By Abdullah Samdani
The Indian Constitution is one of the best constitutions in the world. It is also the lengthiest constitution in the world as it covers almost each and every aspect that is required for a welfare state. The constitution guarantees various fundamental rights upon each and every citizen and provides a proper procedure for remedy in case these rights are violated.
Sachar Committee report had presented a data which highlights the educational backwardness among the Muslim community in India. From then, the position of Muslims in the field of education has changed, but not at a pace which was expected. Many Muslims are still not getting proper education. Educational backwardness and lack of legal awareness are the reasons why they are not able to get a proper remedy in case of violation of their rights.
So, it becomes very important for the Indian Muslims to work in the field of education. It is the collective responsibility of the elected Muslim leaders to educate their masses about the basic rights which are given to them by the constitution. Social, religious and non-governmental organizations can also play a very important part in this mission.
Indian judiciary is one the pillars of democracy which has saved the spirit of Indian democracy at many occasions. The judiciary has always protected the secular character of the country. Some of the recent examples are as follows:-
In this case, allegations were made against a girl named HadiyaJahan (earlier AkhilaAshokan) by her father that she was forcibly converted to Islam by her husband ShafinJahan. At that time, Hadiya was a 25 year old medical student.
The matter went to Kerala High Court which annulled their marriage and observed that, ‘her (Hadiya’s) marriage being the most important decision in her life, can only be taken only with the active involvement of her parents’. The Kerala High Court even granted the custody of Hadiya to her father and ignored the fact that she was an adult.
The matter went to the Supreme Court of India which set aside the judgment of the Kerala High Court and found that the allegations made by the parents of Hadiya were clearly false. The Supreme Court even stated that, ‘The High Court has no power to decide the ‘just’ way of life or ‘correct’ course of living for Hadiya. She has absolute autonomy over her person.’
With this decision, the Supreme Court protected the right of a girl to choose her partner.
Tablighi Jamat issue
As the COVID-19 pandemic reached India, TablighiJamat suddenly came into the lime light. It was all because of the media reporting which portrayed them as ‘super spreaders’ of COVID -19. But as the judicial proceeding started, the momentum shifted in favor of the Jamat.
The Bombay High Court slammed the print and electronic media for their propaganda against the TablighiJamat. The court observed that ‘there was big propaganda in print media and electronic media against the foreigners who had come to Markaz Delhi and an attempt was made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for spreading Covid-19 virus in India. There was virtually persecution against these foreigners.’
It also said that “a political government tries to find the scapegoat when there is pandemic or calamity and the circumstances show that there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them scapegoats.”
The Bombay High Court then quashed the FIRs against 29 such foreigners. It noted that there was no proof that they had violated visa conditions and propagated Islam, or were responsible for the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Saket Court in Delhi has also acquitted all the 36 foreign nationals, who had attended the TablighiJamaat event organised at NizamuddinMarkaz in March. The decision came on 15th December, 2020.
The Supreme Court of India directed the central government to assist 36 foreigners in going back to their countries after they were exonerated of all charges of flouting Covid-19-related guidelines by participating in the TablighiJamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area.
Love Jihad case
A man named Nadeem was booked under the recent Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, on the charges of trying to marry a woman with the intention to convert her religion. In this case, the Allahabad High Court granted interim protection to Nadeem from arrest. The High Court also observed that ‘Victim is an adult who can understand her well-being.’
Anti-CAA protesters banners
The banners which were displaying the names of Anti CAA protesters were placed on roadsides of Lucknow. The Allahabad High Court tooksuomotu cognizance in this matter. The court asked the government that how they can issue such posters and banners without carrying out a proper trail. The Allahabad High Court said that, ‘this is highly unjust and an absolute encroachment on the personal liberty of the person concerned.’
From the above observations, it can be safely concluded that Indian judiciary has always stood for providing justice throughout the country. The judiciary is always ready to help those in need and to protect the rights of each and every individual.
There is a strong need to educate the Muslim community of the rights and duties which are given to them by the Indian constitution. The leaders and politicians of the community should work together in this regard. The social organizations and NGO’s should also contribute in large numbers to help and uplift the poor and weaker sections of the Muslim community. Muslims themselves should recognize the backlash of their ignorance and help each other irrespective of age and gender to overcome illiteracy.
There is a monumental need for making a united forum that must work harder and together to dispel the darkness and discrimination, if any, on the basis of religion. The Muslim intellectuals must come forward in this regard. The aim of this forum must be to create legal awareness among the Muslims throughout the country. This can be achieved by organizing conferences, seminars and workshops throughout the country and prepare an intellectual force to fight injustice against weaker sections of the society, especially Muslims.
Abdullah Samdani, Advocate, High Court of Delhi. Email – email@example.com. Contact No – 8791294020