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Kerala forum calls for all-out campaign to defeat fascism in India

CALICUT – As fascist forces have tightened their grip on India’s powerhouses, it is high time for people of the world’s largest democracy to launch a struggle to save the country and safeguard its secular and human values, said speakers at a massive anti-fascist forum attended by politicians, academics, writers, historians and human rights activists representing different shades of opinion.

The Sauhrda Sangamam organized by the Kerala wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) in Calicut emphasized the importance of holding similar events all over the country with the participation of peace-loving Hindu, secularist and religious groups to mobilize public support against the atrocities being perpetrated by the forces of Sangh Parivar, of which the ruling Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) is a part.

The speakers cited various instances of

lynching of Muslims and Dalits by vigilante groups with the silent backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP-led government.

Human rights activist Teesta Setalvad inaugurated the mammoth gathering, which saw the participation of thousands of Hindus, Muslims and Christians from all over the state, including historian MGS Narayanan, Muslim League leader Munawar Ali Shihab Thangal, Congress MP M.I. Shanavas, novelist K.P. Ramanunni, Nadwatul Mujahideen leader Dr. E.K. Ahmed Kutty and human rights activist Grow Vasu.

In her inaugural address via videoconferencing, Setalvad called for a new law to prevent mob lynching. “Groups of people dare to commit crimes like lynching because of their confidence that they can get off scot-free,” she said, adding that Hindutva forces were beating Muslims and Dalits to death with the support of the BJP government. “In a country where cow is given more importance than human beings, tough laws must be enacted to prevent these atrocities,” she added.

The forum came after a series mob attacks against Muslims and Dalits in different parts of the country in the three years Prime Minister Modi's BJP-led government took power in New Delhi in 2014. One of the latest victims was Junaid Khan, a 16-year-old boy who was stabbed to death on a Mathura-bound train. Khan’s mother has urged the authorities to give deterrent punishment to the criminals who killed her son.

JIH Kerala President M.I. Abdul Aziz, who presided over the function, cautioned the public against Sangh Parivar’s ongoing campaign to polarize India on communal lines, saying it would destroy the country. He urged all peace-loving Indians irrespective of race and creed to unite against the fascist forces to promote human values and strengthen the country’s security and stability.

“If not now, when will we start the struggle to protect our hard-earned freedom?” asked K.E.N. Kunhahamed, a prominent writer and academic.

“We are not ready to die at the hands of Sangh Parivar thugs is the message of this forum,” said P.A. Pouran. He called for a wide alliance of leftist, secularist and human rights organizations to confront the rise of fascism in India.

In his speech, K.P. Ramanunni has said the Sangh Parivar does not represent Hindu values but it applies the colonialist policy of divide and rule. “India can achieve greater progress and prosperity when Hindus and Muslims work hand in hand. Sri Raman had given importance to minorities but the Sangh Parivar wants to wipe out them. Hindus should tell openly that the Sangh Parivar does not represent them. They propagate falsely that Muslims are the enemies of Hindus,” he said.

Ramanunni said Kerala had set a good example for communal harmony for all Indians to follow. He highlighted the role of Muslims in spreading peace and goodness across the country on the basis of the divine teachings of Islam, which they have inherited from the Prophets.

Swami Viswa Badrananda Shakti Bhodi lambasted former Kerala police chief Sen Kumar for spitting communal venom and inciting hatred between Hindus and Muslims.

Kumar, who retired last month as the director general of police in the state, expressed his concern over what he called an unproportional spike in the Muslim population of Kerala, and said it posed a grate threat not only to Hindus but to the state security as well.

In a recent interview, Kumar backed the concocted Hindutva view that Muslim youths engaged in the so-called “love jihad” in an attempt to convert Hindu girls to Islam.

Bhodi said: “Every attack on a Dalit is an attack on B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of India’s Constitution, and every attack on a Muslim is an attack on Sri Krishna, who supported minorities.”

He said democracy does not mean the rule of the majority as believed the Sangh Parivar.

A . Rahmathunnisa, state president of the women’s wing of Jamaat, said Hindutva forces were using the symbol of motherhood (Bharat Mata), which is a sacred and honorable concept in society, to crush their opponents. “This goes totally against humanity and the acclaimed Indian values. We as mothers should be the first to stand against fascist forces who have broken the hearts of hundreds of mothers by killing their children,” she said and urged Muslims not to react emotionally against fascist attacks.

She said Hindus, who do not support Hindutva forces, should stand up and prevent these evil forces from destroying the country by triggering communal violence. “People who do not react and think that they are in the safe zone must know that they are not safe in Modi’s India. If they did not prevent the Hindutva forces from creating chaos in the country the whole India would perish,” she pointed out.

P. Mujeeburrahman, state vice president of JIH, expressed his happiness over the success of the forum in bringing together leaders of 35 different organizations to forge an alliance against the fascist forces. He said the BJP came to power because of the division in the ranks of secular parties.

“Jamaat is trying to bring different anti-fascist efforts under one umbrella. We want to organize similar campaigns all over the country with the support of other parties, especially peace-loving Hindus who do not subscribe to the destructive Sangh Parivar ideology,” he told Saudi Gazette.