Jamaat-e-Islami Hind held a session of its Central Advisory Council (Shoora) at Chennai, Tamil Nadu from Dec. 30, 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012 with Amir (President) JIH Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Omari in the chair and all the 19 members of the CAC participating therein. Following deliberations on the various issues including certain important ones confronting the country and the community, the CAC adopted resolutions on Aadhaar Scheme, Lokpal, Food Security Bill, Occupy Wall Street Movement, and the situation prevailing in the Arab world.
1. AADHAAR Scheme:
This session of CAC of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind seriously feels that the objectives and methodology of issuance of Unique Identification Card and Number to the citizens of the country under the Aadhaar Scheme have created an atmosphere of doubt and distrust in the entire country. The decision to issue identity cards to the citizens was taken in a meeting of Group of Ministers during the NDA regime; its objective was to contain illegal infiltration in the country and for this it was decided to issue identity cards to the citizens. Now it is said that Aadhaar and UID card is no proof of citizenship.
Aadhaar Scheme is not only violating the citizenship right of citizens, rule of law and fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India but also becoming a source of economic exploitation, increase in deprivation of poor and backward sections, State profiling of individuals, violation of right to protection of personal life, and depriving citizens of benefits and services. Thus with this scheme national and international agencies, financial institutions, business enterprises and insurance agencies are being benefited. According to the details of UID project that have come to light, the expenditure on this project will come at Rs. 50 thousand crore. Such a large amount will be paid out of the tax paid by poor citizens. Before implementing such a mega project, it was neither granted nod in the Parliament after due deliberations nor was any legislation enacted.
It is being said that it would be optional but after attaching it to the various benefits and services this identity card and number will be mandatory. A person who does not have this card and number will stand deprived of these benefits and services. That is why National Human Rights Commission has termed this project as erroneous and a scheme to deprive people of their rights.
After attaching the unique identity number with every issue concerning the personal life of an individual, it would be possible not only for the Government but for all those institutions and agencies which are related to this number to peep into his personal life and activities. Thus the fundamental right to protection of personal life will be badly affected.
Human rights activists and legal luminaries have expressed apprehension that it would pave the way for profiling of citizens of the country, especially of deprived sections and minorities; and there is a threat of their well-being being affected.
Unique Identity Card Authority has signed agreements with national and international agencies and financial institutions, whereby they can be attached with Aadhaar Scheme though the Authority has no legal provision for this. Now it has been said in the draft legislation that whatever agreements and activities would have been undertaken by the Authority in this regard till the enactment of law, would be deemed valid right from their previous dates.
UID Authority has also said that all social welfare schemes would be attached to the Aadhaar Scheme. In such a country of dense population, in which everyone has not been able to get voter card, the availability of Aadhaar card and number to all is very much difficult. Therefore, it is apprehended that the poor people of the country would stay deprived of the welfare schemes like Ration Card and Grameen Yojna due only to the unavailability of Aadhaar Card.
The CAC expresses its utter surprise that when the countries like USA, UK and Australia have annulled such schemes due to extraordinary expenditure and violation of the right to protection of personal life of people, how a poor country like India would be able to bear the exorbitantly huge burden of Rs. 50 thousand crore.
To implement the Aadhaar Scheme, the Government has hired the services of 209 private companies, which are not only reaping monetary benefits from this but also would be able to access personal information of people. It is apprehended that these companies would exploit this information for their materialistic and other gains. Similarly, the national and international companies with whom software has been purchased have also paved the way for illegal access of such information. That is why intellectuals and legal luminaries in the country have opposed this scheme in the severest terms and demanded its immediate withdrawal, declaring it illegal and unconstitutional.
Aadhaar Scheme deems it mandatory to record fingerprint marks and biometric eye scanning while there is no legal provision for subjecting our own citizens to this treatment. Generally this process is required for identification of criminals.
Keeping in view all the above-mentioned doubts and apprehensions, the CAC of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind demands from Government of India to put an immediate end to this Scheme. It would be in the fitness of things if the Government brings in a practicable, apprehension-free scheme only after removing these apprehensions following public discussion and debate in Parliament, having expert opinion on its importance and advantages, enacting a law on protection of personal life, and winning confidence of people. Otherwise the entire scheme should be annulled.
There can be no denying the need and importance of Lokpal to root out corruption from the country. There must be some authority that can contain corruption and irregularities at high levels. This was the concept of Lokpal in the beginning but later on this issue got politicised. The hue and cry going on for the last one year and political games being played on the issue bring into light that both the major political parties in the country, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, have nothing to do with the real issue. They are only striving as per their respective agenda to save and grab power. The approach of other political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to this issue is also not good.
This session of the CAC of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind appeals to the Government, all political parties and NGOs that they, having gone above electoral politics and petty benefits, solve this issue and create an atmosphere for appointment of such a Lokpal as can have full powers and cover Prime Minister, CBI, all responsible functionaries, Members of Parliament, State Assemblies and Councils, corporate sectors and NGOs. A person having clean image and trustworthy character besides academic excellence and legal acumen, and is known thus in the society, should be appointed on this post. The CAC demands that the committee to be formed for selection of Lokpal must include representatives of backward castes and minorities.
This session of the CAC also draws the attention of the Government, politicians and the public to the fact that evils like corruption, embezzlement and misappropriation cannot be wiped out with mere legislation; to act upon laws with a sense of honesty and responsibility is also necessary, and this acting upon is possible only when people nurture fear of God in their hearts, they believe that their Creator and Lord is keeping a constant watch over them and they have to stand before God to account for whatever they are doing.
