Kerala

Chidambaram slams Army Chief

Former Minister P. Chidambaram, KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala and other Congres leaders leading the march to Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapurm on Saturday.

Former Minister P. Chidambaram, KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala and other Congres leaders leading the march to Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapurm on Saturday.

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

Inaugurating the “Save India Save Constitution” march organised by the Congress here, Mr Chidamabaram said it was a disgrace that the BJP 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.

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 backdoor by muscling “anti-Muslim” legislations such as the CAA through the Parliament without informed debate and in a cursory manner, he claimed.

The CAA and the National Register of Citizens were Siamese twins. The conjoined law was the head and tail of the same coin, and both were patently anti-Muslim, Mr. Chidambaram said.

“If NRC is implementing first in Assam, it will relegate 19 lakh persons, 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 Constitution treats persons of all religions as equal. The CAA is a direct onslaught on its secular foundation. Mr. Chidambaram said the anti-CAA protests were a turning point in the country’s history.

He also warned that the Backward Class and Dalit communities, which formed the majority of Hindus, should be more concerned about the discriminatory law than Muslims.

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, Mr. Chidambaram said.

Hundreds of Congress workers participated in the march to the Kerala Raj Bhavan. KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala led the protestors.


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Printable version | Aug 20, 2022 11:28:47 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/chidambaram-slams-army-chief/article30419602.ece