B.A. Mohideen receives Lifetime Award of the Bearys’ Welfare Association
BANGALORE: Governor H.R. Bhardwaj said on Sunday that Muslims had made a distinctive contribution to the country’s composite culture and heritage with “Urdu, Sufism and madrasas”, making it a fantastic society to live in, and every one should strive to maintain this unique character of unity in diversity.
He was speaking after presenting the Lifetime Award of the Bearys’ Welfare Association, Bangalore, to the former Minister B.A. Mohideen, a doyen of Bearys, an ethnic group among Muslims of the west coast. He also gave away merit awards to more than 200 children studying in schools and colleges.
Hailing Islam’s message of equality and working together for the common good of the people, Mr. Bhardwaj said that the Constitution framers derived this important element of the religion when they formulated Article 14 guaranteeing equality and brotherhood to the citizens.
Mr. Bhardwaj said that Urdu was one of the most romantic languages. Sufism and its saints, who spread the message of Islam; Ruksana, a devout Muslim, who produced wonderful poetry on Lord Krishna in the Brij language; and Abdul Rahim Khan, a Sanskrit scholar, who translated Vedas, Upanishads and Indian scriptures for Akbar; had all made India a fantastic country to live in.
‘Harmony at all costs’
Recalling his recent visit to Udupi, the Governor said that he came to know of some tension in the region created by some mischievous elements. Senior officers were told that communal harmony should be maintained at all costs.
The former Minister and MLA R. Roshan Baig said some misguided people among Muslims were bringing a bad name to them by indulging in violence, and added that there was a tendency to dub the entire community as terrorists. ‘We criticise the Sangh Parivar for being communal, but even among Muslims, we have a section like that and they should not be spared. They should behave in a way that is acceptable to the majority community,” he added.
Commending the association for starting 100 schools and colleges imparting quality education to the Muslims, especially girls,
Mr. Baig said that there was a great need to encourage women in the country to take up higher education and employment. When Jews, constituting 0.2 per cent of the population could garner 129 Nobel prizes, why Muslims, constituting 22 to 24 per cent should get only around 10? he asked.
Replying to the felicitation, Mr. Mohideen urged the gathering to work for the unity and integrity of the country through education, which would also be the answer to all the ills of the society. He bemoaned that the country lacked enlightened leadership. N.A. Haris, MLA, supported Mr. Baig’s view that more Muslim youth should take up civil service examination and join the defence forces.
Oscar Fernandes, MP and Chairman, Central Election Authority in the AICC; D.B. Chandre Gowda, MP; U.T. Khader, MLA; and M.B. Abdul Rahman, president, The Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy, Mangalore, spoke.