3. Food Security Bill:
To the CAC of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind it is a pleasure that after a pretty long time the Government has decided to pass the Food Security Bill. And a draft on the Bill has been finalised in the Cabinet. This session of the CAC hopes that this Bill will be enacted into a law during the Budget Session and the UPA Government will keep its long-due promise.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind laments that the draft Bill that has been given final touch after such a long time and after a long series of discussions and debates is erroneous from different aspects. The Jamaat believes that even after enacting the law every citizen of India will not be able to have the right to food security. In the proposed legislation the citizens of the country have been divided into Targeted and General categories, and food security has been guaranteed only to the Targeted Section. It is apprehended that a large chunk of Indian population rather a large chunk of the poor also will be deprived of food security. To this session of the CAC this is gross injustice to the poor public. The social survey being done to determine the Targeted Section is also based on amazing misapprehensions. According to information, if a widow has an 18-year old son, she would not be deemed poor. While in the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme the minimum age limit for employment is 18 years. Social organisations have pin-pointed such lacunae and discrepancies with regard to this survey.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is also concerned over the fact that providing food for the citizens belonging to the General category has been made conditional to reform in public distribution system. And the picture of reform in public distribution system drawn in a separate chapter of the legislation is highly objectionable. It includes controversial measures like transfer of direct funds and linking Aadhaar Card with food distribution. Also, there is no mention in the proposed legislation of any intention to act upon the instructions given by the Supreme Court to distribute surplus foodgrains piled in godowns.
This session of the CAC demands that the Government effect necessary amendments in the Bill before the Budget Session and declare it mandatory to make 35 kgs foodgrains and other food items on low cost available to every citizen of India.
The CAC session also support the demand that the legislation should guarantee nutritious diet to children, food requirements to expected women and special food requirements to those suffering from some ailments.
The CAC session demands that Right to Livelihood including facilities for food, clothes, house, education and medical treatment be guaranteed in the Constitution as a right of Indian citizens.
4. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement:
This CAC session of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses its interest in the issues raised by protestors of Occupy Wall Street Movement. These protestors are raising most important issues of the entire world. Ever rising gap between the rich and the poor and policies based on exploitation of unemployment and the poor have now become the common issue of the entire world. And now the situation is touching its lowest ebb.
The causes of economic slowdown [afflicting the world] for the last three or four years have been merciless capitalistic policies based on interest-based economy, exploitation, cheating and greed. In spite of the reality having come to light, the same mistakes are being repeated instead of taking reform measures. Banks and financial institutions are being given bailout packages worth millions of dollars but no attention is being paid to the poor unemployed people affected by the disaster. After America, the economic disaster is demolishing big economies in Europe. But there too the real causes of the disaster are being neglected, and exploiting capitalists are being supported with bailout packages and the real needs of poor public are being neglected.
Expressing sympathy with the protestors of Wall Street, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind draws their attention to the fact that the solution does not lie in expressing anger and grief and staging protests. The world now needs an alternate economic system; and economic and financial system of Islam, which is free from interest, gambling, speculation and forward trading, and is based on the values of real equity and justice, has the full strength of providing solution for the present crisis prevailing in the world. Islam is the system of life revealed by the Creator and Lord of man, and only this system has the strength to rise above the sensibilities of temporal and personal interests and guarantee the welfare of all people. The Jamaat appeals to the entire world and the protestors of Wall Street to consider the teachings of Islam with utmost sincerity.
On this occasion the Jamaat also draws the attention of the policymakers of our country to learn a lesson from these happenings. Our country, too, has decided to tread this devastating path in the field of economic policymaking, and is going ahead thereon. The policies, which have brought the prosperous countries of America and Europe down to the ground, are more so devastating for a poor country like India. The need is that our country stays away from capitalistic imperialistic policies.
5. Situation in Arab World:
The public awakening in the countries in Arab world is pleasant from different angles. Launching a peaceful movement against monarchy and autocracy, the public in Tunisia and Egypt dethroned the despotic rulers and now the way for democratic governments there has been paved. Its possibilities are bright in Yemen as well.
With the success of Ikhwan al-Muslimoon’s political party Al-Ahrar wal A’dalah (Freedom and Justice Party) in Egypt and Al-Nahdha in Tunisia, it is hoped that the process of governance based on pristine values of Islam will be functional in these two Muslim countries, and would prove torch-bearer for other Muslim countries as well. Further, it will remove the misapprehensions in the minds of the common people in the world created as a result of the baseless propaganda unleashed against Islam and the Muslim Ummah by the Western world, especially America.
This session of CAC of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind looks at this healthy change in Muslim countries with hope and honour. Movements of the same stature had been launched in Libya and Syria but due to western interference in both the countries the situation there got worsened. Western interference turned the peaceful movement in Libya into a violent one, as a result of which very unpleasant happenings occurred there, and now after the ouster of Col. Muammar Ghaddafi a situation of conflict and clash between Islam-loving sections and western elements has been prevailing over there. Likewise, due to oppressive attitude of Syrian rulers and the western agenda the citizens of that country have been undergoing trials and tribulations. Human lives are being lost in large numbers over there. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind severely condemns western interference in those countries, and appeals to the peace-loving and pro-democracy people of the world to raise their voice against the undue interference of the west in Middle East and North Africa, especially Libya and Syria. This session of the CAC also demands from the Government of India to try to keep America and NATO from Libya and Syria by exerting its own influence and diplomatic sources.