Its habitations are marked by widespread disdain of hygiene.

    With regard to education, even where consciousness of its need has been sparked, both quality and continuity continue to be casualties. It is a distressing fact that after Syed Ahmad Khan and the luminaries that gathered round him, Indian Muslims did not produce any person who could take up education with organized and conceptualized zeal. For educational effort to culminate in generating quality Muslim homes need to be overhauled. In the towns they are generally located in heavily congested mohallas which are anything but conducive to pursuit of education and health. Such homes situated in suffocating areas cannot produce persons who can compete with members of the better-situated and more enlightened families. It is a very stultifying experience that whenever Muslims tried to open out and set up residential colonies at a distance from the ghettos that they live in, communal tension and riots have compelled them to roll back and seek shelter in the mohallas they had left.

    Muslim leaders have by and large been self-centered. They have shown total indifference to education, health care, economic reconstruction and removal of poverty and disunity.

    The chapters dealing with the disempowerment of Muslims proclaim the author's grip on the Muslim situation. The narration and the analysis are as realistic as they are perceptive. Anyone who wants to get a clear idea and a synoptic view of the Muslim situation in this country can do no better than turn the pages of A. R. Momin's book which is a marvel of compression in the course of which no significant detail has been excluded nor the correct perspective blurred. This is a well-documented objective and analytical description of the status of Indian Muslims. In also suggests steps for reconstruction. It serves with competence the twin objective of identifying deficiencies and adumbrating measures for their removal.


Report of the ceremony of  the third Shah Waliullah Award-2001 held on May 19,2003 at Hamdard Convention Centre Jamia Hamdard New Delhi

The third Shah Waliullah Award was conferred on Prof. Nijatullah Siddiqi, a pioneering expert on Islamic economics, in a befitting ceremony held on 19.5.2003 at Hamdard Convention Centre, Hamdard University, New Delhi. The award is given annually to a scholarly person who has made outstanding contribution to knowledge. The first and second awards were conferred on Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi and Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi respectively.

The programme started with recitation from the Holy Quran by Maulana Abdullah Tariq. Dr. Sayyid Abdul Bari, who conducted the programme, threw some light on the outstanding personality of Shah Waliullah. Maulana Abdullah Mughisi, Secretary General, All India Milli Council, also highlighted the scholarly contribution of Shah Waliullah. He said that the great 18th century scholar has influenced almost all the organizations and individuals working for the Islamic cause in the subcontinent.

Dr. M. Manzoor Alam, chairman, IOS, gave a brief introduction of the Institute and highlighted some of the projects it has carried out till now. He also spoke about the projects being pursued at the moment. He specially mentioned the project on Asma-e-Husna, the 99 names of Allah (SWT) and Empowerment of Muslim series. He said that the IOS has till now published some 150 titles, both big and small. He appealed to the audience to come forward with pragmatic and concrete suggestions and advises that might help in improving the performance of the IOS.

Prof. Z.A. Nizami gave a detailed introduction of Prof. Nijatullah Siddiqi, throwing light on his life, family background and intellectual contribution in a very literary Urdu. The Citation, presented to Prof. Siddiqi in recognition of the services he has rendered, also spoke

about his life and personality. Prof. Siddiqi’s ancestors came to india from the Arabian peninsula and served the Sharqi Sultanate in several capacities including the coveted position of Qazi al-Quzat (chief Justice). His ancestors later on settled in Azamgarh; his father, Hakeem Abdul Quddus, then, migrated to Gorakhpur and settled over there. Prof. Siddiqi was born in this city on 21st August 1931. He was 13 year old when his father passed away; his mother, then, took care of him and gave him the best possible education. He passed his inter-mediate examination in 1949 and, then, pursued religious and Quranic studies at Rampur and Sarai Mir, Azamgarh. He did his masters from AMU, Aligarh and wrote his Ph.D. thesis on “A Critical Examination of the Recent Theories of Profit”. He served his Alma Matar, AMU, as lecturer, Reader and Professor. He was appointed professor of Islamic Studies in 1977. He also served as Director, Institute of Islamic Studies at Aligarh. He joined Department of Economics, King Abul Aziz University, and Jeddah in 1978. He was Fellow at Centre for Eastern Studies at California University in 2001. Since November 2002 he is Visiting Scholar at Islamic Research and Training Institute of Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah.

