Finally, for 5 years the Union Government has banned Popular Front of India (PFI), an organisation that has a Jihadi mentality. The courage displayed by the Centre is certainly praiseworthy.
The raids by the Government agencies on the PFI centres across the country made the intent of the Government clear. It is equally noteworthy that the time between the raids and the action of the ban was minimal. However, a ban on the organisation does not necessarily mean that its activities will cease.
First and foremost, the law being quoted by the Government to ban the organisation should be acceptable to the Court. The laws under which this ban has been imposed have been made many years ago. The circumstances were different then. In today’s context, the challenges posed by terrorists are not restricted to physical activities. Rather, through social media the intellectual boundaries have widened.
Terrorists conduct their activities through whichever medium is available. Hence, if at all the ban is to be imposed, it should not be merely on the organisation, but its social media accounts as well. It is this point where the Government agencies fall short. For example Zakir Naik’s organisation was banned; however, his social media accounts continued uncontrolled. Through these accounts, he carried on his activities relentlessly. This was brought to the Government’s notice by many devout Hindu organisations. Now too, the Government has banned PFI and its 8 associate organisations; however, their social media accounts are functioning silently. These mediums are open to them for their venom-spitting propaganda. Hence, the Government should first amend the old laws and then opt for a complete ban. In the past 2-3 years, the Government has banned many Apps, social media accounts for indulging in anti-national activities, and very recently YouTube channels. Hence, such accounts of banned organisations should also be closed down.
The Government has arrested almost 500 activists of the PFI. However, one needs to contemplate if the arrest of so many activists is enough. There are lakhs of activists and supporters of all the 8 banned organisations. They will never supress the Jihadi line of thinking of their organisations. Come what may, they will keep spitting venom. Hence, the arrests should be extensive. If it is necessary to amend the existing laws, then this should be given priority.
Importance of eliminating the roots
The ban on PFI and 8 associated organisations does not mean that all their anti-social activities will cease. The anti-social activities of such organisations continue underground. Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), a Jihadi organisation, is a very good example of this aspect. SIMI was banned in 2001 for the first time by the erstwhile Union Government; subsequently, this ban has been extended every five years. However, no agency can confidently claim that this ban deterred the activities of SIMI activists from going ahead with their agenda. In fact, the investigating agency officers have found that innumerable office bearers of SIMI have joined PFI.
It has been established that PFI has links with the banned terrorist outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. Besides links with this organisation, the investigating agency has traced PFI links to savage Jihadi outfit ISIS.
PFI has always groomed extremism in the country. The rationalists, who leave no stone unturned in calling Hindus extremists, are quiet on this issue. The activists of PFI have had their hand in the murder of many devout Hindus throughout different parts of India. Hence, banning PFI was the need of the hour. And yet, this Jihadi ideology could still be propagated through the medium of their supporters and well-wishers. How is this going to be taken care of ? Such questions are still unanswered. What is the guarantee that activists of the banned outfits will not join brutally violent organisations such as the Raza Academy and continue with their activities unabated ? Who knows, in the times to come, the Union Government may even be forced to ban such organisations.
In this regard, a tweet of BJP MLA (from Maharashtra) Mr Nitesh Rane is illustrative. He said, “When SIMI was banned, it continued its activities through organisations such as the PFI. Now, one has to ensure that PFI is not going to continue its activities through the Raza Academy which functions on similar ideology”. In a nutshell, merely banning an organisation will serve no purpose; instead, it is the Jihadi attitude that needs to be crushed. Else, it could well turn out to be a case of old wine in a new bottle.
One of the famous principles of governance propounded by Arya Chanakya is, ‘Completely uproot the weeds and destroy your enemy without leaving any trace of its existence; else, they will resurface after some time’. The Government should formulate its strategy based on this principle.
The urgent need to establish the ‘Hindu Rashtra’
The Union Government should take action against these Jihadi outfits in a manner that no one will dare to look at Hindus crookedly. This ban is merely a stepping stone to eliminate such nuisance.
A humble reminder to the Government – Do not stop at the stepping stone. Chhatrapati Shivaji established the ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ while battling 5 Mughal kings and then everything was streamlined. Hence, should the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ get established, the need to ban traitorous outfits individually will not exist and Hindus will be able to lead a fearless life.
Should the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ get established, the need to ban traitorous outfits individually will not exist !