AIMMM resolutions on national and international issues

The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations, held its central body (Markazi Majlis) meeting at its Delhi headquarters on 14 May, 2011. Headed by its president Syed Shahabuddin, the Markazi Majlis passed the following resolutions on the national and international situation:
On Assembly Elections in April – May, 2011

The Markazi Majlis-e-Mushawarat (MMM) of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat had taken note of the peaceful conduct of assembly elections with massive voting in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal during April – May, 2011 as all these four States have Muslim concentration. The AIMMM had circulated Guidelines for the Muslim Community. Since in all these states Muslims have been consistently under -represented in the assemblies, their main objectives had to be not only to ensure the installation of secular governments but also to raise the level & quality of representation.

Since more than one secular parties or alliances were in the arena, while continuing the basic policy of Muslims voting for the most winnable secular candidate, the MMM had proposed that in Muslim majority and Muslim concentration constituencies, the local Muslim community should form a Representative Election Committee which should examine the comparative credentials of the secular Muslim candidates and of their parties and select the candidate to be supported and take all possible steps to ensure that he or she receives united and massive support of all Muslim voters.  In case no major party had fielded a Muslim candidate, the Committee may choose an effective and suitable independent.

The MMM had also drafted a detailed Charter of Demands and Aspirations for West Bengal, which had been submitted to the major alliances and also sent copies of the Charter to the MMM chapters in Tamil Nadu, Assam and Kerala and advised them to formulate a similar Charter based on local problems and priorities and submit them to the major secular parties/ alliances in the field with the request that they field Muslim candidates in proportion to their population in the State, from constituencies which are Muslim-winnable and choose candidates who are acceptable to the Muslim community. The MMM is convinced that Muslim and other weaker sections will be equitably represented only under reservation or by changing to proportional electoral system.

The MMM has taken  note of the likely formation of secular governments in all these states but it doubts whether except in Assam, the Muslims shall be better represented in the Assemblies than in the past. The MMM expects, however, due representation of the community in state governments.

On SC’s Stay Order on Judgement of the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court

The MMM of the AIMMM welcomes the interim order of the Supreme Court not to proceed with the trifurcation of the disputed site & to maintain the  status quo,  until the appeals are disposed of. The MMM hopes that the ‘strange’ & ‘unwanted’ order of the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court  shall in due course be totally rejected by the Supreme Court and the case returned to Allahabad High Court for a fresh trial to determine the title to the disputed site, as desired by the Supreme Court in 1994.

The MMM is also of the view that the Supreme Court should define the status quo as it existed before the Demolition & therefore review the 1993 judgment legitimizing the illegal construction of the makeshift mandir on the debris of the Babri Masjid which will present insurmountable difficulty for rebuilding the Babri Masjid, if the Muslim community wins the title, as well as, for implementing the road map drawn by the Supreme Court in respect of the Acquired Area.
The MMM takes this opportunity to reiterate its suggestion to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board to intervene in the Appeal and ask other Muslim organizations of national eminence as well as sympathetic secular groups to follow its lead.

On Budget for 2011-12

The MMM of the AIMMM regrets to note that the Budget for 2011 – 12 benefits the rich and not the poor, the corporate sector and not the common man, the elite and not the deprived and the marginalized groups like minorities, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections. The Budget reduces outlay on social development as well as on schemes designed for the uplift of the Muslim community, even per capita outlay on school education, public health and rural employment. However, the MMM welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Finance to introduce cash payments of social and economic subsidies, in order to minimize leakages and expedite delivery.

The MMM also welcomes first ever consultation with a cross-section of Muslims by the Planning  Commission for formulating the 12th Plan and possible introduction of a component Plan for the Muslims who constitute a Backward Classes, almost as backward as the SC/ST and more backward than the non-Muslim OBCs.

On Minority Status of the Jamia Millia Islamia

The MMM of the AIMMM felicitates the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions for its finding that the Jamia Millia Islamia was originally established by the Muslim community and enjoyed the status of a Deemed University before it was transformed into a Central University by the JMI Act, 1988 and, therefore, it continues to be a minority University. The MMM requests the Government to accept these findings of the Commission and urgently introduce requisite changes in the Act, particularly to declare it formally a minority institution within the meaning of Article 30(1) of the Constitution, to change the composition of its Court and its Executive Committee in order to make them more representative of the Muslim community, to introduce an appropriate  procedure for selection of the Vice-Chancellor, and also the preamble to highlight the historical background of the foundation of the Jamia Millia Islamia.
On Situation in Darul Uloom, Deoband

The MMM of the AIMMM has taken note of the inquiry by the Majlis-e-Shoora of Darul Uloom, Deoband into the allegations against Maulana G.M. Vastanavi, the newly appointed Mohtamim and to decide on his continuance in three months. The MMM is  of the view that the basic character of Darul Uloom, Deoband, as a seminary for theological studies must be maintained, while making necessary changes in the curriculum, syllabus and methodology of instruction. The MMM also considers that the Majlis-e-Shoora should be expanded into a more representative body including Old Boys, the faculty and the students, apart from eminent Ulema as well as sympathetic non-Ulema from within the community. The MMM also suggests that the Mohtamim should be appointed for a specified period and not for life and that the emoluments of the teaching and non-teaching staff should be revised.

On the Strategy to introduce Gender-based Laws

The MMM of the AIMMM has noted with concern that in response to the pressure of the Supreme Court for expediting introduction of Uniform Civil Code, the Central Government appears to have adopted the strategy of introducing gender-based laws, applicable to all communities. Indeed this began with the reintroduction of the Adoption Law. The MMM suggests to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board to take notice of this strategy and oppose such common laws, which are intended to assimilate the Muslim community in the long run and cautions the community against falling into the trap.

