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Set up people’s tribunal for terror cases of Muslim youths: Prashant Bhushan

New Delhi: Supreme Court senior lawyer and Convener of Swaraj Abhiyan Prashant Bhushan suggested that a people’s tribunal or commission of eminent retired judges should be constituted for reviewing the cases of Muslim youth who have been languishing in jails under terror charges.

Speaking at a conference on “Indian Muslims in Democratic India” here on Sunday, the noted lawyer and activist Bhushan said innocent Muslims were put behind bars on trumped-up terror charges by the police and their trials would stretch at least 20 years. In such a situation, he said, there is need of constituting a people’s tribunal, headed by retired judges having impeccable secular and judicial credentials, for expeditious disposal of all terror cases.

Making scathing attack on Sangh Parivar, Bhushan said since the advent of present government, the Constitution and minorities are under constant attack. During his speech, he made a host of suggestions for combating the fascist assault on the Constitution and minority communities. He also asked Muslims to shun ‘orthodoxy’ and to make demand for ‘Uniform Civil Code’ as he felt that demand from the community’s may blunt the edge of Sangh Parivar.

On his suggestion for common civil code, one member from the audience raised the objection. Countering this, Prof Akhtarul Wasey said the common civil code is already in effect in the country and raising the bogey of uniform civil code is a political ploy of the communal forces. Underlining the huge internal contradictions in family matters of Hindu personal law, Prof Wasey said the concept of uniform civil code is outlandish and impractical in Indian social conditions and Muslims must not react to it when it is being raised.

Echoing his views, member of National Commission for Backward Classes and former Bihar Minister, Dr Shakiluzaman Ansari said it is non-issue and there are also other religious groups having their own personal laws. However, both the speakers said Muslims should appropriate the blame for defaming Shariah law as they do not follow it in letter and spirit. Dr Ansari said Islam is only and first religion which has given property rights to woman folk. He also rubbished the blame that Muslims were solely responsible for the partition of the country saying if Congress Muslim leaders like Abdul Qayum Ansari and others had not opposed the Muslim League at the Round Table Conference in London, Pakistan would have got bigger area than today it existed.

Young scholar from JNU Abhey Kumar Mishra also said that history has been distorted and the contribution and sacrifices of Muslims in the freedom struggle are being deliberately obliterated from the text and history books. He said ‘Hindu mentality’ is at work in every sphere of life.

In his speech, former union minister and Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar also said history has been distorted to suit one particular ideological group. On the raging controversy over ‘Bharat Mata Kee Jai’, he said who are they (Sangh Parivar) to dictate people as they did not take part in freedom struggle. He said Savarkar who coined the Hindutva term (means Hindudom and it has nothing to do with Hindu religion) in 1925 was an atheist till his death.

The conference expressed deep concern over the growing atmosphere of hate and polarization in the country which was organized by ‘Barrister Mohammad Yunus Memorial Committee’ to commemorate the Bihar’s first elected premier Barrister Mohammad Yunus who took oath as Premier (Prime now known as Chief Minister)on April 1, 1937.

His great grandson Kashif Yunus, who is also the Chairman of “Barrister Mohammad Yunus Memorial Committee”, said Barrister Yunus did not get due place in history as his contribution was almost forgotten.

Throwing light on Barrister Mohammad Yunus’ life, he said late Mohammad Yunus was a Bar-at-law and well known jurist of Patna High Court. He served as first Chief Minister of Bihar from 1st April 1937 to 19th July 1937. During his tenure he did much work of development and communal harmony. He passed Agriculture Bill which exempted tax on agriculture and Waqf properties. He made Urdu second language in the courts of Bihar. He also inaugurated the new building of Bihar Legislative Council. He formed Muslim Independent Party in 1936. Before that he served in congress party for a brief period. Not agreeing with the Non Cooperation movement of Gandhi ji, he left Congress along with Hassan Imam and Sachidanand Sinha. He was also a member of Imperial legislative Council.

Kashif Yunus said Bihar has the honor of forming first democratic government in India. He said the present Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has acknowledged the contribution of Barrister Mohammad Yunus and taken some steps in this regard.

During the conference almost all the speakers paid rich tributes to Barrister Mohammad Yunus and pleaded that he should be given due place in Bihar and nation’s history. They also expressed concern over the steady decline of Muslim representation in every sphere of the public life.

Courtesy: Muslim Mirror