All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat
Joint Meeting of MMA and MMM
12 February, 2017, New Delhi-110025
Political situation of the country:
All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) is gravely concerned about growing activities of the communal and divisive forces in the country and also over the encouragement they get from the ruling Party having its roots in the RSS which nurtures a wishful thinking to convert our great nation as a hotbed of Hindutva laboratory. The Modi government, instead of taking stern actions against them, allows these divisive forces to carry their campaign unhindered against minorities, especially against Muslims and Christians; Dalits and other weaker sections of the society. This is being done for electoral benefits and to further consolidate power in the centre and states.
BJP is executing its sinister plan without any pause. Recent observation of BJP president Amit Shah to form Romeo squad shows mindset of this party. Its leaders lose no opportunity to propagate their Hindutva agenda. Their provocative actions are vitiating the political atmosphere. This dangerous game is also being used to marginalize Muslims politically. It is required that Muslims and other sections should jointly fight such sinister conspiracies aimed at creating a fascist state in the country.
On Uniform Civil Code
Attempt is being made to raise the bogey of Uniform Civil Code and pronouncements for introducing Uniform Civil Code in the country. Ruling Party members as well as some Ministers have been openly backing campaign for the UCC. The whole controversy is being used to divert attention of the people from failure of the government on all fronts. It is not only Muslims, which will be affected by the introduction of UCC, but Sikhs, Christians, Advasis and some minor denominations within the Hindu Society itself will also get hit by this move. It’s bemusing that the ruling party alliance partner Akali Dal too is silent on the contentious issue. The government must respect freedom of religion and not try to change basic character of the Indian constitution where everyone is having right to profess and practice his religion. The ruling party shed its crocodile tears on the condition of Muslim women with pronouncements to ban Triple Talaq but encourages and patronizes the perpetrators of crime against the hapless Muslim women in different parts of the country. The government is also not taking any interest in the educational and economic development of Muslim women. On the one hand, the Government seems worried about the conditions of Muslim women and, on the other, the country has 59% anemic women and the nation is lagging behind Shri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan in terms of gender equality. India has been ranked 20th from the bottom in terms of hunger and poverty in which women are the main sufferers. The government is not prepared even to take affirmative action for uplifting the Muslim community as such, half of which comprises women only.
Muslims should strongly protest against such partisan and ill-intended moves of the present government and persuade other sections to preserve legal diversity enshrined in the Constitution of India which is being targeted in the name of imposing Uniform Civil Code. Muslims should also demand from the Government to announce some concrete package for Muslim women for alleviating their underdevelopment and marginalization.
Demonetization has badly affected common people, especially farmers and workers of unorganized sector. Millions of worker was rendered jobless by demonetization and thousands of small scale units have been closed. Over 120 innocent citizens died due to demonetization and the Modi government had not shown any sympathy for the bereaved families or have expressed any concern for the affected common man, but instead patted itself for this move. Its results are known to everyone as economic growth has come down by at least one per cent. It is also a fact that the three envisaged targets of demonetization, i.e. proscribing black money, stopping circulation of fake currency and giving country a cashless economy have also miserably failed to be realized.
The AIMMM strongly urges the government to provide relief to farmers and workers affected by the demonetization. AIMMM also demands that the government should immediately issue a white paper on the demonization fiasco with details of the total currency deposited in the banks because of this political gimmick which has weaken the economy and hit the common men/women.
On Safforanisation of Text Books
It is a matter of concern that education system is slowly being saffronised by the BJP government. Text books are being given communal color and in this process history is being distorted. This is a dangerous move as it would create hatred among various communities, sects and tribes apart from depriving children from knowing the factual history. The BJP minister in Rajasthan has recently expressed his designs to create a new history by changing the fate of Haldighati War by declaring it to be won by Maharana Pratap, which is absolutely wrong.
Syllabus of text books is getting changed and role of leading luminaries of Muslims who played prominent role during freedom movement and before that is being down played. New names, who have remained affiliated with Hindutva movement, are being included in syllabus. The Muslim rulers and leaders who made immense contribution to the secular polity of India are being dubbed as traitors and villains. This issue is grave one and all secular and right thinking people should work together to defeat nefarious designs of Hindutva groups.
On Targeting of Muslim Youths and Releasing Hindutva Proponents
The AIMMM has always maintained that innocent youth are being labeled as terrorists and put behind bars for years, thus ruining their career and future apart from creating a bad image of Muslim at large. Recent acquittal of several Muslim youths in various terror cases is testimony of high handedness of government agencies towards Muslims. There is a need to take action against erring officers, who willfully implicate youth in false cases and to duly compensate the victims.
The government agencies are extending tacit support to Hindutva groups, whose members have been found involved in various terror cases, to get them released. Sadhvi Pragya Singh was released as the investigating agencies were soft in pursing her case and did not oppose her bail plea while they forcefully oppose bail to Muslim youth.
The AMMM strongly condemn erosion of fair play and rule of law in the establishment.
On Rising Islamophobia and Efforts to Balkanize Middle East
The AIMMM strongly feels that Islamic world is under attack from hegemonies forces causing unrest and conflict in various nations such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and other countries of Middle East with an aim to plunder their natural resources, push back people of these nations from progress and development and to balkanize Muslim lands for weakening their resistance against the western hegemony.
Election of Mr. Donald Trump as President of the United States have further escalated problems in the Islamic world and strengthened the right wing forces across Europe whose politics is to bolster and consolidate fascist ideology. Ban on entry of nationals of seven Islamic nations while belying due democratic rights of people of those nations as well as fresh threat to Iran by the Administration, has aggravated the situation. President Trump has also denigrated and decried millions of people in Africa calling them to be uncivilized though many of the African countries have majority of his fellow religionists. It is a widely acknowledged fact that most African countries are poor, underdeveloped and seemingly ‘uncivilized’ because it is the western powers that have been plundering their resources for hundreds of years and even today. In a way, Trump has fueled worn out racist ideology of white supremacy, which is contrary to the democratic ideals the civilized world would like to pursue.