Prof. Siddiqi became greatly influenced by the writings of Maulana Abul Aala Maududi in his student's days and joined Jamat-e-Islami Hind. He was imprisoned during the emergency period in mid 1970s and remained in Jail for several months as a prisoner of conscience.

Prof. Siddiqi has been honoured with several awards; he was given the Shah Faisal Award for Islamic Studies in 1982; American Finance Award and Takaful Forum New York Award in 1993.  

Prof. Siddiqi is the pioneer scholar of Islamic economics. From an early age he realized the economics influences human life more than any other social science. His studies also revealed on him that bank interest, which the Quran has prohibited, is the bane of man’s economic life. He, therefore, concentrated on researches that ultimately led to the concept of Interest Free Banking in Islamic perspective. This is no longer a concept now; it is operational in most parts of the world.

Prof. Siddiqi has written extensively on Islamic economics and other aspects of Islam. He has written in English, Urdu and Arabic. He edited the islamic Thought for several years and has been on the editorial board several international journals including the Journal of Objective Studies. Prof. Siddiqi was member of the Governing council of the IOS for many years. Infact, he has always been associated with the Institute as a patron and well wisher.

Prof. Siddiqi’s greatest contribution is his successful attempt to introduce Islamic economics, specially interest free banking as a viable alternative to the traditional banking. It is because of his efforts along with those of a few others that Islamic economics is taught as a respected subject in the universities both in the East and West.

Prof. Siddiqi also spoke on the occasion after Justice A.M. Ahmadi presented him the memento and Mr. Mahmood Ali gave him a cheque of Rs. 100,000/-. Thanking the Institute for honouring him he enunciated some of his ideas on Islamic economics. He said the Islamic and economic thoughts have been serving human life for centuries but the two have come as close in the 20th century as never before. The books being written on the history of economic thoughts now acknowledge the contribution of Ibn Khaldun who lived some 400 years before Adam Smith. The Ulama, toom have been writing on the prohibition of Riba and other economic issues like agriculture, market demand and pricing etc. But it was Adam Smith’s contemporary, Shah Waliullah who presented an analytical study of the economic evolution of human society through his famous discussion on Irtifaqat in his magnum opus, Hujjatullahil Baligha. Some two hundred years after Shah Waliulalh there developed the idea in the Indian subcontinent, which is known as “Islamic economic in the world today, said Prof. Siddiqi. Islamic economics, unlike the traditional economics, has the advantage of benefiting from the divine guidance. It deals with those areas of human life, which are affected the most by ever-developing technologies. That is why Ijtihad, intellectual reasoning, is always needed here, said Prof. Siddiqi.

In the beginning of the 20th century Allama Iqbal wrote a book on economics in which he dealt with the problems of farmers in Punjab. AT more or less the same time Mufti Muhammad Abduh was thinking about Shirkat wa Mudharabat in view of the interest accuring from the money deposited in post office. After a few decades when the conflict between Capitalism and Marxism intensified in the Muslim world and India the ulama and Muslim intellectuals started thinking about the economic teachings of Islam and authors like Anwar Iqbal Quraishi, Manazi Ahsan Geelani, HifzurRahman Seharvi, Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi and Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr produced their valuable works which may be regarded as the beginning of the Islamic economics. However, formally the subject was initiated on international level when the first international conference on Islamic economics was held in Makkah in 1976. And now when the new century has just started its journey, this subject is respectfully taught everywhere.

Prof. Siddiqi said that some two hundred years ago a project was taunched to “free” economics from moral values and social objectives and make it a subject like Physics. However, the project, being unnatural, failed miserably. The project was initially adopted because it presented the hypothesis of maximizing individual wealth with the help of mathematics. However, what was not realized was that often hypotheses become started scales and thus affect human life. This new economics thus gave approval and sanctity to capitalism, intensified colonial expansion and ultimately the conflict of interests led to the outbreak of two World Wars. After a great deal of damage and destruction, it was decided to put brakes on market forces, which gave birth to the idea of welfare state. However, this, too, would die its natural death under the weight of its own weaknesses, said Prof. Siddiqi. He also said that apparently the world has achieved tremendous economic development but inequitable distribution of wealth has also increased both at national and international.

