The speakers at the three-day-long seminar at Kurukshetra University underlined the importance of social harmony and argued that teachers can play can a constructive role through their writings, discourses and teachings to the younger generations to change the mindset of people towards minorities in the country.
THERE IS a dire need to change the mindset and attitude of people towards the minorities' communities for keeping the society homogeneous and harmonious for longer period. In this venture, the teaching fraternity can play a key role through their writings, discourses and teachings to the young generation in the educational institutions. This was emphasised by Professor Mohinder Singh, Director General of Guru Nanak Khalsa group of educational institutions during his valedictory address on the concluding day of the 3-day International seminar on Minorities Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in the Senate Hall of Kurukshetra University Sunday evening.
Underlining the need and importance of such socially relevant seminars, he said that the young generation needs to be taught new concepts and theories of social cohesiveness and cordiality for a better society much required for the academic excellence and economic growth of country. He was all praise for the organizers of this international seminar on such a vibrant and burning issue all over the world.Welcoming the chief guest, organizer of the seminar and chairman of History department, Professor Chattar Singh said that this was for the first time that 94 delegates, including 60 teachers participated in the seminar. Many foreign scholars not only delivered their theme-based research papers in the seminar but also participated in the discussions that stretched up to 7.00 pm on the second day.In all 55 research papers were read out by the participants besides over a dozen by the resource persons who included Prof Joginder Singh, Director of Guru Ramdas Namdhari Chair of GNDU Amritsar and also a scholar on minority Sikh history, Prof Jigar Mohammad of Jammu University, Prof. Sunta Zaidi and Prof Inayet Zaidi of Jamia Milai Islami, Delhi, Prof PS Choondawat and Prof. Adhya Bharti Saxena of M.S.University Baroda (Gujarat), Prof Ranbir Singh of HIRD Nilokheri, Prof Amar Singh of MDU Rohtak, Prof V.K. Agarwal , Director of Institute of Law of Kurukshetra University, Prof. James Massey, Director of CDSS and former Member of the National Commission for Minorities and Prof. Mohinder Singh , Member of the National Commission for Minorities Educational Institutions, Government of India, New Delhi and Dr Sara Keller of France and Dr Ali Mahmood Yahya of Iraq besides many other scholars of History, social sciences and law faculties. Professor Chattar Singh said that all communities like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Parsi and Buddha were represented on dias. Many papers were related to women entrepreneurship and empowerment, domestic maid servants of Chandigarh, poverty factors among Christians and Muslims in Kerela, Parsi communities entrepreneurship in Gujarat, artisan minorities of Kuchh, Muslim weavers’ minorities, sexual minorities and Human Rights Violations , Muslim artists and Gharana tradition in music, community radio's role minorities and likewise. A paper on Iraqi minorities, depicting differentiation between law and reality was very much praised by the delegates. A power-point presentation of settlements of urban centers for the minority communities within the walled cities in Europe was another paper worth attention and discussion by a foreign resource person. Research papers worth publication with amendments and changes in the light of suggestions made during the discussions, will become part of the proceedings in the form of a book later, Dr Chattar Singh added.He said floral tributes were paid to the revolutionaries like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev on their Martyrdom Day and two minutes silence was observed to pay homage to them after lighting the lamp. The end of the seminar was marked by singing of national anthem by all in the senate hall.Earlier Prof. Mohinder Singh, Member, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India, New Delhi asserted that India had been a society of assimilation of many religions, culture and ethnic groups living with great sense of belonging to each other. But of late, the society has been divided by various factors with the ideology of hate by vested interests. Lt.Gen. (Retd.) Dr. D.D.S. Sandhu, Vice-Chancellor, Kurukshetra University highlighted the virtues and characteristics of Indian entrepreneurs being successful in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and elsewhere abroad. He said by dint of hard work, minorities have excelled in world economy. He said we need to probe and analyse why only some minorities achieved success everywhere in the world.Prof. Joginder Singh said that compulsions of life and zeal to do something different in life are some of the factors among minorities’ communities to make them entrepreneurs and empower them politically, socially and economically. Prof. Jigar Mohammad highlighted the characteristics and its paradoxes of Muslim minorities in Indian context. Dr. Sara Keller of University of Paris, France made a presentation on the urban settlements of minority community of Ahmedabad City in Gujarat and compared it with another city of France. Dr. Ashish Mishra highlighted the entrepreneurial zeal of Parsi community in Gujarat and Maharashtra in setting of industries of liquor and gold. Dr. Seepana Prakasam of Chandigarh described the pathetic condition of domestic women minority in Chandigarh city with the help of economic survey data of government agencies.