NEW DELHI—Jamaat-e-Islami Hind(JIH)has demanded a ‘white paper’ with an in-depth evaluation of failures and good works of the government in tackling the Covid pandemic and the role of religious institutions like temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches working in coordination with the government to provide relief to the people from the dreaded disease.
The Jamaat also demanded an impartial investigation, rising above political affiliations, to find out if the “religious festivals” and “political activities” pertaining to elections in five state assemblies during the peak period of the second wave had a role in rapid spread of Covid throughout the length and breadth of India, resulting into 3.5 lakh Covid-related deaths till June 4, 2021.
The demand was made by Jamaat’s national vice-president Prof. Muhammad Salim Engineer while addressing an online press conference at the end of a two-day session of the jamaat’s two-day Central Advisory Council (CAC), or the Shoora.
Prof Salim said that a ‘white paper’ must tell where the government failed and what were the good steps taken by the government in fighting the crisis along with contributions made by social and religious groups including mandir, masjid, gurudwaras and churches.
He was also in favour of an honest investigation into the ‘wastage of vaccines’ allegations levelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against non-BJP state governments.
“Religious festivals”, “political events” part of “political and sectarian agenda”
Expressing serious concern over ignoring “religious festivals” and carrying out “political activities” like rallies during assembly polls five states during the peak period of the second Covid wave, a resolution passed by CAC said that “this appeared to be a part of a political and sectarian agenda” that “played a key role in the rapid spread of the epidemic and loss of countless lives”. According to WHO report, more than 3.40 lakh deaths have taken place due to COVID by June 4, 2021 in India.
“The JIH views such irresponsible behaviour with concern and demands that rising above political affiliation, these incidents should be seriously investigated, the culprits should be punished and in order to avoid such a situation in future, the public health and other concerned institutions should be strengthened and they should have full authority to fix and enforce their rules and regulations without any political interference,” one of the three resolutions passed at Jamaat’s CAC meeting said.
Jamaat helped fight Covid victims through its centres
Malik Motasim Khan, secretary, community affairs, said that Jamaat and over 3,000 of its volunteers helped over 1.50 lakh of Covid victims through its Covid care hospitals and centres at 40 different places in the country including Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhopal and Nagpur.
Covid Pandemic a warning against collective wrongs of the society, Jamaat’s appeal to turn to God
The stating the Covid-19 has crushed our pride in material progress, the CAC resolution asked people to reflect on our status and turn to our Creator. Reminding the people that “our Creator and Master warns us against collective wrongs through pandemics and natural calamities”, the Jamaat resolution said that “not giving up the ways of oppression, excesses and exploitation even at times of pandemic distress is very serious”.
The jamaat appreciated the efforts of doctors, medical staff, charities and social workers helping selflessly for protection of human lives, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, thus strengthening religious harmony.
Religious hatred, lawlessness up in last few years
Expressing concern over rise in religious hatred, authoritarianism, lack of transparency and lawlessness during the last few years, Prof. Salim said that political dissenters, especially in UP, were being charged of sedition, their properties were being confiscated and there was again a surge in sectarian killings and mob lynching aimed at polarizing society for political gains.
Misuse of pillars of democracy
The jamaat also expressed concern over systematic misuse of basic pillars of democracy: legislature, executive and judiciary as also election commission, enforcement directorate and CBI, giving a fatal blow to sovereignty and integrity.
Media as government’s spokespersons
Commenting on the media, the Jamaat said that instead of playing the role a watchdog, the media has surrendered and become spokespersons of the government.
Violent ‘rashtravad’ harming the nation
The Jamaat resolution said that “the strategy of dividing people on religious lines and polarisation through violent ‘rashtrawad’ (nationalism), hatred, malice and enmity on the part of politicians for their petty political interests, is severely harming the country”.
Condemns repressive laws in Lakshadweep
It also condemned the actions of the new administrator of Lakshadweep for bringing the Goonda Act to silence political dissent and the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021to uproot the local people and transfer their land to corporates. It demanded immediate rollback of the “repressive laws”.