Recently a Muslim organization called Popular Front of India (PFI) made its debut in Kerala, South India. They are now at the center of discussion. Whether it is resentment over organized rape in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, or a few months ago protests against the citizenship law – the Modi government is blaming the organization for everything. It is being said that these are the ones who are conspiring against India by bringing crores of rupees from the Middle East – even thinking of banning them.
The PFI, however, strongly refutes all charges against him. However, analysts say the group’s ideological ally, Hindutva RSS, was launched to counter the organization.
Who is this PFI? How is a small organization in Kerala known throughout the country? And why are they repeatedly attacked by the government? In fact, PFI made its debut in Kerala fourteen years ago in 2006. After the demolition of the Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992, Muslims in South India formed a number of smaller organizations in protest – three such organizations which together formed the Popular Front of India.
The way they have spread the organization across the country and amassed thousands of members over the next few years has also shocked India’s intelligence agencies.
Born in Kozhikode, Kerala, PFI is a retired senior professor in the state, known as the top theoretical leader of the P Koya organization. The group claims to have networked in at least 22 Indian states. A few days ago, he shifted his headquarters from Kerala to the national capital Delhi. Their national president, E. Abubakar, spends most of his time in Delhi these days. He himself is like the people of Kerala, so most of the PFI leaders are. This is why PFI is known throughout the country as an organization in Kerala. Many PFI leaders from Kerala were former members of SIMI, an Islamic student organization in India, which are now banned.
However, the PFI has denied all such allegations, stating that they are a neo-social organization working for the backward or marginalized people of India. Even on their website or Twitter handle, they only give such identity, do not even describe themselves as Muslim organizations.
However, many observers in India believe that the PFI has emerged as an opponent of the Hindu extremist RSS, known as the ideological patron of the ruling BJP, and has therefore gained popularity and acceptance among the country’s Muslim community. Is obtained. Hindu nationalist organization RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) has come up with an idea to react.
P Shah Jahan, a professor and sociologist at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, told the Bengali Tribune, “Like the RSS, PFI cadres have distinctive uniforms. Just like the RSS, by organizing ‘shakhas’ at different places every morning in regular physical. In the same way the PFI occasionally parades and drills in different cities and villages in Kerala.
The history of political and ideological conflict between PFI and RSS in Kerala is also very bitter. The two organizations have been repeatedly accused of killing members of each other. The PFI is also waging a counter-movement against love marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women or the way the RSS is active in India against so-called ‘love jihad’.
In 2015, TJ Joseph, a Christian professor from Kerala, created a questionnaire at his college that the PFI deemed disrespectful to the Prophet of Islam. The professor’s palm was cut off – an allegation that led to 13 prison staff being later sentenced to prison. A year ago, the Kerala government filed an affidavit in the High Court stating that at least 26 cases of political murder, seven attempted murders and incitement to communal tension were pending against PFI activists.
Against this backdrop, Professor PK Shah Jahan thinks, “Given the activities of the PFI, there is good reason to believe that they have built themselves into an aggressive and aggressive Muslim platform in response to the ideological violence of the RSS.”
Many patrons of PFI are Muslims from Kerala who work in Middle Eastern countries. Over the last decade and a half, he has also provided massive financial support to the organization, which has led to PFI’s wealth flourishing.
Many youths who once migrated from Kerala, Syria or Afghanistan to join the Islamic State between 2014 and 2016 were once associated with PFI. At least the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India has demanded this in court.
However, the way the PFI recently made headlines in national newspapers has not been special before. And it began in December-January, when the state government directly blamed the PFI’s ‘conspiracy’ for anti-citizenship protests in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath even said that the PFI is inciting Muslims by spending crores of rupees and persuading them to demolish government property.