Monday, June 1, 2015

Interview of Secretary general. Indian Jamaate Islami by editor Radiance

Jamaat is a Blessing for Entire Nation

JIH Secretary General Mohammad Salim Engineer talking to Sikandar Azam
PROFESSOR MOHAMMAD SALIM ENGINEER, popularly known as Salim Engineer, former Head of the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering at Malviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, is now Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. In a formal talk with SIKANDAR AZAM, this techno professor cum JIH leader shares some of his research experiences in mobile communication technology as well as his association with the Jamaat. Excerpts:
Please tell us about your academic pursuit…
After schooling I did my Engineering from Regional Engineering College, Jaipur, which is now MNIT (Malviya National Institute of Technology) Jaipur from 1978-83. Then I joined State Electricity Board Rajasthan as a practising engineer for some time. Thereafter I served as Asst. Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department, Jodhpur University for half a year. Within one year of my completion of B.Tech Degree, I came back to the same institute where I had studied, viz. MNIT, as a faculty. And since then, i.e. 1984, I continued there as a faculty member for more than 30 years. I have completed one term of three years from 2010 to 2013 as Head of the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering.
Meanwhile, I did M.Tech in Communication Engineering from IIT Kanpur from 1989 to 1991. In 1995 I was selected at the university level to go for a UK-India collaborative research programme. So in 1995 I went to Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK for specialisation and research in Electronics Circuit Design. There I was part of a research group which was designing an underwater robot for pipeline surveying; I designed a control circuit to control the movements of that robot. That was the project which I handled during my eight months stay at Sheffield.
What about your research work in Ph.D?
I did my Ph.D from MNIT Jaipur. During Ph.D the area of my specialisation was to improve upon the latest mobile communication technology. I ended up with some very efficient codes which I could design for enhancing the data rate in mobile communication. So it was an application related to 4G Mobile Communication. A group of 11 of my students including some doing M.Tech are working on 5G Mobile Communication, which is still not yet fully standardised.
How was your research on 4G received in the world?
In NITs and IITs every Ph.D thesis is required to be evaluated by some foreign expert. My thesis was sent for evaluation to an expert in a university in the United States of America and one expert from an IIT here in India. I thank Allah the Exalted that my Ph.D work was highly acclaimed by the evaluators and I was highly encouraged by their compliments.
You have done a lot of research on mobile communication technology. Please throw some light on mobile radiation…
There are mobile towers which radiate mobile signals. I did research on that also. In Rajasthan a PIL was filed against mobile companies, saying that their radiations are hazardous to human beings living around. As a result of that PIL, Rajasthan High Court appointed a committee to do a survey and suggest some recommendations. I was there on the committee as the technical expert of mobile radiation. We did an extensive survey of mobile radiation in Jaipur city. We used very advanced equipment. We prepared a report of course with some concrete suggestions within the timeline given by the High Court. I wouldn't say that it was only our report but there were other factors as well that made the Government of India initiate measures to reduce the mobile radiation level to one-tenth of then existing level. Discussions are still there that mobile radiation is hazardous if people are exposed to it for longer time.
How many members were there on that committee?
There were four members. Technically I was the expert of mobile radiation. There were two medical doctors, and one Professor of Physics. There was also one officer from the Telecom Department, who was responsible for providing all facilities, infrastructure and logistics, etc.
You have been with the Islamic Movement for a long time. Please tell us when and how did you join it?
I started studying Islamic literature around 1982 when I was in Final Year of my B.Tech. In 1987 I decided to join Jamaat-e-Islami Hind; I applied for its membership and within a few months it was granted to me. Since I was very young then, about 25 years old, I was advised to work with its students wing, Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO). For some time I was Asst. Zonal President of SIO. In 1991 I was given the responsibility of Zonal President of SIO Rajasthan. I was also on its Central Advisory Committee (CAC). Soon after retiring from SIO in 1993, I was given the responsibility to assist the Zonal President of JIH Rajasthan, Hakeem Muzaffar Hussain. So I was with him as Muawin Ameer-e-Halqua for two years.
In 1995, as I mentioned earlier, I got a chance to go to Sheffield Hallam University, UK for research work. And there itself, in May 1995, I got the information that I was given the responsibility of Ameer-e-Halqua (Zonal President) of Rajasthan in absentia. At that time Maulana Muhammad Sirajul Hasan was JIH Ameer here. It was a surprise for me as I was just 32 years. After coming back from UK in October 1995, I took charge of Ameer-e-Halqua of JIH, Rajasthan, and served in that capacity for four consecutive terms from 1995 to 2011. This is my fifth term in Jamaat's Markazi Majlis-e-Numaindagan (Central Council of Representatives) and fourth term in Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora (Central Advisory Council). In 2011 I was given the responsibility of Secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Hind for Public Relations and I worked in that capacity during the last four-year term.
