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From Teaching to Thinking

We can learn from anybody and everybody in life.

Kunwar Shekhar VijendraKnowledge is not to be found outside. No teacher, no scripture can give it to you. It is inside you and if you wish to attain it, seek your own company. Be one with yourself.
Be curious… eager… and probing. Those who gone deeper have found the pearl.

Unfortunately, today our entire education is past-oriented. All our doctrines, ideas and ideals are taken from the past. That is what is dead and gone. We are trying to impose thousand years old things on the minds of our children.

There was a king who wanted to appoint a minister. An announcement was made that anybody who would solve the puzzle given by the king will become his minister. And
the puzzle was simple- there was a lock on the door of the Darbar, and the candidates were supposed to open that . But the lock was an odd one. Quite big and of such a shape as nobody had seen earlier… very futuristic. No teacher had ever taught about such a lock, no book had ever mentioned such a lock.

There was confusion now. Fear too. All three candidates who reached the final round wondered what to do.

The first one got up and asked the king for some time, as he wanted to go through his books; his notes that his teacher had given him in the class. But the poor chap never realized that he was taught only a part of the past.

The second one also asked the king for more time, as wanted to go and meet some lock picker… Some thieves, who knew how to break a lock and find solution to this enigma. But he too forgot that no one had ever picked a futuristic lock.

The third one was free from the pull of the past. He had a futuristic outlook towards knowledge; and he decided first to look at the lock. He wanted to feel the lock; he wanted to understand the problem more clearly. And then he touched the lock. And lo and behold! It was unlocked!! As if it was never keyed on!

We need to develop such an environment where past does not dominate the future; we need to provide an opportunity to students to think, to learn, and to experience on there own.

We need to stop teaching the story of hare and tortoise where the consistent but the slow one could only win. We need to teach the story of how we can win by identifying and utilizing our own unique inner strength.

I remember a story of the frog race. There was a race where the frogs had to run and climb a tree…. Frogs climbing trees is something unbelievable. Everybody was ready but had fear… and the race started….

All frogs were running fast, jumping high…. but there was a crowd, a crowd of those who never believed that frogs could ever climb. The crowd was shouting slogans, displaying their disbelief about the climbing ability of the frogs. “Stop you idiots… you can never climb a tree”, some shouted.

And suddenly frogs stopped. They were standing, they were confused and even some were smiling by themselves as if asking – `what an idiot I’m, how could I believe that I can climb a tree’.

But there was one… who was running, who was jumping and whom everybody in the crowd thought was gone mad. And to everyone’s surprise he climbed up the tree…. Yes, a frog climbed on the tree. An utter silence prevailed. Nobody could believe it. And then, suddenly everybody was clapping, everybody was shouting slogans that yes we knew that frogs could also climb the tree. They asked the winner how he could climb but the winner frog was not listening, and he actually didn’t listen because he couldn’t. He was deaf.

This is the secret of success, believe in yourself, don’t listen to the crowd, do what you are doing with confidence and you will win. Learn to speak dreams loud and share them with the world with proud.

Same is the case with the teachers, with administrators… Stop being critics of your students, of your team members; let them work, let them perform and they will give results for sure.

I have also observed a new behavioural tendency. If I am close to the boss I am also the boss. It is just like my driver claiming to be a boss as he is one person who works closely with me, who moves with me. Stop this approach. It will harm you. Be your own boss, be your own servant and you will find the results. You have to prove your worth to yourself. You have to be responsible to your responsibilities; don’t try to be a boss of others.

I thank all the teachers and my wonderful students to be a part of this journey of empowerment. Your success will only make us proud. You are our ambassadors and please ensure you remain one worthy of praise always.

My best wishes to all of you on Adarsh Teacher’s Day.

No, explanation is not needed – only exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And truth liberate ~ Osho

(Excerpt of the talk delivered on Adarsh Teacher’s Day at Shobhit University Gangoh on 05 September, 2014)

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Speeches and talks

 

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Quotes I Quote: a reflection of my learning journey

Since last few years, I had been sharing quotes on my Facebook wall.

