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By Firoz Bakht Ahmed
Since the government has done away with the minority status of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), a debate has set in for and against the minority character and reservations.
Recently, at a conference at Delhi’s Constitution Club, one heard several so-called Muslim leaders very generously voicing their lip-service concerning the minority character of AMU. It reminded one of the saying that the way to hell is paved with good intentions.
The fact remains, and history has proved this, that the minority character and reservations on communal lines are not in the interest of national unity and integrity as it starts a chain reaction of demands amongst religious groups, within and without. The ostrich mentality of reservations or minority status of some universities will not help Muslims. But it will open up a Pandora’s box. They either have to perform or perish on their own.
Those vying for the minority status of AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia should remember what India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, a Congressman and not a lesser lover of minorities, had stated while speaking on democratization during an important session of the Constituent Assembly on May 26, 1949: “If you seek to give safeguards to a minority, you isolate it… Maybe, you protect it to a slight extent, but at what cost — at the cost of isolating and keeping it away from the main current.”
Dr. Zakir Hussain founded Jamia Millia Islamia in 1920. He could have made it a minority institution if he had wanted to. But he did not want the institution to be linked with any one community.
It would be worth examining what the other founding fathers say about minority character and reservations. While a vote was sought for the charter of providing political safeguards to the minorities, according to articles 292 and 294 of the 1949 draft constitution, five leaders (all Muslims) out of seven, namely Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Hifzur Rehman, Begum Aizaz Rasul, Hussainbhoy Laljee, and Tajammul Hussain had voted against it. Interestingly, Sardar Patel strongly supported the charter.
K.R. Malkani, a former RSS think tank member, wrote in his treatise on Indian Muslims, ‘The Politics Of Ayodhya and Hindu-Muslim Relations’, that according to the United Nations, the group that’s identified as a minority is one that by religion, language, ethnicity, or culture constitutes less than 10 percent of the population of a state. As per this statute, the Muslims were a minority decades ago, but now they are not, he wrote.
Malkani also states that nowhere in the 52-odd Muslim countries or, for that matter, anywhere in the world where Muslims are a majority, do non-Muslims have the privileges, protection, and rights that India offers to the minorities. As a matter of fact, Maulana Azad did not like the majority-minority syndrome and hence called Muslims as the second majority.
Be it Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Muslim Dalits or other so-called minorities, reservations are a menace for the entire system. On the otherwise secular and composite fabric of India, reservations are a thorn in its neck.
Rather than extending the begging bowl for quotas, Muslims must tell the government to open more schools and a system for general uplift in their areas rather than police stations. Instead of fighting over smaller slices of a small pie of national income, what is needed is the expansion of the national pie, which would help everyone to get their rightful and bigger share. The oppressed and the marginalized people need expansion of opportunities rather than favors from the state.
Words such as reservation, minority, majority should be deleted from the Indian Constitution in the context of quotas based on caste or religion. Umpteen reservations including the minorities, SC/ST, Kashmiri migrants, and army personnel have already skewed the scales of merit.
The problem with this kind of lopsided minority character and reservations is that the real beneficiaries may be the economically well-off “backward community” members who generation after generation reap the benefits at the expense of the real needy from the general sections who, actually, are becoming the “minority” as has been seen in the case of the 22.5 percent quotas in the institutions of higher education like the IIMs and IITs, etc. The government needs to put a stop to such abuses. So many reserved places lie unfilled and the ineligible poor general category suffers.
The minorities should have an honorable place by having to stop looking at charity in the form of quota and accept the challenge of a competitive life. So far as the Muslim community is concerned, the reservations’ process will be wrought with imperfections as the community is divided into umpteen castes and sub-castes, a system that has percolated in them through their Hindu neighborhoods.
Instead, financial aid should be granted on the basis of performance. If Muslims compete, participate and become go-getters, India will prosper.
Battered by the populist rhetoric and provocative militancy of its myopic, ill-educated clerics, the nation’s cultured and high potential minority stands at crossroads. Afflicted by utter educational backwardness, administrative apathy and political expediency, the Muslim community in India is caught in the asphyxiating tweezers-grip, owing to their opportunistic leaders, both inside the Parliament and outside, who are crying hoarse and indulging in pernicious vote-bank manipulation and who, finally, leave the poor Muslims to the mercy of God.
These so-called Muslim representatives have outrightly ruined their followers emotionally, economically, socially, and educationally. Such leaders are not seriously interested in dealing with the main problems of the community. Muslim leaders and petty politicians are becoming richer day by day, while the people they represent, are going down the poverty line.
It is time that we Indians give up this ghettoized minority-majority mindset. Voices of reason demand that educational standards and qualifications should be uniform, whatever the language, religion or region. (IANS)(Photo: www.amu.org.in)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord