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“We the Students, We the Leaders…” Historical Students Conference | SIO Gujrat

Ahmadabad: Hundreds of students walked out of a day long students conference organised by the Gujarat Zone of the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), with a determination to re-orient their career and life. The Conference was organised on 27th November 2011 at Ahmedabad’s Gandhi Hall, Juhapura with a view to instill new purpose of education and life in the students community.

In a prelude of the Conference SIO had reached more than 5000 students directly in the form of motivational lectures at various schools, coaching classes and residential zones in Ahmedabad. The fortnight long mass contact program of SIO culminated in a Conference themed “We the Students, We the Leaders…” attended by a more than thousand participants.

Kalim Ansari the Zonal President of SIO Gujarat explained the need for organizing the Conference in his inaugural words. Dr.Shakeel Ahmed, the zonal patron of SIO in his keynote address explained the prevailing leadership Crisis in the country. He encouraged the students to aim at contributing to the society rather than getting into perpetual rights seeking attitude and getting trapped into the mentality of victimization.
Mufti Rizwan Tarapuri of Jamia Ibn-e-Abbas, Ahmedabad lauded the efforts of SIO to promote education, excellence and character building within the community. He quoted a few couplets from Allama Iqbal to motivate students community to realize their leadership potential.
Saiyed Arif Ali, National Secretary – SIO of India introduced SIO in detail. He explained how SIO was struggling since last three decades to promote the development of the Students Community. While stressing on the SIO’s role in the communal harmony he shared with the audience that SIO had featured in a UNESCO report as one of the best groups which promoted inter faith dialogue and communal harmony in the country. He also claimed that not a single associate of a three million strong SIO has been found in any act which is illegal or detrimental to the nation contrary to the rampant violent actions of many students organisations.

Dr.Suresh Khairnar, an eminent Nagpur based Social Activist spoke on the evils of Imperialism & Capitalism. Citing an example, he explained how an otherwise beautiful and peaceful country like Iran was being disparaged by the media under the influence of Imperial powers. He also urged students to emulate the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, the famous son of Gujarat.

S.Ameenul Hasan (Member, Central Advisory Council Jamat-e-Islami Hind) who came all the way from Bangalore for the conference used various metaphors to explain the contemporary crisis. He explained how a certain section of powerful lobbies were trying to Control Food & Water, Control Families and Control  the Culture of the Societies in order to strengthen their clout on the people. He appealed the students community to be wary of such powers and change the scenario with demonstration of highest level of character, practicing the principles and rituals of Islam and excelling in their academia. He presented Islam as a system which had Ideas, Icons and Materials to usher in a positive change towards the goal of just and peaceful society. He also made another presentation on Personality Development in the light of Islam during the second session. He said that Islam emphasized on transforming the person into an epitome of highest level of character rather than giving cosmetic changes to an individual.

During the second session, Mehboob Pathan father of Irfan & Yusuf Pathan, the international cricket siblings delivered a brief talk on motivating the students community to believe in themselves and Almighty for attaining otherwise seemingly impossible achievements.

The second session witnessed cultural activities like a Drama performance by a group of primary students from the Radiance School Modasa. A Symposium titled “We the Students, We the Leaders” was addressed by Shafi Madni (Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami  Gujarat), Dr.Iftikhar Malik (Editor, Yuva Saathi Monthly) and Saleha Malek, the president of the Gujarat Zone of the Girls Islamic Organisation. Saleha urged the girls that they formed the half of the Society and should share the same responsibility in the transformation of the society. She cited various examples of students activism to make her point. Dr.Iftikhar said that there was a need for students who purified the Wall Street rather than occupying it. Shafi Madni also urged the gathering to study the principles of Islam and practice them to bring the change which they are yearning for.

The Conference concluded with an energetic speech by PM Salih, the Secretary General of the SIO of India. He spoke at length on the Concept of “We the Students, We The Leaders” and the three terminologies featuring in the slogan. On leadership, he said that the world needs to study the Leadership of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his guided Companions. He also explained the concept of Students which according to him was someone who studied self and the Universe rather than getting conditioned into an enslaved mentality. On “We” he said that it reflected the SIO’s commitment to a united society where people practicing all faiths be it Hinduism, Islam, Christianity or any other faith can co-exist with love and peace.

A Special issue of YUVA SAATHI highlighting the theme of the conference was also distributed during the event.
The Conference concluded with the felicitation of 23 winners of the Islamic Knowledge Test which was convened by Arshad Hussain Shaikh for SIO.

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