Every quote has an originating past and a history behind it.

Recently, I compiled 365 of my favorite quotes.

On New Year, I am sharing the same with my fellow travelers of this virtual world…

you have helped me in learning a lot new in my life.

 Quotes I Quote” is a thankful note

to all teachers of my life!

QiQ (Quotes I Quote) - An eBook by KSV_Page_001

 

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Spread of Education by Prophet Mohammed’s Companions

The only way to empower the human race is by educating them. The first word revealed of the Quran was “Iqra” – Read! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be educated.

In Islam to seek knowledge is considered a sacred duty. The acquiring of knowledge is worship, reading the Quran and pondering upon it is worship, travelling to gain knowledge is worship. The practice of knowledge is connected with ethics and morality – with promoting virtue and combating vice, enjoining right and forbidding wrong. This is called in Quran: “Amr bil-l ma’ruuf wa nah-y ani-l munkar”. It is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female.

Kunwar Shekhar VijendraProphet Mohammed through his companions wanted this message to spread throughout the world. Prophet Mohammed and his companions laid very much emphasis upon the importance of education. As the Supreme Head of the first Islamic State, Prophet Mohammed decreed education as incumbent on all people, male or female. It is on record that with a view to spread education
at a mass level, he declared it compulsory immediately after the establishment of the first coalition government at Madinah. It was in the very second year of the regime that his law regarding compulsory education began to be implemented.

His companions followed him in laying emphasis upon education. It is also on record that some of the Prophet’s companions visited Malabar in India even during the Prophet’s lifetime and spread education in that part of the land. They didn’t only strive for primary but also higher education, and established a number of internationally reputed seats of learning there.

For Prophet Mohammad Saheb, education was a weapon to liberate humankind and rid the world of the human suffering caused by ignorance and other societal ills. The companions of the Prophet spread such education which helped a person to be a whole man. The true goal of education was the cultivation of individual character on the basis of respect for humanity. The education was
guided by the principle of -Totality.

A lot of efforts are made even today but somehow the totality is missing. Since I am not a specialist in the field, I have no intention of discussing individual education methods or the various aspects of the educational system that require reforms but will like to speak on the big concern of missing the Concept of totality.

When I speak of totality I mean interrelation. Nothing or event exists in isolation; everything is interrelated in some way with everything else to produce one great total
image. To take an immediately apparent example, I might cite the human body itself in which the head, hands, torso, legs, internal organs and all individual cells are intimately intermeshed to form the whole. And we cannot overlook the connection between the physical and spiritual.

From ancient times, the ability to perceive the invisible threads interweaving all things has been considered a kind of wisdom, but today’s education system has turned its back on this wisdom and has pursued a continual course of fragmentation. A person who has technical education today does not know anything about religious education
and vice versa. The education we are spreading today is an education in piecemeal. We are forgetting that an educated and informed person who does not know the connections among things differs from a dictionary only in that he eats and the dictionary does not.

We all know that the future depends, for us, on education. We know also that this education, to be of any avail, must extend through all degrees, from its lowest and humblest applications, up to the highest and most disinterested grades. We must have technical education and we must have a higher research also. We must have education of women, as well as education of men. We must have secular education, as well as religious. And, almost more important than any of these, we must have education of the people, and for this, we must depend upon ourselves.

Education separated from society can have no vital force; likewise, there is no future for a society that forgets that education in totality is its true mission. Education is not a mere right or obligation. I believe education in the broadest sense is the mission of every individual. To awaken this awareness throughout society must be the highest priority.

If a religion is worthy of the name, and if it is one that can respond to the needs of contemporary times, it should be able to nurture in its followers the spiritual base for becoming good citizens of the world through education in totality.

The crisis of education is a crisis of life. The crisis we face today strikes at the very roots of education and learning. And yet it is in education and learning that we will find the doorway to the future.

