Home Indian Muslim For Kerala politicians, Abdul Nasar Madani is now a victim who has...

For Kerala politicians, Abdul Nasar Madani is now a victim who has been denied justice, not a firebrand leader to avoid

By Shafeeq Hudawi, TwoCircles.net

In the last 17 years, Abdul Nasar Madani, the founder-leader of People’s Democratic Party, has spent less than three years outside the jail on terrorism charges. When he was acquitted in 2007 of all charges related to the 1998 Coimbatore blasts, many people thought he would be able to make a comeback in Kerala Politics. However, in 2010 he was arrested again in connection with 2008 Bangalore blasts and has since spent almost all his time in jail. As a political entity, it would be fair to say that PDP does not have a lot of support, and certainly not enough to win them seats in Kerala Assembly. In terms of political careers, such a scenario would result in the death of political ambitions for most; but if the recent show of support for Madani is anything to go by, his political career and ambition is far from over. And the occasion for the show of support was his son’s marriage.

In July, Madani was granted interim bail to attend his son’s wedding, although this was also a result of some arm twisting on the part of the Karnataka government. Initially, the Karnataka government slapped a fee of Rs 15 lakh for the security arrangements, only for the Kerala government to step in and take the matter in their hands. If the wedding function, held at Thalassery in Kannur district last week, is any indication, the leader is gaining support from the prominent parties in Kerala.

The wedding was attended by prominent CPI-M leader P Jayarajan, former Congress Lok Sabha MP from Kannur K Sudhakaran, party leader Satheesan Pacheni, CPI-M backed independent MLA PTA Raheem and former minister Neelalohithadasan Nadar. Besides, the wedding was also attended by members of various Muslim organisations n the function. Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama president Syed Jifri Muthukkoya Thangal led the Nikah, while Kerala State Haj Committee chairman Thodiyur Muhammed Kunji Moulavi, Thwaqa Ahmed Musliyar, Popular Front of India (PFI) leader Nasirudheen Elamaram and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Kerala Assistant Ameer Sheikh Mohammed Karakunnu were also present. And this is not the result of overnight changes in political stance. When Madani launched the PDP in 1992 to bring Dalits and Muslims together, he was perceived as a firebrand speaker with extremist political and communal stand. A quarter of a century and nearly 15 years in jail later, Madani is seen as a victim who has been denied justice.

While it comes to political parties, CPI-M, which owns a track record of joining hands with PDP in various elections, has taken its political stance in favour of Madani and his party. In 2008, the party had accorded a grant reception for Madani in Thiruvananthapuram when he was released from jail in Coimbatore blast case. To add to this, in July this year Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stepped to facilitate Madani’s Kerala when Bengaluru police slapped a bill of Rs. 14.79 lakh on Madani after Supreme Court allowed him to go home. Congress, which earlier launched several verbal attacks from Madani during his good old days in Kerala politics, also joined the government saying the party was all set to lend any possible support. Congress leader and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala spoke to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah seeking steps to reduce the huge amount that Karnataka Police demanded arranging security to Madani during his Kerala travel.

Even the Indian Union Muslim League leaders were present in the function. Like Congress, Madani’s alliance to CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) had drawn the ire of IUML and this had led to a heated exchange of words between the leaderships of two parties. In 2009, Madani was considered to candidature by LDF leadership in Ponnani Lok Sabha constituency against IUML’s present national general secretary E T Mohammed Basheer. But, according to party leader P A Rasheed, IUML has gone back from its earlier stand.

“We may oppose his political stand. But, he deserves support as he is denied the justice. Our leaders including E T Mohammed Basheer are active in campaigns seeking justice for Madani,” he told TwoCircles.net.

To add to this, Youth League national president Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal visited Madani at his residence at Anvarssery in Kollam district on August 14. Munavvar Ali said he got an invitation for the wedding, but failed to attend as he was busy in attending the commemoration of his father and former IUML state president late Panakkad Sayyid Mohammed Ali Shihab Thangal.

Nasar Faizy Koodthai, who attended the Nikah ceremony representing Sunni Yuvajana Sangham, the youth outfit of Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, shared the same view. Samastha, which supports the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), was not in favour of Madani and his party PDP.

“The years-long trial has prompted the Muslim organisations to take a different stand. Madani has changed his political views. Besides, how can we leave a person languishing in jail for years? If he has committed any crime, the judiciary should give him punishment,” Faizy said.

Meanwhile, PDP leadership termed the change in reaction to Madani as a testimony to the current political developments across the country. “Political parties in Kerala are ready to join their hands against their common enemy. They are aware of the fact that Madani is the victim of political fascism, which is gaining strong ground across the country. We thought Kerala’s soil was not in favour of Sangh Parivar. But, things are changing. This comprehension has tempted them to join hands together,” said PDP working chairman Poonthura Siraj.

He said that the political rivalry between IUML and PDP was a thing of the past. “The current political scenario wants unity of all parties, which believe in secular credentials of the country. Both IUML’s and PDP’s political stands have changed. And IUML leaders E T Mohammed Basheer and Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal have visited Madani expressing their solidarity,” he said.