Poll Agenda 2014: A Muslim perspective

October 18, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Muslim perspectiveNew Delhi, October 14, 2013: Author Dr. Javed Jamil and businessman Sirajuddin Qureshi in consultation with many Muslim intellectuals have prepared an agenda for 2014 Loks Sabha elections from a Muslim perspective.

Dr. Jamil is now sending abstract of the draft to political parties to get their support for this agenda.

Abstract of the Draft; Agenda 2014: Muslim Perspective

You will all agree with us that at a time when India is longing to emerge as a major political and economic force in the world, Muslims are passing through a crucial phase in their quest for finding a respectable place in Indian society. Unfortunately, due to myriad of factors, Muslims have not been able to find a place which they deserve. Committees like Sachar Committee have only been able to highlight certain aspects of the problems and have ignored many others. Even what Sachar Committee and other government reports have recommended has not been properly implemented. Despite claims by the government – there is huge difference between these claims and the public perception — the impact on the conditions of Muslims has been minimal.

In view of the coming elections in the country, it becomes imperative that the Muslim perspective of the national development and their needs be debated by the political parties with an open heart. It is high time that all the political parties of the country not only made commitment to work on a model for the country which is inclusive and takes care of the needs of all the sections of society but also made a firm commitment to empower Muslims. The empowerment of Muslims, the second largest majority of the country, cannot be ignored, as any negligence on this front will stall the progress of the country towards its ultimate goal. Not only Muslims must feel secure, discrimination against them must stop at every level, and the country must facilitate them in achieving what they deserve – through their own efforts and through support from the rest of the nation including governments, political parties and social institutions.

It has to be recognised that Muslims in India are not only the largest minority and desrve all the rights of minorities enshrined in the constitution but are also the second largest ideological section and part of the deprived majority. The attention has to be focussed on all the three if Muslims have to play a meaningful role in the national affairs.

Moreover, not only the measures related to the socioeconomic empowerment of Muslims are to be taken but their vision of the country and their opinion regarding various national policies have also be taken into consideration.

While every single item in the list of necessary measures given in the attached paper needs to be accepted, there are certain key elements which will determine the response of Muslims in the coming elections. These include the following:

1. Right to Justice must be made “Fundamentals Right” in the Constitution

2. Introduce Economic Disparity Index as a compulsory economic indicator in the annual budget and all the economic surveys and other documents. Both Wealth and Income Disparity should be examined with subdivisions of Urban-Rural, State to State and Community to Community Disparity

3. Restructure tax so that 90 pc of the taxes are paid by those who own 90 pc of the wealth of the nation.

4. Introduce Right to Health as a Fundamental Right in the constitution so that all the policies and programmes in the country can be regulated according to their impact on health. The Government should be made responsible for establishing a health protective system.

5. Increased Muslim presence in Political institutions

* All political parties must agree to allot the following:

— 15 pc tickets to Muslims in Parliamentary elections;

— 15 pc seats to Muslims in Rajya Sabha;

— If Parliamentary elections do not bring 15 pc Muslims from respective parties, they must compensate it by nominating more candidates for Rajya sabha

— Allotment of tickets in assemblies in accordance with the population of Muslims in that state;

— Allotment of seats in Legislative assemblies in accordance with the population;

— If elections do not bring required number of MLAs, it should be compensated through allocation of greater seats in legislative councils

6. Reservation Policy: Reservation of Muslims in jobs in consultation with Muslim community leaders

7. At least 20 pc of all funds allocated to NGOs must be given to Muslim NGOs

8. To help in the establishment of an International University of Applied Islamics that will help in understanding the global and national issues, policies and programmes from Islamic perspective.

9. To help in establishment of at least 5 central universities of Muslims

* 5 exclusive universities of Muslim women and

* 5 sports colleges.

10. “Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011” should be passed without any further delay.

