Naushad Ansari – A Selfless Servant of Humanity and Ummah
Mohammad Naushad Ansari is man with mission who uses all his waking hours for performing his duties – professional and social. A dedicated Government Officer he uses his office time with full devotion to his service. When he is away from his job, he is always thinking how to empower the deprived, especially the Muslim community. A Masters degree holder in language, he is fond of reading books and articles, especially related to social and economic issues. Backwardness of the community pains him, and he uses whatever is in his power – time and money, to work for the poor, weak and deprived sections oif society. A regular participant in seminars and conferences, he has also authored a book, “*Empower Yourself”. He has also written several articles and book reviews.
1. Early Life & Education
2. Serving Experience
3. Social Activities
4. Ansari is also
5. Naushad Ansari, the Writer
6. Some of the Published Articles
7. Some Reports on Peace Foundation
8. Relentless Fight for Reservation of Backward Muslims
Muslim quota under OBC category: A step towards Social Justice
9. Contact Information
Born on 20th June 1966, in the family of Mr. Mohammad Sharfuddin, he was a meritorious student from the very beginning and secured first position in Bihar School Examination Board in 1980 in Matriculation, and received ‘Shervani Award’ of the year.. He went on to complete his Masters in Language again securing first position in the university (Jiwaji University, Gwalior).
Served in Central Government Services as an officer for more than two decades.
Ansari has taken several initiatives on the social front. Apart from being members of several organisations, he is also Founder & President, Peace Foundation, Patna. This organisation is doing commendable work in the field of education and communal harmony. It has been focussing on school drop-outs. Describing the efforts of the organisation, a Twocircles.net reports:
“Naushad Ansari introduced Peace Foundation to the audience and pointed out that Muslims suffer from alarming rate of drop out at secondary level. This entails overall backwardness in social, economic and political fields. The drop outs finally join unskilled labour force with paltry wages and remain backward for generations. Hence, he advised, the best course for development could be to go for vocational courses leading to early employment of the wandering youths. Such youths are required to be encouraged and supported to pursue semi-skill short technical courses, for which less effort and less investment is required to be done. At the same time, he stressed that the Masjid Committee should have a check on drop out of children of their localities.”
Trustee and Member, Universal Knowledge Trust, N. Delhi,
Member, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat,
Life Member, India Islamic Cultural Centre, N. Delhi,
Fellow Member, United Writers’ Association, Chennai
Member and Co-ordiantor, Bihar Anjuman
Patron, Bihar Pensioner Samaj
Ansari has authored a book. *Empower Yourself”
The preface of the book sums up the purpose of the book:
“The definition of knowledge to my mind is “information applied”. For instance one can boast to posses the “knowledge” that by putting an electric bulb on, it gives us the light. But if he does not put the bulb on and see for himself the spread of light, it becomes only “information” that he possessed.
We have many intellectuals among us who are known to posses immense “knowledge” but in my opinion Indian Muslims cannot be empowered unless the knowledge that they possess is applied. In other words, if we don’t apply the knowledge that we have with us, possessing it is of no use.
Universal Knowledge Trust has brought a booklet that has a treasure of information. The readers can empower themselves not only to make their survival better but that of their brethren. The book penned by Mohammad Naushad is of tremendous value for weaker sections, particularly Indian Muslim who in present circumstances feel morally down, helpless, discriminated, devoid of guidance and leadership.
The hand book for citizens, “Empower Yourself” provides useful information on basic tools of empowerment to citizens especially the aggrieved ones. The book has 10 chapters beside preface and editor’s note. Thru these chapters, a citizen is imparted crucial information and guided on his fundamental rights, how to start an NGO for community work, right to information, public interest litigation (PIL) , FIR, what to do when detailed or arrested, interacting with media, human right commission and consumer law and rights.
I hope that the readers shall be benefited from the information that this book provides them and if they apply these information for their and community’s betterment, can be knowledgeable on the aspects that the books deals in.”