AIMMM, applauds the US civil society for standing against the bigoted policies of the President Trump, and strongly thinking that a move to ban nationals from the seven countries would strengthen the terror groups in Middle East which would further aggravate peace in the fragile region which has suffered enough because of the greed and wrong policies of the western powers.
The continuous rise of Islamophobia and steep rise in incidences of violence against Muslims in various European countries are matter of concern. Ban on Hijab and Azan are some of the tough measures taken by many western nations against Muslims. Even EU has now restricted refugees’ entry ignoring the fact that this humanitarian crisis is the very creation of US and its EU allies themselves.
Muslims all over the world should rise on the occasion and peacefully show Islam in its true color to the democratic people so as to reinforce their fight against racist ideologies emerging in the west.
On Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar
Condition of Rohingya Muslims is pathetic. International Community is mutely watching their plight. Myanmar’s so called ‘peace leader’ Aung San Suu Kyi, who got Nobel Prize for peace, is systematically patronizing the planned ethnic cleansing there. UN has done nothing concrete except the lip sympathy to save the besieged Rohingya community. It was shocking to know that army and security forces of Myanmar killed hundreds of Rohingya Muslims including thousands of women and children and forced them to flee from Myanmar. The country is facing the continuous rise of Buddhist apartheid against the hapless Muslim Rohingya community.
Israel’s diabolic plan to construct fresh settlements in Palestinian territories is aimed to deprive Palestinians to have their own homeland and is against the UN resolutions and mandate. The attempts by the Donald Trump administration to shift US embassy to Jerusalem would create severe unrest not only in West Asia but would have far reaching consequences which would endanger peace in the region.
On Marginalized Communities and Union Budget 2017-18
Union Budget 2017-18 presented in the backdrop of global economic recession, down turn in the Indian economy, demonetization and restructuring in the budgetary processes. Many of these have negatively impacted on the growth of rural, informal economy, industrial production; consequently a situation of low demand in the economy and unemployment has emerged. The NDA government promised in its election manifesto for creating 2 crore jobs annually but it was able to manage only 1.5 lakh jobs in 2015-16 which is far from the annual target, meanwhile reportedly some half million jobs have been lost due to demonetization .
Many economists and commentators countered the views expressed by FM in favor of the Budget and argued that demonetization had an adverse impact on the economy in the medium term and hits the weaker sections of the society miserably. It caused hardships for people engaged in the informal economy, small business and farmers. FM has not come out with any comprehensive plan in the budget for boosting the demand and creation of employment in the country.
With regard to social sector spending, it has been observed that after the implementation of the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) recommendations, allocations for social sectors in the Union budget have shown the declining trend. The matching share for States in flagship programme has been raised and it has also been found the regional disparities in the level of social sector spending among States. As far as budgetary allocation on education and health are concerned, promises of 6 percent and 3 percent of GDP, respectively on education and health are still a distant dream.
The Union government has been targeting few flagship programs / schemes related to education, livelihood and access to public services, credit and skill development for minorities under PM New 15 point program since 2006. Under the aegis of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Multi Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP), as area development program, is being implemented in 710 Blocks and 66 towns. Most of these government interventions are minority targeted rather than minority focused.
The budget allocations for MoMA has been increased to Rs 4,195 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 3,827 crore in 2016-17, indicating an increase of 9 percent. The budget of MoMA constitutes 0.20 percent of total Union Budget, whereas population of minorities accounts for more than 19 percent of the total population. Given the backwardness of these towns/blocks dominated by Muslims in terms of the indicators such as low male/female literacy, work participation/deficit in basic amenities, the current allocation is insufficient for scholarships and MSDP. There is an evident discrimination against minorities in terms of budget allocations as could be compared with Rs 52,393 cr for SCs who have 16.2%, population of the country and Rs 31,920 cr for STs comprising 8.6% population of India.
Dalit and Adivasis have been deprived historically from the fruits of development (education, economic empowerment and basic amenities). Their living conditions have not improved much despite the implementation of SCSP and TSP and allocation for them through Department of Social Justice and Empowerment (DSJE) and Tribal Affairs (MoTA) for several decades. This year budget shows a kind of incremental budgeting for Dalit and Adivasis but not meeting the targets of allocation in proportion to the population as promised by Planning Commission.
Affirmative Action for Muslims
The AMMM feels that after 10 years of implementation of the Sachar recommendations, the overall development conditions of Muslims (particularly lowering dropouts, poverty level and increase in representation in government jobs) have not improved to the desired level. The assessment of the schemes like scholarships and MSDP have shown the gaps with regard to inadequate budgets, inappropriate policy design, and poor implementation that were the main hurdle in way of the poor access the desired level of development benefits by Muslims.
In order to address the specific problems of backwardness among Muslims, the Sachar Committee Report advocates special attention to developmental issues within the Muslim community in areas of education, economic development and access to basic amenities. Other general policy initiatives such as setting up a National Data Bank, an Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) and constructing a Diversity Index were pushed to promote inclusion of excluded Muslims in public institutions. No headway was however made regarding actual implementation so far. There is a requirement of Promoting Needs-based Planning at all level of governance. In addition to revising the guidelines how the earmarking of funds would be carried out, there is a need to build an SC, ST and Muslims perspective, assumption and methodology in the schemes of the various Ministries. Moreover, the funds earmarked for SCSP, TSP and 15 Point Programme should not be used as supplementary resources for general purpose expenditure; these funds should be used for interventions/projects meant exclusively for SC, ST and Muslims.