Sunday, March 3, 2013

Indian Muslims View Beg Attention

Indian Muslims View Beg Attention
Syed Ali Mujtaba

Muslim views are seldom highlighted in the mainstream media. There is little attempt to articulate the aspirations and frustrations of the largest minority group in India. As a result their pent up anger continues to grow. Often Indian Muslims are found lamenting that they get bad press. There are some grievances of Muslim community that not only needs consideration but some are in dire need to be addressed immediately. Here  an attempt is made to piece them together so that the pulse of the community could be felt very loud and clear.

 Muslims are being targeted in the name of Terrorism

Its felt that innocent Muslim youth are deliberately being targeted for cracking the cases of terrorism. The modus-oprendi is to first implicate some Muslim youths on fabricated charges and then detain them. Such detainees are then forced to make false confessions through third degree methods. The Nimesh Commission probed into the arrest of Muslim youth in UP has indicted the state government for arresting Muslim youths on concocted charges. This pattern has emerged through out the country in cases of acquittal of several Muslim youth who have spend long years in jails as under trial.  The Muslim community desires the release all such Muslim youth languishing in jails UP jails across the country. The community demands the governments responsible for such false arrest should pay adequate compensation to the acquitted "terror" victims. Their lost years, destroyed careers, and defamation should be taken into account in deciding the compensation.The community feels that the existing laws in the country are enough to deal with the scourge of terrorism and strongly demands the terrorist law POTA should be repealed as under such law innocent Muslim youths are targeted.

Welfare Schemes

The Sachar commission report on Muslim backwardness had prompted the government to announce a slew of schemes to up lift the community. These schemes are meant to be implemented in the so-called Muslim-dominated districts. However, only few schemes are executed so far. Even the educational scholarships scheme is not properly implemented. Last year sixty percent of budget of this scheme was not utilized and had to be returned. The community wants the government should honor its commitment towards minority welfare schemes.

 Reservation Issue

The Muslim community likes to remind the Union government for the implementation of the Mishra Commission report that has recommended reservation for the Muslims. It also wants to know why the government has not yet given its reply to the Supreme Court on including the Muslim and Christian Dalits in the SC / ST reservation list. The Muslim community feels that the exclusion of Muslim and Christian Dalits from the SC / ST quota is against the spirit of the Constitution of India.

Stop Illegal Religious Construction

The Muslim community takes serious note of the dangerous trend of the construction of illegal Hindu religious structure near Muslim shrine, Masjid, Qabristan, or monuments in the country. The modus- oprendi is to place an idol, a picture, or a piece of stone near a Muslim structure. This is followed by Hindu rituals and puja and after that the place is declared as a Hindu place of worship. Such provocation is going on from a long time and the Muslim community appeals to the Union government to wake up to such realities. It is of the view that such development is taking place through out the country and should be handled with the firmness it deserves, else may tar the secular credentials of the country. The Muslim community appeals to the media to report such development in an unbiased manner and the secular NGO's should come forward and file a complaint against such cases for necessary action.

Stop Saffron goons from targeting Muslims

The Muslim community takes note of the growing trend of saffron goons' intimidating certain section of the Muslim community that's traditionally engaged in the meat trade. Opening of new abattoirs and meat shops are resisted, old ones are closed down, and trucks transporting cattle are being hijacked. The Muslim community treats such hurdles an economic assault on a section of the community. It calls upon the state governments to punish the saffron goons, communal elements in the government that includes police found engaged in such activities.

Promulgate Waqf Bill

The Muslim community urges the government to hurry with the Waqf bill through the Parliament. It has to take into account the suggestions made by some Muslim organizations. One of the suggestions was to have the Waqf bill on the lines of Gurdwara Act of 1925. It will lead to the creation of a Waqf Committee that would manage the Waqf properties in the country. The committee can manage various educational institutions, hospitals and charitable organizations from the revenue earned from the Waqf properties. Its no secret that there is huge amount of Waqf properties scattered through out the country and are in utter neglect, encroached upon and illegally being sold. The community feels that many of the Muslim problems in India could be solved if Waqf properties are put into good use for them.

Dispose Babri Masjid Case 

The Muslim community reiterates its full faith in the Supreme Court of the country for the resolution of the Babri Masjid dispute. There are long list of litigation and appeals pending with the Supreme Court in this case. The community eagerly awaits an early disposal of all such cases.

Check Ecological Catastrophe in J & K 

Muslim community shares the anxieties of the Kashmiri brothers over ecological catastrophe due to the increasing activities and infrastructure development by the Amarnath Trust in Jammu and Kashmir. The activities going on to cater to the ever-growing number of pilgrims to Amarnath, is having disastrous impact on the area's fragile ecology. Muslim community appeals to the government to limit the visitors only to the ecologically permissible limit. It is learn that pilgrims has grown from a few thousand in pre-1990 to around 6.5 lakh in 2012.

The Muslim community's views as expressed here are of 'Muslim Mushawarat Committee,' an umbrella organization of several Muslim groups. Their exclusive narrative vouches an inclusive growth story. It definitely  deserves consideration. There is a silver lining in the litany of their demands, that is the Muslim community's unstinted faith in their motherland.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at

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