Nalanda University: When History Is Not History
The essence of Islam
Educational backwardness of Muslims in Bihar
Economic system in Islam
Judge Islam through Prophet’s life and teachings
Muslims’ representation in civil services – An analysis
End of Casteism - Book Review
Rahmani-30 hits success again
‘Ignorance is the mother of misunderstanding’
Sikhism closest to Islam
Letter from a Real Indian Muslim Youth
Plural Society and Tolerance
(Milli Gazette, November 1-15, 2009)
Media mostly spread bitterness’
Reservation for Dalit Muslims
A conference to spread peace
Muslim quota under OBC category: A step towards Social Justice
Hanuman Garhi was given six bighas of land in Ayodhya….
The Essence Of Islam
Amendments to UAPA opposed at Patna conference
Surrogacy in the mirror of Hinduism and Islam
Ignorance is the mother of misunderstanding’
Misleading Appeals — General Election 2014
Economic System in Quran and Indian Muslims
Free computer learning centre inaugurated in Bihar Sharif district
Personality development workshops held in Bihar
Peace Foundation declares list of selected candidates for scholarship
Peace Foundation deliberates on “Measures for socio-economic development of Muslims”
Civil society groups condemn ‘love jihad’ propaganda
Conference to spread communal harmony
66th Award Ceremony of Rahbar Coaching Centre held in Patna
Naushad Ansari’s essay on reservation of Muslims is worth reproducing here:
The government is considering reservation to the backward Muslims within the 27 per cent quota in jobs fixed for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and a decision in this regard will be taken soon, law minister Salman Khurshid said on Thursday.
He said that under the law all reservations can only be on the basis of OBCs. "Indra Sawhney judgment is what we can go by in this regard," he said. Admitting that there were reservations already for backward Muslims, he said the effectiveness of this reservation, which is not happening and to which the Sachar Committee has also pointed out, is to be ensured.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi had reportedly assured a delegation of Muslim leaders in May this year that modalities for providing reservation to Muslims would be worked out in six months. Congress is learnt to be in favour of providing reservations to Muslims on the lines of the quota structure already in place in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Though many Muslims welcomed this announcement as a step forward in helping marginalised Muslims, some others demanded reservation for the Muslims as a whole. On this Syed Shahabuddin, ex-MP and President of All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat, said: "if caste can be interpreted as a class, why not religion; that all Muslims are, socially and educationally, marginalized and deprived".
When State government of Andhra Pradesh announced reservations for Pasmanda Muslims, Jamia Nizamia of Andhra Pradesh had issued a fatwa against state government's move to provide reservations for Muslims on the lines of castes. However most among the prominent Ulema of the country, cutting across the lines of sects and organisations, had sharply reacted against the fatwa. Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari of Jama Masjid, Delhi, had declared that the fatwa will harm the interest of the community.
Taking a different view Prof. Imtiaz Ahmed of JNU says that 'en bloc reservation of Muslims is not a viable idea. Inclusion of Muslim Dalits as OBCs makes the most sense'. The Pasmanda Muslim groups demand caste-based reservation as given in the constitution. They argue that according to Indian constitution religion-based reservation is invalid; that if the reservation will be given to all Muslims, the Ashraf, who have historically been forward in all aspects, would corner the benefits of reservation. If for endogamy and khilafat purpose caste could be the criteria, why not for reservation in jobs?, they asks. They also argue that all Muslims are equally deprived is incorrect. True, by and large, Muslims are deprived and face discrimination, but within the community the state of Pasmanda Muslims is even worst. And, moreover, the creamy class among them were already excluded from the reservation benefits.
Indeed, the existence of caste system and reservation for backward Muslims has always been a controversial issue. Though it is an undisputed fact that there is no caste system in Islam and that the Holy Quran and the Prophet's sayings are crystal clear that all human beings are equal, Indian Muslims did develop a hierarchical structure by characterizing numerous biradaris. Some Muslims established superior status for themselves as Ashraf or ‘noble’, while some indigenous converts are commonly referred as Ajlaf or 'lowly'. Some Islamic jurists too, deviating from Islamic teachings, in the name of kufu; through parity in marriage between the parties often legitimized and encouraged caste system. Muslim law of marriage recognizes the doctrine of kufu in all vital aspects including social status and descent, which in India, means nothing but casteism. Even many scholars consider that 'khilafat' should only remain with the so-called Ashraf Muslims.