I request that we accept responsibility for the future of humankind. From the bottom of my heart, I ask the members of Markazi Jamiat Ahl-E-Hadees Hind to do all within their power to make fine whole human beings of our youth. I shall conclude my remarks by expressing my hope for and pride in the part that the Prophet’s Companions played for humanity by spreading education of love, peace and empowerment.

Jai Hind.

(‘Prophet Mohammed’s Companions and Spread of Education’, excerpt of the speech delivered at a public meeting at Ramlila Grounds, Delhi at the invitation of ‘Markazi Jamiat Ahl-E-Hadees Hind’)

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Speeches and talks

 

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Indian varsities have vital role in strengthening ties with Asia : Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra

MEERUT, Uttar Pradesh — Indian Universities may play a vital role in strengthening relations with the Asian countries by attracting the youth in these countries in their qualitative technical programs at affordable costs. As of now, the youth in Asian countries is not aware of the programs and facilities available in India that’s why India doesn’t figure in their list of destinations for higher education. This was revealed by Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, the Pro-Chancellor of Shobhit University, on his return from South Korea and Mongolia, as a member of the delegations visiting these countries alongwith the President of India Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

Kunwar Shekhar told reporters here today that as a member representing the Indian higher education, he got opportunity to interact with the universities and officials in both the countries. In his assessment he found that the higher education in South Korea is as good as in India but it is very costly. This works as a deterrent for many a willing student. With proper representation in South Korea, Indian universities may attract South Korean students and these students may become very strong bond between the two countries.

Talking about his experience in Mongolia, Kunwar Shekhar said that the Mongolian human resources need training to bring their systems at par with the developed world. Before collapse of USSR, they had been receiving support and training from the Soviet regimes. However, now their technologies are getting obsolete and development of modern infrastructure and other economic structures is required. This objective may be fulfilled only by proper training of the human resources there. Here, too, the Indian universities may play an important role and offer to Mongolian students training and technological support needed for development of the country which is very rich in minerals and other natural resources. A stronger relationship with Mongolia may also be very helpful to India.

The Shobhit University Pro-Chancellor also said, “New and multifaceted mutually beneficial possibilities have opened up with the visit of the President to these countries. Its up to different sectors of Indian economy to explore these opportunities and consolidate those into real structures.” Recalling the S. Korean economy and structures, he said that technically strong S. Korea has successfully integrated its trade, talent and training. This resulted in quick growth of their economy but now they are facing shortage of manpower. India may benefit from this situation.

Regarding Mongolia, he said that having Buddhism as their major religion, the Mongols feel close to India, however, the geographical situations have lent an edge to China in comparison to other countries. India’s share in Mongolia’s trade and economic relations with the world are limited to a meager 4-5 per cent.

He said that keeping in view the need for skill development in Mongolia, the Shobhit University has offered to impart training to Mongolian human resources under its International Skills Development Centre (ISDC). The university may also set up such a centre in Mongolia itself. He also told that as a token of goodwill, the Shobhit University has announced scholarships for 8 Mongolian students in different disciplines.

Kunwar Shekhar expressed hope that authorities in India as well as the Mongolia and S. Korea would soon be taking due steps to strengthen educational and economic ties spurred by the recent Presidential visit.

 

Indian businessmen eye mining, education sectors in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), July 29 (PTI) Satisfied with the foreign trade policy and basic infrastructure available in Mongolia, many industry giants from India plan to set up business units here.

A host of industrialists have gathered here to seek ways to tap business opportunities emerging out of this north east country.

They have been holding meetings with senior government officials of both the countries to explore a mutually- profitable partnership for them.

“We are interested in mining activities here.
Basically in exploration of base metals like copper mining and precious metals like gold and tungsten among others. We plan to invest about USD 200-300 million in coming years,” Mumbai-based Chandra Proteco President Mukul Gupta said.

Gupta said that deliberations with Mongolian authorities and their chambers of commerce are on in this regard.

“The land is full of opportunities. There is a lot of scope in business development activities especially in the field of food processing and tourism,” Camlin Limited Chairman and Managing Director Dilip Dandekar said.

