On the other end of the spectrum of the Indian society are the images of successful bright Indian youth who compete fiercely for top professional opportunities like IAS/IFS/IPS civil services and the bright eyed engineers from IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and doctors from prominent medical colleges entering promising careers in the modern fields of engineering and medicine.
The two images are poles apart. Yet in recent weeks my attention has been pleasantly drawn to the two images coming together for a few Muslims. No, they did not crack the Powerball lottery. A counted few among the lecturing maulanas and the maudlin dargahs took a big leap forward and bridged the vast gap between the two images to make it possible for a few ordinary Muslim youth to touch the modern Indian moon. Let me share this pleasant observation with you in the following.
Maulana Mohammad Fazlur Rahim Mujaddidi’s Crescent Civil Service Academy, New Delhi
About ten years ago Maulana Mujaddidi, a very respected Muslim cleric, established the Crescent Academy in New Delhi as a division of the Maulana Abdur Rahim Educational Trust, with a vision of providing proper guidance, academic coaching and training to the Muslim aspirants for the country’s topmost Civil Services (IAS/IFS/IPS etc).
Typically every year less than 1 percent successful candidates are Muslim. In the just announced results for the very tough multipart competition for these coveted careers for 2013, 13 trainees from the Crescent Academy came through as successful candidates. In fact 30 candidates from the Academy were successful in the first round examinations and 19 cleared the main IAS examination.
It should be noted that to-date the Academy with its limited infrastructure and resources, has been able to produce more than 100 IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, judges and State civil servants throughout the country. These are the very top government services in India and the careers lead to their being the makers of the top policies in the country.
Maulana Wali Rahmani’s Rahmani-30 IIT Entrance Coaching Center, Patna
About five years ago Maulana Rahmani, another very respected Muslim cleric, established this coaching center to provide academic and competitive training to Muslim youth who aspire to enter the Indian Institutes of Technology - India’s most prestigious engineering colleges. Typically every year no more than about 1% Muslim youth are successful in enrolling in the IITs. The results of the competitive examination held for 2013 announced last week show that 24, mostly Muslim, of the 30 candidates from the Rahmani-30 Center cracked the IIT-JEE (Joint Entrance Examination).
Typically graduates of IITs go on to work in prestigious positions in the country’s top corporations, or multinational corporations or receive employment in foreign countries.
Khaja Bandanawaz Gaisudaraz Dargah’s Engineering College and Institute of Medical Sciences, Gulbarga
Khaja Bandanawaz Gaisudaraz, who passed away in 1422, was a illustrious sufi saint who settled in Gulbarga, Karnatak at the invitation of the then Bahmani Sultan Tajuddin Firoz Shah. He was a disciple of the very illustrious sufi saint Hazrat Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlvi. His ancient dargah in Gulbarga is a popular center of attraction in south India.
In 1966 the Dargah’s Trust established the Khaja Education Society to promote education in the educationally backward Muslim community. They started with a school for girls and now operate 15 minority educational institutions in Gulbarga, including the Khaja Bandanawaz College of Engineering established in 1980 and the Khaja Bandanawaz Institute of Medical Sciences established in 2000. The pioneering spirit behind the Khaja Education Society has been the Dargah Trust and Padamshree Shah Mohammad Hussaini who passed away recently.
Without a doubt this dargah is totally different from the thousands of dargahs spread throughout the country, in that it has put its primary focus on imparting modern high education to the Muslims. Also they have been so eminently successful in transforming youth from the backward Muslim community into high quality engineers and doctors, who are helping uplift the Muslim community and the country into a modern nation.
Spread the secrets of success
One important factor for the handful of brilliant success stories in the Muslim community enumerated above is the close cooperation between the Muslim religious leaders and the Muslim intelligentsia leaders.
Instead of competing with each other or ignoring each other, they pooled the street popularity of the religious folks with the knowledge of modern education of the educated Muslims to make it a win-win situation for the community.
These undoubtedly rare success stories in India’s Muslim community make one wonder how much socioeconomic development can take place in the community if many more maulanas and dargahs dedicate themselves to the cause of imparting quality modern education and competitive ability to the Muslim youth and include the well educated Muslims in their team. Instead of spending so much time and energy on political and publicity activities if we spend more of it on the development of our youth, we can change the community’s picture drastically in just one generation.
- By Kaleem Kawaja