JIH Chief Asks NDA, its partners to introspect as people reject politics of hate, divisive agenda & misuse of Govt machinery

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Jamaat-e-Islami Hind president Syed Sadatullah Husaini addressed a press conference at the JIH headquarters in New Delhi on June 8, 2024. Photo by Mohammed Shazeb.

India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—In a strongly-worded comment following the Lok Sabha election results, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) President Syed Sadatullah Husaini called on all political parties, including the BJP, to introspect and learn from the public mandate against hate, divisive politics, misuse of government machinery, and the erosion of democratic institutions.

Addressing a press conference here today at the JIH headquarters, he urged them to move away from the politics of hate, communal and caste divides, stereotyping of Muslims, labelling, and stigmatization, and asked all NDA partners, particularly JD(U) and TDP, to adopt the inclusiveness mentioned in their manifestos or common minimum programmes (CMP) and oppose any divisive agenda of the Saffron party.

Congratulating the Indian electorate for their enthusiastic participation in the electoral process, Mr. Husaini stated, “The Indian people have sent a powerful message that they desire unity, peace, and harmony.”

Responding to a question related to the divisive politics and tireless efforts of communal polarization through the ruling dispensation and targeting of minorities, especially Muslims, Mr. Husaini reminded all people of the country, including minorities, especially Muslims, that they should remain optimistic as communalism and divisive politics cannot continue for long in India.

Responding to a question related to the meagre representation of Muslims in the current parliament, JIH Vice President Malik Moatasim Khan said that it is a fact that political parties did not give adequate tickets to Muslim candidates in these elections, but as many as 24 Muslims have been elected. The JIH Vice President emphasized that the number of MPs is not important, but their quality, talent, effectiveness, and leadership are crucial.

Expressing displeasure in replying to a question related to the low percentage of Muslim representation in the present Lok Sabha, however, JIH Vice President Prof. Salim Engineer clarified that this time Muslims wholeheartedly focused on combating major dangers to the country, the Constitution, instead of seeking their adequate representation in the Parliament.

Replying to a question, the JIH president reminded that secular parties should have effectively and strongly addressed public issues, especially those related to minorities and Muslims, including hate speeches against them and targeting of the minority community. “That’s why they didn’t get enough seats in the Parliament. They still should strongly focus on these issues and on the real priorities of the people of this country,” he added.

Replying to a question that the pro-‘Hindutva’ party suffered a crushing defeat in UP, including Ayodhya, Mr. Husaini responded that people of UP now want development and progress instead of communal politics. “Similarly, people of Ayodhya strongly rejected the Mandir-Masjid politics and hate speeches. Apart from that, BJP lost those seats especially where PM Modi had delivered hate speeches against Muslims like in Rajasthan’s Banswara and Gujarat’s Banaskantha.”

To a question over the opposition INDIA alliance not winning a single seat in the national capital Delhi, the JIH chief replied that the opposition coalition showed very weak performances in Delhi, and even their candidates did not properly visit their constituencies and did not properly run their poll campaign and electioneering. Besides, he added, “they showed a lack of addressing the real issues of the capital city.”

For Political Parties and Ruling Dispensation

Expressing deep regret over the divisive rhetoric and speeches during the election campaign that he termed “highly objectionable” and a “blemish on Indian society and democracy,” Mr. Husaini asserted that efforts to ignite religious and communal sentiments were “unprecedentedly disgraceful.”

“It is a testament to the maturity of the electorate that they decisively rejected these tactics,” the JIH leader said, adding that voters, particularly in targeted constituencies, have conveyed their preference for a sincere developmental agenda and unequivocally rejected “narrow-minded, divisive, polarizing, and hate-based ideologies.”

Mr. Husaini felt that the voters have voiced their discontent with the prioritization of corporate interests over the well-being of the poor and marginalized Indians.

He also urged all political parties to abandon ongoing crony capitalist policy formulations and instead focus on building a society where everyone feels valued and respected, irrespective of religious and caste considerations

Particularly calling upon the Members of Parliament from the ruling party and the cabinet, the JIH chief stated, “It is time for introspection, adopting a mature, transparent course correction, and demonstrating more responsible behaviour in their conduct and policies.” He urged MPs to be sensitive to the highly diverse, pluralistic, and multicultural nature of Indian society and develop a heightened sensitivity to the inclusive, federal, justice-oriented, and welfare-driven vision of the Constitution of India.

