Zakat money for Muslim protection
This refers to the write-up on ‘’Zakat money for Muslim protection’’ (MG16-31 August) wherein it is said that Jamiatul Ulam-e- Hind(JUH) has decided to use a portion of zakat money for legal battle in court of law for especially defending educated Muslims falsely accused and arrested on charge of terrorism. In fact, it is a prudent decision taken by JUH for the cause of Muslims in India.
Islam stands for peace and favours co-existence of all kinds of people in peace and harmony. To spread mischief among people is a major sin in Islam. Hence Islam says that if a Muslim is really involved in terrorism, he/she should be arrested, tried and punished adequately. But it is often seen that some innocent Muslims are accused and arrested on false charge of terrorism in India and remanded to police custody where they have to oten stay for more than ten years. They are coerced and tortured for getting out confession of acts of terrorism they never really committed. Most of them are acquitted after a long stay in jail due to lack of evidence. For example, the Muslim youth accused and arrested on charge of Malegaon bomb blasts were released by court after a long stay in jail. It is an injustice frequently done to Muslims in India.
However the Muslims who come out after a long stay behind bars lose everything and are frustrated about future life. Some of them suffer emotional trauma. Muslim organisations and all right-thinking people should demand that government should pay a minimum amount of Rs. 15 lakh as compensation to each wrongly jailed person. Also, the police personnel who arrested them on false charge should be prosecuted in court of law and chastised for infringement of human rights.
After independence India experienced rapid growth of terrorism on its soil resulting in huge loss of life and property. To tell the truth, the first act of terrorism in independent India was the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation on 30 January 1948. Afterward the biggest ever act of terrorism was the demolition of Babri Masjid led by politicans on 6 December 1992.
At present terrorists are seen among all communities in India committing subversion off and on throughout the country. But the government is not dealing with terrorists belonging to various communities in an even handed manner. Terrorists belonging to a particular community are strictly dealt with and even awarded death penalty while the same action is not taken against the terrorists belonging to other communities. In Assam, some persons were accused and arrested for serial bomb blasts in Guwahati and other parts of state on 30 October 2008. But they were released on bail after a short stay in jail and now they are leading a free life under open sky. This is so because they are not Muslims.
Apart from the terrorism, communalism is also a cancer eroding the social fabric in India. Consequently, communal violence frequently erupts resulting in huge loss of life and property. Life and property lost in communal violence is always much more than life and property lost in terrorist attacks. Once communal violence breaks out, its bad effect prolongs for years impeding socio-economic growth and nation-building. If a person, whatever his/her religion is convicted for communal violence should be awarded the death penalty in the greater interest of the nation.
In Assam a large section of Muslims is branded as D-voter( doubtful or dubious voter) by affixing the letter “D “ against their names appearing in the electoral roll every year since 1998 and their cases are referred to tribunals constituted for their trial. Most of them are later proved to be bona fide citizens of India after long trials in court. But many of them fail to approach a court to prove their Indian citizenship even if they are bona fide citizens of India because of their poor economic condition and illiteracy. (I have personally assisted a few Muslim women branded as D- voters as per my capacity and succeeded and also some Muslims in collecting citizenship papers from offices needed for filling up forms for the National Register of Citizens.) When these Muslims fail to approach a court, they are declared foreigners to be deported from India.
Secondly, the Union government last year started preparing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for inclusion of those persons living in Assam/India prior to 24 March 1971, the date of the birth of Bangladesh. If a person fails to get his/ her name included in the NRC, he/she will be declared a foreigner to be expelled from Assam India. Hence, there may be an urgent need of money to provide legal aid to those poor Muslims failing to get their names included in the NRC being prepared in Assam. It is expected that the draft copy of NRC will be published with the photograph of citizens in October 2017.
So Muslim organisations should essentially set aside a large portion of zakat for legal aid in court of law to those Muslims wrongly branded as D- voters and also to those genuine Muslim citizens wrongly not included in the NRC being prepared in Assam.
M. Abdus Samad
P B College, Gauripur, Dhubri (Assam).