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At Jamiat Conclave, Call for Foolproof Nikahnama, Unity with Dalits and Tribals

It is well past midnight, and the makeshift marquee extending upto a few hundred metres from the main podium is jam-packed. A day ahead of the annual general body meeting of the Jamiet-ul-Ulema-e-Hind, on the outskirts Ajmer, Natia Mushaira has reached its apogee.

Sumit Pande | CNN-News18

Updated:November 13, 2016, 8:29 PM IST
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At Jamiat Conclave, Call for Foolproof Nikahnama, Unity with Dalits and Tribals
A day ahead of the annual general body meeting of the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, on the outskirts Ajmer, Natia Mushaira.
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Ajmer: Sirf Muslim ka Mohammad (Peace be upon Him)... par ijarah to nahin."

" And now I request Sardar Panchi, our Sikh friend from Ludhiana to Grace us with his poetry"

It is well past midnight, and the makeshift marquee extending upto a few hundred metres from the main podium is jam-packed. A day ahead of the annual general body meeting of the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, on the outskirts Ajmer, Natia Mushaira has reached its apogee.

Over one lakh delegates from across the country have gathered here in the city of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti to discuss and debate on the issues currently confronting the Muslim community. From Uniform Civil Code to Triple Talaq to the upcoming UP Elections.

The organisation which has a vast network among the community has faced a split in the last few years. The one holding its meeting in Ajmer is led by Maulana Mehmood Madni, the third generation of Deobandi cleric Maulana Syed Hussein Ahmed Madani, the great scholar of Islamic Theology who opposed Muslim League and its concept of two-nation theory with his emphasis on Muttahida Qaumiyat or Universal Nationalism.

Mehmood Madni, in the past has dabbled in electoral politics and has been a Rajya Sabha member with support from Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal. With BJP's ascension to power, this Jamiat faction is now trying to forge a new narrative, and its moves especially in the run up to UP Elections are being keenly watched.

"We are Indians by choice and not by chance," asserts Madani, chatting with journalists in a marquee at the back of the stage. The emphasis on the role of JUM during the freedom struggle and in framing the critique against League's two-nation theory is evident.

Madni admits that two issues currently agitating the Muslim minds in the country are - Uniform Civil Code and Triple Talaq.

The formal declaration passed at the end of the conclave stresses upon the fact that the community will not tolerate any interference in its personal laws. Calling it their constitutional right, the Jamiat however has called for reflection within to emphasise on women's rights in Islam.

In the same context it has been sought that these rights be strengthened, especially by bringing about requisite changes in the model Niqahanaama which is drafted by the Muslim Personal Law Board. The idea is to introduce some clauses to ensure rights of Muslim are safeguarded.

"We want the community to reflect on the issue within. And if there are people who trample upon the rights vested upon women by the personal law, such people should face social boycot," he stressed.

"The issue is entirely political," says Kamal Farooqui, also a member of the Personal Law Board.

"We had requested the PM to listen in to our views before filing the affidavit in the SC. We were not granted any audience".

At the same time, the declaration calls for forging a larger unity amongst Muslims and Dalits, Tribals and Backwards communities. The issue assumes significance in the wake of UP Elections early next year with BSP making a strong pitch for the minority votes to knit a socio-political alliance between Dalits and Muslims.

Mehmood Madni, however, denied the move has any political overtones. "What we are asking is the community should make an attempt to come closer to the weaker sections of the society. This can be done at the social level by sharing meals with dalits and also being with them in the hour of distress," he says.

It is likely that the Muslim Personal law board will be meeting in Kolkata in the third week of November to discuss issues related to UCC and Triple Talaq.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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