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Need for a Concerted Resistance Against Fascism: T N Joy

TN Joy is now Najmal Babu after embracing Islam. A rebel in every sense with no family, roof over his head or savings, in 70s, he was the brain behind the Naxalite movement in Kerala. In an interview given to Prabodanam weekly, he elaborated his stance and motive behind his decision to embrace Islam. Excerpts from the interview:

A full-fledged politician, calling yourself a jail bird, announced you decision to embrace Islam. The decision has rocked Kerala society. Could you elaborate your inspirations?

TN Joy: Fascism is the biggest challenge our country is facing today. Its prime mover, Narendra Modi himself has become the Prime Minister. India is turning into a graveyard of humanitarian values, waiting for a signal from RSS headquarters to tear down the ethos of democracy and secularism. India too would stand guilty like Hitler’s country and its cultural leaders stood heads down. Germany unshackled itself and rose from the catastrophe it faced in the two World Wars. But India could never liberate itself from the fascist avalanche if it happens here. We are in an apogee of days which demand the strongest responses from humanitarian and cultural leaders. There remains no other way out. Only a few stalwarts like UR Ananthamoorthy, Zakarriya and KEN Kunjahammad, had the sense to decipher the trends well in advance. But many others are still reluctant to respond to this.

As a human being enduring the dark days, I think the most important duty of each and everyone is to build up resistance against fascism. I am dedicating whatever is left in my body and all the energy that I possess in this cause. As I become a part of the Muslim society, I have submitted my soul and rest of my life. Many rebuked my decision. I am being ridiculed as ‘a publicity monger, religious conversion just another part of it’ and also has received threats from the fascist camp. To all those, I would like to say that this is the beginning of a journey towards the Almighty, the Merciful. As a believer in the world Hereafter, I am experiencing peace and solace. Allah looks towards your heart. His mercy shall be bestowed upon me for being uncompromising in my stances.

I was seeking spirituality even during my busy political life. I lived as a man without religion. As a man without allegiance to any religion, I was quite aware about the double standards of all those parties with vested interests. I could see the Leftists, atheists and secularists, all of them collectively placing Muslims - always at the receiving end of atrocities poised by communalism - at par with Hindutva forces without any sense of reality. There is nothing wrong in assuming that all of them are implicitly culturally led by Hindutva forces though they proclaim to be without any religion. Such stances of Hindutva and atheists are in a way pseudo-Hindutva. Its the Hindutva fascists who benefits from this. The Left's lame stances against communalism have gone kaput and such policies hold no sway anymore.

What is your take on Islamophobia in India?

As Indian fascism has blended with Islamophobia, it's a perilous situation where any Muslim can be attacked at any time. It is evident in the cases of thousands of Muslim youth languishing in jails and also in responses of the mainstream society towards Muslim issues. Or else why even after many years of struggle and torture endured, a movement like Solidarity Youth Movement and other Muslim organizations could not achieve recognition in the public sphere?

Islamophobia exists in social, political and cultural arenas. Media is in the forefront to deploy it. Every other day, they script stories of terror without any evidence. Recently, there was news that Indian Mujahideen was to launch nuclear bombs and are to start marine-based trainings. Nobody inquires into the truth behind such news. There is no follow up. But, the fear psychosis created by the media lingers in the society.

How should be our resistance towards fascism?

There is a need for working arrangement among Muslim organizations. At least they should shed their superiority complex in this issue. The mainstream parties should make their stand clear against fascism. The Left should be ready to rectify their stand which says, we need Muslims but not their organizations. Like Gandhi who supported the British against Fascism, there should be cooperation with Muslim organizations too.

At times, there are statements which put Jamaate Islami at par with RSS by the Leftists and secularists. What is your view?

As communists put forth communist politics, Jamaate Islami put forward Islamic politics. They too claim that the solutions for all political problems lie in their ideology. To say this is Islamic fascism like Hindutva fascism is a deceptive statement. Other argument goes that, stating Islamic politics pave way to fascism. In fact, Hindutva fascists do not take Jamaate Islami and others as serious threats and do not criticize it. They only say that the Left and Congress are appeasing minorities. When Madhyamam daily can give enough space to the Left writers to criticize Jamaate Islami, a typical response in the same gravity cannot be expected from Deshabhimani, the mouthpiece of the Left. Who is gripped by intolerance and fear psychosis needs a thought. It is indeed a pathetic joke to see them match up Jamaate Islami, who is behind Madhyamam, with RSS.