A year has elapsed since the Indian Government took a decisive step to ban the radical organisation, the Popular Front of India (PFI). This move has been widely commended for its positive impact on the nation’s security and communal harmony. Post-ban, there have been significantly fewer reports of violent attacks that had earlier tarnished the image of Indian Muslims. It is essential to acknowledge that PFI’s activities were damaging the reputation of Muslims in the country, as the organisation did not represent Muslims in a positive light. It is imperative to emphasise that Muslim youth should steer clear of such organisations that can lead them down a perilous path.
Before delving into the positive outcomes of the ban, it is crucial to understand the backdrop against which the government took this significant action. The Popular Front of India (PFI) had been notorious for engaging in radical and exclusivist activities that did not resonate with the majority of Muslims in India. Their actions had serious repercussions, often leading to violent clashes and incidents that maligned the image of Indian Muslims. One of the most damaging aspects of PFI’s activities was its impact on the perception of Muslims in the country. Their association with violence and anti-national activities not only threatened communal harmony but also cast a shadow over the entire Muslim community in India. It was evident that PFI did not represent the values and aspirations of the vast majority of Indian Muslims, who seek peace, unity, and progress.
Since the ban on PFI was enforced, there has been a noticeable decline in violent incidents and clashes that previously involved the organization. This has contributed to an environment of increased peace and security in regions where PFI’s activities were prevalent. The government’s reasoning for the ban, citing the organisation as “prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty, and security of the country” and linking PFI to terror groups like SIMI, Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, and the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria, has been supported by evidence uncovered during investigations. Furthermore, the ban extended to eight affiliate organisations of PFI, including the National Women’s Front (NWF) and the Campus Front of India (CFI). The extensive operations carried out by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other probe agencies in “Operation Octopus” and subsequent raids have resulted in the detention of numerous PFI leaders and activists, preventing any potential resurgence of the group’s activities. Furthermore, the ban on PFI has allowed Indian Muslims to distance themselves from an organization, which did not align with their beliefs and values.
The Government’s decision to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) has yielded significant benefits for India’s peace, security, and communal harmony. The decline in violent incidents and clashes post-ban is a testament to the wisdom of this move. Equally important is the message it sends to Muslim youth: they must refrain from involvement in organisations that do not represent the true values and aspirations of their community. It is a time for unity, peace, and progress, and the ban on PFI is a step in the right direction. As a diverse and pluralistic nation, India thrives when all its citizens work together for the common good. Muslim youths, like all youths in the country, have a crucial role to play in shaping a harmonious and prosperous India.
(Francophone and Journalism Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia.)