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Muslim politics takes a turn in Kerala

March 02, 2009 15:27 IST
The Muslim politics in Kerala has taken a turn with the advent of the Popular Front, a political party floated with the support of four Islamic organisations of southern India.

The National Development Front, a hardline Islamic resistance movement, has taked lead to float a political party in the state.

The former NDF state general secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram is named as the state president of the Popular Front.

The Indian Union Muslim League was the only popular political party in the state taking the cause of the Muslim community and has been a part of the United Democratic Front for decades. IUML leader C H Mohammed Koya also served as the chief mnister of Kerala.

The Muslim League which is considered soft and moderate and a public face of the Muslim community is now losing its grip with the emergence of the fire-brand Islamic scholar and fundamentalist politician Abdul Nasser Madani, who was arrested as an accused in the Coimbatore blasts case. There were cries from the human rights activists on the detention of Madani in Coimbatore central prison without trial for nine years.

The NDF, which has its roots in the Jamaat Islami, was formed in the year 1993 after the Babri Masjid demolition with the aim of defending the Muslim community against the Sangh Parivar, according to its organisers.

The organisation has since been trying to rope in disgruntled Muslim youths who felt the Indian Union Muslim League had not done anything concrete for the Muslim cause.

The NDF has been systematically working among the Muslim community giving armed training to its cadres and has been trying to project itself as the only saviour of the Muslim community.

The advent of the NDF in the social sphere of Kerala has resulted in tensions in all the corners of the state.

There are already reports that the Popular Front with its support base from the NDF will not be ignored by the politicians of the state and political parties would be making a beeline towards the NDF and the Popular Front leadership during the general elections.

This could turn into a problem for the Indian Union Muslim League, so far the only moderate face of the Muslim community in the state.

Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram