The violence in Manipur symbolises the attack on federalism and plurality of the country unleashed by Bharatiya Janata Party which was trying to convert the secular democratic republic of India into a fascist Hindutva rashtra, charged Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in Madurai on Sunday.
Addressing a public meeting on Protection of State Rights, Mr. Yechury said the character of freedom struggle was to uphold the diversities such as languages, cultures and religions. “But the BJP wants to define the country by the religious affiliation of its people,” he said.
Contending that it was against the Constitution that defined India as Union of States which reflected diversities, he said an all-out attack was being carried out on the fundamental pillars of constitution such as secular democracy, economic sovereignty, equality, social justice and federalism. “Dalits, tribals and women are under attack,” he said.
“The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) refuses to discuss Manipur violence in the Parliament,” he said.
Recalling that the last Parliamentary session was crippled over the government not discussing the Prime Minister’s relationship with industrialist Gautam Adani, he charged that the BJP wants the Parliament not to function so that the government need not be accountable.
The BJP was attacking State subjects listed in the Constitutions by introducing National Education Policy and new farm laws without discussing them with the respective States.
While the Constitution mandated the Centre for sharing 42% of revenue with the States, last year only 30.4% of the taxes were shared. Similarly, the Centre was trying to impose Hindi without recognising the 22 other languages. “This is only a proxy for imposing a monolithic Hindutva culture,” he said.
Stating that the present day battle was to protect the rights of the States, which were the foundation of the country, he said that was possible only through defeat of the BJP in the ensuing Parliamentary election.
Speaking on the occasion, DMK MP Tiruchi N. Siva said the governments in the opposition-ruled States were not able to function under the BJP government at the Centre. He expressed apprehension about attempts to form a unitary government in the country.
After defeat of the BJP in the next election, education would be brought back to the State list to save students from NEET and NEXT., he claimed.
Congress leader Sudarshan Nachiappan, CPI (M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan, CPI State secretary R. Mutharasan, VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan and MDMK’s former MP Sippiparai A. Ravichandran were among those who addressed.