New Delhi, 5th Feb. 2022: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has snubbed parties for neglecting real public issues like development, unemployment, education, healthcare, agriculture, and women empowerment during electioneering for UP assembly polls.
JIH leaders at an online press briefing today spoke on various current issues like Union Budget, assembly elections, Oxfam report, Student agitations over Railway exams and Hijab ban in colleges/schools.
Speaking on the Union Budget, JIH Vice President Mohammad Salim Engineer said, “we appreciate the boost given to the education sector with a higher allocation of Rs one lakh crores compared to last year. However even with this allocation we are far away from the recommended target of allocating 6% of GDP to the education sector. Overall we feel that the Union Budget caters more to the interest of corporates and not the common man. The biggest missed opportunity of the Budget 2022-23 has been a singular lack to boost employment. The Finance Minister’s theory that the “PM Gati-Shakti” and similar push to infrastructure will generate large scale employment is flawed and neglects the Indian realities. In India, employment can be generated only through strong stimulus to the manufacturing sector, SMEs, informal trade, agrarian economy and other demand side stimuli. The government has slashed the budget by almost 25% for rural employment scheme MGNREGA from Rs 98,000 crores to Rs 73,000 crores. The health sector which has an allocation of Rs 86,000 crores was increased by less than a percent compared to last year. If inflation is taken into account, this small increment is actually a reduction in the allocation. Our health expenditure will still be below 2% of GDP that is the lowest among major economies. The budget did not offer any tax relief to the common man. Income tax relief could have helped increase the real income of a large section of the economy reeling under unemployment due to pandemic induced slowdown and back-breaking inflation. We feel that it was the responsibility of big corporates and high net worth individuals to take on the burden of the poor people; more so because they were the main beneficiaries of the collapse of the informal economy during lockdown. Measures like taxing the super-rich could have been deployed. The budget has disappointed by shifting the whole burden of economic slowdown to common people. There are no significant new schemes for the welfare of minorities. There is nothing remarkable in this budget regarding minorities’ girls’ education. For the SC/ST communities, the budget also does not address the development gap between the marginalised and discriminated communities and the rest of the population of the country.”
Speaking on upcoming assembly elections, JIH Secretary Malik Motasim Khan said, “unfortunately, instead of talking about performance and development plans, there is a visible attempt by some to rake up issues that polarize communities along religious lines. There is a growing trend of divisive activities by miscreants and anti-social elements to vitiate the atmosphere. The government’s disregard to various hate-mongering conclaves is quite disturbing and it appears that those in authority have a soft corner for them.” He urged people to support those who stand for value based politics, uphold constitutional values, respect democratic norms, strive for justice and fraternity, communal harmony and tolerance. He also advised the electorate to rise above religious and caste considerations and look at the moral character of the candidate and ensure voting in a manner such that the parties which promote hatred and do not have an inclusive vision for the nation should be defeated in the polls. The JIH Secretary urged the Election Commission to keep a close watch on speeches and election rallies.
Raising concern over reports that some schools in Karnataka are not allowing Muslim girls from wearing the hijab, JIH secretary Mrs. Rahmathunnisa expressed olidarity with the girl students and their parents who are protesting peacefully against this injustice. She called schools’ move against the fundamental right to profess and practice one’s religion and adhere to the dress code subscribed therein. Mrs. Rahmathunnisa called on the school authorities to immediately allow the girls to join school and not succumb to those who wish to create division and hatred in society. She also demanded the Women’s commission and NHRC to take note of the issue.
JIH leaders have expressed grave concern over the recent report by Oxfam India which says that “when 84 percent of households in the country suffered a decline in their income in a year marked by tremendous loss of life and livelihoods, the number of Indian billionaires grew from 102 to 142”. JIH added, “the report makes some stark analogies for highlighting the great disparity in income distribution in our country such as: (1) Just a 1% wealth tax on 98 richest billionaire families in India can finance the national public health insurance fund of the government for more than seven years. (2) A 1% tax on the wealth of the top 98 Indian billionaires can fund the total annual expenditure of the Department of School Education and Literacy under the Ministry of Education.”
JIH leaders express great anxiety over the student’s agitation in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh against the Railways over the alleged irregularities in which the Railway Recruitment Board conducted exams for hiring new staff into the Indian Railways. JIH urged the government to address the grievances of the students and ensure that the alleged irregularity in the examination is removed and students are assessed in a fair manner without any bias and injustice, as promised by the Railway Minister.