A 32-member strong delegation comprising representatives of known commercial houses were taking part in ”Mongolia-India business Forum”.

The meet is being co-organised by Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency of Mongolia (Fifta), CII, Ficci and Assocham to find business opportunities.

Many businessmen, politicians and associates of Fifta took part in the event, which was inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil, who is on a three-day visit here.

Patil is the first Indian President visiting Mongolia after a gap of 23 years.

Be it medical, education, information technology, dairy and mining, experts and industrialists are trying to seek business opportunities in other sectors too.

“We are looking forward to a joint venture with some university and college here for student exchange programme. The land is new and full of opportunities,” Meerut”s Shobhit University Pro Chancellor Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra said.

“We will be giving USD 10 million scholarships to people under the student exchange programme. Initially the grant will be given to research scholars,” Vijender said.

Shobhit University has about 2,000 students at its Meerut Centre.

Patil”s visit to Mongolia is aimed at finding new avenues to explore trade and cultural relationship with tie ups in Defence, Information Technology, and commerce.(MORE) PTI AKV

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Media Coverage

 

The purpose of higher education is to empower the youth and the fruits of technological innovations must percolate to the rural areas if the country is to progress: Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra

MEERUT, Uttar Pradesh, December 9, 2011 / Shobhit University, Meerut supported a National Conference on E-Education & Distance Education- Innovative & Creative Models in Higher Education organized by ASSOCHAM on 8th Dec. 2011 at New Delhi.

Although India has survived with its higher education system for decades, now as it strives to compete in a globalised economy in areas that require highly trained professionals, the quality of higher education becomes increasingly important. So far, India’s large educated population base and its reservoir of well-trained university graduates have permitted the country to move ahead. But the competition is fierce. China in particular is heavily investing in improving its best universities with the aim of making a small group of them world class in the coming decade, and making a larger number internationally competitive research universities. Other Asian countries are also upgrading higher education with the aim of building world class-universities. Taiwan, which is a major designer and producer of IT hardware, is considering merging several of its top technological universities to create an “Asian MIT.”

Thus, to compete successfully in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century, India needs innovative and creative models in higher education system that produces bright graduates to support sophisticated research in a number of scientific and scholarly fields and produce at least some of the knowledge and technology needed for an expanding economy.

Recognizing the importance of the subject a NATIONAL SEMINAR on E-education & Distance Education – Innovative & Creative Models in Higher Education to showcase the spectrum of horizon in the field of e-education and distance education which exists in India was organized in Delhi.

Key themes discussed at this summit were:

  • E-education and distance learning practices and policies.
  • Ideas for sustainable use of Open Education Resources in E-Education & Distance Education.
  • The changing nature of e-learning and distance learning.
  • Approaches to promote online and distance education.
  • Impact of Technology on E-Education & Distance Education in India.
  • Governance, policies and programs in relation to E-Education & Distance Education in India.

Key decision makers across the entire higher education eco-system from enterprises, educational institutions, education regulatory bodies, vice-chancellor, regulators, government agencies, service providers, system integrators, education technology providers and vendors attended.

“Technological innovation in the Indian education system is the need of the hour to equip our graduates to compete in the ever evolving global knowledge economy,” said Mr. Pawan Aggarwal, Adviser (education), Planning Commission while addressing an ASSOCHAM conference on higher education in New Delhi on 8th Dec. 2011, as the Chief Guest of the conference.

“Though India ranks third in the higher education system in the world but innovative, creative models in distance education and collaboration with research partners from across the world are imperative to transform the domestic higher education scenario,” said Mr. Aggarwal while inaugurating a National Conference on ‘E-education & Distance Education’ organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

“The universities and colleges must provide courses based on needs of the industry and ensure better placements for students,” said Mr. Vinay Rai, Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Education. “Universities in India must focus on providing online degree programmes as distance learning is gaining a firm base in universities across the globe.”

“India requires a proper business model based on modern technology and can collaborate with countries like Canada to enhance the higher education system,” said H.E. Steward Beck, Canadian High Commissioner to India.

