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Muslims have not responded to challenges, adjusted to changing times: Hamid Ansari
Shibli Academy should dispense duties as adviser in addition to scholarship coming forth from it, Vice President says on occasion to mark Centenary of Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy
Sunday November 30, 2014 12:05 PM, ummid.com News Network

Stating that the Muslims have failed in responding to challenges and adjusting to the changing times, Vice President Hamid Ansari Saturday said this is why they are exhibiting all the signs of social, educational and economic backwardness.

Hamid Ansari at Shibli Academy
[Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari visiting the Darul Musannifin Shibli Academy, in Azamgarh on November 29, 2014.]

"The past sixty seven years show that we have not responded to the challenge fully. We have cited tradition and social custom as reasons for this. We have failed to walk in step with our fellow country men and women.

"We have, as a result, exhibited all the signs of social, educational and economic backwardness", the Vice President said while inaugurating an international seminar organised to mark Centenary of Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy, Azamgarh.

Hamid Ansari quoted Wilfred Cantwell Smith's own interpretation of Allama Shibli's Shehr-e-Aashob-e-Islam.

"The fundamental malaise of modern Islam is a sense that something has gone wrong with Islamic history. The fundamental problem of modern Muslims is how to rehabilitate that history: to set it going again in full vigour, so that Islamic society may once again flourish as a divinely guided society should and must."

"It was the same question that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, and many others of that generation, faced. Their answers varied, the content did not. Distress and lamentation soon gave way to action.

"Sir Syed established the MAO College at Aligarh. Maulana Shibli worked with him in this venture for sixteen years. Though coming from different backgrounds, their views converged on many critical issues but diverged on others.

"The Maulana continued his constructive work at Nadwa and finally laid the foundations of this renowned institution devoted to scholarship", Hamid Ansari said.

At the same time, he emphasised on the need for the Shibli Academy to work as an advisor.

"For a century now, the Shibli Academy has contributed to scholarship, particularly in the field of Seerat-un Nabi, early Islamic history, Quraniyaat, Indian history with a focus on the medieval period, and Urdu, Persian and Arabic literature and literary personalities. The compendium of its publications is impressive, and is a tribute to the past and present scholarship.

"History shows that in times of need, scholars also become advisors; perhaps the need of the hour is for this Dar-ul-Ilm to dispense sound advice for public good in addition to the scholarship that come forth from it", he said.

Hamid Ansari also used the occasion to advise the goverment to work for faster implementation of its schemes, especially those meant for the backwards.

"The objective of 'Sab ka Sath Sab ka Vikas' is valid and commendable; an essential requirement for this is a common starting point and an ability in all to walk at the required pace. This ability has to be developed through individual and social initiative, and governmental initiatives that fructify on the ground. Programmes have been made, the need of the hour is their implementation", he said.

He also said every citizen of the country has the right to demand from the government social peace, physical security and protection of identity, empowerment through appropriate education,fair and equitable share in employment and the largesse of the state since unequal economic opportunities lead to unequal outcomes which in turn lead to unequal access to political power and participation in decision-making.

"There are shortcomings in the realisation of each of the above. The challenge is to overcome these within the framework of the law of the land and the constitutional rights of life and dignity, equality, and affirmative action in favour of the socially and educationally backward to ensure equality of opportunity.

"This is a matter of right, not of charity. The quest for it has to be patient but persistent, and within an approach and framework of inclusiveness rather than of exclusion and alienation", he said.



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