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For democracy in India to soar, PFI needs to fall

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In a democracy, protests and dissent are the norm but when organizations like PFI start threatening country's stability and physical integrity, governments have to use force to punish conspirators, miscreants and murderers

There is hardly a terror incident in which footprints of the Popular Front of India (PFI), a radical Islamic outfit, or of SDPI and CFI, its political and student arms, are not visible. Be it communal riots, murder of cheerleaders of Nupur Sharma's controversial tweet, CAA, NRC, Triple Talaq or ban on hijab, azan in public places, cow slaughter and conversion, their involvement has been unmistakable. In a democracy, protests and dissent are the norm but when organizations like PFI start causing destruction of property, loss of human lives and threatening country's stability and physical integrity, governments have to use force to punish conspirators, miscreants and murderers.

For democracy in India to soar, PFI need to fall

A propaganda pamphlet of PFI gives an idea of its violent ambitions and terrorist mindset. It seeks to establish rule of Islam in India by 2047, after a century of 'subjugation' of Muslims since independence in 1947. It believes that if only, it can have 10 per cent Muslims to rally behind it, it will be easy for it to force the coward majority community to bend on their knees and bring back glory of Islam to India. How it proposes to realize this objective is quite audacious.

To begin with, trust deficit will be widened by spreading a narrative that Muslims are going to be driven out of India to establish a Hindu Rashtra. This will be followed by undertaking a mass mobilization first, by selectively using violence to terrorize and eliminate opponents, second, by creating split between RSS and SCs, STs and OBCs and enrolling them while falsely swearing allegiance to the National Flag, Constitution and Ambedkar and finally, by making PFI's presence in every Muslim household.

 As clamour to ban PFI grows louder, here is what the NIA said about the organisation As clamour to ban PFI grows louder, here is what the NIA said about the organisation

In the next phase, volunteers will be trained in use of swords, rods, lathis and country-made weapons. The more committed ones will be trained later in using firearms and explosives. Simultaneously, plots will be acquired in Muslim- dominated areas or at remote locations for stockpiling weapons and explosives. The executive, judiciary, police and army will also be infiltrated with loyal cadres from Muslim and Dalit communities. The final showdown will be mounted once PFI emerges as undisputed representative of the entire Muslim community, gains confidence of 50 per cent SCs, STs, OBCs, raises a dedicated army of trained and well equipped PFI cadre, has details of Hindu and RSS leaders' whereabouts and obtains assurance of political, moral and diplomatic support from Islamic nations.

However, it is easy to sell dreams, coated with religious poison and create a band of followers to serve financial interests and grandiose designs of leaders but fraught with danger to implement them. No Islamic extremist organization operating even in countries like Algeria, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Bangladesh, Morocco, Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. have succeeded in enforcing their radical agenda or unseating governments in harness. Yet, their potential to stall economic development, hurt interests of national security and create disaffection among masses remains a matter of concern and cannot be ignored.

No wonder, you invariably hear people and politicians making strident demand for banning PFI, locking up its leaders and volunteers, sealing its premises and freezing its accounts. But it is doubtful if the ban can eliminate this menace forever from our society. The state may get temporary relief while the disease digs deep and spreads wildly in different shape and sizes. It may quickly change its nomenclature and start functioning with the same setup, resources and modus operandi while playing the victim card under a ruthless anti-Muslim government, more aggressively. More importantly, it is easier to fight a known enemy that operates both covertly and overtly and provides in turn, enough space for security forces to keep a tab on their plans, movements, network, communications and financial transactions. This will also help in exposing their sinister activities and alienating them from Muslims and non-Muslims whom it wants to latch on to its bandwagon.

(Amar Bhushan worked with the Research and Analysis Wing for 24 years after briefly serving in the BSF intelligence, State Special Branch and Intelligence Bureau. He served as the Special Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat before he retired in 2005.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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