Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Roadmap
Author: Dr. Javed Jamil
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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.
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 Secular India: Destination & Roadmap”.
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, 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 their analysis 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.
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.
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. The concluding remarks by the author are worth reproducing here:
“This paper is in effect a preliminary description of Muslim Vision of India. India of their dreams is the leader that guides the mankind to developing a healthier, purer, and more prosperous and more peaceful world, with the fruits of development reaching every human being living anywhere in the world irrespective of his caste, colour, creed and faith. Muslims do know that, despite having emphasis on certain aspects of development, their vision is not entirely different from the vision of their fellow countrymen belonging to other religions; and this is why they have reasons to feel confident that their vision of India will be realised one day with the support of all Indians. Indians on the other hand need to realise that India cannot reach its destination until Muslim becomes active partners in this pursuit. Muslims need the support of their countrymen and the countrymen must not fail them.”
Report on release of “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Roadmap”
Noted Scholar, Dr Javed Jamil’s much awaited Approach Paper, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Roadmap” was unveiled on 21st May 2012 at India Islamic Centre, New Delhi. Releasing the document, Mr K Rahman Khan, Former Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, described the document as the first of its kind in the Post-Independence India, which captures the Muslim vision of the country. He told that it the document was the result of his several rounds of meetings with Dr Javed Jamil. The idea of producing a paper on the line of the Approach Paper for Muslims was discussed and he agreed to write the paper. He said that he had read a paper on the participation of Muslims in Corporate Sector authored by Dr Jamil, and was particularly impressed by his argument that Muslims being large population of consumers must concentrate o entering the corporate sector in a big way. Mr Khan said that Muslims in India are a country within country, and a population of 18 crore requires a separate planning on the line of Planning Commission. By providing the comprehensive document covering every aspect of Muslim role in the country, Dr Jamil has given a historical document. He said that it is high time now a Muslim Planning Council was formed. He indicated that in response to the Vision Document; such a council can soon be floated, which will work as a non-political non-governmental organization.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Law and Minority Affairs, Mr Salman Khurshid described the event as historical and wholeheartedly praised the endeavour of Dr Jamil. He said that Sachar Committee showed a part of the picture that was related to the government and Ranganathan Misra Commission made some suggestions. This vision document is an important addition because it focuses on the community effort. If the community has to develop, it will have to work itself for it. Mr Khurshid described how his announcement on reservation was used by different sections as an election ploy. He criticized Election Commission for intervening when there was no reason for this. He said that what he did was based on ground realities and not on the promises that cannot be kept. He challenged the parties that have made big promises to do what they have been telling the people. During his long speech, he looked emotionally charged at the way some people have tried to doubt his intentions. He promised that he would do everything possible within the limits of the constitution for the community. Raising the copy of the Muslim Vision document in his hands, he said that these are the kinds of the works that need to be appreciated and implemented. But he emphasized that the community must take the initiative itself.
Mr Siraj Qureshi described Dr Javed Jamil as a visionary who has given a vision document the like of which has never been produced before. He said that he liked the comprehensiveness of the approach in the paper, particularly Dr Jamil’s theory that wealth generation within the parameters of Islam is a necessary condition for the growth of the community. Zakat and the success of financial Islamic institutions also depends upon the ability to generate wealth, and this dynamic concept of economics given in the approach is to be adopted sooner than later. Mr Qureshi said that the idea of floating a Muslim Chamber of commerce is a great idea. Mr Qureshi hoped that now the whole country will debate the document in its minutest details and then we can come up with a draft of the plan the way Planning Commission plans.
Mr Azeez Burney, renowned journalist, said that the scenario wold change from today. Sachar Committee showed us the problem and Dr Jamil has given us the treatment. Asa good physician, he said, Dr Jamil has not only diagnosed the diseases but jas also given us awonderful prescription. He said that if the people sittig on the dais unite, this vision can turn into reality. He said that Muslims in India are here by choice. Hindus had no other option but to stay here. Muslims had the option to leave but they stayed here. So this country belongs to Muslims more than others.
