Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has sharply criticised President Ramnath Kovind’s speech to the joint session of Parliament on Friday as it did not have any reference to the ongoing nation-wide protests against the religiously discriminatory new Citizenship Law.
Jamaat said on Saturday that in a democratic set-up, the government was bound to approach the agitating people but it continued to ignore the countrywide protests against the CAA-NRC-NPR. It also condemned the BJP-RSS attempts to communalise the Delhi Assembly elections and the shooting incidents at Jamia Millia and Shaheen Bagh.
Addressing the monthly press conference at the Jamaat headquarters here, its president Syed Sadatullah Hussaini said the government must speak to the protesters as the dialogue is an integral part of any democracy and it must not be abandoned. Referring to the speech of the President, the Jamaat chief said the President did not touch upon the issue of countrywide spontaneous protests against the CAA-NRC-NPR and instead should have suggested to the government to talk to the agitating people. He pointed out that the Opposition leaders have also denounced the speech which did not reflect the realities.
Spontaneous, organic and peaceful protests are being organised by women, students and youths in cities, towns and villages on a daily basis with scenes of unprecedented turnout everywhere and attended by citizens cutting across barriers of age, ethnicity, region and religion but the government is behaving like adamant kid, he pointed out.
On being asked about the budget session, Hussaini said, “We are sure a debate on the CAA-NPR-NRC will take place in Parliament. The President has talked about CAA in his speech at the joint session of the Parliament. Opposition leaders have denounced it. We demand that a serious debate should be held on this issue in Parliament.”
He also said Jamaat has opened a channel of communication with the MPs and opposition leaders and briefing them about the Jamaat’s position on the CAA-NPR-NRC.”
On the expected Supreme Court verdict on the CAA, he said, “We cannot comment on the verdict before it is delivered. However, we are positive that it will rule against the CAA as the broad consensus of everybody is that it does not stand the test of constitutional validity.”
On the forthcoming assembly elections in Delhi, the Jamaat chief denounced the communal and hate–filled speeches delivered by the senior BJP leaders and union ministers. “Those who are giving divisive and provocative statements are the real anti-nationals. A very dangerous precedent is being set. The government and the ruling party must take action against its members for trying to polarize the atmosphere before the polls,” he said.
Demanding strict action against the minister and the BJP MP, he noted if no action was taken by the BJP against them, then it would be construed as one more proof of the systematic and official endorsement of the politics of “bigotry and enmity” by the BJP towards a particular community.
Responding to a question on Jamaat’s stand in the forthcoming Delhi polls, he said the Jamaat is gathering information and analysing the electoral scenario and would issue a list of candidates shortly.
“Jamaat would support candidates who have good moral character and are in a position to defeat the candidate belonging to the political party with fascist and communal mindset. A list of candidates (constituency-wise) that Jamaat-e-Islami Hind would support in the elections will be published very soon after deliberations and discussion with the local members of Jamaat in Delhi.”
Reacting to the Union Budget 2020-21 presented in Parliament, the Jamaat chief said it did not reflect the realities the country has been facing on the economic front. “It is disappointing and does not take into consideration the growing economic inequalities in the country,” he said.
Earlier, the vice president of Jamaat, Mohammad Salim Engineer said the Jamaat has sent suggestions to the government on the Union Budget. Jamaat strongly advocates an increase in social-sector spending including allocation of at least 6 per cent of GDP for education and 4 per cent of GDP for the health sector.”
He said the Jamaat also suggested the government to promote equity-based financing and give approval for launching interest-free banks in India. “One way for overcoming the agrarian crisis is to grant interest-free credit to farmers. The credibility of banks has suffered a lot in recent times and the government must ensure that the banking sector becomes free of scams and malpractices.”