Has anyone ever asked why movements like SIMI (Student of Islam Movement of India) began in the first place? Why,do groups have to style themselves in such self destructing methods and ideologies? What is the need for them to join terrorist organisations and spread mass chaos in the country?

The answers of these questions lie in education. I am aware of the fact that the members of SIMI are an educated lot, but what has driven them to such extreme measures is the disillusionment of the very exclusive education which is provided in India. The diversity of the student population India is bleak in terms of religion. Across my schooling career which has seen quite the measure of India, and now in my college instruction, I can count on my finger tips the number of Muslim students on the roll.

Education is important for the social development. Sociologists have listed with assurance that after our immediate family, it is our school or any educational institution which becomes the mode of social maturity. With such an important dimension being overlooked by the government, it becomes important that we become inclusive in our educational provisions. It is beneficial for students of every religion to live and get the enlightenment of education which will help grow secularism in our country, which is something we are desperately wishing for.

What do I mean by inclusive education? I mean, with all goodwill, that Muslim students should be made to join the public or private school systems where they can interact with students of every religion and get education of the highest standard. Education in India (if not completely) is quite often secular in its views. I can vouch for it that I have learnt in equal gauge the dark period of Hindu religion as well as the tyranny of the reign of Aurangzeb, no exceptions allowed! The books provided to us showed each religion in the best light possible without deleting their low points in history. With such quality of education, why are Muslim students made to look for other sources of education?

I completely stand by the Madrassa system of education. It is ancient and it becomes very necessary for the young Muslim to have a complete understanding of his religion. One is incomplete without being aware of his or her religion. What I advocate is the compulsory education of Muslim students in the mainstream education system so as to give them the profit of having the best of both worlds. With the complete grasp of Science, Social Science, English and Mathematics – they should have the knowledge of their religion. This will create complete individuals.

In a country bereft of secular individuals, this move will promote towards having educated youth taking lead in our country irrespective of their religion. This education model will only help us breed out the communalistic manifesto of our politicians. It will also help the Muslim youth, who might just be lost in the social milieu of the country, integrate themselves to the structure of our country. We know that we need every individual in the country to pull the system to another level of growth.

It is education that we see light and with this light can we find ourselves and our higher purpose. Let this be made available to every individual, irrespective of religion, who seeks enlightenment.

Sayan Das

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