Address by Governor at 145th Anniversary Celebrations of Anjuman-I-Islam
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the 145th Anniversary Celebrations of Anjuman I Islam at Shanmukhananda Hall, Sion, Mumbai at 1700 hrs on Wednesday, 28th August 2019
Shri Ashish Shelar, Hon’ble Minister for School Education and Sports, people’s representative, Smt Shashikala Wanjari, Vice Chancellor, SNDT Women’s University, Dr Zahir Kazi, President, Anjuman I Islam, Council Members and General Council Members of Anjuman, Vice Presidents and Office Bearers, Principals and Heads of various Anjuman and other institutions, all distinguished invitees, teachers, past teachers, alumni, staff, parents, students, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening and greetings to all of you.
This is for the second time I am attending a programme organized by the Anjuman I Islam. I hold Dr Zahir Kazi, the learned President of Anjuman I Islam in high esteem. Any request coming from him becomes a command and I have to oblige !
I am indeed delighted share the joy of all of you as Anjuman celebrates its 145th anniversary of dedicated service to society.
This is a moment of glory not just for Anjuman, but to the city of Mumbai and the State of Maharashtra. I congratulate Anjuman-I-Islam for its multifarious contributions to the cause of nation building and empowerment of Muslims through education, skills and professional education.
It is amazing to see that the small sapling of Anjuman I Islam planted by the Founding Fathers in 1874 has blossomed into a large banyan tree, encompassing more than 90 educational and social service institutions all across Maharashtra.
I understand that Anjuman Institutions cover the widest range of subjects including engineering, Medicine, business management, architecture, pharmacy, Hotel Management and Catering and many other subjects. It is remarkable that Anjuman shapes the life and career of almost one lakh students annually.
Anjuman has given the nation – doctors, engineers, public servants, social reformers and leaders in all walks of life. I was amazed to note that former Chief Minister A R Antulay, film star Dilip Kumar, Hollywood film producer Ismail Merchant, actor – comedian Kader Khan, cricketers Salim Durani and Ghulam Parkar were among the alumni of Anjuman. That’s truly enviable.
The Founders of Anjuman-I-Islam were truly visionaries. They thought of skill development and vocational training in the early years of Anjuman ! I salute the memory of the Founding Fathers, who were pioneers of modern education, great patriots and emancipators of Muslims in India. Without their generosity and vision, the institution would not have seen this day.
As Governor of Maharashtra, I have come here to convey my appreciation to Anjuman-I-Islam. Mumbai is proud of Anjuman, Maharashtra is proud of Anjuman and all of us are proud of Anjuman.
The Anjuman is fortunate to have Dr Zahir Kazi as its President. I am pleased to note that under his guidance, Anjuman has plans to create a Medical College, College for Pure Sciences, Nursing College, Sports Academy and so on. I congratulate the President and other Council members for leading the Anjuman institutions on the path of a glorious future.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are standing at a critical juncture in the history of our nation. India is emerging as one of the most influential nations in the world. There was a time when the voice of India was barely heard at the international forum. Today, India commands attention and respect from world leaders.
The next three to four decades are going to be most important for us. By next year, that is by 2020, India will have become the youngest nation in the world. The average age of an Indian will be 29 years, almost 8 years younger than an American or a Chinese. It is predicted that India will enjoy this demographic advantage for the next 3 decades.
How and whether, we take advantage of the demographic advantage depends on how we transform our youths into productive human resources.
Needless to say educational institutions will have to play an utmost important role empowering our students and youths through education. It will not be enough to provide the students the best of knowledge alone. They will also have to be equipped with diverse skills – technical skills, vocational skills and even soft skills. Most importantly, we will have to inculcate moral values to shape the character of students.
A skilled working population on par with the best in the world will help us reap dividends like none other. Many countries with ageing population are looking up to India to meet their requirements of manpower and skilled workforce.
We must be mindful of the current global trend. Jobs are shrinking. It will not be enough to have one single skill to get a job. People with multiple skills and advanced skills will have advantage over others in the years to come. I will appeal to parents and teachers to help the students and youths to acquire and develop as many skills in their formative years.
Dear Teachers and Parents,
There is a growing shortage of teachers in the world. I believe that Young India has the potential to meet the requirement of good teachers for the entire world. I understand that Anjuman has plans to start a teachers’ training academy. I will call upon the Trustees to create a world class Academy for training of good teachers. This will help us to overcome the shortage of good teachers.
I was pleased to learn from the brochure sent to me by the Organizers that this educational institution was created to bring about the educational upliftment of Muslims through ‘modern as well as Islamic education’.
One hundred and forty five years after the establishment of Anjuman I Islam, the task of bringing about the educational upliftment of Muslims is far from over. In fact we need renewed efforts to facilitate the educational, social, economic and political upliftment of the Muslim community.
For this to happen, the Community leaders must join hands and see what best they can do to provide Muslim boys and girls advantage in education, employment and other walks of life.
I will call upon Anjuman to create hostels for students, girl students and working women in Mumbai to facilitate their education and training. Education, education and education alone can make the Muslim community strong, vibrant and prosperous.
If any religion believes more in charity and in the spirit of caring and sharing, it is Islam. And therefore, if every educated and well-off Muslim family helps one poor person, I think it is possible to uplift the entire Muslim community, as visualized by the founding fathers of Anjuman.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
One hundred and twenty one years ago, Swami Vivekananda had written a wonderful letter to his Muslim friend Mohammed Sarfaraz Hussain of Nainital. In this letter dated 10th June 1898, Swami Vivekananda spoke of harmonizing the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran for the progress of humanity.
Swami Vivekananda writes, and I quote:
“Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose that path that suits him best.
For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems, Hinduism and Islam — Vedanta brain and Islam body — is the only hope. I see in my mind’s eye the future perfect India rising out of this chaos and strife, glorious and invincible, with Vedanta brain and Islam body.”
Let us all join hands to realize the goal of Swami Vivekananda to make India glorious and invincible.
With these words, I congratulate Anjuman I Islam on its outstanding services to the nation and wish all of you Godspeed in your future endeavours.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!