Muslim Vision of India

This is no longer a hidden fact that the Indian Muslims are faced with problems on all fronts – be it social, economic or political – and they no longer enjoy their deserving place in the country. There is a long list of issues and problems, their protection is at stake and they are leading a very deplorable life from social and economic point of view. There has been a general realization during past few years that the Sachar Committee and the Ranganath Mishra Commission have encircled the issues and problems plaguing the Muslim society to a large extent but these two reports have become victims of politicization.

Dr. Javed Jamil

What shall be the role of Muslims in their dear country India that is progressing leaps and bounds on daily basis, what shall be their destiny and the approach map to reach it, what shall be the basis of their progress in the light of Muslim and Islamic viewpoint and analysis, and what shall be the parameters of growth and progress in the light of Islamic rules and within the framework of Indian constitution – these are some of the salient features of Dr. Javed Jamil’s paper titled ‘Muslim Vision of India: Destination, Roadmap and Obstacles” that will be unveiled in a special ceremony shortly. Talking to R.N.I. about the great deal of efforts and labour that underwent the preparation of this 300-page paper, Dr. Javed Jamil says that the paper aims at presenting a Muslim perspective of India’s national goals and developing a comprehensive national plan for socio-economic empowerment of Muslim Indians. “The approach paper is important because it is the first comprehensive approach paper for trying to analyze the Muslim Perspective of India’s goals of development and developing a national level multi-faceted, holistic strategy for the socio-economic empowerment of Muslims within the parameters of Islam, Indian culture and national interests,” says Dr. Jamil.

The paper not only makes a critical analysis of national policies and presents a Muslim perspectives of the direction in which the growth is taking place in the country, it also critically analyses the problems of the country especially related to economic disparity, erosion of human values, spread of social evils and overriding negative impact of economic forces; and critically analyses the problems Muslims are facing and discusses the various issues involved. It covers almost all range of issues from religious education to modern education, employment, absence of Muslims in corporate sector, problems in medium and small scale industries, issues related to Islamic Finance sector, urban developmental issues, rural issues, health issues, importance of NGO sector, empowerment of women within Islamic framework, social and security issues, issues related to media and many more.

It presents a plan that views Muslims as second largest majority capable of influencing all the policies and programmes being pursued in the country; but at the same time it regards them as “minority” in India from the constitutional point of view which should be given all the rights that are their due in that capacity. Again it emphasizes that as poor and deprived Muslims are part of the majority of the country which remains poor and deprived in almost all walks of life.

The Approach Paper also discusses in detail the ideological perspectives of the issues confronting the country and the community; and argues for a planning that combines ideological and practical approach to achieve the ultimate objects in minimum possible time.

Another point that the paper highlights is that the development of the country cannot be complete unless (1) it involves and benefits all the sections of society in an admirable way; (2) it takes along with it all the communities of the country without anyone of them feeling alienated, discriminated or left out; (3) It covers all the regions and states of the country; (4) It gives an equal emphasis on urban and rural development; and (5) It ensures that the growth and development take place without erosion of the moral values, strong family system, social peace and Indian cultural framework. It presents a plan the Way the Approach paper of the Planning Commission presents covering all the aspects of Muslim life. The paper argues that we should make a plan without compromising the basic principles of comprehensiveness, simultaneity and distribution of work followed by sustained monitoring and reassessment.

A salient feature of the paper is the facts and figures that are collected from several sources and analyse them for arriving at the possible solutions. It argues that the political empowerment of Muslims should occur in a way that not only Muslims get a due share in governance but they play a proactive and meaningful role in all the national and international affairs. It wants Muslims to develop into a dynamic, globally thinking community, aggressive in making efforts on all fronts not only for their own development but also for the establishment of a purer, healthier and more peaceful country as well as the world.

Another important aspect is that Dr. Jamil not only shows mirror to the problems affecting the community but also goes on to give reasonable solutions that are worth implementing. Some of these include: introduction of applied Islamics in  higher religious as well as modern institutions aimed at making a critical analysis of the developments of the world from Islamic point of view and application of Islamic principles for proposing alternative models for the betterment of mankind; converting mosques into Islamic centres within the boundaries provided by respective Islamic fiqhs (jurisprudence) under the supervision of Ulema so that the mosques can help in the development of Muslims as a morally upright, socially well-behaved community; creation of an extensive infrastructure for educational pursuits at all the levels and in all the possible fields; and the use of education for the over-all development of human beings as morally upright and socially useful creatures; establishment of a People’s Corporate for greater participation of Muslims in the Corporate Sector because without an adequate representation in Corporate Sector in every capacity, neither Muslims can develop nor the nation can achieve its ultimate goals. (Wealth Generation within the parameters of Islam and the requirements of Indian Constitution must be one of the top priorities if peace and prosperity are to be achieved); continuous efforts for establishment of Islamic financial institutions in India; sustained high-pinched campaign for hygienic conditions for Muslims and establishment of peace colonies in the cities to ensure a hygienic living for Muslims to fulfill their social, religious and cultural needs; development of a health infrastructure at every level with the involvement of Muslim medical and paramedical force to meet the health needs of the community; equal emphasis on urban and rural Development; establishment of a healthy and morally upright media in the country with the active participation of Muslims; proper use of NGO sector as a tool of change in the right direction and empowerment of common people; empowerment of women within Islamic framework; building an all-religion alliance against dirty economics (commercialization of human weaknesses, economic disparity, corruption, etc); and, building a more peaceful world through cordial relationships with all the countries of the world including Muslim countries

The Approach Paper gives more emphasis on Solution rather than merely analyzing the problem and suggests more than 160 measures in various fields. It emphasizes coordination between the governmental and community institutions as most of these measures require efforts at both the levels. The demands from the government include not only demands related to Muslims but also related to the common problems of Indian people. Some of them are: introduction of “fundamental prohibitions” in the constitution to be able to eradicate social evils and the “dirty economics”; introduction of “Right to Health” as the fundamental right that must have an overriding impact on all the activities; adoption of policies that counters economic disparity including a tax structure that collects more revenues from the rich than the poor masses); corruption at all levels – government, corporate, NGOs – must be uprooted through suitable measures including a well meaning Lok Pal Bill; more representation of Muslim in Ministries (in accordance with population) both in Centre and States, steps to ensure greater representation in Parliament and Assemblies, ways to ensure greater participation of Muslims in civil services, military and other administrative services (Central and provincial), establishment of Equal Opportunities Commission at the earliest; at least 10 per cent reservation of Muslims as a whole with 75 per cemt reserved for Muslim OBCs (any suitable workable formula can be developed that safeguards the interests of all the concerned parties); special efforts to ensure road connectivity to Muslim localities and villages, better municipal conditions and uninterrupted power supply; facilitate establishment of higher Muslim institutions: establishment of at least 5 Muslim women universities and 5 Muslim Sports Colleges; demand for allotment of at least 15 per cent budget to Muslim NGOs; demand for passing of Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011” without any further delay; and to facilitate establishment of Islamic financial institutions in the country including Islamic Banking.

Dr. Javed Jamil’s paper is being seen with great optimism in certain sections of the society and it remains to be seen up to what extent the Government of India make use of this report. A blueprint or rather a roadmap to the progress of Muslims in the country has already been prepared and it is upon the decision-makers to see that adequate measures are taken for its implementation.