Among others who spoke at the event were: Mr. Anand Nagarajan, CEO, Dexler Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Anil Goyal, Director, Mexus Education, Mr. G.C.Sharma, Head-Financial Education (Schools and Universities) National Stock Exchange, Mr. Anurag Agrawal,Vice President iProf and many other dignitaries of repute.

The Valedictory address was delivered by Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, Pro-Chancellor, Shobhit University, Meerut. Shobhit University was also represented by Prof. PP Singh Director General, Prof. Abhay Kumar Dean & Director and Mr. Devinder Narain, Head Corporate Relations at the conference.

During the Valedictory function Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra while highlighting the deliberations of the conference said, “We must find a path of collaborative progress instead of individual success stories in conferences like these.” He emphasized that the purpose of higher education is to empower the youth and that the fruits of technological innovations must percolate to the rural areas if the country is to progress. Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra emphasized that merely using new technology is not innovation. His views on the subject were widely acclaimed by those present in the conference.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Media Coverage

 

Keep pace with emerging sectors…

 
 

The only way to empower the humankind is to get them educated….

It was a unique two-day meet in the name of the greatness of Prophet Mohammed’s Companions at Delhi’s historic Ram Leela Ground. Held on April 10-11, 2010 under the auspices of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind, the oldest organization of Indian Muslims and second oldest organization of the country after the formation of Indian National Congress on December 28, 1885 at Mumbai, the 30th All India Ahle Hadees Conference interestingly passed the 30-point resolution on issues at community, national and international levels, and emphasized upon looking towards the great companions of Prophet Mohammed as a model to the humanity.

Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, who is also an educational patriarch and hailed from UP’s famous casbah Gangoh, said that the only way to empower the humankind was to get them educated with the concept of ‘totality’. According to him, this was the message that Prophet Mohammed and his companions practiced themselves and spread in the society. He said the first word of the Holy Quran that was revealed was “Iqra”, meaning read, obtain knowledge, and get you educated totally.

He also said that the Prophet’s companions stressed the importance of education. That’s why they as the leaders of the initial Islamic governments declared education compulsory upon both males and females. He said the education that was declared recently compulsory in our country had been declared compulsory by the world’s first coalition government at Madinah, headed by Prophet Mohammed himself and pursued by his companions later on.

He made it clear that this all showed how much stress Islam laid on education. He also averred that the Prophet’s companions came to Malabar (India) during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammed himself and made the spread of education the mission of their lives. He was of the view that’s why that part of India had emerged as the most literate and educated state of the country.

Prominent among those participating in this session included eminent ideologue and Pro Chancellor of Meerut-based Shobhit University Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, former Member of Parliament and Editor of Hindi weekly and Internet TV “Chauthi Duniya” Santosh Bharti, former Member of Parliament and Chairman of Jain TV Group Dr J K Jain, renowned expert of world religions Dr M M Verma, Arya Samaj leader Swami Agniwesh, Hindu religious leader Swami Omkaranand Srivastava, Ayodhya saint Jugal Kishore Shastri, Hindu religious scholar Pandit N K Sharma, Jain expert Prof Anay Kant Jain, Member of Parliament Mohammed Adeeb, Member of Delhi Assembly Shoib Iqbal, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Secretary Maulana Mohammed Rafique Ahmed Qasmi, Tanzeem Aemma Masajid President Maulana Umair Ilyasi, All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Maulana Ataur Rahman Qasmi, Tanzeem Ulama-e-Haq leader Maulana Ejaz Urfi Nadvi, besides a number of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind dignitaries like Wakil Parwez, Maulana Abul Aas Waheedi, Dr Syed Abdul Haleem, Abdullah Hyderabadi, Abdul Qadir Anwer Bastawi, Dr Abdul Aziz Fauzan, Saad Ali Ash’ar, Abdur Rahman Khilji, Sher Khan Jameel, Dr Hamid Yaqub, Shafi Ahmed Madani, Dr Abdul Aziz Sulaiman, Ahmed Al Rumi, Abdul Mannan Salafi, Shamim Ahmed Salafi, Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Shamim Ahmed Nadvi, Shaukat Ahmed Shah, Shakil Ahmed Madani, Mufti Rashid Azmi, Abdul Hakim Abdul Ma’bud Madani, Abdul Wahab Hejazi, Abdul Moid Madani, Khursheed Ahmed Madani, Shahabuddin Madani, and Dr Jawed Azam.

