Party intends to create non-Congress alternative

Coinciding with the launch of the Social Democratic Party of India in New Delhi, the district unit of the party took out rallies at seven places across Dakshina Kannada on Sunday. The rallies were organised in Puttur, Sullia, Bantwal, Surathkal, Ullal, Uppinangady and Mangalore.

Although the party was founded on July 29, 2009, Sunday was the day the formation was announced. As part of the launch, delegates from 18 States congregated in New Delhi, even as each of the States organised their own rallies.

Addressing one such rally in the city, secretary of the Mangalore South Assembly constituency, Hameed Kannur, said: “One may wonder how a Muslim political party, which represents the aspirations of the minority community, can hope to make a political difference at the national level. But, the strength of our conviction, along with the support of leaders from other communities, should, god willing, see us through.”

Ideology

He said that the party would strive for the uplift of those communities, including Muslims, that had borne the brunt of oppression and ostracism from the “dominant social and political forces in the country”.

The SDPI, which is an offshoot of the Popular Front of India (formerly Karnataka Forum for Dignity), is a Muslim political party.

According to its top leadership, the party intends to create a non-Congress and non-communist political alternative for Muslims in the country, with the help of secular and democratic organisations. Although, while speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Kannur said that the PFI and the SDPI were distinct entities, he conceded that the party shared close ties with the PFI. According to political observers, the relationship between the PFI and the SDPI is similar to the one between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

K.M. Sharief, general secretary of the party’s district unit, said that the SDPI would adopt a two-pronged, social and economic agenda to alleviate poverty and social ostracism. The party’s slogan, Mr. Sharief said, is: “Freedom from hunger and freedom from fear”.

The party’s district president is Hanif Khan and Anwar Saddath is its secretary.

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