This is the reason that the hypotheses of economics and its methodologies are being reviewed today. The return to moral values is also a reflection of this “review mentality”. Nobel Laureate Amratya Sen’s ideas on drought and starvation are also being viewed in this very perspective. However, still a puritanical traditionalist economist finds it difficult to accept that his science of economics should have any business with morality and religion, said Prof. Siddiqi.

Prof. Siddiqi also said that Islamic economics is not against the search for efficiency and development; it only wants to tie it with social justice and the satisfaction of heart. It believes in maximization of wealth but it also wants the equitable adjust distribution of wealth both between individuals and nations, said Prof. Siddiqi. He also threw light on globalization and its bad effects on the Muslim world. He said globalization is a by-product of communication revolution and because of this the world is changing. However, America’s hegemonistic mentality has hijacked the agenda of globalization because of which it has become harmful to the Islamic and third world. Prof. Siddiqi, however expressed the hope that that this situation would not last for long. Because the communication revolution the world has become like a global village where only a system that ensures justice, equality and democracy would survive and not the one that seeks to establish the hegemonic domination of any particular nation, said Prof. Siddiqi.


Report On The National  Seminar


‘Fostering Inter-Community Linkages in India’

  (28th-30th March, 2003)

Welcome address |Key-note Address|Resolution 


This Seminar was a 3-day National Seminar and it was held from 28th to 30th March, 2003 at Hamdard Convention Centre, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi.  The seminar was organized by the Institute of Objective Studies in collaboration with Hamdard University, New Delhi.

  The 3-day seminar discussed at length ‘India’s Composite Heritage, Composite Culture, National Integration in the Constitutional Framework, National Identity, and Restoring Inter-Community Linkages: Role of the State, Civil Society, and Media’ in different sessions.

  The delegates/contributors and the participants of this seminar were from a wide ranging persons of repute including former Prime Minister of India, former Chief Justice of India, former Union Minister, Educationists, Intellectuals, Journalists, Judges, Advocates, Social activists, Bureaucrats and other Luminaries from different parts of the country. The dignitaries include Prof. Lord Bhiku Parekh from U.K.; Shri I. K. Gujral, former Prime Minister of India; Hon’ble Justice Mr. A. M. Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India; Shri Chaturanan Mishra, former Union Minister and Senior CPI Leader, and Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard.

  Before the start of the Inaugural Session of the National Seminar all the delegates and participants maintained a two-minute silence to mourn the massacre of 24 innocent Kashmiri Pandits at Nandi Marg in the state of J&K.

  During the Inaugural Session on March 28, 2003 Dr. M. Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi, in his Welcome Address said “Our Constitution stresses the need for a pluralistic society while providing equal freedom and opportunities to each community—religious, linguistic and regional.  But it is painful that the notion of a pluralistic, federal, accommodative and composite National Identity is under assault.  As is obvious, in a pluralistic and multi-cultural society like India, national identity can’t be based on a homogeneous national character simply because a homogeneous national character does not exist in India.

  He also said, as the Member of British Parliament, Lord Bhiku Parikh once perceptively observed, political or national unity did not require cultural homogeneity and was preserved in climate of flourishing and self-confident cultural diversity.  According to him, sadly over the last 54 years, there were too many infractions.  Trauma of partition inflicted a blow.  Thereafter, the country saw a chain of riots.  The latest was the pogrom in Gujarat.  According to the data presented in the country’s Parliament, the report of the Home Ministry and Newspaper reports, about 14000 communal incidents/riots have occurred during the period: 1953—2003.

  Shri Chaturanan Mishra, former Union Agriculture Minister, in his Inaugural Address, agreed to the opinion expressed by Dr. M. Manzoor Alam in his Welcome Address and said that India is a country of 28 states and 7 Union Territories, 6 major religions, 18 major languages, 1600 minor languages and dialects, 6 main ethnic groups, 52 major tribes, 6400 castes and sub-castes, besides 29 major festivals. Besides, there exist the climatic diversity of a continent and the flora and fauna of two continents, he said.  Therefore, there was always a lead to pay a special attention to keep the social fabric united.  And in this great task only the symposia and seminars would not be enough.  “We will have to come out openly against those forces who are spreading communal venom and counter them effectively and have to go to the masses to awaken them”, he added.