On the existence of castes among Indian Muslims the Sachar Committee Report says: “Based on the arguments and data presented, it is logical to suggest that Muslim in India, in terms of their social structure, consist of three groups- A|shrafs, Ajlafs and Arzals. The three groups require different types of affirmative action. The second group, Ajlafs/OBCs, need additional attention which could be similar to that of Hindu-OBCs.' (Page 214)
Similarly, the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission finds prevalence of castes among various sections of the Indian citizenry. It concludes: “The caste is in fact a social phenomenon shared by almost all Indian communities irrespective of their religious persuasions". (Para 16.3)
On the level of backwardness of Pasmanda Muslims, the Sachar committee finds : "Out of every 100 workers about 11 are Hindu OBCs, three are Muslim-general and only one is Muslim OBC" (Page 209), whereas the population of OBC Muslims is as much as 75% of the total Muslim population.
The Sachar Committee's findings further suggests: "the incidence of poverty is highest among Muslim-OBC followed by Muslim General. Overall, the conditions of Muslim-OBCs are worse than those of Muslim-General .Within the Muslim community a larger percentage of Muslim OBCs fall in low income category as compared to Muslim-General." (The Muslim OBCs and Affirmative action)
Likewise, Justice Ranganath Misra Commission recommends that "the caste system should be recognized as a general social characteristic of the Indian society as a whole, without questioning whether the philosophy and teachings of any particular religion recognizes it or not. It further recommends that Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 should be completely deleted by appropriate actions, so as to completely de-link the Scheduled Caste status from religion.
Historically, a vast number of backward and dalit Hindus got converted to Islam. But after conversion their socio-economic status remained impoverished and downtrodden. Most of them continued with their traditional professions as artisans, peasants and labourers, except those few which were considered impure or unacceptable in Shariah. Nevertheless, of late, some of these Muslim caste groups got Islamised. They too later became organized and had given themselves Muslim nomenclatures. They identified and associated themselves with Islamic personalities. For example, the butchers designated themselves as Qureshi; the weavers as Ansari; the tailors as Idrisi; the Bhishtis as Abbasi; the vegetable vendors as Raeen; the barbers as Salmani; the carpenters and blacksmiths as Saifi etc. By joining the fold of Islam they did not get such a boost to their talents and abilities that they could face equal competition with all others.
The Constitution prohibits any discrimination between the citizens. Hence, any religion-based discrimination conflicts with the letter and spirit of the provisions. In the famous Indra Sawhney Case the Supreme Court had decided that 'a caste can be and quite often is a social class in India'. Further it conceptualizes: 'If it is backward socially, it would be a backward class for the purpose of Article 16(4). Among non-Hindus, there are several occupational groups, sects and denominations, which for historical reasons are socially backward. They too represent backward social collectives for the purpose of Article 16(4). Identification of the backward classes can certainly be done with reference to castes among, and along with, other occupational groups, classes and section of people. (AIR 582 SC 1993) Reservation in public employment is specifically covered by Article 16(4) of the Constitution, for any backward class of citizens, which are not adequately represented in the services under the State.
Hence, instead of shoving the issue of reservation for Pasmanda Muslims under the carpet, it is the duty of our Ulema and community leaders to realise that this group needs special attention and there should be no roadblock in the way to making their fair share available, for, they are, as suggested by the Sachar Committee report, 'cumulatively oppressed'.
Repeated appeal to the Muslim community to maintain unity in the name of Islam, foregoing the constitutional benefits for OBCs, would not be a wise idea. May be some day in the future reservations will be based solely on community's impoverishment, but until then the caste-based reservation seems to be perfectly justified.
No minority group, anywhere in the world, can achieve its legitimate goals without solidarity and united action. True, the Muslim community must reject the proposition of fragmentation, but they should apply the same principles of social justice as much within the community as it demands for itself within the nation
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