India

A ban on PFI: Congress expresses opposition to all communalism; some leaders want to ban RSS as well

As a response to the ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates on Wednesday, the Congress – without mentioning the outfit or the ban – officially said that it has long been opposed to communalism, regardless of whether it affects the majority community or the minorities.

Jairam Ramesh, AICC general secretary in charge of communication, stated the party’s official position even as some party leaders are publicly demanding a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and action against affiliated organizations.

Ramesh avoided mentioning the PFI and RSS but said, “The Congress Party has always been against communalism in any form and form–majority or minority does not matter.” He said, “Congress’s policy has always been to fight uncompromisingly all ideologies and institutions that misuse religion for polarizing society, that misuse religion to spread prejudice, hate, bigotry and violence.”

In his words, “preserving, protecting, and celebrating the secular and composite construction of our society and nationhood is of utmost importance.” According to Randeep Surjewala, in a Twitter post, the PFI ban is a step in the right direction after prolonged hesitation. What action will the BJP Government take against BJP-RSS allied organizations? “Communalism and hate must be curbed in all its forms.”

As chief whip in the Kerala House, Lok Sabha MP Kodikunnil Suresh demanded a similar ban on the RSS. According to A K Antony, the issue cannot be resolved by banning the organization.

V D Satheesan, leader of the Congress party in Kerala, welcomed the ban. Both minority and majority fundamentalism are opposed by Congress. Organisations that spread hatred are not welcome in our organization. Nevertheless, a mere ban is not enough to restrain organizations like PFI.

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