  Shri Mishra, who is a prominent leader of Communist Party of India, also said that what rights have been enshrined in the Constitution of India with regard to minorities were comparable to such rights in any country of the world.  They were in accord with the UN Charter.  He also said that the tragic happenings in Gujarat last year were a blot on the face of our country.  He opined that they could not just be termed as “communal riots”.  According to him, this incidence was a pogrom.

  Mr. Siraj Hussain, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, said that a crucial discussion on such topic was the need of the hour.  And this could only be done through social and political mobilization.

  Maulana Abdullah Mughaisi, Secretary General of All India Milli Council, averred that the entire humanity was in peril due to various internal and external factors.  “Therefore, we the different communities of India should develop such a mechanism by which the gap between different communities is not enhanced and a bond of confidence, trust and mutual cooperation should continue”.

  “Every community in India has the right to survive with its separate and independent identity.  The principle of pluralism calls for identification and preservation of the values, traditions, and culture of different communities.  There should not be dominance of one community over another.  At the same time minorities’ rights should also not be suppressed”.

  Expressing the above views in his Presidential Address at the Inaugural Session of the National Seminar (28th March, 2003), the former Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Justice Mr. A. M. Ahmadi said that this could be possible only by social and political mobilization and for this we will have to go to the masses and get them awakened.

  The eminent jurist said it was ironic that unfortunately some people or groups were of the view that they could achieve their ambitions by the use of might. According to him, this trend was being seen since early 90s.  He also said that for a cultural development, the economic & educational development is an essential pre-requisite.

  On day second (March 29, 2003) in the first Business Session: India’s Composite Heritage, the former Member of British House of Lords (UK) and presently the Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh, delivering his Key-note Address said “if we are really serious, we should try to make the composite heritage and culture a living reality.  For this religious leaders of all the communities would have to come closer and try to raise common platforms and devise common strategies.”  Lord Parekh averred that the above steps would help fostering the inter-community linkages in India.

  The noted historian, Prof. Bipan Chandra (Chairperson of the 1st Business Session), agreeing with Lord Parekh said that there had been a change with regard to the inter-community linkages in the country after different religious reform movements started in the 19th century. According to him, prior to this period, there was an appreciable communal harmony among different communities.  He recalled that no marriage in a state like Punjab could be solemnised without the presence of other religious leaders before the 19th century.  “There have been both positive and negative impacts upon this society following the religious reform movements of the 19th century.  The positive impact was that there started a discussion on the evils of traditions like sati and caste system. Its negative impact was that some groups began to give a call to go back to the extreme past for the revival of ancient religious traditions, which resulted in the revivalist and extremist movements of the modern time.  He further opined that what is lacking now in the sphere of inter-community relations, could be traced back to the 19th century religious reforms and extremist movements.

  Further, both Lord Bhikhu Parekh and Prof. Bipan Chandra termed the last year’s Gujarat pogrom as the most unfortunate incident.  They were of the view that it did occur due to the indifferent attitude of the state government and administrative bureaucracy.  According to them, if the inter-community linkages had been strong, the situation there would not have deteriorated to such an extent.

In the 2nd and 3rd Business Sessions (of 29th March, 2003): India’s Composite Culture, and National Integration in the Constitutional Framework renowned persons participated, while in the 4th and 5th Business Sessions (of 30th March, 2003): India’s National Identity, and Restoring Inter-Community Linkages-- Role of the State, Civil Society, and the Media, noted journalists, bureaucrats and distinguished educationists participated in panel discussion and discussed the subjects at length.

  At the conclusion of the 3-day National Seminar on “Fostering Inter-Community Linkages in India” at Hamdard Convention Centre on Sunday (30th March, 2003), Shri I. K. Gujral, former Prime Minister, in his Valedictory Address, called for a war between obscurantism and modernism.  Without naming any group or referring to any incident, he said that opposing obscurantism did not mean support to the West.  However, his assertion led to a lively debate when IOS Chairman, Dr. M. Manzoor Alam said that there should be balance while linking and delinking the present and the past, otherwise, it might create a lot of problem, particularly in the present context.  Then Shri Gujral replied that he had become a perfectionists while expressing his views in the valedictory session and he had nothing in mind with regard to present situation.  


