Issues

Welfare Party: towards value-based politics

By Zeeshan Lohani
prof_lohani@yahoo.co.in

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has taken a historic step by launching a new political party by the name of Welfare Party of India (WPI) on 18 April 2011 at Delhi. Better late than never. Now the speculation whether the Jamaat takes active part in politics should be laid to rest.  While launching the party’s flag, the party president Mr Mujtaba Farooq said that the party aims at realising value-based politics and a welfare state governed by the principles of freedom and equality for all. The party shall strive to promote ethical values and high moral standards in the political system and other avenues of public life. Stimulation, advancement and fortification of democracy are its basic objectives.

The party has decided to work towards the establishment of a welfare state by recognising the right to livelihood and other fundamental human rights of every citizen. Rights of minorities as recognised by the Constitution and international covenants are its sheet-anchor. It does not ignore women and has decided to develop opportunities ensuring their femininity is properly respected and protected. Empowerment of the weak and oppressed has been awarded a prime position. Protection of cultural diversity and full opportunities to different cultures constitute the party policy. The concept of cultural federalism and the conservation of environment occupy its due position in the order of the party’s priorities. Accountability and transparency are supposed to be the life-blood of the party. The Welfare Party of India shall strive for a just global order, bridge the space within the framework of integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

Without doubt, it is a herculean task, stupendous, time-consuming and nerve-wrecking. What is significant about this movement is that it is grounded in morality and character-building. None can deny the social activists who have always come forward with meagre funds to help the flood- and riot-affected citizens of the country. The Jamaat’s social activities like the relief camps at the times of natural and man-made calamities, its yeomen services to the affected people is well-known to all, not only the Muslims but also to the Hindu brothers who contribute and donate in the funds of the Jamaat as we all know that there is a sense of accountability and complete transparency in the accounts of the Jamaat. With such a good moral background and track record, it has decided now to enter politics.

The moment the WPI was launched, print and electronic media raised a lot of hue and cry and started criticizing the formation of the party, and claimed that at the present circumstances those who say that the new party will be a success live in fool’s paradise. But these people should know that once the Jan Sangh, after changing its name to BJP, has emerged as an alternative to the ruling party since Independence, now the BJP has ruled at the Centre for over six years and at present it is ruling in as many as seven states in the country. This example is sufficient to prove that any party with mass following of the minorities, dalits, weaker section, down-trodden, dedicated activists would definitely be a great success. But it requires some time, as has been said by the newly formed political party’s president that two years are sufficient to spread the message of the WPI and only then it will be in a position to enter the national stream. The office bearers of the newly formed party are drawn from all sections of the society.

We didn’t fight for Independence just to get rid of the British, sacrificing hundreds of thousands of our best men and women. The objective was not to replace the white master by brown masters. The objective was rather to change the style of governance. Though we have progressed materially, but morally we have gone down and we are at the lowest ebb today. We are considered to be the most corrupt nation of the world. The corruption has become such an irrepressible menace that the whole system seems to be helpless. Everyone recognises this fatal disorder but no one seems to have any cure for it. Political institutions of all levels are totally in its clutches. Corruption’s ruinous impact has paralysed the bureaucracy and media as well as the judiciary and polity. The last few years have witnessed the emergence of the new institutional variety of corruption powered by well-coordinated nexus between the ruling and opposition politicians, corporations and their lobbyists and media tycoons who have the capability to influence the decision-making at the highest levels. This situation has exposed the country to the worst kind of economic chaos.

The present bad situation is worsening day by day. Newspapers on their front pages depict how bad our society is with rampant corruption, nepotism, loot, rape, dowry, murder of unborn and new born, wife swapping, dowry deaths, suicide, widow burning, and other social evils have become order of the day.

The world’s second most populated country now wants a change in the order. The so-called secular parties have failed to deliver on their promises. The right-thinking people want sincere and honest people to rule the country. Even after sixty years of Independence, we are facing the problem of unemployment and half of the population lives below poverty line. The politicians and businessmen have kept the country’s wealth in foreign, particularly Swiss, banks. Most of them are not ready to declare their assets. By false promises and assurances and distribution of money even after the enforcement of RTI act, they come to power and become ministers and millionaires overnight. Recently many MP’s have been sent to jail for vote for cash scams. In this situation, WPI is the right choice.

The author is a freelancer based in Bhatkal

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 December 2011 on page no. 2

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