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Popular Front of India: Exclusive or Inclusive?

The post liberalised India witnessed the emergence of a new middle class both amongst Hindus and Muslims. This new middle class either flocked to metropolitan cities or made their way to gulf countries for a better future. Both the phenomenon created the concept of remittance economy which in turn gave rise to many groups which claimed to be working for the betterment of the entire Muslim community. these organisations expanded their base by indulging in social services and aimed at mobilising a new section of Muslim youth away from the influence of clergy and traditional form of Islam. Consequently, the marginalised section amongst Muslims started believing that organisations like Popular Front of India (PFI) would act as their saviour in otherwise challenging world. This myth of “all-inclusiveness” continued for quite a long time, however, with internet boom, information started percolating to the very base of the society and youth began questioning dominance of a particular geographical location in the top leadership structure of a self-acclaimed all India organisation.

The question of exclusivity starts to make sense once the top leadership of PFI is scrutinized. Chairman of PFI (O M A Salam) hails from Kerala, so does Vice Chairman (E M Abdul Rahiman) and Secretary (Nasarudheen Elamaram). General Secretary (Anis Ahmed) and Secretary (Mohammad Shakif) are from Karnataka while National Executive member (Mohammed Yusuf) represents Tamil Nadu. This shows that south Indian states are represented overwhelmingly in the top leadership hierarchy of PFI. This leaves two questions at hand- either there is a dearth of leadership amongst North Indian Muslims or PFI trusts its South Indian members more. An office bearer of PFI from north India on the condition of anonymity said that the top leadership of PFI doesn’t trust Muslims from north India; they feel that north Indian Muslims can pass the organisation’s secret to law enforcement agencies easily under pressure or allurement. Although the above statement can never be verified on ground, the overwhelming presence of South Indians in the top hierarchy of PFI substantiates the claim. Taslim Ahmed Rehmani, National Secretary Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI- The political wing of PFI) recently demanded more representation of north Indians in the organisation.

PFI claims to be an organisation representing all the marginalised minorities of India. They collect lakhs of rupees from India and abroad in the name of supporting these marginalised minorities. The dominance of south Indian Muslims at the top has ensured that a majority of amount collected through donation by PFI goes to the parent states of top leaderships. Absence of leaders from other minority communities and Dalits also punctures a hole into the “all-inclusive” theory of PFI. On ground, PFI appears to be an organisation meant for south Indian Muslims only (especially of Kerala) with token representation of north Indian Muslims. This again leaves us with another question: what was the need for PFI to shift its headquarters to Delhi? The answer probably lies in the political ambition of the organisation which requires participation of Muslims from all over India to propel PFI into power structure. The ball is in the court of Muslims to decide if they want to be part of politically motivated organisation with sinister motives.

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پاکستان کے قیام کے بعد سے ، دوران لائن مسئلہ نے پاک افغان تعلقات کے …

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