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Battle against CAA, NRC, NPR to be long one: Harsh Mander

It is not a battle being fought by Muslims alone, says the social activist

Noted social activist Harsh Mander said the battle ahead against Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register will be long, although the Hindu-Muslim unity on the street against the trinity is unprecedented.

“There is no categorical assurance from the government that they would not implement NRC while they are going ahead with NPR. The previous NPR conducted was never linked to NRC. Also we did not have the experience of Assam. Following implementation of NRC in Assam, everybody became aware about danger of whole process. The trinity of CAA, NPR and NRC is causing anxiety,” said Mr. Mander while addressing an intellectual meet here on Sunday.

“The CAA by itself has many problems. For the first time, a law is making distinction on basis of religious identity,” he said

To a question on some media portraying that only Muslims were in forefront of movement, Mr. Mander said, “this is not true. Most of the universities in India are not Muslim-dominated. But non-Muslim students are giving leadership to movement.”

“Muslims women gathering at protest rallies like that of Sahinbagh indicates that the Muslim community is battered. They are coming out to assert themselves. But the space in the protests being held frequently across the country is occupied by non-Muslims. Solidarity is being expressed through participation of non-Muslims,” said the activist who has been travelling across India non-stop for past two months.

“In mega rallies, about 70% to 80% are Muslims while rest 20% is non-Muslims. Since Mahatma Gandhi’s last fast, for the first time people in so many numbers are coming out for Hindu-Muslim unity. It is not a battle being fought centrally by Muslims,” he observed.

Stating that it was not Muslims who are going to be affected by the trinity, Mr. Mander said. “we have seen in Assam how much suffering the NRC has caused. Finding decades-old documents in a country which is notorious for absence of documentation is extremely difficult.”

“Poor people in Assam suffered for six to seven years without doing much productive works. They have sold their properties and run after officers and lawyers. If it happens in entire country, it will affect poor, dalits and tribals. We have urban poor, de-notified tribes, disabled people, single women and transgender,” he pointed out.

“There will be massive level of corruption if NRC takes place. Demonetisation is a very small suffering compared to this is going to unleash,” said Mr. Mander.

“We will have to fight till the provisions from the law are taken out. Till that happens, fear, uncertainty and disenchantment would not go. We have to fight for substantive citizenship whereas there is attempt to take away our right to be in the country. The battle is not going to be easy one. BJP and RSS are strongly ideologically based organisations. But for all on the street, there is a battle to fight to save the constitutions,” said the social activist.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 9:56:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/battle-against-caa-nrc-npr-to-be-long-one-harsh-mander/article30898404.ece

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