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2003: Indian Muslim Statements
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Archive of Indian Muslim Statements click here


Mushawarat Opposes Take-over of Delhi Jama Masjid by ASI
Cautions Minister Jagmohan against Serious Protest by Muslims
Delhi Wakf Board Must Fulfill Statutory Management Responsibilities

New Delhi, 20 May, 2003: In a letter addressed to Shri Jagmohan, Minister of Culture, the President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Shri Syed Shahabuddin has objected the move for declaration of Jama Masjid, Delhi by the ASI as a Protected Monument. He has cautioned the Minister against serious objection and opposition by the Muslim community all over the country. He has also demanded that for proper management, the Delhi Wakf Board wake up to its statutory responsibility. The text of the letter follows: 

"It appears from your letter to the DG, ASI quoted in the Hindustan Times, 18 May, 2003 that you have directed the ASI to declare the Jama Masjid, Delhi, as a Protected Monument. As you may not be aware, the ASI has totally failed in its statutory duty to protect and maintain the hundreds of Masjids which are already under its protection, even those situated in the capital territory of Delhi, under its very nose. The ASI has also totally ignored the agreement reached between the Union Government and the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat on 1 March, 1984 on selective and conditional use of Protected Masjids for performance of Namaz, if and when needed by the local Muslim community. And the ASI has, we do not need to remind you, unlawfully converted an acknowledged Masjid - the Kamal Maula Masjid in Dhar, MP into a part-time Mandir. Many Dhar-like situations are in the offing all over the country including in some protected Masjids and Dargahs. For all these reasons there is a growing demand in the Muslim community to ask the ASI to denotify the Protected Masjids and hand over their conservation, repair, maintenance to the Muslim community. 

In the circumstances, the Muslim community all over the country, I caution you, will seriously object to and oppose any formal move by the ASI to take over the Jama Masjid, Delhi. In any case, the Jama Masjid is not an abandoned property that the ASI can unilaterally take under its protection. This is a living monument and can only be so declared in accordance with the terms and procedure laid down in the Act of 1958 and the Rules framed thereunder. The real reason for the mismanagement of the Jama Masjid, Delhi, lies in the total abdication of its statutory responsibility by the Delhi Wakf Board which has left the Jama Masjid in the hands of the Bukhari family, perhaps because of its growing political patronage by successive governments and parties in power. What needs to be done is to make the Delhi Wakf Board conscious of its responsibility towards the Jama Masjid".

Sd/- Syed Shahabuddin
N-44, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone: 2632 6780 Fax: 2632 7346
  Email: q



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