Members and supporters of Popular Front of India across the country celebrated February 17 as Popular Front Day. The day marks the 12th anniversary of the formation of the movement. The celebrations started early morning at unit level, with the unit members hoisting the tri-colour flag of the organization and distributing sweets. Wide varieties of programmes followed with the slogan “Defeat the politics of hate”, including volunteer parades, people’s marches, public meetings, seminars and blood donation camps. Several grand mass gatherings were held at different parts of the country, which were attended by tens of thousands of people including women and children.
Chairman E. Abubacker received salute of the volunteer parade held as part of the Unity March at Nadapuram in Kozhikode district and inaugurated the subsequent public meeting. He asked Government of India not to misuse the ghastly attack against the army in Pulwama for cheap political gains. He said that Popular Front, after 30-year-long journey through the length and breadth of the country, has finally come back to visit its place of origin Nadapuram. It is this soil that gave birth to NDF, the predecessor of Popular Front. We believe we have never allowed this candle flame to dim by any storm that came its way in the last 30 years and have made it into a full glowing sun. On this occasion I remember the sacrifices of our brothers and sisters, especially the martyrs who laid their lives in this path. When Sangh Parivar let loose their criminal gangs on innocent people, this organization was there in defence of the people against the criminals. But it is not Sangh Parivar alone that is cause of the suffering of Muslims, Dalits and marginalized. Poverty, morbidity and illiteracy are also threatening their lives. There too this organization has made its presence felt. We took over poverty stricken villages and took them to the path of empowerment.
State General Secretary C P Muhammed Basheer, Adv. Rafeek Kuttikkattor etc. addressed the meeting. The Unity Marches and public meetings were held at three other centres in Kerala, at Edakkara in Malappuram district, at Erattupetta in Kottayam district and at Pathanapuram in Kollam district. The programme at Edakkara was inaugurated by Popular Front National Executive Council member E M Abdul Rahiman. At Erattupetta State President Nasarudheen Elamaram and at Pathanapuram Vice Chairman OMA Salam inaugurated the programmes.
Unity March was held at two centres in Karnataka state. National Executive Council member KM Shareef inaugurated the programme at Hoskote in Bangalore. National Secretary Anis Ahmed and State President Mohammad Shakif also addressed the programme. At Shahpur, Karnataka State General Secretary of Popular Front Yasir Hassan inaugurated the march and the public meeting.
In Bihar, Public programmes were held at two places, Bihar Shareef and Purnia. Public meetings and flag hoisting were held at dozens of places in Andra Pradesh. At Nandyal Social Democratic Party of India National Secretary Mehboob Awad Shareef inaugurated the programme, which was also addressed by Afsar Pasha, Popular Front Zonal President, Sridhar Reddy, TDP State Secretary, NK Jayanna, General Secretary, Samachara Hakkula Parirakshana Samithi AP and Abdul Latheef , State General Secretary of Popular Front. At Yammignur, SDPI State President Abdul Waris inaugurated the programme.
The rally and public meeting held in Tonk district of Rajasthan was inaugurated by Jamiyat Ulema e Hind leader Mufti Adil Amir, Social activist Javed Boxer, Indian National Congress state leader Mohsin Sheik etc. addressed the gathering. Flag hoisting and public programme was held at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi.
Popular Front National Secretary Abdul Wahid Sait, SDPI National Secretary Dr. Tasleem Ahmed Rahmani, Popular Front Maharashtra State President Yusuf Sadth etc. addressed the seminar held at Mumbai as part of Popular Front Day. Public programmes were also held in states such as Manipur, West Bengal, Assam and Goa.
Despite the repressive moves from governments and vicious vilification campaign carried by a section of media against Popular Front, there was a huge popular participation in the programmes. The spirit and enthusiasm of the people is proof that they have endorsed the message of empowerment and fight against fascism being conveyed by the organization. The programmes also became a warning that any attempt from any quarter to stifle the advance of the organization is not going to bear fruit any soon