By Ayub Khan, MMNS
AHMEDABAD–The American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin held its successful XIX Annual Convention and Gala Awards Ceremony on Dec.25-26, 2010 in the city of Ahmedabad. The event held at the cityâ€™s famed Tagore Hall was attended by over 1500 people from all walks of life on the two days. The main highlight of the convention was the awards section where top scoring students of board exams from cross India were awarded with medals and cash prizes. Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasmi, educationist and Member of Parliament from Bihar, was conferred with the organizationâ€™s prestigious Sir Syed Award. A number of dignitaries from USA, Canada, UK, and across India participated.
The convention was inaugurated by the Governor of Gujarat Dr. Kamla Beniwal. In her address she praised the immense contributions of Indian Muslims in nation building and welcomed AFMIâ€™s efforts in creating educational awareness. By education only students can have a bright future and can contribute to the development of the community and the state, she added.
Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of Law, said they can again regain their status through educational excellence. He said the UPA government is committed to implement the Sachar Commission recommendations.
â€œWhatever is being done for the minorities by the government is not charity. It is their right and privilege,â€ he added.
Retd Justice Sachar said that Muslims should not feel that they are outsiders as they have been living in this country for hundreds of years.
Referring to the talent among the Muslims, he said, â€œIt is wrong to say that the Muslims students do not have the capacity to enter higher education institutes. Those who have entered UPSC, IIMs and IITs have done well.â€
AFMI trustee Dr. A.R.Nakadar in his speech said that with determination and courage there is no hurdle which one cannot overcome. He asked the students to excel in their studies and not to forget the community and the nation once they are established in life.
AFMI president Dr. Iqbal Ahmed, Mr. Ashfaq Quraishi (president elect), Mr. Ali Quraishi, Dr. Aslam Abdullah, Dr. Tajuddin Ahmed, Dr. Razia Ahmed, Mr. A.G. Shaikh, Mr. Gheewala, and others also spoke at the event. At the convention an AFMI Awardee Alumni Association was also formed.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah led the participants in a prayer for the victims of communal carnage in the state.
After the convention AFMIâ€™s educational caravan visited a number of cities and towns in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. The towns include Kapodra, Malekpore, Godhra, Dahod, Khandwa, Bulandhshar, and Malerkotla. At these programs scholarships and awards were awarded to local toppers.