Hindu Advocates Forum and Global Hindu Heritage Foundation have jointly called upon the Indian government to act urgently to “repeal the illegal, draconian and unconstitutional Waqf Act” of 1995. These organizations have also launched a petition on ‘Change’ in this regard.
In the petition, these Hindu rights group said:
The Entire Indian nation was rudely awoken to a shocking news that an entire Hindu village in Tiruchendurai, Tamil Nadu, which includes an over 1500-year-old Hindu temple, has been declared as Waqf property. This left the Hindus perplexed as to how a religion that came to this land in the 10th century can lay claim to land and a temple that predates even that religion! The Waqf Act is responsible for this travesty.
We demand equality. We demand justice. We demand that:
- The Waqf Act be repealed immediately.
- All the properties held by the Waqf Boards across the country be taken over by the Government. Followed by,
- A High-level committee be set up at the National and State levels to probe every such property so that it can be returned to their rightful heirs.
And, we would like to draw your attention to the draconian aspects of The Waqf Act – If the country is secular, there can be no special power for a particular religion.
- Waqf is a property endowment by a believer to be held by a trust for religious or charitable purposes. Going by the actual meaning of the word Waqf, the property is detained in the service of Allah. So, the property and its usage are thereby governed by Islamic law.
- However, the Waqf Act also mandates that the Government undertake a survey of all Waqf properties every 10 years. Who pays for the survey? The Taxpayer! Why should the tax payer (which is the majority community) pay for this?
- The Waqf Act has the draconian provision wherein the Waqf board can take over any property without any intimation to the person who holds/resides on the land, which is what has happened in Tiruchendurai. The only recourse for the aggrieved person is to approach the Waqf tribunal. Waqf declared Tajmahal, Chandrasekhar Azad park, Mathura Krishna Mandir and many more as their property in Taj Mahal’s case, ASI went for appeal to SC, SC asked Waqf Board when this property was dedicated as Waqf’s property. Show the deed of dedication by Shah Jahan. There was no answer from waqf board.
- The Waqf tribunal, as per section 83 of the act, is governed by Sharia law. How can a non-Muslim be forced to approach a tribunal governed by Islamic law to seek deliverance?
- Section 85, is even worse. The civil courts have no jurisdiction over such disputes! It is pertinent to note that no other minority (Sikhs, Jains, Parsees..) has been granted such absolute powers!
- The Waqf Act is not subject to the statute of limitations, which contravenes the Limitation Act of 1963. So one fine day, any Waqf Board can lay claim to any property.
7.Why do state governments have to bear the cost of WAQF Board Surveys? Is this not in violation of Article 27 of the Constitution?
- Under Section 54 of the WAQF Act, the WAQF Board can declare anybody as an encroacher of the property…the members of the WAQF Board are treated as public servants. How can they declare anybody’s property to their property and how the members of a religious institutions can be a public servant?
9.Under section 40 of the Wakf Act, the Waqf Board can decide on any property being Waqf property without any additional basis. It
- This brings us to our final point. The Act bestows absolute powers on the Waqf board to lay claim on any property. This is why today, the Waqf properties are estimated to cover about 6 LAKH ACRES across the nation; and the third largest land owner! This is nothing but clandestine takeover of the nation’s resources, unfortunately protected by our own laws.
Hon’ble PM Shri. Narendra Modi ji recently said that we have to get rid of the colonial mindset. This colonial mindset is not limited to the British. As long as this Mughal era act exists, we wont be able to shed the colonial mindset.
Indians believe that all Indians are equal before law. But what is unknown that some are more equal than the others! This is amply clear from the provisions and usage of the Waqf Act.
We demand to act Urgently and immediately repeal draconian and unconstitutional Waqf Act, 1995.