Special Reports

Conference on minority rights

Aligarh: Former Advocate General of U.P., S.M.A. Kazmi said here on 28 March that the origin of minority rights lies with Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and the Aligarh Movement. He pointed out that Sir Syed was the first person who awakened Muslims through education for their rights. Kazmi said that Sir Syed created an example of secularism by establishing MAO College. He urged students to acquire excellence in their fields because it is the first condition of success. He said that the time has come when we must concentrate on education and development. Kazmi was delivering an address on ‘Minority Rights in India’ held by Club for Short Evening Courses of General Education Centre, AMU. Kazmi said that we should think in terms of the community and work hard to achieve success. He lauded the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor in promoting education among most deprived class of people in remote areas of nation such as Murshidabad and Mallapuram.

Earlier Coordinator of GEC, Dr. Shakeel Samdani welcomed guests and other participants. He said that there is a wide gap between constitutional minority rights and practices by administration. He said that for the sake of the nation the gap should be filled up. He demanded that the Central Government should bring legislation to amend AMU Act and declare AMU as a Minority Institution.

Inaugurating the symposium, AMU VC, Prof. P.K. Abdul Azis, said that I am proud to be citizen of this country because our constitution gives us equal rights and Articles 29 and 30 provide us opportunity to establish and administer our educational institutions. He pointed out that by educating ourselves we can share the fruits of progress and development. He cited the example of Kerala where the rate of literacy is 100 percent. He said that it is my dream that all educationally backward areas of the country may turn 100 percent literate. He said that AMU Centres at Murshidabad and Mallapuram have become functional. Prof. Azis announced that in future AMU centres will be established outside the country too. In his keynote address, Dr. Mohibul Haque of Political Science department discussed group minority rights in national and international perspectives and said that in democracy, group identity is very important. He said that Articles 29 and 30 were incorporated in constitution to save the group identity. He said that it is very unfortunate that the word ‘minority’ has not been defined yet which has resulted in confusion among judiciary.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 April 2011 on page no. 17

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