Mr Akhtaryl Wasey, noted Islamic Scholar, described the document as a historical piece of work which will end the confusion. We will not remain a “confused community” any more but will become a “community with vision”. He said that Dr Jamil deserves applause at the highest level for what he has done. He said that the condition of Muslims in India is like a 12th man, who is regarded a part of the team but has hardly any chance to show his mettle. The twelfth man becomes a man of injured psyche who keeps waiting for an injury to one of the 11players in order to play.
Mr Samar Hamid said that his illustrious father (Syed Hamid) has been very fond of Dr Javed Jamil because he has a broad vision. He said that the type of document he has produces needs huge effort for a long period of time. He said that it was time now that all must put their heads together to start thinking how this can be implemented.
Dr Javed Jamil said that Muslims need to look at their strengths and weaknesses from their own glasses and they have t plan in their own way keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses. He said that Muslims must become a vibrant and dynamic community that must play a meaningful role in the country. He said that Muslims have three statuses. As a constitutional minority, they deserve all the rights guaranteed in the constitution. As an ideological ethnic class, they are the second largest majority and must learn the ways to act like the second largest majority. They must be able to influence the direction of the national policy. The third status is that they are part of the deprived majority, and it is this status which required biggest emphasis. They must work for the deprived and must fight the forces of economics and their exploitative policies. He told that the document has 20 chapters including religious education, modern education, economic empowerment, health infrastructure, urban development, rural development, NGO sector, media and security. Overall, the document has suggested 170 measures, and he said that even if one tenth of them are taken, a revolution will dawn in India.
Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi, MP and renowned Islamic scholar, described the Approach paper as a wonderful work that teaches Muslims the art of living in a secular country. He said that our ultimate vision document is Qur’an, and Dr Jamil has taken the help of that ultimate vision into formulating his Muslim Vision. He said that Dr Jamil has rightly called for a sustained campaign against commercialization of human weaknesses like alcohol, gambling and sex. He said that the time is now changing and Muslims are moving ahead. From today onwards, there will be a new beginning. We have now the Vision before us, and we have to plan a strategy to implement it. He suggested the formation of a counsel and said that the people seated on the dais have good enough capability to usher in a new revolution.
The programme was attended by large number of academicians, media personalities, businessmen and experts. These dignitaries included Mr Rasheed Masood, MP and Mr Mohammad Adeeb. It was telecast live in parts on ETV Urdu. The programme could not begin in time because of the debate going on in parliament that delayed the arrival of all the main guests.
1- Introduction: 10
2- What has gone wrong? 15
3 - Time to Reverse the Tide: Objectives to be achieved 19:
4- Changes in Government Policies & Economic Ideology Required: Economic Disparity to be drastically reduced, Steps required for countering commercialisation of human weaknesses, Emphasis on Rural Development, Emphasis on Development of undeveloped urban areas particularly civic amenities 29
Radical Steps needed by Muslim Community 70
5- Religious Education: Applied Islamics, Mosques as Islamic Centres, Khutbas, 55
6- Modern Education: Primary, Secondary, Higher 72
7. Scope of Islamic Economics in India 110
* Dynamic Theory of Economics: Wealth Generation
* Exploring the scope of large scale Muslim participation in Corporate Sector, especially the Consumer Market: People’s Corporate India
* Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
* Economic Relations with Muslim Countries
* Islamic Finance
* Shariah-compliant stock exchange
8- Health Infrastructure: Special Efforts on Health Front needed by Muslim Community 156
9- Urban Development 195 Civic Amenities, Peace Cities
10- Rural Development 205
11- Social Empowerment and Security: 221 Reservation, Unity of Muslims, Interfaith, Equality, Campaign against Social Evils, Employment.
12- Empowerment of Women within Islamic Parameters 243
13. NGO Sector 260
14- The Fourth Estate: Let Muslims also Own it 269
15- Management of Awqaf Properties 284
16- Political Empowerment 288
17- Security Issues: Psychological, Physical and Social 293
18- Roadmap: Need for a National Level Organisation of Muslims 319
20- Perceptions, Facts & Figures (Compiled) 324
21- Muslim Perspective of National Development and Socioeconomic Empowerment of Muslim Indians: Measures Suggested (enlisted here) 356
22- Last Word 365
The Man behind the Work 368