How will you mark a balance between your professional duties there in Jaipur and your new duties here as Secretary General of JIH here?
In the last term I was given the responsibility of Secretary for Public Relations. I tried to manage between the two. I used to come here at JIH headquarters for two days a week in general and sometimes for more days on leave if so required. But this new responsibility as Secretary General would require my full time presence in Markaz. It was really surprising to me that this big responsibility would fall upon my shoulders. I pray to Allah the Exalted, and ask you too to do so, to show me some way to do justice with this responsibility.
The Jamaat's electoral process, right from the election of members of Central Council of Representatives to the appointment of local Ameers and publication of Policy and Programme, takes about six months. Don't you think this affects the functioning of the Jamaat in the beginning of the term? Do you feel the need for rescheduling of the process?
The process starts a few months before the term begins. But I think the entire process does not affect much the regular functioning of Jamaat; for, the electoral process is not such as it involves everybody all the time. The aims and objectives and the basic work do not change. I am not of the opinion that this process affects much the functioning of the Jamaat. But still there is discussion on how to reduce this time span.
How can the time span be reduced?
One thing is the time span. The other thing is that the nature of Jamaat functioning is consultative. At every level we have to consult our cadre. This consultation should go down to the lower level. This is very important to us. If it takes some time to protect and strengthen this consultative nature, it is not a big cost. I think we should always think to find a better model.
How would you like to propose for the better functioning of the various departments here at the JIH headquarters?
I am really not very clear at this stage. I would have to understand the system wholly. Besides, it is not a matter of one person; ours is collective leadership. We have our Ameer and a team of Secretaries; we have Shoora and Zonal Presidents. We all would think of improving the system.
We will reduce paper work. We will also make better use of modern information technology like social media and video conferencing. It would make our social contact as well as our organisation work easier and faster.
Is there any new department you think should be introduced here?
It's not the proper time to say so. For, the Policy & Programme for the next four years is in the making. A committee has been constituted to collect ground-level feedback and suggestions. The entire process of this will be finalised by our Central Advisory Council by May end. If needed, there might be some new department; or, some departments might be merged.
How consolidated you find your Zones are?
There are strong and well organised Zones; then there are some Zones which can be called average. During the last term we identified some Zones as weaker ones; we made special programmes for them and some special measures were taken during the last term.
Do you think these special measures have made some difference over there in the last term?
I can't say that it was up to our satisfaction. Yet efforts were made and some improvement was certainly there. And there is certainly room for improvement.
Would you like to share some of those special measures?
JIH headquarters formed a committee for weaker zones. In that committee some persons from those zones were also included. Some Secretaries were given the responsibility to first study the situation. They visited those Zones, talked to zonal, regional and in some cases local functionaries and some local people as well, studied the situation deeply and submitted their recommendations. The headquarters asked some Secretaries to ensure implementation of those recommendations in those zones.
Please throw some light on the situation prevailing in Rajasthan – the government vis-à-vis minorities…
Though Rajasthan is my home state, now I am thinking for the whole country.
Your message to our readers…
It is the blessings of Allah the Creator that we are part of the Islamic Movement. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is a blessing not only for Indian Muslims but for the entire nation; for, we are striving for a society based on peace, justice, harmony and dignity. These values cannot be enjoyed unless people follow the Divine guidance revealed by our Creator. The challenge before our cadre as well as the Muslim Ummah in this country is that we should convey this message of Islam, which is the true light from God, to our countrymen. We should strive for it. In this particular social, political and economic situation wherein our country is going towards a different way, our responsibility has multiplied much more. We should try to convey the Message of God to every person here with open heart and utmost love and affection. We should try to fulfil our duties as Muslims as well as responsible citizens of this country to see to it that our country does not go onto the wrong path and our countrymen should be aware of the Message of God. We hope that if the Divine teachings are implemented in the lives of people and in society, peace, justice and human dignity will prevail; and this would ensure the real success in the world and in the hereafter. This is the thing that we all should strive for.
Another important thing for the Jamaat and its cadre is that we should fight, at every level including the ground level, against exploitation, injustice and oppression perpetrated against any class or section of society, within democratic and Constitutional means, to ensure peace and progress in the country.


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