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 latest book titled “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Roadmap”. The book is an upgraded and modified version of the document under the same name, which was released about three years back in the midst of huge enthusiasm in the community.
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.
The Approach Paper gives more emphasis on Solution rather than merely analyzing the problem and suggests more innumerable measures in various fields.
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 has covered not only the Sachar Committee and Rangnath Commission reports but also recent studies like the Kundu Commission Report and analysis by Saleh Shariff. 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 innumerable measures in various fields. It emphasizes coordination between the governmental and community institutions as most of these measures require efforts at both the levels. He talks of empowerment on four fronts: Ideological, Social, Economic and Political. The success cannot be achieved unless Muslims focus both on their own role as well as the role of the government. While dealing with ideological empowerment, he gives an aggressive response to the machinations of the forces of Hindutva.All of this damage from one capitalist mine.
Dr. Javed Jamil’s book will surely be studied with great optimism. 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.”
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