UP: Evangelizing through cell phone *Rather than college and university, focus should be on school

June 18, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Uttar Pradesh, June 7, 2012: It began with a few people calling in and asking for healing or prayer over a specific issue, says Sister Esther Dass..

Missionaries in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state, have opened a prayer hotline for poor and rural farmers.

Called the Prayer on Phone Ministry, it has proved wildly successful.

People are already dialing in from several states, say the missionaries who are assisted by Christian Aid Mission of Charlottesville, United States.

Bill Bray with Christian Aid Mission says Christians are now using cell phones for evangelization.

It began with a few people calling in and asking for healing or prayer over a specific issue, says Sister Esther Dass.

Her ministry started to spread through word-of-mouth. Soon, those calling in for prayer ranged from farmers to villagers and Muslims to Hindus.

India has 919 million mobile phones, almost three times more than all the cell phones in the United States!

The Lord is honoring the faith of people in rural areas whose only link with the outside world is their mobile phones, says Dass.

The Indian mobile phone companies are boasting that soon every rural home will have mobiles phones before they have plumbing, she said.

“It started just in Uttar Pradesh. Now they are getting calls from five states: almost all dalit peoples–low caste,” says Bray.

In the Uttar Pradesh district of Bareilly, there was a particular concentration of people calling in for prayer.

According to Bray, “They contacted those people and arranged to come to their village and hold a five-day prayer conference.”

Around 30 families went to the prayer conference in Bareilly and listened to a speaker preach over five days on the theme of “Healing and Forgiveness.”

“This is a prayer conference mostly for Hindus, teaching them how to pray and, of course, they lead them to the Lord Jesus. As a result of that, a little church has formed in that village,” Bray states.

Dass says many people have approached us to conduct more five-day prayer conferences but “we are constrained for funds.”

– rvfinley.com/ mnnonline.org

Rather than college and university, focus should be on school

 

India, June 05, 2012: This second decade post economic liberalization, Muslim community of the country particularly in northern India, has taken up the cause of education quiet vigorously. Be it various residential societies of rickshaw pullers or ghettos of Muslim laborers or the areas of modern middle class colonies, students having bags in the morning are now a common scene. Government impetus toward Sarvshiksha Abhiyan where the students are fed through the midday meal schemes have contributed to a certain extent in this change as these poor class families are now inclined to send their wards to school for food. Quite remarkable change is in the Deeni Madaaris where preachers and Maulanas have also contributed as they also started saying it vehemently that Islam is not against the modern education. The Hadees where prophet has said to go to China for ilm has spread everywhere and the same can be seen being narrated by aalims and layman alike. It’s not that we have achieved something great to cheer but the point to highlight is an overall change of mindset and awareness for education, which was not there same 20 years ago.

Even if a cause is taken up on a war footing in India in right earnest it has chances to lose focus and bad elements get an entry to spoil the momentum. In this cause of educational upliftment also, it seems, we are facing the same scenario in the very beginning.

Let us leave aside for a while the issue of derailment from the main track of Deen–o- Iman when getting educated and acquiring modernity. Right now let us discuss the current scenario from the perspective of losing focus and entry of bad intentions (absence of khuloos) in the movement to educate Muslim ummah.

Just as the issue of reservation is taken up by the Muslim leaders for greed of votes and personal gains, these days it seems, the cause of education has also been sabotaged the same way. In social get-togethers and other events, we see efforts to highlight ourselves as educationally backward and get involved in negativity without any introspection which ultimately affects the bright young minds who lose all hopes.

In a Muslim dominated historic area called Amroha, there are 5 Muslim Degree colleges with hostels being opened in a short span. The same way various engineering colleges and schools are mushrooming in other community dominated areas in the name of development. But somewhere deep within, the real motto behind opening these schools, colleges is either political or monetary gains or just to belittle each other in competition of castes and clans affiliated organizations. Nobody is bothered about quality or about the future of the youngsters who, in hopes of better prospects ahead, put all their resources for B.Tech, BEd, etc .Sometimes teachers of these institutes are given target to enroll certain number of students on commission basis and they are herding them in from interiors of UP and Bihar. With very weak basics and such fragile infrastructure of teaching in these institutes, these students struggle to earn a dignified living even after passing out with BTech, B.Ed degrees etc. And by that time they even lose their resources to start their own business.

