The Aryadan Foundation has been launched in memory of Aryadan Mohammed, former minister, former KPCC vice president, and father of Aryadan Shoukath. The rally raised the message “No war, Free Palestine”. The organisers claim that about 10,000 people participated in the rally. The rally invited the wrath of not only the Congress leaders but also the heavy downpour.
The KPCC served a notice on Shoukath on November 2. The notice warned him that the rally would be treated as a divisive act. District Congress Committee (DCC) president VS Joy warned the party workers too. DCC warned the local workers and leaders in Malappuram that strict action would be taken against those who attended Shoukath’s rally. Shoukath’s speech asked the KPCC how a rally to express solidarity with the Palestinian people could become an act of division. He referred to Congress’s support for Palestine and the party’s 1938 resolution supporting the Palestinian liberation.
Several Congress leaders participated and spoke on the occasion. Congress leader and former MP C Haridas, Darul Huda Islamic Varsity VC Bahaudhin Nadvi, Kerala Nadavathul Mujaideen leader Husain Madavur and Congress leader RS Panikkar collectively inaugurated the rally by flying the doves. Youth Congress State Vice President Riyas Mukkoli administered a pledge supporting the people of Palestine. Several Congress leaders addressed the rally.
In the meantime, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has decided not to participate in the CPM-sponsored pro-Hamas rally. Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has been in a dilemma in the wake of the imminent pro-Hamas rally CPM is mulling to organise on November 11 in Kozhikode, thanks to the “will I, won’t I” attitude of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in response to the organiser’s invitation to participate. Because CPM’s stand is not to invite Congress into the rally. It is to be remembered that IUML is the second largest UDF constituent, second only to Congress.
Senior IUML leader E.T. Mohammed Basheer MP said that his ‘personal opinion’ was in favour of his party’s participation in the CPM-sponsored rally. IUML General Secretary PMA. Salam told the media that ET’s was a personal opinion. CPM worked overtime to ensure the participation of IUML. CPM has been wooing IUML for the last couple of years. Its state secretary, MV Govindan went even to the extent of saying last December that IUML is not communal and (ruling) Left Democratic Front (LDF) did not have permanent adversaries. It was an open invitation to IUML to join LDF. IUML has been a part of UDF since 1980. But, CPM claims, off record, that when IUML was kept aloof from the mainstream political fronts in 1960s, it was CPM who admitted IUML in the Left Front which came to power in 1967 in Kerala. IUML got two cabinet ranks in the ministry led by Chief Minister E.M. Sankaran Namboodiripad (EMS). But, when the ruling apparatus collapsed in 1969, owing to internal contradictions, it paved the way for a CPI-led ministry with the support of Congress and participation of IUML. IUML got covetable ministries like Home and Education. IUML presided over the Home ministry until Congress joined the ministry in 1971 and bagged that portfolio.
But, now, the Congress-led UDF’s nightmare is over: IUML has stopped its dilly-dallying. The party made its stand clear not to participate in the pro-Hamas rally of CPM. P.K. Kunjalikkutty, IUML’s tallest leader, told the media on November 4, that IUML decided not to participate in the CPM’s anti-Israel rally. He disclosed it while addressing the media at party headquarters in Malappuram. He has reportedly said that “being an ally of UDF, there are some technical hurdles for our participation in the CPM-sponsored rally”. He also mentioned that CPM did not invite Congress. The decision was taken by the core leaders of the party, instead of a ‘higher level meeting’ mooted earlier. It is reported that the core leaders’ meet was the idea of party chief Panakkad Sadique Ali Thangal.
Yes, Congress can heave a sigh of relief. And, no doubt, this is a rude jolt to CPM’s dreams of spreading the red carpet for IUML.