Madhani Factor: Curse of Kerala Politics

published on April 2, 2009

By C I Issac

In the closing
decades of the 1980s, Abdul Nazar Madhani was only a firebrand orator
who engaged in inciting communal antagonism and intolerance amongst
Muslim youths of Kerala. Very soon, taking advantage of the prevailing
political situation, he recouped all the anti-national and fanatic
diehard elements, which were in inertia after the vivisection of India,
into an organizational platform called Islamic Seva Sang [ISS].


Under this
organizational banner, he openly imparted lessons of militancy and
fanaticism to Muslim youths in violation of the Arms Act of Kerala.
When the ISS became a challenge to the secular life of Kerala, the
Union Government banned it in December 1992. So he poured the old ‘Kaalakoodam’ [ISS] in a new bottle called People’s Democratic Party [PDP]. His acceptance grew amongst the political equations of Kerala.


Votebank of jihadi Muslims   


The State’s
unscrupulous bi-polar political structure turned out to be a blessing
in disguise to Madhani, until he was arrested on 31 March 1998 for
alleged involvement in the 14 February 1998 serial bomb blast case of


Long before this blast, he became the ustad
of terrorism in Kerala, under the benevolence of the Congress-led
United Democratic Front [UDF]. Some six years before the Coimbatore
blast, he lost a leg in an explosion; a self goal. His influence with
the regime forced the police to freeze further investigations into this


The Marxist-led
Left Democratic Front [LDF] rule brought doom-days to Madhani by
helping the Tamil Nadu police to trap him. Madhani made arrangements to
supply explosives to convict Tajudeen, Vice President of Al-Umma, the
Islamic fundamentalist organization, which masterminded the Coimbatore
blast. He served as intermediary between the ISI of Pakistan and
Al-Umma of Tamil Nadu. In February 2001, the State Public Relations
Department published a 648-page book to glorify the LDF regime. It
claimed the arrest of Madhani by the Tamil Nadu police as a feather in
the cap of the LDF administration.


Immediately after the ban of ISS in 1992, DeshabimaniDaily,
the CPM mouthpiece in Kerala, used its pages to expose the potential
danger of the Madhani factor through a series of articles from 20-24
December. The same line was adopted by their English journal People’s Democracy,
after the arrest of Madhani, with two articles on 22 April and 20 May
of 2001. The articles criticized the UDF government for its unholy
relations with Madhani and their lapse in bringing him under law.


The Marxist party
was not aware of the vote factor of fundamentalist Muslims under the
PDP umbrella. In the 2006 Assembly elections, the Marxist party
realized the worth of Madhani, then in jail. Now Madhani shares the LDF
platform at the cost of the other coalition partners, mainly CPI and
Janata Dal. In short, Madhani uprooted the coalition structure of the
LDF. The 30-year-old partner, Janata Dal, was mercilessly kicked out by
CPM, big brother of the LDF.


The CPI, another
partner, which still considers Madhani a communal bigot, was put on the
ventilator to accommodate Madhani’s PDP. Its traditional seat, Ponnani,
was surrendered to Madhani at the end of a month long feud. The PDP
leader ridiculed RSP national secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan, “RSP is a
good party though Chandrachoodan is the secretary of it,” at a public
meeting in the presence of CPM general secretary Pinayari Vijayan.
Moreover, at LDF election platforms, Madhani is very particular to
extend solidarity to Kashmiri jihadis. This wantonness of an anti-national is possible only in a country where non-committed political leadership is in power.


Though RSP, Janata
Dal and CPI were belittled and humiliated in the LDF, they are
reluctant to part ways due to loss of confidence in the ideology of
communism and socialism after the fall of the Soviet Union. They are
now learning how to stomach the terrible Madhani after the Lok Sabha
elections. Madhani’s Party [PDP] has pockets of influence and is
crucial in the state’s bi-polar politics which pivots on minority
appeasement. The CPM benefited from the PDP in the 2006 Legislative
Assembly elections and the UDF in 2001. Now the UDF under Congress has
lost this communal factor and is in search of other Muslim communal
factors. They are in marathon race to win NDF, the disguised form of
the banned SIMI. So far, LDF and UDF have not shown the courage to
reject the jihadi votebank. So they knowingly or unknowingly promote another division of Mother India.     


Cry in the wilderness


CPI general
secretary A.B. Bardan and RSP general secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan
protested against CPM’s Madhani mania. But it was a futile exercise, a
cry in the wilderness. Both parties’ 30-year wedlock with CPM defused
their self-esteem and identity. The CPM was at one point ready to dump
its long-term ally, the CPI, to accommodate Madhani’s handpicked man in
Ponnani constituency in North Kerala. After a weeklong drama, CPI had
to shift to another constituency to accommodate Madhani’s wishes.


Umbilical relation of Indian communism and communalism


History teaches us
that as far as India is concerned, Communism and Communalism are one
and the same. The first Indian Communists were the KhilafatJihadis,
who were on their way to Turkey to fight for the cause of the Caliphate
and were arrested by Soviet police from Tashkent and trained as
Communist comrades and sent back to India to spread Marxian ideals.
They became the basic factors of M.N. Roy’s initiation.


