Tamil Nadu

CAA, a major step towards creating a Hindu Rashtra, says Kanimozhi

DMK MP Kanimozhi.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

Rejecting the argument of the BJP led central government that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) would not affect the Indians, DMK MP Kanimozhi is of the view it is actually a major step towards creating a Hindu Rashtra. In an interview with The Hindu, on Sunday she said discriminatory laws had paved way for genocides in world history.

Excerpts:​

The government and the supporters of the CAA argue that it will not affect Indians...​

The Constitution promises that there will not be any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion or gender. If a law, which sanctions discrimination on the basis of religion is enacted and which provides a clause saying that a person cannot seek refuge in this country because of his religion, then, this law is against the fundamentals of the Constitution. It effectively implies that this country is not secular. Tomorrow it can be extended to anything. This is a dangerous legislation along with the [proposed] NRC. Assam is already burning. Many lives have been lost and almost all these deaths are from police firings in BJP-ruled states, though the protests have been across India. In Uttar Pradesh alone, 17 people have been killed. Even in British India police did not enter into colleges and education institutions and beat up people. Why is the government responding so violently to student protests? Remember, it is not just the minorities who are protesting against this legislation but the Hindus are also out on the street against it because this is not just about one community; this is about protecting the Indian way of life, as propounded by our founding fathers. This government does not even want to find out why there are protests against this Act. ​

To prove Citizenship under the NRC, you say your Aadhaar card does not hold good; your passport does not hold good, your PAN card does not matter and still I have to prove my citizenship. After NRC, a total of 1.9 million people in Assam have become stateless. Tomorrow if you are going to extend it, how many of us can trace our ancestry to our grandparents and great-grandparents in a piece of Government-provided paper, to prove that they were Indians. But, if you are a Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist or Parsi, India will grant you Citizenship. Only in the case of Muslims who cannot prove Citizenship, India will lock them up with an intention to deport them. ​

What do you think is the reason behind particularly excluding the Muslims?​

We clearly see that this as a first step towards saying that this country does not have space for Muslims and that India will no longer be inclusive. This is very clearly a major step towards creating a Hindu Rashtra. Soon after the introduction of CAA, the very next day in Parliament, the government brought in the Bill to extend SC/ST reservation in legislatures. Why are they excluding the Anglo-Indians who also have reservation? The BJP Minister’s response is that there are less than 300 Anglo-Indians in this country. Personally, we know that even in Chennai there are more of them. In Tamil Nadu, there is a nominated MLA for the community, and there are about a lakh Anglo-Indians. There are communities of Anglo Indians all over the country. You are taking away the right of the community which is not able to elect a single representative. I think they are taking steps in different directions.​

Directions towards a Hindu Rashtra?​

That really is the message I am getting from all the actions of this government. The history of the world is replete with instances of how such discriminatory laws have ended up as the prime reason for genocides. ​​

Another issue is the citizenship for the Sri Lankan Tamils. There is an argument that if granted citizenship they will stay back and it will reduce them into a minority in Sri Lanka…​

Nobody is saying that the Sri Lankan Tamils have to stay back. If they want to go back, they should be allowed to return and we should give them all the support. But there are Sri Lankan Tamils who do not want to go back and who are born in India. They may not have the connect as their parents and other feel. They have been living in India for more than 35 years. Why can’t you include them? This is a discrimination of race and language. We are not saying that we should force them to take citizenship. If they want to take it, do not deny it to them. ​

There is an argument that the Muslim migrants will not join the mainstream and create ghettoization…​

When any minority is pushed into fear psychosis there will be a ghettoization. That is what the Sachar committee said. Whether they are from India or come from other countries as refugees, reach out to the Muslims and bring them to the mainstream. It is our duty. The manner in which a Hindu who lived in Africa or in Fuji or in Bangladesh practices the religion, does not have to be the same as that of a Hindu in Tamil Nadu. This is what diversity is about and we need to celebrate this diversity. There must be understanding and acceptance from both sides and should move forward.​

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 1:01:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/caa-a-major-step-towards-creating-a-hindu-rashtra-says-kanimozhi/article30373925.ece

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