For more details please visit the following link…

30th All India Ahle Hadees Conference at Delhi’s Ram Leela Ground


 
 

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This 26/11 searching for true Indians – Sharad Tripathi

“Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” says Kunwar Vijender Shekhar, Pro-Chancellor of Shobhit University on his facebook page.
 

A lot of homage-paying ceremonies, human chains for unity etc are taking place to mark the first anniversary of Mumbai attacks of 26/11. Most of these are plain gimmicks. I overheard someone retorting in one of the ceremony 26/11 mubarak ho! Big S@#$. These homages are not introspection of any kind, they are just photo-ops.

So began a journey to identify real patriots. Living ones’ who can be Nation’s role model. Not very late I believed Bal Thackeray to be a real patriot, the Nationalist. But the Sena chief’s recent outburst against Sachin Tendulkar makes me believe that political class have misused the emotion of patriotism to serve their interests…real patriots remain unsung! 

I think I am confusing Nationalism with Patriotism. Are they different. Wikipedia stresses – Although patriotism is used in certain vernaculars as a synonym for nationalism, nationalism is not necessarily considered an inherent part of patriotism.[2][3] Among the ancient Greeks, patriotism consisted of notions concerning language, religious traditions, ethics, law, and devotion to the common good, rather than pure identification with a nation-state.[4][5] Scholar J. Peter Euben writes that for the Greek philosopher Socrates, “patriotism does not require one to agree with everything that his country does and would actually promote analytical questioning in a quest to make the country the best it possibly can be.”[6]

So who are real patriots. The politicians can never be patriots because the word politics itself is against the notion of patriotism. Some list of public figures who I consider Real patriots are :

  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Amitabh Bachchan (after all NRI’s can be patriots)
  • Saurav Ganguly
  • Rahul Gandhi
  • Suniel Gavaskar
  • Ratan Tata
  • Mukesh Ambani
  • Azim Premji
  • Yash Raj Chopra
  • Narayan Murthi

See we can count them on our fingers. But there are numerous personalities, social-entrepreneurs who are PATRIOTS in real sense. Doing their bit to energise the Nation without any shouting and sloganeering. Some personal names I can put forward(whose efforts I have seenpersonally) who I consider doing their best for upliftment of the Nation:

  • Kunwar Vijender Shekhar, Pro-Chancellor of Shobhit University Meerut
  • Rajesh Bharti, MD, Amatya IAS/PCS Meerut
  • Dr Alok Pandey, Asst. Development Commissioner SEZ’s in Western UP
  • Rot. Yogesh Mohan Gupta, Chairman IIMT Group Meerut/G.Noida
  • Umesh Gautam, Invertise Group, Bareilly
  • Gyanender Aggarwal, GD Promoters, Builder and Social Worker
  • Security Personnel -The Army, Navy, Air Force

That’s it.

http://omsherryom.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/in-india-real-patriots-are-unsung/

 

 

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An Evening with an Incurable Optimist in Communal Harmony – AU Asif

If there are a few people in this country who turn non-issues into issues and disturb the social fabric, tarnishing the image of India, there is no dearth of people who do vice versa. Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra, Pro Chancellor, Shobhit University, whom this scribe met the other day on November 26, 2009, is a man with a difference. He is not only a firm believer in India’s exemplary pluralistic thought but also tries to practice it in his usual routine life. He is, in fact, an incurable optimist in communal harmony.

