“The dominating consideration with the Muslims is not democracy. The dominating consideration is how democracy with majority rule will affect the Muslims in their struggle against the Hindus. Will it strengthen them or will it weaken them? If democracy weakens them, they will not have democracy. They will prefer the rotten state to continue in the Muslim States rather than weaken the Muslim ruler in his hold upon his Hindu subjects”. – Dr B R Ambedkaron, Social Stagnation’, Pakistan or Partition of India, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches Vol. 8, Dr Ambedkar Foundation, New Delhi, pp. 236-237
After a nationwide crackdown, the notorious Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) is finally facing the inevitable. Through the highly secretive operation named Octopus, investigative agencies overnight arrested all the top PFI leaders. Now, through a notification, the Union Government banned the organisation and its frontal affiliates under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
PFI is the revived version of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and has been “indulging in unlawful activities”, challenging the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country” through a radical, violent Islamism. All these facts are known and still covered up. Therefore, the entire operation led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies is praiseworthy.
Still, considering the history of such fundamentalist outfits, we need to expose the mindset of Islamism and the support it gets in the name of ‘secularism’. Though founded in 2006, with the merger of various organisations in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, PFI came to the limelight in 2010. In a brutal assault, PFI activists chopped off Prof TJ Joseph’s hand for supposedly insulting Prophet Muhammad through a question in an examination. Since then, the rise and spread of the organisation have been miraculous. While training the cadre for violence and spreading tentacles through the frontal organisations in a Maoist style, PFI picked up issues of opposing UAPA, Muslim reservations and representation for so-called minorities. In April 2013, Kerala Police arrested 21 activists of the PFI and seized explosives and pamphlets in the name of PFI. Kerala and Karnataka governments linked PFI to numerous murders, especially Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s swayamsevaks, through court affidavits. Whoever tried to unmask PFI faced physical or legal threats. Still, political correctness in the garb of ‘secularism’ allowed the organisation to acquire a national presence, besides having strong bases in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Whether spreading lies about Citizenship Amendment Act and instigating violence or dividing society, taking the benefit of unfortunate incidents like Hathras, PFI remained at the forefront. On July 13, 2022, the eight-page document titled ‘India 2047- Towards rule of Islam in India’ recovered by Bihar Police while cracking down on a potential terror module unravelled the ultimate objective of PFI.
The international links of the organisation are equally concerning. In 2018, Swedish research organisation, Nordic Monitor, alleged an alliance between the Al- Qaeda-linked Turkish extremist groups and PFI. The hobnobbing of PFI with Bangladesh-based terror outfits also came to the fore.
Allegations of getting support from Pakistan’s ISI are frequently made. No wonder, the Kerala–unit of PFI supported the Taliban taking over Afghanistan, and now Pakistan is trying to make PFI ban a global issue. The news of Campus Front of India (CFI) renamed as ‘Intifada’, which means a series of riots and violence launched by Jihadis against a government or rule, underscores the need to stay alert. Most Muslim organisations, barring Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), have supported the PFI ban. Yet, we cannot forget that PFI’s radical ideology has been entrenched among the Muslim youth, and JIH can take it forward as it has been the original propagator of Muslim Brotherhood. The reports of PFI trying to create its base in West Asia are also worrying. Hence, we must fight this divisive and violent mindset at all levels. The communist-secularist conglomerate that provides cover to the sinister plot by bringing in RSS as equivalent to PFI should also be simultaneously questioned and exposed. While doing so, we should establish meaningful engagement with the nationalist Muslims and educate them about Islamism. To the world also, we should communicate that this is a war against the unpopular front of Islamism that believes in supremacist, violent and radical ideology and not Muslims.