This is a sequel to Sanjay’s earlier post: Secular Harit Desh.
In this short post, Sanjay draws our attention to a couple of interesting developments that - in his view – are likely to have a profound impact on Indian society and politics. Please read on…
1] PFI and Muslims in South India: The Muslims in South India are organizing themselves (inspired no doubt by similar efforts by Christian organizations) along with dalits, tribals, religious and cultural minorities under the banner Popular Front of India (which is a federation of a clutch of other groups). PFI was set up in 2004. Its key members are:
- Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD) (Karnataka State)
- National Development Front (NDF) (Kerala State)
- Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP) (Tamilnadu State)
Their constitution, as published on the site, is noble – it even claims to be secular. However the content on the side is entirely Muslim oriented/agenda based. There are some shocking articles (e.g. the Mumbai blasts were engineered by Israel-US-India written by one Amaresh Misra) and articles by the likes of Ram Punyani (an IIT-B Prof) who’s definition of secularism is to never criticize Muslims/Islam and find contextual reasons for Islamic terrorism while whole-heartedly condemning all activities of Hindus (e.g. link).
One of their affiliates is an Imam’s Council.
It won’t be long before PFI becomes a political force and contests elections a la the AUDF, an ostensibly secular organization.
2] The situation in Assam: Assam is a front-line state against Bangladeshi immigrants, Bodo and ULFA separatists. It is a strategic state for India. Over the past few years, Badruddin Ajmal, a millionaire businessman has nurtured and launched the AUDF. In its maiden electoral foray in 2009 election, AUDF won 10 seats in Assam (total 126). Check out their vote share 9.07% compared to the BJP’s 10.88 and the Congress’ 15.28!
Among his other credentials: He is a member of Advisory Board (Shura) of Darul Uloom Deoband, Uttar Pradesh and Central Working Committee, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind. He is also the President of State Jamiat Ulama-e-Assam and Tanzim Madaris-e Quamia — All Assam Non-government Madrasa Board that prepares the curriculum and conducts examinations throughout the state for more than 400 madrasas. Furthermore, he is also related to a dozen other madrasas, schools, and orphanages either as Chairman or Secretary in various parts of Northeast India.
These developments are bound to lead to increased tension and social disharmony with Hindu groups responding.
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Sadly it is left to bloggers and commentators like Sanjay to bring these issues to our attention.
Where is the debate on these trends? Where is the discussion? Where is the analysis? Where is the sense of unease?
Or has everyone simply stopped caring?