Bhopal, February 11 (IndianMuslims): South India is taking a lead in to bring the underprivileged and the marginalized sections like dalits, backward classes and minority communities to come on one platform under the newly formed umbrella organization, Popular Front of India, (PFI), with affiliated organizations from Karnataka, Kerala & Tamilnadu in its fold.
As such PFI in order to give impetus to this new awakening among the have-nots is organizing a three-day Empower India Conference at Bangalore on February 15, 16 and 17.
Talking to this Correspondent on phone from Bangalore E. M. Abdurahman, General Secretary PFI, said the aim of the conference is to create an atmosphere favourable for equally empowering all the sections of the people of India. The conference is expected to motivate the underprivileged and marginalized sections like dalits, backward classes and minority communities to work for human rights and social justice, he emphasized.
Abdurahman informed that a rally which will mark the conclusion of the conference on February 17 will witness a flow of masses in large numbers from all the southern states. A National Seminar on Empowerment in India and a few Discussion Groups will be held as part of the conference on February 15 and 16. A good number of social workers, human rights activists and representatives of genuine NGOs are expected to attend the various sessions.
He said the conference will prove to be a historic event in the path of the struggles for the empowerment of the marginalized classes in the southern part of India.
Front Chairman E. Abubacker told this correspondent that neo-social movements from the three South Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have jointly decided to float a common platform, Popular Front of India to work, co-ordinate and strengthen grass root level developmental activities throughout India.
Abubacker revealed that the decision to launch the PFI was taken in a joint meeting with representatives of a group of Muslim organizations viz. Karnataka Forum for Dignity, (KFD), from Karnataka, National Development Front, (NDF), from Kerala & Manitha Neethi Pasarai, (MNP), from Tamil Nadu held on November 22 last at Calicut in Kerala. These organizations would continue to work as independent organizations in their respective States.
He said that PFI is a movement for the realization of a society in which freedom, justice and security are equally enjoyed by all individuals and classes. It aims at the socio-economic, cultural and political empowerment of the deprived, the down-trodden and the nation at large. It stands for a new India of equal rights to all Indians, he added.
In fact, the PFI evolved at the `South India Council' that was formed at a regional-level meeting in Bangalore attended by Muslim activists from all South Indian States in January 2004. An ad hoc committee, with E. Abubacker of Kozhikode as chairman, was formed at the meeting to steer the activities of the PFI till the election of a full-fledged executive committee.
Meanwhile, it may be pointed out here that KFD in Karnataka is the pioneering social movement founded by members of Muslim community striving to empower the community as well as fighting for the democratic rights of the people at large. The state wide Anti-Dowry Campaign and the Vidhan Soudha Chalo (State Secretariat March) are two programmes that demonstrated the reach of KFD.
MNP in Tamilnadu has registered its presence in the forefront of human rights protection and legal defense through various mass awareness campaigns and peoples agitations. The monthly magazine Vidiyal Velli and the number of books published by MNP have helped in educating the masses about their rights and the growing threats to social harmony.
NDF is working in Kerala since 1993 and now it has branches and cadres spread in all the 14 districts. Various campaigns carried out by NDF have helped to mobilize the people against human rights violations and successfully checked the growth of communal fascism in the state.
It is felt that if these three independent state-level organizations work with more cooperation and coordination, the results would be more evident. The Secretariat of the South India Council which consists of leaders associated with these three organizations gave serious thought to this matter in different meetings. The issue was discussed within the respective organizations also. All the state organizations have given the opinion that each of them will continue to work separately as independent organizations, but they would work together as constituents of a federation.
Existing socio-economic models of development have failed to alleviate the poverty and backwardness of the people of the country. Since independence, the ruling class has strengthened the business monopolies and the urban and rural elite, as it ignored the basic needs of the people below. The traditionally dominant social groups have also hijacked the democratic process. The fascist forces have deeply penetrated and corrupted the system and they work hand in glove with neo-colonial and racist forces. The dalits, the tribals, the religious, the linguistic and the cultural minorities, the backward classes and the women are denied their cultural and social space, making India one of the most backward areas in the world. Resistance against exploitation and deprivation is mostly local and isolated now with no co-ordination and pooling of resources at national level.
By Pervez Bari, IndianMuslim.INFO