Politically isolated Jama’at hits back at CPM

via VR Jayaraj | Kozhikode - Daily Pioneer published on May 21, 2010

In the face of the setback it suffered to the bid to get a foothold in mainstream politics, the Kerala Jama’at-e-Islami on Friday hit back at the CPI(M) by saying that Marxists did not have the right to speak about democracy. “When did the communist movement begin to respect Indian democracy? Weren’t they calling it a bourgeois democracy?” asked Jama’at’s Kerala Amir T Arifali.

The Jama’at’s efforts to establish its position in mainstream Kerala politics suffered a massive setback the other day when the Indian Union Muslim League, an ally of the Congress, dropped the plan to forge an electoral understanding with it due to objections from within and in the context of the Marxist party’s vehement campaign that the Muslim outfit’s ideology was based on the concept of religious nationhood.

Arifali claimed that his organization was not working for the creation of religious state but it was trying to form a party of all sections of people. “(CPI-M secretary) Pinarayi Vijayan need not teach us to be democratic. How can Pinarayi’s party, which idol-worships Joseph Stalin, claim to be democratic?” the Jama’at Amir asked.

He alleged that Pinarayi and his men were trying to polarize the Kerala society on communal lines and to cash in on that. “That bid will have very dangerous and far-reaching consequences,” he said. He said the Marxists were attacking the Jama’at with some ulterior motives. Jama’at-e-Islami had been an outside ally of the CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala for the past ten years.

However, it began to turn against the Left during the last Lok Sabha election when it supported candidates of the Congress-led UDF in two of the 20 constituencies in the State. The Marxists ire towards the Jama’at intensified as its youth outfit Solidarity led an agitation against land acquisition for a mega road project in Kinalur, Kozhikode, which was a pet project of the CPI(M).

Arifali also criticized the Muslim League for announcing an end to the relations with the Jama’at-e-Islami. He said it was the Muslim League which had invited them to a meeting on Tuesday at Kozhikode. “The Muslim League has held discussions with us at least 10-14 times since the last Assembly elections (in 2006),” he revealed.

Contradicting League leader PK Kunhalikkutty’s claim that electoral politics were not discussed with the Jama’at, Arifali confirmed that the coming local bodies election was one of the topics of discussion at the meeting. The Muslim League was forced to announce a cessation of all connections with the Jama’at in the context of the objections raised by senior leaders like MK Muneer from within the party.

With criticisms mounting that the Jama’at believed in the concept of a religious state as put forward by founder Moulana Mehdudi, its assistant Kerala Amir Sheikh Muhammad Karakkunnu claimed that the outfit respected democracy and secularism. “The Jama’at-e-Islami Hind is not the organization founded by Mehdudi in Lahore in 1941. Our organization was formed in 1948 and it has nothing to do with the Mehdudian concept of religious state,” he said.

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