19 February 2009

Interview given to Radiance Views Weekly

Q ) You have been elected as the president of the largest Muslim students’ organization of the country. How did you feel and what was your response on your election?
To be frank, I felt like a huge sack with unbearable mass being kept on my shoulders. I whispered ‘la haula wala quwwata illa billah’.. I got relaxed a bit only after I received good and capable partners to share the burdon with me.
Q) You have also worked as the public relation secretary of the organization in the last term and you must have meet intellectuals and other important personalities of the country. What do you feel what kind of role the society is expecting from SIO?

SIO as an organisation working for the reconstruction of the society for the last 25 years, the identity of this organisation in Indian society is clear and well established. A movement which stands for justice and peace and raises its voice against all kinds of injustices and violence in the society. The society expects our involvement in all matters concerned with the society at large and student community in specific.

In the last year, I had an experience when I met with the editors of some of the leading news papers in Delhi. It was on the occasion of a national campaign on 'social justice in education sector'. As you know, we had addressed national issues like commercialization of education sector, foreign direct investment in education sector, universalisation of education, saffronisation etc. Many of these editors were annoyed that a student organisation that too one named after Islamic is involved in a campaign of social and political importance. They expressed frankly, that at a time when different communities and groups are busy with agitations and protests for attaining rights of their respective communities, its pleasurable to see an Islamic students organisation launching mass campaign addressing the problems of society as a whole, This also shows the unique nature of SIO's activities.
Q) What is your vision for this term?

We are working in a vast country of diverse culture, language, religion and ethnicity. Indian society is being polarized as a result of deliberate and well planned attempts being made by hundreds of chauvinist groups. There have been continuous incidences of tension in the past 2 years. The Qur'an says, 'Oppression and mischief is worse that slaughter..'. The society cannot grow positively without harmony. We need to create maximum avenues of joint efforts with students of other communities. At the same time debates within the community on assimilation of Muslim society in a secular environment and how to set a code of conduct for creating the art of co-existence need to be promoted. SIO till now has educated the cadre a work culture that was accommodative for the student community at large. We have taken this as a prime consideration.

The policy for the year 2009-2010 has been formulated considering the diversity of different states in India. On the basis of National policy, zones are expected to adopt programs, with a natural blending of indigenous cultural and organisational peculiarities and socio-political environment. SIO to be deep rooted must grow in its own soil and develop in its own in different states.

Focus on campus and active participation in student politics is one of the thrust areas of this term. Except in few states, SIO has not yet actively participated in campus politics. We need to hit new targets throw new debates in campuses & set new trends and boxes which no student organisations has yet even discussed of. It is only SIO who has the moral rights to lead the student community to build a campus free of all kinds of fascism and to create a democratic environment. SIO activists and its supporters must fight elections not on glamour and money power but on values, stands and on the basis of our crystal clear message. SIO has proved strength to create a breakthrough in student politics and to be the pulse of campus and student community. If we really work hard I am confident that SIO can transform itself in to the position of king makers in campus at the National Level and Prove to be the strength of Indian student politics.

As a student organization working in the arena of education we need to have a clear view on knowledge on the basis of Islamic fundamentals. The new policy makes the “philosophy of education” a matter of discussion and also tries to formulate and propagate the Islamic ideology of education to the student community. Different programs will be organized in the state levels in this regard.
Q) In this year many terror attacks has disrupted the peace and a sense of insecurity has developed in the citizens of the country. But the worst of all is that authorities say ‘intelligence failure’ and politicians blame each other terming it ‘vote bank politics’. And the possible solution for BJP is tough terror laws and UPA points finger towards Pakistan for recent Mumbai attacks. Where does the real problem lie? What is the concrete solution to this major problem?

