Yechury slams religious basis for CAA

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury addresses a protest rally against the amended Citizenship Act, in Guwahati, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury addresses a protest rally against the amended Citizenship Act, in Guwahati, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

He was addressing a rally organised by the CPI(M) to protest against the new citizenship law.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Friday slammed the Narendra Modi government for amending the citizenship law on the basis of religion to exclude Muslims from its ambit.

The government’s prejudice made it indifferent to harassment, discrimination and exploitation of Muslims in Islamic countries, Mr Yechury said at an rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Guwahati. 

“Violence made many Sri Lankan Tamils flee and take refuge in Tamil Nadu and Odisha. Why are you not giving citizenship to them? You are also not ready to accept the Rohingya community who escaped persecution in Burma (Myanmar). Why is your citizenship for people who came from only these three countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan)?” Mr. Yechury asked the Modi government. 

“They (BJP) said non-Muslims faced religious persecution and discrimination in the three Islamic countries and as such, they should be given citizenship. They are fanning communal passions by giving citizenship to only non-Muslim immigrants. Are Muslims not harassed in the Islamic countries? It is happening to the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan and the matter has reached the international court,” he said. 

The CPI(M) leader alluded to Abdul Hamid, who was conferred the country's highest military honour Param Veer Chakra after the India-Pakistan was in 1965, to underline the sacrifice of Muslims for the country. 

Mr. Yechury said the BJP's decisions were aimed at making India a “Hindu nation”. But people belonging to Dalit and Adivasi communities were also being exploited in a regime that could not tolerate criticism of its policies, he pointed out. 

The CPI(M) leader also said CAA formed part of a dangerous package along with National Population Register and National Register of Citizens. “This is a ‘buy-one, get-three’ package offered by Modi saab to keep the people on tenterhooks,” Mr Yechuri said. 

Signature campaign

The Congress in the State launched a mass signature campaign against CAA on Friday. The party also decided to join hands with all anti-CAA forces toward protecting Assam’s indigenous people.

The party has targeted 20 lakh signatures for a memorandum to be submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding the repeal of the amended citizenship law. Former Chief Minister Bhumidhar Barman has been assigned to supervise the campaign.

The Congress leaders also launched an “Astitwa Rakhyar Janajagarn Padyatra (Walk for awakening people to save existence)” across the State. 

“We are open to alliance with every political party, non-political organisation against the unconstitutional CAA," State Congress president Ripun Bora said, advising the BJP to detect and deport illegal migrants instead of criticising the Congress for having protected them for years. 

Protests against CM

The Nalbari district unit of All Assam Students' Union (AASU) ‘hanged’ at least 20 effigies of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for “creating a fascist government” and “cracking down on the very people that elected him”.

AASU leader Bhabajit Bezbaruah said the effigies were hung across Nalbari town and outskirts to protest the police atrocities on students who had shown black flags and shouted slogans at the Chief Minister’s convoy on January 1. 

The AASU has also demanded action against two police officers who misbehaved with the local people. 

NPP 'gag order'

The National People's Party (NPP), which heads the alliance government in Meghalaya, has asked its members not to make any comment or take part in any rally for or against the CAA. 

In a statement on January 1, NPP national general secretary Thomas Sangma said the party had noticed certain members commenting on the political and social impact of CAA. “As our party has already made its stand clear on the CAA, it is hereby directed to all the members of the party to refrain from passing any comment in their official capacity, on CAA without prior written permission from the national president,” he said.

The statement reminded cadre that “no member shall have the right or authority to initiate legal proceedings in any court of law including the Supreme Court of India regarding the subject matter of CAA”.

A senior NPP leader in Arunachal Pradesh, Nabam Vivek had a few days ago resigned from the primary membership of the party citing NPP national president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma's “U-turn” on the citizenship law.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 4:27:04 AM |

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