The MMM feels that the only viable course for the Muslim community is the codification of Muslim Personal Law by a committee of eminent Muslim theologians & jurists in the light of similar codes in other Muslim countries & eventually enacted by the Parliament.

On Delay in the Re-constitution of the Central Wakf Council

The MMM of the AIMMM regrets to note that the Central Wakf Council has not been constituted for nearly one year despite the fact that proposed Wakf (Amendment) Bill 2010 proposes to strengthen the role and function of the Council and give it the power to supervise the working of the State Wakf Boards. The MMM feels that the Central Wakf Council should elect its own Chairman so that the Minister of Wakf may effectively supervise its working.

The MMM proposes that the number of Wakf Boards must be reduced by forming more Inter -State Wakf Boards, each to cover atleast one thousand Wakf estates among contiguous states & UT’s. All major State Wakf Boards should be continuously represented in the Council, with rotation of the minor Boards.As a matter of principle, the State Governments must bear the entire administrative expenditure of the Wakf Boards, must finalise Wakf surveys, make the Wakf Tribunals functional and active and restore the Wakf properties, which are in the hands of the State Government or its official & semi-official bodies to the Wakf Boards.

The MMM rejects the ill-conceived idea of forming a separate Class – I Service to administer wakfs but proposes that the State Governments concerned should take Muslim officers on deputation for the posts of Executive Officer etc not only from the Civil Services but also from other All India, Central and State Class –I Services.

The MMM is of the view that encroachment in Waqf properties should be defined more comprehensively to include unauthorized structural changes by the lessee in any Waqf property and all State Governments, which have not yet done so, should include public wakfs in the list of public premises for expeditious removal of encroachments, as well as to -exempt such properties from the application of land ceiling and rent control legislation.

The MMM welcomes the idea of establishing a National Waqf Development Agency with statutory status and a corpus of atleast Rs 1000 crores & no linkage with the existing NMDFC.

On Organization of Haj 2011

The MMM of the AIMMM, on the eve of preparations for Haj, 2011, emphasises that the entire Haj quota allowed by the Government of Saudi Arabia for the Indian pilgrims should be equitably distributed among all Muslim applicants from various States and UTs in accordance with their Muslim population with no allocation to private Haj operators, except for Haj staff on duty.

The MMM also considers it essential that the responsibility for transporting the pilgrims should be transferred to the Haj Committee to which it statutorily belongs and that the Haj carrier should be selected by global tender, followed by firm negotiations in order to minimise the need for any Haj subsidy.

The MMM reiterates its proposal that for effective service to the Haj pilgrims in Saudi Arbia, the Haj Committee should introduce District Batching System with relevant team of doctors, paramedical staff & Khadimul Hujjaj to travel by the same Haj flights. The MMM also feels that since the Government Haj Goodwill Delegation serves no helpful purpose & has become a matter of political patronage that it should be replaced by a small team of not more than three VIPs to convey Haj greetings on behalf of the Government & People of India to the Government of Saudi Arabia.

On Democratic Upsurge in the Arab World

The Markazi Majlis-e- Mushawarat of the AIMMM (MMM) welcomes the surge for democracy sweeping across the Arab world and regretfully notes military action by the rulers of Libya, Yemen, Bahrain & Syria  to  suppress the peoples movement by brute force. The MMM has noted that the uprising did not have immediate impact on the ground situation in Libya because it is a vast country with a small scattered population consisting largely of various tribes with mutual antagonism fanned by Gaddafi and because he has vast resources of money and arms in his hand which the democratic movement cannot. Therefore people need moral and material support from outside to defeat him. Hence the UN Security Council has passed a resolution imposing sanctions as well as a no-flight zone over the country. Since, the UN has no standing machinery to implement its Resolutions some western states have attacked Libyan military bases & are monitoring its marine & air space. The MMM hopes that the intervention does not become a prelude to another invasion by the West of an Arab country.

The MMM has also noted that the elitist & authoritarian Assad government in Syria is also waging a war against the Syrian people. The MMM calls upon the rulers  to desist from killing the people, who have largely rejected them, submit gracefully to the popular will and give the forces of democracy & constitutionalism a chance to build an alternative regime without much loss of life & resources.

 The MMM hopes that other Arab states facing turmoil like Yemen, Bahrain & Morocco shall read the writing on the wall and introduce democratic governments and guarantee  fundamental freedoms and human rights of their people.

On the Killing of Al-Qaida Leader Osama bin Laden by USA

The MMM of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) has taken note of the fact that the Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who was living in Abbotabad in Pakistan was killed by the US forces while sanctuary to Osama bin Laden was against the terms of UN-supported War on Terrorism, the deployment by the US of its special forces to attack it and kill Osama bin Laden amounted to violation of Pakistani sovereignty & international Law. The MMM has noted that though there has not been much expression of grief in Arab or the Muslim world, the demand that the USA should stop military operations in Pakistan and vacate Afghanistan & Iraq at the earliest possible has gained ground .

On Accord between Hamas & PLO to Foreign Unity for Liberation of Palestinian Peoples

The MMM of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) welcomes the accord of 4 May 2011 between the Hamas and the PLO for formulating a joint strategy and action plan for the liberation of the Palestinian people and for the withdrawal of Israel from the Arab Occupied Territories & the formation of the independent & sovereign State of Palestine and for a durable solution in keeping with the legitimate rights, of the Palestinian people.

The MMM calls upon the international community to support the Palestinian initiative and to continue of its programme of financial aid to the Palestinian people and effectively press Israel to dismantle the Jewish settlements on the Occupied Territories including Jerusalem.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 June 2011 on page no. 12

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