Hyderabad: In response to an article published in these pages on January 18, 2020, about the Popular Front of India (PFI), titled, ‘PFI story an epitome of self-radicalization’, Mr M. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, general secretary, PFI, in a rejoinder, in which without factual refutation but repetitive rhetorical refutations, claims instead that “the author makes very serious accusation in a casual manner without bothering to substantiate the same”.
The rejoinder further claims, “for instance, when the author accuses that PFI members ‘indulge in a series of heinous offences ranging from political murders, hate campaigns, alleged forced conversions, and possession of arms to murderous attacks, among others’, the report doesn’t cite a single example”.
“We challenge (you) to come up with a single instance of Popular Front members indulging in hate campaign or forced conversion. Not a single leader speaking on behalf of PFI has ever made a single derogatory statement against other religions communities. Hate speech and provocations have never been a style of the organisation,” the press release said.
“The National Investigation Agency, the top anti-terror investigation agency in the country after yearlong investigation of 89 cases of mixed marriages in Kerala, could not come up with a single case of love Jihad or forced conversation. The agency finally submitted its report to the Supreme Court, denying the existence of love jihad,” the release argues.
“The article has no basis in truth. Pointing to some local incidents of political clashes and the NIA rejected ‘love jihad theory’, the report quotes anonymous PFI watchers to claim that ‘most of its members are self-radicalised’ and this is the sole reason why one finds them fearlessly indulging in a series of serious offences over the last many years. Each and every activity of PFI is in accordance with the Constitution of India. Issues and problems taken up by the organisation are in the interest of empowering democracy and ensuring inclusiveness. It works for an India of equal rights for all,” the PFI statement claimed.
The use of abstract and highly subjective allegations such as “self –radicalisation”, which the author himself doesn’t bother to explain, only demonises and tarnishes the exercise of the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution for association and for democratic activism. To accuse the members of an organisation with tens of thousands of members and millions of supporters across the country of being ‘self radicalised’ without any basis is not an honest way of doing journalism, it claimed
The PFI rejected all such allegations made against the organisation and requested Deccan Chronicle to publish the full text of the rejoinder.