Whoever the real culprits are, the innocent civilians- ordinary men, women & children are the victims. We firmly demand the Government that whoever may be the perpetrators behind any terror attacks, they must be brought before justice without delay and must be punished. The worst part of the story lies on the media. As and when the attacks occurs the media begins its ‘trial’ with zero mercy. The change that had occurred during the last incidences of terror attacks was that stereotypes are undergoing changes. New religions are being attached along with terrorism. The terror strikes in Samjhauta Express, Nanded, Ajmer, Kanpur and Malegaon are termed as ‘Hindu terrorism’. Its media hypocrisy that it says on the one hand that ‘terrorism knows no religion’ and the other hand it propagates Islamic terrorism and Hindu terrorism. We firmly believe that no religion supports terrorism and killing of innocents. But there are definitely well thought political conspiracies going on at the back of the curtains. The recent investigations has led to the fact that those groups who can attain political gains out of polarizing two religious communities of India- the Hindus and the Muslims and had been propagating the saffron philosophy of hatred are behind most of the terror strikes. These culprits have no right to say that they are part of Hindu religion. You must have seen that these culprits are dressed up as great Hindu sanyasis. But when the investigating authorities checked their laptop it was filled with obscene films! What relation do these people have with sanatan dharma or Hindu culture?
Hundreds of thousands of Muslim youths and students have been caught by the police in the name of investigation. Investigations also include that of Malegaon, Ajmer and samjhauta express blasts and dozens of similar cases. Instead of arresting the real culprits the authorities had adopted the policy of illegally detaining innocent Muslim students on the basis of pre-conceived notion and taking confessional statements which is obtained after severe custodial torture. We would like to remind the authorities that posing a community under suspicion is itself an act of terror. Even lawyers are not allowed to take up their cases in court. The basic rule of justice that a person is innocent until proved guilty has been thrown off. Hundreds of human rights organizations and activists have raised voice against this human rights violation. The media’s role in creating dangerous aftermath for all bombing incidences has to be stated here. Whenever a student is taken by the police into custody for questioning, media reveals his photo and identity labeling him a terrorist. But when the court acquitted hundreds of youths after proving their innocence the media kept mum. Who would compensate for the ruining their personal life? SIO has strongly demanded the Governments to stop targeting Muslim community whenever a blast occurs. This will only help the real culprits to escape and continue this heinous crime. The Government must also ensure that social justice is established in the country. All sections of the society must feel that their rights are preserved in this country. This must be in prime consideration while combating terrorism in any societies. If injustice is not curbed, even toughest laws cannot end terrorism from the society.
Q) Nationalism is a notion which is growing in our country. How do you address Nationalism?

Due to the tremendous campaigning of the different saffron groups
nationalism has taken the shape of an unquestionable concept. Let me
remind one thing; nationalism and love towards the Nation are entirely
two different concepts. Nationalism is a religion in itself; where
nation is the idol to be worshipped and cults at different locations
emerge as its prophets. 'Right and wrong my Nation' is the creed of
nationalism. This is the fundamental cause of colonial invasions and
worlds most terrifying wars – the two world wars. Nationalism
propagates that my Nation, its race, men, culture and its language is
the most superior to any other countries in the world. Though this
emerged as a theory at the time of the French revolution in 19th
century, its ancient roots lie in tribalism, where different tribes
claimed superiority. Our Nation is diverse in all its means in each
and every 500 kms. Each of them have unique and distinct way of
living, color, race and language. We have witnessed the
meaninglessness of this concept when Maharashtra Navanirman Sena
revolted against the people of Bihar and UP claiming the supremacy of
Maratha language and culture. If this notion of sub-nationalism is
incorrect, then the concept of nationalism is nothing other than clear
falsehood. We need to stress on the real concept of universal brotherhood.
Q) How do you look at the campus politics being run across the length and breadth of country in the campuses?

Active participation in campus politics is one of the thrust areas of current central policy. Presently, Campus politics is understood as synonym to campus violence. Political student unions have become tales of their parent organizations and Student politics are carrying all the decadence of mainstream politics. In campuses where a particular party union have political dominance, act as fascists and no other organisations are allowed to work. SIO views student politics as an effective tool for establishing a democratic environment and creative discussions and debates on various social issues takes place. It is a reality that the new generation is being socially neutralised and appoliticized. But I shall say that the political student organisations with their distructive activism in campuses, have played a very negetive role and had contributed in appoliticising the new student community. SIO will in the days to come will prove its strength to create new trends in student politics and to be the pulse of campus and student community.

Q) What are the challenges to student community in India?

Capitalistic way of thinking and living is the biggest challenge of the new generation. Isolation is the key feature of an individual in a capitalistic society. The young generation has totally been degenerated by the so called entertainments – TV, radio which promotes the fake ethos, film and romance, alocohol and drugs are desperately drawing the youth in to whirlpool of moral crisis. They have been de-sensitized and dispassionate towards the realities of the society and the world they live in. The challenge before the student community is either to select this path or to adopt a life with a mission.
Q) What do you think about present growth of SIO especially in terms of expansion and development and tazkiya of its cadre?

By the grace of Almighty, SIO is growing in a gradual pace. We need not ever worry of our quantity. But we need to be always vigilent of our quality. When we look into the tazkiya level of our cadre, I believe we are indeed in a satisfactory possition. As a student organisation, we must never fix parameters which are unattainable. With regard to the expansion and development of the organisation we need to ensure strong presence of the organisation in 'the major nerve centre of the country'. Like a human body consists of nerve centers which functions a particular part of the body, we have to identify organisational nerve centers which has strategic importance. Special and result oriented efforts need to be made in this regard.

What is your message for students of this country?

Enjoyment must not be the aim of life and do not let others to set the
goal of our life.
Message for cadres of SIO?

Open your eyes and ears to our surroundings, always preserve a
positively unique identity, see dreams for the movement and the
hereafter, work hard.


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