Tamil Nadu

Muslim outfits vow to come back stronger against citizenship law

The Old Washermenpet protests were shut down eventually on Tuesday midnight following calls from community leaders.  

Islamic organisations in Tamil Nadu were in a spot of bother last week as they had to temporarily suspend and postpone their protests against the Centre and State government demanding a repeal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Population Register and National Register of Citizens owing to COVID-19 threat.

As the number of cases continued to increase, the Shaheen-Bagh like protests became untenable and were eventually suspended.

While the Old Washermenpet protests went on for two more days and shut down eventually on Tuesday midnight following calls from community leaders and DMK president M. K. Stalin, Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat’s protests on March 18 were also scaled down and cut short as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

With protests already withdrawn, there is a concern in the community over the future of anti-CAA protests in the country and whether it can be restarted with the same fervour and when.

Fathima Muzaffer, member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and IUML leader, said that the break will allow the protesters to regroup and look into the various issues.

“The protests in the last three months have been deeply engraved in the minds of people, they know that these black laws threaten their ‘Indianness’. This break will help us regroup. It cannot bring down the spirit or our commitment. It has gone to a stage where the Hindus also realise how they will be affected by this exercise,” she said.

She said that the anti-CAA protesters will organise a ‘balcony’ protest at around 5 p.m. on March 22. “We will acknowledge the service of doctors and nurses and others in their fight against COVID-19 spread and we will also shout slogans against CAA, NRC and NPR,” she said.

K.M. Kader Mohideen, National President, Indian Union Muslim League, said that the party has been communicating to the cadre and the community that it has been opposing the CAA, NPR and NRC in all appropriate forums – including in the Parliament and in the State Assemblies of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but it is important to consider COVID-19 as a natural disaster.

“We are in the midst of corona virus pandemic — since it is spreading like anything, we should treat it like a natural disaster. IUML will continue to fight for the rights, but in the light of the threat posed by corona virus, it is not right to protests in large numbers on the road as it can be misconstrued by the larger population that Islamic community isn’t co-operating to stop the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

We need to act responsibly, he added.

M.H. Jawahirullah, president, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, said that there will not be any issue in restarting the protests as feared by protesters. “It is only a temporary break. It is not that we cannot mobilise the people again. The reasons for the protests (CAA, NPR and NRC) continue to exist. This is just a postponement for the nation. There are different styles of agitation – Gandhiji did not stick with just one mode of agitation. There are other ways to put pressure on the Government,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 3:19:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/muslim-outfits-vow-to-come-back-stronger-against-citizenship-law/article31133272.ece

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