Report On The National  Seminar 


‘American Attack on Iraq’

(21st March 2003)

The Institute of Objective Studies organised a 1-day national seminar on ‘American Attack on Iraq’, jointly with Association of Indian Africanist held on 21st March 2003, at India International Centre, New Delhi.

  In this seminar leaders from various political parties, MPs, academicians, Journalists and the people from all sections of society participated, prominent among whom were--Shri Chaturanan Mishra, former Union Minister and Senior CPI leader; Shri Romesh Bhandari, former Foreign Secretary, former Lt. Governor of Delhi & former Governor of U.P; Shri Nilotpal Basu, M.P. & CPM leader ; Dr. A.K. Pasa, Director, Gulf Studies, JNU ;  Dr. K. K. Panda, former Registrar, Delhi University and Dr. Arshi Khan of Jamia Hamdard.  The Chief Guest in the seminar was Shri Eduado Faleiro, MP. and former Minister of State for External Affairs.

  The participants at this seminar, recognising peaceful co-existence, non-interference, mutual respect, sanctity of human lives, and establishment of a just world order among the comity of nations as the foremost, paramount and inviolable principles of human civilisation, considered the ongoing attack on Iraq by the U.S.A. and its allies a totally unjustifiable violation of International Law aimed at establishment of neo-colonialist world order. All the participants of this seminar:




"Issues and Problems of Muslims in India and the United States"

(January 6, 2003)

A brief report of interactive meeting held with Dr Kaleem Khwaja a US based intellectual at IOS New Delhi

An interactive meeting with Dr Kaleem Khwaja, a US based intellectual was held on January 6,2003 at IOS New Delhi. In this meeting representatives of different IOS associate bodies, and leading academicians were present.

Dr Kalim Khwaja hailed from Kanpur did his Engineering Education from IIT Kharagpur before migrating to USA. Now he heads a US based Indian Muslim Association (formed 17 years back) at East Coast. which is one of the leading associations of Indian Muslims based in USA.

Dr M.Manzoor Alam, the IOS chairman, who presided over this meeting introduced Dr Khwaja and welcomed him. He also welcomed other dignitaries like Syed Shahabuddin who grace the occasion.

While inaugurating his talk Dr Kaleem gave a brief introduction of his US based Association of Indian Muslims.He described about its activities and the role it played during Gujarat riots.

He maintained that the US Muslims are doing well and gave social background of different US based Muslim organisations, and its leaders. He highlighted the role played by Alijah Mohammed, Malcom X etc. He particularly described about their social background of their associations. He put it that the acceptability of Muslims in the US society is evident from the fact corroborated by the presence of some Muslims in the US State Assemblies. Regarding Indian Muslims he said that there are 1.5 lakh Muslims out of total 4-5 millions of Muslims. They are doing well.

While describing the role of media he said that the US media is not portraying a correct picture. For example there are so many peoples in USA who do not subscribe to present US anti Iraq policies. There are strong sentiments about the war against Iraq. Unfortunately US media portray other side of picture.

He said that new developments and changes are taking place in USA.

In concluding part of his discussion he said that now there is a big need to strengthen the ties with Indian Muslims and their US based Indian counterparts. While a social event is a big link between the ties of two peoples. He said that there is a need to develop a policy to guide us about it We (US based Muslims) need guidance in this context.

Prof. ZM Khan the secretary general of IOS briefly outlined the institute's activities he said that IOS is also busy in this direction and trying to link different groups. In this context he referred that the IOS is organising a seminar on Inter-community Relations and Linkages which is schedule to be held in March,2003

He described his experience about his recent visit to USA.He advised that there is a need to strengthen links between US based Indian Muslim community and other sections of USA which should be beneficial for Indian counterparts.

Mr Mahmood Ali and Prof. Sanghasen Singh also participated in the discussion.

This meeting was concluded with the Chairman's remark (Which incorporated some suggestions) and vote of thanks.

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