By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: Joining the issue of free distribution of cornovirus vaccination, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind on Saturday underlined that it is the basic duty of any government to protect people from any pandemic disease and it cannot be used for political mileage in elections. Jamaat also appealed to the Supreme Court to deliver its judgment on the set petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) as early as possible which have been pending before it since December last year.
Addressing to media persons at the monthly briefing here the Jamaat’s Headquarters, President Syed Sadatullah Hussaini has said that providing free vaccination is the basic duty of any government and it should not be used as a political tool who spoke on various issues related to the upcoming assembly polls in Bihar, the CAA, madrassas and freedom of the press.
When being asked that the BJP in its Bihar poll manifesto promised of providing free vaccination for the coronavirus, he quipped it cannot be used for election purpose as it is the duty of the government to make it available for people.
“Providing free vaccination for the coronavirus is the basic duty of the government. How can it be used as a poll promise? The government has to provide it all over the country. The vaccine should only be launched after an appropriate trial period. The entire thrust of the government should be welfare-oriented and announcements of welfare schemes should not be made only at the time of elections. The rich should be taxed and spent on the poor.”
In response to another question related to the Bihar assembly elections, he did not reply directly which party or alliance Jamaat would extend support in the three-phase elections for 243 assembly seats.
“Jamaat along with other Muslim organizations are studying the manifestos of various parties and alliances and we are also presenting our viewpoint on different issues before them. We will take final a call in this regard shortly”.
When his attention was drawn towards the recent statement of the ruling BJP president on the controversial CAA saying that its implementation was delayed due to pandemic, Jamaat Chief Hussaini said “We consider this law to be against the constitution and discriminating against a particular religious community over others”. He appealed to the apex court to deliver its judgment on this very important issue as soon as it can.
On the Assam government’s announcement of freezing the funding of madrassas in the state, he said Jamaat endorsed the stand taken by our Markazi Taleemi Board which has condemned the Assam education minister for announcing to shut down all the Government run madrassas and ceasing their funding from next month.
We demand that the Assam government must take back its decision, he said.
Asserting that freedom of the press is paramount for any functional democracy and the right to expressing one’s opinion on issues should always be protected, he exhorted that the media should not be used for spreading hate and communal disharmony.
Earlier, Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Prof Mohammad Salim Engineer talked about the growing atrocities on Dalits, farmers’ bills, changes in labor laws and the responsibilities of the government in the post-Covid phase.
“Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns the growing incidents of violence and especially sexual violence against Dalits all over the country. We oppose the three Agriculture laws passed in Parliament, as they are exploitative and anti-farmer. We also oppose the merging of 24 central labour laws into three. This will deprive workers of their legitimate rights in the name of reforms, investment and promoting ‘ease of doing business,” Engineer Salim said.
He warned that these laws l bring the ‘hire, tire and fire’ model to business organizations and lead to exploitation of the vulnerable.
“The government should announce interest-free loans to small traders and extend the moratorium on EMIs till June 2021. Professionals as well as daily-wage labourers who lost their jobs in the Covid period should be given a special help package.”