India’s former vice-president Hamid Ansari was seen attending an event in Kozhikode in Kerala on Saturday, which was co-organized by the National Women’s Front (NWF), the women’s wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI).
Irked by this news, the BJP “demanded an apology” from Ansari for taking part in a programme organised by the PFI, an organisation allegedly responsible for recruiting youngsters to the Islamic State.
In a press release, the BJP district president P. Raghunath said:
“A person who was the Vice-President of the country for 10 years should not have taken part in a programme organised by an outfit which is under the scanner of the National Investigation Agency.”
But what is the Popular Front of India?
An Islamist organization operating majorly in the southern states of India, the PFI is known for its radical and violent elements. In July 2010, 13 activists of the PFI chopped off the hands of a professor in Kerala after accusing the latter of blasphemy.
The atrocities did not stop here. In March 2016, the NIA arrested a person called K.V. Abdul Jaleel in relation to the Narath training camp case. Jaleel was accused of assembling 21 men in April 2013 and training them in making bombs. Of these 21 men, many were PFI workers.
Further in August 2017, the Karnataka police arrested five people for the murder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker, Sharat Madivala. All five were directly or indirectly related to the PFI.
PFI’s association with the notorious and banned terror organization, the Students Islamic Movement of India, must also be noted in this regard. In fact, the former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan spoke against the PFI at the Kerala Assembly in 2010, accusing it of causing the “Islamization of Kerala”.
By attending the event co-organized by the PFI, did Ansari somehow prove Modi right?
While delivering a speech for Ansari in the Rajya Sabha a month ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken a dig at the former for choosing ideology over office. The PM’s words smartly countered the infamous “there is a sense of unease among Muslims” remark made by Ansari in his last interview before demitting office. By participating in an event co-organised by an Islamist organisation, one that is under investigation, Ansari has only given more fuel to the Indian right.