NEW DELHI, AUGUST 29—Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), India’s biggest Muslim socio-cultural organization, has expressed its serious concern over the country’s deepening economic crisis arising out of lockdown, following Covid 19 pandemic, since March this year.
The concern about the economic crisis facing the country was raised through a resolution passed at Jamaat’s Shoora, or the Central Advisory Council meeting, that was held this week.
Addressing a virtual press conference on Saturday, JIH vice-president Engineer Mohammad Saleem said that the sudden lockdown, without giving any time to people for its preparation, not only rendered crores of people lose their jobs but also resulted in unprecedented reverse migration from cities to villages and deprivation of food that resulted in deaths of thousands of people across the country.
The mismanagement, he said, compelled lakhs of people belonging to labour class migrate from cities to their villages that resulted in a large number of people becoming victim to Covid even in rural areas. This step of the government resulted in GDP of the country sinking too low which ultimately affected the growth rate that further caused joblessness.
While appreciating the steps taken by the Union government, State governments and the citizens to tackle the crises arising out of the Covid pandemic, Engr Saleem said that the prevailing gravity of the situation demands that the Government, instead of covering its failures with various designs should concentrate on making the situation of the country better. Instead of slogans, the government should initiate concrete action by taking people of all hues and colour, without discrimination into confidence to revive the economy.
Pointing out that the corruption and anti-people economic policies have greatly affected the country’s economic and health care system in countering the pandemic and its devastating effects, the Jamaat leader advised the government to take sincere steps to purge the country of corruption, review the economic policies, check privatisation of national resources, keep health and education sectors away from commercialisation and allocate adequate funds for public welfare and employment.
Stating that it is not enough to depend on Government alone to deal with such a serious situation, he asked citizens to come forward and shoulder the responsibility. Appealing people to forget their differences, it asked them to promote an atmosphere of brotherhood and mutual support in this hour of national crisis, with each member of the society extending helping hand to support those who are jobless or facing unbearable expenses due to Covid.
Bail the country out of political turmoil
Coming down heavily on the ruling party’s policies, Engr Saleem said that suppression of freedom of expression and freedom to dissent were posing a serious threat to democratic institutions in the country.
Stating that how the minorities were being targeted and a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court was being hounded out for airing his views, he said that the people would lose trust in democratic institutions. He advised the government to protect democratic environment in the country by allowing right to dissent which is a basic tenet of every democracy.
Criticising the role of media, the Jamaat leader said that a section of the media is poisoning the social atmosphere in the country through its baseless news stories, articles and broadcasts. It said that hateful messages in media and social media and more importantly the silence of the government thereon and sometimes, its patronisation, have generated an atmosphere of hate among the members of the majority community against the minorities, particularly Muslims.
The Jamaat also condemned the manner in which the people who participated in protests against CAA, NRC and NPR, have been charged and were being arrested during the lockdown.
Alarming Scenario of the Muslim world
Expressing serious concern over the political developments for years in the Muslim world, he observed that the civil wars continuing for years in various parts of the Muslim world, particularly in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Libya are alarming.
Holding the world powers primarily responsible for it, Engr Saleem said the primary responsibility for containing and improving the situation lies on the shoulders of the Muslim themselves.
Noting that there are restrictions on freedom of expression in many of the Muslim countries and thousands of people have been put behind bars for raising this issue, he felt that political conditions and human rights situations in certain Muslims countries are frightening. He suggested that a long and continuous struggle, avoiding violence, is necessary to change the situation for the better, in these countries.
Condemning the US-brokered recent deal of the United Arab Emirates with usurper Israel, it is not proper for the government of any country to try to impose its will on the Palestinian people. He said that India had always supported the cause of Palestine and demanded that the Government of India continued with its old policy of supporting the Palestinians about an Independent Palestine.
Let Indian Muslims do their duty with enthusiasm
Stating that hate and misleading propaganda of the fascist elements in the country against Muslims was nothing new, he noted that the situation has become more serious with current trend of communalism and fascism.
He said that the Muslims fight this dangerous virus of hate and fascism by providing service to humanity and promoting Islamic values and ethics which was practically presented by the Muslims during the Covid pandemic all across the country. During the pandemic, Muslim NGOs and organisations, including Jamaat-e-Islami, all over the country helped the needy and grief-stricken people, irrespective of their religion and faith.
He advised Muslims to continue their struggle onto the path of service and with patience and fortitude, enthusiasm and steadfastness, keeping in view all necessary requirements of the laws of the country.
While criticising the weaknesses of the New Education Policy, the Jamaat appealed the Muslims to plan for their educational and economic advancement with new ideas and thought and make good use of the possibilities present in the NEP.