After the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Muslims, particularly from the southern part of India, emerged with the idea of an organisation working for the cause of minority upliftment and burgeoning. They named it the National Development Front (NDF). However, after some time, it really deviated from the leitmotif it originally had. Many intel reports and raids suggested that it had alleged links to the banned terrorist organisations SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) and ISS (Islamic Sevak Sangh) which had the aspirations of converting India into an Islamic state. In 2006, the NDF merged with the Popular Front of India (PFI) which was newly formed and defined itself as a neo-social consortium ensuring justice, freedom and security to all while empowering the country as a whole. The origins of PFI date back to 1993 (known as NDF). This outfit has started many social drives concerning health and its importance like “Healthy People, Healthy Nation” which includes sporting activities like 2K Marathon and PFI Cup while also telling the population the benefits of good hygiene. From time to time, they donate books and educational materials to underprivileged children.
As the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once said, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth”, there are several theories that present a different outlook of this outfit. While they promote campaigns like this and own several charitable trusts, the PFI is a rather vexed and iniquitous organisation. People might know them from the recent procession they took out in Kerala that showed RSS workers in shackles. It was on the same day when in 1921, 2500 Hindus were butchered to death by radical elements of the Muslim community (Maheshwari, Feb 20, 2021). Some citizens might say that this is their democratic right, but the past is right behind them, waiting for the apt moment to haunt them.
In 2003, some of its members were arrested on the charges of murder and rioting in Marad beach, Kozhikode, and killing 8 Hindus. (Dev, Jan 3, 2020) Then, in 2010, Professor TJ Joseph’s right hand was cut off merely because some students found a particular question that he had framed “blasphemous”. (Lawson, July 8, 2010) Also, on 8 June 2011, PFI (under the name of Karnataka Forum for Dignity, merged in 2006) kidnapped 2 boys from SBRR Mahajana college in Mysore and asked for Rs. 5 crores for funds. Upset on not meeting their target, they killed both the boys. (DNA, Jun 23, 2011) 2012 witnessed murders of RSS and CPI(M) cadres in the state of Kerala along with 86 attempts to murder and 106 communal killings. A carpenter, Abid Pasha, who had links to PFI, was also found guilty of 6 murders. (Report, July 25, 2012) Lt. Gen (Retd) PC Katoch had claimed that PFI had links with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan. 2012 was no better and in fact, saw an increase in these activities. They killed ABVP activist N Sachin Gopal and student leader Vishal by stabbing them. (Correspondent, Sept 6, 2012). To add fuel to the fire, after the Assam riots, PFI sent 60 million plus messages to people from northeast that they had to face the nemesis, especially after Ramzan. These threatening texts caused a mass exodus of 30000 people from cities like Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and even the national capital. (Staff, Aug 21, 2012) Not to forget 2013, when Kerala Police raided a PFI camp in Narath, Kannur, and recovered 2 country made bombs, a sword and raw materials for making explosives. They arrested 21 members of the PFI. (Staff, Apr 25, 2013). In 2015, violence erupted in Shimoga district of Karnataka where PFI goons stabbed 3 Hindu youths to death. Intemperate clashes took place between the RSS and PFI. (Kalkod, Feb 19, 2015) Evidently, intel agencies also stated in a fact-finding report that PFI was involved in the 2011 Mumbai blasts, 2012 Pune blasts and 2013 Hyderabad blasts. (Chauhan, Mar 27, 2015) Most recently, UP STF arrested 2 PFI members who were planning attacks on important figures in Hindu organisations (Srivastava, Feb 17, 2021), shortly before 6 members of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of PFI, stabbed an RSS man, Rahul Krishna (22 years old).(Now, Feb 25, 2021) According to Kerala police, 10 people from PFI have joined ISIS.
(Now, In a shocker from Kerala, 10 people confirmed to have joined ISIS, Dec 18, 2018)
The only things that are common in all these harrowing cases are the perpetrators and their statement after each incident. Every time, this callous syndicate has said that all of these allegations are part of a big conspiracy against PFI in a bid to tarnish their image. The facts we need to see are that all the major political parties, even those with opposing ideologies, have, at some point or the other, called this a terror outfit pitted against India. If by any chance, the masses still support this, maybe some sting operations can change their outlook. A sting operation by India today confirmed that “Sathya Sarani”, the educational trust affiliated with PFI and National Women’s Front (NWF) was involved in forced religious conversions, it was coordinated by none other than NWF president AS Zainaba. In another instance in the same documentary, Ahmed Shareef, founding member of PFI, stated that the final goal of Muslims in India is to establish Islamic caliphate. (Jain, Nov 2, 2017)
What really needs to be addressed is that as proud Indians, do we really need an organization which is dubious and communal in nature and is allegedly linked to the ISIS? (Bureau, Oct 27, 2017) Which sense of “nationalism” permits an Indian citizen to be hand in glove with a terror outfit? Is it purely coincidental that all executions carried out by PFI are against people of a certain ideology? Is it coincidental that they have never found any anti-social elements within their own community? India is both democratic and secular. Is it not outrightly undemocratic and anti-secular to allow an organization that is working on the lines of communalism? Screaming communalism is the latest fad; with half of India labelling right wing politics as communal, only because of their Hindutva ideology, should we close our eyes to the hypocrisy put forth by the not so secular left? Is that the definition of being “secular”? The height of hypocrisy is to label yourself secular while carrying out communal activities – the essence of the PFI. Must the democratic and secular fabric of India tolerate an organisation that carries out ethnic cleansing in the name of self-preservation?