Political Rally by Islamist Outfit Showing Hindu Nationalist RSS Members in Chains Triggers Outrage

India

Members of the Popular Front of India (PFI), the organisation behind the controversial march, have in the past been accused of being involved in terrorist activities in India, a charge contested by the outfit. There have also been calls to ban the PFI by several Indian state governments.

A political rally by the Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) in the southern state of Kerala, in which men depicted as volunteers from the Hindu nationalist outfit Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) were paraded in chains on the street, has triggered a major political controversy in India, with many on social media questioning the state authorities for allowing such an provocative event.

​Videos purportedly depicting Friday’s march in the Malappuram district and shared on social media show participants chanting Islamist slogans while they parade chained men meant to be members of the RSS, an organigation that is considered the ideological parent of the federally-governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Kerala is among a handful of Indian states governed by a non-BJP government, with a leftist coalition of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) commanding a majority in the state legislature. The protest march comes as the BJP is trying to make political inroads in the non-Hindi speaking state.

The symbolic march by the PFI commemorated the centennial of the Malabar Uprising, an insurrection by local Muslim farmers against their Hindu landlords as well as the…

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