He hails from Gangoh, known for exemplary communal harmony. Gangoh lies in a belt known for producing well known personalities like Hazrat Qutub Alam Gangohi, Baba Hari Das, Sulaiman Gangohi, Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Maulana Qasim Nanotvi. The last two are known to play a pivotal role in the foundation of Darul Uloom Deoband, an internationally renowned Islamic seminary. These personalities also remained in the forefront of the Independence struggle since 1857. To him, Gangoh is not only a qasbah but a composite culture itself. That’s why there is found here no communal feeling among the followers of different religions, and it has emerged as the best example of communal harmony and co-existence.

“I am a Hindu by faith but I fast on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramazan every year since my childhood,” he acclaims. And, this is not limited to a token demonstration of one’s inner feeling and respect for other religions but found in his every day life and practices.

Recalls Kunwar Shekhar: “Recently there were a number of Muslim guests from Pakistan to my residence. They belonged to an elite class. The guests included a young boy and girl. Surprised over our attitude of co-existence, they asked as to does this really exist in the Indian society as a whole. Then I offered them to go to mandir, gurudwara and masjid, along with my own children and see from their own eyes the scenes of co-existence and tolerance. Astonishingly, they asked: Would they not kill us as we are Muslims? When I assured them full satisfaction, they agreed to go to the places of worship. Their astonishment vanished when after reaching mandir and gurudwara and getting introduced, the Hindu and Sikh priests welcomed and narrated them the Hindu and Sikh teachings of co-existence and harmony. Similar was the experience of my own children accompanying these guests while visiting Delhi’s historic Jama Masjid. Some responsible persons at the mosque too welcomed my Hindu children and showed the mosque with much interest. The result was that these children came back more than satisfied about the plural character of India.”

What Kunwar Shekhar says is the general feeling. The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said at the three-day long 18th annual conference of the Vitro-Retinal Society of India in Palampur on November 26 that the world must learn religious harmony from India.

Kunwar Shekhar was in the Soviet Union during the last days of Mikhail Gorbachev’s regime. He has so much regard for other religions that he presented her teacher of Russian language, Fatima, a Muslim lady from Daghistan, a gift of a small copy of the Holy Quran carried from his home country. He says: “Even being a staunch Communist, she accepted my offer with respect. I don’t know whether she is now alive or not.” Recalling her peculiar way of teaching, he avers: “She taught me through indications, hints and symbols without taking the help of English language.”

Kunwar Shekhar Vijendra is among a few persons who don’t live with the history, rather tries to change the course of the history. He wonders as to why today’s children find their heroes in Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai and other cine stars instead of Gandhiji and other national heroes as well as religious figures.

In connection with the centennial celebration of the publication of Gandhiji’s 1909 book “Hind Swaraj”, Shobhit University in collaboration with Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Hinsa Mukt Bharat Andolan organized on November 15, 2009 a seminar, inaugurated by its Vice Chancellor Dr Anoop Swarup and participated by Additional Solicitor General of India Bishwajit Bhattacharyya; Gandhian scholars Dev Dutt and Anil Mishra; Indian Council of Gandhian Studies Chairman Prof N Radhakrishnan; and Prof Pradeep Mathur among others. A large number of students enthusiastically participated in the programme and shared their feelings. They were overzealous to know about the writing of Gandhiji much before his coming back to India from South Africa and attaining the prefix of “Mahatma” to his name.

Says: Kunwar Shekhar: “Our national heroes have not lost charisma, rather we have lost them. Even today if we make them the topics of our discussion, there is no reason as to why our children won’t take interest in them.” It is to point out that Shobhit University announced on this occasion to introduce “Gandhian Way of Journalism” in its course of study.

It pains Kunwar Shekhar to see the decline in values, particularly moral values and discipline among the new generation. That’s why the topic of the seminar was “Education for Nation-Building and Civilizational Issues in ‘Hind Swaraj’”.

The only slogan of this man is “Each One Teach one”. One hopes that in an era of moral and value degeneration, his dream would one day take a shape and become a reality.
—A U Asif can be reached at au_asif@yahoo.co.in

http://fanawatch.com/index.php?do=news_view&id=1344

 

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