Chidambaram slams Army Chief Rawat

Former Union Finance Minister inaugurates ‘Save India, Save Constitution’ march of Congress

Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday slammed Chief of the Army Staff Bipin Rawat for his purported criticism of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests.

Inaugurating the “Save India, Save Constitution” march organised by the Congress to Raj Bhavan here, Mr. Chidamabaram said it was a disgrace that the Bharatiya Janata Party Government at the Centre had pathetically turned to Army officials and State Police Chiefs for support against citizens who dissented democratically against the sly attempts of the Sangh Parivar to subvert the Constitution.

“Let me appeal to General Rawat. You head the Army and mind your business; what politicians will do, politicians will do. It is not the business of the Army to tell politicians what we should do just as it is not our business to tell you how to fight a war,” he said.

Secular foundation

Mr. Chidambaram said the BJP sought to dislodge the secular foundation of the Constitution. However, the party lacked the requisite two-thirds majority to do so. Hence, it attempted to amend the Constitution through the back door by muscling “anti-Muslim” legislation like the CAA through Parliament without informed debate and in a cursory manner. The CAA and the National Register of Citizens were Siamese twins, and both were patently anti-Muslim.

“If the NRC is implemented first in Assam, it will relegate 19 lakh people, including Hindus and Muslims, to the status of illegal aliens. Then the CAA will come into play. If you are a Hindu, you are welcome to stay in India and avail yourself of citizenship. If you are a naturalised Muslim, the CAA will show you the door as an illegal infiltrator,” he said.

The CAA is a direct onslaught on its secular foundation. The anti-CAA protests are a turning point in the country’s history. Backward Class and Dalit communities, which formed the majority of Hindus, should be more concerned about the discriminatory law than Muslims. It signalled the resolve of the Sangh Parivar to reintroduce the brutal Varna system that argued for social stratification of citizens.

The CAA was a precursor of the Centre’s move to resurrect the antiquated and regressive laws of Manu. The divisive majoritarian politics of the BJP would take the country back to the dark ages. Hundreds of Congress workers participated in the march. Kerala Pradesh Congress Commitee president Mullappally Ramachandran and Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala led the protesters.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:38:32 AM |

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