Noted Malayalam film-maker Ali Akbar (in pic) is a target of Islamists and pseudo-secular politicians. He is a staunch critic of Wahabism and Muslim orthodoxy in the state. Excerpts from an exclusive interview to Indus Scrolls:
The threat of ISIS is looming over India. People suspect that IS and Popular Front of India and its political wing SDPI are ideologically linked. What do you think?
You are right. I remember an incident of 2004. It was immediately after the Tsunami of December 2004. I was coming out from a mosque in Kuwait after attending the ‘juma prayer’. Most of the believers were Keralites. And, they were collecting funds for the Tsunami relief activities. But, I was amazed, the funds were meant for the victims of Indonesia, not for Indians. I asked them why it is Indonesia. Answer was simple: Indonesia is an Islamic state!
Then I could gather that every week they collected money for Islamic causes. The monies were sent home through hawala manned by Kerala businessmen. Crores of rupees are sent like this. Some jewellery shops in Kozhikode are the collection centres of these monies. This money is spent for conversion and for the extremist activities. I managed to find out the route of these operations through some friends. But, my friends in Kerala did not believe what I said. They did not even believe about ‘Love Jihad’ spreading in the campus.
A lot of people approach me quite often with complaints about their children, both boys and girls, kept as captives in connection with Love Jihad; they undergo severe mental torture. Entry to the wonderland of filmdom is one of the temptations they extend for conversion. They cite the example of AR Rahman. Rahman was a Hindu by name Dileep; he did not become famous those days. But, after conversion, Rahman became a sensation. Another name they highlight is Malayalam matinee idol Mammootty, a Muslim.
Are there many conversion centres in Kerala?
Yes, there are. A majority of them are based at Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.
How do they operate?
First steps are selection and recruitment. Then comes infliction of addiction. Teaching of Quran is the next step. The Prophet’s wars are most important topics. Hard methods of psychological treatment are applied. The methods are exactly similar to the IS methods. Fear of hell and temptation of heaven are induced into the minds of the subjects. The tempting paradise after the death is a sweet and enviable attraction. They are trained to hate. They fall easy preys to psychological serfdom.
Once they are pushed to this condition, they cannot return to their family. Akhila-Hadiya is a typical case for this treatment.
Afterwards they are also trained to kill. Cats and dogs are the victims of their training. There are stories of cats and dogs without eyes, ears and legs near their training centres. They are used for sharp stabs, hacks and cuts hence losing the eyes. Abhimanyu (SFI leader) was killed in a single stab.
Why are these extremists beyond the reach of law?
Police do not enter the Islamic centres. They cannot go there as they do in the case of Ashrams. Organised Muslim vote-bank makes a lot of difference in determining the fortunes of Kerala politicians and their parties.
Which category of Hindu youths do extremists target for conversion?
Most of them are either from CPI(M) and atheist families. Akhila is a typical example. Her father Asokan was an ardent communist and atheist.
How do the Islamic forces use Kerala’s campuses?
Handsome, well-dressed Muslim boys befriend others in the campus. They even pay their college fees if they are hard pressed. This sort of relation lead to religious talks and ultimately it leads to conversion. Sales people employed by Muslim businessmen invite the Hindu youths to their homes for dinner, etc. This sort of rapport leads to conversion ultimately.
Can the Centre not do something in this matter?
The Centre knows it. They convey it to the state. But, the state government does not take any action.
Who funds this conversion mafia?
Islam is a religion of businessmen. Big business establishments are controlled by them. Who are the prominent non-resident Kerala businessmen? See, 99% of the shops in Kozhikode remain closed on Fridays. While Hindus and Christians opt for education, most of the Muslim youths opt for jobs. It is a Samoothiri legacy. Samoothiri kings encouraged Muslim boys to go into business with an aim of improvement of his kingdom’s relation with the Arabs who frequented Malabar for business. Still we come across several multi-crore NRK business establishments in Gulf countries. They give financial help for conversion. The community leaders believe that “Allah’s kingdom will come”. About 90 per cent of the Muslims believe so.
Do you know anything about an ultra-Islamist group called ‘Green Light’ in the Kerala Police?
