The Hindu Nationalist government of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) in September 2022. The government accused the organization of indulging in “terror activities” and radicalizing Muslim youth to “subvert” democracy, a claim vehemently denied by its member and other activists. However, the ban is yet to pass the test of judicial scrutiny and whether the invocation of the draconian terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), is justified or not. Hundreds of members and activists linked to the organization were arrested across 20 Indian states, including M Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
The BJP government has already set the narrative to strangle the democratic participation of religious minorities. PFI identifies itself as a neo-social movement with the intent of providing constitutional safeguards to oppressed and traditionally marginalized communities.
Human rights groups have demanded the revocation of the ban, terming it an undemocratic display of power. The critics pointed out that the right-wing government’s approach toward Muslim identity is hostile and totalitarian.
Life and Activism
Mohammad Ali Jinnah is the former National General Secretary of the PFI. The activist is well known for his sharp opposition to the Hindutva ideology and the discriminatory policies of the ruling BJP. He has been actively involved with the democratic and political participation of the Muslim community during the anti-Citizenship bill movement in 2019-20.
Mohammad is the fiercest critic of the BJP government for providing impunity to the right-wing forces involved in communal violence and atrocities against Muslims. He believes that the formation of the Hindu nationalist government has led to a surge in hate crimes against minority groups and those on the periphery.
He has repeatedly expressed concerns over the Hukumat’s (establishment) anti-development agenda, pushing millions of people into poverty and destitution through demonetization in 2016.
Not released yet.