They are here for a long time: RSS feels the need to counter the influence of PFIs


The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is working on plans to counter the growing influence of the Indian Popular Front (PFI) on university campuses in the south and elsewhere, we learned.

These plans include expanding the base of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in southern India and reaching out to sections within the Muslim community not aligned with the PFI.

The Sangh believes that the student wing of the PFI, the Campus Front of India (CFI), has helped galvanize minority students over the hijab controversy in Karnataka and succeeded in making it a national issue.

Karnataka HC recently ruled that hijab is not an essential practice in Islam and therefore if a school does not allow it, students cannot insist on wearing hijab. The students have challenged the order in the Supreme Court now.

“The PFI, which was once restricted to Kerala, is rapidly spreading its wings. It is present on all campuses in the South and has begun to make inroads in the North as well. During the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in UP, they played an important role. There is a need to counter their growing influence,” a senior RSS official told The Indian Express.

What shocked the Sangh the most was that the organizational structure and functioning of the PFI is quite similar to that of the RSS. “They have a socio-cultural reach, they are on campuses and even have a wing that organizes parades and marches like the Sangh does. They have shown that they are here for a long time,” said another leader.

According to sources, the Sangh plans to embark on a public outreach program across the country to expose PFI and tell the truth about the “disinformation spread by the outfit”. This would be coupled with outreach to chapters within the minority community.

“Not all Muslims are aligned with the PFI ideology. Many of them do not like his militant activism. We need to contact them,” an RSS official said.

Apart from this, the Sangh is planning to further expand in campuses in South India. “We already have a very good network in Karnataka. Even in Telangana, we are doing very well. In Kerala, we are fighting but the left continues to dominate the campuses. In Andhra, we have work to do in the coastal areas. In Tamil Nadu too, we need to increase our influence,” said one leader.

The ABVP currently has 33,44,917 members.

Many RSS members believe the government should ban the PFI, given the many agency reports against the outfit. “We are not the government, which may have its own legal and procedural constraints. But working with society is our domain,” another official said.

In its annual report tabled at the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha baithak in Gujarat recently, the RSS said there was “increasing religious fanaticism” in the country under the guise of “Constitution and religious freedom” and “plans developed by a particular community to enter the machinery of government”.

He also called for “every effort with an organized force” to “defeat this threat”.

Suggesting that it is a conspiracy with long-term goals, the report states: “There appear to be plans made by a particular community to enter the machinery of government. Behind it all, it seems like a deep conspiracy with a long-term goal is working. Strong in numbers, preparations are underway to take any route to have their demands accepted.


About Author

Comments are closed.