AIMC General Secretary Writes to Sonia Gandhi (Nov. 16, 2007)

[All India Milli Council (AIMC) General Secretary Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam wrote to AICC President and Chairperson UPA Mrs Sonia Gandhi seeking her attention to some crucial issues concerning the Muslim community. The letter was also forwarded to the secretaries of AIMC. We are producing it here in the public interest. Attached, you can also find output of AIMC deliberations at its conference held at Talkatora Stadium on November 17. –– Editor IOSCA]

November 15, 2007

Mrs Sonia Gandhi
President, Indian National Congress
New Delhi

Dear Madam

This has a reference to your letter number 1676/ CP/ NAC/ 06, dated February 13, 2006 in response to my letter, dated January 17, 2006, written on the eve of an important meeting of the Indian National Congress (INC). Then you had taken up three points regarding introduction of a Communal Harmony Bill in Parliament, consideration of a 15-point programme for minorities, and the HRD Ministry’s plan to consider a legislation that preserve the minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Therefore, it seems appropriate to share our concerns once again with you on some very important issues affecting us and the country at a time when one year and nine months has passed since we discussed last. Meanwhile, the Sachar Committee Report has come calling the identity, security and equity as the basic issues of the Muslim community in India. It has yet to get implemented. Besides, this is also the occasion when the All India Congress Committee (AICC) is going to discuss important issues at its session to be held on November 17, 2007 at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi.

While taking into account your efforts to take the country ahead and to bring the excluded sections at par with the rest of the population, we attach herewith a separate document containing our observations and suggestions.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam
General Secretary

Issues of Concern to Muslim Community Requiring INC Attention

  1. Muslim Issues as a National Issue: It has been emphasized in the second chapter of the Sachar Committee Report that the issues of the Muslim community should be taken up as the national issue.
  2. Creation of a Congenial Atmosphere: There should be made efforts to create a congenial atmosphere wherein a Muslim considers himself with respect and dignity an equal citizen of the country and the thinking that he is a share-holder, not tenant in this country should get consolidated.
  3. Removal of the Feeling of Insecurity and Deprivation: The Government should immediately announce a quota for the entire Muslim community in the light of the Sachar and Ranganath Mishra Reports to raise its representation in different walks of life so that on one hand, its educational, economic and political backwardness go, on the other, it is empowered. These all measures would be helpful in the eradication of the feeling of the deprivation.
  4. Protection of Identity: The identity of the Muslim community should be kept in view in the light of the Constitution of India. There seems to be a need again for a formal assurance for protecting the Muslim Personal Law by the Government so that the concern found in the Muslim community in the wake of the recent demand for the sensitive issues like the uniform civil code should go.
  5. Problem of Protection and Security: The special measures should be taken to raise the number of Muslims in the Police and Security forces so that it should help in tackling the awkward situation arisen out during communal riots like that of Moradabad, Maliana, Hashimpura, Mumbai and Gujarat.
  6. Demand of Justice: There should be quick follow-up to the reports of various Commissions and Committees instituted by the Government to look into the communal disturbances/ riots in the country. Besides, the culprits found responsible in the communal riots occurred in Mumbai and elsewhere in the aftermath of the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid and also in the genocide of Gujarat should be punished by the special courts like that of dealing with the 1993 Mumbai Blasts. The Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre should act in the light of the recent Tehelka Expose. Besides, the government should also take necessary steps to expedite the cases related to Babri Masjid in different courts.
  7. Appropriate Compensation to the kith and kin of Communal Riot Victims: The compensation given to the kith and kin of the victims and other affected persons of the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 should be considered a basis for the victims of other communal riots in the country.
  8. Withdrawal of the Anti-Communalism Bill: The Anti-Communalism Bill present in the Parliament for a debate should be withdrawn immediately.
  9. Problem of Encounter: The Government should take legal action against the Police officers found guilty of killing the innocent persons, particularly the Muslim youth in the fake encounters, besides devising effective legislations to deal with the problem of the encounter.
  10. Problem of the TADA and POTA Accused: The cases of thousands of persons languishing in the prisons under TADA and POTA should immediately be dealt with.
  11. Minority Character of Muslim Institutions: The special measures should be taken to ensure the minority character of the educational institutions established and run by the Muslims under the provisions of the Constitution. Besides, necessary steps should also be taken as soon as possible to expedite the proceedings in the case of the minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in the Supreme Court.
  12. Representation of Muslims in the Policy-Making Institutions: The appropriate representation of Muslims in the policy-making and other basic political and non-political institutions should be ensured.
  13. Protection of Traditional Industries: There should be special measures to remove the threat to the traditional and indigenous industries with which are also linked the fate of a substantial number of Muslims and which are symbols of the country’s heritage and source of foreign exchange.
  14. Enactment of Anti-Genocide Legislation: India, a signatory to the 1949 Anti-Genocide Declaration of the United Nations, should enact immediately an anti-genocide law.
  15. Fate of Detainees Without Charges: Thousands of people in general and Muslims in particular, languishing in the jails without any charge or without any persuasion of the case, should be released forthwith and special enquiry should be instituted to know the facts of the charges.
  16. To Make Ministry of Minority Affairs Effective: As is evident, the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has so far been not able to implement the schemes of the Government of India. Therefore, the need of the hour is to take measures whatever is necessary to make the Ministry and entire mechanism effective and bear fruits.
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