Madhani Factor: Curse of Kerala Politics
by C I Issac on 02 Apr 2009 1 Comment

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 Coimbatore.

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 explosion.

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, Deshabimani Daily, 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 Khilafat Jihadis, 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 practices.

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?”  22 August 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 Lashkar-e-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

User Comments Post a Comment

Back to Top