Bhopal, India (PressExposure) February 13, 2009 -- Stage is all set for the three-day National Political Conference of Popular Front of India, (PFI), starting here in the ancient port city of Calicut, now known as Kozhikode, on Friday. The conference which will begin with the hoisting of PFI flag at the Kozhikode beach is likely to give new political directions to minorities, especially Muslims,. and other down-trodden communities of India.
According to E. M. Abdul Rahiman, the chairman of PFI, the main slogan of the conference will be "Power to people". He said the conference aims to guide Indian Muslims and other backward communities towards a new positive political thinking to ensure adequate representation for them at power centers.
Abdul Rahiman said that Muslim community and other have-nots would be urged to strive for a political mobilization which would bring to them due share of power. This positive politics has to replace the conventional negative politics practiced by Muslims in which they voted different parties with sole aim of defeating an immediate enemy. As a result, they got more marginalized and backward than any other community in the country. The speakers pointed out that instead of exercising their voting power to make others win elections, Muslims at the national level should initiate a political movement enabling them to achieve due representation in legislatures and due share of development, he added.
The conference spread over three days will have 11 sessions with separate national conventions of political activists, human rights defenders, scholars, women, students and media persons will be held. A NRI Fraternity Meet along with a National seminar on "Political Empowerment - Quest for Alternatives" and Anti Terrorism Conference will also be organized during the conference. The last day of the conference on February 15 will witness a youth parade, procession and grand public meeting at the Kozhikode beach in which more than 200,000 of people are expected to participate, Abdul Rahiman informed.
Five thousand delegates from all over India will converge here, many of them have already arrived, to take part in the conference. This coastal city is humming with huge activity with all main roads and squares have been decorated with red-green-white Popular Front flags, banners, buntings etc. giving it a face-lift.
Popular Front, with its headquarters at Bangalore, is a social movement with grass-root level network in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It was launched a few years back with the coming together of Karnataka Forum for Dignity, (KFD), from Karnataka State; National Development Front, (NDF), from Kerala State and Manitha Neethi Pasarai, (MNP), from Tamilnadu State. Popular Front stands for the realization of a New India of Equal Rights to all Indians where freedom, justice and security flourish. It aims at the socio-economic, cultural and political empowerment of the deprived, the down-trodden and the nation at large.
Abdul Rahiman told this correspondent that the state of political deprivation results in denial of due share in power. In India the tribals, dalits, other lower castes and minorities especially Muslims, remain backward, marginalized and victimized as they are kept away from various branches of administration, he said.
He lamented Muslims as a community face greater political deprivation than any other socio-religious category in India. In recent years when a few other backward classes have increased their representation in state assemblies and parliament, the Muslim share has been on the decline. The 13.4 per cent strength of Muslims is never reflected in the Indian parliament. In 1952 it was just 4.4 per cent and in 2004 it could show only 6.5 per cent.
Under these circumstances, the marginalized classes have to rethink about of their traditional strategy of shifting support to various political parties during elections with the sole aim of defeating their immediate enemies. This single point agenda has not helped establish their rights in the country's policy setting and resource distribution. Steps should be initiated to politically consolidate the deprived sections as a political force for their rightful share in political power, he asserted.
Abdul Rahiman pointed out that this conference is aimed at giving a fillip to a new brand of politics at the national level. Muslims and other oppressed communities have to be made aware that they are being misled by political parties with false promises. They have to be told that they should work for a political structure in which they will get a share of power and a say in the decision-making process., he remarked. (www.prativad.com)