Our Chairman and CEO Niraj Sharan was conferred the Annual Award for Communal Harmony by Al Hikmah Foundation on their 18th Annual Day on March 29, 2009 at the India Islamic Centre, New Delhi.
"Our Secular Constitution is a Great Binding Force: Justice Katju
By SAAD BIN ZIA
India is a country of great diversities. If we have to run this country, we have to accord equal respect to every citizen. Our secular Constitution is a great binding force that holds together innumerable identities based on tribal affiliations, religious beliefs, caste system, political preferences, social status, economic stratum, etc. These thoughts were expressed by Mr. Justice Markandey Katju of the Supreme Court. He was participating as Chief Guest in a seminar on ‘Maintaining Peace: Present Challenges’ organised by an NGO, Al Hikmah Foundation marking its 18th Annual Day Function at India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi on March 29.
Referring to Prof. B.N. Pandey’s speech in Parliament, he negated the theory that Tipu Sultan was a religious bigot and who suppressed Hindus. He also criticised the electronic media for vilifying and painting a bad image of Muslims.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer and Civil Rights activists Shanti Bhushan talked about communal and fascist tendencies that have been thriving in our society since 1984. “Varun Gandhi’s hate speech – which is a very serious offence under the Constitution of India – is an evidence of increasing communalisation in the institutions,” he opined. To fight these communal tendencies he suggested the formation of a statutory body such as “Communal Harmony Commission” with powers to prosecute such offenders as Varun Gandhi.
Alok Shrivastava of Aaj Tak T.V. Channel presented his own composition in Urdu on communal harmony. Former Ambassador Ishrat Aziz, in his keynote address, felt, “Justice is the main ingredient of peace.” To make his point home, he quoted some verses from famous Urdu poet Jigar Muradabadi composed on January 26, 1950. “Intellect and nature are the two conflicting entities that prevent man from doing justice,” he observed. In the broader global context Mr. Aziz pointed out that the most important challenge is the population. Another enormous challenge is of environmental pollution. According to him, “Through democracy and new and modern technologies we can establish peace by prioritising justice.”
Cultural Attaché of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ebraheem M. Albatsham spoke in his mother tongue Arabic. He stated, “I feel elated to be amongst you. I think that there is a great similarity between Ghalib and Mutanabi, therefore, I believe that there is a need to promote Ghalib in the Arab World.”
Delivering the presidential address, Professor (Dr.) Tahir Mahmood noted, “It is an irony that every religion preaches peace but followers do not show this through their action and thought. It is the responsibility of mothers to educate their children to preach humanity to their children.” He also presented his own Urdu composition ‘Address of Minorities To the Majority.’
Senior Supreme Court Lawyer and Human Rights activist, Prashant Bhushan proposed for an Independent Media Council – a statuary body with powers to initiate proceedings against media outlets that are guilty of propagating communalism.
Chief Guest Markandey Katju presented Al Hikmah Cultural Promotion Award to Dr. Ebraheem M. Albatshan. The other awardees include: President of India Islamic Culture Centre, Mr. Sirajuddin Qureishi (Promotion of Islamic Culture), Director Himalaya Drugs Dr. S. Farooque (Education), Group Editor of Rashtriya Sahara Azeez Burney (Journalism). Mr. Asad Raza, Chief of Bureau accepted the award on his behalf. Former Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Jameel Murtaza (Education), R. L. Gupta (Social Service), Chairman Merim International Shahid Qureshi (Education), Dr. Sirajuddin Ahmad, (Education), Niraj Sharan (Communal Harmony), Viqar Ali (Social Service), Syed Shoaib Ahmad (Education). The award comprises a Shawl, a Memento and a Certificate of Appreciation.
Mr. Justice Markandey Katju released the Souvenir of the Al Hikmah Foundation. Shanti Bhushan released a booklet on ‘Peace: Quranic Concepts and Prophetic Teachings’. Mementos and Certificates of Recognition were presented to volunteers of Al Hikmah Foundation. The Foundation also distributed sewing machines, wheelchairs and cash to the poor and needy. Cash prizes were also presented to two students for their outstanding achievements.
Source: radianceweekly - View