Arundhati Roy is a glorious figure for the Indian Left due to her malicious attitude towards Mahatma Gandhi and her anti-national stand on various issues. Roy’s controversial book ‘Come September’ has been recommended by Calicut University as text for its third semester BA English syllabus. Roy delivered the lecture ‘Come September’ on September 18, 2002, at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe, USA, which dealt with the United States war on terrorism, misuses of nationalism and such issues. Roy claims that the Indian state has unleashed terror on the non-violent struggle for Kashmir’s independence.
Marxist historian late Prof Amalendu De, wrote an insightful monograph Prasanga Anuprabesh (Essays on Infiltration) on the issue of infiltration in West Bengal and northeast India from Bangladesh. Amalendu De cautioned against allowing infiltration and warned that if it remained unchecked, it would only allow the growth of rabid Islamic fundamentalism in West Bengal and would pose a serious threat to our national security.
Earlier in 2010, speaking at a seminar on the theme Wither Kashmir: Freedom or Enslavement, organized by Coalition of Civil Societies (CCS) Roy said, “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian Government has accepted this.” In June 2010, Roy said she backs Maoist insurgency and she will continue to back the Maoists armed struggle even if she is put behind bars. This has much relevance when the recent UN report identifies functioning of IS in Kerala and linked to Karnataka. Indian intelligence agencies have confirmed in March 2020 that the terrorist killed in the Kabul Gurudwara attack, was identified by the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) as Indian national Abu Khalid Al Hindi, from Kerala.
Arundhati Roy has been in the good books of the Indian Left. In July 2014, Arundhati Roy, who frequently criticized Mahatma Gandhi for his “casteist tendencies” in the past, demanded that it was time institutions named after the Father of the Nation were renamed. Roy said the process could begin with renaming universities, a reference perhaps to Mahatma Gandhi University, one of Kerala’s leading institutions. In March 2015, Roy called Mahatma Gandhi a ‘corporate agent’. “Mahatma Gandhi was the first corporate-sponsored NGO of this country,” she was quoted as saying in a Hindustan Times report dated March 22, 2015. She also criticized Gandhi for his ‘casteist tendencies’ saying, “It was one of the greatest falsehoods in this country to worship him (Gandhiji) who wrote horrible things about Dalit, women and poor.”
The association of Left-dominated universities in Kerala with radical Islamic icons and groups is not new. In 2010, under left government, an International Seminar on Languages organised by the University of Kerala turned into a controversy over the list of invitees. The invitees included Yusuf Al-Quradawi, a Qatar-based Islamic scholar, who was to share dais with the CPM Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. The Times of India reported on April 29, 2010 that , a row erupted on Al-Quradawi who studied under Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, who also allegedly served as the intellectual basis for the al-Qaida. Al-Quradawi had also been vehemently criticized for his public support for suicide bombings in Israel and has been banned entry to US and UK. With the past of Al Quradawi coming into lime light, his arrival to CPM-ruled Kerala was cancelled.
Some of al-Quradawi’s views have been controversial in the West. Hence he was denied entry visa to the United Kingdom in 2008, and France in 2012. Al-Quradawi has been a principal shareholder and former Sharia adviser to Bank Al-Taqwa, a member bank of the Lugano-Switzerland Al-Taqwa group,. This bank has been charged by USA for financing terrorism and the UN Security Council had charted with Al Qaeda links . In 2004, 2500 Muslim academics from 23 countries condemned Quradawi, and accused him of giving ‘Islam a black reputation’ by providing a religious cover for terrorism. In July 2003, al- aradawi’ visited Stockholm, Sweden, for a conference at the Stockholm Mosque arranged by the Muslim Association of Sweden. During the conference al-Quradawi expressed his support for suicide attacks against Israeli civilians, terming the encounter against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories a necessary Jihad.
The network of Urban Naxals in Indian campuses funded by China is not a new development. Maharashtra’s Anti Naxal Operations (ANO) officials are looking at the activities of students at St Xavier’s College and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai and Fergusson College, Pune, for possible links to Maoists Security expert RSN Singh says there are attempts to create many such pro-China leftists and ultra-Leftists in Delhi, Kurukshetra and Dehradun universities.
Citing China’s support for Kashmir militants and Maoists, the University Grants Commission stated in October 2019 that Indian colleges and universities will not be able to collaborate with Chinese institutions without prior approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs. This decision followed the Centre’s multi-disciplinary groups set up to help NIA choke finances of Left-wing extremism, in 2018.
Gulf funding to Indian universities and Islamic research centres increased in the last decade. Between 2011 and 2013, according to an Intelligence Bureau report, 25,000 Wahhabis visited India for missionary work and brought $250 million to propagate Wahhabism. Another key project is setting up four universities, at a cost of $1.2 billion. The radical Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, which first set up base in Kashmir, is spearheading Wahhabi operations across India. A recent India Today investigation found several madrasas in Malappuram and northern Kerala teaching Wahhabism. The investigation found that such madrasas were mostly funded by unknown donors in Gulf states, through underground channels (Exposed: Kerala madrasas teaching Wahhabism, Saudi-sponsored creed linked to terror, India Today, Jan 10, 2018). There are constant reports that foreign funds are pumped into Indian states, especially left dominated Kerala, to promote Wahhabism.
Early in 1994, the Marxist historian, late Professor Amalendu De, wrote an insightful monograph Prasanga Anuprabesh (Essays on Infiltration) on the issue of infiltration in West Bengal and northeast India from Bangladesh. Amalendu De cautioned against allowing infiltration and warned that if it remained unchecked, it would only allow the growth of rabid Islamic fundamentalism in West Bengal and would pose a serious threat to our national security. He exposed the Islamic–Communist axis. His book was suppressed and discussions were discouraged by Marxists in Bengal.
The move by Calicut University to indoctrinate students using Arundhati Roy aims to inflame anti-national sentiments and aggressively propagate them in Malabar which is currently a hotbed of IS and also radical Islamic groups such as PFI and SDPI.
(The writer is State Vice-President, Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram, Kerala)