11. Beautification and infrastructural development of cities and towns of religious importance

We are not just seeking certain rights and favours for our community but are also trying to play a meaningful role in national affairs. With the elections approaching it is high time we played our constructive role in setting up the agenda for elections. This is an effort in the same direction. We plan to hold nationwide programmes to create awareness about the issues confronting the nation and the country. We will love to hold discussions with any party/group/leader regarding the issues involved. We will soon be forming a committee of important community leaders and experts to hold these discussions.

Muslim Perspective of National Development and Socioeconomic Empowerment of Muslim Indians: General measures and policies Suggested

Prepared by Dr Javed Jamil in consultation with Mr Sirajuddin Qureshi and several important people and on the basis of responses from intellectuals from all over the country and NRIs

General Principles

Preservation of Secularism

1. Recognition that Indian Secularism is religious and not atheistic secularism; Indian secularism means respect to all religions, religious values of humanity, family and moral values; no discrimination on ground of religion or faith; and equal rights to all communities and sects individually as well as collectively. There should be severe legal punishments for derogation of any religion, its symbols and founders. Programmes on coming together of religions on common programmes in the interest of nation and mankind must be promoted.

Security (General)

2. Security of all individuals as well as groups against all kinds of assaults has to be guaranteed; Right to Justice must be made “Fundamentals Right” in the Constitution

Measures to alleviate Economic Disparity

3. Introduce Economic Disparity Index as a compulsory economic indicator in the annual budget and all the economic surveys and other documents. Both Wealth and Income Disparity should be examined with subdivisions of Urban-Rural, State to State and Community to Community Disparity

4. Restructure tax so that the tax is paid more by the real asset owners than the people with meagre incomes. (Switch in a phased manner to taxation on Wealth and cumulative assets rather than income and expenditure can help in reducing inflation and economic disparity in a big way.)

5. Commercialisation of human weaknesses should be banned with all religious groups arriving at a common agenda including the need of introduction of “Fundamental Prohibitions”

6. Food Security Bill should be passed at the earliest ensuring that all the sections of society including Muslims are adequately benefited.

7. Direct Cash Transfer schemes should also ensure adequate benefits to all sections of societies.

Health Related

8. Introduce Right to Health as a Fundamental Right in the constitution so that all the policies and programmes in the country can be regulated according to their impact on health. The Government should be made responsible for establishing a health protective system.

9. A National Drive for Hygiene: Comprehensive Hygiene, Drives against Mosquitoes

Role of Political Parties at the party level

All political parties must create Grievance cells in all its units from block upwards. Special Instructions need to be given to the units to monitor the government schemes, especially those related to Muslims and other deprived sections of society.

Measures for Socioeconomic Empowerment of Muslims

(Full list of more than 170 measures to be adopted by the government, the community is attached.) Here are the major requirements that should be taken care of urgently.

Increase Muslim Share in Governance

Ways are to be found out to ensure that Muslims get share in various institutions in accordance with their population in

(1) Political institutions

* All political parties must agree to allot the following:

— 15 pc tickets to Muslims in Parliamentary elections;

— 15 pc seats to Muslims in Rajya Sabha;

— If Parliamentary elections do not bring 15 pc Muslims from respective parties, they must compensate it by nominating more candidates for Rajya sabha

— Allotment of tickets in assemblies in accordance with the population of Muslims in that state;

— Allotment of seats in Legislative assemblies in accordance with the population;

— If elections do not bring required number of MLAs, it should be compensated through allocation of greater seats in legislative councils

— Moreover, Muslim MPs and MLAs must be told in no uncertain terms that they should work on war footing to raise the standards of their community and their further rise within the party will depend upon their performance in general as well as in their respective constituencies .

