Danish Reyaz is a Mumbai based journalist currently working as Director of Maeeshat Media Pvt Ltd and Editor of Maeeshat magazine (English) & Bain-al-aqwami Maeeshat (Urdu) which is first of its kind focusing on business & economy activities of minorities in India. Danish Reyaz’s activities are not only limited to active journalism but also he runs a publication house named White Paper Publications (Mumbai) that has produced more than dozen mind blowing and thought provoking books on Islamic banking, economy and social upliftment of the minority community.
Mr. Reyaz is a well-known columnist and business commentator. Mr. Reyaz is working in this field since last 15 years and has penned more than two thousands articles in both national and international Newspapers & Magazines like Dubai Times, Tehran Times, Al Wefaque to name a few. In an exclusive interaction with The Policy Times, Mr. Reyaz talks about his journey, inclusive growth, what and where Muslims are lacking in business, how Muslims can grow in business and contribute to national growth.
Why have you thought of an Urdu magazine?
First of all, 30 to 40 years ago, Muslim community had a major role to play in most of the industries, including leather and textile industries. The Muslims had been in the leading position and as manufacturers in most of the industries. But now, in most of the industries, Muslims have turned into labors. Now the question is why this has happened? The first reason is the way the world is advancing, requires one to keep pace with the technological development. However, Muslims could not keep pace with the technological advancement. The tradition of research and development (R&D) that characterized the industries led by the Muslims were abolished. They never gave importance to R&D. We have done analysis of these businesses to inform the community that they are falling behind and the reasons for the same and how the community can improve. We also tried to explain them about the corporate finance and how to access corporate finance. We also tried to educate the community. The education is existent in English, and even in Hindi. In English and Hindi magazines, the business page is provided. But if you notice the Urdu magazines, there is no business page there! So we tried bridge that gap and decided to start a magazine in Urdu. We started with a portal in 2010, and around the same time we launched this magazine as well.
If we talk about success, how far have you reached?
In general, any newspaper or a magazine aims in getting corporate support. Without their support the newspaper/magazine cannot continue for long. We have continued our magazine for last seven years. It wasn’t stopped even for a day. Since we have done this continually for last seven years, it has to be admitted that we have tasted success.
However, having said this, we have not received the kind of support we expected from the community. The community after taking ideas from us and after meeting their purpose with our help did not look back to us. The areas we have tried to highlight in our magazine recently have been the happenings taking place in the Gulf. There were 8 lakhs Indians employed in the Gulf nations. The incumbent government and even the previous regime have been responsible for the shifts of the visas that used to be granted to the Indians, are now diverted to Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. We took out a special issue on this. We tried with this to help the manpower segment.
After we started the business page in our magazine, an Urdu daily called Inquilab started a half page of business newsfeed in their newspaper. They later extended the business news to full one page coverage. Thus, it can be said that our approach has impact in shaping the Urdu dailies to include business section in their newspaper.
How much do you think inclusive growth is taking place in our country?
The community itself does not think about inclusive growth. The community should try to reap benefits from the government. Our mindset does not progress us towards the inclusive growth. It is taught to us that it is not within our rights to take benefits from others. Thus, the loss is incurred for the whole community. However, we should inculcate our talents that would be recognized by everyone. We have to participate in the government administration by scoring better in the examinations like civil servants and state level equivalents. This will improve the inclusive growth of the community.
Please share the experiences of other minority communities
The business in India is in the hands of minorities. Jain community is ahead of any other in the business.
How much do you think Dalits has benefitted in the inclusive growth?
The Dailts are well represented in the ministry. In the civil service or in the police force also Dalits are well represented. Even in the business, the Dalits have come up well. The government was behind the Dalits when they created Dalit Chamber of Commerce. The Dalit Chamber of Commerce has achieved a lot in last 5 years. The people who have succeeded are benefitting the entire community.
What is your plan for the community, the populace and for the nation?
My endeavor is based on how to make the Muslim community a part of the mainstream. They should feel that India is as much to the Muslims as to any other community. The Muslim community also should derive benefits as much as other communities. Muslims should be part of the business and business communities. The Muslims should also participate more in the government functioning. In the employment, the Muslims should be ahead of others. They should also participate in the employment generation. We have made reporting workshop in Urdu for the Urdu news feeds. To make the Muslims part of the mainstream India, the training and skill development should take place.