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Allah,God and Oaths

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The “Muslim League” ,  “secular Ally” of CONGRESS in  Kerala, performed well in Muslim Majority district in the state. It is not just a district which happened to be muslim majority, but the district as a separate communal history to claim about its formation. 95  percent of the members in ML, and 19 out of 20 MLAs are Muslims. Yet it is called secular for whatsoever    reasons. The ML was first an ally of “secular” LEFT (LDF), but switched sides to UDF (headed by CON).

The congress that has only about 38 seats which they won out of about 85 contested could form the government  only because the Muslim league and Christian league (kerala congress headed by KM MANi) got good results in  their respective districts where their community is predominant. So they have very right to ask for more ministeral berths, and the talks are still on. Six ministers assumed office on Wednesday,  and this post is regarding the oath taken by one Minister, Kunjallikutty.  Kunjallikutty is widely criticised for his alleged role in ice cream parlour rape case. Anyway it is not an issue no more as he claims, people discarded the allegations and is voted to assembly again.

Oath taken by ministers as per constitution” I, A.B., having been elected (or nominated) a member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council) do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and that I will faithfully discharge the duty upon which I am about to enter.”

 Please note…

  • Athiests can use solemnly affirm.
  • The English oath may be translated to the local language. In Malayalam it is common to use “daivam” for God, “ishwaran” is also common, but used more by Hindus.

Kunjallikutty did take oath in ALLAH’s name, He said “he swear in the name of “Sarvashakthanaya Allah”  (the allpowerful god). But is it legaly wrong ? No ! supreme court has issued a judgement in a similar case and it  said :

  • Taking oath in the name of Allah is taking oath in the name of God.

    Kunjallikutti

  • SC asked: “If somebody is unable to read English, the oath is translated in the language he/she understands. Then will it be the infraction of the Constitution?”
  • The petition filed against the use of ALLah was also concerning this Muslim MPs of UDF, it was dismissed by SC.
  • Read the judgement HC which was later upheld by SC :  click here

The petitioner argued as follows:

  • Article 193 of the Constitution of India  indicate that the Form has to be scrupulously complied with failing which penalty can be imposed.
  • The expression “God” used in the form is not confined to Allah alone but takes in God in all its manifestation.
  • The elected member is the representative of each and every voters of the constituency consisting of believers of various religions and that the elected member has to take oath representing the interest of all the members of the constituency.
  •  By taking oath in the name of Allah, elected candidates are not respecting the sentiments of voters of the constituency which they represent.

The judgement had these interesting points :

  •  If the contention of the petitioner that a person who takes oath in the name of a particular God excludes all other Gods, is stretched to its logical conclusion, then a Hindu member will have to be presumed to take oath in the name of Allah or Jesus Christ also whom he does not worship or believe.
  • Muslim community when use their mother tongue use the word “Allah” for “God”, though the word “Allah” is of Arabic origin.
  •  It is not imperative that elected candidate should take oath in the form prescribed in English but he can do it in his mother tongue.
  • We are therefore unable to agree with the reasoning that the prescription of God that we get in the form is general and not personal because the constituency consists of not only believers in God, but also atheists.

Reading the judgement what I feel is that this was more of a justification than a real judgement.  The court here tries to argue for the allah issue, but this has raised many questions in my mind.

  • Are keralite Muslims speaking Malayalam or Arabi, if former how come they are using the name of God in local language when tey say ALLah?
  • In Arabia, Allah is a local lingo, but in kerala and India it is RELIGIOUS Lingo.
  • Non Muslims do not use the word Allah, for god.
  • Hindus and Christians do not have any issue with the local language substitute for God, here “Daivam”. Why Muslims only have?
  • If Allah is God, why dot call him Daivam? Why so specific and overtly religious is the Muslim community in kerala/India?
  • Read another judgement  regarding the case of swearing in the name of Sri narayana Guru,a Hindu Guru  “In a landmark judgment, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court today held that the Kodungallur MLA, Umesh Challiyil, is not entitled to sit and vote in the Assembly till he is duly sworn in, as he had taken the oath not in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.The Bench, comprising the Chief Justice, J. L. Gupta, and Justice R. Basant, also held that “there is no doubt that Sree Narayana Guru was an apostle of virtue. He had truly done good to society. The petitioner as well as a large number of other people may believe that the Guru is a God. They may worship him. But the Constitution does not permit a person elected to be a member of the Legislature to vary the prescribed form of oath.” Now allah is not using ALLAH a variation from prescribed form of oath ?
  • If a Hindu MLA cannot take the oath of office in the name of a Guru, can Muslim MLAs take the oath of office in the name of Allah and still remain MLAs?  Double standards ? In Hindu faith Guru is positioned above God!!!

May be this issue of Allah and God can not be solved legally; rather it opens a differnet debate?  What will happen if everybody who according to their wish interpret god in their own way? So there will be millions of names of God, and gurus also may come as their Gods and in that case it will lead to real confusion. The courts should have focussed on the implication it will have if they validate taking oath in the name of Allah, who for muslims is only a name of GOD.

Your opinions welcome ……

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One Comment on “Allah,God and Oaths”

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