Pradip Bhandari, the CEO and Founder of Jan Ki Baat, in an exclusive interview of the Chief Imam of India, spoke about a variety of issues that the Muslim youth is dealing with and the possible solutions. Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi believed that upliftment of youth isnt a religious-centric question, with the only concern being upliftment of Muslims. Upliftment is a general issue, in which all communities have a stake. Indian youth, in general, needs to have policies and schemes that encourage its development. Such agendas are for universal welfare and therefore, cannot be reduced to religious communities. Education, above all, is to be prioritized; Indians must be strengthened through education, be it a Muslim citizen or a Hindu. When asked by Akriti Bhatia, the co-founder of Jan Ki Baat, about the increasing radicalization of youth and growing fundamentalism, the Chief Imam said that religion is always personal and any attempts to misguide people in its name must be condemned. The Muslim community is backward, he admitted, but concerted efforts are being made so that they can join in with the mainstream and a systematic integration can take place. His message to youth is clear: religion is internal and very personal; we are humans first and Indians when abroad. One must rise above religious prejudices to understand this.
Rising above religion is true Indianness: Dr.Imam Umar Ahmed Llyasi