Waqf Acts of ‘Loot-India’
A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) report headed by K Rehman Khan in 2009 mentioned that the Waqf Board of India has around 4 lakh registered properties and around 6 lakh acres of land. The extent of the so-called Waqf properties has risen astronomically in recent decades of which, some were known to the individuals inhabiting on such lands for generations and some were even unknown to them. One such case came to the light very recently on 30 Aug 22 in Palamu, Jharkhand at Murumatu village under Pandu Police Station limits. About 50 Mahadalit families living for over 40 yrs were forced by the Islamists to flee on the pretext that the land belonged to a (non-existent) madrasa under Waqf.
In a similar broad daylight dacoity by the Waqf, a 1500 yr old Sundereshwar temple in Tiruchirappalli distt of Tamilnadu has been covertly been registered in the name of the Waqf. This instance too was known only when the Waqf board wanted to remove all people in and around the premise living for ages. Another loot by Waqf came to the light when they claimed 18 Hindu-majority villages in the Tamilnadu State. As unveiled later, the Waqf has fraudulently got a huge chunk of land into its fold by Muslim surveyors with the connivance of the local authorities. The funniest part is that when one villager wanted to sell his small piece of land, he was informed by the revenue department that the land belonged to the State Waqf Board. It is now feared that massive frauds have been committed by the members and surveyors of the State Waqf Board at different times to declare both private and public land as its own without the actual owners even getting the hint of it. Such reports are coming to the light from almost all States of India. This also explains as to how the 2009 JPC declared a huge extent of the Govt and individual land under waqf ownership without the knowledge of the actual owners. Many govt functionaries were aware of the nefarious acts of Waqf but either those state govts indulging in vote-bank politics knowingly kept mum, the local Muslim politician suppressed the information from spreading for earning a handful of Muslim votes or he sold his conscience for money greed. The regional Muslim organisations have also indulged in another nefarious act of constructing a temporary/make-shift Mazar and then declaring the land as Waqf property at their next meetings.
It is so difficult to understand why the then Muslim-appeasing UPA Govt didn’t even frown upon it. It seems that the modus operandi in most these illegal acquisitions is on the following lines…One or two even small pieces of land belonging to Muslims is fraudulently claimed to be worship place. Based on these, the Waqf constitutes its own survey in which they quietly include other lands too. These surveys are okayed in the Waqf Board meeting and the resolution adopted by the State Waqf. Hereafter, for all theoretical purposes, those lands become Waqf property that cannot be challenged by anyone even in a court of law as per the 1995 Waqf Act of the Muslim-appeasing Congress govt. Although the Act came essentially to prevent encroachments on Waqf properties, its Sections 40, 83, 92 and 101 have given them immense legal powers to be indulgent in encroaching and acquiring other’s lands or properties and it has been doing just that. In addition, the UPA govt amended Section 54 of the act in 2013 to empower the Waqf to evict people whose lands/properties were looted even fraudulently as elaborated earlier (read https://prsindia.org/files/bills_acts/bills_parliament/2014/SCR-_Waqf_properties.pdf).
History of Waqf in India can be traced back to the Delhi Sultanate when Sultan Muizuddin Ghaor dedicated two villages to Jama Masjid of Multan that raised many Hindu eyebrows. As the later Islamic dynasties flourished in India, the number of such Hindu properties re-appropriated to the Waqf kept swelling. The loots in the name of Allah (Waqf) continued rampantly till early 20th century. Perturbed with the alacrity, the British in the late 19th century made a case for the abolition of Waqf when a dispute over a Waqf property ended up in the Privy Council of London. The four British judges described the Waqf as “a perpetuity of the worst and the most pernicious kind” and declared Waqf to be invalid. However, Indian National Congress under Nawab Syed Muhammad Bahadur, didn’t favour the decision and later the ‘Mussalman Waqf Validating Act of 1913’ saved the institution of Waqf in India. This enabled Waqf to quietly acquire huge chunks of public and private lands of undivided India to be registered as Waqf assets. In addition, illegal Mazars continued cropping up almost in all parts of India, incl in the regions with no known Muslim inhabitants. These Mazar lands used to get acclaimed by Waqf at later date. Since then, no attempt has ever been made to curb Waqf, and Waqf Board.
Whom did Muslim land were transferred to who migrated to Pakistan at partition? Muslims of India got in Pakistan whatever they bargained for. Whatever was left in India, could not be claimed of Islamic pre-history. The remaining Indian Muslims and later Congress blurred the ownership of Indian land whether it belonged to independent India. Nehru blundered to allow Muslim-vacated lands to the Waqf.
It is only recently that some of the cases have come to the light and after an arduous legal battle in the Supreme Court of India, some people have been lucky to get the Waqf illegal acquisitions and loots reversed. They observed that land dedicated for pious and religious purposes is not immune from its vesting with the State, thus setting aside the Waqf claim of Andhra Pradesh over 1654 Acres. Similar few judgements have also found favour in Karnataka HC and elsewhere. The rich and influential few have taken the matter up to the High Courts and Supreme Court of India through some ‘High-Fi’ advocates charging fortunes for the hearing.
Who will come to assist the poor lot and common Hindus of India whose precious lands have been grabbed by the Waqf and who do not have means to approach even the district courts, leave alone the Supreme Court of India. Even if some people dare to approach the courts, the Muslims will drag the cases from those courts to the High Courts and then to Supreme Court. Why should the apex court not take a suo moto cognizance to the incidents that happened to the Mahadalit community of Jharkhand or the others elsewhere so as to undo the historical blunder of Nehru and the successive Congress Govts?
Hindus have been treated worst by the successive Congress and other govts in India even after partition. Those govts have played the dirty game of Muslim appeasement for their votes right from Nehru’s time who closed his eyes from the problems Waqf boards (both of State and Central Govts) perpetuated. Hindus may be very much within their rights to claim that whatever were the Muslim’s share of the properties in undivided India, had already been given to Pakistan. Besides, whatever were the common Hindu assets and individual properties of the millions who fled from Pakistan, have already been grabbed by Pakistan Govt with many assets already been appropriated to Muslim who fled India (read “भारत में हिन्दू असहाय क्यों?” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/hindu-helpless-in-india/; also read “विभाजन-विभीषिका और राजनीति” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/partition-of-india-fallout-of/). Therefore, all Waqf properties of India of pre-partition period, must be taken over by the govt of India through a law or ordinance.
There are still numerous Hindu migrants from Pakistan who are still living in tents/refugee colonies. They must be distributed those lands to be fair to them. In addition, all post-partition acquisitions of govt and private land by the Waqf boards, and illegal mazars must be scrutinized by an independent body and all cases of fraudulent acquisitions, must be reversed and handed over to their actual owners. In independent India and in the 21st century, the historical wrongs cannot be let continue in the pretext of forgotten/unclaimed injustice.