(2) Bureaucratic set up: national drive through Muslim organisations and coaching centres to increase Muslim participation and success rate in civil services exams; Military, Police and other Higher services

(3) Give National Minority Commission a full-fledged Statutory Status with a separate wing for Muslim affairs

Social Sector

Reservation Policy: Reservation of Muslims in jobs in consultation with Muslim community leaders

NGOs:

— At least 20 pc of all funds allocated to NGOs must be given to Muslim NGOs

Religious Education

To help in the establishment of an International University of Applied Islamics that will help in understanding the global and national issues, policies and programmes from Islamic perspective. It will also have management and other technical institutes later on

Modern Education

* To help in establishment of at least 5 central universities of Muslims
* 5 exclusive universities of Muslim women and
* 5 sports colleges.
* The Minority Quota in minority institutions (which effectively means that the majority community quota in every minority institution is at least 50 pc while there is no quota for minorities in normal schools and colleges) should be increased to at least 70 pc.
* Urdu promotion: Second language status in the country, Urdu departments in all universities and degree colleges,
* Removal of any objectionable materials with communal implicationsfrom all the text books prescribed anywhere in the country

Economic

* Help in the creation of a National Muslim Chamber of Commerce that can run a nationwide campaign to attract the participation of Muslims in all business activities right from Corporate Sector to small and medium scale industries, distribution network, trading and exports.

* To help in the establishment of Islamic Banking and finance sector
* Muslim share in Public Private Partnerships PPP projects

Civic amenities

* Active campaign against Muslim Apartheid

* To help in better civic amenities in both urban and rural areas by ensuring

(1) road connectivity to Muslim colonies and villages;
(2) regular power supply:
(3) safe water supply;
(4) safe disposal of excreta and disposable material;
(5) hygienic and healthy environmental conditions
(6) schools and market facilities in Muslim colonies;
(7) rapid legalisation of constructions in Muslim colonies and muhallas;
(8) better safety and security

Security

By ensuring justice to the accused Muslims who are more often than not falsely implicated in different kinds of cases, tortured, harassed and executed.

* The data of riots should be regularly published giving details of the break-up (community-wise) of the persons killed or injured (by public or police) and jailed and beaten, and the compensations provided to the victims. Details of the violence like places of worship attacked, houses attacked or burnt, other property assaulted, etc should also be included.

* “Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011” should be passed without any further delay.

* Set up high-power screening committee(s) to look into all the cases where Muslim youth are languishing

* Set up fast track courts for those where the screening committee(s) believe that there is substance in the charges. Umpteen cases filed against one person should be collected and tried by a single fast track court and where a number of cases are proved false, others should be quashed as a matter of policy;

* Punishment of the Police, Intelligence and other agencies’ personnel who framed and fabricated cases.

* Adequate compensation to all terror-accused set free by courts in the past or in future.

* Re-examine the amendments made to UAPA which give arbitrary powers to the police and make necessary changes in the law to punish delinquent police personnel who misuse the provisions

Media

Media should be given guidelines making it more people-friendly than market-friendly,more concerned with deprived sections, more careful about programmes and advertisements that promote promiscuity, nudity, gambling, addictions of all kinds, homosexuality, etc., more careful in coverage of religiously sensitive issues, giving more coverage to Muslim perspective of the national issues

Urban Development

* Public Transport connectivity with Muslim regions is to be ensured.
*Muslim share in urban infrastructure development has to be monitored.
*Beautification and infrastructural development of cities and towns of religious importance including Deoband, Ajmer, Saharanpur, Kalyar Shareef, Fatehpur Sikri, Haji Ali, Azamgarh, Bhatkal, Bareilly, Hazrat Bal etc. (Good road and train connectivity to be ensured)
*Islamic Community Centres in all major cities (as part of PPP with government allotting land and Muslims contributing funds)

Rural Development

(i) Establishment of good primary schools, private or government, in every single village; (ii) Establishment of Higher Secondary Schools iii) Special Training and Coaching Centres; (iv) Introduction of primary education in madrasas situated in villages and introduction of religious education in schools; (v)Disparity in the level of power supply between urban and rural areas should end (vi) Development of village units having police station, hospital, market, village community centre (vii) Special incentives and loans should be given for constructing colonies and houses in rural areas; (viii)Muslim villages must get greater share of PHCs and sub centres.

– tcn

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