Sunday, November 24, 2013

Muslim Agenda: What if BJP accepts? : Dr. Javed Jamil answers

Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:22 am (PST) .

When I (along with Mr. Sirajuddin Qureshi) drafted the “Agenda 2014: Muslim Viewpoint” and sent it to the chief functionaries of all political parties, national and regional, I had decided that I will (from then onwards) will not support or oppose any political party till the parties declare their manifestoes. Strangely, lately, many (including some people close to BJP_ have started asking me the question: What if BJP accepts the agenda? This question was also put to me in “Khaas Mulaqaat” with myself to be telecast on ETV Urdu on Sunday, 24th November, at 1.30 PM. My answer to all those who ask this question is: Let the BJP make public its acceptance of the Agenda, and then the people will decide themselves. When some people close to BJP asked me about this, I asked them back, “Can BJP accept the agenda? Can they accept for example the primary demand of allocating 15 pc tickets to Muslims for Lok Sabha and 15 pc seats to Muslims in Rajya Sabha from its quota along with compensation for the deficit in Lok Sabha? Can they accept another demand on reservation of Muslims in jobs?” I was asked back, “Suppose they accept, then will I support BJP?” I told them that as far as my personal support is concerned, it will be based on three factors: future promises, past records, and not the least, ideological foundations of political parties. But I told them that if BJP can take these big changes in their attitude, which I am sure

it will not, BJP will not remain BJP. And I challenged them to let the BJP accept these demands. If they are able to convince Muslims, they will benefit from it -- in the long run if not in the short run. 

My position however is clear. I will not advise people to support any political party but will surely ask them to weigh their decision on the basis of all the three principles that I mentioned above. And I feel, almost all the readers will agree to my prescription. Meanwhile, we have to keep pressuring for the Agenda and focus on the issues. If we can make our presence felt in setting the national agenda for the coming elections, it will not be any mean achievement.
We should however remember that we have to focus not only on the demands for Muslims but also for the proposals for the nation as a whole, especially introduction of Economic Disparity Index (including community to community disparity) in all budgets and economic surveys, adoption of Right to Health and
Right to Justice as Fundamental Rights in the constitution, Communal Violence
Bill and Equal Opportunities Commission. 

 Dr Javed Jamil

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