November 18, 2009

India: Concerned citizens statement in response to Jamait Ulema's resolutions

the below statement was released on the 18th November 2009 at a press conference which was addressed by Zafar Agha, Shabnam Hashmi, Gauhar Raza and Sohail Hashmi.

among the signatories there are prominent names like Nasiruddin Shah, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Shaid Mehdi etc.

  1. We, the under signed, are shocked at the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (M group) unprovoked move to revive the Vande Matram controversy now. It is a well-known fact that the debate on Vande Mataram was settled way back in 1930s with the consent of the then leadership of the Jamiat. It was then agreed upon that the controversial parts of the Vande Matram would not be recited. The practice continues.
    We neither believe that the Vande Mataram is a test case of some one’s patriotism. Nor do we agree with the Jamiat interpretation that reciting the song would endanger one’s faith. Therefore, we strongly condemn the Jamiat move to unnecessarily provoke a controversy around Vande Mataram at this juncture. The Jamiat move has only strengthened the Hindutva forces, which have been in disarray since the last parliamentary election. We also condemn the Hindu right wing forces’ attempt to impose its recitation on citizens to prove one’s patriotism.
  1. We are further shocked with the Jamiat attitude towards girls’ education. The Jamiat wants to “establish non-residential modern educational institutions for girls education” with “specially carved out syllabus which should be completed within six years.” The Jamiat further demands: “On completion of 10 years of age, complete shariat norms should be observed while continuing their education.”
    It is a retrogressive move not only to isolate girls from the mainstream of the national education but also to keep them confined in a secluded sectarian atmosphere. It is shocking to demand shariat norms in education for girls or for any segment of society in a secular state. We condemn this anti women move in the strongest possible manner and demand that such moves must be checked in time.
  1. The Jamiat though encourages Muslims to take to modern education but it advises the young Muslim students not to take admissions in government or non-government schools because in such institutions Muslims students “get isolated and sometimes unaware about their Islamic values.
    We see this move as an indirect attempt to keep Muslims boys away from the mainstream education, which is exactly what Hindutva forces want.  It will not only keep the community backwards but would discourage Muslims from taking to education for the fear of unnecessarily loosing “Islamic values”. We, therefore, condemn it in the strongest manner and appeal the Muslims not to heed to such ill-advised moves.
  1. The Jamiat has also come out strongly against the Central government move to standardize modern education syllabus through establishing a madarsa board. The move, as practiced in nine other states, will open a window for madarsa students to the modern education. It will also streamline and standardize teachers’ salaries within madras’s.
    We support the government move in this regard and appeal the Muslim clergy to accept it in the larger interest of the community, madarsa students and madarsa teachers most of whom are presently very lowly paid.
  1. A widespread debate on the women reservation bill is going inside and outside the parliament. There is a divide on this issue among various political parties. But the Jamiat move to oppose the Women Reservation Bill on the ground that it is a ‘desparate attempt to bring women into the mainstream’ and that ‘this will create various other social problems including their insecurity’ is highly objectionable. We strongly condemn it because it is another move to keep the Muslim women backward. 

A G Danish Professional—NRI

Abid Ali Khan Academician

Abid Manzoor Social Activist

Ahmad Cameron Scientist

Ain Haider Journalist

Ali Ala Zaidi Executive

Ali Asghar Social Activist

Amir Zaman  

Aniz Azmi  

Asim Rehman Professional—NRI

Dr Jamal Kidwai Academic

Dr Khalid Ashraf  

Dr Sarwat Ali Physician

Dr Syed Zawed Zaidi Physician

Dr Tariq Ashraf  

Dr. Aijaz Ilmi Journalist

Dr. Anwar Pasha Academic

Dr. Faiyaz Ahmed  

Dr. Hamid Sarmadi  

Dr. Kausar Wizarat Academic

Dr. Sayeed Alam  

E Mohd Rafique Physician

Faizan Haider Naqvi Business

Faizi Hashmi  

Faraz Ahmad Journalist

Farheen Mahboob Home Maker

Farida Bano Teacher –NRI

Farrukh Khan Professional

Gauhar Raza Scientist, Poet, Filmmaker

Hanif Lakdawala Social Activist

Hasan Shuja Journalist

Hasina Khan Social Activist

Huma Ghazanfar Home Maker

Humayun Professional

Imran Khan Professional NRI

Iram Zaidi Researcher

Irfan Ahmad  

Irfan Engineer Social Activist

Jamila Nishat Social Activist

Jamshed Zaidi Social Activist

Jaseem Jamal Professional—NRI

Jasim Hasan Student

Javed Akhtar Lyricist

Javwed Iqbal Professional

Kajri Akhtar Student

Khurram Ilyasi Professional

Khursheed Akram  

Lh Zaidi Senior Citizen

Marian Rizwi Student

Md. Maqsood Ahmad Professional NRI

Md. Masoom  Basheer Proffessional NRI

Mehru Jaffer Journalist

Mohd Irfan Student

Mohd Kashif Imam Student

Mohd Zahid  

Mohd, Kashif Rizvi Professional

Mohd. Amir Professional NRI

Mohd. Asif Professional NRI

Mohd. Javed Professional Nri

Momin Latif  

Mujeeb Kidwai Academic

Nafisul Hasan Professional

Najma Rahmani  

Nasiruddin Shah Film And Theatre Actor/ Director

Nauman Shauq  

Nh Rizvi Banker

Nisar Shaikh Academic NRI

Nizam A Khan Professional

Parvez Rizwi Social Activist

Prof Iqbal Niazi Educationist

Qurban Ali Journalist

Rakshanda Jalil Media Advisor

Razi Raziuddin Professional

Rukhsana Parveen Home Maker

S Irfan Habib  

Saba Azad Film Actress And Model

Sabiha Hashmi Art Educator

Sabina Kidwai Filmmaker

Saeed Akhtar Mirza Cinema Director

Saeed Haider Journalist

Saleem A Khan Professional

Saleha Siddiqui Home Maker

Salhauddin Professional—NRI

Salman Khairi Professional

Samina Abid House Maker

Sania Hashmi Film Maker

Sarah Hashmi Student

Sarah Rahman Niazi Student

Sayeeeduddin Haider Professional—NRI

Seema Mustafa Journalist

Shabana Azmi Actress

Shabnam Hashmi Social Activist

Shahid Abbad Journalist

Shahid Anwar  

Shahid Askari Social Activist

Shahid Faridi Journalist

Shahnaz Haq Professional NRI

Shama Zaidi Film/Television Writer

Shameem  Kausar Teacher

Sheilah Khaliq Home Maker

Sm Afsar Un Professional

Sohail Hashmi Writer, Filmmaker

Soheb Niazi Student

Sophia Abbas Student

Sophia Khan Social Activist

Syed Ghazanfar Ali Professional

Syed Shahid Mahdi Former Vice Chancellor

Tariq Hasan Journalist

Tariq Khan Filmmaker

Waqar Qazi  

Wasi Haider Academic

Yasir Yusuf  

Zafar Agha Senior Journalist

Zareena Sultan Teacher

Zoobi Amir Cinematographer

Nadeem Ahmed Journalist

Nadim Nikhat Lawyer