Statements of Radical Socialist

Radical Socialist Statement on Ban on PFI and its associate organisations

Condemn and Oppose the Aggressive Anti-Muslim Hate Campaign!

Demand  the Repeal of the Ban on the PFI and its associate  organisations

Yes to Due Process, No to Special Powers and Bans


The ban on the Popular Front of India and its associate organizations is supposedly because the government knows it is trying to “radicalize” a section of the population. The organizations that have above all pushed large sections of the Indian population to violence are the RSS, the VHP, the Bajrang Dal, and other Hindutva organizations. They occupy honoured places, including in cabinets and high posts of various kind. As for the PFI, the action comes in a definite pattern. A number of people are arrested at random. Till now no chargesheet has been filed, let alone cases proved in court. Way back in 2001, the NDA government, then too led by the BJP, had banned the SIMI. Over 125 persons had been arrested by the Gujarat police that year. All were Muslims and charged with being members of SIMI and with being associated with terrorist activities. The case dragged on for twenty years. Many remained in jail, some got bail, but all were tarnished by the image of being terrorists, since the police and the media successfully painted them as such. In March 2021, however, all were found totally innocent. Meanwhile they had lost twenty years of their lives. And even more than just those people, a step had been taken in portraying to  large numbers, especially numbers of Hindus, that Muslims could not be trusted, all Muslims were potentially terrorists. In another notorious incident, eight arrested persons, alleged to be SIMI activists, supposedly escaped  from prison and were killed in an “encounter” that civil rights activists deemed an extra-judicial killing of undertrials.

There is gross misuse of the term 'terrorism'. Terrorism must not be seen as primarily a reference to any particular category of persons but as a reference to a means or tactic or technique that is used to threaten or carry out actual physical injury or death to innocent civilians. Precisely because of this, there are three kinds of agencies of terrorism---the individual, the group and, of course, the apparatuses of the state. All these agencies can be, and so often are, guilty of ordering or carrying out terrorist actions and those responsible for them, no matter how high up or powerful, must be punished. But this must only be after due and fair process of law is followed, (rather than special laws that deny fairness and justice), and proof established of such behaviour. No democracy can justify arbitrary punishments or bans without following such a process. Nor must we forget that the biggest culprits --in terms of the greatest scale of casualties caused by terrorist acts as well as the ones most able to get away with such terrorist actions-- are governments and the groups that enjoy their patronage and protection in civil society. So much so that there is no comparison of scales possible.

The raids in several provinces, the arrests, the bare claim with no incident to back it up, all show that the claim about the PFI is a repeat performance of past practice of intensifying anti-Muslim hatred. Its aim is to portray all Muslims, especially any Muslim who takes part in any social or political activity as actual or potential terrorists. We condemn this unequivocally. We call on citizens to protest and demand a retraction of the ban.


Radical Socialist,  28/9/2022