Protest is ‘political’

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has called for unity among Opposition parties to support the ongoing protests against the CAA and force the government to roll back the law.

When the CAA, rushed through in Parliament, is ‘political’ in its true sense, the protest against it too has to be ‘political’ and it is. The protest is as ‘political’ as the enactment of the Act was ‘political’. The law was passed by members of political parties. Members of Parliament are not apolitical. Are not BJP and its allies that voted in favour of the Bill essentially political entities? The passage of the law was a political act in all its senses.

The protests for the rescission of the CAA have to be complemented by a strong political pushback by a combined and strong Opposition. The refrain by some TV channels that ‘a people’s movement’ has been hijacked by certain political parties and leaders is but a vain bid to de-legitimise the protests led by students, civil society activists and women.

Shashi Tharoor, Mani Shankar Aiyar and Kanhaiya Kumar are not disqualified to be on the ‘protest stage’ just because of their opposition to the Hindutva brigade. They do not piggyback on the protest but just extend their support to it. May be, it is a dictate of ‘patriotism’ that BJP leaders can organise and take part in pro-CAA campaign and rallies but the Opposition leaders should not take part in anti-CAA protests.

The issue of ‘traffic’ is brought in to counter the Shaheen Bagh protest which will go down in the annals of Indian history. Women at the protest site ask why not talk of the roads shut to their children. No sacrifice is too great to win the ‘political’ battle for a liberal, secular India in which all of us live as members of one wider family.

G. David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:01:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/protest-is-political/article30579627.ece

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