– Sajida A Zubair
The JIH Andaman Islands, after its shift from under the JIH Kerala, is now under the Centre’s focussed zone. This transition has resulted in more focused work in a variety of areas. A dedicated team led by Ameer-E-Halqa M.K. Mohammed, with the strong team leadership of Salam Falahi, a full-time worker of JIH-Andaman, and the support of a few other JIH-Andaman associates, has been actively engaged in spreading the mission and message of JIH to the entire stretch of the islands.
In the context of India, where religious, linguistic, and cultural diversity is central to the country’s identity, programs promoting communal harmony are critical. However, the issue of communal harmony in our country has become an issue of concern in recent years. There have been reports of communal tensions fueled by hatred that have polarized communities. The islands, dubbed ‘Mini India’ due to the islanders’ peaceful and harmonious coexistence, are not immune to the political views that have infiltrated through social media or the internet.
The team led by Abdus Salam Falahi is attempting to reach out to individuals with a message of unity in order to maintain the unity of the islanders. This team’s goal of promoting social harmony has encompassed the North, Middle, and South Andaman Islands over the past four years. The gatherings for communal harmony are the most important and noteworthy activities. The team’s excellent efforts are directed at creating an inclusive and unified environment by encouraging communal harmony throughout the islands.
This team works to foster unity, tolerance, and understanding among diverse populations through a variety of programs like educational projects, which aim to teach islanders about Islamic customs, cultures, and mannerisms in addition to the message.
A further area of focus is empowerment activities like family counseling, awareness campaigns, and career coaching. What’s remarkable about these initiatives is that the team never does anything without first getting the local Panchayat Pradhan’s approval. All of the activities, including drug abuse and addiction awareness campaigns, are done as collaborative endeavors. The local government has nothing but appreciation for this group and consistently steps up to maintain the islands’ identity as ‘Mini India’.
In continuation of this work, the JIH Andaman hosted Harmony Meets on Friday at local churches in Kadakachang, with more than 90 participants, and at Tapobasti-Stewart Gunj Church, with 65 attendees. Ameer-e-Halqa M. K. Mohammed, Father Vel Roy (Catholic Church), and other dignitaries discussed the significance of comprehending the Holy Scriptures and living in harmony with one another.
Engaging in such constructive dialogue and promoting peace and harmony are crucial to maintaining the social fabric of our country. These ongoing efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, which can certainly uphold the principles of equality, are essential for preserving India’s diverse and pluralistic social fabric. These initiatives are a hope that was mentioned by Allama Iqbal in Jawab-e-Shikwa:
“Yet, let the gardener not be sad to see the garden’s plight
For soon its branches will be glad with buds, like stars of light
But look! A hint of russet hue, Brightening the eastern skies
The glow on yon horizon’s brow, Heralds a new sunrise.”