The blanket cover of 3% reservation of Muslims in Civil Service is the most recent issue highlighted. It’s certainly astonishing to see this fact of only 3% representation in all the civil service exam results so far even after 2 decades of dedicated efforts of Sayid Hamid and various coaching centers, but surely there are some reasons other than communal minds for this fact to sustain for such a long time.

As discussed by some civil servant, the main reason is a lack of quality educated youth. There are very few broad minded, quality educated students to be pushed across the passing line of these coveted exams. After carefully studying the behavior and personally interacting with various teachers, students and researchers of our Muslim community starting from Hamdard, AMU, Jamia, to the students of coaching institutes at Lucknow and other places, and then interacting with great Muslim brothers of Deccan Hyderabad here in Dubai, one thing which became crystal clear is that unfortunately our Muslim brothers in general, and students in particular, have extreme thoughts and no direction. These extreme thoughts are either of jubilation over the virtual religious world minus its call to action; of a great past, great brotherhood or these thoughts are of extreme depression having no faith in the system of country, government, society. Quiet visible are prejudices in the thought, a life style devoid of a spirit of brotherhood, discipline, quest of knowledge lack of punctuality, even in matters religious.

Negativity in the thoughts of students even at the campuses of AMU, Jamia etc. where they have the best facilities and best resources available; lack of self discipline and seriousness towards the goal; sometimes not having any goal even at the age of 25; blindly following one behind another like a herd of sheep; fear of exploring new areas and avenues are some issues which are somewhere playing havoc and are acting as the silent killers of educated youth of Muslim Ummah. In smaller cities and towns of Western & Eastern UP there still are hundreds of students wasting their precious time and money in coaching to get admission in MBBS and IIT. In Jamia Hamdard University, my alma mater, there are students of pharmacy who are spending time and money for GPAT & PhDs just to shell themselves from the heat of industry and practical world and just to get comfortable lectureships in various institutes of India and Saudi with no will and mindset to jump into the new fields . There are instances where even the teachers of these three Muslim institutes have same Nawabi style of ego and pride; thoughts which don’t let them come out of the fantasy world; have no desire or zeal to acquire any knowledge of the current affairs and current times. The negativity in the thoughts of Muslim teachers is so much that a student never gets any positive push from them which would boost his confidence to explore his true potential.

Even after such odd conditions, Muslim students are still clearing the JEE, Civil Services, Medicals, which is great. But the real agenda should be to channelize the efforts of upliftment towards increasing practicing-Muslim representations in all the fields of India proportionate to their population. That too not with the help of reservation but on our own strength. For this to happen we need to have synchronization between all the community organizations whether religious, educational or business.

The time has come to start the efforts for establishing the Prophet’s teaching in quality secondary education system addressing modern realities, for our Muslim teenagers. Because, howsoever hard we try for our graduates to make them pass the coveted exams, unless they have a positive mindset built up during the secondary level education, results will never be as desired.

As a first step, we should, for a while stop opening the new schools and colleges. Instead this money should be invested to make district, city, block level communities and academies-consisting of well educated volunteers, governed and led by the learned Muslim scholars, bureaucrats, Ulema and others to take care of the school going students. This care should not only be just financial but for creating a conducive environment of support, guidance and counseling. An environment in which the student can acquire the knowledge of Deen, can share and nurture his dreams, get inspiration and motivation, realize his duties and responsibilities as representative of Islam, explore the new avenues beyond mere engineering and medical.

As a second step we should strive to establish professional sports and coaching academies, wherein the students can enroll themselves post school.

The essential point is that the first and second steps as mentioned for the strengthening the secondary education, should start simultaneously and not at the cost of derailing the efforts being undertaken by coaching societies like Hamdard and Rahmani 30 for IAS, Medical and Engineering. Only then we can envision the establishment of a pluralistic, representative and peaceful society based on Prophet Mohammad’s teaching and visions of the founders of our great democracy.

– twocircles.net

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