‘Green Light’ exists not only in police but also in media. The society should be careful; it is a lethal formation. If its influence increases, the police force will find it difficult to do what it is expected to do. The same is the case with the media. Beef is not an issue at all now. But they continue to keep it alive. They see to it that no discussion takes place on the controversial poem “pardah”. “Christhuvinte aaraam thivumurivu”, the drama the Church opposed tooth and nail and was banned. But, when it is about Hindus, no one is there to support. The whole Kerala media is biased, they all are pro-Islamic. Their aim is to demolish the Hindu values. They are afraid of them. Now, a bill is in the process to control the social media. They aim at “majority Hindu fascism”. When the sanyasin’s penis was cut, CM Pinarayi Vijayan laughed like anything before the TV cameras. Recent “Confession-related rapes” issue went viral when social media took it up. So the mainstream media could not ignore it. Now, social media is capable of controlling the mainstream media hence the bill to control it.
How do minority forces tarnish the BJP’s image?
They adopt several methods. On the eve of the Chengannur by-election, a booklet was circulated among the voters alleging that BJP men had demolished churches since they came to power in 2014. They keep on propagating against piercing the children with needle in Attukal temple. Now, they have launched attack on the temples. The controversy regarding the novel “Meesha” carried by Mathrubhumi weekly is to be viewed from this perspective.
Do you think the political parties are also responsible for growth of Islamism in the state?
The Left Democratic Front and CPI(M) help Islamic extremists the most. Kerala is the last bastion of CPI(M). They have to maintain it at any cost. Islamic forces are the best bet for them. Abhimanyu murder should be viewed against this backdrop. BJP candidate K. Surendran lost the assembly elections of 2016 from Manjeswaram constituency, thanks to the unholy nexus between UDF and LDF. LDF rules Vembayam panchayat with the support of SDPI.
What about the amassment of arms by Islamists?
In some places, mosques are turned into arms depots. Thousands of acres are purchased for setting up facilities for arms training. We should not forget that Kerala has got a history of riots. The Khilafat movement of 1921 is an example. Later on it was projected as a freedom struggle. Mathrubhumi daily had to bear the brunt of 1921. But, the same Mathrubhumi portrays it as a freedom struggle. One of the impacts of this sort of distortion is the recent WhatsApp Hartal. Malappuam has turned into a ‘Mini Pakistan’. Restaurants remain closed there during Ramadan. Malappuram and Kasaragode are powerful centres of Islamic forces. If an organized movement comes back, people are afraid, there will be a repetition of 1921. Hindus there do live a fearful life. Muslims in CPI(M) are in a comfortable position. The Centre can’t intervene.
Is the situation in Kerala really that bad?
Yes. The situation in Kerala is more dangerous than Kashmir. The extremists are fearless and not worried about anything. I am in BJP since the last three-four years. I want the BJP to look at this issue with an open mind.
Are formation, existence and operations of SDPI and PFI justified in India?
Not at all.
We hear a lot about Keralites fleeing the country to join IS?
These people get help at Kannur airport. The story of Green Light is relevant in this context. The CPI(M) is all happy to give patronage to the extremists. Therefore, I will not be surprised if Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leaves Congress-led UDF and joins CPM-led LDF.
How do they manage to get along so well with people and politicians?
Several methods are deployed. A majority of internet cafés and mobile phone shops are run by Muslims. Pain and Palliative Care unit sector is dominated by Jamat-e-Islami and Mujahids. There were reports of conversion of Hindu doctors in Kozhikode Medical College. Lakhs of rupees were collected for this. Several key positions in the police force are held by Muslim officers.
How do extremists get into policy-making bodies of educational institutions?
Islamists have penetrated into educational bodies. For example, faculty members in the National Institute of Design planned an anti-national film show there. They claimed the Ramayan was authored by Mughals. The same way they influence the professionals in drama schools and arts colleges. Left ‘intellectuals’ are purchasable.
SDPI cadres have infiltrated into mainstream parties.
No doubt. Reason is simple: Vote-bank politics.
What do you have to say about the threat they pose against the four pillars of democracy? Islamists took out a massive protest march against judges of the Kerala High Court when the judgment did not come as the way they wanted in the Akhila/Hadiya case.
They don’t believe in democracy. Both LDF and UDF refuse to take action against Islamists.
Former Vice-President of India Dr Hamid Ansari participated in a PFI programme in Kozhikode last year.
It is nothing but unfair. His participation gave them legitimacy. A man of such a background should not have done it.