Students’ Islamic Movement of India

Surely, one would have heard of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) several times in the past few months. This is mostly because of the group’s anti-national activities and its involvement in the recent terror strikes across the country. SIMI was founded on April 25, 1977, as a radical student outfit at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Uttar Pradesh. The main objective of it had been to revive Islam in India and transform the entire country into an Islamic state. SIMI’s founding president, Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi is currently a professor of journalism and public relations at the Univeristy of Western Illinois. Javed Anand, a secular icon says, “True to its ideological mooring, in the 80s, SIMI produced eye-catching stickers proclaiming secularism, no; democracy, no; nationalism, no; polytheism, no; only Islam.”

SIMI’s involvement has been cited in Ghatkopar (2002) Ville Parle and Mulund (2003) in Mumbai; at Ayodhya and Varanasi (2005) in UP and in Delhi (2005); the Mumbai train and Malegaon blasts (2006) – to mention a few and now, recently, in Ahmedabad.

Earlier this month, a tribunal court lifted the ban off of SIMI, which was imposed by National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the year 2001 following its link to terror activities. The ‘secularists’ in the ruling coalition, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Laloo Prasad Yadav welcomed the lifting of the ban, saying it was wrong in the first place! They termed it as being against the minority. I have mentioned how the reverse discrimination takes place in our country in one of my articles. Here is yet another example of the same. Stunned by the court’s view that fresh evidence of terror was necessary to keep the ban on, the government rushed to the Supreme Court and got the ban extended. The very next day, the same secularists demanded the ban on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Now from where did RSS come into the picture? Do we need an answer?

But one wonders, how did the organisation become so strong that could strike out at will in any part of the country? I believe the political parties are to be blamed for the revival of SIMI. Admirers of SIMI defended the terror outfit that was anti-secular, anti-democracy, anti-India when it was banned in 2001. In 2002, Sonia Gandhi censured the government for banning SIMI, which had no involvement with terrorist activities. Ambika Soni, her chosen spokesperson, termed the ban as not in the national interest and ill-timed. Sriprakash Jaiswal, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president in 2001, said that the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was a greater threat to the nation than SIMI. The ban on SIMI ended in 2005 but United Progressive Alliance (UPA) didn’t get the ban extended despite having proofs of its involvement in anti-national activities. This was the most critical phase in the revival of the organisation, which had been disintegrating at a handsome pace.

This was the state of SIMI after the second ban: it was unable to function in any manner because all its members were demoralised or had crossed the age of 30-years, which automatically disentitled them to continue as members of SIMI. Furthermore, lack of offices and frozen accounts and the fact that some of the erstwhile members also had to fight criminal cases foisted against them by the state was rapidly contributing to their downhill. UPA went to get the ban on SIMI after its own government in Maharshtra declared the involvement of SIMI in the Mumbai train blasts in 2006.

On August 23, 2007, the same gentleman Prakash Jaiswal said in Rajya Sabha that SIMI was linked to Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT) and was anti-national and that huge arms and ammunitions were seized from its cadres! This delay in extending ban allowed SIMI to regroup itself and it struck more than 10 times between 2004-08.

The ban has been imposed on SIMI now but yet our political, or I should say secular political parties, have not commented openly against the organisation. UPA president has not uttered single word on SIMI. Should I conclude that she is still not convinced or that she cannot see any organisation more anti-national than RSS! The secularists in Indian politics need to show some rationality when it comes to national security and refrain from appeasement and baseless rationale. Just a quote for our politicians, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Rishabh Srivastava

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