By TwoCircles.net news desk,
The Popular Front of India joined the Independence Day celebrations on August 15, 2008 by displaying unflinching commitment of thousands of youth in uniforms through Freedom Parade in four South India cities – Mangalore in Karnataka, Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Kochi and Mananthvady in Kerala.
The cadets marched on the streets and grounds as troops of 33 persons in three rows headed by a troop commander. India’s national flag was carried in front of the parade.
The parade was followed by public meeting in all places. Orchestra bands that echoed patriotic songs were an added attraction to the parade. Huge crowds of people including ladies followed the parade from beginning to the end and took the Independence Day pledge along with the cadets.
Popular Front of India chairman E. Abubakker inspected the parade and received salute from the cadets as 20 troops consisting 800 cadets marched in the ground. The public meeting started with Unity Song “ Sare Jahan Se Acha”.
Inaugurating the public meeting at Madurai E. Abubakkar said an independent agency, comprising judges and media persons, should probe all bomb blasts in the country since 1993. He stated that Popular Front was not against Hindus or other communities but was only opposed to Hindutva, which threatened unity of the nation. The organization would positively intervene in politics putting an end to the conventional negative politics practiced by Muslims in India, he said.
The Assam United Democratic Front working president Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury hailed the contribution of Muslims to Indian independence struggle and reminded the youth of their responsibility in protecting the country. Four freedom fighters were honoured on the occasion.
Advocate Bhavani P. Mohan, Madurai Muslim United Jama’th Treasurer Nishtar Ahmed, National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) Tamilnadu Chapter Treasurer Advocate S.M.A. Jinnah were the guests. Advocate Bhavani P Mohan stated that the fascists are the real terrorists. Our independence was achieved jointly by the Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs altogether, but the fascists are trying to claim the credit.
MNP state President M Mohamed Ali Jinnah read out the following Independence Day Pledge which the cadets and the public repeated placing their right palm on the left side of the chest.
“In the name of the Lord, the Most High.
We hereby take this pledge carrying the fire of struggle lit by the freedom fighters who has given up their life and limbs.
We will defend the freedom of this country at any cost.
We love all Indians as we love India.
No colour, race or language will keep us apart.
No one is superior or inferior by birth.
We will protect the political principles of liberty, security and justice.
Freedom is our birth right.
We will not allow our country to be subjugated before
the imperialist powers.
We will defeat the fascists who make people fight against
We will hold fast to the national concepts of unity in diversity.
Let God be witness.”
"This parade will bring optimism for all those who are disappointed with the current situation in India. The truth and adventure go together with them,” said well known columnist and human rights activist from Bangalore Shivsunder, in his speech in the public meeting after the Freedom Parade here.
The Freedom Parade was earlier inaugurated by Vice Chairman of Popular Front, K. M. Shareef. In his address he said, “The Muslim community in India even today are living under the same conditions that prevailed during the pre-independence era. An equal right for all citizens still remains a distant dream. He said that Popular Front would continue its struggles for ensuring the fruits of Independence for every citizen.
Karnataka Front for Dignity (KFD) state president Dr. Mahaboob Shareef presided over the event and read out the independcence day pledge to the cadets and the public. Syed Ibrahim Alhadi Tangal, Mangalore University' lecturer Pattabhirama Somayaji, PUCL state Vice President Suresh Nath Bakrabailu were among the distinguished guests who attended the function. KFD State secretary K Abdul Latif welcomed the gathering and KFD vice president Ilyas Mohd proposed the vote of thanks.
One thousand cadets in uniform took part in the parade. K. M. Shareef received salute from the cadets. Thousands of people assembled in the stadium to witness the event unprecedented the state.
Kochi and Mananthavady
The coastal city of Kochi, known as the queen of the Arabian Sea, and the hilltop town of Mananthwady in Wynad district in Kerala hosted the Freedom Parade under the banner of Popular Front of India. National Development Front (NDF), which is the state affiliate of Popular Front, has been organizing Freedom Parade in different towns in the state every year on the Independence Day since the year 2004.
The General Secretary of Popular Front E. M. Abdul Rahiman received the guard of honour from the cadets at the starting point of the parade near Gosree Bridge. The Cadets marched three kilometers on the streets in 45 troops consisting 33 persons in each troop along with orchestra bands.
The public meeting that concluded the parade was addressed by Popular Front General Secretary E. M. Abdul Rahiman, National Executive Council member Moideenkutty Faizy and NDF General Secretary P. Abdul Majeed Faizy.
E. M. Abdul Rahiman stated that to deny the freedom of association and right to protest is against democratic norms. It is shameful that the Muslims had to put much pressure on the government and police authorities to get permission for celebrating the Independence Day. He complained that a section of administration, police and media are acting as tools in the hands of fascist forces. NDF Vice President Adv. K. P. Mohammed Shareef read out the pledge which was repeated by the audience. The leaders of Kerala Women’s Front along with its hundreds of members greeted the cadets.
Attempts to foil Freedom Parade foiled
Some sections in the concerned state governments and police departments tried to play politics with the Freedom Parade by repeated attempts to create obstacles. NDF had organized Freedom Parade on all Independence Days since 2004 in different towns. Nowhere had it created any law and order problem throughout these years. But this year, the state police was raising objections presumably due the hard positions taken by certain officers owing allegiance to Sangh Parivar, says a report on the freedom parade by Popular Front. The city police, a week before the parade, cancelled the already given permission. The police had put demands without any precedence such as advance submission of details of cadets including photographs. NDF leaders announced it as a discrimination against Muslims and ultimately the State Home Minister intervened with a statement that the government had no plan to stop the Freedom Parade organized by Popular Front.
In Mangalore, the police under the control of the BJP government was reluctant to give permission till the last moment. Giving support to the bold stand taken by the KFD leaders that they will not withdraw from celebrating the Independence Day, many local organizations and leaders also put pressure on the authorities. A section of the media also tried to keep away the public from the function by spreading false news and stories such as it is cancelled and there would be communal flare up.
The attitude of the supposedly secular government under DMK im Tamilnadu towards the freedom parade by a religious minority organization was worse. The Hindutva outfits demanded a ban and afterwards they also announced a parallel programme on the same day. Taking the situation as an easy cover and leveling some baseless allegations, the City Police Commissioner rejected permission to hold the parade. Then the organizers moved to High Court and on August 13 its Madurai bench issued a historic order asking the police not to prevent the Freedom Parade which is a patriotic programme and a right of every citizens and groups. These days also witness the unique solidarity of various Muslim organizations in Tamilnadu with noble cause upheld by MNP and Popular Front. Various organizations such as TMMK, INL and Milli Council and hundreds of Muslim Mohalla jamaats and Masjid committees issued public statements and sent letters to the government demanding to grant permission to the function. And ultimately the public gathering which witnessed the Freedom Parade in Madurai was so huge beyond all calculations. This right to celebrate the Independence Day of the nation, which was won after much struggle, has tremendously increased the morale of the cadres and confidence of the Muslim society.