PFI rally imitating 1921 Moplah pogrom shows RSS men in chains, Aaj Tak and others defend

Yet another shameful display of Hindu abuse was on display during a rally organized by the radical Islamic organization Popular Front of India (PFI) in Malappuram. It was the 17th of February and the occasion was the PFI foundation day. The extremists dressed up a couple of their cadre in RSS uniforms, chained them, and paraded them amidst Islamic chants of ‘Takbir, ‘Allahu Akbar’, and others.

Apart from the trademark skull caps, the demonstrators were dressed up in traditional lungis exactly the same way that their predecessors had done while they were out in numbers with the intention to either convert or kill Hindus in Malabar. A few were also dressed up in old British officer uniforms. British army officers were also killed in 1921 during the Moplah violence. The cadre was also seen brandishing lathis.

This happened in a town called Chelari which is also the seat of the Calicut University. Such processions have become common now and it is seen as aggression on display by the extremists to intimidate the ‘majority’ and provoke violence. They are also reminiscent of a shameful past associated with a Muslim-initiated pogrom of Hindus way back in 1921. 

Moplah anti-Hindu pogrom of 1921

Known as the Malabar Moplah pogrom, it displaced many Hindu families in Malabar and claimed 10000 Hindu lives. Many including women and children were maimed, raped, and killed during that period by the marauding Islamists who were ostensibly revolting against British rule as part of the Khilafat movement to save the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate. Many had to leave their belongings and flee never to return back. Even pregnant women were not spared and had their fetuses ripped out.

That this is happening exactly 100 years after the Malabar Moplah pogrom is no coincidence. The PFI is trying to whip up communal passion within the Muslim community which has not gone down well with the local Hindu population. That no police action was initiated against such a brazen provocation should be taken seriously by those in power. Unless remedial steps are taken urgently, things might go out of hand.

The earlier pogrom against the Hindus had left an estimated one lakh refugees in their own land. Almost one hundred temples were destroyed, many with cow intestines hung over the deities. Many Hindus fearing for their life converted to Islam. In fact, the Moplah pogrom of 1921 was preceded by many similar outbreaks of fanatical violence against Hindus of Malabar region in the preceding 100+ years. The trend of forcible conversions to Islam in the region was started by the Mysorean tyrant Tipu Sultan during his invasion of Kerala in 1789, as Diwan Bahadur C. Gopalan Nair, retired Deputy Collector from Calicut penned in his book ‘The Moplah Rebellion, 1921′.

It is the descendants of those converts who are now hell-bent on inciting further violence. Even during the anti-CAA protests, we had witnessed similar marches by jihadi elements dressed up as Moplah or Tipu Sultan’s hordes, with chilling message of ‘Reinventing 1921’.

Emboldened Islamic fanatics in modern-day Malabar

The impunity with which the PFI took out the march indicates the deep entrenchment of their network in Malappuram. They have been involved in acts of terror, running terror training camps, countless political murders, the professor hand chopping case, Bengaluru and Delhi riots, and funneling fighters to foreign terrorist networks like ISIS. 

With a communist government infused with Hindu hate and ready to bend over backward in the name of appeasement, if left unchecked the situation stands to worsen in Kerala. It is gradually becoming too dangerous for the Hindu minority that still lives in Malappuram. Sleeper cells of radicals are allegedly entrenched into society all over Malabar, in districts like Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasargode. It is no wonder that demands of a separate Malabar state are emanating from other radical Muslim groups in the same region.

Media and ‘fact-checkers’ defend PFI rally

What is also evident is the biased journalism of the national media which tries to paint a rosy picture of this dangerous organization which many believe should be banned.

India Today fact checker Dheeshma Puzhakkal did a ‘fact check’ on the video. She starts by setting the context of  upcoming assembly elections and political violence in the state. Then she frames her fact check like this “People are claiming that RSS workers were chained and marched in a PFI rally”, and goes on to ‘prove’ that those dressed up as RSS workers were actually PFI cadre only, hence the claim is false!

Now, to most observers it was clear that this is a role enactment – but it is the role enactment that is itself outrageous, hateful and incendiary! What would Dheeshma and her ilk’s reaction be if an RSS march were to be conducted with a bearded maulana in chains? That she finds nothing wrong in this portrayal by PFI is what is staggering. This India Today/Aaj Tak reporter even goes on to call PFI as a ‘strong organization in Kerala despite all controversies’! She says it is ‘identified’ as a fundamentalist organization and has been on ‘target’ of intelligence agencies. The subtext is clear – she thinks PFI is being unfairly maligned. 

She goes on whitewash the incident by adding that since it didn’t make a splash across local or national media it is of no real importance as there was no violence involved! She quotes a local police inspector who issues a certificate that the march was peaceful. Then she quotes PFI’s General Secretary Anees Ahmed’s defense of the march:

“The video that is going viral actually belongs to the depiction by the people of Malabar during a programme of PFI. The people of the region respect their heritage and the particular drama represents a fight that happened between the Britishers and the people of Malabar in 1921. Every year people celebrate the occasion here and the idea that was being depicted in this particular video was that the people of Malabar played an essential role in fighting against the external threat of British imperialism in 1921 and now when RSS is posing the internal threat of fascism, people of Malabar will also confront them and protect our country.”

An Islamo-fascist organisation like PFI, with known links with terror outfits like IS, al-Qaeda, Indian Mujahideen, makes a statement that it is ‘protecting the country from threat of fascism’ and liberal journalists merely accept it at face value! No one questions the PFI bigots on why Hindus of Kerala were murdered, raped and converted in 1921 if the fight was only against British imperialism? Were any local Indians attacked during the First War of Independence that took place in 1857?

One Yusha Rahman of a site called The Logical Indian has done a similar ‘fact check’ and that one even goes on to add that ‘many right-wing supporters are sharing the video to malign the image of LDF and portray it as an anti-Hindu party’. This is another favorite tactic of ‘secular’ forces: gloss over the hatred and violent threats explicit in actions of your side, and reduce everything to party politics and blame the other side for ‘communalising’ the issue.

Quint has done another similar ‘fact-check’.

By downplaying such fascism what do such media stand to gain? Such reporting also gives credence to the allegations that some media houses and journalists are on the payroll of the PFI supporters based abroad in Turkey etc.

But what is also worrying is the RSS’ soft response on the issue, if quotes attributed to its leaders are to be believed.

RSS Kerala Unit Joint Secretary Radhkrishnan M said that “we would have definitely given a reaction if it was actually RSS workers…this was just a PFI demonstration.” NR Madhu, RSS spokesperson in Kerala, said, “RSS was not founded when Malabar Rebellion took place. It is factually wrong to represent RSS functionaries as convicts of the rebellion. We have condemned the depiction.”

Sangh was founded in 1925, but would the depiction have become ‘factually correct’ if it had been founded 5 years earlier in 1920? Isn’t the whole point of acting against hate speech and hateful depictions is to prevent the hater from taking the next step and resorting to actual violence? And is it right to legitimise the Moplah violence of 1921 by calling it a ‘Rebellion’? Moplahs took up arms against the British with a clear end goal – to establish a sharia state in Bharat, and to preserve the global Islamic caliphate. For Malabar Hindus, the options given by Moplahs were the same as those given to Kashmiri Pandits 70 years later – convert, die or leave.


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