Report of the Convention held in Washington, DC was sent by Zafar Iqbal,


Dr. Vipin Tripathi, Professor at IIT Delhi  organized as before a successful  Sadbhav Mission Convention in Washington area on June 27, 2009 to promote inter-communal harmony.


Education is the key factor in bringing harmony in inter-, and intra-community relations, said Dr. Vipin Tripathi, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and convener of the Sadbhav Mission Convention held at the Computer Science Department of the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland on Saturday, 27th June 2009. Prof. Tripathi shared his experience of meetings and workshops he had organized in different Gujarat towns and in Azamgarh and other places in UP that were affected by communal frenzy in the recent years.  He lamented the anti-minority policies of Gujarat government where they are suppressing all avenues for education of Muslim children in many Gujarat towns. He also cited some examples of injustices perpetrated by Police authorities against minorities in Azamgarh, Delhi and other places. Tripathi, a strong believer in Gandhian philosophy, was hopeful that with time situation would improve as a number of people have started to realize that the policy of hate is very detrimental for all.  He appealed to the audience for guidance and help and to find ways to convince authorities to providing facilities for education in minority localities in Gujarat.


Dr. Mohan Bhagat, a senior professor of physics at the University of Maryland talked about the educational systems in India.  He said that India has two distinct educational systems; one system gives degrees and the other system operating in villages teaches survival skills.  He said the real education teaches self respect and respect of others and without these two components education was not complete.  Exploring the issue of violence, Dr. Raheem Chaudhry said that there was a direct link between violence and injustice.  Mr. Rohit Tripathi appraised the audience with recent elections in India. He felt that there was a clear qualitative shift in electoral politics.  Candidates with good ideas linked with people’s daily lives were favoured by the voters.  In his opinion, the voter did not pay much attention to the politics of caste and religion. Mr. Anuj Tripathi described the activities of Sadbhav Mission in India and US.


Mrs. Nishrin Hussain expressed dissatisfaction with the situation in Ahmadabad as there were no signs of any improvement in conditions of Muslims in Gujarat. They are restricted to live only in defined areas with non-existent facilities for education of children.  Additionally, job opportunities for them were severely curtailed. Emotions took over her while describing the brutality the mob committed in murdering her father, the late Mr. Ehsan Jafri, who had been a know secularist and a social worker representing the constituency in Lok Sabha.  


Dr. A. Abdullah welcomed the audience and conducted the meeting. Prominent members of Indo-Pak community from Maryland, Virginia and Washington area attended the meeting. A number of cultural and educational associations, such as the Aligarh Alumni Association of Metropolitan Washington (AAA), Association for India’s Development (AID), Association of Indian Muslims (AIM), and Asha for Education, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Pakistan-American Association, and Young India were also represented. Mr. Sultan Siddiqui, a retired director in the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of India also participated in the meeting.  The program included recitation of poems and refreshment.  It ended with thanks to Prof. Tripathi for his dedicated service to the humanity. 

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