We the 375 delegates of Alumni/ae associations from different corners of India with the support of delegates from Nepal gathered at the Second National Congress of Jesuit alumni/ae in Calcutta from 22-24 January, 1999 hereby declare that we wish to follow up the report of this Congress and the spirit of Jesuit alumni/ae with the following resolutions and recommendations.
- Education and Reaching Out :
- Focus should not only be on competence but on developing ‘good citizenship’ in its totality. Students need to internalize deeply core values. Alumni/ae who have lived their lives successfully as good citizens should be honoured and be made the ‘role models’ for the young people who are in our institutions. Moral Science as a subject needs to be reviewed, re-examined and re-vitalized in the curriculum.
- Programs on developing confidence and courage, leadership and the skills of impacting on society need to be offered to the students. Also the idea that there are many areas that can offer growth and satisfaction (including self employment, teaching etc.) and not only the current, socially approved ones. Programs on Empowerment of Women definitely need implementation.
- In order to reach the underprivileged, we could seriously consider more vernacular schools. If the objective is serious and the will is there, we CAN do it. Also, more schools aimed directly at the underprivileged - run by Alumni/ae (who could also be encouraged to give back to society in other ways e.g. ‘Each one teach one’).
Growing communalism and fundamentalism are a harsh reality. Given the ‘culture of silence’ of the educated classes, immediate actions are needed to counteract these destructive forces. Some suggestions are :
- Use of Media to share the truth, e.g. ‘Jesuits DO NOT convert.’ Media means TV, radio, press, seminars, meetings etc. Every opportunity should be used to remind people what being an INDIAN truly means.
- Encourage Alumni/ae to take up Public Life, be it politics or the Public Services (IAS, IPS etc.)
- Actively intervene to combat communalism through public meetings, signature campaigns or using available public forums.
- Consciously utilizing resources :
The National Federation itself has the potential of being a powerful resource in all the above. If we - in a deliberate, planned and strategic way - identify the Alumni/ae available to us (including those who are today not so active) we will have a vast variety of intellect and skills with which to carry out the above actions.
Furthermore, we could network with other Institutions / Associations / NGOs who are like minded in order to ensure that the culture of silence turns into a loud voice of reason.
Whilst doing all these, it will be important to be groomed in the core values and ensure the process of continuous self searching. We cannot let our spirit become militant and adversarial for what would defeat our very purpose.