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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Zulfiqar's committment to build a harmonious Gujarat


This is the kind of orientation our kids need to have, to bring about positive changes despite difficulties.  I was impressed by this kid's commitment, "As for his future plans, he said he was studying to bring Gujarat back to its harmonious days, when there was no fear and aggression." Indeed, that is how cohesive societies are built, that is pure patriotism,  a commitment to build an inclusive and not divisive Gujarat where no Gujarati has to live in apprehension and fear of the others, after all, the inhabitants of Gujarat are humans and not rakhshasas.
 I hope at least the new parents, both Hindu and Muslim do not poison their kids with hatred towards others. After all at least 10% of current 50-60 ish generation of Gujarati's, both Muslims and Hindus are loaded with hate for the other, and live in misery. Even those Gujarati's living in the United States, of a similar percentage are loaded with hate. I wish and pray, that these men clean their hearts, if they can, then they can ask Gujaratis in Gujarat to clean their hearts.

There is an old saying, evil exists not because of the evil people, but because of Good people doing nothing about the talks and acts of bad people. What can you do? The least you can do is to tell bad guys to shut up when they spew hatred towards all Gujaratis instead of individuals villains. Get a few more to say shut up, deep inside, the bad guys are not really bad, because they do shut up when a few people say it - otherwise they think they have the permission to spread hatred or belittle fellow Gujaratis.
Mike Ghouse
Committed to work towards building cohesive societies.
The following piece was sent by Shabnam Hashmi, and I have asked her to provide the link to the source, but the piece is a good piece.

A historic achievement!

A victim and survivor of Gujarat Riots of 2002; now a student of AMU; has beaten all records of hard work and dedication.

AMU research scholar selected for $1,20,000 scholarship:

In February 2002, when 15-year-old Sheikh Zulfiqar Mohmad Yusuf peeped out from the window of his house in Himmatnagar in Gujarat, he saw two communities baying for each other's blood. "That incident didn't take my life or my property but it attacked my sense of belonging and identity. The riots emboldened my resolve to rise above the circumstances," he said.

Today, this research scholar in economics from Aligarh Muslim University whose experience of staying in a relief camp prompted him to research what is now known as the 'Gujarat growth model', has got a scholarship worth 120,000 USD (Rs 74.28 lakh) from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago to study business administration. This way, Zulfiqar has joined a select group of students from across the globe earning distinction for academic, social and extracurricular activities.

Recalling his early days, the madarsa-schooled researcher said his family shifted to a relief camp in Gujarat because "we wanted to stay with the community." "The feeling of mistrust and fear had seeped in so much that there was no escaping from it. We found safety in numbers and gathered around our community members."

Zulfiqar conducted Research on "GUJARAT GROWTH MODEL" and has condemned the claims made by Gujarat Government and admits, they are Fake. During the research, Yusuf said he found that the rural population and members from the backward class have not benefited from any development. "Only the occupational structure of most of the communities has changed".

As for his future plans, he said he was studying to bring Gujarat back to its harmonious days, when there was no fear and aggression.

Zulfiqar admits that Gujarat riots were the failure of administration of Gujarat, "I would like to be a civil servant, because the riots were also the result of administrative failure."

For his above Research work, the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago has selected him for a prestigious presidential scholarship of 120,000 USD (74,28000 INR).

Zulfiqar, a recipient of SEAL (Services, Excellence, Academics and Leadership) award by Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) in 2012, was nominated by Robert G Templin, President of the NVCC for the IIT Presidential Scholarship. The exemplary academic record of Mr. Zulfiqar has earned him a place among the distinguished students of the University whose alumni include a Nobel laureate.

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