In later years, on
several critical occasions, the Communists took communal stands. In the
mid-1940s, E.M.S. Namboothirippad along with A.K. Gopalan led
processions of Muslims of Kerala shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and
‘Moplastan Zindabad.’ [Moplastan, an independent state like Pakistan,
was demanded by the Muslim League of Kerala at independence. Later, on
16 June 1969, when E.M.S. Namboothirippad was Chief Minister, their
dream land was carved out as a new district called Malappuram. This
place was already notorious for its anti-Hindu Moplah Riot of 1921.
This is the only Muslim-majority district in Kerala and now the
epicenter of all jihadi enterprises] .


Khwaja Ahmad
Abbas, leftist leader of the day, promptly warned that this policy of
the Communists would strengthen communalism, and be the death of India
by providing ideological support to Muslim separatists[S.K.
Datta & Rajiv Sharma, Pakistan from Jinnah to Jihad, p 18].
Further, E.M.S Namboothirippad once equated Madhani and Mahatma
Gandhiji. So why do we blame contemporary Marxists for their wedlock
with Madhani?  

Above all, the
LDF and UDF unanimously moved a resolution on 16 March 2006 on the
floor of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, demanding the release of
undertrial Madhani from Coimbatore Jail on humanitarian grounds.
Everyone in the Assembly ignored the human rights of the ill-fated
people of the Coimbatore blast. Such a legislative move for an
undertrial is the first in the history of Indian parliamentary


Madhani: godfather of terrorism


For Madhani’s
sake, the state government suspended the functioning of the Special
Investigating Team [SIT] which scrutinizes the widespread terrorist
activities of the state. This SIT was constituted in the light of the
death of four out of five Malayali jihadis in an encounter with Kashmir police. [One Jihadi escaped and was later arrested from Hyderabad].


The SIT found that immediately after the release of Madhani from jail, he attended two jihadi training [tariquet] camps. All these five Malayali jihadis
participated in this training camp. Abdul Rahim who died in the
encounter with Kashmir security forces was in constant contact with
Madhani’s wife, Sufia. So far, 130 Malayalis were dispatched after
training to jihad with the knowledge and involvement of Madhani.


Almost all
terrorist attacks, except Mumbai 2008, were nurtured in Kerala under
the supervision of Madhani and his wife, Sufia [See The New Indian Express,
Kochi, March 16, 17, & 18, 2009]. The 18 May and 25 August 2007
explosions in Hyderabad, 25 July 2008 explosions in Bangalore, 26 July
explosions in Ahmadabad, were reportedly planned by the PDP chairman
and his wife.


The chief culprit
of the Bangalore explosion, Sathar’s daughter studied in Surful Islamic
School at Kochi under the guardianship of Sufia. Recently, she
absconded from the school in the light of a police enquiry. The
statement given by Mani alias Yousuf, a key witness in the Bangalore
terror plot, disclosed that Madhani, an accused in the Coimbatore
blasts case, had converted him to Islam in Coimbatore jail. After his
release from jail, under the instructions of Madhani he stayed at the
residence of Madhani at Kochi for some time.


Yousuf’s shocking
revelations are, “He attended terror camps in Kannur and Hyderabad with
Fayaz, Fayiz, Abdul Rahim and Mohammad Yazin, who were killed in an
encounter with Kashmir police. The lessons of the classes were
anti-Hindu feeling generating. To him, Madhani and his wife were like
father and mother” [The New Indian Express, 16 March 2009].


Feared and dreaded police force


Unfortunately, all
these disclosures were put in cold storage by the SIT under
instructions from the CPM home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who
further commented that all SIT findings were things of past. Now
Madhani is a secularist. Thus there is no question of legal proceedings
against him!


Not only PDP, but
several fundamentalist organizations are functioning in Kerala under
the benevolence of CPM and Congress. A. Vinod Kumar says, “On the other
hand, newly-formed groups like the National Democratic Front [NDF] have
emerged as stronger alternatives to ISS and SIMI and have allegedly
masterminded communal violence in recent years. The Kerala Police
believes that this outfit, which masquerades as a human rights
movement, is another re-incarnation of the ISS” [A. Vinod Kumar is
Associate Fellow, Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, New
Delhi, “Is Kerala Emerging as India’s New Terror Hub?”  22August 2006]


The story of
Islamic fundamentalist’ s homicides is still continuing in Kerala. All
such criminal activities are protected under their money and political
power. On 25 March 2009, the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala vehemently
criticized the Kerala Government for its inaction in dealing with
terrorism and observed: “The law and order in the State is in a
shambles and this is least felt in the corridors of power where current
sport is electioneering” [The New Indian Express, Kochi, 25 March 2009].


This observation
was made while the Court was dealing with a case of attempt to murder
of a liberal Islamic theologian, Abdul Rahman [KMR Guru], who condemns
Islamic terrorism and propagates that the Almighty has no religion. The
event occurred on 10 January 2008. There are 15 accused in the case and
all are members of Lashkare-Taiba; three were killed in
an encounter with the Kashmir police. Nassir, the chief culprit,
belongs to the Home Minister’s village and is a favourite of Abdul
Madhani. In this criminal case, the police arrested only three persons
as a ritual.


In July 1993, one
such liberal Islamic theologian, Maulavi Abul Hassan Chekannur, was
abducted and killed by fundamentalists. The destiny of this case was
also not different. All these prove that both coalition fronts of
Kerala are appeasing Islamic fundamentalists. The following observation
of the Kerala High Court brings out the true picture of Kerala: “The
police has become a feared and dreaded force whom the common man
shudders to beseech for help” [New Indian Express, op cit].


The author is a retired Professor of History, and lives in Trivandrum

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