Mr. Husaini also strongly urged the new government to end the misuse of state machinery and constitutional bodies against political or ideological opponents, stating, “such practices undermine the principles of democracy and erode public trust in our institutions.”

He vowed that Jamaat-e-Islami Hind would continue to cooperate with and support the government in all positive and people-friendly policies and actions while simultaneously remaining steadfast in opposing anything that contradicts fundamental values and constitutional morality.

For Opposition Parties and the Allies of the Ruling Party

Speaking on the poll results for opposition parties and the allies of the ruling party, the JIH leader said, “With the voters of the country preferring a more decentralized coalition government, the responsibility of NDA partners in the ruling party has increased manifold.”

He urged NDA partners, especially the TDP and JDU, to actively promote policies that foster unity, respect, and inclusiveness, and to stand firm against any actions that may divide society. Mr. Husaini cautioned them, stating, “Succumbing to pressure from the ruling dispensation and compromising on core values and principles would be a serious betrayal of the people of India who voted for them to play a crucial role.”

Appreciating the opposition parties for their resolute struggle and unexpected positive mandate, defying pre-poll predictions, the JIH president cautioned that it is also a time for introspection for them. He lamented that while some opposition leaders were clear, vocal, and enthusiastic in their pursuits, there was a noticeable lack of the required vigour, energy, and assertiveness among many leaders and parties.

“In many areas, there was a significant disconnect between opposition candidates and voters. In some states, an unnecessary fear psychosis and reluctance regarding secular and inclusive policies was evident,” he said, adding that a more organized, united, and vibrant campaign involving all sections of society by the opposition could have yielded different results.

Urging the opposition parties to play a strong, constructive, and meaningful role, Mr. Husaini asserted, “India needs a massive campaign to change the course of politics and align it more closely with the values of the Constitution.”

For Govt Officials and Democratic Institutions

Speaking about government officials and democratic institutions, the JIH chief believed this vote reflects public outrage over the degradation of government agencies and independent democratic institutions. He lamented that agencies such as the ED and CBI were blatantly used for political vendetta, targeting opposition leaders and silencing dissenting voices within civil society, the media, and academia.

Mr. Husaini criticized the Election Commission’s inaction regarding hate speeches and violations of the model code of conduct, coupled with its failure to inspire public confidence in the electoral process, stating, “This situation underscores the urgent need for an appointment process that is not solely controlled by the ruling dispensation.”

He also criticized a significant portion of the media, saying, “Even a significant portion of the media has acted as political campaigners, with so-called exit polls exposing their partisan bias.”

Noting that the independence, integrity, and professionalism of these institutions are crucial for a thriving democracy, the JIH leader urged those in positions of authority within these institutions to reflect on the message sent by the Indian electorate and uphold the principles of their roles with honor and integrity.

He warned the parties that voters have given a strong message that government agencies like ED, CBI and ECI should function independently without any pressure of the ruling dispensation.

For Civil Society Organizations

Mr. Husaini called the vibrant members of civil society in India the true heroes of this election, highlighting the pivotal role played by the poor, farmers, labourers, marginalized communities, minorities, civil society movements, independent journalists, social media influencers, community organizations, women’s groups, and students.

Congratulating them on their significant contribution, he reminded them that their task is not yet complete, and they must remain vigilant and continue to act as active and dynamic watchdogs, ensuring that the people’s mandate is respected by politicians.

For People of India

Speaking to the people of India, the JIH leader asserted that the strength of democracy lies in the active and vigilant engagement of its citizens. “The people of India are not subservient or idolaters of their leaders; they are the true stewards of democracy,” he said, urging citizens to hold politicians answerable, demanding transparency, integrity, and responsiveness.

Mr. Husaini called on his fellow countrymen to persist in their fight against hate politics, divisiveness, polarization, crony capitalism, and any form of arrogant, dictatorial, or polarizing attitudes from politicians. He urged the people to oppose any misuse of government agencies and democratic institutions.

As the nation embarks on a new political journey of what he calls a ‘Gathbandhan Sarkar’ (coalition government), the JIH President reminded the power of the people’s mandate and the need for all stakeholders to uphold the values enshrined in the Constitution, ensuring that India’s democracy remains vibrant and inclusive.

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