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Citizenship Amendment Bill: Left parties call for nationwide protest on December 19

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Day chosen to voice opposition to Citizenship Bill marks Bismil’s hanging in 1927 by British

Five Left parties announced on Thursday a nationwide joint protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on December 19 — the death anniversary of Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla and Roshan Singh, the three accused who were hanged by the British for what is widely known as the “Kakori conspiracy”.

The Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, All India Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party, in a joint statement, asserted that the bill was completely violative of the Constitution and was aimed at destroying the secular, democratic foundations of India.

The parties chose December 19 for its symbolic importance. On this day in 1927, Bismil, who rendered the stirring patriotic call ‘Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna’, was hanged in Gorakhpur jail. Ashfaqulla, a co-accused, was hanged at the Faizabad jail and another co-accused, Roshan Singh, was hanged at the Naini jail. “This unity, overriding religious affiliations won India its freedom from the British. This, today, is being ruptured by the RSS-BJP,” the Left parties said in the statement.

The contentious law, which seeks to give citizenship to non-Muslims who had fled persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and entered India before December 31, 2014, was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 9 and approved by the Rajya Sabha on December 11.

“The Left parties strongly oppose this bill that links citizenship with the religious affiliation of an individual, the very antithesis of secularism. This bill aims to further sharpen the communal divide and social polarisation in the country, which is dangerously detrimental to the unity and integrity of our country,” the Left parties said in the joint statement.

The passage of the Bill, along with the “proclamations by this Modi-Shah BJP government” to extend the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to the entire country, is the “twin combination to change the character of the Indian Republic from a secular democratic one into an ‘Hindutva Rashtra’, the RSS political project,” the five parties contended.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:09:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/citizenship-amendment-bill-left-parties-call-for-nationwide-protest-on-december-19/article30289822.ece

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