Dalit-Muslim unity is my aim: Maudhany


Thiruvananthapuram: The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Abdul Nasser Maudhany, on Thursday said he was seriously thinking of working with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for the nationwide political unity of Muslims and Dalits.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Maudhany said the PDP would not be part of any political front till it matures. Its aim is not to counterbalance the Indian Union Muslim League or become its rebel outfit in Kerala politics. For the PDP, electoral politics would be secondary. Its primary focus would be on social work, human rights and emancipation of the oppressed.

Mr. Maudhany said he harboured no anger or ill-will against those who unjustly imprisoned him. He would not press defamation charges against the Tamil Nadu police or claim damages from officials of the Special Investigation Team, which investigated the 1998 Coimbatore serial blasts case. “For me, that chapter is over,” he said.

Mr. Maudhany said he was the product of certain circumstances. He publicly spoke for the oppressed classes and his speeches gave rise to a mass movement. He became the leader of the movement at the age of 25, lost his right leg in an assassination attempt at 27 and was jailed when he was 33. Mr. Maudhany said he did not wish to see his assailants punished. He would not give evidence against them in court. “I have erased that episode from my mind,” he said.

Mr. Maudhany said he will seek out and compensate citizens who have suffered loss in PDP protests.

He apologised to members of the forward community for some of his past speeches, which he said had been hurtful to them.

He said in the past he had often been vitriolic while criticising some people and lavish while praising others.

He said he had never denigrated the Hindu religion, but had often questioned the political position of leaders such as Uma Bharti and L.K. Advani. In his initial days in custody, Mr. Maudhany said, he was treated worse than forest brigand Veerappan.

The police had even bribed suspects to depose against him. He learned valuable lessons in prison, which no university could impart. He could objectively evaluate himself and recognise his weaknesses and faults. Mr. Maudhany said he read a lot and was touched by the lives of fellow prisoners. He said the National Development Front had “strengthened” during his time in jail. “I will oppose any action that will make Kerala society restive,” he said.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has taken a strong stance on issues concerning Dalits and minorities, including job reservation for such communities in the private sector. Ordinary Muslims have not turned against the Left Democratic Front.

Mr. Maudhany said that strong interventions by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran, Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy and Union Minister Vayalar Ravi helped him get humane treatment in jail.



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