Kerala

Kerala govt. joins hands with Opposition to fight Centre on CAA

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala leading the joint protest by the ruling LDF and Opposition UDF at Martiyers' Column against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CCA), 2019 in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala leading the joint protest by the ruling LDF and Opposition UDF at Martiyers' Column against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CCA), 2019 in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.   | Photo Credit: S. Gopakumar

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Pinarayi Vijayan, Ramesh Chennithala and others condemn the law as ‘patently unconstitutional and particularly discriminative against Muslim refugees and migrants’ aspiring for Indian citizenship.

In a rare bipartisan coming together of political forces against the Centre, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala on Monday joined hands with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition to protest against the enactment of the recently legislated and controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala joined a galaxy of Ministers, leaders and heads of social organisations at a protest here to condemn the BJP-sponsored law as “patently unconstitutional and particularly discriminative against Muslim refugees and migrants” aspiring for Indian citizenship.

Mr. Vijayan said the Constitution did not set religion as a criterion for citizenship. The Centre had “perverted” the original Act by introducing a communally polarising amendment that discriminated against Muslims.

The new law denied Muslims the opportunity available to people of other religions to gain citizenship through a process of naturalisation. The law had marked out Muslim refugees and immigrants for “antagonistic treatment and forced repatriation”.

Kerala, with its distinctive secular character, would lead the widespread resistance to oppose the Centre’s move to undermine the secular foundation of the Constitution.

Renaissance leaders and progressive agrarian movements had shaped modern Kerala. The principles would continue to guide the State and the country in challenging times.

He reminded the crowd that India had seen people sinking caste, communal, regional and linguistic differences to fight British colonialists who had pursued a policy of divide and rule.

The Independence movement was a historic mustering of secular and socialist forces. The time for such a mobilisation of secular forces had arrived to “insulate the Constitution from attack by fascist forces”.

‘Majoritarian theocratic Hindu State’

The RSS had embraced the divide and rule policy of the British in colonial India to split the country into extremely schismatic religious lines in a bid to make it a “majoritarian theocratic Hindu State”. It aimed to relegate minorities to the status of second class citizens.

The RSS aspired to make people think as Hindus and Muslims to hobble popular resistance to the Centre’s flawed social and fiscal policies.

The RSS was pro-corporate and anti-poor. The Centre had worsened unemployment, exacerbated the agrarian crisis and ruined the country's economy.

The BJP had muscled the amendment through the Upper and Lower Houses of the Parliament to divert public attention from the crippling financial crisis that had gripped the nation.

RSS agenda

Stripping Kashmir of its unique status, criminalising triple talaq law and the CAA were part of the RSS agenda to rid India of its minorities and rob the country of its secular character.

Mr. Chennithala said a pall of fear had descended over the country. The BJP unabashedly pursued a fascist agenda. The Centre locked up students and political leaders. Farooq Abdullah had not seen the light of the day for months.

The Centre used investigative agencies to “tar and feather its political detractors”. It had cowed the corporate media into submission. Writers and intellectuals were afraid to speak. “Fascists had killed many for their secular views”.

The joining of the ruling front and opposition forces in Kerala appeared to be part of a growing consensus across the nation to mount a broad-based and united resistance against the financial and political policies of the BJP-led Central government.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:01:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-govt-joins-hands-with-opposition-to-fight-centre-on-caa/article30318122.ece

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